The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Saturday, September 26, 2020

2020 Guide: How to Get Pre-Approved & Pre-Qualify for Credit Cards

Pre Approved Credit Cards

credit card advice

Ashley Dull
By: Ashley Dull
Updated: November 8, 2019
Advertiser Disclosure

Pre-approved credit cards offer an opportunity for those with marginal credit scores to get an idea if they will be able to open a new line of credit without the ensuing credit score hit of a hard inquiry.

Of all the nonsensical concepts in the world of consumer credit, perhaps one of the least intuitive is that it can actually harm your credit score when creditors pull your credit. I mean, the very reason we have credit reports is for creditors to check them, right?

Right. But that’s not the whole story. In the eyes of future lenders, each one of those hard credit inquiries represents more than just a request for a new credit card or loan. To them, each hard credit pull is actually a potential attempt to take on more debt — debt that could keep you from repaying your new creditors.

This concept can be especially damaging when shopping for the perfect credit card. Not only will each card have its own credit qualifications, individual issuers may also have their own meticulous requirements (think Chase’s 5/24 rule) that can leave you rejected despite killer credit scores. You do have an option to avoid the sting of wasted credit inquiries, however: credit card pre-qualification.

Get Approved For: Air Miles | Cash Back | 0% Intro APR | 0% Balance Transfer | Business | Student | Fair Credit | Bad Credit

How to Find Credit Card Pre-Qualification Offers

Credit card pre-qualification, also called pre-approval, is a great way to get a feel for your chances of being approved by a particular issuer. Rather than filling out a complete credit application for a specific card, which will automatically result in a hard credit pull, credit card pre-qualification involves a less formal look at your credit.

In fact, the key to credit card pre-qualification lies in the fact that there are actually two types of credit inquiries: hard inquiries and soft inquiries.

Screenshot of Chase Pre-qualification Page

Pre-qualifying for a credit card can give you an idea of your chances for approval without impacting your credit score.

Hard inquiries are the ones that do the damage, visible to anyone who checks your credit report and nipping at your score like biting flies. Hard credit inquiries are generally initiated by the consumer when applying for a credit line, such as credit card or charge account.

Soft credit inquiries, on the other hand, can be initiated by the consumer — such as checking your own credit or applying for insurance — but they don’t have to be. Any business with a legitimate need to review your credit can access it without your authorization. While soft inquiries are typically recorded on your credit report, they are only visible to you, and they won’t impact your credit score.

Credit card issuers use soft credit pulls to get a general idea of your creditworthiness, sort of like an estimate. They then use that estimate to match you with the credit cards for which you are most likely to qualify. Pre-qualifying for a particular card doesn’t guarantee you’ll be approved for that card if you apply, but it does mean the odds are in your favor.

Most major issuers provide a means of checking for pre-qualification offers online. The process typically requires your name, address, and the last four digits of your Social Security number. While some third-party sites will automatically check for pre-qualification offers from multiple issuers, you’ll need to check with each issuer individually if doing it yourself.

In addition to checking online for credit card pre-approval offers, consumers over the age of 21 are likely to find the occasional unsolicited credit card offer in the mail. These offers can be particularly lucrative, as they often contain exclusive signup bonuses or low-interest deals. You can respond directly to a mailed pre-qualification offer, or head online with your offer code to apply online.

Another common way of discovering credit card pre-qualification offers is to head into your local bank branch and requesting a search for offers from the friendly teller behind the counter. The vast majority of big banks provide credit cards, and they’re typically extremely interested in offering those credit cards to existing members.

In most cases, you’ll be asked to select which type of credit card (cash back, student, bad credit, etc.) for which you are most interested in pre-qualifying. Consumers with good credit will often be pre-approved for more than one credit card, so you’ll likely need to make some choices about which card you’d like to formally apply for out of your options. Remember, each application can result in a hard credit pull, so only apply to one card at a time.

Pre-Qualify for an “Air Miles” Credit Card

The card of choice for anyone with a bit of wanderlust are credit cards offering airline miles. They can be a fantastic way to make your next trip more affordable — or downright free. Choosing between miles rewards programs will generally come down to how you like to earn your miles, and how you like to spend them. Each card will have its own earning rate, and some cards award bonus miles for travel-related purchases.

Additionally, you’ll need to decide if you want a co-branded credit card or more flexible redemption options. Cards co-branded with a specific airline will often limit redemption to purchases made with that airline and its partners. Our favorite miles cards include programs that allow you to redeem your miles for travel on any airline — regardless of brand — and free from blackout dates.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Redeem on travel—from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 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.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates and fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

+See More Cards for Air Miles

Pre-Qualify for a “Cash Back” Credit Card

The simplest of rewards programs, cash back rewards offer a percentage of your purchases back to you. These rewards are typically redeemable as a statement credit, gift card, or check. As with other rewards programs, the rate at which you earn cash back will vary by card, with particular spending categories often used to decide earnings rates.

