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Instant Use Credit Cards You Can Use Immediately After Approval

  • Instant approval credit cards provide an account number you can use before your physical card arrives.
  • Some instant use cards can only be used online, some only in stores and some in various locations.
  • Instant use cards are not the same as instant approval cards.
  • Several credit card providers offer this benefit, and you can typically find out whether your card does by reading the fine print on the offer.

Instant approval credit cards you can use immediately let you use your account to make purchases without waiting for a physical card to arrive. Because it can take up to two weeks for a card to arrive by mail, this can be a big convenience perk.?

Find out more about instant use cards in the article below.?

We’ll answer questions such as:

  • What are some credit cards that you can use instantly once you’re approved?
  • What is the difference between instant-approval credit cards and instant use cards?
  • How do immediate use credit card numbers work?

Top credit cards you can use instantly after approval

Not all credit cards offer instant use account numbers, but a growing number do. The details on how the instant credit card numbers work differ by credit card or provider. For example, some offer instant access through their app, while others offer a credit card number you can use online or save in a virtual wallet like Google Pay.

We’ve provided a list below of cards that offer instant use numbers. This is only a small sampling of cards that may come with this benefit.

Our top picks for instant approval credit cards you can use immediately

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Best for Everyday Purchases: No Annual Fee

Blue Cash Everyday? Card from American Express

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Up to 3% Reward Rate

Earn 3% cash back on up to $6,000/year spent at U.S. supermarkets (then 1%), 3% back on up to $6,000/year at U.S. gas stations (then 1%), 3% back on up to $6,000/year on online retail purchases (then 1%), and 1% back on all other eligible purchases.

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Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
$200
Regular APR
19.24% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
Upon approval, you’ll receive your card number, a temporary 4-digit ID, and an expiration date to use your card online or in a digital wallet until you get the physical card. The Blue Cash Everyday? Card from American Express is the perfect credit card for those who want to earn cash back on their everyday purchases without having to pay an annual fee. With this card, you can earn generous rewards in categories where most families spend the most, like U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations.
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Card Details

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  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months after account opening, then 19.24% to 29.99% variable APR.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Thinking about getting the Disney Bundle which can include Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+? Your decision made easy with $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your Blue Cash Everyday? Card. Enrollment required.
  • Enjoy up to $15 back per month when you purchase a Home Chef meal kit subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your enrolled Blue Cash Everyday? Card.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • No annual fee
  • 0% APR on eligible purchases for 15 months
  • Generous rewards at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations & online shopping
Cons
  • Rewards cap on spending at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and online retail purchases
  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee
  • Low rewards rate outside of bonus categories
Bottom Line

For a no-annual-fee option, the reward rate on this card is pretty solid, but for heavy spenders, other cards may offer more value.

Best for Everyday Purchases: Groceries & Gas

Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express

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Up to 6% Reward Rate

Earn 6% back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1% back), 6% back on select U.S. streaming services, 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, and 1% back on other eligible purchases.

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Annual Fee
$0 the first year, then $95
Welcome Offer
$250
Regular APR
19.24% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
Upon approval, you’ll receive your card’s info to use it online or in a digital wallet until you get the physical card. For those who spend a lot on groceries, the Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express is a great option. With this card, you can earn 6% cash back rewards on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets yearly (then 1% back). Additionally, this card offers fantastic rewards on select streaming services, purchases at U.S. gas stations, and transit spending.
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Card Details

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  • 0% Intro APR for purchases and balance transfers during the first 12 months (then 19.24% to 29.99% variable)
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get up to $120 in statement credits annually when you pay for an auto-renewing subscription to Equinox+ at equinoxplus.com with your Blue Cash Preferred? Card. That’s $10 in statement credits each month. Enrollment required.
  • Thinking about getting the Disney Bundle which can include Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+? Your decision made easy with $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your Blue Cash Preferred? Card. Enrollment required.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • Excellent rewards on spending at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, transit and more
  • 0% APR on purchases for a limited time
  • Don’t need to activate categories
Cons
  • Rewards can only be redeemed for a statement credit or at Amazon.com
  • Charges foreign transaction fees
  • Has an annual fee
Bottom Line

Although this card has an annual fee, most families will be able to easily get enough value out of the everyday categories to make it worth it.

