Key takeaways

  • Bankrate’s CardMatch is a service that matches you with personalized or prequalified credit card offers based on the information you provide
  • While using the tool, you’ll provide basic financial and personal information, along with what you’re looking for in a credit card
  • CardMatch does a soft pull on your credit report, which has no impact on your credit score

Finding the right credit card takes some upfront work and planning, and that’s especially true if you’re looking for a credit card that lets you earn rewards on your spending. You’ll typically need to start by figuring out the type of rewards you want to earn, such as cash back, points or miles. You’ll then want to compare all of the top credit card offers currently available, including their welcome bonuses, to figure out which ones you may be able to qualify for.

Fortunately, a tool exists that can help you do all the research you need to do in one place. This tool, known as Bankrate’s CardMatch™, may also show you sign-up bonus offers that are not available to the general public.

If you’re in the market for a new rewards credit card — or if you’re looking for a balance transfer credit card or a card to help you build your credit — consider using the CardMatch tool to help you find the right fit for you.

What is CardMatch?

CardMatch is a service from Bankrate that matches users with personalized or prequalified credit card offers based on the information they provide. While these offers don’t guarantee that you’ll be approved for a credit card, the tool helps you gauge which cards you may be eligible for based on your credit profile.

Note that, since CardMatch connects users with offers based on their personal details, consumers often see dramatically different offers from one another (sometimes even different offers on the same card). However, it’s common for people to see top rewards cards, balance transfer credit cards and credit-building cards from some of the top card issuers.

How does CardMatch work?

The CardMatch process only takes a few minutes. All you have to do is head to the tool and provide some basic personal and financial information, along with what you’re looking for in a credit card. Since CardMatch isn’t the same as a credit card application, you only have to provide a minimal amount of personal details to get started. CardMatch then works to match you with credit card offers based on your credit profile.

From there, you may get a combination of personalized, prequalified or preapproved offers. Your personalized, prequalified or preapproved offers could include some of the top rewards credit cards, cash back credit cards, balance transfer credit cards and more. In some cases, you could even see unusually high bonus offers on select rewards and travel credit card offers. If this is the case, you’ll need to apply for the card through the CardMatch tool to be eligible.

How to use CardMatch

Bankrate’s CardMatch tool is easy to use. Simply follow the prompts and answer the questions to the best of your ability to see personalized recommendations or prequalified credit card offers.

1. Determine if you have any card preferences.

screenshot of cardmatch interface

The first question you’ll answer is what you’re looking for in a card — whether that is getting cash back, earning points or miles, saving money on interest or building or rebuilding credit.

  • If you select getting cash back or earning points or miles, you’ll be asked about how you prefer to use your card. You’ll be asked if you rotate cards to maximize rewards, use the same card for most purchases or have no preference.
  • If you select saving money on interest, you’ll be asked whether or not you want to transfer a balance to your new card.
  • If you select building or rebuilding credit, you’ll go straight to the next question.

Next, you’ll decide whether or not you’re willing to pay an annual fee (or say you’re not sure).

2. Enter basic financial information.

screenshot of cardmatch interface, on your way to your perfect match

You’ll then enter some basic financial information about your employment status, your annual income and your monthly rent or mortgage payment. Bankrate asks these questions because card issuers ask about these aspects during the credit card qualification process.

3. Enter basic personal information.

screenshot of cardmatch

Next, you’ll enter some basic personal information to verify your identity. This includes your first and last name, your home address, the last four digits of your Social Security number (needed for the soft credit pull) and your email address. You’ll then select “Agree and Get Matches.” By selecting this option, you agree to the terms and conditions and are ready to see your card matches.

Why should you use CardMatch?

The best part about the CardMatch tool is that you may see targeted introductory bonuses and prescreened offers that aren’t available to everyone. This means you could earn more bonus rewards or qualify for an offer you won’t find anywhere else.

Since using the platform only requires a soft pull on your credit report, your credit score won’t be impacted, either. This means you can use CardMatch with no obligation, and you shouldn’t feel pressure to move forward with a credit card application unless you see an offer you’re interested in.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

    • CardMatch uses an algorithm that takes into account factors like your credit profile, card preferences (such as earning cash back or building credit) and lifestyle to help you find the best credit card for your needs.
    • The CardMatch tool only places a soft pull on your credit report, which has no impact on your credit score. However, if you decide to apply for a credit card you’re matched with, the credit card issuer will run a hard pull on your credit, which will cause your score to drop by a few points.
    • Some of the issuers that participate in CardMatch include American Express, Bank of America, Chase, Citi, Discover and Wells Fargo.
    • A prequalified credit card match does not guarantee that you’ll be approved for that credit card. Typically, you’re presented with prequalified offers when you submit basic information like your income, monthly housing or apartment payment and Social Security number. If you are prequalified for an offer based on this initial information, this just means that you may meet the issuer’s approval requirements based on this data. There’s still a chance that you could be declined for the offer after they’ve looked into your credit profile, income and any debt obligations. A preapproved offer typically means that there’s been more in-depth pre-screening done on the issuer’s side. This process costs more for issuers because they collect more data points to find cardholders most likely to meet their approval requirements.

The bottom line

If you want to see some of the best credit card offers all in one place, Bankrate’s CardMatch tool can save you time and hassle. All you’ll have to do is enter some basic information to see personalized or prequalified offers that may be better than what you can find elsewhere. You can use CardMatch with no pressure to apply for a card, and since it’s free to use, there’s no reason not to check it out.