Chase Credit Card Pre-Approval: How to Check Your Offers and Apply
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Checking your Chase pre-approval status is quick and easy. Just visit Chase’s online pre-qualification page to see if you have any offers waiting, or check your mail for invitations to apply for Chase cards.
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Update: As of August 2021, Chase has removed the credit card pre-approval tool from its website. It’s unclear if Chase will bring it back in the future.
Chase provides some of the best credit card offers on the market, from cash back to travel rewards. But Chase cards aren’t the easiest to get. They typically require good to excellent credit, and then there’s the 5/24 rule.
The 5/24 rule is an unpublished Chase restriction for credit card applications. If you’ve opened five or more personal credit cards in the past 24 months, you typically can’t get approved for a Chase credit card.
Thankfully, you can get an idea of whether or not you might qualify for a Chase card, with no impact on your credit scores — before you apply.
It’s always a good idea to check for pre-qualified offers before you apply for any credit card, since you may get a better-than-average offer, like a higher welcome bonus.
How Can You Check Your Chase Pre-Qualification Status?
Visit the Chase Pre-Qualification page to quickly and easily check for pre-approved offers online.
You’ll need to provide:
- Full name
- Last four digits of Social Security number
Checking your pre-qualification status won’t have any effect on your credit scores. If you go on to actually apply for a card, however, that will result in a hard inquiry, which can affect your credit. And if you’re approved, opening a new credit card can affect your credit scores in various ways.
You may also get physical mail from Chase, saying you’ve been pre-approved for certain cards and inviting you to apply. There might be a specific code to claim the offer, but if any Chase offers are currently extended to you, you’ll probably find them online too.
If you’re already a Chase bank customer, you may find custom offers when logging in to your account, as well.
Pre-qualifying for a credit card doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed approval if you apply! You could still be denied, especially if the contents of your credit reports have since changed drastically.
What Chase Cards Can You Pre-Qualify For?
It’s unclear exactly which Chase credit cards you can pre-qualify for, but there are three popular cards displayed on Chase’s pre-qualification page:
- Chase Freedom Unlimited® (Review)
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Review)
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Review)
Other Chase cards you may find pre-approvals for include:
Chase’s online pre-qualification tool is unlikely to work for Chase business credit cards, since it doesn’t ask for any business-related information.
What Does Credit Card Pre-Approval Mean?
Being pre-approved for a credit card means you’ve met some initial criteria to qualify, but you’re not guaranteed approval.
You’ve only passed a first, relatively easy set of hurdles, usually based on the information in your credit reports. The initial criteria may have to do with credit scores, length of credit history, payment history — whatever the lender decides.
Credit card issuers ask the credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion) for the names of people who meet certain standards, and extend offers to apply to them. In many cases, the offers you get are the same as the offers publicly available online, known as public offers. In other cases, you may be targeted with a special private offer — either better or worse than the standard public offer, depending on your credit.
When you apply for a credit card, the issuer (Chase, in this case) will perform a hard inquiry on your credit reports, and will ask for more information about your finances, like income. This is the real test. A pre-approval means you have a good chance, but your actual approval depends on the results of this more comprehensive look at your credit and financial situation.
Learn more about credit card pre-approval, or pre-qualification, here.
What's the difference between pre-approval and pre-qualification?
When it comes to credit cards, there isn’t really any difference. Credit card issuers may use either term to describe a potential customer who has been pre-selected for a credit product in some way. In this post we’re using them interchangeably.
Every card issuer has its own preference for which term to use, and its own standards for who qualifies for pre-approval. But in practice, they end up meaning basically the same thing.
Take note, however, that when these terms are used in other contexts, like mortgage lending, they may have very different and specific meanings.
How Long Does Chase Pre-Approval Last?
Pre-approval offers come with an expiration date, usually 30 or 60 days in the future. But these expiration dates don’t matter too much, since you have to go through a full credit check when you actually apply, anyway.
Usually, there isn’t much harm in waiting to apply for a credit card, as long as your credit scores stay about the same. If your pre-qualified offer expires, you can just re-check your status, and you may get the same offer.
But you may want to secure an offer quickly, while you know you’re pre-qualified, before anything changes about your credit or the economy at large. This is especially true if you get an offer with better terms, like a bigger introductory bonus.
You can check your pre-qualification status online with other credit card companies too, like American Express, Capital One, Citi, and Bank of America. Many other issuers, including credit unions, send offers by mail but don’t always have online pre-approval tools. Checking your status with many issuers may give you a better idea of your approval odds.
What If My Credit Scores Drop After Pre-Approval?
If you get a pre-approved offer and then your credit scores fall, you may be denied if you apply for the card. The harder your credit gets hit, the worse your chances are.
This is why, as mentioned, pre-approval does not guarantee approval. Chase took a quick look at your credit profile, and thought you might be a good fit. If you then use credit irresponsibly, the lender may reevaluate its decision.
A pre-approval only means that you’ve passed certain initial requirements — when you apply, Chase will take a deeper look at your credit history and other financial factors, and will approve or deny you based on what it finds.
You may be rejected even if your credit scores stay the same (or improve) in the time between the pre-approval and the actual application, although this isn’t too likely.
Brendan has been writing about personal finance for over eight years, and is now taking on the challenge of bringing high-quality credit education to the masses. He makes sure that Credit Card Insider is covering the most important credit topics transparently and precisely, and that we have up-to-date reviews of credit cards so you can find cards that are right for you.
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