- Centurion Member
- Posts: 4131
- Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 7:42 pm
- Location: United States
On many credit card company's websites they give you an option to quickly check if you're preapproved just by typing in basic information and the last four digits of your ss number. I did this twice within the past year to find out if they were going to give me the cards that I wanted. Yes I was approved and got them.
But how do they determine if someone is eligible in just 60 seconds based on that information? How do they make sure they weed out people with poor financial backgrounds that wouldn't use their credit responsibly before preapproving them?
First of all, prequalified offers are more common that preapproved ones. I'm assuming you're talking about prequalified ones.
Banks often purchase consumer information from the reporting agencies (EQ, TU, EX, and other minor ones) in bulk. They may say, "give us the names and addresses of everyone in California or Oregon who's been paying their credit cards on time for the last year and has no BK in the last 3 years."
Then, when you go to the prequalified site, the bank refers to the list of customers it purchased, which consists of people whose credit looked okay a few months ago. They see your name and suggest what you might qualify for.
At least, that's how it's supposed to work in theory. Some prequals are totally meaningless (like Discover will prequalify Humpty Dumpty, SSN 123-45-6789). Other banks (like Capital One used to do to me) will suggest one card online while mailing an offer for a vastly inferior card.
Very useful: SchwabPlat, CSP, IHG, Costco (was AA Plat), Freedom, SPG
Somewhat useful: Discover, ED (was EDP), BCE, Hyatt
Plan to PC: Prestige to DC
SD with activity alerts, might close: Arrival and Brooks Bros
Might add: Proper business card, CSR, Ritz, Delta Gold, First Tech, BofA Travel PH