Instant Approval Credit Cards with Rewards

Instant Approval Credit Cards with Rewards
Instant Approval Credit Cards with Rewards

Instant Approval Credit Cards with Rewards

Instant approval credit cards use technology to provide real-time application decisions within minutes. If approved, you can immediately use your new account via digital wallets while waiting 7-10 days for the physical card to arrive.

In this guide, we’ll highlight the best instant approval cards offering lucrative cash back, points or miles. We’ll look at how to get approved instantly and ways to start earning rewards right away.

What are Instant Approval Credit Cards?

Instant approval credit cards streamline application decisions, providing near-instant feedback on approval. Key features include:

  • Real-time approval decision within 60 seconds after submitting an application
  • If approved, account can instantly be used via Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc
  • Physical card still arrives in the mail 7-10 days later
  • Allows earning rewards, utilizing credits, and more right after approval
  • Reduces uncertainty of waiting days or weeks for a decision

Now let’s explore some top instant approval cards for earning rewards.

Wells Fargo Autograph Card


  • 3X points on restaurants, travel, gas stations, rideshares, transit
  • 1X points on other purchases


  • $300 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months
  • 0% intro APR for 18 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (15.24% – 27.24% variable APR after intro period)
  • No annual fee

Approval Process:

  • Instant decision in as little as 60 seconds
  • Prequalify first without impacting credit score
  • Receive account number instantly upon approval

Citi Custom Cash Card


  • 5% cash back in top eligible spend category each billing cycle (up to $500, then 1%)
  • Gas, groceries, dining, travel and more qualify for 5%
  • 1% back on other purchases
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  • $200 cash back after spending $750 in first 3 months
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Approval Process:

  • Real-time application decision provided in seconds
  • Prequalify first to check offer match without hard inquiry
  • If approved, account can instantly be added to Apple/Google Pay

U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card


  • 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • 2% back on gas station, restaurant, and grocery purchases
  • 25% points redemption bonus after your first year


  • 20% off purchases made on active Card Accounts through Real Time Rewards
  • 0% Intro APR for 20 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers

Approval Process:

  • Instant decision provided in real-time
  • Receive account number immediately if approved
  • Pre-qualify to check offers with a soft credit pull first

PenFed Pathfinder Rewards Visa


  • 3X points on travel categories including airfare, hotels, and rental cars
  • 1X points on other eligible purchases


  • $100 annual airline fee credit
  • Application fee waived for Global Entry or TSA Precheck
  • No foreign transaction fees

Approval Process:

  • Instant approval decision in 60 seconds or less
  • Must be member of PenFed credit union (membership is free)
  • Pre-qualify online first without hard credit check

How to Get Instant Card Approval

Here are some tips for getting instantly approved:

  • Have a credit score over 670
  • Lower credit utilization below 30% across all cards
  • Avoid applying for multiple new accounts in a short timeframe
  • Confirm application details are fully accurate
  • Consider being a current banking customer with the issuer
  • Meet any minimum credit or income requirements
  • Set up direct deposit if requested to expedite approval
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Getting instantly approved depends on banks’ automated approval criteria, so optimize your profile.

How to Start Earning Rewards Right Away

Once approved, instantly start maximizing rewards:

  • Use Apple/Google Pay at retailers offering contactless checkout
  • Shop online at rewards portals to earn additional cashback
  • Pay bills online that qualify for rewards categories like utilities, insurance, etc
  • Prepay recurring expenses like gym memberships and streaming services
  • Use the card for subscriptions and digital purchases
  • Take advantage of 0% intro APR offers if applicable
  • Refer friends/family using your custom referral link

Digital wallets enable earning points or cashback immediately while waiting for the physical card. Just monitor charges to avoid fraud.

Do All Credit Cards Offer Instant Approval?

Not universally. Issuers with instant approval capability include:

  • Chase
  • Citi
  • Wells Fargo
  • Capital One
  • Bank of America
  • Barclays
  • U.S. Bank
  • PenFed Credit Union
  • Synchrony

Some co-branded airline and hotel cards also feature instant decisions. But not all banks provide real-time approvals yet. Expect more to offer it over time.

The Bottom Line on Instant Approval Cards

The right instant approval credit card can fast track earning rewards compared to waiting weeks for a decision. Just be sure to use digital wallets securely while waiting for the physical card.

Consider prequalifying first to check available offers without impacting your credit score. This allows you to see if targeted bonuses match your spending habits before formally applying.

Instant approvals add convenience to maximizing rewards. Within minutes you could open a new card, earn the signup bonus, transfer balances, or utilize special financing so you can start saving right away.

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