Looking For Credit Cards That Offer Pre-Qualification or Preapproval Without A Hard Pull?
Many issuers can determine your odds of qualifying without a credit check. A few cards show an offer, with a credit limit and APR, before you accept.
When you apply for a credit card, the card issuer usually conducts what’s known as a hard inquiry or “hard pull” on your credit report to determine your creditworthiness. Hard inquiries can knock points off your credit scores temporarily.
However, many of the biggest credit card issuers offer a pre-qualification or preapproval process that lets you avoid that hit to your scores, at least initially. These screening processes look at your basic credit information and run a “soft” credit check to determine your likelihood of approval. Soft inquiries don’t affect your scores.
Then, if you decide to formally apply for the card, the hard pull will still happen (although not always). But the prescreening process will have given you a good sense of where you stand — whether the hard pull is going to be worth it. A few credit cards will even show you your specific offer, including credit limit and APR, before you accept the hard pull.
PRO TIPS: Unlike with mortgages, the distinction between credit card “pre-qualification” and “preapproval” isn’t as clear, and some card issuers even use the terms interchangeably. Generally, preapproved offers are a bit more official in terms of your odds, but in either case, issuers try to match you with cards that best fit your credit. The most reliable offers are preapprovals from a bank you have a relationship with. That bank already has the information it needs to make a decision.
Issuer pre-qualification pages
Each issuer requires different information to process a pre-qualification request. The table below provides links to issuer pre-qualification pages, as well as what’s required from you.
|American Express*||Full name, address, last 4 digits of your Social Security number, income (optional)|
|Bank of America®||Full name, address, date of birth, last 4 digits of your Social Security number, what kind of card you want|
|Capital One||Full name, address, date of birth, your full Social Security number, what kind of card you want|
|Chase||Full name, address, last 4 digits of your Social Security number|
|Citi||Full name, address, last 4 digits of your Social Security number, what kind of card you want. (NOTE: Citi is not currently offering pre-qualification online.)|
|Discover||Full name, address, birth date, full Social Security number, whether you’re a student, whether you have bank accounts, housing status, income, what kind of card you want|
PRO TIPS: Issuers don’t necessarily make all cards available for pre-qualification at all times. In April 2021, for example, Capital One was offering “pre-qual” for only a handful of cards, and Citi was offering it on no cards at that time.
NEXT: Top credit cards that offer preapproval without a hard pull