What Are Instant Approval Credit Cards?

If you want to apply for an instant approval credit card online, there are a lot of options. These usually require your bank to approve the issue of the card, and they can take time to finalize. But what can you do if you have an emergency purchase or payment, and want a credit card in a hurry? Can you get a credit card in a hurry with a bad credit score? Are these cards really available for use immediately?

Instant approval cards are an option for sudden out-of-the-blue payments. Here we look at some of the cards available to customers who need credit in a hurry.

The main fast approval credit cards are unsecured, secured, store or gas credit cards, and prepaid cards.

Instant Approval Credit Cards – Is an Instant Decision a Reality

  1. Unsecured Instant Credit Cards

You can get an instant approval credit card without a deposit required, and with bad credit.


Total Visa Card

Here are the things you need to know to apply for this instant approval card:

  • You need a checking account
  • VISA card accepted by nationwide merchants and online vendors
  • If the card is approved, you pay the processing fee to open an account and access credit
  • Response provided in seconds after application
  • Manageable monthly payments
  • Reports monthly to all three major US credit bureaus


  1. Secured Credit Cards

You can get a secured credit card with fewer application requirements than an unsecured card, but you’ll need a security deposit. This deposit is held to ensure you make your payments.

Here are some examples and details of secured credit cards:

wells fargo

Wells Fargo Secured Visa

  • Intro purchase APRN.A.
  • Regular APR19.49% (V)
  • Intro BT APR19.49%
  • 5% BT fee min $5
  • $25 annual fee
  • 25 days grace period

Capital One Secured MasterCard

  • Can apply with bad credit or no credit
  • Intro purchase APR – no intro offer
  • Regular APR24.99 – 24.99% (V)
  • Intro BT APR24.99%
  • No BT fee
  • No annual fee
  • 25 days grace period
  • $49-$200 security deposit

american express card

American Express Serve CashBack

  • 1% cash back on purchases
  • $5.95 monthly fee
  • free ATM withdrawals
  • no credit check

AeroMexico Secured by US Bank

  • Intro purchase APR – no intro offer
  • Regular APR 13.49 – 23.49% (V)
  • Intro BT APR 13.49-23.49%
  • 3% BT fee $5 min
  • Rewards 1x-2x miles per dollar
  • +5,000 bonus
  • $25 annual fee
  • No first-year fee
  • Reports to all credit agencies
  • 24 days grace period
  • Unsecured card offer after 12 months


  1. Instant Approval Store or Gas Credit Cards

The fastest way to get instant credit and make a purchase at a particular store, is to get a store credit card for that store. Most department stores will take your application and give you a slip that you can use for in-store purchases right away.

Some of the stores that offer instant approval credit cards are:

  • Walmart card
  • Target red card
  • Costco card
  • Gap Card
  • Old Navy Card
  • American Eagle Card
  • Sears card
  • Macy’s credit card
  • Barclays Apple Rewards card
  • Sam’s Club Discover
  • PayPal Buyer Credit
  1. Prepaid cards

Prepaid cards are instant approval cards that don’t require a credit check. These are not technically credit cards, as you are using your own money that’s loaded on the card.

Some of the best prepaid card options are:

Walmart MasterCard

  • Intro purchase APR 0% for 6-24 months
  • Regular APR17.15 – 23.15% (V)
  • Intro BT APR not allowed
  • Rewards $25 bonus
  • $5 back on $500
  • No annual fee

PayPal Prepaid

  • $4.95 monthly fee
  • connected to your Paypal account

AccountNow Prepaid

  • $4.95 activation fee
  • $1 per transaction

Fastest type of instant approval credit cards:

  • Store and gas credit cards
  • Prepaid cards
  • Virtual credit cards (online card that allows you to make online purchases)

Best type of guaranteed instant approval credit cards:

  • Secured credit cards
  • Store and gas credit cards
  • Prepaid cards

Instant Approval Credit Card with no credit check:

Sometimes you might not be able to get an unsecured or secured card. Here is an option that doesn’t perform a credit check:

Capital Bank OpenSky Secured:

  • Intro purchase APR – no intro offer
  • Regular APR 17.89 – 17.89% (V)
  • Intro BT APR 17.89%
  • 5% BT fee
  • 25 days grace period
  • Reports to credit agencies as unsecured card

How long does it take to get an instant approval credit card?

You can get a very quick conditional approval if you have very few credit accounts, and a good FICO score.

Often banks have tools on their websites that allow you to check if you are pre-approved for a credit card. However, you will probably not get your card delivered before 1-2 weeks after your application.

How do you speed up your instant approval credit card application?


Apply for the simplest credit card option, and avoid the cards that are linked to high-end rewards offers.

Call the bank you applied at and discuss your application. If you can play it cool and not discuss the sign-up incentives, or sound like you’re in a hurry, you might get your application approved faster.

Ask for your credit card to be expedited with overnight shipping. You might have to pay a shipping fee.

You can use some card benefits (like hotel perks), or transfer a balance, before the card arrives.

Or click on one of the searches below: