Getting the best credit card offer can make all the difference – generous signup bonuses, low-interest rates, and valuable rewards programs are just some of the perks that come with a great credit card. But how do you find the very best offers tailored specifically for you? That’s where CardMatch comes in.
CardMatch is an online tool that matches you with personalized credit card offers based on your credit profile and financial situation. It’s completely free to use and doesn’t hurt your credit score. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about finding and comparing best credit card offers with CardMatch.
What is CardMatch and How Does it Work?
CardMatch is an online credit card matching service created by CreditCards.com. It works by having you input some basic personal and financial information, which it then uses to match you to credit card offers suited to your credit profile and needs.
Here’s a quick rundown of how CardMatch works:
- Visit the CardMatch website and input your name, address, income, rent/mortgage payment, and last 4 digits of your SSN.
- CardMatch runs a soft credit check using this information, allowing it to gauge your general creditworthiness. This does NOT impact your credit score.
- Based on your credit profile, CardMatch matches you with personalized pre-qualified credit card offers from its partner banks.
- You can browse and compare the offers side-by-side and choose to apply if any pique your interest.
The key advantage of using CardMatch is that it provides pre-qualified offers, meaning you have a high likelihood of approval if you do decide to apply. It also lets you easily compare multiple offers in one place to find the best deal.
CardMatch partners with most major credit card issuers, including American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, and Discover. The specific offers you see will depend on your personal credit situation.
Why Use CardMatch to Find Credit Card Offers?
Here are some of the biggest benefits of using the CardMatch tool:
- See pre-qualified offers: The offers shown on CardMatch are pre-qualified, meaning you have a good chance of approval if you apply. This helps avoid applying for cards you won’t qualify for.
- Find better deals: CardMatch provides access to targeted offers that aren’t always publicly available. These can have more valuable signup bonuses, lower rates, etc.
- Soft credit check: CardMatch runs a soft pull that doesn’t affect your credit score to match you to offers. Hard checks from applying for cards hurt your score.
- Compare easily: All your matched offers are displayed side-by-side so you can easily compare bonus values, rates, fees, and rewards programs.
- Save time: CardMatch does the work of finding offers suited to your situation, so you don’t have to hunt them down yourself.
- Completely free: There are no fees or costs associated with using the CardMatch service.
For these reasons, running your personal details through CardMatch can ensure you find the very best offer before applying for any new credit card.
What Credit Card Offers Might You Find With CardMatch?
The specific credit card offers shown to you by CardMatch will depend on your personal credit situation and eligibility. But in general, here are some examples of the types of valuable offers you can find:
Elevated Welcome Bonuses
One major benefit of CardMatch is access to limited-time elevated credit card signup bonuses. For example:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – Typically, it offers 60,000 points but CardMatch can provide 80,000+ point offers
- The Platinum Card® from American Express – Public offe is 60k points but CardMatch may provide 100k+ point offers
- American Express Gold Card – Standard is 30k points but CardMatch may show 50k+ point bonuses
Special Financing Offers
CardMatch also uncovers special financing offers on credit cards, which aren’t always publicly advertised. Such as:
- 0% intro APR for 12-18 months on purchases and/or balance transfers
- Introductory balance transfer offers with no balance transfer fees
- Waived annual fees for the first year
- Reduced regular APRs on purchases or balance transfers
Targeted Spending Bonuses
Some credit card bonuses unlocked by CardMatch require meeting specific spending thresholds, such as:
- Earn 50,000 points after spending $3,000 in 3 months
- Get a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first 90 days.
- 10% cash back on purchases in select categories for 6 months when you spend $2,000 in 3 months
The key is that the offers shown by CardMatch will be personalized and targeted based on your creditworthiness and financial profile. So the deals presented to you may differ from what your friend sees, for example.
Does CardMatch Work for Business Credit Cards?
Unfortunately, CardMatch only provides matches for consumer credit cards, not small business cards. If you’re looking for the best business card offers, here are some alternative options:
- Check the business card pages on issuer websites (Chase, Amex, Capital One, etc) for their latest public offers
- Use a site like WalletHub that lets you easily compare business cards
- Search the web for targeted business card promotions that may only be advertised in certain places
- Consider using the Nav Insights tool, which provides some personalized business card recommendations
- Ask an accountant or financial advisor for advice on the best small business cards for your needs
Even though CardMatch itself is limited to consumer cards, with a bit of additional research, you can still uncover the perfect business credit card offer.
Step-by-Step Guide to Using CardMatch
Using CardMatch to find top credit card offers suited to your situation takes just a few quick steps:
Step 1: Visit the CardMatch Site
Go to the CardMatch website to get started. Look for the purple “Get started now” button to begin the process.
Step 2: Enter Your Personal Information
On the CardMatch intro page, you’ll need to fill in some basic personal information so it can match you to card offers.
The required information includes:
- Full name
- Physical address
- Date of birth
- Last 4 digits of SSN
You’ll also be asked for your email address so CardMatch can send you your matched offers. Entering your income, housing payment, and employment status is optional but helps improve match accuracy.
Step 3: Agree to a Soft Credit Check
To show your matched credit card offers, you must consent to CardMatch running a soft credit check. This does NOT impact your credit score.
Check the box agreeing to the credit check and authorizing partners to share offers with you.
Step 4: Review Your Matched Credit Card Offers
After running the soft check, CardMatch will display a list of pre-qualified card offers matched to you based on your information.
The offers will show:
- Card name, network, and image
- Important terms like rewards rates, welcome bonus, annual fee, etc.
- Your estimated approval odds (excellent, good, fair, or poor)
- A direct link to apply for the card
Take time to thoroughly review each matched offer side-by-side to understand the terms and pick your favorites.
