If you are at all familiar with retail credit cards, you might have heard of the shopping cart trick. This trick, which involves filling an online shopping cart with items in order to trigger a credit card preapproval invitation, suggests that you can get approved for a credit card without a hard credit inquiry. Since hard credit pulls generally lower your credit score by a few points, some people do everything they can to avoid hard credit inquiries-and this includes using the shopping cart trick to apply for credit cards.
Does the shopping cart trick work in 2020? We don’t think so. Although some people still report using the shopping cart trick to get approved for credit cards without a hard credit check, others report no such luck. That said, if it works for you the shopping cart trick might be a good way to get pre-approvals for store cards.
The shopping cart trick: What is it?
The shopping cart trick is a strategy to get approved for a store credit card without a hard credit inquiry. Since hard credit inquiries often lower your credit score by a few points, some people try to avoid hard credit pulls whenever possible. However, it’s hard to get a new line of credit without a lender conducting a hard credit inquiry as part of the approval process-which is why the shopping cart trick started making the rounds.
In theory, the shopping cart trick works like this: When you visit an online retailer and fill your shopping cart with potential purchases, you might trigger a pop-up ad inviting you to get preapproved for a store credit card. The preapproval process requires a soft credit inquiry, which does not affect your credit score-and in some cases, people have reported being both preapproved and accepted for a new store credit card with only a soft credit inquiry.
While the shopping cart trick sounds like a good way to avoid the minor credit score drop that comes with a standard credit card application, there is no proof that the shopping cart trick actually works. Even though some people claim that they were able to use the shopping cart trick to get a store credit card with only a soft credit inquiry, other people report that the trick didn’t work for them at all.
Who should try the shopping cart trick?
If you would like to try getting a store credit card without a hard credit pull, you can try the shopping cart trick. However, you should be prepared for the lender to perform a hard credit pull as part of the application process. If losing a few credit score points to a hard credit inquiry would take your credit from good to fair (or from fair to poor), you might want to avoid trying the shopping cart trick.
Benefits of using the shopping cart trick
If the shopping cart trick