How Long Does It Take to Receive a New Credit Card?

How Long Does It Take to Receive a New Credit Card?

June 23, 2020         Written By Tracy Farnsworth

Your credit card was lost, stolen, or misplaced. Waiting for the replacement card seems to be taking an eternity. Your card’s expiration is coming up and you still do not have the new card. Maybe you applied for a new credit card and were approved, but the new card does not seem to be arriving quickly. You are in a time crunch and all of this waiting is causing stress. How long does it take to receive a new credit card? It comes down to where you live, what card you have, and the circumstances surrounding why you are getting that card.

The General Rule of Thumb

A good rule of thumb is that you will have your new card in 7 to 10 business days. This estimate tends to be exaggerated as many credit card companies deliver new cards in just a few days. If it has been 10 days or longer and you still do not have your card, you should call to make sure the card was sent. Some factors can lead to extensive delays, and some of them are out of your control. Others are easily controlled with a little advanced planning.

What Can Cause Delays?

When you have not received your card in the 7 to 10-day average, what went wrong? It might not be your fault at all.

Application Errors and Typos

One of the biggest reasons for a delay is that you made a mistake filling out your application. If you accidentally messed up your zip code, the post office may have been unable to deliver your card. The same is true if you mixed up two numbers in your house number when typing your address into the box on the online credit card application. If you live at 378 and typed 738, your credit card may have been delivered to the wrong person. Make sure you triple check information before you submit it. If you suspect you have filled out the application incorrectly, call the credit card issuer ASAP.

Frequent Card Replacements

Is this the fourth, fifth, sixth, etc. card you have lost this year? That may impact how quickly you get the next replacement. Credit card companies understand that cards get lost or stolen, but it is harder to overlook an excessive number of card replacements. If you do have an excessive number of requests, you could be charged for replacement cards. Your account may be flagged with a fraud warning requiring extra scrutiny before a new card is issued. Some banks may close your account if the number of card replacements is excessive.

Mail Theft or Lost Mail

The USPS estimates close to 150 billion pieces of mail are delivered each year. Mail theft happens. If you are expecting a new credit card and have not received it, call your credit card company. There is that small chance that the card was stolen from your mailbox. If you suspect you are the victim of mail theft, alert your postmaster and local authorities. Also, tell your credit card company. Your new card number will be canceled and a new card will be printed and sent to you.

Your new credit card may simply have been lost in the mail. Through no fault of yours, the postal machinery may have damaged your mail. If that happens, the mail may be delivered to you in an envelope with whatever could be recovered. If the envelope is destroyed and the post office cannot match the card to an address, you will never see that card. Mail that is destroyed is sent to the Mail Recovery Center where they try to find an address. If they can not, it is destroyed or returned to the sender. You should check with your credit card company to see if the card was returned to them.

Bad Timing

You may be dealing with bad timing. If you applied for a new credit card on a Friday afternoon and the application is processed closer to 5 p.m., the mail may not get picked up until Monday. That means you have waited three extra days before your card is even sent to you. It is possible you will not receive the new card until the following Monday, depending on your location. Holidays can also impact how quickly cards are sent out. If you put in a request for a card replacement or new card on Friday and Monday is a holiday, it is unlikely your application or request would be processed until Tuesday.

Location

The farther you are from the credit card issuer’s offices, the longer it can take. If you live in the contiguous U.S., mail times will be faster than if you live in Alaska, Hawaii, or one of the U.S. territories. If your new credit card is printed in Arizona and you live in New England, it is going to take longer to get to you than if you lived in Colorado. Per the USPS, first-class mail takes up to three business days, but standard (bulk) mail can take up to 14 days depending on the location. While companies use bulk mail to save money, it can pose additional problems as there may not be forwarding or return service if the mailing address is incorrect.

Database Updates

A lost or stolen card has to be processed in the database before the new card is mailed to you. Your account has to be updated with the canceled card information, any purchases/charges made to the old card have to be verified, and the new card is printed and mailed after that. It can take a little time to update systems, especially if the lost/stolen card notification is submitted on a bank holiday or weekend.

High-Tier Cards

Did you qualify for a high-tier credit card? Cards with exceptional reward programs or low interest rates may need to have the application go through a manual review. The computer review is not enough. Once the manual review is complete, your information will be entered into the system and your card will be printed and mailed along with the welcome package.

Storms/Airport Closures

Mail times also vary. Storms and natural disasters can slow the postal system’s delivery times. If there is a blizzard that causes airport closures and grounds planes, it may lead to delays of several days. Check to see if any storms occurred between your home and the credit card company’s office that could have caused flight delays.

Ways to Receive Your Card Faster Than the Average

For whatever reason, you need your credit card now and can not wait 10 days. You might be heading out of town on a vacation or business trip, you might have an urgent purchase to make. There are ways to get your card faster than the average 7 to 10 days.

Same-Day Approval Cards

Before filling out a credit card application, look for cards that have same-day approval. If you narrow your choices to companies that offer instant approval, you can apply and have your card mailed to you the same day. That will save time.

Expedited Delivery

When you apply for a new credit card, ask the company if they offer expedited delivery. You may have to pay for this service, but it depends on the bank. Call the toll-free number, explain that you need expedited shipping, and see what happens. The worst that will happen is you are told that it is not possible. If you make the request, it could lead to the card representative helping to expedite getting your card printed and sent out and that is better than nothing.

Printed While You Wait

If you are replacing a credit card, see if the company has a local branch. If there is, you might be able to get the new credit card printed while you wait. It may not be a chip card for now, but it is better than nothing when you are stressed and need a card now.

Temporary Card Numbers

Ask the credit card company if you can receive a temporary card number. Not every company offers them, but if they do, it can help in a pinch. You cannot always use the card in stores, but you can use them online or over the phone. The exception is a store card. If you apply for a new credit card in a store and are making a purchase, the temporary card number can often be used for that purchase. If you are given a temporary card number, it is going to have a different card number to the card you receive in the mail. It may also have a different expiration date. If you use the temporary card number for a subscription service, make sure you update the card information when your credit card arrives in the mail.

When possible, apply for a replacement card or new credit card early in the week. If you request the credit card on a Monday, you are going to have it sooner than if you wait until the weekend is almost here. You can not always choose the day you need a replacement for a lost or stolen card, but you can be aware of mailing times and have a better understanding of how long it is going to take to get your new card.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of June 23, 2020. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

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tracy

About Tracy Farnsworth

Tracy Farnsworth went straight from a business track in high school to a full-time job in mortgage banking in Burlington, Vermont. After having children, she built a freelance career in content writing and took online classes as time allowed. She completed Social Media Marketing and Digital Marketing certificate programs with Ireland's online Shaw Academy and completed several courses in SEO and analytics. In her free time, she's the “mom” to a very clingy rat terrier, and the pair walk at least a mile every day. She's also a novice baker who is trying to master the art of sourdough bread.