Published in: Credit Cards | Jan. 2, 2019

How to Get Pre-Approved for Discover Credit Cards

Don’t waste a credit card application. Discover’s pre-approval tools help you find personalized credit card offers and gauge your chances of approval.

checkbox with a check in it next to the word "pre-approved"

Image source: Getty Images

What if you could know whether or not you’d be approved before applying for a credit card?

While there’s no way to guarantee approval, many issuers offer pre-approval, which is a great way to gauge your chances of getting approved for any given credit card. These pre-approvals often come in the mail, but Discover offers quick and easy pre-approval online. Here’s why you should take advantage of it and how to get pre-approved for your favorite Discover credit card.

What does pre-approved mean?

If you’re pre-approved for a credit card, it simply means that the credit card issuer has determined that you fit certain criteria for that credit card. They do this by running a soft credit check, which doesn’t show up on your credit report or affect your credit score.

These checks aren’t as extensive as a hard credit check, so receiving pre-approval doesn’t necessarily mean you will be approved for the card. On the flip side, not having pre-approval doesn’t mean you’ll be denied.

Why you should check your pre-approvals before applying for a credit card

You want to minimize your rejections for credit cards. Every time you submit a credit card application, the issuers will run a hard credit check, which does show up on your credit report and can drag your score down temporarily. If you’re denied for the credit card, you’ve got a hard inquiry on your credit report with nothing to show for it. While the decrease is minimal from one inquiry, racking up 6 or 7 will really take a toll on your credit score, especially if you have a short credit history.

Pre-approval might not be the guarantee you’d like, but it does mean that you have a better chance at getting approved. Knowing this beforehand can help you decide whether or not you actually want to submit an application, or it can help you decide which credit card to apply for.

Checking your pre-approvals may also help you decide between two different Discover credit cards. If you’re pre-approved for one credit card but not the other, apply for the one you’re more likely to get. You may also be able to get a sense of the APR they’ll offer you from your pre-approvals, which can help guide your decision.

Getting pre-approved for Discover credit cards

Some people may automatically receive pre-approval offers from Discover in the mail. However, the best way to check your pre-approvals is online. Discover’s online pre-approval tool will show you exactly what personalized credit card offers you qualify for based on the information you provide.

Go to the Discover online approval tool and fill out the form. You’ll need to include the following information:

  • Personal information like your name and address
  • Employment information such as your salary and rent or mortgage payments
  • Banking information like whether you have any checking, savings, or retirement accounts
  • Security information like your birthday and Social Security number

You can then select whether you prefer cash-back credit cards, travel credit cards, or balance transfer offers. The form takes about five minutes to fill out, and you’ll receive a list of cards for which you’re pre-approved instantly.

Our #1 cash back pick has a surprise bonus

This may be the perfect cash back card! That's because it packs in $1,148 of value. Cardholders can earn up to 5% cash back, double rewards in the first year, and avoid interest well into 2020. With such a deep bench of perks you'll wonder how this card packs in a $0 annual fee. Best yet, you can apply and get a decision in two minutes. Learn more with our in-depth review.

Find the right card for you

0% APR & Low Interest