Best for Everyday Purchases: Walmart

Capital One Walmart Rewards? Mastercard?

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Up to 5% Reward Rate

Earn 5% back on Walmart.com & in the Walmart app, including grocery pickup and delivery, 2% back on restaurants and travel, and at Walmart Stores, Walmart & Murphy USA gas stations, and 1% back everywhere else Mastercard? is accepted.

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Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
5% cash back the first 12 months
Regular APR
19.48% or 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Fair/Good (580 - 740)
Why we like it
Upon approval, you’ll receive credentials for a 10-day temporary shopping pass that you can add to Walmart Pay until you get your physical card in the mail. For Walmart enthusiasts, this card is a no-brainer, offering exceptional cash-back rewards on purchases made online and in the Walmart app.
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Card Details

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  • Add your Walmart Mastercard to Walmart Pay immediately after approval for instant use.
  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases made in Walmart stores for the first 12 months of account opening when you use your Capital One Walmart Rewards Card with Walmart Pay
  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases made at Walmart.com and the Walmart app, including grocery pickup and delivery
  • Earn 2% cash back on restaurants and travel purchases, and at Walmart stores
  • Earn 1% cash back everywhere else Mastercard is accepted
  • $0 fraud liability for unauthorized charges
Pros
  • No annual fee
  • High rewards rate at Walmart.com
  • Instant use through the Walmart app
Cons
  • Subpar rewards outside of online Walmart purchases
  • Few additional perks
  • No intro APR offer
Bottom Line

For Walmart enthusiasts and online shoppers, this card could be a great fit. Otherwise, another card may provide more value.

Best for Everyday Purchases: Flexible Cash Back

Chase Freedom Unlimited?

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Up to 6.5% Reward Rate

Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel?, 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel?, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
Up to $300 cash back
Regular APR
20.49%-29.24% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
Upon approval, you can link your card to your digital wallet through the Chase mobile app. As one of the most well-rounded cards on the market, the Chase Freedom Unlimited? card is a great option for those looking for flexibility in their rewards. It offers a flat cash-back rate on all purchases and generous cash-back in other useful categories, so it’s incredibly easy to earn rewards. Add a sweet welcome offer and no annual fee, and this card is the full package. Although it claims to earn cash back, Freedom Unlimited goes beyond that. The rewards you earn are part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, so they’re even more flexible to redeem. If you have a card that already earns Ultimate Rewards, you can pool your points for even more value.

Best for Travel: Flexible Rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred? Card

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Up to 5X Reward Rate

Earn 5X points on Chase Travel purchases, 3X points on dining, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services, and 1X points on other purchases.

Annual Fee
$95
Welcome Offer
75,000 points
Regular APR
21.49% to 28.49% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
Upon approval, you can easily link your card to your digital wallet through the Chase mobile app. If you travel frequently or even semi-frequently, the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card is worth considering. This card provides a high earning rate on travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, so it’s perfect for travel and everyday expenses. Plus, Sapphire Preferred earns points through Chase Ultimate Rewards, so you can redeem them for travel, gift cards, cash back, transfer them 1:1 to airline and hotel partners, and more. It also offers solid travel insurance benefits, so you can rest assured that you’re covered during your travels. Additionally, it has no foreign transaction fees, so you don’t have to worry about extra charges if you go overseas.

Best for Travel: Premium Chase Rewards

Chase Sapphire Reserve?

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Up to 10X Reward Rate

Earn 10X points on hotels and car rentals booked through Chase Travel, 10X points on Chase Dining purchases, 5X points on flights booked through Chase Travel, 3X points on non-Chase travel and dining, and 1X points on all non-bonus spending.

