Heads up! We share savvy shopping and personal finance tips to put extra cash in your wallet. iMore may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network. Please note that the offers mentioned below are subject to change at any time and some may no longer be available.
For a lot of credit cards, you are stuck waiting up to a week to use it after being approved. That is because many require you to get a physical card delivered in the mail and activate it by logging in online or calling into a phone number. Apple Card is getting rid of this need. While many of us would be happy to wait for the most painstakingly designed credit card ever made, you won't have to wait on the titanium card to use your new Apple Card. Apple is making the digital version of your Apple Card available for use in the Wallet app using Apple Pay immediately after you are approved.
While this is another great feature of Apple Card, it's not exclusive to it. There are a number of other credit cards that also are available to use right after you are approved!
American Express has one of the best instant use credit card programs out there. All of their cards support the feature, allowing you to use your new card immediately after approval. Once approved, American Express will display a digital version of your card on the screen with your card number, expiration date, and CCV code. There are a couple of things to keep in mind about this card. One is that you cannot access it again after American Express shows it to you the first time, so make sure to take a screenshot or take the info down if you are planning on using it. Also, the CCV code on the physical card you will receive in the mail will be different than the one you receive online. The one on the physical card will be your permanent CCV code, so it's best not to use your digital card to sign up for any subscriptions or anything that use recurring payments.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express can triple the amount of money you earn on groceries and gas when compared to Apple Card. The bonus offer is easy to qualify for, and Amex Offers provides savings at hundreds of retailers (opens in new tab) when you activate the offer and use your card to purchase. These, along with a 0% intro APR offer and best in class customer service make the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express a compelling choice when compared to Apple Card.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
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This card gets you 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year then 1%), 3% cash back at U.S gas stations, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Unlike Apple Card, you'll earn a valuable welcome offer to the tune of a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months. There is also a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable APR, 15.24% to 26.24%.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Cardmembers get access to eligible Delta, Centurion, and Priority Pass lounges all around the world. From a huge signup bonus offer, Uber VIP status with free rides, and a ton of credits to cover airline and baggage fees, the Platinum Card® from American Express even more points the more you travel.
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new American Express Platinum Card (opens in new tab) to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. Enjoy 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked with airlines or with American Express Travel, as well as prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com. You also get a $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
Capital One used to let new cardholders have access to their new credit card number upon approval, but it seems that this has recently changed. As someone who recently picked up their Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card (opens in new tab) for the $150 signup bonus and easy 1.5% cash back, I did have to wait for the card to come in the mail to use it for anything, whether it be making a purchase or processing a balance transfer.
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is one of the best cards around for those who are looking to skip any kind of categorized rewards and instead opt for a drop-dead simple rewards system. Earn 1.5% cash back on every single purchase you make with absolutely no limit to how much you can earn.
Simple cash back
Earning cash back doesn't get easier than it is with the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. You'll earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make and no annual fee is required. We also love that it includes a $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months. Put off paying for that iPhone purchase with 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months (16.24%-26.24% variable APR afterward).
What about everyone else?
Like Capital One, most of the other card providers require you to wait until you receive your physical card in the mail to activate and use it. Here is a list of card providers that, while most will give you an instant approval decision when you apply, do not support immediate card use.
- Bank of America
There can only be two
When it comes to cards that offer instant access, American Express and Apple Card seem to be paving the way with this technology. Apple Card goes even further than American Express does, as the digital version of your Apple Card isn't a temporary card with a temporary CCV code - it's the real deal. We'll have to wait and see if more credit card providers follow suit, but I imagine it'll be something we start to see become much more common sooner rather than later.
Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.
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