May 21, 2022


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What is Credit Card Prequalification and Which Issuers Offer It?

In recent times, you would have surely come across the words “pre-qualified” or “pre-approved” credit card while scanning through your mail. If you are wondering what it means, we have the answer for you. Pre-qualified credit card means your credit score information is likely matching some of the eligibility criteria laid out by the credit card issuer. Curious to know more about this concept? Read on to find out some interest details on pre-qualified credit cards.

What are pre-qualified credit cards?

A pre-qualified credit card notification may come from one of the credit card issuers to your mailbox. However, this doesn’t mean that the card has been allotted to you. Banks and credit card issuers attract customers by informing about pre-qualified cards to offer a sense of privilege to them. If you get a notification about the same, it means that the bank or issuer has your credit records and your eligibility details match up to some basic criteria laid out by them.

The communication stating pre-qualified credit cards is a way of attracting customers to financial institutions who offer credit cards. Even if you receive a communication of this sort, you will still have to apply for the card if you wish to try it out. The bank or issuer will then conduct detailed tests to gauge your credit history. If they are not satisfied with the results, they will end up rejecting your credit card application. This process may also hamper your credit score for the time being. 

Almost all the major credit card issuers send out pre-qualified offers periodically to eligible customers. 

Here are Some of the Major Issuers of Credit Cards in India

  • HDFC Bank
  • SBI Card
  • American Express
  • ICICI Bank
  • Citibank
  • HSBC
  • YES Bank
  • Standard Chartered Bank

Watch out for emails, promotional mails, SMSes etc. to find out pre-qualified credit card offers from these major credit card issuers in India. 

How to Get a Pre-Qualified Credit Card?

Some pre-qualified credit card offers may come in a mail or get advertised to you via phone. If you’re looking for a new credit card, you can look through these offers and apply for an ideal option.

Points to Note: When you receive these offers, it doesn’t mean that you have applied for them. However, if you’re interested in getting a new credit card, you can make use of pre-qualified card offers to compare against other available options.

If you’re actively looking for a new credit card, you can conduct independent research on credit card options and the various terms online. Sites like CreditMantri offer exhaustive and accurate information on best credit card options online.

When to apply for a pre-approved credit card?

Once you get a notification about the pre-qualified credit card you can decide whether to apply for it or not. In case you apply and successfully clear the second level of screening related to your credit history, you will be tagged as eligible for the credit card. There are still several considerations you may want to give before making the final application:

Firstly, you must consider the actual need for a credit card. If you require one and your credit score is good, then you can go ahead and apply for a pre-qualified credit card. However, if you are carrying many outstanding debts in the form of other credit cards and loans, you may be entering into a larger debt trap by applying for a fresh credit card. Therefore, you may want to reconsider your application.

Next, you must check for the affordability of a pre-qualified credit card. While the bank or issuer may showcase some attractive offers, these cards usually come with multiple fees and interest charges which can prove to be a burden in the long run. If you have the slightest doubt, don’t be in a haste to apply for a pre-qualified credit card. If you have a credit card and are unhappy with the interest rates, you can compare the rates against the pre-qualified credit card. Make sure to read all the terms and conditions in detail before making an application.

Does pre-qualification mean guaranteed credit card?

If a credit card offer comes with the words pre-qualified or pre-approved, it means you are eligible to apply as per the initial criteria set by the bank or issuer. This does not mean you will automatically get the card but you will have to apply for it as per normal process.

These offers are generally invitations to initiate the actual card application process. Since the pre-qualification has already been tested by the bank, these offers allow you some level of confidence before you initiate the application process.

Additional Details About Pre-Qualified Credit Cards

Here are some of the facts that you should know about pre-qualified credit cards. These details will help you analyse your decision about making a card application:

  • The offers which come in the form of lifetime free credit cards are only for a limited period. It’s best to look for more details on these before going ahead with the application.
  • The annual fee waivers on credit cards are also not to be mistaken for ‘lifetime free credit card’. This comes as a temporary discount and the credit card does not come for free.
  • The bank or issuer may raise the annual percentage to as high as 36% to 40%. 
  • In case your application for the pre-approved credit card is rejected by the bank, it will have a significant impact on your credit score.
  • Beware of scams which come dressed as bank offers or free credit cards from issuers.


Credit cards are a boon when you need additional financial support. However, with the rising competition among credit card issuers to lure more customers, many people receive credit card offers in the form of pre-qualified or pre-approved cards. Some even come with lifetime validity offers. Before plunging into making an application for any of these, you must go through the details carefully and learn how it may impact your credit score and your overall finances.