Soft Pull Credit Cards?

Posted by CreditCardGuru

"no thanks" to credit inquiriesIs it possible to apply for a credit card with a soft pull inquiry? This is a question I get asked a lot. 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?

Usually not, but sometimes you can.

There are no hard and steadfast rules when it comes to this. More often than not, a hard pull will be done. But here a few times it might not always be the case (updated for 2013).

1. CardMatch (new for 2013 – checks across all major issuers!) 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.

However if you choose to apply for an offer that you are pre-selected for, then there likely will be a hard pull. But the good news is that since you were already pre-selected for it, the chances of getting approved are extremely high.

I’ve had people test this with varying levels of credit (awful, moderate, good, etc) and what the system spits back is dead-on. My friend with bad credit had no results available, but then my other friend with great credit was given 2 pages of offers.

Anyone can use this feature – from awful to excellent credit. 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.

Go here to use CardMatch and see your offers in 60 seconds

2. Multiple account applications within a short period

Last spring 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.

Let me be clear your experience with Chase may differ. I’m not claiming this will happen if you try the same thing, but at least that one time for me that’s how it worked out.

3. Orchard Bank card pre-selector for bad/fair credit (no longer available)

2013 update: Orchard Bank is no longer around. They were recently acquired by Capital One.

If you’re looking for soft pull credit cards, I’m going to go out on a limb and say there’s a good chance that the reason for that is because you think you might get turned down (due to bad credit or just lack of credit history). And that’s smart thinking, because you don’t want to use a credit inquiry only to have your application declined, right?

If your credit is borderline, then my recommendation would be Orchard Bank and their soft credit check credit cards:

Check for MasterCard (4 cards avail)
Check for Visa (4 cards avail)

 Technically speaking there are not 8 cards, but rather 4, since the only difference between each group is the MasterCard or Visa affiliation. After you check pre-qualification, if you choose to apply for one of the offers then a hard check will be done. But the correlation between pre-qualification and actual approval typically should be spot on, so hopefully the inquiry won’t be used in vain.

Do you know of any other applications for credit cards with soft pulls for pre-qualifying? If so, share in the comments below!


Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

2 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. David May 17, 2014 at 11:30PM

    There is many bad reviews about the Credit One card about how they scam people and such. I got the card about a year ago and I have been very satisfied. The catch is that you have to be responsible. Late payments, not paying off the balance every month and so on, they nail you. I use the card for things I would otherwise be buying with cash/debit and then just pay with every use. It is a good card for a responsible person, but lets face it, those that seek the credit one card are typically not those with reputations of being responsible. Those that post all the bad reviews, its it because they treat this card like they have with the other cards that they burned bridges with and now they are having to eat steep fees and interest. Pay your bill, build credit fast.

  2. Rebuilding Credit April 5, 2014 at 10:38AM

    Credit One bank is a great one for poor credit

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