What a Pre-Approved Credit Card Offer Really Means

A pre-approved credit card offer should be approached with care and used to your advantage. If it’s not the card you want with terms that fit your personal financial situation, then shred it.

Not a Done Deal

Receiving a pre-approved credit card offer does not necessarily mean you will get a card if you file an application. "Pre-approved" means that based on the data the credit card company has been able to collect on you, you might qualify for a card. If the information in your application differs from the data the credit card company has, you could be offered a card with different terms or not offered a card at all.

If you are satisfied with your current credit card relationships and the terms advertised to you are not a significant improvement, shred the pre-approved credit card offer.

Get Your Terms

If the terms offered in a pre-approved credit card offer meet a specific need, then it can be to your advantage to consider it. An example would be a low- or no-interest card offering a balance transfer for a low fee or none at all. If you are carrying credit card debt at a higher interest rate, can pay your bills monthly and can pay off the debt during the time the low or no interest is offered, that would be like giving yourself an interest-free loan.

At this point, the pre-approval can work in your favor, smoothing the application and acceptance process. Be certain you are dealing with a well-known credit card issuer and that the fees don’t negate the value of other terms. Credit card companies are competing for qualified card holders. If a company has sent you an offer and the card looks desirable, then work that to your advantage.

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