Which Credit Cards Use TransUnion for Approval?

By: Brittney Mayer • October 24, 2017

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As the mother of four children, my aunt had to make peace with the idea that she couldn’t stay on top of every child every minute. Instead of trying to maintain constant vigilance — which would have been impossible (and exhausting) — she often relied on her children to report the important things to her (which they typically did at the top of their little lungs).

Like my aunt, the consumer credit bureaus simply have too many people to keep track of to spend time seeking out information on them all. Instead, they rely on information reported to them by your creditors and lenders.

Since some creditors fail to report to all three bureaus, the information in your reports can vary based on the source. At the same time, future creditors, including credit card issuers, can choose which bureau (or multiple bureaus) to query when checking your credit.

No Issuer Exclusively Pulls From TransUnion

In some cases, the fact that each credit report could hold different information can mean that your ability to qualify for a certain credit card may depend on which credit bureau the issuer queries. Unfortunately, it’s not really possible to predict which credit bureau(s) an issuer will use at any given time, as that decision can vary based on anything from the specific product to your location.

Furthermore, despite the occasional blog or forum post full of anecdotal “evidence,” no issuer exclusively pulls from a single credit bureau for every individual credit check. This applies to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion alike.

That being said, some types of information will tend to rely most heavily on TransUnion data; specifically, the educational credit scores you receive from a variety of popular credit score tracking websites and applications will typically use TransUnion data and VantageScore modeling to generate your scores.

Credit Card Issuers that Frequently Use TransUnion Data

While credit card issuers don’t exclusively use a particular bureau, issuers, like people, are habitual, and many will frequently use the same bureau for credit checks. For instance, the issuers below are reported to regularly rely on TransUnion data for credit card applications.

Of course, there are no guarantees that an application for one of these cards will use a TransUnion credit inquiry to evaluate your credit risk. Your application process may involve data from TransUnion, but may use Equifax or Experian data instead of — or in addition to — information from your TransUnion report.

 Chase | Capital One | Barclaycard | BBVA Compass | Fifth Third Bank | US Bank

Chase

While its most recent rebranding occurred in 2000, the ancestry of JPMorgan Chase, or Chase Bank, goes as far back as 1799. One of the largest banks in the world, Chase has more than 5,100 branches in the US alone, and offers more than a dozen credit cards, including a variety of co-branded partner cards.

Many of Chase’s credit cards earn the popular Ultimate Rewards point, which can be redeemed for cash back, merchandise, or travel reimbursement. Ultimate Rewards points can also be transferred to airline and hotel partners for added redemption value.

Capital One

Capital One is a young bank, founded just a few decades ago in 1988, that has quickly grown into a major player, now with over 650 locations across the country. Whether you prefer to earn unlimited cash back or blackout-free travel rewards, Capital One has a matching card to add to your wallet.

An extra perk of Capital One’s credit cards is that they can be used to get a discount on coffee purchased with your card at any Capital One Cafe location around the country.

Barclaycard

A subsidiary of parent company, Barclays, the Barclaycard was launched in 1966 as the first British credit card to be introduced to the UK. Today, Barclaycard offers a range of credit card products, with options ranging from cash back and travel rewards to co-branded partner cards.

Between the unlimited cash back rewards, sweet signup bonus, and awesome intro APR deal, the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® is a solid choice for everyday purchasing.

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® comes with a great signup bonus to get you flying faster, and the absence of foreign transaction fees means you can afford to use your card for purchases abroad.

9. AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red World Elite Mastercard®

The AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red World Elite Mastercard® earns miles toward free flights on American Airlines, which flies to more than 50 countries and 350 individual destinations.

  • Earn 2X miles on eligible American Airlines purchases, 1X mile on all other purchases
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free
  • Received 10% of redeemed miles back

Cardholders can really make the most of their AAdvantage® Aviator™ Red World Elite Mastercard® by meeting the spending requirement for its hefty signup bonus.

BBVA Compass

BBVA Compass is a subsidiary of the Spanish multinational financial organization, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria. The company operates 665 branches across seven states in the US, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, and Texas.

10. BBVA Compass ClearPoints Credit Card

The BBVA Compass ClearPoints Credit Card is a great option for those who want to pick how they earn, offering bonus rewards in categories you get to select. Bonus categories include things like travel, restaurants, and home improvement stores.

  • Earn 3X points per $1 in a category of your choice, plus 2X points per $1 in an additional category you select
  • Earn 1X point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Pay no annual fee, ever

New cardholders can also enjoy an extra $100 bonus for spending $1,500 within the first three months of opening their account.

11. BBVA Compass Select℠ Credit Card

Cardholders of the BBVA Compass Select℠ Credit Card can take control of their rewards by selecting up to three bonus rewards categories of their choice from options like Airlines, Dining & Hotels, and more.

