Citi Preapproval And Pre-qualification: What You Need To Know (2023)

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Like many other financial institutions, Citibank (a Forbes Advisor partner) may preapprove you for a credit card. Even if an offer is not made to you, you could still pre-qualify to see what credit cards you may be approved for. While Citi preapproval and pre-qualification can be convenient, neither term guarantees approval and some people may not understand the differences.

Admittedly, the terms “preapproved” and “pre-qualified” are very similar. Both of them are used to attract new customers. The difference comes down to which party initiated things.

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Does Citibank Have Preapproval?

Citibank offers preapproval on some of its credit cards to select consumers. If you’re offered preapproval, that means you conditionally meet the approval criteria for the credit card when you formally apply. These preapprovals can come via email, regular mail or even through the mail. Keep in mind that these preapprovals are often a limited-time offer to entice you to sign up.

Since everyone has a different credit profile, not everyone will get preapproved. Generally speaking, if you have a good credit score, no delinquent payments or bankruptcies and a stable income, Citibank may preapprove you.

Citibank typically has two methods when seeking out individuals that meet its preapproval conditions. First, it will look at its own customers. If those customers meet certain criteria, a preapproval may be sent. Alternatively, if Citibank is looking to attract new customers, it could request a list of individuals that meet certain requirements from one of the three major credit reporting bureaus.

Even though Citibank is checking your credit profile during the preapproval process, there’s no hit to your credit score since this is a soft inquiry only. However, if you accept the preapproval, a hard inquiry will be done. This will lower your credit score a bit, but it’s one final check to ensure nothing has changed with your credit profile since you were initially pre-approved.

How To See if I’m Pre-Qualified for a Citi Card

Pre-qualification for credit cards is done by the consumer. Not every financial institution offers a pre-qualification process, but Citibank does.

The pre-qualification process for Citi is easy. First, go to Citi’s pre-screen page. From there, you need to enter the following information:

  • Your name
  • Email address
  • Last four digits of your Social Security number
  • Home address

Once you’ve entered that information, you can select your product preference from a list which includes:

  • Rewards
  • Balance transfer
  • Low intro APR
  • Cash back
  • No preference

Finally, you’ll need to authorize Citi to obtain your credit report. Within a few minutes, you’ll get a list of Citi credit cards that you’re pre-qualified for. This process does not affect your credit score in a negative way. However, similar to the preapproval process, if you decide to formally apply for one of the cards that you’ve been pre-qualified for, a hard inquiry will be performed.

What Is Needed for Pre-Approval With Citibank

While there’s no public information available about what exactly is needed to get pre-approved for a Citi credit card, you’ll need to meet the following minimum requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must have a Social Security number. Some Citi credit cards will accept an ITIN along with your passport.
  • Your personal information must match what’s listed with the credit bureaus
  • You have a good credit score (usually 700-plus)

It’s worth noting that some credit cards also have a personal or household income requirement. These numbers aren’t typically published, but financial institutions can set their own minimum standards.

Even if you meet all of the requirements above, you may not automatically be preapproved. That’s because preapproval happens when Citi is proactively looking for new business. If you’re not an existing customer, or your information isn’t available through one of the credit reporting bureaus, you may not get preapproved.

If you’re still interested in a Citibank credit card, but don’t want a hard inquiry on your credit profile unless you’re approved, you may want to try a pre-qualification first.

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(Video) Citi: The Difference Between a Mortgage Pre-approval and a Pre-qualification

What’s Better: Citi Preapproval or Pre-Qualification?

Technically speaking, getting preapproval from Citi is better than pre-qualification since you’ll know that you are already conditionally approved. This can be handy if you were already thinking about applying for a Citi credit card or if there’s a generous welcome offer that comes with the preapproval.

That said, preapproval is usually for specific cards. If you were to go the pre-qualification route, it would allow you to see multiple cards that you would likely be approved for. Based on that list, you could then decide which card is best for you.

Financial institutions like to tempt consumers with preapprovals, but going the pre-qualification route could be better since it gives you more options.

Pros of Preapproved and Pre-Qualified Offers

  • Financial institutions may give you a targeted incentive, such as an increased welcome bonus, when accepting a preapproval.
  • You may also potentially lock in better rates, lower annual fees and other options that are not normally publicly offered.

Cons of Preapproved and Pre-Qualified Offers

  • The product you’re being preapproved for by Citi may have little value to you.
  • Accepting every preapproval may encourage you to spend more since you’ll have more access to credit.

