14 Top Credit Cards that Use Equifax Credit Report Data

By: Brittney Mayer • November 1, 2017

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Browsing the newspaper rack in any given city, a few things are likely to stand out. In particular, although the major headlines are often similar from front page to front page, many will have broadly different stories filling in the margins. This gives the impression that, while they’re all reporting on the same group of folks, each newspaper seems to use its own sources of information to do so.

The same thing can be said about the consumer credit bureaus. In other words, while all three of your credit reports are about you, the sources of information can vary from report to report. This is because these agencies rely on our creditors to report pertinent information to be added to our credit reports, rather than seeking it out. Additionally, your creditors can choose which report to query when running a credit check, further differentiating your reports.

No Issuer Will Pull Only Equifax Data All the Time

Given that your credit reports can show different information, you may end up with one report that is in better shape than the others. For example, hard credit inquiries occur when you apply for new credit. Many creditors will only pull your credit report from one or two bureaus, meaning you could end up with more hard inquiries on those reports than on reports queried less frequently.

One or two hard inquiries on any given report won’t have much impact on your overall score, typically only lowering it by a few points at most. However, a series of hard inquiries can have an exponentially greater impact, dropping your score more significantly — and acting as a giant red flag to potential creditors.

Whatever the source of your credit report disparities, it can be tempting to look for creditors who will pull only your best credit report when checking your credit.

Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to accurately predict which credit bureau a particular creditor will use for any given applicant. That’s because it can vary based on anything from the individual credit product to your particular location or even to the time of day.

Furthermore, no creditor exclusively pulls data from a single credit bureau for every application. This applies to Equifax data, as well as Experian and TransUnion. While some reviewers have reported successfully getting a creditor to pull a particular report upon request (or by freezing one or more of their credit reports), this method is hardly guaranteed to work.

Credit Card Issuers that Commonly Use Equifax for Approval

Although no credit card issuer will use Equifax data reliably for every application, many issuers will tend to use the same bureau for similar applications, such as for the same credit card product. Along those lines, the credit cards on our lists below are reported to frequently use Equifax credit reports for approval.

Remember that this is by no means a guarantee that an application for one of these cards will result in an Equifax credit inquiry. Issuers may pull Equifax data — or they may use Experian or TransUnion. Or they could use any combination of the three. Be cognizant when you apply.

Chase | Citibank | Discover | HSBC | Wells Fargo

Chase

Not only is Chase one of the largest credit card issuers in the world, with more than 93 million cardholders, but the issuer is also rated highly for its customer service. Chase’s huge collection of credit cards includes options for just about anyone, offering cash back rewards and lucrative points programs, as well as a variety of co-branded options for a customized credit experience.

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Although Chase has a variety of credit card products, most of its offerings are designed for consumers with good to excellent credit scores. Additionally, Chase fairly stringently enforces its “5/24 Rule,” which automatically declines any applicant who has opened more than five new credit accounts within the last 24 months. This applies to Chase accounts as well as any other issuer.

Citibank

Citibank has a long history dating back to the City Bank of New York in 1812. Today’s Citi is a major credit card issuer, with over 48 million cardholders around the world. Citi’s offerings include several credit cards from which to choose, including its much-lauded flat-rate cash back card and intro APR options.

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Cards from Citi are typically aimed at consumers with good to excellent credit scores, with limited offerings for those building their credit. On the plus side, while many of the co-branded cards will have an annual fee, most cards offered solely by Citi will be annual-fee-free.

Discover

Both its own credit card network and issuer, Discover is responsible for launching the first credit card rewards program offering cash back rewards. Today, the issuer’s range of cards includes several cash back options, and also features its unique Cashback Match program that matches the cash back you earn in your first year.

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Although Discover’s best APRs and highest limits go to the most qualified applicants, the issuer has fairly flexible credit requirements for a prime credit card issuer. Discover even offers the Discover it® secured credit card, which comes with no annual fee that also earns rewards, both rare in the secured card market.

HSBC

Originally founded as the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation as a way to finance trade between Europe and Asia, HSBC is now a global bank with cardholders from around the world. HSBC’s stable of US cards includes multiple annual-fee-free cards, as well as solid options for cash back rewards or intro 0% APR deals.

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As a bank with a worldwide market, HSBC goes the next step to ensure you can use your card everywhere: each HSBC card comes free from foreign transaction fees. This means you can make purchases anywhere you travel in whichever currency is convenient, without paying for the privilege.

Wells Fargo

While it might be easy to assume Wells Fargo’s iconic logo is mere marketing, the bank actually began as a stagecoach line moving mail, money, and travelers across America’s West. Now, one of the largest banks in the world, Wells Fargo has issued over 24 million credit cards, including its popular cash back and points cards.

+See More Wells Fargo Credit Cards

In general, Wells Fargo credit cards are aimed at those with good to excellent credit. That said, the bank does offer several cards aimed at first-time cardholders and credit-builders, including both consumer and business secured credit cards.

Aim to Keep All Three Credit Reports in Good Shape

All in all, while you can’t predict which credit bureau will be queried when you apply for a new credit card, you can decrease the impact of the somewhat random selection. For instance, you can choose to apply for new cards sporadically, limiting the number of inquiries on all of your reports.

You can also practice responsible credit behaviors, including always paying your debts as agreed and maintaining low balances, so that all three of your reports look their best no matter which one is queried. You should also regularly check all three credit reports for errors or fraudulent accounts.

Think of it in terms of the newspaper stand again. To ensure you’re getting a balanced report on the city’s events, you should look at several papers, with several different viewpoints. One paper may cover an event that the others missed thanks to having its own sources. Any of your three credit reports can include information the others missed — and all three can contain things they shouldn’t.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

About the Author

Brittney Mayer

Brittney is a Contributing Editor for Digital Brands, Inc., where she uses her extensive research background to develop comprehensive guides and in-depth company profiles for BadCredit.org and CardRates.com. Brittney specializes in translating complex ideas into readable, engaging content for B2C and B2B audiences.