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Which Debt to Pay Off First: Student Loan or Credit Card

It’s a common dilemma: Should you pay off credit cards or student loans first? The answer isn’t totally cut and dried. But if your credit card interest rates are higher than your student loan interest rates, paying down credit cards first will probably save you more money in interest.

But don’t stop there. Keep reading to learn how to calculate what’s best for your situation, and why. Along the way, you’ll learn more about how credit cards work, the complexities of student loans, and two very different strategies for paying down debt.

Prioritizing Your Debts

Experts are split over the best debt to pay off first. Some recommend you tackle the smallest balance first because of the psychological boost that comes from erasing a debt entirely.

However, from a purely financial standpoint, you’re better off paying off the debt that carries the highest interest rate first. That’s because the higher the interest rate, and the longer you hold the debt, the more you end up paying overall. This usually means tackling high-interest credit card debt first.

Keep in mind that prioritizing one debt over another does not mean that you stop paying the less urgent bill. It’s important to stay on top of all debts, making at least minimum monthly payment on each.

Failing to make bill payments can hurt your credit score, which can have all sorts of effects down the road. For example, a poor credit score can make it difficult to secure new loans at low rates when you want to buy a new car or home, or to take out a business loan.

You might consider setting up automatic payments on your loans. Automatic payments can make it easier to pay bills on time and juggle multiple payments.

If you’re having trouble making your monthly payments, consider strategies to make your payments more manageable, such as refinancing.

Student Loan vs Credit Card Debt

Before we get into if it’s better to pay off credit cards or student loans first, let’s look at how each debt is structured.

Student Loan Debt

A student loan is a type of installment loan used to pay for tuition and related schooling expenses for undergraduate or postgraduate study. Borrowers receive a lump sum, which they agree to pay back with interest in regular installments, usually monthly, over a predetermined period of time. In this way, student loans are similar to other installment loans such as mortgages, car loans, and personal loans.

At a high level, there are two types of student loans: federal and private. The U.S. government is the single largest source of student loans. Federal student loans have low fixed interest rates: Current rates are 4.99% for undergrad loans, and 7.44% for graduate and professional loans. These loans come with protections like income-driven repayment plans, deferment and forbearance, and loan forgiveness.

Private student loans are managed by banks, credit unions, and online lenders. They may have a fixed or variable interest rate, which is tied to the borrower’s credit score and income. Average interest rates range from 3.22% to 13.95% for a fixed rate, and from 1.29% to 12.99% for variable.

Private student loans don’t come with the same protections as federal student loans. For instance, they are not eligible for President Biden’s loan forgiveness plan.

Payback timelines vary widely. As with other loans, the longer your repayment timeline, the lower your monthly payment will be — but you’ll pay more in interest over the life of the loan. The shorter your repayment period, the larger your monthly payment, and the less interest you’ll pay.

Recommended: Types of Federal Student Loans

Credit Card Debt

Credit cards offer a type of revolving credit, where account holders can borrow money as needed up to a set maximum. You can either pay off the balance in full or make minimum monthly payments on the account. Any remaining balance accrues interest.

Credit cards usually come with higher interest rates than installment loans. The average credit card interest rate in September 2022 was 21.59%. But an individual credit card holder’s rate depends on their credit score. People with Excellent credit will pay an average of 18.04%, while those with Bad credit will pay closer to 25.14%.

Depending how the account is managed, credit card debt can be either very expensive or essentially free. If you always pay off credit cards in full each month, no interest usually accrues. However, if you make only minimum payments, your debt can spiral upward.

Recommended: Taking Out a Personal Loan to Pay Off Credit Card Debt

Should I Pay Off Credit Card or Student Loan First?

When it comes to student loan vs credit card debt, there’s no universal answer that fits everyone in every situation. A number of factors can tip the scales one way or another, especially the interest rates on your loan and credit card.

We’ll explore two scenarios: one in which paying off credit cards is the best move, and another where student loans get priority.

The Case for Paying Down Credit Cards First

If you are carrying high-interest credit card debt, you’ll likely want to focus on paying off credit cards first. As you saw above, the average credit card interest rate (21.59%) is significantly higher than the maximum student loan interest rate (13.95%). Even if your credit card interest rate is lower than average, it’s unlikely to be much lower than your student loan’s rate.

Credit card debt can add up quickly, and the higher the interest rate, the faster your debt can accumulate. Making minimum payments still means you’re accruing interest on your balance. And as that interest compounds (as you pay interest on your interest), your balance can get more difficult to pay off.

