People often wonder if they are getting the best offer out there when signing up for a credit card. After all, it’s human nature to want the best deal!
But how do you really know what you’re getting?
Find your own personalized card offers all in one place at CreditCards.com’s CardMatch Tool
Your credit will not be pulled when using this tool.
Table of contents
- What Is the CardMatch Tool?
- How Does the Tool Work?
- A CardMatch Example Case Study
- Final Thoughts
Table of Contents
- What Is the CardMatch Tool?
- How Does the Tool Work?
- A CardMatch Example Case Study
- Final Thoughts
What Is the CardMatch Tool?
The CardMatch tool is a simple web-based form that spits out your best credit card offers in just a few short seconds. It was developed by CreditCards.com, which is a website dedicated to helping you compare credit cards.
CardMatch simply gathers the information from each company they have a relationship with and displays it in one place.
CreditCards.com is owned by Bankrate, which is a publicly traded financial information, comparison, and advice company.
Why Should I Use CardMatch?
When you see credit card offers on our site and on the typical web pages of the main credit card issuers, you may not be seeing the best available offer.
This is because credit card companies develop customer-specific offers to help incentivize you to use their products. These offers are based on your credit score and history.
Typically, these credit card applications would be mailed directly to you, show up in some targeted advertising, or be available if you use each company’s pre-approved card tool.
Therefore, you should use CardMatch before you apply for any cards to make sure you are getting the best available offer to you at the time. With a top offer, you’ll earn more money and more reward points toward your rewards strategy so you can take more vacations!
How Does the Tool Work?
To use the credit card checker tool, you first need to head to CardMatch.
Here, you’ll put in your name, address, city, state, zip code, last 4 digits of your social security number, and email.
There is a check box that asks you if you want to create a CreditCards.com account to access your free credit report and score, which you can check if you like.
If you do, you’ll get an email from CreditCards.com asking you to complete the registration.
Once you click continue, it will take you to the site’s terms and conditions, which you must accept before moving on.
After accepting the terms and conditions, you’ll see a screen telling you it will find all of your offers in less than 60 seconds…though it typically works faster than that!
Once complete, you’ll have an easy-to-use list of offers you can apply for! Note that these are potential (not guaranteed) offers.
Current offers will depend on multiple factors: the day, your history in general, and your history with each bank.
The better your credit, the more likely you are to have good offers. However, if you already have lots of cards from one bank, they may not give you any more targeted offers.
Hot Tip: Complete beginner? Check out our Express Guide to Earning Points, our In-Depth Beginner’s Guide, and our Best First-Time Credit Cards for Travel Rewards and Cash Back.
What Banks Are Partners With CardMatch?
All the major credit card issuers are included in the feature, so if you’re looking for cards because you want to get some reward points, you’re in luck! These include:
Another bank they partner with is First PREMIER Bank, and you may see others depending on your personal details.
Does Using CardMatch Affect My Credit Score?
Fortunately, using the tool will have no effect on your credit score because it uses a “soft pull” to retrieve your credit information.
There are two types of credit checks: a “soft pull” and a “hard pull.” The “soft pull” checks your basics and pre-determines your eligibility, which is what CardMatch looks at.
A “hard pull” credit inquiry is done once you actually apply for a card or other line of credit. In this case, they’ll pull your full credit history to determine if you qualify. Hard pulls will count as an inquiry on your credit.
Even if you’re pre-approved for an offer, a hard pull will still occur once you submit the application.
Is This Really the Best Tool Available?
Some of you may be skeptical that the CardMatch tool provides all the best offers available, and you would be right!
The tool will only show you offers for credit cards that the company has an affiliate relationship with. This means that any credit card application you submit will earn them a commission in return for referring you.
If you don’t see a specific card you are interested in, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have no offers for that card. In this case, you’ll want to check that bank’s website to see if any target offers come up for you.
This situation is similar to the credit cards we review on our site; we may not have referral links to all the best deals. In these cases, we encourage you to find the best ones using CardMatch and other tools.
While this is a shortcoming, CardMatch is still a good tool to use instead of just waiting for targeted mail offers or finding them online.
