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How Long Does It Take to Get a Credit Card?

Last Updated: January 18, 2022
3 min read

As someone once said, the waiting is the hardest part. So what happens after you apply for a credit before you can make use of its benefits and rewards?

If you’re approved, the credit card issuer typically delivers the card in 7-10 business days. Some companies will expedite the shipment of the card for free and others are allowing some consumers to get access to instant access to the new account for limited use.

Some credit card issuers provide a special website to check your application status (Discover applicants can check their status here). Just give it a couple of days from the date of your application and check if you have been approved.

To understand the process of getting a credit card, there are some other factors you may want to consider.

Let’s Learn About: How long it takes to get your credit card

  • Credit card applications usually take time to review, but instant approval or denial are possible depending on your credit history and other factors.
  • Be mindful to check if your credit card provider needs more information from you to review your card’s application.
  • Many card providers have online portals to check what the status of your credit card application is.

What happens after you apply

Applying for a credit card can be easy, especially when you apply online, but there’s always a process behind the scenes that you don’t see that can influence how long it takes to get a credit card. Here is what happens:

  1. You fill out the credit card application and hit the “Submit” button. This is where it’s very important to refrain from clicking the button twice, because the system may decide you’re submitting a duplicate application and deny it automatically.
  2. The credit card issuer checks your credit report, credit score, and other information to see if you meet the criteria necessary for approval. This process can take from a few seconds to a minute or more depending on your internet speed and network conditions.
  3. After the review is complete, you get a decision on the screen.

There are three possible outcomes:

Not all approvals are instant

The credit card issuer may need a human, rather than a computer, to review your application.

The credit card approval time can be extended by something as trivial as verifying your personal information due to some discrepancies between your application info and your credit file, but it may also mean that the issuer is concerned about its exposure (especially if you already have another credit line with them). If you are in no rush to receive a new card, just let the review run its course.

Other ways to check your application status

If your application decision is still pending, you can check online or call the credit card application status phone number (for Discover, it’s 1-800-347-3085) and ask them if there is anything you can do to speed up the review. The analyst will review your application with you and verify whatever information they might need. Discover expedites new credit cards automatically, without your having to ask.

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