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When you have less-than-perfect credit, it’s not uncommon for the bank to flag your credit card application for further review. It’s possible to avoid the approval decision delay by applying for instant approval credit cards.
Instead of waiting up to one week to reach a decision, it’s possible to know within seconds if your card application is approved. The sooner you receive approval means the sooner you can start improving your credit score. In time, you can be instantly approved for one of the best travel credit cards that offer better rewards and card benefits.
Instant Approval Credit Cards for Bad Credit
When your credit score falls between 550 and 620, you are in the bad credit or subprime credit range. Others consider any score below 550 into the “bad credit” category. Whether your score is closer to 300 than it is 600, these credit cards can help you rebuild your score and demonstrate you can responsibly manage credit without missing payments.
To have the best approval odds, you might strive to have a credit score above 600 if you want to apply for an unsecured credit card that doesn’t require a security deposit. This unsecured card may even earn purchase rewards.
Discover it Secured
This might be the first card to consider if you shop at places that accept Discover.
The Discover it Secured is one of the few secured cards that earn purchase rewards. You get 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants for the first $1,000 spent each quarter. All other purchases earn an unlimited 1% back.
Discover matches all the purchase rewards you own during your first year. And you will never pay an annual fee. For example, if you earn $100 in rewards the first year, Discover will give you a $100 cash bonus.
Secured MasterCard from Capital One
The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® doesn’t charge an annual fee but you will need to make a refundable security deposit of either $49, $99, or $200 depending on your creditworthiness.
Your initial line of credit will be equal to the opening security deposit plus any additional funds you decide to deposit. After your first 5 monthly payments, you will have access to a higher credit line. This card doesn’t earn any purchase rewards but on-time payments improve your credit score so you can qualify for a rewards credit card.
Credit Cards for Fair Credit Instant Approval
Once your score reaches the fair credit score range of 620 to 680, your approval odds for unsecured rewards credit cards are a lot better. While you should wait until your score is in the 700s to apply for cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Capital One Venture, you can still enjoy solid travel or cash rewards credit cards.
Southwest Airlines Credit Cards
Co-brand airline credit cards usually have more lenient qualifications than other types of rewards cards. The Southwest Airlines Credit Cards can be a good fit because of their affordable ticket prices. A credit score closer to 670 gives you the best instant approval odds.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card which lets you earn bonus Rapid Rewards points on each purchase so you can book Southwest award flights. There is a $69 annual fee but you receive 3,000-point anniversary bonus at each card renewal.
Capital One QuicksilverOne
If you prefer cash rewards, the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards earns unlimited 1.5% back. You can redeem your rewards at any time regardless of your balance size. The annual fee is $39. After your first 5 monthly payments, it is possible to get a higher credit limit.
Capital One Platinum
When you want an unsecured card without an annual fee but doesn’t earn purchase rewards, the Capital One Platinum can be a good fit. This can be a better option when you need a higher credit limit but still only use your card for a few purchases to build your score.
Like the other Capital One instant approval credit cards, you can get a higher credit line after your first 5 monthly payments.
Once your credit score reaches 700, you can consider getting a cash rewards credit card that earns rewards on every purchase without charging an annual fee.
When your credit score is near 650, the Chase Slate can be a good option if you need a balance transfer credit card to repay interest-free during the introductory period. You won’t pay an annual fee.
Chase also offers a $0 introductory fee on balances you transfer within the first 60 days. After that, you pay a 5% transfer fee (minimum $5) on all future balance transfers. On all new purchases and transferred balances, the introductory rate is 0% for the first 15 months.
Credit Cards Instant Approval With No Credit History
What do you do when you have zero credit history? You can apply for a secured credit.
Discover it Student Cash Back
College students are one of the largest groups to have no credit history. The Discover it Student Cash Back doesn’t have an annual fee and it has some attractive rewards.
By maintaining a 3.0 GPA, you can get an annual $20 statement credit for up to 5 years. You also earn 5% back on the first $1,500 spent on rotating quarterly bonus categories including grocery stores, Amazon.com, and restaurants. All non-bonus purchases earn 1% back.
Discover matches all of the cash rewards you earn for the first year. Another benefit of this card is that it doesn’t require a security deposit. Make sure you pay your balance in full each month so you can qualify for an unsecured rewards credit card when you graduate.
Citi Secured Mastercard
The Citi Secured Mastercard doesn’t have an annual fee. The minimum security deposit is $200 which is also equal to your credit line. This card doesn’t earn any rewards points, but your on-time payments will help improve your credit score.
Regardless of your credit score, it’s possible to get instantly approved for a card that doesn’t charge an annual fee. It’s also possible to get one that earns purchase rewards. Which one do you like best?The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.