You’re eyeing a big-ticket purchase that’s begging to be put on the new credit card you’ve just been approved for (especially if it offers a 0% purchase APR for the first 12-18 months). The problem is, you don’t yet have the card itself in your possession. Is there any way you can use your new card number before the physical card arrives in the mail?

Unfortunately, you will likely have to wait until you receive your new or replacement credit card in the mail. But once your card does arrive, then you can use a credit card immediately upon activation. If you have an upcoming event or purchase that may require a credit card, it is best to apply as soon as you can. That way, you should receive your new credit card before you actually need to use it.

How Can I Receive a Credit Card Sooner?

Ask for expedited shipping. This is the next best way to speed things up. While some credit cards won’t expedite and others might charge you for this service, many issuers will agree to expedite your shipping for free. In the end, it’s in their best interest if you start using your credit card ASAP and have options to overnight your credit card to you.

Current Discover cardmembers who need to replace a lost, stolen or damaged card can request overnight shipping to any U.S. street address for free.1 Once your card arrives, you can activate your card online or via the phone and then you can use your credit card immediately.

Are There Instant Approval Credit Cards?

Some instant approval credit cards do exist, but they are uncommon. In order to improve your chances of approval, ensure your credit history is clean by paying your bills on time and limiting hard inquiries against your credit. Even if you aren’t a Discover cardmember, you can easily monitor your credit score with the Discover Credit Scorecard.


Free Overnight Card Replacement: Overnight shipping is not available to P.O. boxes or addresses outside the U.S. Carrier overnight shipping limitations apply that may impact the exact delivery date.