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To receive a pre-approved credit card offer, a credit card company has to determine if you are eligible without running your credit.

If you are on the market for a new credit card or looking to build up your credit score, you may be pre-approved for certain credit cards. Read on to learn more about our top choices of pre-approved credit cards.

Best pre-approval credit cards for 2023

  1. OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card: Best for no Credit Check at All
  2. Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card: Best Beginner-Friendly Option
  3. Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for Basic Credit and Rewards
  4. Capital One Platinum Credit Card: Best for No Annual Fee
  5. Deserve EDU Mastercard for Students: Best Student-Friendly Option
  6. Chase Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card
  7. Apple Credit Card: Best for Instant Rewards 

1. OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is a gem amongst secured credit cards because it allows you to apply for a card without a bank account or any credit check. It requires a minimum security deposit of $200 or more, which then sets your credit limit.

Once you prove that you are responsible and are building a good credit history by making on-time payments, you will get your security deposit back when you decide to move into another credit card and close out this account.

This card is ideal for those with no credit history who need a starter credit card to build their credit scores.

2. Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card 

The Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa Credit Card offers the best beginner-friendly features for a pre-approval credit card. The card issuer looks into more than just credit score and income. This can potentially make it easier for young adults and beginners who do not have a solid track record for credit history and need to be approved for a credit card.

Petal® 2 credit issuer WebBank does not necessarily look into the traditional FICO score to determine eligibility. Instead, it considers borrowers based on their income, savings, and spending habits.

This card carries no annual fee, credit limits ranging from $300 to $10,000, and 1% to 1.5% cash back rewards, making it a great option to help you build credit. 

3. Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card is good for those with average credit scores of at least 630.

The pre-qualification process is not hard, and approval odds are usually beyond average. This card is known for its generous cash back rewards of 1.5% on every purchase, and cardholders can be considered for a potential credit limit increase after six months of providing on-time payments.

Your annual fee depends on the specific QuicksilverOne credit card that you are pre-approved for. Some have annual fees, while others have $0. Consider a QuicksilverOne credit card by Capital One if your financial goals align. 

4. Capital One Platinum Credit Card 

The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card is a basic credit card with no reward system for those with average credit.

Although it has fewer perks than the Capital One QuicksilverOne credit card, it does carry no annual fee.

This card is sought after by those who need to build their credit up because the approval process is easy, and cardholders who make on-time payments can qualify for a higher credit limit within six months.

5. Deserve EDU Master Card for Students

The Deserve EDU Master Card for Students is extremely student-friendly. This card is offered to international and domestic students to help them build credit as well as earn rewards. This card does have a pre-qualification process, but because of the way the Deserve EDU credit card is designed, you may qualify for a credit card with no credit history at all. In some instances, international students may even qualify without a social security number.

This card carries no annual fee and can be an excellent option for students looking to build their credit. If you are a student, do not hesitate to check out the offers and perks from Deserve EDU. 

6. Chase Sapphire Reserve® Credit Card

The Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card offers a unbeatable benefits to travel-savvy cardholders. One of the main benefits is the generous rewards program, which allows cardholders to earn up to 5x points on travel purchases booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, and up to 10x points on dining, lodging, and car rentals through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. 

Additionally, this credit card offers a $300 annual travel rewards credit, which can be put toward travel-related expenses. The card also provides access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide through Priority Pass, and offers a host of travel and purchase protections, such as trip delay coverage and extended warranty. 

Cardholders also get a complimentary membership to DoorDash DashPass and Lyft Pink. Finally, the card has no foreign transaction fees, making it a great option for international travel. 

This card’s annual percentage interest rates (APR) can range from 21.49% to 28.49%, depending on the cardholder’s creditworthiness, and there is no intro APR. This card also has a hefty annual fee of $550, plus an additional $75 per authorized user. 

However, if you travel often and have a good credit profile, this pre-qualified credit card may help you get more value from your travel purchases. To see if you qualify, simply submit a credit card application on the card issuer’s website.

7. Apple Credit Card

If you are an Apple fanatic and love to purchase all of the latest from the tech giant, the Apple Credit Card may be the card for you.

This card has many perks, such as 3% cash back on qualifying Apple purchases — including Apple Pay and other merchants.

All other purchases made with Apple Pay receive 2% cash back that returns the cash directly into your apple cash wallet, which you can use to spend on whatever you desire. Purchases made when you swipe your physical card receive 1% cash back.

The application and pre-approval process is easy, and you can use your card immediately after approval. There is no annual fee for this card.

Pre-approval vs. pre-qualification

Pre-approval and pre-qualification are two different things.

The main difference between the two is that with pre-approval, the credit card company takes the initiative to pre-screen the credentials they have on file to determine if you are a likely candidate for a certain credit card.

Once they get that report back, they will send you a pre-approval offer invitation via email or postal mail to apply for their credit card.

The intended borrower initiates pre-qualification. You, as the borrower, can make an inquiry with a credit card company and are then responsible for providing the necessary requirements for them to determine if you are pre-qualified.

In other words, you give the credit card company the go-ahead to make a soft inquiry on your credit to see how high your chances are of getting approved.

Receiving either a pre-approval or a pre-qualification means your odds of getting approved are 80% or higher. Neither inquiry will have any impact on your credit score.

How does credit card pre-approval work?

As mentioned, credit card companies pre-screen potential cardholders and send them marketing and promotional pre-approval offers in the mail or email. It is important to note that receiving one of these offers in the mail does not guarantee a firm approval for a credit card; it is just an invitation indicating your chances are high.

After you receive the pre-approval letter, you can then go ahead and submit an official application for the credit card. Most credit card companies have an application process that can be completed online.

You will need to provide your full name, address, annual income, monthly housing costs (rent or mortgage), social security number, current employer, and more. Once you submit your application, you will be notified if you are approved or not.

If you are denied a credit card, the issuer should be able to give you a full credit report outlining why you were denied and the credit bureau that supplied the report. 

What are the pre-approval qualifications?

Credit card pre-approval criteria qualifications are very similar across the board. Credit card companies usually look for:

  • Annual income (may vary per specific card)
  • Credit score and history
  • Minimum age requirement of 21
  • U.S. citizen or social security number
  • U.S. permanent address

The bottom line

Receiving a pre-approval offer from a credit card company means that you are in good standing with that company and meet all of the qualifications necessary for that card. Although a pre-approval does not mean you are guaranteed firm approval, the chances of approval are very high.

If you are interested in a pre-approval offer, make sure to know all of the fees and benefits of the card before accepting because that will leave a hard inquiry on your credit report. 

If you need more clarity on your financial picture, we are here to help.

Information provided on Entrepreneur Guide is for educational purposes only. Your financial situation is unique and the products and services we review may not be right for your circumstances. We do not offer financial advice, advisory or brokerage services, we do not recommend or advise individuals to buy or sell particular stocks or securities. Performance information may have changed since the time of publication. Past performance is not indicative of future results

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