List of Best Credit Cards That Issue Instant Card Numbers Upon Approval [2021]

Cell phone credit card

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Applying for a new credit card can at times be a nerve-wracking experience — but it quickly turns to excitement when you see the words, “Congratulations, you’ve been approved!” appear on your screen.

If you’re applying for a new travel rewards card, you will likely be eager to start putting your card to use right away. However, there are a variety of factors that will determine how quickly you can begin using your new card.

Even though your application process may result in an instant decision, usually credit card issuers will require you to wait until you receive the card in the mail before you begin using it. The wait for your new card can often be 5-7 business days.

Some issuers will issue your credit card number instantly upon approval so you can begin using it right away.

To make matters easier, we’ve compiled a list of all major credit card issuers and their respective policies on issuing instant credit card numbers after approval.

American Express (Best Option for Instant Card Numbers)

An instant card number upon approval of a new account is available on all American Express credit cards.

However, some people report that for co-branded cards, the card number issued instantly is only for use at the co-brand location. For example, a Hilton card may only be used with Hilton, or the Delta card only for use with Delta.

After your card number is given to you, remember to write it down and/or take a screenshot. You can request the number again from Amex, but it’s far quicker to take a note of the card number as you’re approved for the card.

Keep in mind that the card number you receive will likely be the same as the one on your physical card, but your temporary security code likely will not be the same.

Bottom Line: American Express is by far the most convenient option when it comes to getting access to your new credit card number immediately. In this case, we highly recommend them as a top option for those who need to access their new credit card number instantly.

Recommended American Express Cards (Personal)

If you’re looking for a premium travel card, consider the American Express® Gold Card which is loaded with perks and benefits. See below for more information:

Hot Tip: If you don’t see your card number as soon as you’re approved, you can request the card number from Amex by getting in contact with them. In addition, many users have reported being given a statement credit if their software fails and is unable to issue the card number. 

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant does not currently offer instant credit card numbers.

Bank of America

According to Bank of America, customers who apply and are approved for a credit card via the Bank of America mobile app can upload it immediately to their digital wallet. However, for those who apply through their website, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card seems to be the only one that gives an instant card number.


Several Barclays co-branded credit cards offer instant card numbers and credit available for purchases made through the co-branded website. They are as follows:

  • Frontier Airlines World Mastercard® — instant credit toward purchases made through the Frontier website
  • Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® — instant credit toward travel purchases made through the Hawaiian Airlines website
  • The JetBlue Card — instant credit toward purchases through the JetBlue website
  • Priceline Rewards™ Visa® Card — offers instant credit toward purchases through the Priceline website
  • Princess Cruises® Rewards Visa® Card — offers instant credit when used to purchase a cruise with Princess Cruises
  • Uber Credit Card — offers instant credit upon approval when you add it as the primary method of payment to your Uber account


BBVA does not offer credit card numbers instantly.

Capital One

Capital One no longer provides credit card numbers instantly.


Chase does not offer instant credit card numbers to new account holders. However, in some instances, those who have been approved for a co-branded card are able to immediately use the card for a purchase made with the retailer.


Citi no longer provides credit card numbers instantly.


Discover does not offer instant credit card numbers.

Goldman Sachs

The Apple credit card will allow cardholders to use the card instantly upon approval via the Wallet app on your iPhone.


HSBC will provide you with your credit card number after approval, but not the CVV or your card’s expiration date.

Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union does not offer instant credit card numbers.


The only cards offered by Synchrony that gives instant access to your card number are:

For PayPal or eBay cards, you can make an online purchase up to $250 via PayPal.


USAA will give you an instant card number to use, along with the expiration date and 3-digit code. This has a maximum credit limit of $1,000, which is increased to your approved credit limit when the physical card arrives.

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank has begun issuing instant credit cards for mobile/online use on some cards with plans for this to roll out to all cards in the near future. This option is currently limited to those processing a credit card application with their text-to-apply option which only can happen for an application processed by a banker, either in-branch, over the phone, or via email.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo does not offer instant credit card numbers.