A high balance can also hurt your credit score, which is partially determined by how much outstanding debt you owe.

Paying Off Credit Card Debt

Once you decide to focus on paying off credit cards first, start by finding extra funds to send to the cause. Look for places in your budget where you can cut costs, and direct any savings to paying down your cards. Also consider earmarking bonuses, tax refunds, and gifts of cash for your credit card payment.

Next, make a list of your credit card balances in order of highest interest rate to lowest. The Debt Avalanche method refers to paying off the credit card with the highest interest rate first, then taking on the credit card with the next highest rate.

It bears repeating that focusing on one debt doesn’t mean you put off the others. Don’t forget to make minimum payments on your other cards while you put extra effort into one individual card.

You may also choose to use a Debt Snowball strategy. When using this method, order your credit cards from smallest to largest balance. Pay off the card with the smallest balance first. Once you do, move on to the card with the next smallest balance, adding the payment from the card you paid off to the payment you’re already making on that card.

The idea here is that, like a snowball rolling down a hill gets bigger and faster as it rolls, the momentum of paying off debt in this way can help you stay motivated and pay it off quicker.

Managing Your Student Loans

Meanwhile, it’s important that you continue making regular student loan payments while you’re prioritizing your credit card debt. For one thing, you shouldn’t just stop paying your student loans. If you do, federal student loans go into default after 270 days (about 9 months). From there, your loans can go to a collections agency, which may charge you fees for recouping your debt. The government can also garnish your wages or your tax return.

You can, however, typically adjust your student loan repayment plan to make monthly payments more manageable. If you have federal loans, consider an income-driven repayment plan, which bases your monthly payment on your discretionary income.

While this may reduce your monthly student loan payments, it extends your loan term to 20 to 25 years. That can end up costing you more in interest. So make sure the extra interest payments don’t outweigh the benefits of paying down your credit card debt first.

Refinancing Your Student Loans

It can also be a smart idea to refinance student loans. When you refinance a loan or multiple loans, a lender pays off your current loans and provides you with a new one, ideally at a lower rate.

You can use refinancing to serve a couple of purposes. One option is to lower your monthly payment by lengthening the loan term. This can free up some room in your budget, making it easier to stay on top of your monthly payments and redirect money to credit card payments. Just remember that lengthening the loan term can result in you paying more interest over the course of your loan.

Or you can shorten your loan term instead. This can be a good way to kick your student loan repayment into overdrive. Your payments will increase, but you’ll reduce the cost of interest over the life of the loan. In other words, you’re giving equal weight to paying off your student loans and your credit card debt.

When you refinance with SoFi, there are no origination or application fees. And as a SoFi member, you’ll have access to member benefits like unemployment protection, which can allow you to temporarily pause your payments if you lose your job. However, refinancing your student loans with a private lender means you’ll lose access to federal loan benefits, such as income-driven repayment plans, forbearance, and deferment.

To see how refinancing with SoFi can help you tackle your student loan debt, take advantage of our student loan refinancing calculator.

Take control of your debt by refinancing your student loans. You can get a quote from SoFi in as little as two minutes.

FAQ

Should you pay off your student loans or your credit cards first?

The answer depends on a number of factors, especially the interest rates on your loans and credit cards. But if your credit cards carry high interest rates, you’ll likely save more money in interest by paying off your credit cards before your student loans.

What is the best debt to pay off first?

From a purely financial perspective, it’s best to pay off your highest interest-rate debt first. This is called the Debt Avalanche method. Paying off the most expensive debt (usually credit cards) first will save you the most money in interest.

Is it smart to pay off credit card debt with student loans?

This is probably not a good idea. First of all, paying off credit cards with student loans may violate your student loan agreement, which limits the use of funds to tuition and related expenses. If you use a credit card exclusively for educational expenses like textbooks and computers, you might be able to use loan funds to pay it off. However, you should check your loan agreement carefully to make sure this is allowed.


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SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Bank, N.A., NMLS #696891 (Member FDIC). For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. Equal Housing Lender.

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
If you are looking to refinance federal student loans, please be aware that the White House has announced up to $20,000 of student loan forgiveness for Pell Grant recipients and $10,000 for qualifying borrowers whose student loans are federally held. Additionally, the federal student loan payment pause and interest holiday has been extended beyond December 31, 2022. Please carefully consider these changes before refinancing federally held loans with SoFi, since the amount or portion of your federal student debt that you refinance will no longer qualify for the federal loan payment suspension, interest waiver, or any other current or future benefits applicable to federal loans. If you qualify for federal student loan forgiveness and still wish to refinance, leave unrefinanced the amount you expect to be forgiven to receive your federal benefit.

