The length of time needed to get a credit card varies depending on the lender. Many credit card companies have the card in the consumer's hands within 14 business days from the date when the application was approved.
Consumers who do not receive an instant approval after submitting an application online can expect to receive a response by mail within seven to 10 business days. If an application was submitted by mail, the applicant should expect a longer turnaround time since the application must be entered into a computer. If the application is approved, the card is mailed to the account holder. The credit card must be activated before it can be used to make purchases.