At a Glance

Credit cards have become an essential financial tool for many individuals, offering convenience, rewards, and the opportunity to build or improve one’s credit history. Discover is a well-known credit card issuer that provides a range of cards tailored to different consumer needs. Before applying for a Discover credit card, it’s wise to prequalify to assess your eligibility. Let’s explore what credit card pre-approval is, how it works, and provide insights into getting pre-approved for Discover credit cards.

In this article, you’ll learn:

What is credit card pre-approval, and how does it work?

Credit card pre-approval is a process where credit card issuers like Discover assess your creditworthiness without a formal application. It’s a preliminary evaluation that helps determine which credit cards you will likely qualify for based on your financial profile. Pre-approval doesn’t guarantee approval but significantly increases your chances.

How to get pre-approved for Discover credit cards?

Getting pre-approved for a Discover credit card is a straightforward process. Discover often uses soft credit inquiries, which won’t impact your credit score. You can get preapproved on the Discover website or find out you’ve been preapproved without even trying through the mail. Credit card companies often send targeted mailers to potential applicants convincing them to apply with special welcome offers.

Best Discover credit cards that offer pre-approval

Card Name Rewards Type Annual Fee Key Features
Discover it® Cash Back

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Cash back $0 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories, 1% on all other purchases
Discover it® Miles

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Miles $0 Unlimited 1.5x miles on all purchases, double miles after the first year
Discover it® Student Cash Back

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Cash back $0 Designed for students, 5% cash back in rotating categories, 1% on all other purchases
Discover it® Secured

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Secured $0 Designed to help build or rebuild credit, 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, 1% on all other purchases

*Updated as of October 2023

How can you check your Discover pre-approval status?

To check your Discover pre-approval status, visit the Discover website and look for the pre-approval section. You’ll typically need to provide personal information, like your name, address, and Social Security number. Discover will then perform a soft credit inquiry to determine your pre-approval status and present you with suitable card offers.

What does it mean to not get pre-approved for a Discover credit card?

If you don’t receive pre-approval, it simply means that, based on the initial assessment, Discover does not believe you meet their criteria for the cards you’ve applied for. However, this doesn’t mean you cannot apply for a Discover card; it just means you may have a lower chance of approval.

How to increase your chance of getting pre-approved

1. Increase your credit score

A higher credit score reflects better creditworthiness. Pay your bills on time, reduce outstanding debt, and address any errors on your credit report to boost your score.

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2. Look for cards that match with your profile

Research Discover’s credit card offerings and apply for those that align with your credit score, income, and spending habits. Applying for cards that fit your profile increases your likelihood of approval.

3. Lower your credit utilization ratio

Reduce the balance on your credit cards relative to your credit limit. A lower credit utilization ratio demonstrates responsible credit management.

Learn more: How to Lower Your Credit Utilization Ratio?

Why should you prequalify for a Discover card before applying?

Prequalifying for a Discover card offers several benefits. It allows you to:

  • Avoid hard inquiries: Pre-approval usually involves a soft credit inquiry, which doesn’t harm your credit score. Applying for multiple cards without pre-approval can result in multiple hard inquiries, potentially lowering your credit score.
  • Save time: Pre-approval helps you focus on cards you’re eligible for, saving time compared to applying for cards you may not qualify for.
  • Improve approval odds: Pre-approval indicates that you’re more likely to be approved when you formally apply, boosting your confidence.


Discover typically requires a good to excellent credit score, which is generally considered 670 or higher. However, some cards, like the Discover it Secured, are more accessible for individuals with limited or damaged credit.

Getting approved for a Discover card can be relatively easy if you meet the credit score and income requirements. Pre-approval can further simplify the process.

Several factors can lead to a denial, including a low credit score, high debt-to-income ratio, recent late payments, or a history of bankruptcies or delinquencies. Addressing these issues and prequalifying can help you secure a Discover credit card in the future.