The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Tuesday, May 11, 2021

10 Top Credit Cards that Use Equifax Credit Report Data

Credit Cards That Use Equifax

credit card advice

Brittney Mayer
By: Brittney Mayer
Updated: March 5, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

In this article, we’ll take a look at a selection of the best credit cards that use Equifax credit report data to help determine your chances of approval, interest rate, credit limit, and other factors.

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.

Equifax Logo

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.

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.

Discover | Chase | Wells Fargo

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, not to mention a miles card for those who want travel rewards and a secured card for those who have less-than-perfect credit.

Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING
★★★★★
4.9
OVERALL RATING
4.9/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • #1 Most Trusted Credit Card according to Investor’s Business Daily.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
$0
Good/Excellent
Discover it® Miles Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover will automatically match all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles.  There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee.
  • New! Redeem Miles to pay any part of your monthly bill, including your minimum payment.
  • Turn Miles into cash in any amount, any time. Or redeem as a statement credit for travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more with no blackout dates. However you redeem, Miles keep the same value. And Miles never expire.
  • No Blackout Dates. Simply pay for travel purchases like airlines, hotels, rental cars, and more with your Discover it® Miles card.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 14 months
10.99% Intro APR for 14 months
11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
$0
Good/Excellent
Discover it® chrome Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn cash back on your next road trip with 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. Based Customer Service available any time.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
$0
Good/Excellent

+See More Discover Credit Cards

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 provides cash back rewards, a rarity in the secured card market.

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.

EXPERT'S RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
EXPERT'S RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
4.7/5.0
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

+See More Chase Credit Cards

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, regardless of your credit score or income. This rule applies to all Chase cards, as well as many of the co-branded credit cards.

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.

CITI® RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
4.8/5.0
  • Earn cash back twice! Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance Transfers do not earn cash back and will have a fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • 24/7 access to customer service representatives
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 18 months
13.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good
Citi Premier® Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

CITI® RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
4.6/5.0
  • Earn 60,000 Bonus Points after making $4,000 in purchases with your card within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3X Points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, and on air travel and hotel purchases — all other purchases earn 1X Points
  • Enjoy $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, through thankyou.com, once per calendar year
  • Transfer ThankYou® Points to participating airline loyalty programs including TrueBlue®, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, to get flights faster. There is no fee, and the minimum transfer is only 1,000 points.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 23.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent
Citi Prestige® Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

CITI® RATING
★★★★★
4.8
OVERALL RATING
4.5/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening. That's a $500 value in travel, anytime, with no blackout dates when booked through the ThankYou Travel Center!
  • Earn 5X Points at restaurants and on air travel
  • Earn 3X Points on hotels and cruise lines, all other purchases earn 1X Points
  • Complimentary 4th Night at a hotel of your choice after a minimum 4 consecutive night booking through ThankYou.com (benefit can be used 2X per calendar year)
  • Up to a $250 travel credit every calendar year, no need to enroll
  • Enjoy complimentary access to hundreds of VIP lounges through Priority Pass™ Select
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99% - 23.99% Variable
$495
Excellent

+See More Citi Credit Cards

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, Citi offers a range of credit card options, including the cash back card with one of the highest unlimited rates available, as well as some of the only rewards points cards to offer bonus rewards for entertainment purchases.

10. 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.

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.

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.

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