Gone are the days of checking your mailbox daily for the latest and greatest credit card offers. Instead, you can now access your offers at your convenience via the Internet, thanks to modern-day technology.
It’s a great way to browse prequalified credit card offers on your terms rather than waiting for one to show up in the mail.
How to See If You’re Preapproved for a Credit Card
Preapproval for a credit card indicates that you’ve passed an initial screening by the issuer, and you’re more likely to be approved if you apply. Remember, preapproval does not guarantee approval, but it’s a good indicator. If you’re curious to know if you’ve been preapproved for a credit card, here are several ways you can find out:
- Visit the credit card issuer’s website: Most major credit card companies have an online tool that lets you check if you’re preapproved. Visit the issuer’s official website and look for a section labeled “preapproved” or “prequalify”. After entering some basic information, such as your name and Social Security number, the tool will list any offers for which you might be a good fit. We list details of all the major banks below.
- Check your mail: Credit card companies often send preapproval offers through postal mail. These offers might include special promotions or introductory rates. If you’re interested in the offer, there’s usually a unique code or website you can use to respond. Ensure to read all terms and conditions before applying.
- Credit bureau offers: Some credit bureaus may provide preapproved credit card offers as a part of their service, especially if you’re subscribed to their credit monitoring or identity protection services.
- Ask directly: If you have an existing relationship with a bank or credit union, you can ask them directly if you’ve been preapproved for any of their credit card products. This can be done in-person at a branch, over the phone, or sometimes through your online banking portal.
- Promotional events: Occasionally, banks or credit card companies set up booths at events, malls, or other public places. They may have exclusive preapproval offers for attendees or passersby. If you come across such an event, you can inquire about preapprovals.
- Opt-In for offers: You can choose to opt-in for preapproved credit offers via the official Consumer Credit Reporting Companies’ website. This allows credit card companies to send you preapproval offers, increasing your chances of finding one that fits your needs.
- Review Your Existing Account: Sometimes, if you have an existing credit card account, the issuer may notify you of other cards or products for which you’re preapproved. This could be found in your online account dashboard or mobile app.
Important Reminder: Preapproval doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed approval. It simply means you meet the initial criteria set by the issuer. A full application will still undergo a comprehensive review before approval is granted. Additionally, always review terms, fees, and potential interest rates before accepting any offer.
How to Access Your Credit Card Offers from Different Banks
Accessing your prequalified and preapproved credit card offers from different banks has never been more straightforward. Each bank has its own online portal and procedures to provide you with this vital information.
Here are the steps required to access these offers from a variety of banks to help you make informed decisions about your credit options.
American Express makes it easy to get your personalized offers. Get started by visiting the company’s website, then scrolling down to where it says, “Find the Card that’s right for you.”
You can choose from personal cards, small business cards, corporate cards, or prepaid cards. Then, near the top of the navigation menu, click on the option that says, “Check for Offers.”
Then, enter your full name, home address, and last four digits of your Social Security number. Your choices for that last field include travel rewards, rewards points, cashback, or “not sure yet.”
This allows American Express to tailor an offer for you better. The best part of this process is that it will enable you to check on special deals with only getting a soft pull on your credit report.
If you happened to receive a prequalified offer in the mail from Amex, you can also scroll down a little further to redeem it. You just need your zip code and 14 digit RSVP code.
Popular American Express credit cards:
- American Express Platinum Card
- American Express Gold Card
- Blue Cash Preferred Card
- American Express Green Card
- Blue Cash Everyday Card
Bank of America
You can also check for customized offers from Bank of America. Like American Express, it doesn’t hurt your credit score, and it’s fast. In fact, you can get an offer in less than 60 seconds.
So, what do you need to do? Visit B of A’s customized offer page and fill out the data fields. You’ll first be asked if you currently have an online bank account with Bank of America, which just lets you use the information they already have on hand about you.
Next, you can select a specific type of credit card you’re interested in: cash rewards, travel rewards, lower rate, build or rebuild credit, or pay down your balance faster.
Enter your first, middle, and last names followed by your home address, and you’re almost done. Then, wrap up with your birthdate and the last four digits of your social, and you’re ready to get your customized offers.