How Do I Find Targeted Offers Outside of CardMatch?
To double check your pre-qualified credit cards (which we recommend) you will simply go to each bank’s website to search for them.
You can read our extensive article on pre-qualified offers for more information on where to look for your personalized deals!
Can I Find Business Card Offers With the Tool?
Unfortunately, neither the tool nor the individual websites pull pre-approved cards for business.
If you need one of those, you will have to get them through mail, email, or perhaps targeted advertising. Check out our business card reviews for some ideas, and see if you can get better offers from cards mentioned there.
A CardMatch Example Case Study
What card results does CardMatch pull when compared to offers you might find on the actual websites of the banks that provide them?
I did my own credit card comparison to see!
Chase Bank Credit Cards
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card had a sign-up bonus of 50,000 reward points, and the Chase Freedom® had $150. Both of these were the same current offers I found open to the public.
The Chase Slate® Card’s offer was for a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers during the first 15 months, which was also identical to the public offer. (See our list of the best 0% APR cards or best balance transfer credit cards if that’s of interest to you.)
When I used Chase’s pre-approval tool, I was told there were no reward cards currently, either because I had opted out of offers or received other new cards too recently.
My most recent new card from Chase was obtained last year, but I did recently get cards from other banks that Chase may be included in their records.
American Express Credit Cards
CardMatch showed me no bonus offers for American Express. When I used Amex’s pre-qualified tool, I didn’t find any there either.
The Platinum Card® from American Express (January 2016) I had opened was only a couple months old at the time, so it may have been too early to get more offers. This card is part of the Membership Rewards reward program.
Before I used the tool, I had seen an ad with a great welcome offer on the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card. After the tool brought back no offers, it told me I could sign in to see other personalized offers.
There, Amex EveryDay® Credit Card offer was only half the points I saw in the ad. This is why it’s always important to check around for your best available reward card offer!
Citi Credit Cards
Similar to AMEX, both CardMatch and the Citi website showed me no available offers.
I have two fairly new Citi cards, so this may again be the reason I did not get offers. Interestingly, however, the site showed me a Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card offer as an alternative with a 40,000-point sign-up bonus.
We’ve also compared the perks and benefits of the best Citi credit cards if you’re interested in their products!
Capital One Credit Cards
CardMatch gave me no offers for Capital One. After checking their website, however, I had an offer for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
On November 16, 2018, the signup bonus was good for 40,000 reward points after spending $3,000 in the first three months, plus a $0 first-year annual fee instead of $59 each year. Checking the public offer, I found the same.
Discover Credit Cards
Again with no reward card matches from the tool, I went to the Discover website to check my pre-approved offers.
I was pre-approved for the Discover it Card, which is their basic cash-back card. My bonus offer was 0% APR for 12 months and no annual fee.
Once again, this was identical to the public offer available at the time.
Note that all the above examples may not reflect currently available bonuses. As you can see in my case, sometimes your results won’t find anything super outstanding. But this experiment also proves that the results are inconsistent at times.
Currently, I’ve opened quite a few new cards in the last year and have had some higher-than-normal utilization, so my credit score is a bit lower than usual.
Combined, I suspect that these two factors form the basis for my scant offers. When I’ve checked offers in the past, I’ve often had ten or more!
That said, be sure to check in frequently and monitor your credit score to get the best offers! Don’t forget to check your mail and emails for target offers as well, and compare these to what you can find online.
With both plusses and minuses, you may wonder whether the CardMatch tool is worth using. I’ll say that you will find the tool useful if you want a quick place to check current available offers without going through the hassle of navigating to each site.
You may also find offers you won’t see elsewhere. However, if you really want to get the best deal, you should still check both CardMatch and each individual credit card’s website.
If you already know which card you want to get, the tool will definitely cut down on your time spent researching. However, you could always find different offers in your physical mail and emails, so check each place before deciding!
Offers come and go, though, so if you find one you want…don’t wait around forever!
It is better to continually build your credit and earn points than to wait years before opening a new card. New cards come out frequently and offers always change.
All in all, CardMatch is a great tool to use.