Pre-approved Chase credit cards: How to qualify

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Chase offers some of the top rewards and travel credit cards on the market today, but it doesn’t necessarily make qualifying an easy feat. All Chase credit cards require good or excellent credit to begin with, and Chase also has a rule that limits new credit cards to consumers it considers have too many already—the Chase 5/24 rule.

Fortunately, Chase makes it easy to see if you can get pre-qualified for some of its credit cards. Not only is it proactive about sending pre-approved credit card offers in the mail when you’re targeted, but there’s a page on its website dedicated to pre-approvals for some of its top offers.

Which Chase cards can you get pre-approved for?

The Chase website makes it instantly apparent which of its credit cards you can get pre-qualified for online. Top Chase credit cards you can check for pre-qualification include the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Where the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve is ideal for consumers who want to earn flexible travel rewards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is perfect for anyone who wants to earn cash back without an annual fee.

How to get pre-approved for a Chase credit card

Getting pre-approved for one of the best Chase credit cards is a piece of cake, since you only have to provide enough personal information for Chase to place a soft inquiry on your credit report. Unlike a hard inquiry, which can impact your credit score and requires your full Social Security number, a soft inquiry only requires very basic personal information.

There are two easy places to check for pre-qualified Chase offers. If you decide to apply via either of these sites, keep in mind that the pre-qualification Chase offer is not a guarantee of approval. This step only ensures you’re likely eligible for a Chase credit card based on your income, your credit and other factors.

Check for offers on CardMatch

One of the easiest ways to get a pre-qualified offer from Chase is by taking advantage of Bankrate’s CardMatch™ tool. By entering some basic information such as your name, email address and the last four digits of your Social Security number (you can create a free Bankrate account along the way for easier access in the future), you can be matched with qualifying card offers from a variety of issuers—including Chase.

The one major benefit of taking this route to pre-approval is that even if you don’t qualify for a Chase card, you might find another offer that is better for you. Plus, when you use CardMatch, there is no impact to your credit score.

Check for offers on the Chase site

To get pre-approved for a Chase credit card via its website, you’ll only need to follow these simple steps:

  • Step 1: Head to this Chase credit card pre-approval page.
  • Step 2: Enter your first and last name and your address.
  • Step 3: Provide Chase with the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  • Step 4: Click on “Find My Offers.”

Once you complete these steps, you’ll be taken to another page that lists any pre-approved offers you might be eligible for.

How to boost your chances of pre-qualifying and getting approved for a Chase credit card

How can you increase your chances of pre-qualifying for a Chase credit card? And how can you increase your chances of being approved if you take steps to fill out an application and apply? There are several steps you can take right away:

Check your credit score

If your FICO score falls in any category other than very good or excellent, which typically means any score below 740, then it’s possible you’ll need to spend time improving your credit before you can qualify for a Chase credit card. To see where you stand for sure, make sure you check your credit score.

Pay all of your bills early or on time

Because your payment history is the most important factor that determines your FICO score, paying all your bills early or on-time is a smart way to ensure your credit score stays in good shape.

Pay off other debt

The second most important factor that makes up your FICO score is your credit utilization—or the amounts you owe in relation to your credit limits. If your debt levels are high, you may be able to boost your credit score by paying off other debt. Most experts suggest keeping your credit utilization below 30 percent for the best results, which means maintaining $3,000 or less in debt for each $10,000 in revolving credit you have.

Count your household income

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has introduced rules that let individuals list household income when applying for credit, which can be helpful for spouses who stay home or don’t work but have access to income otherwise. With that in mind, make sure you’re listing your household income on your credit card application if you apply, and not just your personal income.

Wait it out

Finally, remember that you’re unlikely to get approved for a new Chase credit card if you’ve had too many new credit cards in the recent past. If you’ve had more than five new cards in the last 24 months, you may need to wait a year or even longer to reapply for the Chase credit card you want.

Should you get a pre-approved card from Chase?

Getting pre-qualified for a Chase credit card does have its benefits. You get to gauge whether you’ll truly be approved for a Chase card without a hard inquiry on your credit report, and you can also use the opportunity to compare the top credit card offers you might be eligible for.

On the downside, it’s important to remember that pre-approval doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the card you want in the end. You’ll have to fill out a full application to see if you’re approved or not, which could mean you’ll face a hard inquiry on your credit report without anything to show for it.

Should you get pre-approved? If you plan to apply anyway, then you have nothing to lose. Just remember that, when it comes to getting approved for a credit card, you have to commit to filling out a full application before you know for sure.