How to get pre-approved for a Wells Fargo credit card

How to get pre-approved for a Wells Fargo credit card

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The central theses

  • When pre-approved for a Wells Fargo credit card, a soft credit check is performed to assess eligibility without affecting your credit score.

  • Wells Fargo offers a pre-qualification tool on its website, but you can also receive credit card pre-approvals through your online portal, email, or mail if you qualify.

  • To increase your chances of getting provisionally approved for a Wells Fargo credit card, improve your credit score by making your payments on time and paying off debt. It also helps to maintain a good banking relationship with Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo recently introduced another card offering to its lineup of rewards credit cards. Launching in late June 2024, the Wells Fargo Attune℠ Card offers unlimited 4 percent cash back rewards on unique spending categories, including gym memberships, salons, electric vehicle charging, and even select thrift stores. Previously, rewards hunters flocked to the cult-favorite Bilt Mastercard® card or paid off debt with the popular Wells Fargo Reflect® Card, popular for balance transfer. But what do you need to get pre-approved by Wells Fargo for a credit card?

No matter which Wells Fargo credit card you choose, getting pre-approved can save you some hassle during the application process. Instead of applying for a card and getting rejected, getting pre-approved can help you narrow down your options so you don’t waste a lengthy application without a new credit card. Learn how to get pre-approved for a Wells Fargo credit card and assess your chances of approval before you apply.

What is credit card pre-approval?

A credit card pre-approval occurs when a credit card issuer looks at your credit profile without running a thorough credit check to see if you’re eligible for one of their cards. This gives you a better idea of ​​what you might be approved for without hurting your credit score. Sometimes the terms “pre-approval” and “pre-qualification” are used interchangeably, although they don’t always mean the same thing. In the case of Wells Fargo, the pre-qualification tool offered by the issuer simply checks whether you’re eligible for its products, but doesn’t assess how likely you are to actually be approved if you apply.

Which Wells Fargo cards can you get pre-approved for?

Since launching the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card in 2021, Wells Fargo has continued to add exciting new additions to its credit card offerings. With that in mind, you can expect to continue to see changes to which cards are available for pre-approval.

In most cases, the details of each credit card issuer’s pre-approval process are kept secret, and Wells Fargo is no exception. Although it carries a little less weight compared to a true pre-approval, Wells Fargo has a pre-qualification tool that you can use to check your eligibility for each of these cards:

  • Autograph Journey℠ Card
  • Autograph℠ Card
  • Active Cash® card
  • Reflect® card
  • Choice Privileges® Mastercard®
  • Choice Privileges® Choose Mastercard®

It is unclear whether the recently released Attune Card will be added to the pre-qualification tool or pre-approval process.

How to get pre-approved for a Wells Fargo credit card

Currently, you can only search for pre-approved or pre-qualified Wells Fargo card offers on the issuer’s website. If you want to take advantage of this option, you will need to provide basic information, including:

  • Surname
  • address
  • The last 4 digits of your social security number

You must also authorize Wells Fargo to perform a soft-pull inquiry of your credit report, which will not affect your credit score. After submitting prequalification, you will receive a list of cards you qualify for and the opportunity to fill out a full application.

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Keep in mind: Prequalification or preapproval does not guarantee that you will get the card if you submit an application and go through a credit check. In general, you can think of prequalification as confirmation that you appear to be in the target and expected audience for the card. Preapproval means that your specific information makes it likely that you will get the card.

Other ways to prequalify for Wells Fargo credit cards

Wells Fargo also displays its cards in CardMatch, Bankrate’s tool for finding card offers that match your credit profile. While the Wells Fargo offers you see in CardMatch aren’t technically pre-qualified or pre-approved, the tool checks your credit score to determine which products are best for your needs, so it can still give you an idea of ​​whether you’re in the card’s target audience.

In some cases, you may also receive a pre-approved credit card offer from Wells Fargo in the mail. This means that the issuer has performed a soft-pull check of your credit report and you meet the basic minimum requirements to be approved. If you already have an account with Wells Fargo, you may receive these offers in your online banking portal or via email.

How to increase your chances of pre-approval

Want to increase your chances of getting pre-approved for a Wells Fargo credit card? Most of the best Wells Fargo credit cards require a credit score requirement of 670 to 850, so improving your credit score is the best way to get pre-approved. Follow these steps to improve your credit score and optimize your chances:

  1. Pay all bills on time
  2. Pay off existing credit card balances to improve your credit utilization
  3. Avoid overdrawing your account if you have a Wells Fargo account
  4. Increase the balance of your Wells Fargo checking or savings account, if you have these accounts
  5. Update your employment and income information with Wells Fargo
  6. Avoid opening too many other lines of credit at once

Your payment history is the most important factor in determining your FICO score, so paying your bills on time is the most important step you can take. Your credit utilization ratio also plays a big role in your credit score, so paying off your credit card debt should be a priority. This will help you lower your credit utilization ratio, which will show lenders that you’re not at risk of overextending yourself.

One underrated way to increase your chances of getting pre-approved is to have a healthy, long-term banking relationship with Wells Fargo. When I worked in banking, the credit card underwriting team looked at your credit score, the balances in your accounts, your overdraft history and how long you’ve been banking with us.

In several cases, I was even able to appeal a denial based on limited credit history by pointing out that the customer had minimal or no overdrafts, large checking or savings accounts, and a banking relationship of at least two years, resulting in approval and a small credit limit instead of an automatic denial.

Another way to increase your chances of getting pre-approved is to update your income with Wells Fargo. Even if you don’t already have a credit card with them, you can update your employment and income information through a customer service representative, which could trigger a pre-approval in their system if your credit score is already in the required range.

The conclusion

It’s a good idea to apply for pre-approval for a Wells Fargo credit card, as this issuer requires good to excellent credit for most of its credit cards. A pre-approval gives you a chance to gauge your eligibility before you go through the trouble (and thorough vetting) of applying. In some cases, pre-approved offers are even better than what the general public sees. In any case, a Wells Fargo pre-approval requires only a light inquiry that won’t hurt your credit score. That’s good news if you’re considering a new credit card and are ready to explore your options, but aren’t quite ready to apply.