What To Do if I’m Not Preapproved or Pre-Qualified for a Citi Credit Card

If you’re not preapproved or pre-qualified for a specific Citi credit card, don’t panic. Citi may be missing some information, so calling in or heading to a branch may help your approval process. However, if you haven’t been preapproved or pre-qualified due to your credit profile, you may want to focus on improving your credit score first.

Citi offers the Citi® Secured Mastercard®* that helps you build your credit history. In general, secured credit cards require a security deposit. This amount would serve as your credit limit. As you make everyday purchases and pay your bills on time, your credit history would be reported to the credit bureaus. This would slowly increase your credit score. Once your credit score is in good standing, you could see what credit cards you pre-qualify for.

Read More: What is a Secured Credit Card and How Does it Work?

Tips To Improve Your Chances of Citi Preapproval

Besides getting a secured credit card, there are a few ways to improve your chances of getting preapproved for a Citi credit card, including:

  • Reduce your debt load
  • Pay your bills on time
  • Avoid applying for new credit, including loans
  • Limit the amount of credit you’re using
  • Monitor your credit report

Essentially, you want to try your best to keep your credit score in good standing since it can have a major impact on the preapproval process. A credit score of 740 and up is considered very good and is a goal to strive for.

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(Video) 💳CitiBank Credit Card Prequlification Walk Through Tutorial How To Prequalify for Citi Bank Cards

Bottom Line

Citi preapproval and pre-qualification processes are pretty straightforward. When Citi preapproves you, it’s doing so for a specific product. However, if you opt to pre-qualify yourself, you’ll have access to more cards. Regardless of what you’re offered, keep in mind that there may be better offers out there. Be sure to review any promotions you receive in detail and only formally apply for the card if it’s something that will help you reach your financial goals.


How accurate is Citi prequalify? ›

Pre-qualification doesn't guarantee approval, but it does give you around a 90% chance of approval if you choose to apply. Citi might also mail you a pre-qualified credit card offer.

Does Citi do a hard pull for pre-approval? ›

If you are prequalified and want to submit an application, you'll be subject to a hard credit inquiry that can typically lower your credit score by a few points. Citi will likely get back to you instantly with its decision unless it requires clarification or additional information.

Does a pre selected mean approved with Citibank? ›

What does it mean to be pre-qualified? Pre-qualification is how you can see what personalized offers are available to you based on your credit profile. However, if you apply for one of those offers, the application is still subject to our credit approval process.

Does prequalified mean you will be approved? ›

Both pre-qualified and pre-approved mean that a lender has reviewed your financial situation and determined that you meet at least some of their requirements to be approved for a loan. Getting a pre-qualification or pre-approval letter is generally not a guarantee that you will receive a loan from the lender.

What FICO score does Citibank use? ›

Your FICO® Score is calculated based on data from Equifax using the FICO® Bankcard Score 8 model and is the same score we use, among other information, to manage your account.

Which is stronger prequalification or preapproval? ›

This means a preapproval is a stronger sign of what you can afford and adds more credibility to your offer than a prequalification. This will also allow you to show sellers a preapproval letter to demonstrate that your financial information has been verified and you can afford a mortgage.

Why won t Citi approve me? ›

If you do not match the salary criteria stipulated by Citibank your application will be rejected. There is also the other scenario where though you have higher income your application might have been rejected. This is because you might have lower disposable income which might not satisfy the bank's criteria.

Which Citibank credit card is easiest to get approved for? ›

The easiest Citi card to get is the Citi® Secured Mastercard®. You don't need any credit history, and the minimum deposit is $200. There's also a $0 annual fee, and the APR can be as high as 27.24% (V).

Does Citi approve right away? ›

While many applications are approved immediately, there are circumstances in which Citi takes a little extra time to process and review a new credit card application. Not receiving an immediate approval does not mean you are denied; it may mean you have to check in with Citi to check your application status.

Can you get rejected for pre-approval? ›

It is possible to be pre-approved and unsuccessfully obtain the financing to buy your new home. The most problematic time for this to happen is right before closing. Denial before closing creates a lot of heartbreak and negative emotions.

Which Citi card has the highest limit? ›

The highest credit limit for the Citi Diamond Preferred card can be over $10,000 for most creditworthy borrowers, according to multiple reports from cardholders on online forums. Citibank does not typically disclose the maximum spending limit for any of its unsecured credit cards.

Which bureau does Citi pull? ›

Experian is the most commonly used source that Citi will draw a report from, but there's no guarantee that they won't decide to pull a different or additional report from another reporting agency. If you're not certain your score is good enough to be approved, you can work on improving your credit.

Can you get denied after pre-approval credit card? ›

It's important to understand that preapproved credit card offers do not guarantee approval. You still have to apply for the credit card you've been preapproved for, and there are numerous reasons you could be denied. For example, it's possible you met a minimum credit score requirement but your income is insufficient.

