Instant approval cards are great because you can apply for them without leaving your home and receive it in only few days.
Once you receive the card you will be instructed to call an automated number in order to activate it. After that, it will be activated and ready to use.
If your credit is good the approval will be fast and easy without any hassle. However, if you have a bad credit history you will get an instant “declined”.
In between these two extremes are many who will be told their application is being reviewed. That means a real person will look at your application and decide whether to approve your new account or not.
If your application is reviewed, chances are it will be approved but perhaps at a lower credit line than you requested or with an interest rate higher than was advertised.
Don’t let the excitement of being approved overwhelm your common sense. Look carefully at what is being offered and decide if the terms are acceptable to you.
Online is Faster
Online applications are so much faster and easier than the process was only a few years ago. You don’t need to leave your home, fill out a long form and mail it in and wait (sometimes) for weeks before getting an answer or your new card.
Instead, you can apply for a card in 30 seconds or less by sitting at your computer with a warm cup of coffee.
Another benefit with applying for your credit card online is the ability to compare one card with another. Look at several companies offering instant approval cards and find the best deal in special offers and interest rates.
There are even sites that compare the most popular credit card offers to help you decide where to apply.
Bait and Switch Tactics
Some companies offering instant approval cards use bait and switch tactics to get new customers.
You may fill out an application for what sounds like a great credit deal and be told you are “approved”. What you may receive in your mail box is an alternate card for a different type of account that is not beneficial to you.
These companies approve almost all of the applications filed with them but only those with very good credit will obtain the card applied for – others will be sent low limit credit cards carrying high interest and having high fees.
The theory behind this practice is that a significant number of people will use the credit card even though it is not what they wanted.
Obviously, there is a high default rate for many of these accounts as those using the card are more likely people who want to spend no matter what it costs in the end.
Always Check The Terms
When your new credit arrives, look at the terms included with it and if there are differences in what is stated and what you applied for, call the lender and ask why the terms have changed. You might decide this is not a card you care to use.
Doing your research before applying for your credit card is important for another reason. Every time you apply for a credit card there is a request sent to the credit bureau for your credit score.
A rush of requests is a red flag to credit agencies. You may see it as applying for the best deal you can get and file one application after another.
To the credit agency you are seen as someone who is trying to open multiple accounts which may indicate financial problems.
Compare the online offers carefully and apply only for the credit card you really want. Don’t instantly apply for credit cards that you know you cannot qualify for as each “declined” will appear on the credit requests page in your file.