Annual Fee
$550
Welcome Offer
75,000 points
Regular APR
22.49% to 29.49% variable
Recommended Credit
Excellent (740 - 850)
Why we like it
Upon approval, you can link your card to your digital wallet through the Chase mobile app. When it comes to premium benefits and flexibility, the Chase Sapphire Reserve stands as a fantastic travel credit card option. It does have a high annual fee, but its benefits can far outweigh that — especially the annual $300 travel credit. It also has an impressive reward rate, with up to 10X points on eligible travel purchases (Note: You won’t start earning points until the $300 annual travel statement credit is fully spent. The first $300 spent on travel each year will automatically go towards the statement credit). Plus, this card has a substantial welcome bonus worth up to $1,125 and a multitude of other travel benefits. If you look past the annual fee, you’ll see that the Chase Sapphire Reserve is full of high-value perks.

Best for Travel: Simple Rewards

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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Up to 5X Reward Rate

Earn 5X miles per dollar on hotel stays or rental cars booked through Capital One’s portal and 2X miles on all other purchases.

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Annual Fee
$95
Welcome Offer
75,000 miles
Regular APR
19.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
Upon approval, you can instantly get a virtual card number through the Capital One app or Eno. Some travel rewards cards can have complicated categories, making it difficult to take full advantage of their benefits. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card keeps things simple by offering flat-rate rewards.
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Card Details

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  • Miles won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck?
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Enrich every hotel stay from the Lifestyle Collection with a suite of cardholder benefits, like a $50 experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
Pros
  • Travel insurance protections incuded
  • Earn flexible rewards for travel
  • Reasonable $95 annual fee
Cons
  • Requires good or excellent credit
  • No everyday spending bonus categories
  • High APR
Bottom Line

The massive sign-up offer and generous, flexible rewards make this card a great option for casual travelers.

Best for Travel: Premium Capital One Rewards

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

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Up to 10X Reward Rate

Earn 10X miles on hotel and rental car purchases made through Capital One Travel, 5X miles on airfare purchased through the portal, and 2X miles per dollar spent on all other purchases.

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Annual Fee
$395
Welcome Offer
75,000 miles
Regular APR
19.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Excellent (740 - 850)
Why we like it
Upon approval, you can instantly get a virtual card number through the Capital One app or Eno. The Venture X is Capital One’s most premium travel credit card, packed with benefits such as airport lounge access, Priority Pass Select membership, yearly bonus miles, and an elevated rewards-earning rate on travel booked through Capital One’s portal, all for a lower annual fee than some other cards in the same bracket.
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Card Details

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  • Receive a $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Elevate every hotel stay from the Premier or Lifestyle Collections with a suite of cardholder benefits, like an experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck?
Pros
  • Miles can be redeemed for travel purchases, transfers to international airlines, and more
  • Can qualify for hundreds of dollars in credits each year
  • Huge welcome offer
Cons
  • $395 annual fee
  • Large spending requirement to earn the welcome bonus
  • Excellent credit required
Bottom Line

With a lower annual fee than some premium cards and extremely valuable benefits, this card can easily be worth the annual fee for the frequent traveler.

Best for Credit Building

Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa? Credit Card

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No Rewards

This card doesn’t earn any rewards.

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Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Recommended Credit
No Credit History
Why we like it
Upon approval, you can get a temporary digital card number through the Chime app, until you get the physical card in the mail. If you’re in a bit of a credit score pickle, the Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa? Credit Card can help, and since you can get a temporary digital card number, it can help quickly. Chime doesn’t have a minimum deposit requirement, has no annual fee or interest, and doesn’t require a credit check.
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Card Details

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The Chime credit card works like other secured credit cards in the sense that it requires a security deposit. However, it offers several features that put it in a league of its own. Chime essentially works like a prepaid card. You simply add money to your Chime Builder secured account from your checking account and can spend until your card balance reaches $0.00. This is great for people trying to build or rebuild credit**, as it works similarly to a debit card (It’s not a debit card, but Chime does offer a debit card— use code SAVE10 to get $10 when you activate your Chime Debit Card within 30 days of enrollment).

However, unlike a debit card, Chime reports to all 3 credit bureaus, so you build credit while you spend. Other noteworthy features of the Chime Credit Builder card include not requiring a credit check at sign-up or a minimum security deposit (Money added to Credit Builder will be held in a secured account as collateral for your Credit Builder Visa card, which means you can spend up to this amount on your card. This is money you can use to pay off your charges at the end of every month.)