CLICK HERE for more information.


Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.


Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
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What Is the Minimum Credit Score Needed for a Credit Card?

There is no minimum credit score needed for a credit card. Even borrowers with poor credit (a score of 300) or no credit card at all can qualify for some credit cards. However, options for bad-credit borrowers are limited and usually come with a high annual percentage rate (APR) and fees. Borrowers with no credit or poor credit may also only qualify for secured credit cards.

By boosting your credit score, you’ll have more options for credit cards with better rates, fees, and even rewards, bonuses, and perks. In this piece, we’ll review:

•   How your credit score affects credit card approval

•   The minimum credit score for a credit card

•   How your credit score is calculated — and how you can improve it

•   Credit cards for borrowers with fair, bad, and no credit

Recommended: Can You Buy Crypto With a Credit Card?

How Your Credit Score Affects Your Odds of Credit Card Approval

A good or excellent credit score increases your odds of credit card approval. But if you have a bad credit score, you’re not out of luck. Some credit card issuers have options for borrowers with no credit history or extremely low credit scores.

Before applying for a credit card, it’s a good idea to read the fine print for that specific card. Often, credit card companies will list their minimum credit score requirements for the card. If you’re at the bottom of the stated range, you may have a harder time qualifying.

To avoid getting declined (and having an unnecessary hard inquiry on your credit report), you may want to consider a less competitive credit card that you’re more likely to be approved for based on your credit score.

Cash in on up to $300–and 3% cash back for 365 days.¹

Apply and get approved for the SoFi Credit Card. Then open a bank account with qualifying direct deposits. Some things are just better together.


What Credit Score Do You Need to Get a Credit Card?

While there is no minimum credit score to get a credit card, you’ll need a higher credit score to qualify for the best credit cards available. Typically, travel credit cards and cash-back credit cards are reserved for borrowers with good to excellent credit (670 and above on the FICO scale).

If you have a fair credit score, you might be able to qualify for a decent credit card with a higher annual percentage rate (APR) and limited perks. Experts recommend having at least a 600 credit score to qualify for a standard credit card.

Borrowers with bad credit or no credit at all may be limited to secured credit cards (cards that require a security deposit as collateral), credit-building cards, or high-interest credit cards with high annual fees.

Recommended: How to Avoid Interest On a Credit Card

Tips for Estimating the Credit Score You Need

How can you determine a credit card’s credit score requirements? Here are a few ways to estimate the minimum score you’ll need:

•   Checking the website: Often, the credit card issuer will advertise in plain writing what credit score is required for each of its credit cards.

•   Reading reviews: If the issuer’s website isn’t clear, you may want to check third-party review websites, which often print the recommended credit scores needed for credit cards.

•   Using third-party services. Platforms like Credit Sesame and Credit Karma can predict which credit cards you’ll qualify for with your current credit score — but it’s never guaranteed. Such services also typically offer free credit score monitoring.

•   Getting preapproved. Many credit card issuers offer preapproval for their cards. This means they only initiate a soft pull on your credit report (with no effect on your credit score). A preapproval is not a guaranteed yes; you still have to go through the process, but it can instill more confidence if you’re worried about your chances.

Recommended: Does Checking Your Credit Score Lower Your Rating?

Factors Affecting Your Credit Score

Boosting your credit score is a great way to qualify for more (and better) credit cards. But knowing how to increase your credit score requires that you know what affects your credit score in the first place.

FICO and VantageScore both constantly monitor consumers’ credit and assign them different credit scores based on a consumer’s activity. While the models are similar, each company uses its own proprietary scoring method to calculate credit scores. Both scores range from 300 to 850.

FICO Scoring Method

Your FICO credit score depends on five key factors:

•   Payment history (35%): The largest factor impacting your credit score is your payment history. Making on-time payments not just for loans but for things like rent and utilities will boost your score. Late payments can stay on your credit report for up to seven years.

•   Credit utilization (30%): Using less of the credit available to you can raise your score; on the other hand, maxing out each card in your name every month can lower your score.

•   Credit history (15%): Everything’s better with age, so they say. The length of your credit history plays an important part in your credit score. Responsible credit users should see their scores increase over time.

•   Credit mix (10%): Having a healthy mix of loan types (both installment credit and revolving credit) can boost your score — if managed properly. That means mortgages, auto loans, student loans, personal loans, and credit cards can all help your credit score.

