It’s no secret that Chase has many of the best credit cards on the market, but those cards are also usually only available to consumers with good or excellent credit. If you’re right on the cusp of a good credit score or you’ve made some financial missteps in the past, it’s hard to know whether Chase will approve your application.
There are two ways you can improve your odds: getting either pre-approved or pre-qualified for a Chase credit card before you apply. Here’s how to do both.
Pre-approved, pre-qualified — what’s the difference?
Although plenty of people think “pre-approved” and “pre-qualified” are two different ways of saying the same thing, they’re actually much different.
When Chase pre-approves you for a credit card, it’s the closest you can get to guaranteed approval. And a pre-approval can even sometimes (but not always) get you around Chase’s 5/24 rule, which would otherwise automatically deny your application if you’ve opened five or more credit accounts within the last 24 months.
A pre-qualification is iffier. When you pre-qualify for a card, that’s Chase’s way of saying you have a solid chance of getting it, but the card issuer won’t decide until processing a full application from you. Pre-qualifying for a card doesn’t get you around Chase’s 5/24 rule.
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How to get pre-approved for Chase credit cards
It’s more difficult to get a Chase credit card pre-approval than a pre-qualification, and much of it comes down to luck. There are two ways consumers get pre-approved:
- Receiving a pre-approval offer from Chase in the mail
- Visiting a Chase branch
The first method is convenient when it happens to you, but not exactly something you have any control over, so let’s focus on the second.
When you visit a Chase branch, you can ask an employee if you’re pre-approved for any credit cards. It often helps to have a bank account or other pre-existing relationship with Chase. If the employee finds any pre-approvals for you that you’re interested in, you’ll need to apply in-branch to take advantage of the offer.
How to pre-qualify for Chase credit cards
You can see if you’re pre-qualified for any Chase cards online.
1. Go to the Chase pre-qualification page.
2. Fill out the pre-qualification form with the required information.
3. This form only asks for:
•Your full name
•Your street address
4. The last four digits of your Social Security number
5. Click “Find My Offers.”
After processing your information, the site will show you any Chase cards you’re pre-qualified for. If you aren’t pre-qualified for any, then the page will say “We are unable to locate any offers for you at this time.”
Will this affect my credit?
No, there’s no effect on your credit score during the pre-approval or the pre-qualification process. Chase only performs a soft credit check on you when you use its pre-qualification tool, and that doesn’t impact your credit score.
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Should you decide to apply for a Chase card, there will be a hard credit check for that. Hard credit checks do cause a credit score drop, but not by much — the average decrease is around three to five points.
Choosing your Chase card
Just because you’re pre-approved or pre-qualified for a certain Chase card doesn’t mean you need to get that specific card. The exception is when you won’t pass the 5/24 rule, in which case you should only apply with a pre-approval offer to avoid an automatic denial.
Otherwise, consider those pre-approval and pre-qualification offers to be suggestions. Check out all the top Chase credit cards before you apply, because card benefits vary quite a bit. Since all Chase’s cards have similar credit score requirements, if you qualify for one, it’s likely that you’ll qualify for others as well.
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