The two most common types of cash back programs are a flat-rate percentage on all purchases, or a bonus rate for purchases that fit specified categories. If most of your usual spending falls into the bonus categories, this type of card can be extremely beneficial. Our favorite cash back cards include both program types, as well as some juicy signup bonuses.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • 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%.
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

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • 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%.
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
Blue Cash Preferred® Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets and on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • Earn 3% cash back on transit, including gas, taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
  • Earn $300 back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months of Card Membership
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months from the date of account opening
  • $95 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
13.99% - 23.99%
$95
Good/Excellent

+See More Cards for Cash Back

Pre-Qualify for a “0% Intro APR” Credit Card

If rewards credit cards can be said to have a particular drawback, it’s probably that the interest fees from carrying a balance can easily engulf any savings from your cash back or points card. This is where introductory 0% APR offers come in handy. These credit card offers can provide cardholders with a year or more of interest-free card use, allowing you to carry a balance without paying interest for the length of the introductory period.

Your interest rate will increase to the default rate at the end of the introductory term, so that rate should be one of the factors you investigate before applying. Some of the best 0% APR deals will be for cards that also offer rewards, as you can still earn those rewards while enjoying your interest-free term. Our top-rated cards include options that don’t charge an annual fee, increasing the savings potential.

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • 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%.
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

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.49% - 25.49% variable APR after that
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
N/A
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.49%-25.49% variable APR after that
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
N/A
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

+See More Cards for Intro 0% APR

Pre-Qualify for a “Balance Transfer” Credit Card

As awesome as 0% APR offers are for new purchases, what do you do if you already have a balance? Why, you find an awesome zero-interest balance transfer offer, of course. Providing the ability to transfer your balance to the new card and carry it for a year or more without being stuck paying interest fees, balance transfer card offers can save you a bundle on your balance.

Even better, you can still use your new card to make purchases, earn rewards, and enjoy the perks that come with credit card use. On the down side, the balance you transfer to your new card won’t earn you any rewards, and your interest rate will revert to the default rate at the end of your term. Our top picks offer 0% APR on both new purchases and balance transfers to really make the most of your card.

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 21 months
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. After that, the variable APR will be 13.74% - 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 13.74% - 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balance, are paid in full.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Get free access to your FICO® score online.
  • With Citi Entertainment℠, get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 21 months
13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

0% BALANCE TRANSFER 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.
  • 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.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 18 months
13.99% - 23.99% (variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

+See More Cards for Balance Transfers

Pre-Qualify for a “Business” Credit Card

Between the need for constant attention and the seemingly endless expenses, owning a business can be an awful lot like raising a child. Unlike an infant, however, your new business can take advantage of a rewards credit card to help extend your bottom line. Many business cards will even provide a lucrative signup bonus to sweeten the pot.

Checking for pre-qualified credit card offers can be particularly useful when shopping for a business card. This can be especially important if your business is young, as it likely has yet to establish its own business credit. In this case, your personal credit will be used by credit card issuers to determine the credit risk of your business. Our favorite business cards include options to earn cash back rewards on your business buys.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • New Offer! Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99%-20.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A
13.24% - 19.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
American Express® Business Gold Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle, including airfare purchased directly from airlines, U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio), U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software, and cloud solutions, and U.S. purchases at gas stations, restaurants, or for shipping.
  • Earn 1X Membership Rewards® points on other purchases
  • Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of card membership
  • Book your flight with American Express Travel using Membership Rewards® Pay with Points and get 25% of those points back
  • $295 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
14.24% - 22.24%
$295
Excellent

+See More Cards for Businesses

Pre-Qualify for a “Student” Credit Card

For all that many adults would happily go back to their college days, being a student does have a number of drawbacks, including lacking the credit history and income that make it possible to get a credit card. Luckily, many card issuers understand the unique credit position many students find themselves in, and they have designed a variety of credit cards specifically for student applicants.