•   New credit applications (10%): When you apply for new credit, lenders will make a hard inquiry on your credit report. Even if you are denied the credit, this inquiry will temporarily lower your credit score, which is how applying for a credit card affects your credit score.

Recommended: When Are Credit Card Payments Due?

VantageScore’s Scoring Method

VantageScore, on the other hand, assigns different factors a value of influence:

•   The most influential factor affecting your VantageScore is payment history, as it is with FICO.

•   Three highly influential factors include the age of credit, type of credit, and credit utilization.

•   A moderately influential factor is the total debt balance you maintain across all loans.

•   The least influential factor is your recent credit activity (opening new accounts, recent hard inquiries, etc.).

Recommended: How Often Does Your Credit Score Update?

Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

Wondering how to improve your credit score to increase your chances of credit card approval? Here are some tips:

•   Understand your credit score: The first step to improving your credit score is knowing how it’s calculated — and knowing what your current credit score is.

•   Make on-time bill payments: Paying bills on time is good for more than just avoiding late fees. It’s also the top factor in determining your FICO score and VantageScore.

•   Decrease your credit utilization: By reducing the amount of purchases on your credit cards — and paying them off in full every month — you’ll decrease your credit utilization, which can boost your credit score.

•   Become an authorized user: If you have no credit history or are repairing bad credit, you may benefit from becoming an authorized user on a loved one’s credit card. If they are responsible with the card, it’s an easy way for you to boost your score without applying for your own card.

•   Keep old cards open: Once you qualify for better credit cards, you may be tempted to close out old accounts. But each of those cards has a credit limit. By keeping the card open but not using it, you decrease your overall credit utilization and keep the average age of your credit higher. The exception: If the card has an annual fee and you’re not using it for anything, it’s probably not worth keeping it open.

•   Only apply for credit cards when you need them: Each time you apply for a credit card, the issuer enacts a hard inquiry on your credit report, which lowers your score. Because of this, it’s a good idea to wait at least six months between credit card applications — and only apply when you need to. Choose your credit card applications wisely.

Recommended: Tips for Using a Credit Card Responsiblya

Getting a Credit Card with Bad Credit

Bad credit is not a death sentence on your chances of getting a credit card. In fact, you can find credit cards on the market designed specifically for people with bad credit. However, such cards typically have high fees and interest rates.

If you’re worried about high fees and rates, a secured credit card for bad credit may be the better option. Some secured credit cards even approve borrowers without conducting a credit check and have no APR. The big difference between a secured vs. unsecured credit card is that secured credit cards require a security deposit, which acts as the card’s credit limit.

Alternatively, bad-credit borrowers may be able to qualify for a retail credit card. While retail credit card credit score requirements vary, many are available to borrowers with limited or bad credit.

Recommended: What is the Average Credit Card Limit?

Getting a Credit Card with Fair Credit

With a fair credit score (580 to 669 per FICO), you won’t qualify for the top rewards credit cards available. That being said, it’s still possible to get approved for an unsecured credit card with no annual fee and limited perks.

Interest rates tend to be higher for those within this credit score range, but if you can pay the card off in full every month, you won’t have to worry about racking up credit card debt. Eventually, you may even improve your credit score enough to graduate to a rewards credit card with a better rate and terms.

Getting a Credit Card with No Credit

What if you have no credit history at all? Believe it or not, you can still qualify for a credit card with no credit history — though your options may be more limited.

Like borrowers with bad credit, you can likely qualify for no-frills secured credit cards if you can come up with the security deposit. Alternatively, borrowers without an established credit history can ask a close friend or family member to be added as an authorized user on their card. There are also credit cards designed for those who are currently enrolled in school.

The Takeaway

While there isn’t a minimum credit score for a credit card, having a good to excellent credit score improves your chances of approval for the top credit cards on the market. If you have a bad credit score or no credit history at all, you may be able to qualify for secured credit cards or credit cards. However, you’ll generally face higher fees and APRs.

If you have good to excellent credit and are looking for a credit card that rewards your purchases, consider the SoFi Credit Card. For a limited time, new credit card holders† who also sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings with direct deposit can start earning 3% cash back rewards points on all eligible credit card purchases for 365 days*. Offer ends 12/31/22.

Start earning rewards for responsible credit spending with the SoFi credit card.

FAQ

Can you get a credit card with limited or no credit history?

Yes, you can get a credit card with limited or no credit history. Borrowers with no history can look for secured credit cards or consider becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit account. Without credit history, however, you likely will not qualify for low-APR credit cards or rewards credit cards.