Popular Bank of America credit cards:
- Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card
- Bank of America Travel Rewards credit card
- Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card
- Bank of America Credit Card for Students
- Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students credit card
Getting a prequalification offer is easy with Capital One. Go to their site and enter the usual basic information like your name, address, and date of birth.
You’ll notice that Capital One requires you to enter your entire Social Security number, which may indicate that they perform a hard check on your credit report.
Next, you’re required to answer two questions. The first question asks which card benefit is most important to you, such as travel rewards, cashback, or low interest.
The second asks that you rate your credit as excellent, average, or rebuilding. Once you’ve completed these easy questions, you can click to see your offers.
Popular Capital One credit cards:
- Capital One Platinum Credit Card
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One Walmart Rewards Card
Check out Chase’s credit card page for easy access to personalized offers. First, you should see an automatic pop-up in the upper right-hand corner directing you to the offers page. Then, when you click the “Check for offers” button, you fill out another simple form that doesn’t affect your credit score.
The only information you need is your name, address, and last four Social Security digits. Again, you’ll get offers back in just a matter of moments, and while it’s not a firm approval, it’s a great start to see what kind of terms you could qualify for.
If you’re looking for a Chase credit card, this is the perfect way to explore your options — risk-free. Of course, once you submit an application, Chase will pull your credit report from at least one of the three major credit bureaus.
Popular Chase credit cards:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Chase Freedom Flex
- United Explorer Card
- Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Citibank makes it straightforward to check your prequalified credit offers. You can start by clicking here. Citibank requires just your basic personal data and has one of the shortest forms out there.
Start by entering your personal information. Next, drop in the card benefit that’s most important to you, and all that’s left is a brief acknowledgment that you know your credit score won’t be affected.
Then, voilà! You get to find out if you have a prequalified offer waiting for you. Citibank says they won’t hassle you with follow-ups, even if you decide not to apply for the credit card.
Popular Citibank credit cards:
- Citi Premier Card
- Citi Diamond Preferred Card
- Citi Double Cash Card
- Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi
- Citi Simplicity Card
You might not be as familiar with Credit One as some of the other companies on our list, and there’s a reason why. Credit One is a credit card company that focuses primarily on cardholders with bad credit.
And if you know anything about having poor credit, interest rates and fees can be quite high. Still, you can get a risk-free offer to compare card terms, especially if you haven’t been able to pre-qualify for other credit cards.
Visit the Credit One homepage and click on “See If You Pre-Qualify.” Credit One does require a bit more information than others. However, the prequalification form won’t hurt your credit history, which is a major bonus.
Fill out the application, submit the form, and you’ll get your prequalification results almost instantly. From there, you can determine if it’s worth applying.
Popular Credit One credit cards:
- Credit One Bank Platinum Visa for Rebuilding Credit
- Credit One Bank American Express Card
- Credit One Bank Platinum X5 Visa
- Credit One Bank Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee
- Credit One Bank Visa Cash Back Rewards
Discover’s direct offer page lets you determine what kind of credit cards you can prequalify for. The form is very straightforward, especially if you’ve looked at any other offer pages by now.
In fact, for Discover, you’re only required to enter some personal information, and whether you’re a student. It’s hands-down one of the fastest prequalification forms you’ll find on the web.
Again, your credit score won’t be affected at this stage because it’s only a soft pull. However, if you decide to submit a formal credit card application, you can expect a hard pull that slightly influences your credit score.
Popular Discover credit cards:
- Discover it Cash Back
- Discover it chrome
- Discover it Miles
- Discover it Student Cash Back
- Discover it Balance Transfer
USAA may be a less familiar name to you on this list, but we’ve known them for a while. Their credit cards are one of the few offering cardholders free access to their FICO scores, and they also offer a checking account that doesn’t use ChexSystems for approval.
To take advantage of USAA’s credit card prequalification offers, you need to be a bank member. If you are, log in to your account and click on the “My Offers” page. You’ll automatically have offers appear since the bank has your personal information and is familiar with your financial background.
Popular USAA credit cards:
- USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Card
- USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express Credit Card
- Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card
- USAA Rewards American Express Credit Card
- USAA Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card
Again, here’s another low-key prequalification page that takes minimal time and effort.
