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Instant decision credit cards - how will you choose yours?

Mar 23, 2008
As well as giving you the same benefits and features of any other credit card, instant decision credit cards also offer you the added convenience of receiving an instant online decision on your application. As with other credit cards, they also have a vast range of associated deals, perks and loyalty reward schemes. Given that you know there will be a speedy decision made on your application, isn't it worth taking the time out to investigate the APR's interest rates and, of course, the offers and incentives that are designed to attract your custom?

Of course, it's not just banks and building societies that are offering instant decision credit cards; many supermarkets and even charities have seen the need for quick access for credit and are matching the offers made by the larger financial institutions. For example, the Amazon Credit Card makes the standard introductory offers on 0% interest on balance transfers and purchases for set periods of time. The loyalty rewards scheme gives you a 15 Amazon gift certificate for signing up and from there, you receive 1 point for every 1 spent on Amazon and a further 0.5 points for spending anywhere else. As with any other card, you also get online fraud protection and access to your online account. The card is operated by Halifax, so you receive all the security benefits that they apply to their other credit cards.

The decisions are made, using information from credit companies, such as Experian, Hyperion or Equifax. These companies hold details of your credit score and it is this that will determine whether or not you will be approved for instant decision credit cards. Your credit score is a numerical value that reflects your personal spending history. It covers details of your ability to manage credit and make repayments on time. Should your credit score be a positive one, you will be deemed to represent a lesser risk to a lender than if you have incurred penalties and fines through credit mismanagement. A positive credit score is likely to bring you the approval you are looking for.

To apply, you need to be a UK resident over the age of 18 and to verify that the credit card will be for personal use. You will also need to have a current account and show that you have a regular salary. Some platinum cards require you to be over the age of 21 or 25. But before you have reached this part of the process, you should have done a bit of 'shopping around'; just because you require a credit card quickly, you should still check out the range of deals and facilities that instant decision credit cards have to offer.

The interest rate that comes into play after any introductory offer is often very competitive and loyalty reward schemes often include excellent travel and shopping discounts. So you can see that the perks offered by instant decision credit cards are almost as important as the speedy decision process itself.

Many consumers like to use online comparison sites to aid them in their quest for credit cards. Most of these sites devote considerable space to instant decision credit cards and display the offers, APRs and interest rates in a table that is easy to read and from which you can make quick comparisons and assessments. While it's obviously a good thing that no single card issuer has a monopoly on the credit card market, it does make choosing your credit card that bit harder. However, if you remember that the little bit of research you do can only be beneficial to you, it makes the process far easier to bear.
About the Author
Nick Jenkins - a freelance personal finance writer in the UK credit industry - reviews the pros and cons of instant decision credit cards and the benefits of shopping around to benefit from the wide range of offers available with these cards.
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