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How long does it take to get a credit card?

You can usually get a new credit card within 5 to 10 working days. Here's how long it will take with major banks and lenders in Australia.

Generally, you can apply for a credit card online in 10 to 20 minutes and if you're approved the card will arrive in the post within 5-10 working days. The time it takes to apply and get a new credit card depends on factors including the lender, the type of card and the details you include on your application.

Some Australian banks and brands also have their own guidelines. So, here we've got details of how long it takes to get a credit card with major lenders including ANZ, CommBank, NAB, Westpac and St.George.

When will I get my new credit card?

ProviderApplication lengthTime to get credit card once approved
American Express10 minutes5-7 working days
ANZ20 minutes (approx.)2-7 business days
Bank AustraliaNot provided5-7 business days
Bank of Melbourne10 minutes5-7 business days
Bank of Queensland20 minutes7-10 working days
Bankwest15 minutesWithin 10 working days
Bendigo Bank15 minutesWithin 10 working days
Citi10 minutes7-10 working days
Commonwealth Bank20 minutesWithin 10 working days
HSBC10 minutes7 working days
ING20 minutes5-7 working days
Latitude Financial Services10 minutes5-10 working days
MONEYME5 minutesInstant (virtual card)
NAB15 minutesWithin 5 business days
St.George20 minutes5-7 business days
Suncorp10 minutes5-7 business days
Virgin Money10 minutesWithin 10 working days
Westpac15 minutes4-6 working days

What happens after I've applied for a credit card?

After you submit your credit card application, the credit card issuer will assess your credit history and current finances to determine whether or not you are eligible for the card. They also use this process to determine how much credit they will offer you (in the form of your credit limit).

Providing you meet all the application criteria, you could get approved for the card within 60 seconds of submitting an online application. You could also get "conditional approval" and be asked for further information before the credit card issuer's assessment can be completed.

Providing supporting documentation

If you're conditionally approved for a credit card, the issuer may also ask you to submit more supporting documents to complete the application process. The sooner you provide this information, the faster you can get approval and receive your card.

The documents you'll need to provide generally include some or all of the following:

  • A copy of your driver’s licence or passport
  • Recent payslips
  • Recent bank statements
  • Your most recent Tax Assessment Notice or PAYG summary
  • A letter from your employer or accountant verifying your employment and/or financial details

What happens after I get approved for a credit card?

After successfully completing the application process, you'll usually get your new credit card and a welcome pack in the mail within 5-10 working days. Or within the time frame set by your credit card provider, if that's different.

The welcome pack may arrive before the card and contains information about the bank, the credit card and its terms and conditions of use. Make sure you read this information before you start using your credit card. In some cases, you may also be asked to go to your nearest branch to pick up the card and welcome pack for security reasons.

How to activate a credit card

Depending on the issuer, you may be able to activate your credit card online, over the phone or in person. Information about card activation will also be included in your welcome pack and usually takes just a few minutes to complete.

Remember to sign your card

The signature panel on your credit card gives you the legal authority to use it and protects you against unauthorised transactions if it’s lost, stolen or compromised. Make sure you sign it when you first activate the card.

Can I get a temporary card for immediate use?

If you have Google Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay on your phone, you may be able to set up and start using a virtual card while you wait for a physical card to arrive in the mail.

For example, if you're waiting for a replacement of an existing card, Bankwest will automatically update your card details as soon as it has been issued, so you can use it before the physical card arrives.

But many other banks in Australia require you to wait until a replacement card has arrived and been activated.

How long does it take to apply for a virtual card?

If you're applying for a credit card and want fast access, you could consider a virtual card. These cards store your account details online or on an app and may be completely virtual or come with a physical card as well.

Once your application for credit has been approved you could access your virtual card details straight away.

The application is typically fast, with some lenders saying you can apply "within minutes" and others taking around 15 minutes. Make sure you have all your details on hand so you can keep the process as simple as possible.

