How Long Does It Take to Get a Credit Card?

Many issuers offer instant card numbers, and in most cases you'll receive your physical card within one to two weeks after approval.
Craig Joseph
By Craig Joseph 
Edited by Kenley Young

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Applying online and being approved for a new credit card can often be completed in a matter of minutes. If you’re instantly approved, some issuers give you access to your card number immediately. But if you’re forced to wait for your new plastic to arrive in the mail, or if you are waiting on a replacement card, the time to receive your new card can vary by issuer: potentially up to two weeks.

Here's how long you can expect it to take to receive your new (or replacement) card in the mail from each of the major credit card issuers.

How long does it take to get a new credit card?

According to the issuers we contacted, you should receive your new credit card — at least the physical version — within one to two weeks after approval. Premium cards such as The Platinum Card® from American Express or the U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card are often shipped faster than non-premium cards, and as noted above, some issuers offer instant access to a virtual card number, meaning you don't have to wait by the mailbox and can start using your credit line immediately upon approval.


Time to Receive New Card After Approval

Time to Receive Replacement Card

Expedited Shipping Available?

Instant/Virtual Card Number Provided?

How to Check Application Status

American Express

AmEx Platinum and Delta Cards: 2 to 3 days.

All other cards: 7 to 10 days.

1 to 3 days.

Yes, no fee.

Yes, based on AmEx's ability to authenticate you.

Bank of America®

7 to 10 days.

7 to 10 days.

Only for in-branch applications (no fee).

Yes, subject to qualification.


7 to 10 days.

7 to 10 days.

Yes, $15 fee.

Yes, but certain co-branded cards only.

Capital One

7 to 10 days.

4 to 6 days.

Yes, but only Venture X can be expedited (new applications).

$16 fee for replacement cards.




10 to 14 days.

7 to 10 days.

Yes, no fee.

Yes, with exceptions.*



7 to 10 days.

2 to 14 days.


Yes, with exceptions.**



5 to 7 days.

4 to 6 days.



U.S. Bank

Altitude Reserve: 1 to 2 days. All other cards: 7 to 10 days.

3 to 5 days.


Free for the Altitude Reserve.

$15 for all other cards.

Yes, both new and replacement cards.


Wells Fargo

10 days.

5 to 7 days.


Yes, subject to qualification.


* = The following Chase cards cannot be added to a digital wallet immediately upon card approval:

** = The following Citi cards will provide an instant virtual card number if you are instantly approved:

How do you get a credit card faster?

Many card issuers offer expedited delivery upon request. Some issuers will charge for this service, while others will not. Simply call the issuer after you receive notice of approval and see if they can ship the card faster.

What should you do after you get your credit card?

You’ll want to activate your card as soon as you receive it. You can do this by calling the 800 number found on a sticker on the front of your card or by logging in to the issuer’s website or app and following instructions for activation.

This is also an ideal time to link a bank account to your card so that you'll be able to make payments.

How long does it take to receive a replacement credit card?

If you lose your card or identify fraudulent charges on your account, the first step is to call the issuer to freeze your card and request a replacement. This will prevent additional charges from being made with the card.

Most issuers will send the card to your current location, so if you’re on vacation and misplace your plastic (or metal), just ask to have the replacement card sent to your hotel or wherever you are staying.

The time it takes to receive a replacement card will depend on the issuer, but it will generally take under a week. If you need a replacement card immediately, see if the issuer offers expedited delivery.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Many credit cards also offer a "card lock" feature that can you can turn on and off through either the card's website or app. This can be helpful if you think you've merely misplaced your card and would rather freeze it temporarily than go through the trouble of ordering an entirely new one.

How long does it take to get approved for a credit card?

An online card application takes minutes to complete and often results in an instant decision (approval or denial). Sometimes an application goes to “pending” status, which means the credit issuer needs more time to review your application. Generally, this can take up to seven to 10 business days. Credit issuers are required to approve or deny your application for credit within 30 days of your submitting an application.

To increase your odds of instant approval, be sure to understand how to apply for a credit card so you’ll get approved before submitting the application. It's important to also understand the credit requirements for the card you’re applying for. If you have poor credit (typically, FICO scores of 629 or lower), you probably don’t want to apply for a card that requires excellent credit (FICO scores of at least 720).

🤓Nerdy Tip

There's a difference between "instant approval" credit cards and credit cards that offer "instant use upon approval." Instant approval is common among major issuers, but instant access to that credit line after approval is somewhat harder to find.

How does credit card approval work?

After you submit an application, the card issuer will usually pull your credit report, resulting in a hard inquiry. The credit report will often be reviewed by the issuer’s automated underwriting system. This includes a review of your credit scores, income, payment history and existing debt obligations. If the application goes to “pending” status, a human underwriter will need to review your credit report. This will typically take five to seven business days.

A hard inquiry can result in a temporary decrease of your credit score by up to 5 points, so be sure you know what the credit requirements are for the card you apply for before submitting a new application.

What if your application is denied? 

If your credit card application is denied, you’ll receive a rejection notice in the mail. This notice will outline the reasons for the denial and provide additional information, such as your credit score and which credit bureau your credit report was pulled from. Understanding what the issuer didn’t like on your credit report is an important step for future approvals.

Most issuers have a reconsideration phone number you can call to speak to someone on the underwriting team. This will give you a chance to ask questions about the denial, and sometimes you might be able to reverse that denial into an approval.

  • American Express: 1-800-567-1083.

  • Bank of America®: 1-866-458-8805

  • Barclays: 1-866-408-4064.

  • Capital One: 1-866-927-5831.

  • Chase: 1-800-432-3117.

  • Citi: 1-800-950-5114.

  • Discover: 1-800-347-3085.

  • U.S. Bank: 1-800-947-1444.

  • Wells Fargo: 1-800-642-4720.

• • •

To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.

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