How long does it take to get a credit card?

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Applying for a credit card has become increasingly easy over the years, especially with the ability to see if you pre-qualify with our CardMatch feature. You can apply for most credit cards online and often know whether you’ve been approved within minutes. Your actual credit card, however, will take some time to get to you.

Generally, new credit cards should arrive within ten days after approval. If you are looking for a replacement card, that wait time will probably be shorter. And if you are dealing with a replacement for a lost or stolen card, you may have a new card in your hand in as little as 24 hours. Each card issuer has a different wait time when it comes to new card arrivals. Keep reading to see how some of the major card issuers handle getting your card to you.

How long does it take issuers to deliver credit cards?

Issuers want to make sure that your card arrives to you safely and in a timely fashion. Many card issuers will offer free expedited shipping in the case of replacements for lost or stolen cards. Here are some of the major card issuers and their approximate timeframes for card delivery.

Issuer New card Replacement card Card Services
American Express 7–10 business days 3 business days 1-800-528-4800
Bank of America Within 10 business days 7–10 days 1-800-732-9194
Capital One 7–10 business days 3–6 business days 1-800-227-4825
Chase 7–10 business days 3–5 business days 1-800-432-3117
Citi 7–10 days 5–7 business days
Within 24 hours for lost/stolen cards
1-866-422-0458
Discover 3–5 business days 5–7 business days
1–2 business days for lost/stolen cards
1-800-347-2683
Wells Fargo 7–10 business days 7–10 business days 1-800-642-4720

What to do if your credit card is taking longer than expected

When applying for a new credit card, it’s important to make sure you give yourself enough time for your application to be approved and your card to arrive. While you may be instantly approved and get your card within a week, it’s also possible that your approval could take much longer. It really just depends on if additional information is needed to process your application. After which, you could be waiting up to another two weeks for the card to arrive. While you can’t really dictate the timeframe for processing, approval, and delivery of a credit card, there are a few things you can do to have faster access to your account.

Request the card be expedited

Once you’ve been approved for your credit card, you can request expedited shipping. Most card issuers will allow you to do this, although they will likely charge you. There are some card issuers that offer expedited services for free, though. Chase and Bank of America will get your card to you within three days for no charge, you just have to request it. Other card issuers, like American Express, CitiBank and Discover, don’t offer expedited mailing. In those cases, you will simply have to wait for the card to arrive.

Check-in at a physical location

If your card is not arriving as quickly as you had hoped, you can check in with a representative at a physical branch. While you may not be able to get your card any faster, a representative may be able to track the card’s progress. And in the case of replacement cards, some physical locations may be able to issue temporary cards. Another possibility for accessing funds at a physical location is to ask for a cash advance. Your account is open from the moment of approval, so you should be able to access funds without your card from a physical branch. Just make sure you are clear on the fees involved with requesting a cash advance.

Track the card

You can track your credit card’s progress online or by phone using a tracking number. Many card issuers have dedicated lines for tracking a new credit card’s progress. If that isn’t the case, you can call the general customer service line to check with an agent about when the card was sent and its estimated arrival time. You can also check online by logging into your account. While this won’t make your card arrive any faster, it will give you an idea of when you’ll have your card to use for purchases.

Get an instant card number

Some issuers will offer you access to your card number upon approval. This means you can use that number for transactions anywhere a physical card is not actually needed. You may have to download an app to be able to have access to an instant card number. And instant card numbers may not apply for all credit cards offered by the issuer. For American Express, offering instant card numbers is common practice for all of their consumer cards upon approval. On the other hand, Chase allows access to instant account numbers, but only for some co-branded cards. Capital One will give you access to a card number through their app, but only if you have at least one credit card with them already. Other card issuers don’t offer the option at all. You can request an instant card number upon approval if it’s an available option.

Call your issuer

If it’s been two weeks and you have yet to receive your new card, it’s time to call your issuer. At this stage, it is possible that the card has been lost or stolen. As a precaution, it’s best to have your issuer cancel that card and issue you a new one. This will mean a bit more wait time, but it will help ensure the security of your account information for the long term.