Gone are the days of checking your mailbox daily for the latest and greatest credit card offers. Thanks to modern-day technology, you can now access your offers at your own convenience via the Internet.
It’s a great way to navigate pre-qualified credit card offers on your own terms, rather than waiting for one to show up in the mail.
We’ll take you through some of the most popular credit card companies so you can see what deals you’re specifically eligible for. Remember though, just like any other pre-qualification or pre-approval offer that comes in the mail, none of these offers guarantee approval.
You’ll still need to go through the application process. Keep reading to find out more about these offers and what exactly the terminology means so you know how to interpret the best ones.
American Express makes it extremely easy to get your personalized offers. Get started by navigating to 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. Near the top of the navigation menu, click on the option that says, “Check for Offers.”
Then, simply enter in your full name, home address, last four digits of your social security number, and if you’d like, an interest. Your choices for that last field include travel rewards, rewards points, cash back, or “not sure yet”.
This simply allows American Express to better tailor an offer for you. The best part of this process is that it allows you to check on special deals with only getting a soft pull on your credit report.
If you happened to receive a pre-qualified offer in the mail from American Express, you can also scroll down a little further to redeem it. You just need your zip code and 14 digit RSVP code.
Bank of America
You can also check for customized offers from Bank of America. Like American Express, it doesn’t hurt your credit and it’s fast. In fact, you can get an offer is less than 60 seconds.
So what do you need to do? Simply 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 basically just lets you use the information they already have on hand about you.
Next, you can select a specific type of 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. Simply wrap up with your birth date and last four digits of your social and you’re ready to get your customized offers.
Getting a pre-qualification offer is easy with Capital One. Go to their site and enter in 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 asks which card benefit is most important to you, such as travel rewards, cash back, or low interest.
The second asks that you rate your own credit as either excellent, average, or rebuilding. Once you’ve completed these easy questions, you can click to see your offers.
Check out Chase’s credit card page for easy access to personalized offers. You should see an automatic pop-up in the upper right-hand corner directing you to the offers page. When you click the “Check for offers” button, you fill out another simple form that doesn’t affect your credit.
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.
Citibank makes it extremely straightforward to check your pre-qualified credit offers and you can start by clicking here. Citibank requires just your basic personal data and actually has one of the shortest forms out there.
Start off 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 won’t be affected.
Then, voila! You get to find out if you have a pre-qualified offer waiting for you. Another perk is that Citibank says it won’t hassle you with follow-ups, even if you decide not to apply for the credit 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 focuses primarily on cardholders with bad credit.
And if you know anything about having poor credit, it’s that interest rates and fees can be extremely 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, but the pre-qualification form won’t hurt your credit, which is a major bonus.
Fill out the application, submit the form, and you’ll get your pre-qualification results almost instantly. From there, you can determine if it’s worth going through the full application process with Credit One.
Discover’s direct offer page allows you to find out what kind of credit cards you can pre-qualify 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 or not you’re a student. It’s hands down one of the fastest pre-qualification forms you’ll find on the web.
Again, your credit won’t be affected at this stage because it’s only a soft pull. If you decide to submit a formal credit card application, you can expect a hard pull that will slightly influence your credit score.
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 pre-qualification offers, you do need to be a member of the bank. If you are, simply log into 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.
Again, here’s another low-key pre-qualification page that takes minimal time and effort.
Simply 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 pre-qualification page. Just like most other credit cards at this point, you don’t need to worry about any impact on your credit report.
You can’t do a cold request for personalized offers from Wells Fargo; instead, they make you jump straight to the application process.
But if you’re an existing bank member, you can sign into your online account and click on the Products & Offers tab to find any current pre-qualifications 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.
What’s the difference between pre-qualified and pre-approved credit cards?
When you’re comparing credit card offers, it’s important that you pay attention to the fine print to see what exactly you’re being offered. There’s often a lot of lingo thrown around, like pre-screened, pre-qualified, and pre-approved. What does all of this mean?
Basically, these terms refer to how in-depth of a 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.
Most offers you receive are “pre-qualifications,” meaning the credit card issuer has done a quick cursory review of your credit through a soft pull.
If you’ve been “pre-approved,” 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.
Similarly, “pre-screened” is just another way to refer to someone who is pre-approved. When you get an offer, read it carefully so you don’t plan your future finances incorrectly.
One thing to help analyze your offers is to check all the details in the fine print. Oftentimes, the creditor 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 your application will likely be declined.
The best way to find credit card offers isn’t to wait for them to clutter up your mailbox. Instead, take control of your own situation and browse some risk-free pre-qualifications.
While there’s no definite guarantee that you’ll be approved, it’s a good starting point. Then you can research the pre-qualified offers in greater detail to see if it seems like a strong match for you.
The forms are quick enough where you don’t have to dig through old files and bank accounts searching for information. Everything you need should already be inside your head.