One of the easiest ways to see if you qualify for a credit card without requesting a credit check is by seeing if you are prequalified or preapproved for offers. These “soft inquiries” don’t affect your credit score when you are relying on every single point to increase your odds of approval. Here are a few ways to get preapproved for a credit card and not sweat about your next application.
Check Your Mailbox
One of the easiest ways to find out if you are pre-approved or pre-qualified for an offer. If you receive mail from the various credit card companies, it means you are pre-approved for those specific credit cards. The offers can be for cash back credit cards or travel rewards credit cards.
Ask Your Bank
Most banks and credit unions also offer a credit card. Since you already have an established financial relationship, your approval odds can be a lot higher. The bank credit cards can have just as good of rewards (or better) than credit cards not affiliated with a bank.
Some banks even offer loyalty bonuses if you also use their credit card. This can be especially true if you bank with Bank of America or Wells Fargo that offer bonus year-end purchase rewards.
Check the Credit Card Websites
You can also go directly to the credit card companies and see which cards you automatically qualify for.
The last suggestion, CreditCards.com CardMatch, can be an easy way to determine if you are prequalified for offers from all the credit card companies. Based on the information you provide CardMatch, you will receive a list with the best offers. This isn’t quite the same thing as being told you are pre-approved directly from the credit company, but, it is very reliable.
Approval Isn’t Guaranteed
Bear in mind that approval isn’t guaranteed just because you are receiving offers in the mail. If you have been trying to rebuild your credit, these offers are a positive sign that your credit is “prime” at least.
Tip: Read our suggestions on how to boost your credit score!
The credit card company will still do a “hard pull” on your credit report during the application process. During the application process, your credit history will be reviewed for any missed payments, recent changes to your credit profile, and other relevant financial history.
Chances are you will most likely be approved if you are responding to a pre-approval offer, unless you recently missed a payment, approved for a large loan, or your credit score dropped after the initial offer was sent because you were rejected for several credit card applications after receiving the prequalified offer.
Apply for Other Credit Cards
By doing a little research on sites like CreditCards.com or CreditKarma, you can also find out the average applicant credit score for existing cardholders. Sometimes the average score will be listed on the card. Other times, you will need to read the user reviews and look to see if others mention their credit score, income, and credit history.
Even though a credit card might show up as a prequalified offer, you might be able to qualify for it if you have a similar credit score and history as some of the other applicants.
The easiest way to see if you are prequalified for a credit card is to directly ask the card issuer. You can submit your information online and usually receive an offer in less than 60 seconds. It is free and doesn’t impact your credit score until you apply for the card. Checking your prequalified offers first can be a wise way to establish credit and preserve your credit score at the same time.