The Best Pre-Approved Credit Cards of 2022

Find out which issuers offer pre-approved credit cards and learn more about the benefits of a pre-approved card.

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Applying for a credit card can sometimes feel like a game of roulette. Will you be approved? Will you be denied? It can be a real shot in the dark, especially if you don’t have the best credit score.

But what if I told you that there was a way to know for sure whether or not you’d be approved for a credit card before you even applied? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, it’s not.

The Best Pre-Approved Credit Cards
The Best Pre-Approved Credit Cards

Here’s everything you need to know about pre-approved credit cards.


What is a Pre-Approved Credit Card?

A pre-approved credit card is exactly what it sounds like: a credit card that you’ve been approved for before you even apply.

Issuers will use information like your credit score and income to determine whether or not you’re eligible for a pre-approved offer. If you are, they’ll send you an offer in the mail (or, these days, via email).

Pre-approved offers are different from pre-qualified offers, which instead simply mean that the issuer thinks you might be a good candidate for their credit card based on the information they have on file. With a pre-qualified offer, you’re not guaranteed approval; with a pre-approved offer, you are.


Difference Between Pre-Approved and Pre-Qualified Credit Card Offers

The below table highlights the key differences between a pre-approved and pre-qualified offer:

Pre-Approved Offer Pre-Qualified Offer
You’re guaranteed to be approved for the card if you apply The issuer thinks you might be a good candidate for the card, but you’re not guaranteed approval
You’ll need to complete an application to get the full terms and conditions of the offer No application is necessary
You’ll receive the full terms and conditions of the card with the offer You will not necessarily receive the full terms and conditions of the card with the offer

Pre-approved offers are much more valuable than pre-qualified offers since you’re essentially guaranteed to be approved for the card if you apply.

If you receive a pre-approved offer in the mail, it will include an application that you can fill out and submit to get the full terms and conditions of the offer. Once you complete the application, you’ll find out things like the credit limit, APR, and annual fee of the card.

If you’re interested in the offer, you can then complete the application and get started using your new credit card!

Pre-approved offers are a great way to be almost certain that you’ll be approved for a credit card before you even apply.

What Are the Benefits of a Pre-Approved Credit Card?

There are two main benefits of having a pre-approved credit card: convenience and peace of mind. Applying for a credit card can be time-consuming, so the fact that you can skip that step with a pre-approved offer is appealing.

And because you know that you’ll be approved for the card before you even apply, it takes away some of the anxiety that comes with applying for new credit.

Of course, there is one potential downside to pre-approved offers: if you’re carrying around multiple offers, it can be tempting to apply for every single one of them.

After all, if you’ve been approved already, what’s the harm in applying for multiple cards? The harm, of course, is that too many applications in a short period can hurt your credit score.

So if you do receive multiple pre-approved offers, it’s important to resist the urge to apply for all of them at once.

Which Credit Card Companies Offer Pre-Approved Offers?

Almost all major credit card issuers offer pre-approved offers to qualified applicants. This includes issuers like Discover, American Express, Chase, and Capital One.

Below is the list of credit card companies that offer pre-approved offers with minimum Credit Scores.

Credit Card issuer Mails Pre-approved Offers? Minimum Credit Required
Bank of America Yes Bad
Capital One Yes Bad
Discover Bank Bad
USAA Yes Bad
U.S. Bank Yes Bad
Wells Fargo Yes Bad
PNC Yes Excellent
Synchrony Bank Yes Fair
American Express Yes Good
Chase Yes Good
Barclays Yes Limited
Citi bank Yes Limited
List of credit card companies that offer pre-approved

If you’re interested in receiving a pre-approved offer from a particular credit card issuer, you can check their website to see if they offer pre-approvals.

You can also try contacting customer service and asking if you’re eligible for any pre-approved offers.


Best Pre-approved Credit Cards for 2022

Now that you know a little more about pre-approved offers, let’s take a look at some of the best pre-approved credit cards available right now.

5 Best Pre-approved Credit Cards for 2022

Citi Simplicity® Card: Best Overall

The Citi Simplicity® Card is our top pick for the best pre-approved credit card because it offers 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months, as well as no late fees or penalties.

There’s also no annual fee, making it a great choice for people who want to save money on interest and fees. The only downside is that you’ll need good credit to qualify, but if you do, this is an excellent choice.

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best For Fair Credit

If you have fair credit, the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great option. It offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, as well as access to a higher credit line after making your first 6 monthly payments on time.

There’s a small $39 no annual fee, which makes this card an excellent value. Even, if you have a limited credit history, you may still be able to qualify for this card.

Capital One Platinum Credit Card: Best For Newcomers

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is a great choice for newcomers because it offers access to a higher credit line after making your first 6 monthly payments on time. There’s also no annual fee, which makes this card an excellent value. However, keep in mind that you’ll need limited history to qualify.

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One: Best For Students

The Journey Student Rewards from Capital One is our top pick for students because it gives 1% cash back on all purchases. There are no foreign transaction fees, and you can get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time.

There’s also no annual fee, which makes this card an excellent value for students who are working to build their credit. However, keep in mind that you’ll need limited history to qualify.

Discover it® Secured Credit Card: Best For Bad Credit

If you have bad credit, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a great option because it offers 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter), as well as 1% cash back on all other purchases.

There’s also no annual fee, which makes this card an excellent value for people with bad credit who are looking to improve their credit score. However, keep in mind that you’ll need bad credit to qualify and that you’ll have to deposit $200 into a collateral account when you open the account.


Conclusion:

There are several great pre-approved credit cards available right now. If you’re looking for the best overall card, we recommend the Citi Simplicity® Card. If you have fair credit, we recommend the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card.

And if you have bad credit, we recommend the Discover it® Secured Credit Card. Whichever card you choose, make sure to compare offers and read the fine print before you apply.

Pre-approved credit card offers can be a great way to save money on interest and fees, but it’s important to compare offers and read the fine print before you apply.

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