Can I get a credit card with a score of 600?

Yes, with a credit score of 600 (in the fair credit range), you may qualify for basic credit cards that offer limited perks, if any. You likely will not be able to qualify for a rewards credit card. However, credit card issuers may at least approve you for an unsecured credit card, though likely with a higher APR.

What is the easiest card to get approved for?

If you have no credit history (or a limited credit history) or a bad credit score, the easiest card to get approved for is typically a secured credit card. Secured credit cards present lower risk to credit card issuers because borrowers must make a security deposit that serves as collateral.


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For a limited time, new credit card holders† who also sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings with direct deposit can start earning 3% cash back rewards on all eligible credit card purchases for 365 days*. Offer ends 12/31/22.

Take advantage of this offer by applying for a SoFi credit card today.


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Guide to Checking Your Credit Card Approval Odds

Figuring out whether you will get approved for a credit card is seemingly simpler now with credit card approval odds calculators. These tools can offer guidance, highlighting credit cards with high approval odds in your favor. However, they are not always reliable.

Still, learning how to leverage the approval odds information that these tools provide can be helpful. You can use the insights to make yourself a more desirable borrower for credit card companies, thus increasing your future approval odds.

What Are Credit Card Approval Odds?

Credit card approval odds inform you of the likelihood that you’d get approved for a particular credit card. How these approval odds are determined, including which details are assessed, can vary between services and card issuers.

For example, a credit card approval odds calculator might suggest that, based on your credit score and income, you have an 80% chance of getting approved for a credit card. It might also offer you a few credit cards with high approval odds to explore.

Cash in on up to $300–and 3% cash back for 365 days.¹

Apply and get approved for the SoFi Credit Card. Then open a bank account with qualifying direct deposits. Some things are just better together.


Checking Your Credit Card Approval Odds

Using a credit card approval odds calculator offers a glimpse of your approval chances, but not a promise. That’s because a credit card company or credit card marketplace can’t provide a 100% assurance of your approval without going through a formal underwriting process.

Underwriting is the step where a lender or issuer evaluates your credit portfolio and application details (like existing debt and income) to calculate whether it would be a risk to loan credit to you. Since this process can only happen after an application is submitted, a tool that states you have high approval odds doesn’t mean your eventual approval is guaranteed.

Prequalifying for a Credit Card Approval

There are a couple of ways to obtain a pre-screened credit card to gauge your approval odds: Receiving a pre-qualification offer or requesting a pre-qualification from a credit card issuer.

Using a Prescreened Offer

Based on your general information from the credit bureaus, card issuers might send you an unsolicited prescreened offer stating that you might be qualified for its credit card.

At this step in the process, the card company has only looked at limited markers, like whether you’ve met its minimum credit score requirement. It hasn’t performed a hard credit check, nor evaluated your existing debt or income to base an approval on. However, if you receive a pre-qualification offer, this can be a positive sign that your approval odds are better than if you hadn’t received it.

Checking the Card Issuer’s Website

You don’t always have to cross your fingers in hopes that a card issuer will give you a prescreened offer. Some credit card issuers offer a pre-screening form that you can fill out to see if you’re pre-qualified for its card. If your preferred card doesn’t let you request a pre-qualification, you might find more insight on the issuer’s website about what’s required for approval.

While you’re on the card issuer’s site, it’s helpful to review its response timelines so you can track your pre-qualification or application progress. This includes the timeline for an application decision, as well as how long it takes to get a credit card if you’re approved.

What To Do if You Prequalify

If you prequalify for a credit card, you can choose to submit an application. Doing so will require a hard credit inquiry before a decision is made, which can temporarily have an effect on your credit score.

Additionally, you can continue shopping around for different cards to see if another product offers a lower interest rate or better incentives.

Recommended: How to Avoid Interest On a Credit Card

What To Do if You Don’t Prequalify

If you don’t pre-qualify for a credit card, you can proceed in a few ways:

•   Hold off on getting a new card. Too many hard credit inquiries might flag you as a high-risk borrower who’s reliant on credit. If you’ve recently had multiple inquiries on your credit, consider waiting a couple of months before re-applying for a new card.

•   Work on your credit score. All card issuers look at your credit score to see if it meets its minimum requirement. A higher credit score is a positive indicator that you’re a responsible borrower.

•   Apply for a secured credit card. A secured credit card is a credit-building card in which you deposit money or collateral in a certain amount. This amount acts as your credit limit.

