Is it possible to apply for a credit card with a soft pull inquiry? This is a question that is frequently asked. Obviously, the fewer hard inquiries you have on your credit report the better. But can you really get a new card using only a soft credit check?
While applying for a card will require a hard inquiry (sorry!), you can check which cards you’ll likely qualify for with only a soft inquiry. While you’re not guaranteed approval for the card when you actually apply, checking offers you’re pre-qualified for can help you aim for the right products.
These soft-pull tools will help you browse offers you’re likely to get approved for.
1. Capital One Card Finder Tool
This is a great service offered by Capital One that functions like the CardMatch tool mentioned above, except that it only features Cap One products. You can see which offers you qualify for without it affecting your credit. While it may seem limiting to only see Capital One offers, they are one of the largest card issuers and have a wide array of card offerings – everything from high-end reward cards to secured credit cards. It can be a great place to start when you don’t know which level of card you might qualify for.
2. Chase’s Prequalified-Offers tool
Chase is another issuer that offers a proprietary tool that lets you see your pre-qualified offers. You’ll need to provide your name, address, the last four digits of your Social Security number and some other info. Again, you’ll see only Chase offers, but the issuer has a wide swath of cards, from cash-back cards to perk-heavy rewards cards for travelers.
3. CardMatch (checks across many major credit card issuers)
CreditCards.com has a new feature to match you with offers based on your credit score. Using this to check does not affect your credit because only a soft pull is performed.
I’ve seen this service tested with varying levels of credit (subprime, moderate, good and super prime) and the system results have been spot-on accurate. My friend with bad credit had no results available, but then my other friend with great credit was given two pages of offers.
Anyone can use this feature – regardless of your current credit level. And if you fall into the latter category you may be matched for exclusive signup bonuses which are higher than what the general public can get. That’s a choice feature.
3. Multiple account applications within a short period
A few years ago I applied for two different cards from Chase within a short period of time (if I recall correctly, it was within a 30 or 45 day window). And guess what? Only one hard pull from them showed up on my account. So I basically got a 2 for 1 special.
Written or last edited on Feb. 5, 2016