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How Long Does It Take to Get a Credit Card?

Last Updated: October 2, 2023
3 min read

Key Points About: How Long It Takes to Get a Credit Card

  1. You can apply and get approved for a credit card within minutes. However, receiving your card in the mail can take 7-10 business days.

  2. Some credit card issuers allow qualifying customers instant access to credit.

  3. It can take up to 30 days to receive approval or denial from a credit issuer, depending on the need for additional information.  

While you may be ready to get a new credit card, the process from application to access could take longer than you may think. Usually, you can expect to receive your credit card within a couple of weeks. But a few factors can affect how long it takes to get your card, including your credit history and shipping timelines.

How long does it take to get credit card approval?

To receive a credit card or gain access to instant credit, you must fill out a credit card application with personal information like your Social Security Number and address, and submit it for approval to a credit card issuer. When you apply online, you might get instant approval for a credit card, though credit card issuers may not send confirmation for several days or weeks. This could be because they are reviewing your credit report, or other data to determine your creditworthiness.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, federal regulations mandate notice of approval or denial of credit within 30 days after receiving a completed application.

Did you know?

Certain credit card companies may instantly approve applicants who meet or exceed the credit card requirements, according to Experian. So, having a strong credit history and a good, very good, or exceptional credit score could be helpful. If you barely meet the requirements, like having a poor credit history or a fair or poor credit score, it could lead to a manual review of your application, Experian goes on to explain. This means it could take longer to get credit card approval.

Discover applicants can check the status of a credit card application online or call 1-800-347-3085.

For those trying to build credit history for the first time, or rebuild credit history, a secured credit card may be a good option, according to Experian. A secured credit card requires a cash deposit which is usually equal to the credit limit for the credit card account. This reduces the risk for credit card providers and could help you build credit if used responsibly. 

How long does a credit card take to arrive?

Once you’re approved for a new credit card, you may want to start using your credit immediately to make a purchase. Some card issuers offer instant credit, which means you can access and start using your account to make purchases before your new credit card arrives.

If you don’t qualify for instant credit, you’ll have to wait for your credit card to arrive in the mail before using it to make a purchase. Depending on the credit card issuer, it can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks for your new credit card to arrive. Typically, you can expect to wait at least a week before your new credit card comes. Once it arrives, you’ll need to activate your new card.

If you’re wondering how long it will take for your credit card to arrive, the best thing to do is contact the card issuer directly. They’ll be able to give you a more specific timeline based on their processing and shipping times.

How long does it take a replacement credit card to arrive?

Whether you’ve lost your credit card, or had it stolen, it usually takes about 7-10 days for your requested replacement card to arrive. If you’re simply ordering an additional card, you may be able to request the card be shipped overnight. 

It’s important to report a lost card or stolen card as soon as possible to minimize the chance of an unapproved transaction. Once notified, your credit card company will cancel the card to keep anyone from using it and issue you a new credit card with a new card number. If you’re simply ordering an additional card, you may be able to request the card be shipped overnight.

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  • Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.