The Bankrate promise
At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
Plenty of factors can impact your ability to get approved for a credit card, especially if you’re considering the best rewards and travel credit cards on the market. For starters, most of the top card offers require applicants to have very good or excellent credit. Not only that, but other factors in your application can come into play, such as your income and recent work history.
Fortunately, a free tool from Bankrate can help you check for preapproved credit card offers while also seeing if you’re eligible for better sign-up bonuses or special promotions the public doesn’t see.
Keep reading to learn all about Bankrate’s CardMatch tool, how it works and how you can increase your chances at preapproval for all of the top credit card offers.
What is CardMatch?
CardMatch is a free tool that shows consumers prescreened credit card offers they may be eligible for. This tool requires only minimum personal information, yet you may find you’re matched with superior credit card offers than you can find elsewhere online.
To use the CardMatch tool, all you have to do is head to this area of the Bankrate website and share information like your name, home address and email address, phone number and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
How to improve your chances of credit card preapproval on CardMatch
While it’s likely you’ll be matched with a few offers if you use the CardMatch tool, you can increase your chances at preapproval for the top credit cards on the market today if you’re willing to put in some work. The following steps can help you maintain a good credit score, which can help boost your chances of being preapproved.
Pay all of your bills on time
Your payment history is the most important factor creditors look at when checking your profile for eligibility. In fact, this factor actually makes up 35 percent of your FICO credit score.
If you want to increase your credit score or maintain excellent credit, you’ll need to make sure you pay all of your bills—including monthly credit card bills—on time.
Pay down credit cards and other debts
The second most important factor that makes up 30 percent of your FICO score is the amount of debt you have in relation to your credit limits. This is also referred to as your credit utilization.
If you want to boost your credit score, you can do so by paying off any revolving balances you have and keeping your credit utilization at 30 percent or below.
Avoid opening or closing credit card accounts
New credit makes up another 10 percent of your credit history, which is why you should only apply for new accounts if you truly have to.
Meanwhile, the average length of your credit history makes up another 15 percent of your FICO score. To perform well in this category, you should refrain from closing old accounts in good standing (even if you’re not using them).
Check your credit reports for free
Finally, you should check your credit reports to make sure incorrect reporting isn’t harming your score. If you find any errors on your reports, you can dispute them with the credit bureaus to help protect your credit.
The website AnnualCreditReport.com lets you check all three of your credit reports once a week for free, so there’s no excuse not to.
Reasons you may not get a preapproved offer on CardMatch
When you use Bankrate’s CardMatch tool, you may be presented with different prescreened offers that vary from person to person. Offers you’re eligible for could include credit cards matched to your credit profile or targeted credit card offers with better terms or bonus offers than found elsewhere online.
Either way, these offers are compiled after Bankrate performs a soft pull on your credit report, which is different from a hard inquiry. A soft pull won’t impact your credit score at all, but it does help creditors figure out which offers you’re likely to be approved for.
If your credit score is very low, it’s possible you may not be prequalified or preapproved for any credit card offers at all—or at least not ones you’re interested in. It’s also possible you won’t see any preapproved offers if you are a credit newcomer who doesn’t have a meaningful credit history yet.
The bottom line
Bankrate’s CardMatch tool makes it easy to see several credit card offers you may be eligible for all in one place, and you could even see rewards credit cards with superior offers compared to what the public sees.
But don’t take our word for it. Try out Bankrate’s CardMatch tool today, and you could be on your way to a better credit card in no time.