When we want a credit card applying online seems like a great way to fast approval, right? Most consumers like hearing the words ‘instant approval’ because it signifies a win for their finances. In the past, credit card applications were done over the phone or even by mail so it was hard to get an instant approval. But with the advent of the internet and the ability for card issuers to quickly scan your credit history, the term instant approval was born.
Credit card applications used to be very cumbersome for the average person. You would have to fill out some forms, mail them in and then hope and wait for the best. Once the big credit card companies started offering instant approval credit cards though things changed. No more waiting by the mailbox to find out if you got approved for a credit card or not. And no more paper applications!
Technology allowed consumers to apply online and as soon as you applied, you would now know your result. And back then, that was a big deal. Paper applications are still around today but a majority of card applications are now processed over the internet.
Now a days we kind of take instant approval credit cards for granted. When we try for a credit card applying online is expected to be instant. And, in fact, nearly every card out there offers instant approval; it would actually be strange to find one that didn’t. I haven’t been instantly approved for every card that I’ve ever applied for but I always knew that it was at least a possibility with credit card applying online.
You won’t get any extra bonus points or help your credit score by gaining an instant approval but you do get some peace of mind. Instant decisions will really only tell you whether you’ve been approved, denied or your bank needs further information (pending). For most people, it’s the peace of mind that’s the nicest part about instant approval cards. But there are still some cards that try to take advantage of the term ‘instant approval’.
Sure, you want to choose the best credit card company. But the truth is that most of the cards you see advertised on TV and radio offering instant approval are from big reputable banks. These are all reputable: Chase, Citi, Barclaycard, Capital One – these all have good reputations and are honest banks. But there is another class of instant approval cards that are often prepaid or have yearly or even monthly annual fees. These are cards that you need to watch out for since generally they are offered to people who don’t have the credit to get a more reputable card.
The main reason why these cards aren’t good for consumers is because they try to lure customers in with the benefits of instant approval but they aren’t really offering the benefits of a true rewards card. Instead, they are laden with fees and other charges that most customers might not even be aware of.
You might be wondering how you can tell the difference between a good annual fee and a bad annual fee and it’s actually a lot easier than you might think. Some instant approval cards charge you fees just to open the credit card and make normal purchase on it. They offer low to non-existent rewards programs and they are really just trying to take advantage of unsuspecting customers.
A good annual fee card will offer a wide variety of benefits that you won’t find with an entry level credit card. If you were to apply for an airline card with an annual fee, you should expect to also receive benefits like free checked bags, priority boarding, lounge access and maybe even no transaction fees. So make sure that you balance the fees offered by a card with the benefits in order to determine whether or not you’re getting a good deal.
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