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Scoring a solid welcome offer on a new travel credit card is the bread and butter of becoming a master at travel. After all, where else would you find 60k, 80k, or even 120k points to redeem for your next travel experience?
HOWEVER, the welcome offers that these banks flaunt to the public may not always be the best deal out there. I know, the trickery is maddening.
Rather, card issuers may choose to target potential consumers and tempt them with a higher and better offer that isn’t available to the general public.
Okay, so… how do you get to be one of these lucky credit card hopefuls??
Well, sometimes, American Express will preselect high-quality customers who already hold another one of their cards. It could come in an email as a special, limited-time offer, for example.
Other banks, like Chase, have been known to make boosted welcome offers available by applying in person at one of their physical branches.
But the thing is… you’re still never guaranteed to get access to one of these boosted offers. You just can’t really know whether you’ll be one of those envied applicants who gets to flaunt around a six-figure signup bonus.
There is, however, one way to quickly check if a better offer might be available to you—at no cost, no hard credit pull, and no risk whatsoever.
What is CardMatch?
The CardMatch tool is actually pretty dope.
It’s a less than 60 second survey that uses some of your personal information (in a secure, non-sketchy way) to match you with a portfolio of cards you’ll likely be eligible to get approved for.
And sometimes (not always) the offers you see for your eligible cards could come with a much higher sign-up bonus that’s been curated just for you and isn’t publicly advertised on the bank’s site or other mediums.
How does it work?
CardMatch essentially takes in all of the personal information you provide (e.g. employment status, annual income, credit score, etc.) and does a soft pull of your credit report.
Remember, there’s no harm in having a soft pull done.
Based on that pull, CardMatch goes behind the scenes to recommend different cards you are most likely to be approved for.
Because the tool does this mini background search and soft pull, it knows if you are a high-quality consumer and someone worthy of being offered a targeted and elevated sign-up bonus 🎉
For instance, this “high-quality consumer” thing has been known to trigger some of the best Amex card offers out there.
Amex is a “high-quality” bank that offers some of the best “high-quality” travel cards out there… so they want “high-quality” people to apply for their cards, and they will (sometimes) reward you for it.
But again, you never know what you’re gonna get.
For example, an elevated welcome offer that we saw for the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (Rates & Fees) gifted an additional 20,000 points above what is currently being offered to the public 👇
Welcome offer subject to change at any time.
Additionally, CardMatch is an excellent way to see if you are pre-qualified for a card—in this case, the American Express® Gold Card (Rates & Fees). So, you can feel more confident when applying knowing that CardMatch pre-qualified you.
It is important to note that CardMatch is not an official credit card application. You still need to apply through the card issuer.
And even though CardMatch can give you a pretty reliable pre-qualification offer, the decision still ultimately comes down to the bank itself.
Why should I use CardMatch?
It serves a couple of different purposes depending on where you are on your travel credit card journey.
1. You are new to this whole thing and your credit score is low
Using CardMatch will give you a better idea of which cards you’d likely be approved for.
If your credit score is already low, it is better to know which cards you are likely to be approved for, rather than applying for a card (which includes a hard credit pull) and being rejected which further hurts your credit score.
It acts as a bit of a safety net and a reliable predictor of which cards to go for with less risk as opposed to just applying for them cold.
2. You are a long-time user of credit cards and your credit score is good-to-excellent
You are less concerned about being rejected, and more interested in seeing if you are eligible for an elevated sign-up bonus on a new card for your travel wallet.
What makes CardMatch unique is that these elevated sign-up bonuses are targeted specifically to you and not available to the general public.
So no matter where you find yourself along the continuum of the credit card world, we highly recommend that you use CardMatch before applying for any new card!
How do I get started with CardMatch?
Start off by heading to the CardMatch website where you will be met with a page that looks something like this 👇
You will be prompted to go through a few steps to input your personal information, and again, this is all going towards a soft pull of your credit—it will have no negative impact on your credit score.
People still get wigged out about this, but I assure you, take a deep breath. You are fine.
And so is your credit score!
After completing the survey - which takes less than 60 seconds - you will be shown a nice display of cards that you match with and would most likely be approved for.
If you see an elevated offer and want to apply, just click on the blue “Apply now” button. You will then be taken to the bank’s site to finish the process 👇
And remember, special offers will come and go. So just because you see an elevated offer today, does not mean it will be there tomorrow!
Using the CardMatch tool is an essential step you should take before applying for any new credit card.
It provides value no matter if you are new to the credit card world or are a seasoned miles and points aficionado 😎
So what are you waiting for?! See if there is an elevated offer with your name on it 👇