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One of the most frustrating aspects of looking at new credit cards is to complete the full application and wait, only to find that you’re declined. This means that you not only miss out on some great card rewards and benefits, but you’ve wasted your time and potentially impacted your credit report.
Fortunately, it is possible to pre-qualify for Citi credit cards. Citi is one of the financial institutions that offer pre-qualification. Essentially, this means you can find out if you’re highly likely to be approved for a new Citi credit card without risk.
How to Get Pre Approved for Citi Credit Cards
There are a few ways to find out if you can be pre approved for Citi credit cards. The great thing is that regardless of which option you choose, the preapproval process is straightforward and simple.
Citi has a prequalification tool on its official website, but this feature is not a permanent fixture. There may be times when you visit the site and you can’t find the tool. So, you may need to regularly check back when the pre approval form is running on the site.
When the feature is available, it is really simple to use.
1. Provide Personal Details
This includes your full name, email address, physical address, and the last four digits of your Social Security Number.
2. Select Card Preference
You can designate if you are interested in rewards, cash back, low APR or balance transfer cards. There is also an option if you have no preference.
There is a disclaimer that you are authorizing Citi to perform a soft credit inquiry and that you understand pre approval does not guarantee that you will qualify for a card.
Once you click “see my offers”, Citi will check whether you are prequalified for any of its credit card products.
While most financial institutions have embraced technology, many also continue to use old school techniques, including mailers. So, Citi may send out prescreened credit card offers to you. Citi will target you based on your location, credit score, credit utilization and other factors.
If you do receive a mailer offer, essentially, it means that you’re pre qualified. This means that you just need to respond to the offer via the paper application or using the tab on the prequalification page on Citi’s website.
Just bear in mind that if you have opted out of receiving targeted offers, you would need to opt back in via the OptOutPrescreen.com website.
The final option to get preapproved for a Citi credit card is to speak to a member of the Citi team. You can do this by calling the Citi customer support line or visiting a local branch. You can discuss your circumstances and the Citi customer rep will assess whether you can prequalify for a specific card.
Does Citi Pre Approval Affect Credit Scores?
One of the most attractive things about credit card pre approval is that it does not affect credit scores.
The reason for this is the type of credit inquiry used. There are two types of credit inquiry; hard and soft. A soft credit inquiry is a basic search of your credit profile and it does not appear on your credit report. This is the type of inquiry used to check for pre approval.
Citi will only initiate a hard credit inquiry if you decide to proceed with the card application after you’ve been pre approved. At this stage, the inquiry will appear on your credit report and it may cause a drop of a couple of credit score points. While a single pull is not critical, one of the common credit score mistakes is applying for many cards, so make sure you don't do it.
Citi Minimum Requirements
Citi has a number of credit cards for which you can obtain pre approval. There are some basic minimum requirements that apply to all the cards. These include:
- Age 18 plus
- Sufficient income to support the card
- Low debt to income ratio
- Low credit utilization score
Citi Credit Card Requirements
There are also some more specific requirements as each card has different minimum requirements, which can help you to decide which is the best one for you.
- Citi Double Cash: This is a simple rewards credit card that offers one percent cash back when you make a purchase and another one percent when you’ve paid for your purchases. You’ll need a minimum credit score of 700, so those who don’t have a good or excellent score will struggle to qualify.
- Citi Diamond Preferred: This card has no annual fee or rewards. It may be possible to qualify for this card with fair credit, but a score of 670 or higher increases your chances.
- Citi Premier: As the name suggests, this is one of the premier Citi credit cards. It has a modest annual fee and a tiered reward structure. There is also a welcome bonus and a few other perks including annual savings on hotel stays. You’ll need a good to excellent credit score to qualify for this card.
- Citi Simplicity: One of the attractive features of this card is that there are no late fees or penalty rates, but this does come at a cost since you’ll need a score of at least 700.
- Citi Rewards+: As the name suggests, this is Citi’s go-to rewards card weighted towards supermarket and gas station purchases. You’ll need a score of at least 670 to qualify.
