Five Instant Approval Credit Cards Worth Having

May 7th 2016

If you have good credit, you can probably get a credit card relatively quickly. Many major credit card companies will even send out pre-approved card offers. All you have to do is accept the card and since you’re already approved, you can start using it right away. However, if you don’t have good credit, or you want to build your credit score, it can be harder to gain access to credit. Fortunately, some instant approval credit cards will accept users with fair or bad credit, and you can apply online and often get approved almost instantaneously. Even if you have good credit, the speed and ease of getting approved online can be appealing, and these cards are a quick and convenient option. However, there are downsides. Instant approval cards, particularly those with less stringent standards, can be loaded with hidden fees and don’t often have a high credit limit. Also, be careful not to apply for too many at once, which will negatively impact your credit score, even if you are accepted.

With those cautions in mind, here are five instant approval credit card offers that provide convenience and reasonable (if any) fees, whether you're looking for great rewards or a card that helps rebuild your credit score.

TrueEarnings Card from Costco and American Express

You need excellent credit for this card, but it offers a host of rewards. You get 3 percent cash back at any gas station in the US and on gas at Costco, up to a $4,000 annual limit. You also get 2 percent cash back on eligible travel purchases and US restaurants. All other purchases earn 1 percent cash back. Your cash back amount is issued as a coupon in February and expires in August, so this might not be a good choice if you want access to your rewards more frequently. There is no annual fee if you are a Costco member. Currently, there is a zero percent APR for the first six months.

Delta Airlines Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card

This card also requires excellent credit. Its main rewards are travel-related. After the first $1,000 in purchases, you get 30,000 bonus miles. You also get double miles on all Delta purchases. You can also check the first bag free for up to nine people on any Delta flight. There is no annual fee for the first year, then it's $95. APR varies between 15.24 and 19.24 percent.

Blue Cash Preferred Card

Excellent credit is also a prerequisite for this card. You can earn 6 percent cash back on supermarket purchases up to $6,000 a year. You can also get 3 percent cash back on gas and purchases at selected department stores in the US. You can redeem your reward points for statement cards, gift cards or merchandise. There is a $75 annual fee. After a 15-month introductory period of zero percent APR, it changes to a variable rate.  

Starwood Preferred Guest from American Express

If you have excellent credit and enjoy travel, this could be the card for you. You can earn free nights at 1,100 hotels internationally. You can also get 25,000 bonus reward points as an introductory offer if you use your card to make $5,000 worth of purchases in the first six months.  The card lets you redeem points for airline miles and covers some rental car insurance. There is a $65 annual fee after the first year and a variable APR.

Capital One Secured MasterCard

This is a good choice if you have fair or bad credit and are looking to improve your credit score. It reports to all three major credit bureaus. This card requires a security deposit from $49-$200, depending on your credit history. The credit line on this card is $200-$3,000. There's an annual fee of $29. The card also includes a free credit tracker.

These instant approval credit card offers can all be good choices, but be careful to read the fine print. Even cards from reputable lending institutions and credit card companies can have hidden fees. Also, make sure you know what fees you will have to pay after the introductory period is over.

Image Courtesy of Kristopha Hohn via Flickr

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