Disclosure: The Points Pundit receives NO compensation from credit card affiliate partnerships. Support the blog by applying for a card through my personal referral links. This article is meant for information purposes only and doesn’t constitute personal finance, health or investment advice. Please consult a licensed professional for advice pertaining to your situation.


During the Covid-19 pandemic, we saw many card issuers offer a ton of digital options. Overall, issuers started moving a majority of their customer touch points to digital channels instead of tradition mail or other physical channels. Amex also offers a handy tool for customers upon approval of a card. Upon approval, Amex lets you access an instant card number before your card arrives in the mail. This feature is particularly useful if you’re looking to make a big purchase but don’t want to wait until the card arrives.

Amex’s instant card number facility

As per Amex’s own page detailing the same, they offer an instant card number to qualifying customers. As per these FAQs, Amex says that “Instant Card Number is available for all American Express Consumer Credit and Charge Cards”. However, I’ve been able to get an instant card number for business cards from Amex as well. Here’s how the process has worked in my experience.

Step 1: Apply for a card and get approved

Once you apply for a card, hopefully you’ll get an instant confirmation that Amex approved your application.

instant card number


Step 2: Look out for an email confirming the approval

During this step, Amex should ideally email you a link to view your instant card number

instant card number

Step 3: Complete Verification

Once you click on ‘get your card number’, Amex website will ask you to complete a 4 step verification process. In the first step, you simply have to select the option, ‘I want to use my card number’.

instant card number

Step 4: You’ll need to verify your identity

Here you have a couple of options. If you’re an existing customer, Amex may ask you to verify by entering the 4 digit security pin that you’ve created. Conversely, they may also you details about another Amex card that you currently have.

instant card number

I usually enter my 4 digit security pin to proceed

Once that’s complete, the next couple of steps are primarily disclosures about card benefits and rates that you have to agree to. Once you complete that, Amex pops up an instant card number with a temporary CID code. The page expires in about 3 minutes. However, Amex lets you download a PDF copy or you can simply take a screenshot.

instant card number

Once you have access to the temporary card number, you can use it for 15 days or until the physical card arrives, whichever happens earlier.

The Pundit’s Mantra

Also, every now and then, Amex’s website runs into a glitch and doesn’t show the instant card number. In the past, I once ran into this issue after applying for the Hilton Aspire card. I contacted Amex and they gave me a nice $100 statement credit just to make up for the inconvenience.

Overall, I think that this is a fantastic feature and I wish more card issuers start offering this option across the board. Firstly, it lets you work towards a welcome bonus if you have a big purchase coming up and don’t want to wait until the card arrives in the mail. Secondly, it’s great if you’re a road warrior and want to immediately use the card before returning home.


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