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Getting approved instantly for a credit card is now easier than ever. Credit card issuers use sophisticated algorithms to approve applications in seconds instead of days or weeks. Instant approval credit cards can tell applicants whether they’ve been approved or rejected within minutes after applying online.

Instant approval cards have made the credit card application process much faster and more efficient. But remember that instant approval is not the same as guaranteed approval. You must still meet the credit card’s eligibility and qualification requirements to get approved. This article reviews some of the best instant approval credit cards available in Canada right now. 

Best Instant Approval Credit Cards In Canada 2024

CardAnnual FeeRewardsIncome Requirement
Neo Secured Credit Card$0Up to 5% cash backNo minimum
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card$0Up to 2% cash back$12,000
BMO CashBack® Mastercard®$0Up to 3% cash back$15,000
Scotiabank® Scene+™ Visa Card$0Up to 2x Scene+ points (2%)$12,000
Capital One Guaranteed Mastercard®$59No cash back/rewardsNo minimum
Neo Credit

Neo Financial Secured Credit Card

The Neo Secured Credit card stands out for its flexibility and ease of approval. As a secured credit card, you must make a deposit of at least $50. However, those with stronger credit scores won’t need the secured option and can qualify for the Neo Credit card

Furthermore, the card offers strong rewards for a secured card. With no annual fee and up to 5% cash back bonuses, savvy users can maximize value. Upgrading to Neo Premium means enhancing your cash back rewards, credit score monitoring, and more. This card provides a lot of value as a secured, or unsecured credit card. 

Neo Secured Credit Card Features

  • Annual Fee: $0, or $4.99/month for Premium rewards
  • Minimum Deposit: $50
  • Purchase Rate:
    • 19.99% – 29.99%
    • QC: 19.99% – 24.99%
  • Cash Advance Rate:
    • 22.99% – 31.99%
    • QC: 22.99% – 25.99%
  • Cash Back:
    • Up to 5% at merchant partners
    • 1% on gas and groceries (3% with Neo Premium)
  • Welcome Bonus: 5% cash back from select merchants
  • Eligibility: None, no credit score requirement
  • Extra Features: Digital card, unlimited cash back rewards

Tangerine credit card

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

The Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card stands out for its flexible 2% cash back earnings rate on up to three categories you choose. With no caps on bonus category spending, cardholders can maximize reward potential in their top spending areas.

Even outside the bonus categories, its baseline 0.5% unlimited cash back across all everyday purchases makes it a compelling no-fee cash back option. 

The additional balance transfer welcome offer provides further incentive on top of strong cash back rewards. Overall, it’s an incredible card for anyone looking for a no-fee option.

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card Features

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Purchase Rate: 19.95%
  • Cash Advance Rate: 19.95%
  • Cash Back:
    • 2% on up to three categories of your choosing 
    • 0.5% otherwise
  • Welcome Bonus: 10% back on first purchases in the first 2 months, up to $100 in rewards, 1.95% interest on balance transfers for the first six months
  • Eligibility: $12,000 personal income and a credit score above 600
  • Extra Features: Extended warranty and purchase protection

BMO CashBack Mastercard

BMO CashBack® Mastercard®

The BMO CashBack Mastercard is an appealing option for those seeking instant approval. It provides up to 3% money back on key categories like grocery and gas with no annual fee. Although there are monthly spending caps on the 3% earnings, the card offers above-average rewards for a no-fee card. Cardholders can expect to earn over $250 annually through the great grocery and modest bill cash back rewards. 

Its $0 annual fee, digital account access, easy redemption process, and ancillary cardholder perks make it a standout instant approval credit card with an above-average earnings rate. Switching products into premium BMO rewards cards in the future provides additional long-term value. 

BMO CashBack Mastercard Features

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Purchase Rate: 20.99%
  • Cash Advance Rate:
    • 22.99%
    • QC: 21.99%
  • Welcome Bonus: 5% cash back in your first 3 months and a 0.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months
  • Cash Back:
    • 3% on groceries
    • 1% on recurring bills
    • 0.5% otherwise 
  • Eligibility: $15,000 of personal income and a credit score of around 600
  • Extra Features: 25% off National and Alamo car rentals, 15% off Cirque du Soleil tickets, and 20% off resident shows in Vegas

Scotiabank® Scene+™ Visa Card

Scotiabank® Scene+™ Visa Card

Scotiabank’s no-fee SCENE+ credit card receives consistent praise for its substantial 2x rewards at Cineplex and select merchant partners. Its ability to earn points adds up quickly, with the potential for you to get over $270 in Scene+ rewards annually.

The scaled-down 1x everyday rate is offset by the 25% rental car discount and its quick approval process. Overall, the Scotiabank Scene+ card is a rewarding no-fee cash back credit card – especially for cinema devotees looking to earn discounted movies and entertainment.

Scotiabank Scene+ Visa Features

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Minimum Income: $12,000
  • Purchase Rate: 19.99%
  • Cash Advance Rate: 22.99%
  • Welcome Bonus: Up to 5000 scene points, worth up to $50
  • Rewards:
  • Eligibility: $12,000 of personal income and a credit score of 660 or above
  • Extra Features: 25% off at Avis and Budget car rental locations 

Cap One Card

Capital One Guaranteed Mastercard®

The Capital One Guaranteed Mastercard stands out with guaranteed approval. You will be approved if you meet the basic eligibility criteria, like being the age of majority and providing the required security deposit.