  • Earn 3X points per $1 in a category of your choice, plus 2X points per $1 in two other categories you select
  • Earn 1X point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Pay no annual fee the first year, then $125

As a Visa Signature card, the BBVA Compass Select℠ Credit Card also comes with perks from Visa, including travel and entertainment benefits and a 24/7 concierge.

12. BBVA Optimizer Credit Card

The BBVA Optimizer Credit Card is a secured credit card, which means you’ll make a cash deposit to open and secure the credit line. This makes the Optimizer a good choice for those who want to build or establish their credit.

  • Credit-builder card secured by an interest-bearing collateral savings account
  • Increase your credit line by adding to your deposit
  • Use your card anywhere Visa is accepted

Secured credit cards act exactly like unsecured credit cards for making purchases both in-store and online, so your Optimizer card can be used anywhere that accepts Visa cards.

Fifth Third Bank

Originally launched as the Bank of the Ohio Valley in 1858, Fifth Third Bank has over 150 years of experience offering banking and credit services to the American public. Fifth Third now operates over 1,200 locations country-wide, serving Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee, West Virginia, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina.

13. Fifth Third TRIO® Credit Card

You won’t have to keep track of rotating categories with the TRIO® Credit Card from Fifth Third Bank. Instead, enjoy up to 3% cash back rewards in yearlong categories that include everyday necessities like gas and groceries.

  • Earn 3% cash back at restaurants, plus 2% cash back on gas and at grocery and drug stores
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Pay no annual fee, ever

The TRIO card comes complete with a signup bonus for new cardholders when you meet the spending requirement.

14. Fifth Third Truly Simple® Credit Card

A popular option for those thinking of a balance transfer, Fifth Third’s Truly Simple® Credit Card provides an introductory 0% APR offer on purchases and balance transfers that can help make paying down debt more affordable.

  • Enjoy 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles after you open your account
  • No penalty APR for missed payments
  • Pay no annual fee, ever

You can also receive protection for your cellphone by paying your monthly wireless bill with your Truly Simple® Credit Card.

15. Fifth Third Secured Card

With as little as a $300 deposit, you can open a Fifth Third Secured Card that reports to all three credit bureaus, making it a good choice to establish or rebuild your credit.

  • Credit-builder card secured by an interest-bearing collateral savings account
  • Increase your credit line by adding to your deposit
  • Use your card anywhere Mastercard is accepted

You can increase your available credit limit anytime by adding to your deposit, with your credit line equal to 100% of your deposit amount.

US Bank

Although its modern iteration was founded nearly 50 years ago, US Bank’s heritage can be traced back over 150 years. Today, US Bank has over 3,100 branches across the country and offers a wide range of consumer credit products, including cash back and travel rewards credit cards.

16. U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

The U.S. Bank Altitude™ Reserve Visa Infinite® Card is a big-benefit card exclusive to US Bank customers. The card is designed for frequent travelers who can take full advantage of the extra rewards for travel purchases and annual travel reimbursements.

  • Earn 3X points per $1 on eligible travel purchases and mobile wallet spending
  • Receive up to $325 annual travel reimbursements
  • Receive 12 annual complimentary wifi passes

Since the Altitude Reserve is a Visa Infinite card — one of only a handful in the US — cardholders will also enjoy a range of Visa Infinite benefits, including exclusive airfare discounts and other travel-centric perks.

17. U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card gives you huge rewards and control over how you earn them by letting you select your bonus categories. Plus, earn an extra 0.5% for the first year.

  • Earn 5% cash back in two categories of your choosing, plus 2% cash back in an additional category you select
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Pay no annual fee, ever

Enjoy all the perks of being a Visa Signature cardholder with your U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card, including a bevy of special travel benefits.

18. U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card

Offering bonus points on restaurants, gas, and airline purchases, the U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Gold American Express® Card can help you earn no matter how you travel.

  • Earn 3X points per $1 at restaurants, plus 2X points per $1 on airline and gas station purchases
  • Earn 1X per $1 on all other purchases
  • Enjoy complimentary Boingo wifi

Rewards earned with your FlexPerks card can be redeemed toward air travel, hotel stays, merchandise, gift cards, and statement credits.

Regularly Check All Three Credit Reports for Best Results

When it comes to applying for a new credit card, you can do a lot to improve your odds of approval by simply applying for the card for which you are most qualified. While it may be tempting to try and nudge the odds by selecting cards from issuers that only pull from the bureau with your cleanest credit report, the unfortunate truth is that there really is no controlling or accurately predicting which bureau(s) will be queried.

The easiest way to ensure your credit always looks its best is to regularly check all three of your credit reports, which you can do once a year for free through AnnualCreditReport.com. Like my aunt’s periodic trips from room to room to double check that everyone was where they were supposed to be — and had the correct number of pieces — routinely keeping up with your credit report can go a long way toward keeping your financial house in order.

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.