No matter what your future goals are, financial or otherwise, your credit history is going to be a critical part of your success. Hardworking or lucky individuals with a good credit score enjoy solid business relationships with most banks, loan offices and other financial institutions. One of the benefits people with a good credit history get to enjoy is a pre-approved credit card.
A select group of candidates are offered the opportunity to own and use a pre-approved credit card. Before they can use the card, there is a particular set of underwritten criteria they must meet, set forth by the institution issuing the card. In order to establish that you are responsible enough for a pre-approved card, you also have to meet these criteria.
If you do decide that you want a card, the issuing institution will check your consumer report from the three main credit tracing bureaus. After they complete the agency check, you will be notified via mail that you are eligible for a pre-approved card as long as there were no problems in the consumer background check.
If you have a good credit score, you will more than likely be selected as a recipient. Then, you will receive your offer, and it is up to you to take it or leave it. Most candidates are unable to determine the full scope of benefits a pre-approved card can offer. Fortunately for you, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 pre-approved credit cards and their benefits.
Just so you know, if you accept the mail offer, it does not assure you the credit card. The issuer still runs another credit check, and you may get turned down. Before we list the best cards for your consideration, there are some things to consider before deciding to get a pre-approved card.
- Pre-approved cards have more benefits to offer versus regular credit cards. For example, pre-approved cards allow you zero percent balance transfers.
- You are eligible for special benefits like cash-back offers. For example, many of these cards offer cash-back rewards for spending a certain amount within a specified time.
- These cards offer lower interest rates when purchasing certain kinds of goods.
- You get easy approval compared to the direct application of a credit card.
- You can stop the prescreened offers for as long as you wish.
The list above contains a variety of reasons for trying to obtain a pre-approved card. Now, here are five cards you should consider accepting if an offer is sent for them to you in the mail.
American Express’ Blue Cash Preferred Card
There are a lot of benefits with the American Express’ Blue Cash Preferred card. Many of them will lift a lot of financial burden from your life.
One of the perks of being a new user is the ten percent bonus cash back on your purchases made through Amazon, which is becoming a more popular place to shop lately. Unfortunately, the ten percent bonus is not an unlimited offer. The Amazon cash back reward is only good for the first six months of owning the Blue Cash card. It is also capped at $200 cash back.
However, American Express sweetens the deal if you spend at least $1,000 in the first three months on the card by giving you an additional $150 money back.
The APR for the first year of owning the card is zero percent. This is for all purchases and balance transfers. After the year is up, your zero percent APR increases to a rate between 13.24 and 23.24 percent. Be careful, since 23.24 percent is high if your credit score is bad. The percentage rate, in conjunction with your credit score, is also determined by underwriting factors.
Other Blue Cash Preferred Card perks include:
- Six percent cash back bonus on purchases made in supermarkets within the United States.
- Three percent cash back on purchases made at gas stations in the United States.
- One percent cash back on all other purchases.
The card’s annual fee is $95, and all of the bonuses are given in reward dollars, which means the rewards are redeemed through the card.
Citibank’s Citi Simplicity Credit Card
If you want your savings simplified, the Citi Simplicity credit card is right for you. The best benefits for the card are designed to attract everyone, especially procrastinators. You will not have to pay an annual fee, and you will not be penalized for late fees.
Once you get the Citi Simplicity Credit Card, you get 21 months of zero percent APR from Citibank starting at the time of your enrollment. You get the benefit of the 21 months of zero percent APR for purchases and credit carry-over transactions.
When your 21 months has ended, the zero percent APR falls between 13.24 and 23.24 percent interest. Like the card above, where you fall mostly depends on your credit score. Additionally, you will have to pay three percent of any transfer amounts.
Also, it can take up to four weeks for your application to be completed. And all purchases will receive at least an additional $0.50 interest charge. If you make any foreign purchases, your fee will be three percent of the total cost.
You can inquire to see if you qualify for consideration of the card their benefits by entering your vital information without it affecting your credit score.
Capital One’s Platinum Credit Card
Capital One makes accepting the pre-approved request easy. You get the benefits listed below.
- Using the card helps to boost your credit score by ensuring your monthly payments are paid on time.
- There is no fraud liability fee if you lose your card.
- You can monitor your credit score through Capital One’s services.
- There are no charges for transfer fees.
A major asset to Capital One is their customer service. Someone is always available by phone or you can access them on the Internet.
Also, they monitor your account for suspicious activity. Finally, they allow you to pick a reasonable payment method and due date. Capital One really does go the extra mile to protect your credit and financial security.
US Bank’s Platinum
The US Bank’s Visa Card comes with a buffet of benefits. Your first year has a zero percent APR on balance transfers and purchases.
Afterwards, the APR, like most other cards, depends on your credit score, but it falls between a range that is a little easier to deal with. It ranges between 10.24 and 21.24 percent interest. The other benefits for this card are listed below.
- You can securely confirm account balances and view bank statements.
- There are over a million ATM machines across the globe that allow withdrawal.
- There is automatic bill pay, which helps you keep your credit in good standing in case you are forgetful.
- You get to select the payment due date every month.
- US Bank notifies you of suspicious activity.
- There is a mobile application, which makes account management easy.
Discover’s Secured Credit Card
Things are considerably easier with the Discover card, and it is up to you to take a proactive approach. You submit a form with personal data, like your social security number and name. The data is used to determine eligibility with no effect on your credit score.
You will have to make a security deposit of $200, which is refundable, and if you are given the card you can enjoy the benefits below.
- One percent cash back on all purchases.
- Two percent cash back on purchases in restaurants or gas stations.
- Discover will match all cash back during the first year.
- There is no annual card fee.
- You get monthly updates on your credit score for free.
- Customers with a good credit record will be approved for a no security credit card.
- It comes with a mobile application, which allows you to stop suspicious purchases in their tracks.
The one drawback to the Discover card is the standard 23.24 percent APR regardless of credit score, and there is no grace period.
The above five cards are certainly the best pre-approved cards you can be offered. If you accept a request for a pre-approved credit card, you are going to get more benefits than if you apply for one directly.
Also, keep in mind that all credit cards come with responsibilities, and you should only give in to requests that are lined up with your personal goals. Finally, if you accept the right pre-approved card, you will have a distinct advantage for simple approval and savings when you make purchases.