Credit Cards » Credit Card Guides » How Long Does It Take to Get a Credit Card?
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How Long Does It Take to Get a Credit Card?

While applicants might get approval in just several minutes, there is no universally accepted timeframe to get your card on hand
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

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Table Of Content

The majority of large banks, including Chase and Bank of America, have delivery windows of 7 to 10 business days after your application has been approved.

This usually pertains to playing cards having a common layout. The delivery of the credit card to your mailbox may require an additional 5 to 10 business days if you order cards with a custom design.

How Many Days Does It Take to Get a Credit Card Approved?

When it comes to credit card approvals, there is no universally accepted timeframe, which all banks confirm. The truth of the matter is that in some cases, the applicants might get approval in just several minutes. At the same time, some customers might have to wait a week or more to get a response from the bank.

Despite this variation, there are some indicators, published on the official Chase website which can give us some idea about how long this process can take:

  • In the US, credit card issuers are required by law to respond to credit card applications within 30 days.
  • Generally speaking, people who send online applications are likely to be approved faster than those who send the application form by the mail.
  • Most specialty and luxury credit cards have stricter requirements. Therefore, in most cases, processing those applications take longer time than for other regular credit cards.
  • If you research the criteria for the card you are applying for, making sure that you qualify, then this can speed up the process considerably.

Credit Card Approval Process: Why It Takes Time?

There are several reasons why processing credit card applications take some time. Here are some of those:

  • The bank must make sure that you meet all of the requirements for the particular credit card you are applying for.
  • They must check your past credit history, and consider whether or not you make payments on time.
  • They must get the necessary information from credit bureaus and examine your credit score.
  • Even if they decide to approve your application, they must determine the size of the credit limit.

So what we are dealing with here is that the bank should do proper due diligence to make sure that the money invested in the credit card debt portfolio is not lost. Sometimes, examinations can be more thorough than just checking your credit score, especially if you're current bank customers.

Every banker knows that no matter how thorough the process is, there still will be some people who will not make payments on time or even default on their credit card debt altogether.

However, with proper due diligence, banks can at least minimize their potential losses on nonperforming loans.

There is another factor to consider. The fact of the matter is that banks are flooded with thousands of credit card applications on a daily basis. It takes many working hours to process all of those applications and come up with decisions, which could be beneficial for the bank.

There is some sort of balance, banks must maintain in the process. If they start issuing credit cards liberally, without due consideration of their clients’ ability to keep up with payments, this will lead to a massive increase in defaults and nonperforming loans.

On the other hand, if a bank sets the bar too high and unnecessarily rejects thousands of applications, then this can easily lead to millions of dollars’ worth of lost potential revenue. This is exactly why banks take some time to come up with their decision

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When Can I Expect to Get a Credit Card in the Mail?

Every financial institution has different timeframes for delivering their credit cards to their customers. For example, as the Bank of America website suggests, they deliver credit cards within 10 business days, after the application is approved.

At the same time, the Chase website suggests that their customers should expect to receive their credit cards 7 to 10 business days after the approval of the credit card application.

It is also worth mentioning that with many banks you can arrange to pick up a credit card at the branch, which will take fewer working days compared to male delivery.

You Can Ask For Expedited Shipping

Another option would be to ask for expedited shipping. This is a service offered by several banks. However, in this case, you have to pay an additional fee for this service.

5-15 Business Days Is The Norm

There is also one thing to keep in mind. The 10 business date timeframe for delivery only applies to standard design credit cards. However, nowadays there are dozens of credit cards that offer special or custom-made designs.

The fact of the matter is that with those types of cards, it might take more than 10 business days to arrive at your mailbox. This might take up to 20 business days, depending on the bank and the complexity of the design.

What to Do If Your Credit Card Hasn't Arrived Yet?

If you have not received your card within 10 business days, there are several options to sort out the situation:

  • Visit Branch: The first obvious solution would be to visit the bank branch in person. Here they can check the status of your credit card and give you updated information.
  • Ask For a Temporary Card: If your card is lost, then some banks might give you a temporary credit card. You can use it until your new card is delivered and activated.
  • Make a Call: If you cannot visit a bank branch, then you can use telephone banking services to enquire about the situation. However, in this case, the bank will ask you some security questions to confirm your identity.
  • Email/Chat –You can send an email to the customer support staff of your bank, providing the details they need to identify your account.

If you are expecting a specially designed card, then it might be better to allow for at least 15 business days to pass, since they take a longer time to arrive.

Issuer
Phone
American Express
1-888-297-1244
Chase
1-302-594-8200
CitiBank
1-800-950-5114
Discover
1-800-347-2683.
Capital One
1-877-383-4802
Wells Fargo
1-800-642-4720
Bank Of America
1-757-677-4701
US Bank
1-800-285-8585

How Does Credit Card Preapproval Work? Can It Streamline The Process?

From time to time you might receive pre-approved credit card offers in your mail, or via mobile or online banking. This means that the bank has checked your details and they think that you have met the minimum requirements for qualifying for the card.

The pre-approved offer will show the following information:

  • Name of the credit card they are offering
  • Picture of the standard design of the credit card
  • Possible interest rate range
  • Information about 0% introductory period if it is offered
  • Credit Card benefits, such as rewards and points

If you like the terms of the offer, then the next step would be to apply for a credit card. Since they have already made an offer, they will likely approve your application. However, it is worth noting that there is no 100% guarantee that this always will be the case.

However, generally speaking, if you are applying for a pre-approved credit card, the odds are that it will be approved more quickly, than in the case if you apply without any pre-approved offers.

How To Get A Credit Card Faster?

Now that we have discussed several points about the timing of receiving credit cards, the next logical step would be to talk about whether or not you can do anything which can help you to get a credit card faster.

There are some options you might want to consider:

  • By improving your credit score, you make it more likely that the bank will be less hesitant to approve your application. So this can speed up the process.
  • By reducing or maintaining the debt-to-income ratio at or below 36%, you will present less risk for the bank, so the odds are that they might approve your application faster.
  • You can apply for ‘instant approval’ credit cards. They typically give you a response within several minutes.
  • You can arrange to pick up your credit card at the branch.

If receiving your credit card as soon as possible is important to you, then it might be better to stick with standard designs, which are easier and faster to manufacture

Bottom Line: How Long Does It Take To Get A Credit Card?

When it comes to the majority of big banks, like Chase and Bank of America, the standard delivery time for credit cards is around 7 to 10 business days after the approval of your application.

This typically applies to cards with a standard design. If you order custom design cards, then it might take an additional 5 to 10 business days for the credit card to arrive at your mailbox.

With some banks, you can get your credit card in less than 10 business days, if you agree to visit the local branch and pick up your card there.

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FAQs

Getting a physical credit card within 24 hours is very uncommon. However, some credit card companies, like American Express can provide their clients with an electronic version of the card after approval, before the physical card arrives at their doorstep.

One of the fastest ways to get a credit card would be to apply for instant approval credit cards. In this case, the response from the bank arrives within several minutes.

Consequently, unlike with some other cards, you do not have to wait for days, before the bank finally comes up with a decision.

The time it takes to receive a replacement credit card depends upon the bank itself. For example, Chase suggests that it takes 7 business days to receive a replacement credit card.

From this, we can conclude that in some cases the delivery of a replacement card might take slightly less time, compared to when it comes to new clients.

If your credit card has not arrived in your mail within 10 business days you can visit the bank branch to sort out the situation. Alternatively, you can use mobile banking to inquire about reasons for potential delays.

Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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