Interest Rates & APR Terms
Features & Rewards
Help & Support
Best Instant Approval Credit Cards
Instant Decision Credit Cards
Editor's Note: This review site for Instant Approval Credit Cards is no longer being maintained by Top Ten Reviews. The site will be discontinued in its entirety.
Instant approval credit cards are handy for people who, for a variety of reasons, need a quick answer as to whether they qualify for a credit card. These cards have many different benefits, depending on the type of card you apply for. These benefits can include rewards programs, travel assistance, and help to turn bad credit or no credit into good credit.
How Instant Is Instant Approval?
Instant approval is not the same as guaranteed credit card approval. What it does mean is that you will get a quick decision as to whether you qualify for a card – sometimes as soon as 30 seconds after you have filled out the necessary identification and credit history information online.
An instant approval doesn't mean that you have access to your card right away either. The credit card companies we have reviewed mail your card to you and do not provide you instant access. It can take up to three business days after you're approved for the credit card company to mail your card to you, and then more time for your card to arrive.
If additional processing is necessary before a company can offer a card to you, it could take a bit longer to find out if it will issue a card to you. Still, it is usually possible to get an answer and a card quickly.
Instant Approval vs. Other Credit Cards
Like all credit cards, instant approval credit cards vary in rates and fees. The instant approval credit cards we have reviewed have higher rates than some traditional credit cards. This is because the cards listed here are mostly geared toward individuals with bad credit, meaning that, naturally, the annual percentage rate (APR) and other fees will be high. Still, it is important to search for the lowest rates and fees available to you for your credit ranking. The average APR for a credit card is 14.9% if you have good credit.
It is also important to watch for hidden fees that come with some instant approval credit cards. Some charge steep startup fees and other costs that might be easy to overlook. If you don't require instant approval, you can look at traditional credit cards or rewards cards. Cash-back credit cards, secured credit cards and air miles credit cards could also be solid options. Depending on the lender or credit card company, you could be approved as soon as the same day. Some situations may require you to wait a few days.
Even if you want a credit card fast, you still want to get the best APR that you can, along with a good grace period, which is the amount of time you have before interest starts to accrue. Some cards also provide an introductory rate of 0% APR for a certain number of months, which can be a worthwhile financial tool if you want to transfer another debt to your new card and then pay it off during the allotted time. It also is essential to know the penalty APR in the event that you miss a payment, because that can brutally hike the amount of interest you pay.
The convenience of easy approval credit cards often comes with a price. However, there are cards that do not charge an annual fee or any costs for establishing and maintaining the card. You also want to compare such things as fees for cash advances, transfers, late payments and returned payments.
Features & Rewards
Credits cards across the board generally offer such things as zero liability, meaning you won't be penalized if someone uses your card fraudulently, and access to your online account 24/7. Beyond that, the features offered by different credit cards can vary dramatically – which means more shopping for you as a consumer, but it also means you get more choices to suit your tastes. For example, if you love traveling, then you might not care all that much about cash advance costs if you get a card that rewards you with points that translate into savings on future travel expenses. There are also cards that let you earn cash back on commonly purchased items, such as groceries.
Help & Support
It is always good to have someone to contact in the event that you have questions about your credit card and payments or in case it is stolen. Phone contact is important, email support is helpful, and it is always useful to be able to talk with someone via live chat.
Instant Approval Credit Cards
Even if you have bad credit, an instant approval credit card could benefit you. It charges a high interest rate, which you can use to improve your credit rating by making timely payments and complying with the card's terms and conditions. If you want a general-purpose credit card and have great credit, you have the best of all worlds. You can get reasonable interest rates if you carry a balance on your card, as well as travel assistance, lost or delayed luggage insurance, free account alerts and many more features. Whatever your situation, careful use of an instant decision credit card could work to your advantage.