How to speed up getting a card

If you need a credit card as soon as possible:

It can be faster if you apply through a credit card company or bank you already have accounts with because they will be able to verify your identity quicker.

Use an eligibility calculator

You can use our eligibility checker, to check which credit card providers are most likely to accept your application.

It uses a "soft search" that does not show up on your credit record, and it will give you a choice of cards from more than one provider.

This will stop you wasting time on credit cards that are not available to you.

How long does it take to apply?

If you apply online, it should only take about ten minutes to complete the application. It may take longer if you apply in a branch or by post and have to fill out a paper application.

How long until your application is accepted?

Some companies can take five to ten days to decide if they will accept your application - especially if you apply by post.

However, most providers can now offer an instant approval, whatever type of credit card you go for.

You will usually know if you have been accepted in one minute after you complete the application.

Their decision may take longer if they need to:

When should you apply?

If you need a card for a specific purpose, like paying for a holiday or making a balance transfer, apply for it at least a month before you need it, if possible.

Also consider applying earlier in the week because this can mean your card gets to you much quicker.

Most companies can only process your application on working days (Monday to Friday). Giving them more working days to get it done should mean your card arrives quicker.

When will it arrive?

Most credit cards will arrive within 10 working days after your application is accepted, but this can take longer if the letter is delayed, stolen or lost in the post.

If you have been accepted for a credit card but it has not shown up two weeks later, contact the provider to let them know.

When can you start using your credit card?

You can start spending on your credit card once it arrives in the post, along with your 4-digit PIN number.

Your PIN will be sent in the post separately from your new card. It should arrive a day or two before or after your card.