Many virtual credit card providers also offer an outcome within moments of submitting your application, but it does depend on the application details and your financial circumstances.

Compare credit cards with 60-second approval

1 - 10 of 122
Name Purchase rate p.a. Bonus points Points per $ spent Interest-free period Balance transfer rate p.a. Annual fee
St.George Vertigo Card
Purchase rate p.a.
13.99%
Bonus points
N/A
Points per $ spent
N/A
Interest-free period
Up to 55 days on purchases
Balance transfer rate p.a.
0% for 28 months with 1% balance transfer fee, then 21.49%
Annual fee
$55
Go to siteMore Info
Get a 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for 28 months (with a 1% balance transfer fee).
Westpac Low Rate Card
Purchase rate p.a.
13.74%
Bonus points
N/A
Points per $ spent
N/A
Interest-free period
Up to 55 days on purchases
Balance transfer rate p.a.
0% for 28 months with 2% balance transfer fee, then 21.49%
Annual fee
$59
Go to siteMore Info
Save with a 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for 28 months (with a 2% BT fee). Plus, a low 13.74% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Westpac Low Rate Card - Cashback Offer
Purchase rate p.a.
13.74%
Bonus points
N/A
Points per $ spent
N/A
Interest-free period
Up to 55 days on purchases
Balance transfer rate p.a.
N/A
Annual fee
$59
Go to siteMore Info
A no-frills card offering up to $350 cashback: $50 each month you make at least $1,000 of eligible purchases for the first 7 months.
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
Purchase rate p.a.
13.49%
Bonus points
N/A
Points per $ spent
N/A
Interest-free period
Up to 55 days on purchases
Balance transfer rate p.a.
0% for 28 months with 2% balance transfer fee, then 21.74%
Annual fee
$0 first year ($59 after)
Go to siteMore Info
Get a 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for the first 28 months (with a 2% BT fee). Plus, save with a $0 first-year annual fee.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
Qantas Frequent Flyer
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Bonus points
60,000
Points per $ spent
1.25
Interest-free period
Up to 44 days on purchases
Balance transfer rate p.a.
N/A
Annual fee
$450
Go to siteMore Info
Get 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, a yearly $450 Travel Credit.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Bonus points
100,000
Points per $ spent
1.25
Interest-free period
Up to 55 days on purchases
Balance transfer rate p.a.
N/A
Annual fee
$375
Go to siteMore Info
Get 100,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus a return domestic flight each year.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
Membership Rewards
Purchase rate p.a.
23.99%
Bonus points
50,000
Points per $ spent
2
Interest-free period
Up to 55 days on purchases
Balance transfer rate p.a.
N/A
Annual fee
$395
Go to siteMore Info
Get 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
Purchase rate p.a.
20.99%
Bonus points
N/A
Points per $ spent
N/A
Interest-free period
Up to 55 days on purchases
Balance transfer rate p.a.
21.99%
Annual fee
$0 first year ($87 after)
Go to siteMore Info
Get $300 back on your card when you spend $1,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months and a $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, complimentary overseas travel insurance.
St.George Amplify Signature
Amplify Rewards
Purchase rate p.a.
19.49%
Bonus points
150,000
Points per $ spent
1.5
Interest-free period
Up to 55 days on purchases
Balance transfer rate p.a.
0% for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee, then 21.49%
Annual fee
$199 first year ($295 after)
Go to siteMore Info
150,000 bonus Amplify Points (worth $675 in gift cards) when you spend $12,000 in the first 12 months. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount.
American Express Low Rate Credit Card
Finder Award
Purchase rate p.a.
10.99%
Bonus points
N/A
Points per $ spent
N/A
Interest-free period
Up to 55 days on purchases
Balance transfer rate p.a.
N/A
Annual fee
$0
Go to siteMore Info
Offers a low ongoing interest rate of 10.99% p.a. and a $0 annual fee. Plus, complimentary purchase cover.
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