Good credit is hard to define, but one thing we can say is that good credit is not bad credit. In other words, if you haven’t defaulted on a loan or habitually missed payments on your credit cards or otherwise treated paying your debts as optional, you probably have good credit, or at least average credit. If you like to think in terms of credit scores, 650 to 750 might be considered “average” in the credit card world, while anything above 750 would be good to excellent credit.
The credit cards below offer instant approval (or at least an instant decision) and prefer average, good, and excellent credit customers. Almost all of them offer a range of interest rates — the better your credit, the better your chances of being approved at a lower rate. If your credit score is a bit lower, expect to be offered the middle or high end of the rate range.
- Capital One Quicksilver Rewards Visa – Capital One says this about instant approval on all of its credit cards: “Capital One will attempt to provide a decision in 60 seconds or less. However, in some cases we need to collect additional information to make a decision.” This card is their simplest reward card to understand — it offers 1.5% cash back on all of your purchases. Interest rate as low as 13.49% but possibly as high as 23.49% depending on your credit history.
- Barclaycard CashForward MasterCard – This cash back card gives you a 1.5% rebate on all your purchases, and it promises an “instant decision” on your application. In addition to the 1.5% rebate, every time you redeem your earnings (once you’ve earned at least $50), you’ll get an extra 5% of the redemption amount tossed into your account to get you started toward your next rebate.
- Amazon Rewards Visa – This Amazon credit card from Chase suggests instant approval in the fine print: “If you respond via the Internet, the majority of applications are responded to in less than 60 seconds… We may not be able to give you an immediate answer in every instance.” It’s a rewards card that gives you a 3% rebate on Amazon.com purchases, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drug stores, and 1% back everywhere else. (Note that if you are a paid Amazon Prime member, you get 5% back on Amazon purchases with this card.) Interest rate as low as 14.74% for very good credit customers, but as high as 22.74% if your credit is closer to average.
- BankAmericard Cash Rewards Visa – “Get a response in as little as 60 seconds.” Good credit customers who get approved will enjoy cash back to the tune of a 3% rebate cash back on gas, 2% rebate on grocery and wholesale club purchases, and 1% cash back on everything else. Note the 3% gas and 2% grocery rebate is good on up to $2500 in combined purchases in those categories each quarter. If you spend beyond $2500 on gas and groceries, the 1% rebate will kick in on those purchases. Interest rate could be as low as 13.49% for very good credit customers but as high as 23.49% for those with average/fair credit.
- Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express – The message “Get a decision in as little as 60 seconds” is shown on almost all American Express online card applications, and this card is the card they feature most often. It offers 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (1% cash back after $6000); 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations; 2% cash back at certain U.S. department stores; and 1% cash back on other purchases. Interest rate as low as 13.74% but possibly as high as 23.74% depending on your credit history.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited – Chase does not advertise this as instant approval, but a member of our staff (with good credit) just got the card and was approved instantly — so there you go. Get 1.5% cash back on all your purchases with this Visa credit card.
- Capital One VentureOne Card – Like all Capital One consumer credit cards, this one “will attempt to provide a decision in 60 seconds or less,” and good credit customers are more likely to get that instant approval. This travel credit card offers 1.25 points per dollar charged to the card, and you use your points to offset travel expenses. (Each point equals 1 penny, e.g., 10,000 points would equal a $100 rebate toward your travel expenses.) You’ll get 20,000 bonus miles (worth $200) if you spend at least $1000 with the card in the first 3 months that you have it.
- First National Bank of Omaha American Express – Offers 1.5% cash back on all card purchases; you actually get the money as a $25 statement credit every time you reach that amount. Instant approval is not guaranteed, but the bank says it will attempt to do so, and our assumption is that having good credit is the key to that immediate approval.
- US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature – US Bank says it will give an instant decision on most of its credit cards within 2-3 minutes, and we consider this reward card their best. It offers 5% cash back on two spending categories of your choice, 2% cash back one “everyday” spending category, and 1% back on all other purchases. There are a few more details and limitations to consider, so be sure to read all the information provided before you apply.
- Capital One Premier Dining Rewards Card – If you have excellent credit, Capital One will attempt to approve you instantly for this rewards card that gives you 3% cash back on restaurant purchases, 2% cash back on groceries, and 1% cash back on all your other card purchases.
- L.L. Bean Visa – If you have good credit, you can apply for, and likely be approved instantly for, this outdoor store card that immediately gives you 15% off today’s purchases. After that, you’ll earn 3% rewards on L.L. Bean purchases and 1% in rewards on all other card purchases. Every time you reach $10 in rewards, you get a $10 L.L. Bean rewards coupon.
- Hilton HHonors Card from American Express – Hotel rewards credit card says you could “get a decision in as little as 60 seconds.” If you get that instant approval, you’ll earn increased points not only at Hilton (7 points per dollar) but also 5 Hilton points per dollar spent at restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations, and 3 HHonors points per dollar on everything else.
- BankAmericard MasterCard – This instant approval credit card does not offer any rewards program, but if your credit is good, you can get an interest rate as low as 11.49%. If your credit isn’t as good, you could be approved at a higher rate, possibly as high as 21.49%. Still, you’ll get a lower rate with this card than almost any reward credit card.