Posted by Chuck on January 11, 2020
Credit Cards

Published on January 11th, 2020 | by Chuck


List of Credit Cards that Issue an Instant Card Number Upon Approval (2020 Update)

[Post has been updated for 2020, American Express has had a positive change made. If you notice any errors or have additional information, please share it in the comments below.]

A big expense comes up, and you want to charge it on a credit card…but you haven’t applied for the card yet. Which credit card issuers will instantly issue the card number upon approval so that it can be used immediately for online purchases or at a vendor who is willing to accept the card number without a physical card?

Before breaking this issue down by card issuer, it’s important to bear in mind that getting the card number instantly will only happen if you get an automatic approval; if the application goes into pending and gets approved later, it’s unlikely that an agent will give you the card number over the phone.

Also, remember that many card issuers will expedite a new credit card, and it’s often possible to have the physical card at your doorstep in less than 48-hours, see Which Credit Card Issuers Offer Expedited Shipping? for more information.


Alliant does not currently offer instant credit card numbers, it’s something they are currently looking into.

American Express

Update: American Express will now e-mail you a link where you can view your instant card number if requested. This means it can be viewed multiple times, unlike the previous method where you had to write it down. Hat tip to US Credit Cards 101

  • Any Amex card may get an instant card number
  • Some co-branded Amex cards will get the card number only to be used at the co-brand location

The account number given out right away is the same number you’ll get in the mail, but the 4-digit code (and possibly expiration) is different. The system will ask you if you want a temporary number and will e-mail it to you on request (it e-mails a secure link where the card number can be viewed). American Express won’t give you the temporary card number over the phone.

Amex is the best about giving out card numbers instantly. In fact, they’ve even been known, occasionally, to give out hefty bonuses (automatically) if the system fails to offer the instant card number. However, there isn’t a clear pattern as to when they do or don’t give out the account number right away. There are lots of conflicting data points, even for the exact same card, where sometimes they do offer the number and other times they don’t.

There are reports of just about every Amex card getting the account number instantly at the time of application (BCE, Everyday, SPG, Platinum, Gold, PRG, Delta, Hilton), and just as many reports indicating the reverse. Also, some people report that for co-branded cards, they’ll issue the card number instantly for use only at the co-brand location. For example, the Hilton card only for use at Hilton, or the Delta card only for use at Delta.

Another trick for using an Amex card before receiving the physical card is this: if the card shows up in your Amex app, you can add it to Apple Pay without even knowing the card number. Additionally, you can use Amex Checkout online at merchants who accept that form of payment.

Apple – Goldman Sachs

The Apple credit card issued by Goldman Sachs gives you instant ability to use the card for purchases from within Apple Pay.

Bank of America

  • Alaska Airlines card often gives an instant card number

The only BofA card that’s commonly reported to get an instant card number is the Alaska Airlines card. Many have gotten an instant card number for Alaska while some have not. (One reader was told that the card can only be used on Alaska Airlines purchases. I haven’t heard others mention that.)

Others report that all Bank of America cards will sometimes get an instant card number upon approval.


  • Barclaycard does not offer instant card numbers

I’ve never seen a report for Barclaycard to offer an instant number and it probably does not exist. The only exception is the Barclaycard Uber card: when you get instantly approved with an in-app application, the card will immediately show up for use in the Uber app (it still won’t be usable elsewhere since you’ll only see the last 4 digits).


BBVA does not offer their card number instantly. However, I was told by a BBVA rep that it’s possible to get the card number by going into a physical branch and verifying your identity. In practice, it’s reported that the folks at the branch won’t necessarily be willing to give out the card number.

Blispay 2% Card

Blispay gives out an instant card number to use until the physical card comes in the mail.

Capital One

After being approved you can see all of the card details in-app. However, some readers report only being able to see the last 4-digits which isn’t very too useful. Others are able to see the entire number and use the card immediately.


  • Chase does not offer instant card numbers.

The only place we’ve seen Chase issue a card instantly is the Chase Starbucks card which instantly makes the new card available virtually, but only to load your Starbucks app, not for use elsewhere. Similarly, the Chase Amazon card becomes available instantly for use on Amazon only (1).


Based on my conversation with a Citi rep, they’ll sometimes offer an instant card number for two cards:

  • American Airlines
  • AT&T

Regarding the latter, I assume the logic is due to the fact that the AT&T card is especially aimed at online shoppers, making the card number more important than the physical card. (See also this comment.)

  • The Costco card can also get an instant card number, see Costco (below)

Costco Credit Card

The Costco credit card does get an instant card issued, only when you apply in a Costco store. They’ll print out a temporary card number/bar code right at the desk and you’ll be able to use that at checkout. (1)


  • Discover does not offer instant card numbers

I’ve never seen a report for Discover to offer an instant number and it probably does not exist.


Final is a company that specializes in offering unique card numbers under one account. They also issue a card number instantly upon approval so you don’t need to wait for the physical card to come in the mail to start using it.


A report that the MGM Resorts M life MasterCard gets printed out and issued instantly upon approval when you apply inside an MGM resort at the M life counter.


HSBC will give you a credit card number after approval, unfortunately they don’t give you a CVV2 number or the expiry date so it’s largely useless.

Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU)

Reader Jason reports getting a virtual credit card number via email around 24 hours after approval from NFCU. Not sure if they always send this or it’s YMMV.


  • Ebates credit card
  • Paypal/eBay 3/2/1 credit card will give a small credit line of $250, which can be used for Paypal purchases only (IIRC)
  • Paypal 2% cash back credit card will give an instant line or credit (probably a smaller one)

These two cards are known to give an instant number, probably because both are meant especially for online purchases.


