You applied for a new credit card. You’re waiting on approval, but let’s assume there’s no reason you would be rejected. Once your credit card application is approved, exactly how long do you have to wait before receiving and being able to use your new credit card?
Between applying for a credit card and actually being able to use it come a few steps:
1. Getting approved
2. Delivery of your new credit card
3. Activation of your new credit card
How long this process takes varies a bit from one credit card company to the next. Let’s take a look at two examples.
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HSBC Credit Cards
If you apply for an HSBC credit card you might have to wait for up to ten days to have your application approved. Assuming you’re approved for your new credit card, you could have to wait up to an additional seven days to have your new card delivered. Then, to activate your card you just call the credit card company (only the primary cardholder can do this). So you might have to wait up to 17 days in this case from the date of your application. [source]
Commonwealth Bank Credit Cards
If you apply for a Commonwealth Bank credit card like the Commonwealth bank Low Fee credit card, your wait time might be a bit shorter. According to their website, here are their policies:
“Once you have completed and submitted your application and if you are eligible for a credit card, your new credit card will be delivered to you within 10 working days from the date all the necessary information is received. Should we require additional information, a letter confirming our requirements will be issued within 5 days of application lodgement.” [source]
They don’t mention a possible seven-day application approval process like HSBC does. They also lay out a specific time frame for requesting additional material. So you know if you haven’t received a request for more information in that time frame, you were either rejected (and you’ll get notice of that) or you were approved (and you’ll soon receive your credit card).
In other words, when you compare different credit card companies you’ll find wait times can vary from a little more than a week up to several weeks, depending on how long it takes them to process credit card applications. You can speed up the process by making sure you include all requested information so there is no delay where the company has to request additional information from you. Other than that, you just have to be patient. Applying for a credit card today doesn’t mean you’ll be using it tomorrow.