What is an instant approval credit card?
When you apply for a credit card online, you'll typically get a response within 60 seconds of submitting it. If your application is successful, this is the closest you can get to an instant approval credit card in Australia.
How does instant credit card approval work?
Credit card issuers that offer instant approval aim to respond as quickly as possible. With an instant credit card application, the bank or card provider assesses key details from your application and credit history within a few seconds.
This process means you get an outcome almost as soon as you submit your application. If you're approved, you'll usually get your card in the mail within 5-10 business days. There are also some virtual credit cards you could set up and start using straight away, such as the Westpac Flex or MONEYME Freestyle Virtual Card.
When approval may take longer
If you're not approved or the credit card provider needs more details (sometimes known as "conditional approval"), they may ask for additional documentation such as payslips and bank statements. From there, it could take about 2-5 business days to receive the final outcome.
How can I get an instant approval credit card?
An instant approval credit card gives you a simple way to apply online and get your credit card as soon as possible. But it does not guarantee approval of your credit card application. So if you want to improve your chances of instant approval, these 4 steps will help you complete the application properly.
Step 1. Compare your options
As it's fast to apply for most credit cards online and get approval within 60 seconds, it's important to compare your options first so that you can get a suitable card. Details to consider include:
- The annual fee
- The purchase interest rate
- The cash advance interest rate
- Introductory offers (e.g. bonus points or a promotional 0% interest rate)
- Rewards and other perks
When you're comparing cards, think about how you plan to use it and what's most important to you so that you can narrow down your choices.
Step 2. Check the eligibility requirements
Each credit card has different eligibility criteria you need to meet before you can apply and get approved. This usually includes:
- Age. You have to be at least 18 years of age to apply for any credit card in Australia.
- Residency status. Depending on the card, you might only be able to apply if you're a permanent Australian resident or citizen. Some banks do offer cards for temporary residents – Finder's guide gives you details on what's required.
- Income. You'll typically need to show proof of regular income and/or meet a minimum income requirement if one is listed. If you're worried about meeting the minimum income requirement, you could compare low-income credit cards.
- Credit history. Most banks only accept applicants who have a good credit history with no evidence of defaults. Details such as late payments and other recent applications for credit can also have a negative impact on your credit score. If you have a low credit score, spend some time repaying existing debts and improving it before you apply for a card.
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Step 3. Get your documents and details ready
When you apply for a credit card online, you need to provide personal and financial details, plus supporting documents, before you can receive instant approval. Usually, this includes:
- Proof of identity. Such as your driver's licence, passport or Medicare card.
- Personal details. Your full name, residential address, living situation and contact details.
- Employment and income. Proof of employment and income, including your employer's details and recent payslips. Other proof of income could include ATO statements and your accountant's details if you're self-employed, or evidence of your Centrelink payments or superannuation payments if you're retired.
- Balance transfer details. If you're applying for a balance transfer, you'll need to provide details of your existing account and the amount you want to transfer to the new card.
Having these details ready before you start the application helps speed up the process when you apply for a new credit card.
How some credit cards offer faster income verification
When you apply for a credit card online, you may be asked to log in to your internet bank account through a secure, third-party service. This is a fast way for lenders to verify your income and any other relevant financial details. It's also used for some personal loan applications.
If you don't want to provide these details, the lender may offer alternatives. For example, with American Express you can log in to your internet bank account when you apply or upload or email supporting documentation.
Step 4. Apply online
The online application should only take around 10 to 15 minutes if you have all your details ready to go. Once you've submitted your application, you should receive your response within 60 seconds. You'll either be approved, rejected or contacted by the bank for further details.
As long as you meet the eligibility criteria and complete the application properly, most credit card issuers in Australia offer instant approval. But as any declined applications will hurt your credit score, it's important to compare your options and check that you meet the card's requirements before submitting an application to increase your chances of approval.
Frequently asked questions
Can I get an instant approval credit card with bad credit?
If you already have bad credit, then it will be more difficult to get approved for a credit card straight away. So even if you apply for a credit card that offers a response within 60 seconds, it doesn't always mean you'll get "instant approval".
If there are issues with the details you've provided or with your credit history, your application may be declined or result in "conditional approval" – a term which usually means you need to provide further details before you can get your credit card fully approved.
Keep in mind: Every application you make is listed on your credit report and can lower your credit score. If you're worried about your score, improving it before you apply can increase your chances of approval.
Can I get instant credit card approval without a credit check?
In Australia, there are no credit card providers that will give you a credit card without doing a credit check. This is to ensure that they don't take on excessive risk and that people who should not be issued credit do not get further into credit card debt.
Which banks offer instant virtual credit cards?
Bankwest, Bendigo Bank, Latitude Financial, MONEYME and Wizit are financial institutions that offer virtual cards you can start using once your application is approved. Usually, you will need to have an eligible digital wallet or app to be able to activate and use the virtual card. So, check these details before you apply.
Are there business credit cards that offer instant approval?
Some business credit cards may offer an outcome within a few minutes of submitting an application. If you meet the eligibility criteria, that's as close as you'll get to instant approval. Some business credit cards and expense management plans also offer instant, virtual cards for employees, such as Volopay or Cape. Check out Finder's guide to business credit cards to compare your options.
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