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Instant Approval Credit Cards

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Looking for an instant approval credit card? Watch out! Most people will send you directly to an expensive prepaid debit card – which isn’t a credit card at all! Before you apply, read through how to get approved for a credit card, and how to choose one that won’t bankrupt you in the process. Just because you have bad credit doesn’t mean you deserve a bad credit card.

4 steps to rehabbing your credit

First, let’s look at how to improve your credit so that you can qualify for a decent credit card. If your FICO score’s in the dumps, don’t despair: here are four simple steps you can take to get your score back on track.

  1. Pay off your credit card balances. Before you apply for a new credit card, try to pay off as much of your existing balance as you can. Even if you always pay off your bill every month and don’t accrue interest, lenders will look at how much of your credit line you’re using. It’s important to have as small of a balance as possible before you apply.
  2. Make your payments on time. Even if you have a spotty history, recent behavior is weighted more heavily than past behavior, so on-time payments will go a long way towards bringing your FICO score back up.
  3. Look for a secured credit card. These cards are easier to qualify for than regular (unsecured) credit cards, because you post an upfront deposit that guarantees your loan. Nevertheless, the card will still help you raise your credit score and build a good history.
  4. Check your credit report. Sometimes the credit reporting agencies make mistakes, and catching an inaccuracy is a quick and easy way to get your score up. You can get your report free from, or check out this blog post for more ways to check your score.

Your options if you have bad credit

If you can’t qualify for a regular credit card, you have a few options:

  • Secured credit cards, which are easier to qualify for because they require an upfront deposit that guarantees the loan. If you can get this card and make timely payments, you can “graduate” to an unsecured card.
  • Co-signers with good credit can put their names on the loan with you, using their established history to guarantee your debt. Contrary to popular belief, you can still build credit on a card with a co-signer.
  • Debit and prepaid debit cards are a way to store your cash, but they don’t help build up your credit score, no matter what you might hear!

In general, we recommend a good secured credit card as an alternative to instant approval credit cards. Our favorite is the Capital One® Secured MasterCard®, which lets you pay the security deposit over time, up to 80 days.

Beware! “Instant approval” cards to watch out for

If you search for “instant approval credit cards,” you might come up with sites recommending cards that simply aren’t good, like:

  • First Premier Aventium and Centennial. These cards come with a $300 initial credit limit and an ongoing $123 in fees a year.
  • Net First Platinum. It’s not actually a credit card!
  • Matrix Credit Card. It’s really sketchy – the First Premier by any other name still smells as fishy.

For more resources, check out our tips on bankruptcy scams and advice on how to get a credit card.

Shop & Compare Credit Cards:

  • Carlos Díaz

    I have no credit established and yet still can not get approved for a secured card through capital don’t know what to do.

    • Annette Melero

      try fingerhut

  • Joseph

    I think they choose who they want to have the money. Is pathetic. I gota 2000 dollar credt limit. and two 500 credit lines.

  • Paulette Cogshell

    After Chapter 7 Bk December 2004. I got qualified for a Fingerhut credit card last year with a score 570. I’ve apply for JcPenney, , CreditOne Bank. Unfortunately, Capital One was one of the creditors on Chapter 7 BK, so when I apply for their secured credit card. I wasn’t approved.

  • Tasia Danielle Kriss

    Stay at home girlfriend. Trying to build my credit. Boyfriends credit is shot. I have ok credit and access to his $. I want to get a small house in five years. help.

  • Joe Peet

    where do you have the 2000 limit and the credit lines with?

  • Jennifer Davis

    Hello, this year my fiance and I filed our tax and received our cash already. We bought a nice vehicle. I want to get a credit card to make sure our insurance and gas stays covered even if we are low on funds. I see that some credit cards give a $300.00 limit but uses that limit to cover their fees and I would have to shop at designated stores. I am trying to find a credit card that will accept my annual fee and let me pay into my credit limit. This will be my first credit card and I need help finding one that wont keep me in debt while I am trying to get out of debt and repair my poor credit status. Could you give me some positive feedback to help me find a credit card today? 02/12/2015

    • Jennifer Davis

      I found one that accepted me for a one time fee of 29.00. I am going to go with it and see if I can get a better one after three months. COMMENTS ARE WELCOME…..

      • diana

        what cc did you get approved for?

      • katy

        Which one it it please???

  • Xavier

    I have 8 credit cards and I just turned 19, I do keep them under 30% and try hard not to over use . I mostly use them for reward points. So what i’ll do is pay with credit card as long as i know i have the cash to pay it back. Keep a balance on them to keep them active.

  • Theb

    ok, for some help here is free advice.
    1. go look up a list of cards for comenity bank from experience there store cards are seemingly easy to get.

    2. for applications direct from an apt (Account Protection Team) Do not put more than (2) two different applications through the same back in the same calendar month. Eg. you apply on the 25th of June , after you put your 2 in you need to wait until the 25 of July for the next 2. This blocks them from trying to think there is suspicious activity.

    3. Get a PayPal verified account , then get a premier business debit card. As this will allow you to get to your money immediately.

    4. set up PayPal smart connect , which they have change names for the new applications, and for them the bank has also changed from synchrony to comenity.

    5. once approved, set that as your back up funding.

    6. take out any money you have in PayPal and move it to a connected account.

    note failure to do number 6 will result in them using your balance first before hitting the backup funding, (aka credit line)

    7.Use your card anywhere mastercard is available.

    doing this you could possibly earn the 1.5 percent cash back for each use to be added up and deposit once a month.

    if that total is less than $1.00, transfer exactly $1.00 to the PayPal account, and wait for it to show, during this time try not to use the debit card period. once you see it there through a mobile app, or online transfer the whole available balance back to the connected account out of PayPal.

    This will reopen the charging part of the account.

    finally if you use any account and do run them up too high, try to absolutely make sure that your payment is there on time even if it means a call in.

    Doing that can save an extra $20 plus dollars per occurrence, and prevent your score from dropping.

    I hope that this helps .