To qualify for the Chime Credit Builder card, all you need is to open a Chime Checking Account and receive a qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more. After receiving that direct deposit you can apply for a secured Chime Credit Builder Visa? Credit Card!

*No Interest: Out of network ATM withdrawal fees and over the counter advance fees may apply. See here for details.

**No Minimum Security Deposit: Money added to Credit Builder will be held in a secured account as collateral for your Credit Builder Visa card, which means you can spend up to this amount on your card. This is money you can use to pay off your charges at the end of every month.

The secured Chime Credit Builder Visa? Credit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your card for its issuing bank.

To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Chime Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits.

**Safer Credit Building - On-time payment history may have a positive impact on your credit score. Late payment may negatively impact your credit score. Chime will report your activities to Transunion?, Experian?, and Equifax?. Impact on your credit may vary, as Credit scores are independently determined by credit bureaus based on a number of factors including the financial decisions you make with other financial services organizations.

Pros
  • No annual fee
  • No credit check required to apply
  • No annual interest charges
Cons
  • No credit limit greater than your deposit
  • Need direct deposit account with Chime
  • No option to upgrade
Bottom Line

This card offers a good alternative for people to build or rebuild their credit but doesn’t earn rewards and may be confusing to use.

Best for Travel: Premium Amex Rewards

The Platinum Card? from American Express

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Up to 5X Reward Rate

Earn 5X Membership Rewards? points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year), 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, and 1X points on other eligible purchases.

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Annual Fee
$695
Welcome Offer
80,000 points
Regular APR
See Pay Over Time APR
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
Upon approval, you’ll receive your card’s info to use it online or in a digital wallet until you get the physical card. For the luxury traveler, the American Express Platinum card has a ton of potential. Although it has a high annual fee, it’s chock-full of high-value benefits that can easily make it worth it.
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Card Details

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  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts? or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card?. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card? on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection? can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market. As of 03/2023.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Save on eligible delivery fees, shipping, and more with a Walmart+ membership. Use your Platinum Card? to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership and get up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes back on one membership (excluding Plus Ups) each month.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card?.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Terms Apply.
  • $189 CLEAR? Plus Credit: CLEAR? Plus helps to get you to your gate faster at 50+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card. CLEARLanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 year period for TSA PreCheck? application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck? official enrollment provider), when charged to your Platinum Card?. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card?. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card? to your Resy profile.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • Excellent rewards rate for travel purchases
  • Qualify for $1,500+ in statement credits
  • Very generous welcome offer
Cons
  • High annual fee of $695
  • Many statement credit offers are too specific and hard to use
  • Non-travel-perks aren’t spectacular
Bottom Line

This is quite a spectacular card with incredibly valuable benefits, but the annual fee is objectively very high.

Let's compare the best instant use credit cards of 2024

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Card name
Best for
Annual fee
Reward rate
Learn more
Best for Everyday Purchases: Flexible Cash Back
$0
1.5%-6.5% cash back
Best for Travel: Premium Chase Rewards
$550
1X-10X points

More info on the best instant use credit cards

Blue Cash Everyday? Card from American Express

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Once you’re approved for the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express, you will be invited to receive an instant card number. Amex will provide you with your card number, a temporary four-digit identification number and an expiration date so you can use it anywhere American Express is accepted.? In a few simple steps, you can also add your new card number to your digital wallet for in-store shopping and select online checkout services. Remember, you can only get instant card numbers through online AmEx applications and not over the phone.

Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express

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If you’re approved for the Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express online, you can get an instant card number and start earning cashback right away. This number works wherever American Express is accepted without needing a physical card. American Express also gives you the option to add your actual card number to your digital wallet on your mobile device. Your eligibility for an instant card number depends on AmEx’s ability to quickly verify your identity.

Capital One Walmart Rewards? Mastercard?

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To use your Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard immediately and start earning rewards, simply create an account and verify your identity on Capital One’s website or mobile app.? Once approved, you’ll receive credentials for a temporary shopping pass that is good for 10 days.? You can also get instant access to credit by adding a temporary shopping pass to Walmart Pay through the Walmart app.? Once your physical card arrives, you can update Walmart Pay with your actual card information.

