How long will it take to apply for a credit card?

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Once you know which credit card you want, the process of applying for a credit card should take no more than about 15 minutes. Then, once you have been approved, it will take between 7 -10 working days for it to arrive by post.

However, it’s important that you do your research before you apply as every application you make for credit is noted on your credit score – and multiple applications in a short space of time can make you appear desperate.

This might lead to your score being reduced, which in turn will lead to applications being declined, or the range and quality of offers for which you are eligible being reduced.

You should wait at least three months between applying for credit.

How soon will I know if I’ve been accepted for a credit card?

If you apply online for a credit card, it’s possible you’ll be notified instantly of whether or not you’ve been approved.

If you need a card for a specific purchase, or in time for a special event such as a holiday, it’s a good idea to get organised and apply early.

If you apply through the post for a card, you’ll have to wait for a letter from the lender to find out whether or not your application has been successful.

Bear in mind that banks, building societies and credit card companies don’t always offer you the exact card you’ve applied for: it could be that you’ll be offered a different promotional deal, a different annual percentage rate (APR) or a different card altogether depending on your lender’s preferences and your credit history.

Make sure you know what you’re getting before signing on the dotted line to take out any credit card.

How long will my credit card take to arrive once I’ve been approved?

Once you’ve been approved for a credit card, it’s likely to take a maximum of around two weeks to get to you - although this of course depends upon your lender.

Is there any way I can speed up the process of getting a credit card?

Applying for a credit card online, rather than through the post, is the easiest way to speed up the process. It means you aren’t reliant on Royal Mail, or on the credit card company’s application processing department to review your application once it arrives.

Over and above this, however, there is nothing you can do apart from wait for your credit card to arrive - so if you need a card for a specific purchase, or in time for a special event such as a holiday, it’s a good idea to get organised and apply early.

Where to next?

Compare credit cards using MoneySuperMarket’s Smart Search

How to get accepted for a credit card

Pros and cons of credit cards

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