Since it is a secured credit card, the Capital One Guaranteed Mastercard requires a fully refundable upfront deposit. The deposit amount then becomes your credit limit. Depending on applicant details, minimum deposits range from $75 to $300. 

So while the card doesn’t offer rewards, the guaranteed approval makes it much easier to obtain. Especially if you have a poor or limited credit history. Using the card responsibly can also help build credit over time.

Capital One Guaranteed Mastercard Features

  • Annual Fee: $59
  • Purchase Rate: 21.9%
  • Cash Advance Rate: 21.9%
  • Deposit: Up to $300
  • Welcome Bonus: N/A
  • Rewards: N/A
  • Eligibility: Guaranteed if you are of the age of majority and have no other Capital One products. No credit score requirement
  • Extra Features: Zero fraud liability, baggage delay insurance, car rental collision insurance

What To Look For In An Instant Approval Credit Card

1. Lucrative Welcome Bonuses

Seek cards offering substantial sign-up bonuses within a specific spending window after approval. These bonuses can provide significant value, including cash back, points, or miles, making them a lucrative perk for new cardholders.

2. Digital Card Access

Opt for cards that swiftly provide digital versions upon approval. This enables immediate online transactions while awaiting the physical card’s arrival, ensuring seamless and immediate access to your card.

3. Enhanced Bonus Categories

Select cards with accelerated rewards in essential spending categories like groceries, dining, travel, gas, or recurring bills. Focusing on cards with strong bonus categories amplifies your reward potential, boosting your overall benefits.

4. Low Fee Structures

Consider cards with no annual fees to minimize costs while maximizing benefits. This ensures you can enjoy the perks of instant approval and rewards without the burden of additional fees.

5. Soft Credit Checks

Prioritize cards offering pre-approval with a soft credit check, allowing you to assess your eligibility without impacting your credit score. This feature offers the advantage of understanding your approval odds before applying formally.

6. Accessible Eligibility Requirements

Look for cards with reasonable income thresholds or no minimum income requirements when seeking accessible approval. Flexible income eligibility criteria make instant decisions more inclusive for applicants across financial situations.

For example, secured credit cards that require an upfront refundable deposit to set the credit limit often don’t have defined income requirements. The deposit is the collateral securing the line of credit rather than strictly the applicant’s financial profile. This provides approval leniency but does trade off requiring cash deposits.

On the other hand, unsecured rewards credit cards carry higher reward potential but tend to require stronger income minimums during the application process, along with credit checks before approval. These stricter eligibility criteria ensure responsible usage by the issuer.

How To Get Approved Instantly

First, you’ll want to check your credit score to know the probability of approval before applying. Services like CompareHub by Loans Canada provide free access to your credit score.

Next, try to pay down existing card balances to less than 30% of their limit, also known as your credit utilization ratio. High balances drag down your score.

Be sure to limit applying for multiple cards quickly, as each application typically triggers a hard credit check. Excessive checks can temporarily negate positive aspects of your credit profile, so it’s best to space out applications.

Before submitting your application, confirm you meet all eligibility criteria, including minimum credit score and income. 

Pros & Cons Of Instant Approval Credit Cards

ProsCons
– Get approved or denied within minutes
– Digital cards let you spend immediately
– Pre-qualification checks don’t hurt credit
– Easy and convenient online applications
– Approval decisions are automated 24/7
– Instant decision isn’t guaranteed approval
– In some cases, you will still undergo a hard credit check when applying
– Low credit score leads to denial
– Prescreen eligibility checks may be inaccurate

Help Rebuilding Credit With An Instant Approval Secured Card

For those with poor credit who are denied at the instant approval stage, a secured credit card is a great option that can help rebuild your credit score. These cards require an upfront, refundable security deposit that acts as collateral and sometimes sets the card’s spending limit.

They are also much easier to qualify for since little or no credit check is required. Using a secured card responsibly demonstrates that you can properly manage credit and make timely monthly payments, improving your score. Two great options are: 

  • Capital One Guaranteed Mastercard – Provides guaranteed approval for applicants who meet eligibility criteria and make the required refundable deposit to open the card.
  • Neo Secured Credit –  Applicants who can meet the minimum security deposit requirement of $50 will be approved and no credit check is required/

The Bottom Line

Instant approval credit cards provide a fast, convenient way to get approved for new credit in minutes. By utilizing automated underwriting systems, these cards can dramatically accelerate the application process compared to traditional manual reviews. This accelerated process saves time compared to traditional underwriting. 

Approval odds increase when you have a good credit score (660+) and meet all eligibility criteria. While approval is not assured, these cards offer a straightforward pathway to accessing new credit quickly in today’s digital world. Even if initially denied, the instant decision process makes it easy to understand where your credit profile stands and what steps may be needed to qualify eventually.

Trevor O'Hagan avatar on Loans Canada
Trevor O'Hagan

Trevor is a personal finance, SEO, and technical sales expert. He received an Honours BAA (Economics) degree from Wilfrid Laurier University. Trevor previously worked at Salesforce and used his personal finance knowledge to become a homeowner in Ontario by age 25. Aside from Loans Canada, Trevor contributes to Forbes Advisor and Hardbacon. He also serves as the chairman of the Schwartz-Reisman Alumni Association and is a content specialist at Croton Content.

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