Business credit card applications that are instantly approved on line, work much the same way as applications that go through a longer more traditional approval process, though there are often limitations on these instant approval accounts.
Before making any credit decisions, it is important to thoroughly research all available options with the help of tools such as our credit card chaser.
Instant credit card approvals are just that, approvals based solely on a summary credit report score. This score can be obtained, in a matter of seconds, by the potential card issuer, once you key in your identifying information, a social security number for individuals, or corporate information, for business applicants.
If your credit score doesn’t meet the bank’s guidelines, you are instantly declined, but if you’re on the borderline, your application may be reviewed in a slower, more traditional manner and a decision mailed or e-mailed out later. If you have questions about your credit, you should contact one of the business credit reporting agencies, such as Experian, for assistance.
What are the limitations of instant cards?
First, you probably won’t be able to use your card, “instantly.” You’ll have to wait for the actual plastic card to appear in the regular mail, which often takes three to four weeks. Prior to that date, you may at least be able to use the card for on-line purchases, if an account number is assigned, and you’re permitted to first activate, and then set up your account on line.
Second, most instant approval credit card issuers will only approve a minimum or other nominal credit line in this fashion. Additional credit may be available, but only after you’ve established a payment history with the company, or provided them with more information, sufficient to justify a higher credit line or limit.
Third, an instant approval credit card usually means “one” card. Most card companies will make you wait until your account is established before you are permitted to order additional cards on the same account for other users, such as a child or spouse. This is particularly tough on business owners who intend to have several cards available for their employees’ use.
In addition, many larger businesses want to use credit cards to help organize and accurately track their business expenses and those of their employees, who use credit to travel and market the company’s products.
This is a major benefit of having a business credit card account, but this level of service requires more time and information to set up and maintain properly than is generally required for instant credit card approval.
Are secured credit cards available instantly?
Not instantly, but secured credit cards are available as quickly as you can deposit your funds in the card issuer’s bank, and as fast as they can mail out your new prepaid card. In the old days of credit, banks might have a stack of credit cards available, on-hand, to give out to credit customers even before the ink was dry on their applications.
Today, credit cards are manufactured by industry specialists, as they contain imbedded microchips and sophisticated coding. Regional card processors handle orders for all participating VISA and MasterCard logo card issuers. Credit cards (and debit cards) are then shipped from these regional processing centers, directly to consumers.
What happens if I lose my card?
Before the digital age and computers revolutionized the banking industry, losing a credit card could result in significant losses for the cardholder. Modern technology all but prevents unwarranted charges from appearing on a card that was lost or stolen.
Just as a credit card application can be instantly approved, once reported, a lost or stolen card can be instantly turned off, preventing anyone else from using it and running up the bill. Several provisions of recent credit card reform legislation also deal with this issue, capping potential out-of-pocket losses in which consumers could be responsible.
How can I be sure I’m getting a good deal?
Read, study, and research all credit card offers thoroughly! Many of the largest credit card issuers are major banking concerns, and are well known in the markets they serve. Many others have no retail presence and may be brand new companies, totally unfamiliar to the American public.
Organizations like Consumer Reports, research products and services for the public’s benefit and then publish the results. One recent article discussed how to make credit card rewards pay off.
For the best and most competitive credit card products and services for business owners, use the credit card chaser!
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- Instant Frustration: The Instant Approval Credit Card Experiment