Chase Freedom Unlimited?

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You can start meeting the requirements for the welcome bonus instantly with the Chase Freedom Unlimited? card.? Once you’re approved for your new card, you can easily link it to Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay through the Chase mobile app. This allows you to start using your card at merchants that accept these digital wallet platforms right away and earn rewards on purchases.

Chase Sapphire Preferred? Card

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Chase offers several cards that support instant use, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. You get a credit card number you can store in a digital wallet, including Google Pay, Samsung Pay or Apple Pay. You can then use your digital wallet to make payments with the card account. Chase also offers a mobile app, and you can make some purchases through that app with your instant credit card.

Chase Sapphire Reserve?

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Once you’re approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card online, you can start using it instantly with a digital wallet. To start, you’ll need to download the Chase Mobile app to your device.? Log in to your account, select your card, then select the mobile wallet you want to use (Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay are all available) and you can start shopping and using the card benefits right away.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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Capital One offers virtual credit card numbers for many of its rewards cards, including the?Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. You can use virtual card numbers with select digital wallets, such as Google Pay, to make payments with the Capital One mobile app.

Capital One also provides a browser extension and virtual assistant called Eno. You can use your virtual card numbers to make purchases online with the help of Eno immediately. Even after you receive your physical card, you can keep this option when shopping online to protect your account better.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

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You can get instant card numbers from Capital One upon approval, but eligibility is not guaranteed for everyone. You can check your eligibility on the Capital One mobile app by looking for your card details in the “Your Card Number” section.?

Alternatively, with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, you can instantly use a virtual card number, which is a different number than your actual credit card number.? Virtual card numbers can be found in the Capital One Mobile app, online banking, Google Pay?, and Capital One Eno.? By signing up for Eno, Capital One’s virtual assistant, you can generate a new virtual card number whenever you’re ready to check out a purchase on your mobile device or desktop, making your online shopping experience safer and protecting you from fraud.

Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa? Credit Card

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When you sign up with Chime you can instantly make online and digital purchases using a temporary card.? Your temporary digital card number is available to view in the Chime app and includes a complete card number, expiration date, and CVV.? You can use a temporary card to pay bills online, add to a digital wallet such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, or even link to apps like Venmo or Cash App.? Once you receive your actual card in the mail and activate it, you will no longer be able to use your temporary card.

The Platinum Card? from American Express

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Once you’re approved for?The Platinum Card from American Express, you receive a temporary card number and everything you need to use that account number anywhere Amex is accepted. That includes a card ID number and expiration date.

Amex actually provides this benefit on all its cards, but a few limitations apply. The credit card issuer must be able to authenticate your identity to issue you an instant number. Co-branded Amex cards, such as the?Amex Delta credit cards, may come with instant use numbers you can only use with the brand in question. In that case, you’ll have to wait until you get your physical card to make other types of purchases with the account.

Instant approval credit cards vs. instant use credit cards

While instant use credit cards are typically instant approval cards, these are two different things.

Instant approval credit cards

Instant approval refers to the practice of letting you know immediately — usually within seconds or minutes — whether you are approved for a credit card. Almost all card issuers provide instant approval today. However, not every application can be instantly approved.

In some cases, the creditor needs additional information to approve your account. You are typically notified in seconds that this is the case and provided instructions for providing that information. The creditor may need documentation regarding your income, for example. In these situations, approval can take a few days or weeks. ?

Instant use credit cards

Instant use credit cards are accounts you can use immediately after you are approved. You are provided with a virtual credit card number or another option, such as an app, to make purchases before your physical card arrives in the mail.

Not all credit cards come with this benefit, and not all credit card accounts that are instantly approved offer instant use numbers.

Which issuers offer access to instant credit card numbers after approval?

A growing number of banks and credit card issuers are providing instant credit card numbers to cardholders.?

The issuers below offer at least one credit card with this benefit.

1

American Express

Amex offers this benefit on most, if not all, of its cards. You can use your instant use card number with Amazon Pay, Google Pay, Fitbit Pay, PayPal, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay.

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2

Capital One

Capital One offers this option on select cards and to select applicants. The easiest way to use a Capital One virtual credit card is via the Capital One assistant, Eno, which is a browser extension.