Step 5: Apply for a Card (Optional)
If you find a CardMatch offer that interests you, click the “Apply Now” button to visit the card issuer’s online application.
Keep in mind you will need to complete the full application directly with the card issuer, who will run a hard credit check. But thanks to CardMatch pre-qualifying you, your odds of approval are very good.
Be sure to only submit applications for your top 1-2 favorite CardMatch offers to avoid unnecessary hard inquiries on your credit.
Tips for Using CardMatch Effectively
Follow these tips to get the most out of CardMatch and find the best possible card offers:
- Check CardMatch regularly for updated offers, as the available deals frequently change
- Be truthful when entering your personal/financial details so matches are accurate
- Only apply for your top 1 or 2 favorite offers to limit credit checks
- Compare CardMatch offers to publicly available deals to ensure you’re getting the best terms
- Consider targeted spending requirements and category bonuses when choosing between offers
- Focus on the value of welcome bonuses and long-term rewards earnings when comparing
- Don’t feel pressured to apply right away – saved matched offers to revisit later
- Use CardMatch offers as a starting point, but also research cards separately for the best deal
- Pay attention to CardMatch approval odds estimates to avoid applying for cards you won’t qualify for.
When to Use CardMatch to Find Credit Card Offers
Timing is an important consideration when using CardMatch. Here are some recommended times to leverage the tool:
When you’re looking to open a new credit card – Using CardMatch should be one of the first steps when deciding on your next card, as it provides a personalized overview of your best available offers.
Before major holidays or events – Issuers often run special CardMatch promotions around major holidays and shopping events like Black Friday and the holidays. Check frequently around these times.
After your credit improves – If your credit score recently increased, check CardMatch to see if you now qualify for better offers than before.
When competing for a big purchase – If you’re planning a large purchase and need a card with a generous signup bonus or intro financing offer, CardMatch can help uncover the best options.
Every 3-6 months – Check CardMatch a couple times per year for the latest offers, even if you aren’t in the market for a new card. You never know when an amazing deal could present itself.
After you’re denied for a card – If you apply for a card and are unexpectedly denied, use CardMatch to find alternatives you’re pre-qualified for.
When your financial situation changes – Updates to income, housing costs, employment, etc. may change the offers you qualify for, so run your details through CardMatch to see any new options.
How Often Can You Use CardMatch?
An important limitation is that CardMatch only allows running your details for matched offers a certain number of times per year:
- You can use CardMatch once per month to view pre-qualified card offers.
- Logging in again in the same month does NOT result in an additional soft credit check.
- However, you are limited to just 2 soft checks from CardMatch in any 6 month period.
After hitting the limit, you’ll have to wait until the next cycle to view updated offers. Using CardMatch moderately prevents excessive soft inquiries on your credit report.
Alternatives to Finding Offers With CardMatch
While CardMatch is a useful free tool, here are some other options for finding top credit card promotions:
- Apply directly on issuer websites – Banks post their latest public offers on their own sites, which you can browse and apply for.
- Compare cards on sites like CreditCards.com – Aggregator sites allow you to compare hundreds of cards in one spot.
- Check money-saving sites – Sites like NerdWallet, WalletHub, and The Points Guy share current card bonuses and deals.
- Find targeted mailer offers – Valuable targeted offers sometimes come via physical mailers sent to your address. Don’t toss these!
- Leverage pre-qualification tools – Some issuers, like Amex, provide their own pre-qualification tool to find targeted offers without a hard credit check.
- Ask for product change offers – You may be able to upgrade your current card to a better one and earn a bonus through a soft product change.
- Work with a credit card expert – Financial advisors can suggest the optimal cards for your spending habits and credit profile.
Casting a wide net using multiple credit card offer sources maximizes your chances of finding the perfect card tailored to your needs and financial profile.
The Bottom Line on Finding Credit Card Offers With CardMatch
Finding the perfect card that fits your financial situation and offers the most value can be challenging. This is where the CardMatch tool shines – by quickly matching you to pre-qualified card offers tailored to your credit profile.
The top benefits of using CardMatch include:
- Access to better bonus offers you may not see publicly
- See offers you have excellent or good approval odds for
- Easily compare top cards from multiple banks
- Check offers without impacting your credit score
- Find limited-time or targeted promotions
Just remember to use CardMatch conservatively (no more than twice in 6 months) and only submit applications for one or two favorite matched cards. This ensures you limit hard inquiries while still leveraging CardMatch to uncover your ideal personalized credit card offer.
Frequently Asked Questions About CardMatch
Here are answers to some of the most common questions about finding credit card offers using the CardMatch tool:
Does CardMatch work for business cards?
Unfortunately no – CardMatch only matches consumer personal credit cards, not small business cards. You’ll need to find business card offers separately.
What credit bureaus does CardMatch check?
CardMatch runs soft inquiries with Experian to match you to credit card offers, so it can only view your Experian credit report data.
How accurate are the approval odds?
The approval odds (excellent, good, fair, poor) are CardMatch’s best estimate, but they don’t guarantee you’ll be approved/denied. Take them as an indication of your likelihood.
Can I revisit my matched offers later?
Yes, you can save your matched offers email from CardMatch and revisit it anytime. The offers remain the same until you re-run your details for new, updated matches.
Do all matched offers have a signup bonus?
Not necessarily. Some CardMatch offers are simply pre-qualified approval offers without a bonus attached. Be sure to read through all the offer details carefully.
Does CardMatch work for bad credit?
It can help match you to credit building cards if you have poor/fair credit. But those with very low scores are less likely to receive strong pre-qualified offers.
Do I need to act quickly on CardMatch offers?
There is no urgent deadline, but keep in mind that matched bonuses can change or disappear over time. Apply at your convenience.
In another related article, Is the Destiny Credit Card Right for You? A Complete Review