Is prequalified a guaranteed loan? ›

Getting prequalified doesn't guarantee an approval. But if you're able to apply for prequalification with a soft inquiry (or no inquiry), it's generally a good idea. If you get denied at this stage, you'll know you can move on and avoid the hard inquiry that accompanies a formal application.

Do they check your credit after pre-approval? ›

A mortgage preapproval can have a hard inquiry on your credit score if you end up applying for the credit. Although a preapproval may affect your credit score, it plays an important step in the home buying process and is recommended to have. The good news is that this ding on your credit score is only temporary.

Does Citi give high credit limits? ›

Like many card issuers, Citi will typically offer a high credit limit to those with an excellent credit score and steady income.

What is the minimum income for Citi Premier credit card? ›

Digging into the benefits of the Citi Premier Credit Card

There's a minimum income requirement of $75,000.

Is it hard to get a Citi Simplicity card? ›

Your Citi Simplicity Card approval odds are good if you have a credit score of 700+. That means you need good credit or better to have a shot at getting approved. Your approval odds for the Citi Simplicity Card will also be influenced by your annual income and existing debts.

What is the disadvantage of prequalification? ›

Disadvantage of prequalification:

Companies have “smaller pool of bidders” leaving out of others who can have better methods and “technologies” but it could have kicked out during “prequalification”.

How do I get the highest preapproval? ›

8 Tips To Help You Get Approved For A Higher Mortgage Loan
  1. Improve Your Credit Score.
  2. Generate More Income.
  3. Pay Off Debts.
  4. Find A Different Lender.
  5. Make A Down Payment Of 20%
  6. Apply For A Longer Loan Term.
  7. Find A Co-Signer.
  8. Find A More Affordable Property.
Mar 31, 2023

Is it OK to get multiple Preapprovals? ›

While many home buyers will only need one mortgage preapproval letter, there really is no limit to the number of times you can get preapproved. In fact, you can — and should — get preapproved with multiple lenders. Many experts recommend getting at least three preapproval letters from three different lenders.

Does Citi have a 5 24 rule? ›

That means all of the major business cards from American Express, Barclays, Chase, and Citi do not add to the Chase 5/24 rule, simply because these cards aren't reported on your personal credit reports. Let's get to the list!

How widely accepted is Citi? ›

Citi cards are accepted by nearly all merchants that take credit cards in more than 200 countries worldwide. That's because, with the exception of some closed-loop store cards, all Citi credit cards are on either the Mastercard or Visa card network.

Does Citi do a soft pull for pre approval? ›

Even though Citibank is checking your credit profile during the preapproval process, there's no hit to your credit score since this is a soft inquiry only. However, if you accept the preapproval, a hard inquiry will be done.

Is Citi or Capital One better? ›

Bottom Line: Capital One miles are slightly more valuable than Citi ThankYou Points, thanks to partnerships with British Airways Executive Club and Air Canada Aeroplan. However, Citi can be more useful for booking hotel stays, thanks to a 1:2 transfer partnership with Choice Privileges.

Is Citibank better than Chase? ›

Citibank will also serve you better if you're looking for a big bank with higher rates. Chase, however, may be a better option for you if branch accessibility and a great mobile app are a priority. If you're not impressed by either of these banks, consider our list on the top banks based on ATM fees.

Does Citibank do hard or soft pull? ›

Hard inquiries will appear on a cardholder's credit report and can temporarily lower a credit score. Citi may conduct a hard inquiry or a soft pull to review an increase request you make depending on the situation.

How to know if your Citibank credit card application is approved? ›

To check the status of your Citi credit card application, you can call the Citibank credit card customer care hotline at (02) 8995-9999 and follow the prompts. On the Citi website, you can also input your mobile number and 11-digit application reference number sent to you via SMS.

What not to do after pre-approval? ›

5 Mistakes to Avoid After Mortgage Pre-Approval
  1. Making large purchases on credit. ...
  2. Applying for new credit. ...
  3. Leaving or switching jobs. ...
  4. Failing to respond to lender requests. ...
  5. Co-signing a loan.
Jan 26, 2022

What happens if you get pre-approved and don't use it? ›

In addition, because pre-approval includes submitting a loan application and securing financing, it can accelerate the closing process. However, don't worry if you don't use your pre-approval in time. Your house-hunting doesn't have an expiration date just because your pre-approval does.

