There was a time when it took months for cardholders to get credit cards approved and delivered. But with technological advancements, getting approval for credit cards is now very simple through online applications. While getting approval is easy, how long does it take for credit cards to arrive after approval?
Cardholders can apply for fast delivery by paying an additional fee to the issuer. Ideally, receiving a new credit card via mail takes about 7 to 14 business days. And it can take longer than the 7 to 14 days time frame depending on the card issuer, card customization, and so on.
I have brought this guide together to inform you about credit card delivery time after approval. Here, I will also discuss the possible causes behind the late approval and delivery of credit cards.
How Long Does It Take to Get Approved for a Credit Card?
In many cases, getting approved for a credit card can take as little time as 60 seconds. Most credit card companies have instant approval for credit card applications online. But if you prefer the old-fashioned way, note that there is an option to apply for a credit card via mail.
If you apply via mail, it will take you longer to receive the physical credit card than it would if you applied online for instant approval. Despite the method you choose, you will submit personal information like:
- Credit score
- Contact details
- Employment status and more
Every credit card company has different techniques. A poor credit score or credit history is usually a deal breaker. However, even if you don’t have a stellar credit score or employment, there are ways you can get a credit card without a salary.(1)
Once you fill in the forms, as our guide on applying for a credit card(2) explains, you will receive approval from the bank or card company. Some companies, like American Express and Capital One, issue instant credit approval, which is crucial, especially if you have an urgent bill to foot. In rare cases, approval may take up to two weeks.
Why Credit Card Approval May Be Delayed
Nowadays, credit card approvals are almost instant with online applications. However, there are quite a few reasons your credit card approval may be delayed. Take a look at some of these reasons.
- Rejected Application:
If the card issuer rejects your credit card application, it is normal that you will not receive approval. Rejection of a credit card can be due to insufficient credit score, bad credit history, etc. In cases like these, contact the issuer to know the reason behind the rejected application.
- Manual Review Required:
In online credit card applications, the approval usually comes with automatic reviews. However, credit card applications are often flagged down for manual review if the information provided needs to be sufficient or corrected. In cases like these, the approval takes longer than usual as the issuer manually reviews the application.
- Use of Snail Mail:
While online applications are sent to the bank with the click of a button, snail mails take a long time to get delivered. The documents take a long time to reach the issuer, and it also consumes a significant amount of time to receive a response. This is a common cause behind delayed credit card approval.
- Incorrect Information:
You will have to provide several pieces of information to receive credit card approval. And all of the information provided must be true and correct. Providing wrong or inaccurate information in the application can result in a delay in approval. Recheck the application properly before submitting it to the credit card issuer.
When Does Your Credit Card Arrive in the Mail?
The typical time frame for the physical credit card to arrive in your mailbox is three to 14 business days. However, if yours is a replacement card, it will arrive faster than a brand-new credit card. Below is a list of the average time it takes for a credit card to arrive for popular credit card issuers:
|Credit Card Name||Estimated Time|
|American Express||7-10 business days|
|Bank of America||7-10 business days|
|Capital One||7-10 business days|
|Chase||3-5 business days|
|Citi||7-10 business days|
|Wells Fargo||7-10 business days|
Some credit card companies offer expedited delivery services for a small fee or free if you need the credit card within the day. The choice of mailing service will also influence the time it will take for you to receive the physical card.
The fastest way to get a credit card in the mail is to apply for a credit card online and choose the expedited delivery service. However, some factors are out of your control, like if the card gets lost in the mail or is intercepted.
What to Do if Credit Card Delivery Takes Too Long?
If you simply can’t wait for the ten business days it will take for your credit card to arrive, there are some avenues you can take to speed up delivery. Typically, the pin to the card will come a day after you receive your physical card. However, technology-oriented credit card issuers give you virtual access to your physical credit card(3) that you can use to pay bills online without swiping the card.
Alternatively, you can visit a physical branch of the card company if the card hasn’t arrived within weeks of checking your mailbox. Reputable credit card issuers will give you a temporary credit card you can use before the actual one arrives. Usually, temporary credit cards are only accepted on eligible purchases in preselected stores, like sister stores and companies affiliated with the credit card company. You may pay a small fee for a temporary card or none at all.
Expedited mail service is also an option. It will cost you more, but you will receive the card faster. The bank may cover the cost if you apply for a credit card with a higher spending limit. Expedited service is one of the perks renowned credit card companies offer when you apply for a high-value credit card.
Some companies offer faster delivery in exchange for a higher interest rate and fees. Steer clear of them; you do not want to trade waiting for a few extra days for a high-debt card. Shop around for your credit card while considering the debt-to-income (DTI) ratio(4).
If the new card is still running late, contact the card company. Potential bottlenecks to delivery include card interception, the company sending the new card to an incorrect address, or you filling in the wrong delivery address. It is imperative to contact the card company to prevent fraud, especially if someone intercepted your card in transit.
Contacting the credit card company is the best decision since the issuer will track the card. If it is stolen, they will cancel it and reissue a new one, which will arrive even faster in the mail.
If you don’t receive the card despite all your efforts, the bank may have declined your request and will respond within 30 days. As much as it hurts to receive a negative response, take it as an opportunity to review your financial situation and take measures to increase your credit score.
What Is The Fastest Way Of Getting Credit Card Delivery?
Getting a new credit card approved and delivered to your doorstep takes about 7 to 14 business days. Due to the slow process, applications sent via snail mail take longer to receive approval and delivery. But if you require the credit card urgently, file an online application and select fast or expedited delivery.
However, the approval and delivery of the credit card vary depending on the application status, issuer requirements, and several other factors. So, provide correct information and know the issuer policies before applying.
Can You Use A Credit Card Before It Arrives?
While many cardholders do not know this, you can use a credit card before it is physically delivered. Once the credit card is approved, you can log in to your online account. You will receive a virtual card for temporary use before receiving your credit card.
This helps cardholders pay for any emergency expense without waiting for days before receiving the credit card. Not only that, but you can make purchases with the virtual card without swiping the card.
By now, you know how long it takes for a credit card to arrive after approval—multiple factors influence when the credit card comes after you are approved. To help prevent any unnecessary delays, make sure you double-check the information you’ve provided when you complete your credit card application.
Once you receive your card, contact the company to activate it. It is wise to download the credit card issuer’s app to monitor your spending and streamline your transactions with your new credit card.
- Dellinger, A. (2022, February 9). What is a virtual credit card and how do you use it? CNET. Retrieved November 11, 2022, from https://www.cnet.com/personal-finance/credit-cards/what-is-a-virtual-card-and-how-do-you-use-it/
- What is a debt-to-income ratio? (2022, June 8). Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Retrieved November 11, 2022, from https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/what-is-a-debt-to-income-ratio-en-1791/