Fill out your personal information, then select the credit card feature that is most important to you: travel rewards, cash rewards, retail rewards, or introductory interest rate offers.
Click “Find My Offers,” and you’ll instantly be directed to your prequalification page. Just like most other credit cards at this point, you don’t need to worry about any impact on your credit report.
Popular U.S. Bank credit cards:
- U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
- U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card
- U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Credit Card
- U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Signature Card
You can’t make a cold request for personalized offers from Wells Fargo; instead, they make you jump straight to the application.
But if you’re an existing bank member, you can sign in to your online account and click on the Products & Offers tab to find any current prequalifications specific to you.
Additionally, if you received a mail offer, you can respond online. All you need is your reservation number and the last four numbers of your Social Security number.
Popular Wells Fargo credit cards:
- Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
- Wells Fargo Autograph Card
- Wells Fargo Reflect Card
- Bilt Mastercard
What’s the difference between prequalified and preapproved credit cards?
When you’re comparing credit card offers, pay attention to the fine print to see what exactly you’re being offered. There’s often a lot of lingo thrown around, like prescreened, prequalified, and preapproved. So, what does all of this mean?
These terms refer to the in-depth background check the creditor has done before inviting you to apply. Generally speaking, there’s never a direct offer that doesn’t require you to still go through the application process.
- Prequalified: Most offers you receive are “prequalifications,” meaning the credit card issuer has done a quick cursory review of your credit through a soft pull.
- Preapproved: If you’ve been “preapproved,” they’ve likely done an in-depth check and may have even already performed a hard pull on your credit report if you’ve allowed it.
- Prescreened: Similarly, “prescreened” is just another way to refer to someone who is preapproved. When you get an offer, read it carefully so you don’t plan your future finances incorrectly.
One thing to help you analyze your offers is to check all the details in the fine print. Compare credit card terms such as the interest rate, credit limit, and rewards.
Often, major credit card issuers will include what type of credit history the ideal candidate should have. If you meet those standards, it may be worth applying for the card because you know there’s a better chance of being approved.
If you don’t meet those standards, it’s probably not worth getting that extra inquiry on your credit report when you know the credit card issuer will likely decline your application.
How to Increase Your Chances of Getting a Prequalified Credit Card Offer
Getting prequalified offers can simplify the credit card application process and give you access to some of the best deals. If you’re not receiving these offers or want to increase your chances of getting better ones, here’s what you can do:
- Improve your credit score: A higher credit score makes you more attractive to credit card issuers. Regularly check your credit report for errors, pay your bills on time, reduce outstanding debt, and avoid applying for multiple credit cards in a short span of time.
- Build a relationship with your bank: If you have savings or checking accounts with a bank, they’re more likely to consider you for prequalified offers. Maintaining a positive and active relationship, like keeping a healthy account balance or taking other financial products from them, can increase your chances.
- Increase your income: Higher income often translates to a higher likelihood of repaying credit, making you a less risky prospect to lenders. If you get a raise, a new job, or an additional source of income, update this information with the credit bureaus.
- Reduce outstanding debts: Having a low credit utilization ratio – which is the amount of your credit you’re using compared to your credit limit – can improve your chances. Aim to keep this ratio below 30%.
- Diversify your credit: Lenders like to see a mix of credit types on your report, such as credit cards, mortgages, and installment loans. It demonstrates your ability to manage different types of credit responsibly.
- Avoid closing older credit card accounts: Length of credit history plays a role in your credit score. Keeping your older accounts open, even if you don’t use them frequently, can have a positive impact.
- Keep your personal information updated: Ensure credit bureaus have your current address, phone number, and other personal information. This can increase the chances of offers reaching you.
- Be patient and persistent: Building a strong credit profile takes time. Continue practicing good financial habits, and with time, you’ll likely see an increase in prequalified offers.
The best way to find credit card offers isn’t to wait for them to clutter up your mailbox. Instead, take control of your situation and browse some risk-free prequalifications.
While there’s no definite guarantee that you’ll be approved, it’s a good starting point. Then you can research the prequalified offers in greater detail to see if it seems like a strong match for you.
The forms are quick enough that you won’t have to dig through old files and bank accounts searching for information. Everything you need should already be inside your head.