2%* 2% cash back rewards rate – 1% every time you swipe and another 1% upon payment.
Up to $200 None
1X – 3X 3X points per dollar on restaurant, supermarket, gas station, hotel and air travel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other purchases
60,000 points 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
1-5% 5% cash back on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle up to the first $500 spent and 1% cash back thereafter
$200 $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening (20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back)
How to Improve Citi Cards Approval Chances
While there is no impact on your credit report when you try for Citi cards approval, it can still be disappointing to miss out. However, there are a few things that you can do to improve your approval chances.
Whether you can obtain pre-approval will depend on the information contained in your credit report.
So, it is a good idea to check your latest report to see if any red flags or errors could impact your approval chances. This will provide you with an opportunity to dispute any errors before you apply.
Citi provides free FICO score for cardholders. You can also use one of the free credit monitoring tool such as the Amex MyCredit Guide, the Capital One CreditWise or the Chase Credit Journey.
Since most Citi cards require good to excellent credit, this may be a good time to give your credit score a boost.
You can do this in a number of ways including paying down account balances, increasing your available credit and lowering your credit utilization ratio, or keeping old accounts open to maintain the average length of your credit history.
There are no specified income requirements for Citi credit card approval. However, income is an important factor and Citi asks for your total annual income.
This includes income from others that you can use to pay your bills. So, if you split your living expenses with a partner, you could report your household income on your application.
How Long Does Citi Pre Approval Take?
How long Citi pre approval takes will depend on which method you use. If you’re applying online, it may be possible to receive instant approval. In many cases, you will receive a decision within moments of submitting your pre approval application form, but an immediate response is not guaranteed.
For other application methods, Citi may require approximately seven working days to process your information. So, if you submit an application via a mailer and send in a paper application, you could be waiting at least a week to receive a response.
How Long is Citi Pre Approval Good For?
Unless it is on a specific marketing mailer, Citi does not specify how long its pre approval is good for. Generally speaking, it is a good idea to act quickly. While you should have sufficient time to compare other credit card offers, you don’t want your approval to expire.
Typically, credit card issuers will limit their pre approval to a maximum of four weeks. This is because after four weeks, new information will have been reported on your credit file which may influence their approval decisions.
How do you check Citi pre approval status?
You can check your pre approval status using the online tool on the Citi website or by calling the customer service line.
You may need to provide some basic details to confirm your identity and then the Citi representative can check the progress of your application.
Why did I get denied by Citi?
There could be any number of reasons why you may have been denied by Citi.
In most cases, the denial relates to an insufficient credit score or insufficient income, but there may be other factors such as a high credit utilization ratio or a high debt to income ratio which may be the reason for the denial.
What does pre approved mean for a Citi credit card?
Pre approval means that you are highly likely to be approved when you submit an application for a specific Citi credit card.
Essentially, it means that Citi has performed a basic check to assess your suitability and is happy for you to proceed with a full application.
What are the chances of getting denied after Citi pre approval?
While pre approval is not a guarantee that you’ll receive a Citi credit card, there is a 90% chance that you will be successful. So, there is approximately a 10% chance that your application will be rejected if you’re pre qualified or pre approved.
What credit bureaus does Citi use?
Citi works with FICO and Equifax to make its lending and credit card approval decisions. However, if you’re interested in a Citi credit card, the primary credit bureau and credit score you’ll need to look at is FICO.
Which Citi credit card is the easiest to get?
The Citi Secured Mastercard is the easiest Citi credit card to get as you don’t need to have any credit history.
However, if you’re looking for an unsecured credit card, the Citi Diamond Preferred is likely to be the easiest to qualify for, as you’ll need a credit score of approximately 670 or higher to be successful.
Do other issuers offer pre approval options?
Yes, many issuers offer a pre-approval tool. You can see if you're pre-approved for Chase cards on their website or app, and check your approval chances with American Express on their website.