Receiving a brand new credit card can be an exciting time for you while working on building up your credit profile. Getting the credit card in your hand quickly depends on your credit history and the method you take to apply for the credit card. There are generally three ways to apply for a credit card: online, by phone and in person at a bank, store or credit union.

Apply Online

Going directly to the website of the credit card company is usually the fastest way to get a credit card. The entire credit application can be done -- from start to finish -- in less than 20 minutes. The information asked on the application is basic information you would usually know off the top of your head, such as your address, contact information, income and school information if you're applying for a student credit card.

Apply By Phone

Entering a credit card application by phone is similar to doing it online, but it entails wait times and speaking directly with a customer service agent. You'll have to verbally provide all of your contact and income information to the agent. Both applying online and by phone require that the credit card be mailed to you after approval.

Apply In Person

A few banks, retailers and credit unions that offer credit cards allow you to apply for them in person. You'll provide the same basic information as you would when applying online or by phone. Even though you're applying in person, you'll still have to wait for your card to arrive in the mail. With chain store credit cards, the retail clerk might provide you with a receipt that allows you to begin using your credit line immediately.

Considerations

Receiving your credit card quickly can depend on your credit history. The amount of time it takes to receive an approval -- both online and by phone -- can range from minutes to weeks. If your credit history isn't exactly what the company is looking for, then your application might need to be reviewed by an underwriter before your application is finally approved or declined. It's helpful to review the specific credit requirements for the credit card you're applying for before submitting an application.