Pre-approved vs. Pre-screened Credit Cards

Pre-approved vs. pre-screened Credit Cards – which is right for you? It may not seem like there’s much of a difference between a pre-approved vs. a pre-screened credit card but the differences are subtle if you read the fine print.

Before you sign the dotted line for any credit card make sure you know and understand the terms of conditions.

Pre-screened credit card

These credit card offers are targeted to certain consumers by banks, based on a consumer’s credit score, borrowing history and personal history. Essentially, the bank has done a background check on your personal information so the offers are well tailored and approvals are nearly guaranteed. These offers are customized to your age bracket, income, FICO score and membership to groups, such as AARP. Pre-screening consumers is a more cost-effective way for creditors to identify ideal consumers who will be smart in their credit use and pay their debts back in a timely manner. These consumers could become potential customers of that particular creditor. If you get a prescreened credit card offer in the mail, all that is required of you to accept it is to sign your name and provide other identifying information. Provided that you meet the pre-screened criteria, you will be given a line of credit. Just be aware that under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, creditors can still view your credit history when you accept the offer.

Pre-approved credit card

A pre-approved credit card is given to consumers through the mail. Credit card companies allow potential consumers to visit their website and provide their personal information to find out which cards they are pre-approved for. If you meet a certain criteria based on your personal information, there’s a chance you could be approved for the credit card. Remember, you are not actually pre-approved. You still have to apply for the credit card and keep in mind that you may still be denied for the card or you may be accepted but receive different interest rates than originally stated in the pre-approval offer.

If you wish to no longer receive credit card offers, pre-screened and pre-approved, you can always opt out of their offers by removing your name from credit reporting agency’s list for credit offers. Check out each of the three credit reporting agencies websites to find out how you can stop receiving credit card offers. Remember, before you sign up for a credit card offer from the mail make sure you know exactly what the terms of the card are and you fully understand the conditions of it.

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