In addition to having more relaxed credit requirements, many student cards come complete with student-centric perks, such as a statement credit for maintaining good grades. You can also get access to important credit tracking tools to make sure you start your credit journey on the right foot. Our top picks for student cards won’t charge you an annual fee, making them ideal starter cards.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings Learn more
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • You’ll earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%
  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening
  • 0% introductory APR on new purchases and balance transfers for 12 billing cycles (3% balance transfer fee applies)
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 billing cycles
0% for 12 billing cycles
13.99% - 23.99%
$0
None/Limited

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.2/5.0
  • Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month
  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • You can help build your credit with responsible use of a card like this
  • Get Eno®, your Capital One® assistant, to manage your account via text, receive alerts, and shop safer online
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.4/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere
  • No blackout dates or restrictions apply, and points never expire
  • 0% introductory APR on new purchases for 12 billing cycles
  • Earn 25,000 bonus points ($250 value) if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 billing cycles
N/A
14.99% - 22.99%
$0
None/Limited

+See More Cards for Students

Pre-Qualify for a “Fair Credit” Credit Card

Typically referring to credit scores in the mid-600s to about 700, fair credit generally indicates someone who is building — or rebuilding — their credit. While fair credit won’t earn you the pick of the litter that having excellent credit would win, you’ll still have a fair number of options (pun intended) from which to choose.

If you’re unsure of your approval chances due to a middling credit score, remember to check for pre-qualification offers. Perhaps the best thing about having fair credit is that it’s not bad credit, and you won’t be relegated to the subprime card market. Instead, those with fair credit can usually enjoy entry-level cards from major issuers, including options for earning cash back rewards as offered by some of our favorite fair-credit picks.

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Pay no annual fee
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
  • Check out quickly and securely with a contactless card, without touching a terminal or handing your card to a cashier. Just hover your card over a contactless reader, wait for the confirmation, and you're all set.
  • Pay by check, online or at a local branch, all with no fee - and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No limit to how much cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$39
Average, Fair, Limited
Blue from American Express® Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn 1 Membership Rewards® point for every eligible dollar you spend
  • You can get double Membership Rewards® points on every dollar of eligible travel purchases—such as prepaid hotel stays, vacation packages, and cruises—when you use your card to book your trip through AmexTravel.com
  • Amex Offers rewards you at places you like to shop, dine, travel, and more. Simply log in to your account or use the American Express® App to add offers to your card. Then use that same card to pay and enjoy rewards directly on your statement.
  • Plan It® is a payment option that lets you split up purchases of $100 or more into clear and simple monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
23.99%
$0
Fair/Good

+See More Cards for Fair Credit

Pre-Qualify for a “Bad Credit” Credit Card

Whether due to missed payments, a defaulted account, or even bankruptcy, when your credit score has fallen to the low-600s or below, most issuers will consider you to have bad credit. This means you represent a high credit risk and will likely need to select either a secured credit card — one that requires an initial security deposit — or an unsecured subprime credit card.

Although they don’t require a deposit, subprime cards will likely charge higher interest rates than other cards charge, and will often come with additional fees. Make sure your new card reports your credit behavior to all three credit bureaus, as our top picks do, so your new credit card can be used to build your credit.

Fingerhut Credit Account Review

at Fingerhut'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.3

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Easy application! Get a credit decision in seconds.
  • Build your credit history – Fingerhut reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Use your line of credit to shop thousands of items from great brands like Samsung, KitchenAid, and DeWalt
  • Not an access card
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See Issuers Website
$0
Poor Credit

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • No annual fee
  • Unlike a prepaid card, there is regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • Accepted at millions of locations worldwide
  • Make the minimum required security deposit and you'll get an initial credit line of $200. Plus, deposit more money before your account opens to get a higher credit line
  • Access to an authorized bank account is required to make your $49, $99 or $200 refundable security deposit
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Limited, Bad
Total Visa® Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

3.5/5.0
  • Checking Account Required
  • Fast and easy application process; response provided in seconds
  • A genuine Visa credit card accepted by merchants nationwide across the USA and online
  • Manageable monthly payments
  • $300 credit limit (subject to available credit)
  • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See Terms
See Terms
Fair, Bad Credit

+See More Cards for Bad Credit

You Can Opt-Out of Pre-Approval Offers

However nonsensical it can be, each credit card application you send out can shave several points off of your ever-important credit score. Credit card pre-qualification can be the best way to estimate your approval odd and may help save you — and your credit score — from the sting of credit card rejection.

As helpful as pre-approval can be, of course, you may get tired of receiving a new offer in the mail every month once you’ve found your new card. If you’re not interested in getting the latest unsolicited credit card deals and offers, you can opt-out of pre-screened offers in several ways, depending on the duration for which you plan to opt-out.

Screenshot of the Opt Out Homepage

Anyone can opt out of receiving credit card pre-qualification letters online or by phone.

To opt-out of pre-screened offers for a period of five years, you can either call the toll-free opt-out phone number: 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688), or go online to the official Consumer Credit Industry opt-out page. To opt-out permanently, you’ll need to return the signed Permanent Opt-Out Election form, which can be obtained through the official opt-out website.

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CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation from many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across the site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.