There are many reasons you might prefer to apply for prequalified credit cards rather instead of others. The most important reason being the ability to find out if you might qualify for a card before you actually apply and suffer a hard inquiry on your credit report. If you aren’t quite sure if you’ll be approved for a credit card, you can provide very basic information and see if you prequalify before the card issuer checks your credit. Here’s a guide to everything you need to know about pre-qualified credit cards, as well as the best ones to apply for based on your needs.
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Unfortunately, being prequalified for a card doesn’t mean you are guaranteed approval, which can make those many ads you get in the mail even more annoying. On the other hand, even if you don’t prequalify, you could still get approved for the card. In order to determine if you are prequalified, the credit card issuer may perform a soft inquiry on your credit report, which doesn’t affect your credit score. When you actually apply for the card, there is a hard inquiry, which can affect your score if you have a number of inquiries within a short period of time. In some cases, a hard inquiry can cause your credit score to drop as much as 10 points, which can affect your rating quite a bit determining on your circumstances.
You might be wondering how a card issuer determines you are prequalified in the first place, especially if you can be prequalified for a card, but don’t end up being approved for the offer. Prequalification is often determined by basic credit information, usually not requiring anything more than the basics and the last four numbers of your social security number. Banks and credit card issuers also keep marketing lists they get from credit bureaus. When you prequalify, they check to see if you are on the list they’ve received from the bureaus.
You have probably received various credit card offers with the terms prequalified, preapproved, or prescreened, which are all fairly similar. If you receive these offers it usually means that you have met certain, sometimes very minimal, requirements that the card issuer has, to allow you prequalify or be preapproved for their offer. No matter the term that is used, you still aren’t guaranteed to be approved, and you still have to apply for the card.
If you aren’t sure whether you qualify for a credit card, prequalification can help give you an idea without damaging your credit score in the process. These are some of the best cards available that offer you an opportunity for prequalification before you actually apply for the credit card.
You can see if you prequalify for most of the Chase credit cards online on the bank website
One of the best for low-interest rates or if you need to transfer a balance is the Chase Slate credit card. This card has no annual fee and no balance transfer fee for transfers made within the first 60 days of opening the account. There is also a 0% introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. After that, a variable APR of 13.24%-23.24% will apply. This card also includes free access to your FICO Score monthly.
If you have average credit, you might want to see if you prequalify for a Capital One Credit Card on the website
The Capital One QuicksilverOne Credit Card is designed for those with average credit scores. It also awards 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make with the card, with an annual fee of $39. New cardholders get a 0% introductory APR until February 2017 for purchases. After that, a 23.24% variable APR will apply.
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See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score
1% cash back on gas & groceries, terms apply
This is a fully unsecured credit card with no deposit requirement
If you have bad credit or past credit problems, you certainly don’t want to risk making it worse by adding a bunch of hard inquiries to your credit report. You can see if you prequalify for the Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Building Credit, which unlike other cards for poor credit, does not require a security deposit. You get a credit line of, at least, $300. The annual fee is based on your credit worthiness and can be $0 to $75 the first year and $0 to $99 each year afterward. The APR is 15.65%-24.15%.
If you prefer a secured credit card and want to see if you prequalify before the bank checks your credit, you might want to consider the Capital One Secured MasterCard. Although it requires a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, depending on your creditworthiness, it is considered one of the best secured cards available. There is no annual fee, no balance transfer fee, and no foreign transaction fee. The APR on purchases and balance transfers is 24.99%.
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no annual fee for basic card
$95 annual fee for Preferred card
up to 2.2-4.5x points on every dollar
10,000-15,000 intro bonus
free Amazon Prime membership
Here’s a link to see if you are prequalified https://www.americanexpress.com/us/credit-cards/
If you happen to have excellent credit, you can see if you prequalify for an American Express credit card. These cards typically offer valuable rewards and sign-up bonuses that can be worth hundreds of dollars. One of the best cards for everyday purchases is the American Express Everyday Preferred Card. This card awards 3x points per dollar at US supermarkets, 2x points at US gas stations, and 1x point per dollar on other purchases. If you use your card 30 or more times in a billing period, you get 50% more points. The annual fee is $95. The card also offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. After that, a variable APR of 13.24%-22.24% will apply. As a bonus, new cardholders get 15,000 points after spending $1,000 in purchases with the card in the first 3 months of account opening.
If you prequalify for a credit card but are later denied when your entire credit report is checked, it could be because of a couple different reasons.
If you are finding it difficult to get approved for credit cards, even after you are prequalified, you may need to consider increasing your credit rating with a secured credit card before applying again. Many secured credit cards offer guaranteed approval. Read more about secured credit cards here.