How To Pre-Qualify for Citi Credit Cards

Woman using laptop and shopping online while holding credit card at the desk by the window.
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A hard pull from a credit card issuer can impact an applicant’s credit score for the worse, albeit typically by less than five points. Fortunately, Citi allows potential cardholders to check if they pre-qualify for their card of choice. This guide outlines all there is to know about Citi preapproval and how customers can take advantage of it. 

What Is Citi Preapproval?

Like numerous other card issuers nowadays, Citi helps potential cardholders learn if they’re eligible to open a new credit card account. The best part is that there’s no need for a hard credit check. By providing some personal information, customers can determine within a few minutes their chances of qualifying and getting the best offer available.

The Impact of a Credit Card Inquiry

Credit card inquiries can stay on your credit report for up to two years. Numerous inquiries within a determined time frame could damage your reputation and prevent you from getting new credit in the near future. Hard pulls are indicative of potential new debt acquisition and could make creditors assume an applicant is in financial distress or is looking to spend more than they can afford. Before agreeing to open a credit account for a customer, lenders will want to make sure that the customer won’t represent a risk to them. 

Get Credit Card Perks

How Does Credit Card Preapproval Work?

Credit preapproval doesn’t require hard inquiries to determine a person’s chance of being approved for a credit card. Results are based on a soft pull, which gives credit card issuers enough information to assess potential financial risks and creditworthiness without impacting the applicant’s credit score. That said, pre-qualifying for a credit card doesn’t guarantee approval. Once preapproved, customers still need to file a formal application to get a definitive answer. 

The Benefits of Credit Card Preapproval

Citi preapproval is an excellent way for customers to know where they stand and whether they need to take action to increase their chances later. Preapproval just helps them prevent an unnecessary dip in their credit score. This tool lets cardholders-to-be explore offers that could appeal to them based on their profile. It may reveal introductory annual percentage rates and other perks that are not available in plain sight at the issuer’s branches or website.

Get Credit Card Perks

Preapproval vs. Pre-Qualification: What’s the Difference?

Many card issuers make no distinction between these two concepts when it comes to credit cards. They may use both or, in the case of Citi, use another term to describe the situation. This card issuer lets its customers know if they’re “preselected” for a credit card rather than preapproved. Yet it means the same. 

How To Check Whether You’re Preapproved for a Citi Credit Card

If you’re interested in applying for a credit card with Citi, you can go to Citi’s site, browse its credit card options and click the “Learn More & Apply” button for each card you want to consider. This action will take you to each individual card’s landing page so you can compare and contrast all options more closely.

For pre-qualification purposes, you can wait for an invitation via mail or use Citi’s tool for checking whether you’re preselected for any of its credit cards. To use the preselection tool, take the following steps:

  1. Use the Credit Cards drop-down menu on the homepage to access the “See If You’re Pre-Selected” option.
  2. Enter some personal information, including your name, your address and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  3. Choose between the card benefits featured in the next section to let the issuer know more about what you’re looking for in a card.
  4. Check the authorization box.
  5. Click the “See My Offers” button. 
Get Credit Card Perks

Following these five steps will show you the best credit card options you could apply for with Citi and their characteristics. The pre-qualification process only takes a few minutes to complete and will provide you with a good sense of where you currently stand. While it doesn’t warrant approval, this tool has a high prediction accuracy based on the information provided.

Top Citi Cards Customers Can Get Preapproved For

When using its preselection tool, keep in mind that Citi doesn’t typically grant preapproval for all of its cards. It all depends on what potential cardholders are looking for and their profile. However, once the options are revealed to the customer, they can pick the most attractive one. These are the best Citi credit cards to pre-qualify for at the moment:

Card Features Rewards
  • $0 annual fee
  • APR
  • 5% cash back — up to $500 — on the top eligible spend category per billing cycle
  • 1% on all other qualifying purchases
  • $0 annual fee
  • APR
  • 2% reward rate
  • 1% unlimited cash back with all purchases and 1% with the corresponding credit card payments
  • Citi Rewards+ Card
  • $0 annual fee
  • APR
  • 5x points on up to $6,000 in hotel and air travel purchases for the first year
  • 2x points on up to $6,000 in purchases at supermarkets and gas stations each year
  • 1x points on all other purchases
  • Citi Premier Card
  • annual fee
  • APR
  • 3x points on air travel and at hotels, gas stations, restaurants and supermarkets
  • 1x points on all other purchases  
  • Citi Simplicity Card
  • $0 annual fee
  • 15.49% – 25.49% (Variable)
  • N/A
    Citi Secured Mastercard
  • $0 annual fee
  • 22.74% variable APR
  • N/A
    Citi Diamond Preferred Card
  • $0 annual fee
  • APR
  • N/A

    Where To Find Citi Pre-Qualification Offers

    The best place to find Citi preapproval offers is on the Citi website. The preselection tool will give customers tailor-made solutions that adapt to their lifestyle and spending habits. However, customers can also go to their closest branch to ask for pre-qualification options — if available, of course. 

    Tips To Increase Your Chances of Approval

    Since the criteria for preapproval is not often clear with many issuers, there’s no secret formula to help potential cardholders pre-qualify for a credit card offer. However, some standard practices could help boost your chances of actual approval. 

    Regularly monitoring your credit score and improving it is one of the best ways you can increase your odds of a creditor approving your credit card application or extending a credit line. To achieve a better score, you can:

    • Ask a family member with a good credit history to add you as an authorized user on their credit card
    • Avoid too many hard pulls within a short period
    • Pay bills on time
    • Pay off any derogatory accounts
    • Stay under your credit limit

    Is Citi Preapproval Worth It?

    As mentioned earlier, Citi preapproval is just a tool to help potential cardholders know if they satisfy the necessary conditions to get a new credit card with the issuer. It’s more of an informative tool than a means to increase the chances of actual credit card approval. However, it’s a great way to learn if you could potentially get the credit you’ve been looking for without risking a hard pull and a dip in your credit score.

    Information is accurate as of March 22, 2022.

    Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Citibank. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been endorsed by Citibank.

    About the Author

    Daniela Rivera is a bilingual freelance content creator with an advertising and media background. She has a degree in Communication Science and over 10 years of work experience as a copywriter. She specializes in generating engaging and creative concepts and texts for advertising, e-commerce, blogs, podcasts and social media.

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