Applying for a new credit card is typically a process that takes quite some time to finish. If you have a big purchase ahead that you cannot afford to pay for in cash, for example, you probably don’t have time to wait for 7 to 10 business days to find out whether you’ve been approved or not, and then wait an additional two weeks to actually receive your credit card and start using it.
In situations where you simply don’t have time to wait, instant decision credit cards might be your solution. Many banks and credit card issuers offer instant decision credit cards that you can easily apply online.
It typically won’t take more than a couple of minutes to find out whether you will be approved for a card or not, and it will make the whole application process much easier.
It’s not wise, however, to simply apply for an instant decision credit card before you know exactly what they are. So, let’s have a closer look at these credit cards to help you figure out whether they’re a good financial decision for you.
Overview of Instant Decision Credit Cards
Instant decision credit cards are offered by most credit card issuers and can be applied for online. They’re also sometimes known as instant approval credit cards and are a good choice for those who want to know immediately whether their application will be approved or not.
When applying for this type of credit card, typically you will receive a notification informing you about the success of your application within just two minutes. Your application depends on your FICO score and is processed by computer algorithms instead of by a human agent.
If you have a good FICO score, you are likely to get approved, but with a poor score, it tends to get more difficult. Since you cannot explain the circumstances of your current financial situation or provide any additional details to the computer, chances are higher that your application will be denied.
There are three possible outcomes with instant decision credit cards. You can get:
- Referred on for closer examination
If you get accepted, you will need to sign an agreement before you can get your card. Depending on the issuer, this can be done online, or you might have to wait for the proper paperwork to be sent to you.
If you get rejected, you might or might not be contacted by the issuer who will explain why your application was not successful.
And finally, if you’re referred on for further examination, you will most likely be contacted by the credit card issuer and be asked to provide some additional information.
If you don’t get an immediate answer after your application, it’s likely that your application is still being examined, but you should contact the issuer just in case.
These credit cards are convenient, but this shouldn’t be the most important factor that you take into consideration before getting your card.
Instant Decision vs Guaranteed Approval
As mentioned, instant decision credit cards are also known as instant approval credit cards, but this name tends to be misleading, and many applicants confuse them with the guaranteed approval credit cards. The two are quite different and typically have different approval criteria.
Instant decision cards are usually regular cards that require you to have a higher credit score. Although you’ll be notified about your application status almost immediately, that doesn’t mean that you’ll definitely be approved.
Guaranteed approval cards are a bit different. They function the same way as every other credit card, but the requirements to get them are usually lower, so even if you don’t have an excellent credit score, you might still be approved for these credit cards.
Keep in mind, however, that even though their name might suggest otherwise, guaranteed approval card offers are not available to everyone and anyone. You still have to meet certain requirements imposed by the credit card issuer.