What can go wrong after pre-approval? ›

Many situations in which a prospective homebuyer is denied for mortgage after pre-approval result from changes in the homebuyer's finances or other new information.
  • Debt Increase. ...
  • Credit Report Information. ...
  • Change in Income. ...
  • Change in Job. ...
  • Unusual Financial Activity. ...
  • Change in Lender or Loan Requirements. ...
  • Ask Your Lender Why.
Jan 16, 2023

How much is Citibank limit? ›

Citibank: Similar to Santander, Citibank's Basic Banking Account, Account Package and Access Account have ATM withdrawal limits of $1,000 with a daily debit purchase limit of $5,000.

Why is my Citi card limit so low? ›

The main factors Citi considers in determining your card's credit limit include your credit score, your income, your employment status and your rent/mortgage payments. In addition, most Citi cards also come with minimum and maximum possible credit limits.

How much credit can I get with a 800 credit score? ›

Notably, consumers with a credit score of 800 or higher and a credit history of less than 10 years have an average credit limit of $50,798 — lower than the credit limit for all consumers.

What is the difference between Citi and Citibank? ›

Citicorp - the holding company for Citibank as well as several international banks. Citicorp contains two core businesses, Global Consumer Banking and Institutional Clients Group. Citibank Retail banking encompasses Citi's global branch network, branded Citibank.

What bank is Citibank connected to? ›


Who does Chase pull from? ›

Which credit bureau does Chase use? Chase Credit Journey gives everyone (even those who aren't Chase customers) access to their credit score through Experian®.

Should I accept a pre-approved credit card? ›

Accepting a preapproved credit card offer may be a good idea if it includes a competitive interest rate, benefits you'll use and an annual fee that makes sense for your budget.

Why was my pre-approval denied? ›

Pre-approvals are typically denied based on one of two factors: too much debt (37% of denied loans) or low credit scores (34% of denied loans). Insufficient credit could also lead to a denial.

How much of a credit hit is a pre-approval? ›

Inquiries for pre-approved offers do not affect your credit score unless you follow through and apply for the credit. If you read the fine print on the offer, you'll find it's not really "pre-approved." Anyone who receives an offer still must fill out an application before being granted credit.

How long do you stay prequalified for? ›

For this reason, a mortgage preapproval typically lasts for 60 to 90 days. Once it expires, you'll need to connect with your lender again with your updated paperwork and apply for a new preapproval letter. The good news is, this typically doesn't take too much time since they have most of your information on file.

How accurate is prequalification? ›

Pre-qualification is not nearly as accurate as pre-approval because you do not need to share as much information with a lender. It is easier to accidentally provide incorrect information (perhaps you think your credit score is 620 when it is actually 650, etc.), so it does not always provide accurate information.

What is included in a prequalification? ›

Getting pre-qualified involves supplying a bank or lender with their overall financial picture, including debt, income, and assets. The lender reviews everything and gives an estimate of how much the borrower can expect to receive.

What is the best time to get credit pre-approval? ›

You should start the pre-approval process less than four months before buying a house. Your mortgage pre-approval letter is good for four months from the date we check your credit report. After that, your credit expires, and so does your pre-approval letter.

What does a lender look at for pre-approval? ›

Mortgage preapproval is the process of determining how much money you can borrow to buy a home. Lenders such as Rocket Mortgage® look at your income, assets and credit score and determine what loans you could be approved for, how much you can borrow and what your interest rate might be.

What is a good credit score? ›

Although ranges vary depending on the credit scoring model, generally credit scores from 580 to 669 are considered fair; 670 to 739 are considered good; 740 to 799 are considered very good; and 800 and up are considered excellent.

Does Citi do a soft pull for pre-approval? ›

Even though Citibank is checking your credit profile during the preapproval process, there's no hit to your credit score since this is a soft inquiry only. However, if you accept the preapproval, a hard inquiry will be done.

What can mess up a pre-approval? ›

So here are the six biggest mistakes to avoid once you have been pre-approved for a mortgage:
  • Late payments. Be sure that you remain current on any monthly bills. ...
  • Applying for new lines of credit. ...
  • Making large purchases. ...
  • Paying off and closing credit cards. ...
  • Co-signing loans for others. ...
  • Changing jobs.

Does pre-approved mean no credit check? ›

Does a pre-approved credit card affect your credit score? Pre-approved offers, alone, typically don't impact your credit score because the card issuers perform a soft inquiry instead of a hard inquiry before providing an offer of pre-approval.

Does Citi do a hard pull? ›

Citi more than likely will make a hard inquiry upon your credit report when evaluating your application for a credit account. If you remain in good standing with Citi, it will likely help your chances of getting approved for an additional card, but this doesn't guarantee you won't see another hard inquiry.


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