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3

Citi

Some Citi credit cards provide a temporary credit card number you can use on the application approval page. You can also enroll in the virtual credit card option via your Citi online account.

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4

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank offers instant use digital cards for some approved cardholders. You can download the digital card into a compatible digital wallet and use it to make purchases before you get your physical card — or even after.

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5

Discover

Discover offers an instant use token option that can be used with digital wallets and virtual credit card numbers. However, this option isn’t available for all card types or applicants.

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6

Chase

Many Chase credit cards come with an option to spend instantly. This is supported via a virtual card number that can be loaded into digital wallets.

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This is not an exhaustive list, and other banks and issuers offer this benefit. As previously mentioned, almost all retail co-branded credit cards or store-only credit cards can also be used instantly at the register or in the online shopping card upon approval.

How do instant approval credit card numbers work?

Instant approval virtual credit card numbers work similarly to your regular credit card, but there are a few limitations. You won’t have a physical card you can swipe at registers, so your ability to shop in stores can be limited by each retailer’s payment policies and your own comfort with payment apps and digital wallets, for example.

The exact process for using an instant use credit card number depends on the card you get and the issuer’s policies. You can see some examples of different approaches in our list of example credit cards with this benefit above.

However, the general concept of instant approval credit card numbers works like this:

One important consideration when using a virtual credit card of any type — instant or otherwise — is that the card number you use may not match the card number that’s on your actual credit card. This can be an obstacle when you make purchases that require you to swipe or show your card later.

For instance, some hotels require that you present the card you used to make the booking when you check in. If the credit card numbers don’t match, there can be some confusion or hassle. The same is true when renting a car or purchasing event tickets in advance. It’s best to be aware of the requirements in these types of scenarios so you can use your physical credit card and its matching number when necessary.

FAQ: Instant approval credit cards

Do all credit cards offer instant approval?

Most credit card issuers operate on an instant approval process today, but there are a few instances where instant approval isn’t an option. In some cases, even creditors that offer instant approval may need more time to review a borrower’s documentation for approval.

If I’m approved, can I use my card instantly?

Not all credit cards come with instant use numbers or capabilities. However, if you apply for a card that does offer this option and you’re approved, you will receive a temporary card number or other instructions on how to use your card. After you verify your account and follow these instructions, you can begin making purchases with your card. Often, you can make a purchase with the card just a few minutes after the approval.

Which credit cards give you an instant card number?

A variety of credit card companies offer instant card numbers. That includes options from American Express, Chase and Capital One as well as other banks. Store credit cards almost always support instant use, but you may only be able to make purchases in the specific store until you receive your physical card.

Are instant approval virtual credit card numbers safe to use?

Virtual credit card numbers are as safe to use as any other credit card number, but you should always follow secure practices. Pay attention to where you’re entering your number, and don’t use it on sites that seem suspicious or not secure. Avoid sharing the number in emails or text messages, and never share it on social media.

In some cases, virtual credit card numbers may actually be more secure than using your regular card when shopping online. Some credit card companies provide a dynamic virtual card number when you use their apps or browser extensions. This means a unique card number is generated for each purchase, so even if data from that purchase is included in a data breach, the card number itself is useless for future use.

Sarah Stasik
Sarah Stasik Personal Finance

Sarah Stasik is well versed in personal finance thanks to her previous role as a Revenue Cycle Manager for a Fortune 500 healthcare company. Using her inside knowledge and expertise, Sarah often covers topics ranging from insurance and the economics of private healthcare to personal finance and small business management.

With more than a dozen years of writing experience, Sarah has tackled niches that range from technical advances in fintech to personal budgeting challenges. She has covered topics such as insurance and the economics of private healthcare, small business management and accounting, and credit and savings. Her writing focuses on making complex or seemingly daunting financial topics more accessible and providing helpful and relevant resources for readers.

* Opinions expressed here are those of the LA Times Compare Cards Team and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser or entities included within this content. See our editorial policy for more details.

All products or services are presented in this content without warranty. The information, including card details such as rates and fees, is accurate at the time of publish. Please visit each bank's website directly for the most current information.

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