USAA gives you an instant card number to use (card number, expiration, and 3-digit code). This has a maximum credit limit of $1,000 (increased when physical card arrives).

US Bank

US Bank does not ever issue instant credit card numbers, that I’m aware. (1)

How it Works with Store Cards

Many stores offer their own branded credit card; either as a Visa/MC/Amex-issued card which can be used anywhere and more often they are for in-store use only. When applying for a store credit card in-store or online, you’ll often be able to use them immediately upon approval for that day’s purchases.

For future purchases as well it may be possible to use, even before getting the physical card:

  • Some stores may offer you a temporary card number to use. Dick Sporting does this (heard from PF Digest), and I’ve heard Target does this with their REDcard.
  • Some stores may allow you to use the card whenever you wish by verifying your personal info at the POS. Best Buy does this – if you don’t have your Best Buy store card handy, you input your info into the POS and make the purchase that way. Same with Kohl’s.
  • Cabela’s issues instantly a physical card when getting approved for their credit card in store (1).
  • Walmart Capital One card is available instantly for use (1)
  • Also, check out this list from ProudMoney for a list of many store cards and whether they offer the ability to use instantly.


If you want to get a credit card number instantly, prominent options would be: any Amex card, Alaska from BofA, American or AT&T from Citi.

As with everything else in life, YMMV, you may not always have success getting the number instantly. As noted above, you’re only likely to get the card number right away when getting an instant approval. Also, a Citi rep told me, that there may be other security factors, such as IP address, which determine whether the system will offer the instant card number.

It’s worth noting that with the emergence of mobile wallets, once you have the card number, you can add it to your mobile wallet and use it in stores as well. Please let us know if you’ve had other experiences in this realm and we’ll add it to the post.

Further Reading: (1, 2, 34, 5, 6, 78, 9)

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Great content as always. You guys rock!


Just got an AMEX card and card number did not appear upon approval.

Called AMEX and they would not give me number, told to wait for card in mail.

No mention of reward for card number not appearing.


That is always the case with me, having to do a big expense and no card ready to meet minimum spend. However, even when I did have the card/account number, i did not have the expiration date and security code to be able to use online. And yet you say it can be done. How? thanks for these articles by the way,


Responded to a Citi AAdvantage offer with instant approval but no virtual account number. I created an online account but it just gives an error. I called and got the run around from customer service and new accounts. They refused to expedite or to provide a VAN. I have a $3k bill due in two days that I wanted to use this card for. Any tips on dealing with Citi? I am thinking of just calling to cancel the card since they were so unfriendly over the phone.


It turns out that you must have a current bank account or another card with Citi to immediately receive a VAN. Already called Citi and closed the account. They didn’t even try to stop me. I immediately went to check out BoA’s offers. They provided me with a temp. account number with their Alaska Airlines card in less than 60 seconds. The current Jan 2016 offer is a $100 credit after $1k spend plus 25k miles including first checked bag free on their flights .


I am leaving here the info that Chase will give a credt card number at a branch, with valid photo ID. They will only give you the account number, but the exp date will 3 years and 0 months from your date of approval. The card will not be usable until the following day of approval (24 hours after approval)

Also, BofA will give any card number over the phone within a few hours of approval – some CSRs will NOT offer this but some will. I have never failed calling several times and getting one that will. They will give you the exp date.


Also for Chase, if the card shows up in your online account, you will be able to get the full card number from software that accesses your account such as Quicken.


I was approved for the Amex EveryDay Card last night. I applied because I had read they issue numbers right away, and will expedite a card. I have expensive equipment that I need to replace right away and they are offering 0% financing for 12 months.

I tried chat first, who told me to call 877-399-3083. The representative at this number did not even look up my account information. Just right away said that because I was approved online, the system does not allow them to access card information and there was no way they could expedite the card. I would just have to wait the 7-10 days.

Hose Bowen

Con you give me your credit card number


[…] List of Credit Cards that Issue an … – Home; Credit Cards. Credit Card Reference Pages; Master List Of Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses; Master List Of Business Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses; Secured … […]


[…] looking for a credit card that will give you the credit card number after being instantly approved, you want this post. In some circumstances you can also get your credit card expedited to make shipping […]


Amex Delta Gold gives you the number ass well as Expedia credit card and Orbitz …. Some other cards saves on file after approval and ready to use are Walmart Amtrak

Tan T
Tan T

Amex Delta Gold temp number can only be used to buy on Delta, not anything else.


is it good




Amex everyday here. Chat rep says I have virtual account number and to call amex. Called amex they said this is only for delta cards and not mine. She didnt even see my account and she didnt wanted. Phone rep was from India, probably too busy doing customer service for best buy, sears, and all others at the same time.

Eriki vision
Eriki vision

Ya amex everyday got messed up they processed my application twice, didn’t get the card.


When I applied for Amex BCP (not targeted) they gave me an instant card number. Just got approved instantly for Amex SPG biz, and AMEX BGR and neither times was I given an instant card number. Reps said no way they can give me one and no rewards for not being offered one. Bummed I need these to pay down student loan debt before they take away the ability on the first.


[…] of Credit has a great roundup of information about Cards that Issue an Instant Card Number Upon Approval. Below is a brief summary, broken down by the more popular banks. I suggest reading his post as […]


SPG Personal (the new 35k link, and yes, I used a referral) did provide me with an instant card number!


Hey so what did you say ,….


I tried today same card and they told me it was impossible even for my stay at a Marriott that starts tomorrow.

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