Booking Trips with a Travel Rewards Credit Card
Image Credit: AllenO via Shutterstock

Final Thoughts

So why should you rush to get your card number in the first place? Here are a few reasons why you might want the option to use your card right away:

  • Upfront Discount: If it’s a co-branded credit card you’re after, you’ll likely receive some sort of perk or discount with the merchant as soon as you sign up. This could be as simple as a discount off your airfare when you’re about to complete your booking. In this case, having the card number right away allows you to apply that discount to the purchase you were about to make anyway.
  • Large Upcoming Purchase to Help Meet Welcome Bonus: If you’re familiar with the world of points and miles, you know that credit cards can come with very lucrative welcome bonuses for meeting the minimum spending requirements. The sooner you can meet the spending requirement, the sooner you get a large influx of points! Because of this, many people like to open a new credit card when they have a large upcoming purchase, such as a wedding or moving expenses.
  • Emergency Need: Sometimes, you may find yourself in need of a line of credit quickly, and perhaps a 0% intro APR offer makes the most sense for you. In any case, if you need help financing a large or unexpected purchase you likely will want access to that credit sooner rather than later.

In summary, while there are some issuers that will allow you to receive your card instantly, you’ll usually need to wait between 5-7 business days to receive your new credit card. If you do happen to need access to your card right away, we recommend you consider an American Express card, as that will likely be your best bet.

Keep in mind that these policies can change at any time, and issuers can operate at their own discretion when deciding whether or not to issue your new card number instantly.

We love it when our readers share their experiences with us, so if you have a data point that confirms (or conflicts) with ours, please let us know in the comments below!

The information regarding the Rakuten Cash Back Visa® Credit Card, PayPal Cashback Mastercard®, and eBay Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express, click here.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use a new credit card before it arrives?

Unless the credit card issuer allows newly approved cardholders instant access to their card number, you will have to wait until the card arrives in the mail.

How long should I wait to use a credit card after activating it?

You can begin using your card immediately after receiving it in the mail and following the designated instructions to activate.

Can you get a credit card on the same day?

Assuming you apply online and receive instant approval, some issuers like American Express can provide you with access to your credit card number immediately, but others will not. However, another option is to ask if your card can be shipped via expedited mail. This won’t give you access to your card immediately, but will much faster than standard mail.

Do all credit cards give an instant decision after submitting your application?

In some cases, you may be approved instantly after submitting your application. However, it is not uncommon for an issuer to need extra time to review your application before making a decision on whether or not to approve it. In some instances, they may take 2 weeks, or more, to review your application.

Jarrod West

About Jarrod West

Jarrod first became fascinated with the world of points and miles as the perfect way to visit dream destinations without breaking the bank. On his first major award trip, he spent 3 months traveling through Europe, financed nearly entirely with points; while flying in premium cabins and staying in 5-star hotels along the way. Now, he is on a mission to help others realize their travel goals and upgrade their travel experiences. Jarrod has been writing about credit cards and travel loyalty programs for 4 years, and his work has been featured by Travel and Leisure, Matador Network, Yahoo Finance, and U.S. News.

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Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


  1. Capitol One Mastercard DOES allow you to see the #, expiration date, and the CVV.


    • +1 Can confirm this as of April 2021


    • I can confirm this as of October 2021. I applied for the Quicksilver and got the numbers, expiration date, and year, immediately.


  2. Citi will NOT provide a number for you to use right away for the AA Platinum Select Card. I just applied for this card yesterday after reading here that I would be able to book a flight right away and they have told me I must wait 7-10 days for the card to arrive in the mail and cannot be provided a temporary number. I would not have applied for the card otherwise, as I needed to book my flight right away. You may want to update your information so others aren’t as disappointed as I am for wasting my money on this credit card application. My application was approved instantly, but they could only send me the last 4 digits of my card number, which is useless.


    • Hi Jackie,

      Thank you for sharing this data point with us and I apologize that you were not able to receive the card number instantly. I’ve updated the post to reflect that Citi is no longer offering this.


  3. Other Synchrony Bank cards do provide instant card numbers such as the Banana Republic Visa and the Amazon Store Card.


  4. Citibank now has a feature called virtual account that generates a card number for you to make purchases online before the physical card arrives in the mail.


  5. Amex Instant # just failed for me. What reports of statement credit dollar amount have you heard of as exchange for this inconvenience?


  6. Synchrony’s Walmart Mastercard offers CC#, Name, Pin, expiration date immediately online AND you’ll receive the physical card in the mail 2 weeks, unless you request 2-Day shipping which then they’ll charge you a $25.95 for shipping fee.


  7. Does Home Depot offer the instant card number for online purchases?


  8. Vaibhav Shetge September 16, 2021

    BofA Alaska did not give an instant number. Will wait to see if it shows up on the online account tomorrow.


  9. Hi, I just applied for the Citi Custom Cash on 10/19/2021, and it gave me an instant number with a max temporary limit of $700!


Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

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