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How to Pre-Qualify for a Discover Card

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Pre-qualifying for a Discover card is easy. And if you’re thinking about getting a new card, like the popular Discover it Cashback Match, you should see if you’re pre-approved before submitting a full application.

You might think it’s out of your hands, but there are things you can do to increase your chances of getting a pre-approved offer from Discover. We’ll show you the best ways to pre-qualify and what to do.

First Step: Find Out Which Discover Cards You Have Been Pre-Qualified For

If you’re interested in a Discover card, simply complete an online form that includes some basic personal and financial information. Discover has a handy online tool to help.

How to Pre-Qualify Online With Discover

1) Go to the Discover website page to see what products you are pre-qualified for before applying.

2) Fill out the requested personal and financial information.

3) Hit “Check Now” to submit.
That’s it. In most cases Discover will let you know immediately if they think you’re a good candidate for one of their cards. If you are, you’re pre-approved. The next step is to submit the application, which can also be done online.

Second Step: Find Out Which Discover Card is the Best Fit for You

Whether you need to transfer a balance or you are looking to earn miles for travel, Discover has a card that will fit your needs. And all of them will match what you earn the first year.

What Does It Mean to Be Pre-Approved?

Let’s start with the basics. Pre-qualifying for a card simply means that a credit card company, like Discover, has looked at some information about your credit and decided that you’re a good candidate for one of their cards.

All of the major credit bureaus sell some of the basic information they’ve collected to credit card issuers. Card companies then filter through that info, looking at various factors like credit history and indebtedness to find individuals they believe are likely to be approved for a card.

Discover it mail promo

The issuer will then reach out to you, typically by mail, saying that you’ve been pre-approved for a card. It is essentially a sales technique.

“Pre-qualifying for a Discover card doesn’t guarantee approval.”

This is important and worth repeating: pre-qualifying does not guarantee that you will be approved. It just means that the card issuer thinks that you are a good candidate and that you’re very likely to be approved. You still need to apply and to meet certain qualifications, like income level.

Does Pre-Approval From Discover Hurt Your Credit Score?

The good news is that it doesn’t.

Pre-approval is based on information that is available to card issuers without a hard credit check. Discover actually refers to the prequalification process as a soft credit check.

In other words, the issuer won’t pull your full credit report in order to determine if you’re pre-approved. Only hard pulls ding your credit score, so you have nothing worry about if you’re seeking pre-approval.

Why You Should Try to Pre-Qualify

You will still have to submit a full credit card application if you decide to apply for a card, even if you’ve received notice that you’re pre-approved or that you pre-qualify. That process will include a hard credit check, which may lower your credit score.

The key is to minimize hard pulls by maximizing your chances of being approved for a card. That’s why pre-approval offers are important. It’s the way a credit card issuer like Discover, lets you know that they think you’ll be successful in your application to get the card.

Pre-Approval and Bad Credit

It’s hard to get approved for a new card if you have bad credit. And having an application denied hurts both your confidence and your credit score. This is why Discover offers this online tool to help you figure out if you’re likely to be approved for a card without having to submit a full application.

Discover pre-approve

This easy pre-qualification process from Discover does not hurt your credit score. A soft inquiry, as it’s sometimes called, does not include a hard pull on your credit, but instead relies on information you supply to the issuer.

This does not guarantee approval or denial of a full application as we’ve noted, but it will tell you if you’re a good candidate. If you don’t pre-qualify and you’re not what Discover considers a desirable applicant, you need to improve your credit score.

Start With Your Credit Report

Get a copy of your credit report and try to figure out what the biggest issues are. Fix the easiest items first, such as delinquencies and accounts that are in collections.

Don’t forget to look for errors, too. Sometimes there are simple mistakes, or you could be a victim of fraudulent charges and identity theft. Make sure everything on your report makes sense.

Appeal to Discover

If you think that you have a high enough credit score to successfully apply for a new card, you can call the following reconsideration line and talk to someone about it:


If that doesn’t work and  your credit score is the problem, you may need to apply for a credit card designed for someone with a low credit score. These cards have lower standards, though they may also have lower limits and/or higher interest rates.

Discover Credit Cards for Bad Credit

If you don’t have a card and aren’t likely to qualify for one, consider getting a secured credit card. You’ll need to put up collateral in the form of cash, but if you can do that, you can get a secured card.

Once you get a card, use it to show responsible credit use. But make sure you pay off your balance every month. Missing payments will only make matters worse.

Discover Credit Cards for Students

The Discover it Card for College Students is one of the best credit cards for students because it offers up to 5% cash back on purchases in rotating categories. Discover will also reward student cardholders with $20 cash back when maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or higher!

Why Pre-Qualify With Discover?

Not only does Discover have a handy online tool to tell you if you’re pre-approved, but it also has a lot of great credit cards. Perhaps the best card, and the one you should shoot for if you’re looking to get pre-qualified, is the Discover it Cashback Match card.

With the Discover it card, you’ll get 5 percent cash back in quarterly rotating bonus categories. Those categories vary a bit from year to year, but they typically include gas stations, wholesale clubs, grocery stores, restaurants and more. Purchases outside of the bonus categories receive 1 percent back.

Perhaps the best reason to get the Discover it card is for its unequaled first year offer to new cardholders. Every cent you earn in cash back during the first 12 months you have the card will be matched.

That means that bonus categories earn an unbelievable 10 percent back. Even non-bonus purchases get a solid 2 percent back. That’s better than any other cashback card on the market, and the card’s free to hold since there’s no annual fee.

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