Once you’ve applied for and been approved for a new credit card, there may be an item you want to buy right away with that card, possibly to take advantage of awards or make a home improvement.

The problem is, you don’t yet have the card in your possession. Unfortunately, you will likely have to wait until you receive your new or replacement credit card in the mail. Once your card does arrive, you can then use a credit card immediately upon activation. But, is there any way you can use your new credit card sooner?

  1. Receive Your Credit Card Quickly
  2. Instant Approval Credit Cards

1. Receive Your Credit Card Quickly

Ask for expedited shipping. This may be your best option to speed things up. While some credit cards won’t expedite and others might charge you for this service, some 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.

Without expedited shipping, it may take 7-10 business days to receive your new credit card after approval, and 3-7 days to receive a replacement card if yours was lost, stolen or damaged, according to WalletHub.

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. Once your card arrives (in 4-6 business days), you can activate your card online or via the phone and then you can use your credit card immediately.

2. 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.

Published May 1, 2017.

Updated September 14, 2020.

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.