Are There Guaranteed Approval Credit Cards?

Credit card companies often send elaborate mail packages, letters, postcards, and emails to promote the many features and benefits their cards offer. Despite how some of their marketing messages may name you specifically, say you’re pre-approved, and invite you to apply, there are no guaranteed approval credit cards.

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In fact, all credit cards require that a customer formally complete a credit card application before they’re given the green light to open a new credit card account — regardless of their credit history, income, or credit score.

Here’s a look at why guaranteed approval credit cards don’t exist — and how to increase the chances that your credit card application will result in an approval when you see a credit card offer that’s too good to pass up.

Are there credit cards that guarantee my approval?

In a word, no. Credit card companies cannot issue credit cards to consumers without the customer’s permission to pull and view their credit report.

Known as a “hard inquiry,” the process empowers credit issuers to review details about a potential customer’s other credit accounts, the balances on them, and payment history, to determine how much risk a potential customer presents if they are offered a line of credit.

In turn, this hard inquiry process gives customers control over who can view their private credit-related information.

If there are no guaranteed approval credit cards, why do I get credit offers?

Credit card issuers invite customers to apply as a form of target marketing, according to Experian. While not an exact science, this allows credit issuers to promote their products to customers who are most likely to want a particular credit card based on other brands you may buy, magazines you read, and products you own.

If you receive an offer for a guaranteed approval credit card, a credit card issuer may have purchased your name on a list of customer contact information from other brands you have a relationship with — like rewards or loyalty programs, catalogs, and magazines.

The credit card issuers who send you offers from these lists may not have seen your credit or financial information; they simply have reason to believe that you could qualify for the product they offer, based on other products you have purchased.

What goes into approving me for a credit card?

When you complete a credit card application, you’re generally asked to provide information like your Social Security number, current mailing address and phone number, occupation and employer — along with your current salary — and debt obligations.

How do I improve the chances that my credit card application will be approved?

There may not be guaranteed approval credit cards, but you can get a sense of your credit health by checking your credit score and history before you apply.

If your credit score is in the “low” or “average” ranges, focus on how to improve your credit score over time before you apply for a new credit card. For example, you might commit to making timely monthly payments, paying down other credit card balances, and limiting the amount of your credit lines you use for several months before you apply for a new credit card.

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Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.

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    Earn big‑time cash back that never expires with Discover it®.

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    Get the credit card that's got it all: Discover it®.

    Discover it® gives you big‑time cash rewards with 100% U.S.‑based customer service.

    Discover it® Card

    Sponsored

    Get the credit card that's got it all: Discover it® 

    Discover it® gives you big‑time cash rewards with 100% U.S.‑based customer service.  

    Sponsored

    Earn big‑time cash back that never expires with Discover it®

    Earn big-time cash back that never expires with Discover it. See Rewards
Earn big-time cash back that never expires with Discover it. See Rewards