How To Pre-Qualify for Citi Credit Cards

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Update: Some offers mentioned below may have changed or are no longer available. View current credit card offerings on the issuer’s website.

A hard pull from a credit card issuer can impact an your credit score for the worse, albeit typically by less than five points. Fortunately, Citi® allows potential cardholders to check whether or not they pre-qualify for their card of choice. This guide outlines all there is to know about Citi preapproval and how you 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, you can determine within a few minutes your 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. Multiple inquiries for credit card applications could damage your credit score and make it difficult to get new credit in the near future.

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That’s because too many hard pulls are indicative of credit shopping, possibly leading to new debt, which could make creditors assume an applicant is in financial distress or is looking to spend more than they can afford.

How Does Credit Card Preapproval Work?

Credit preapproval doesn’t require a hard inquiry to determine a person’s chance of being approved for a Citi credit card. Results are based on a soft pull, which gives Citi 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, you still need to file a formal application to get a definitive answer.

The Benefits of Credit Card Preapproval

Citi preapproval is an excellent way to find out where you stand and prevent an unnecessary dip in your credit score.

It also lets you explore offers that could appeal to you based on your profile, and reveal introductory annual percentage rates and other perks you might not know about otherwise.

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

Many card issuers make no distinction between preapproval and pre-qualification. They may use the terms interchangeably or, in the case of Citi, use another term entirely.

Citi lets its customers know if they’re “preselected” for a credit card, which means the same thing as being preapproved.

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 website and browse its credit card options and click the “Learn More & Apply” button for each card you want to consider. This 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 your name and address, the last four digits of your Social Security number and your product preference.
  3. Check the authorization box.
  4. Click the “See My Offers” button.
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After that, you’ll see the credit card for which you’re preselected and can review the features of each. The preselection process only takes a few minutes to complete and will give you a good sense of where you stand.

Top Citi Cards Customers Can Get Preapproved For

Keep in mind that Citi doesn’t typically grant preapproval for all of its cards. However, once the options are revealed, you can pick the one that best meets your needs. These are some of the best Citi credit cards to pre-qualify for right now:

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% total 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 restaurant purchases for a limited time
  • 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
  • 16.24% – 26.24% variable APR
  • N/A
    Citi Secured Mastercard
  • $0 annual fee
  • 23.99% 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 offers is on the Citi website. The preselection tool give you a customized list of cards based on your preferences and creditworthiness.

    You can also inquire at your local Citi branch location.

    Tips To Increase Your Chances of Approval

    Citi doesn’t disclose its specific criteria for preapproval, so there’s no secret formula to help you 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 are the best ways you can increase your odds of getting your credit card application approved. 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 well under your credit limit.

    Is Citi Preapproval Worth It?

    Citi’s preselection tool lets you know if you satisfy the requirements to be approved for a new card. It’s an informative tool rather than a means to increase the chances of 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 credit pull and a dip in your credit score.

    Daria Uhlig contributed to the reporting for this article.

    Information is accurate as of July 15, 2022.

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

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    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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