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Although you may be approved for a card right away, it will take some time for it to reach your mailbox. How long it takes depends on the issuing bank. It could be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks from the date you apply before you have your new credit card in hand.

When your application is approved – whether that’s right away, or up to a few weeks after you apply – you will be given a timeframe within which you can expect to receive your new card. If you don’t get it by that time, contact the credit card issuer to follow up.

Keep in mind that some credit cards won’t require the actual card to use the account. You might be approved for an account and given the number right away so you can shop online or use your new card with a mobile wallet. The actual plastic credit card isn’t always needed to use a new credit account.