Credit Cards That Instantly Show Your Card Numbers [Upon Approval]

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.

But some issuers will let you access your credit card number right after approval so you can begin using it instantly.

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.

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant does not currently offer instant credit card numbers.

American Express

An instant card number upon approval of a new account is available on all American Express 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 or take a screenshot since you won’t be able to request it again. 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 Amex Cards (Personal)

Recommended Amex Cards (Business)

Hot Tip: Even if you don’t need your card number as soon as you’re approved, it may be a good idea to go ahead and request it anyway. Many users have reported being given a statement credit if their software fails and is unable to issue the card number. 

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® card (Learn More) 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:


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.


Some reports indicate that cardholders approved for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® may receive their card numbers right away. However, others have reported that Citi would not allow them to receive their card number immediately — so your mileage may vary.

Hot Tip: If you’re in a hurry to get your card number right away for your new Citi card, some users have reported success from calling their customer service line and speaking with an agent to help expedite the process. 


Discover does not offer instant credit card numbers.

Goldman Sachs

The Apple credit card, set to release in summer 2019, will allow cardholders to use the card instantly upon approval through Apple Pay.


HSBC will provide you with your credit card number after approval, but not the CVV2 or your card’s expiration date.

Navy Federal Credit Union

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


The only card offered from Synchrony that gives instant access to your card number is the PayPal Mastercard.


USAA will give you an instant card number to use, along with 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.

US Bank

US Bank does not offer instant credit card numbers.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo does not offer instant credit card numbers.


Booking Trips with a Travel Rewards Credit Card
Image Credit: 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 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!


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, then 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?

After receiving your credit card in the mail, and following the designated instructions to active, you can begin using it immediately after.

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 given 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

Born and raised just outside of Cincinnati, Jarrod became fascinated with using points and miles as the perfect way to visit dream destinations without breaking the bank. Thanks to points and miles, Jarrod was able to spend 3 months traveling Europe financed nearly entirely with points and miles; while flying in premium cabins and staying in 5-star hotels along the way. To date, Jarrod has traveled to 16 countries and 22 US states.

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