I want a credit card and I want it now! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it were that easy? For the majority of us, once we have made the decision to find a credit card that meets our needs, we need the application process to happen as soon as possible.. And there are plenty of credit card websites offering instant credit cards, but does it really happen instantly? I don’t think so! So I thought I’d put the question to the test, and find out just how much time it takes from telling yourself “I want a credit card”, to actually holding the card in your hand and in a postion to use it.
I began the exercise by getting a copy of my credit report, which I realized I would need in order to find out exactly those cards I would qualify for. That process took two days but I did travel down the ‘free credit report’ path and maybe had I paid I would maybe have received it sooner. I did not have perfect credit but was in good shape and my score was above average, so I was positive that I would have a good choice of cards available to me. That afternoon I spent time on my PC perusing the large amount of credit card web sites especially those that offered the chance to compare similar cards from all the different issuers. I was now 3 days since my ‘I want a credit card’ decision and accepted that I was now in the right position to fill in my online application.
I accurately submitted my application on a web site offering instant credit card decisions, at about 8.30pm, one Thursday evening and checked my email inbox the following afternoon. The only email from the card issuing company was an automated reply confirming that my application had been received. I had no further response from the card issuing company until the following Monday afternoon at which time I was 7 days from when I originally told myself, “I want a credit card“. A financial associate from the card issuing company called me on my cell just to verify a few answers to questions on my application. Having straightened out those points I was told that I would get an answer from them, by email, ‘within a day or so’.
It was 35 hours later when I got the email response I was waiting for, confirming that my application had been a success and that I should have my plastic ‘within a matter of days’. It was precisely ten days after that my card arrived (7 business days), and my maths showed that from making the decision, ‘I want a credit card’ to actually clutching my plastic in my hand was 19 days. Not very good for an instant credit card application! Not! Keeping in mind that my application was straightforward with no extra delays for further investigations into my credit history to be made, I am now thinking that there is no such thing as an instant credit card. You might be wise to consider my experience the next time you tell yourself “I want a credit card and I want it instantly”!