•   Appeal the decision. If you applied for a credit card and were denied, the issuer must legally inform you of the reason for the denial. If you can provide more information that might sway the issuer in your favor, you can ask them to reexamine your application.

Recommended: Tips for Using a Credit Card Responsibly

Tips for Improving the Likelihood of Approval

Whether you’re getting a credit card for the first time or adding a new card to your rotation, there are a few steps you can take to improve your approval odds.

Reviewing Your Credit Report

Your credit report gives credit card issuers a comprehensive view of your borrowing habits to date. Since it’s a highly scrutinized factor when approving applications, review your credit report before submitting an application.

Check that all accounts, their statuses, and the amounts are accurate. If you spot an account that looks outdated or incorrect, reach out to the credit bureaus immediately to dispute it.

Taking a Look at Your Credit Score

In addition to ensuring your credit report is accurate, evaluate where your credit score stands today. Credit scores are the most common credit card requirements that influence your approval odds. For instance, if a card issuer explicitly states that its minimum credit score required is 720, but your score is 650, your credit card approval odds might be low.

Recommended: Does Applying For a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score?

Minimizing Your Debt

Keep your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio as low as possible. Credit issuers use this ratio as a way to determine whether you can afford to pay back potential purchases made on the card. The ratio is based on your aggregate monthly debt amounts divided by your gross monthly income.

Stating All of Your Income

As mentioned above, your income is one of multiple factors used to determine your credit card approval odds. A higher income can reduce your DTI ratio, making you a less risky customer to extend credit to.

You can include various types of income sources on your application. This might include your salary from your full-time job, earnings from a side gig, Social Security benefit payouts, and alimony.

Managing Payment History and Credit Utilization

Staying on top of your existing loan and credit card payments keeps your credit score healthy. This means paying at least the minimum amount due, and making those payments on time every month.

Additionally, be aware of how much of your total credit limit you’re using, compared to how much credit you have access to. This ratio is called your credit utilization ratio. There’s no golden credit utilization ratio to keep in mind, according to FICO, but the lower it is, the better.

Recommended: When Are Credit Card Payments Due?

Comparing Cards Carefully

With so many credit card products on the market, choosing a credit card that suits your borrowing needs and qualifications can help you find the right card.

Ensure you’re comparing credit cards with the same credit card features between different cards to accurately determine their pros and cons. Some considerations to make when comparing credit cards include:

•   APRs. The annual percentage rate, or APR, is how much you’ll pay in interest if you carry a balance on the card. The lower the interest rate, the better.

•   Balance transfer costs. Some issuers offer a zero-interest balance transfer promotion for a limited period, while others don’t. Similarly, some credit cards charge an additional balance transfer fee.

•   Penalty APRs. If your account becomes delinquent, some card issuers impose a higher penalty APR on your existing balances and future transactions. Make sure you understand how a credit card works and which rules apply.

•   Fees. Certain cards charge an annual fee just for the privilege of carrying the card. This fee is in addition to interest charges you might pay for rolling over a balance, month over month.

•   Rewards program. If you’re after credit card rewards, compare the details of each card’s program. For example, look at whether rewards points or miles are tiered or offered for specific categories, or if there’s a flat rewards rate for all purchases.

•   Incentives. You might encounter special promotions, like a welcome bonus or promotional 0% APR. These added perks should factor into your decision.

Recommended: What is a Charge Card?

The Takeaway

Although a credit card approval odds calculator or tool can offer broad guidance about whether you’ll be approved, it doesn’t replace a card issuer’s underwriting criteria. The credit card company relies on its own underwriting team to ultimately decide whether your application is approved. This decision is based on the specific information on your application and your creditworthiness.

If you’re ready to explore a cash-back rewards card, the SoFi Credit Card offers rewards at a generous rate. For a limited time, new credit card holders† who also sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings with direct deposit can start earning 3% cash back rewards points on all eligible credit card purchases for 365 days*. Offer ends 12/31/22.

See if you pre-qualify today!

FAQ

Does getting rejected for a credit card hurt my credit?

A credit card pre-approval rejection doesn’t hurt your credit since pre-approvals typically involve a soft credit check. However, if you move forward with a credit card application that involves a hard credit inquiry, your credit score might temporarily drop, regardless of whether you were approved or denied.

Are credit card approval odds accurate?

Generally, credit card approval odds calculators offer guidance toward credit cards with good approval odds. However, they don’t provide a 100% guarantee that you’ll be approved. There have been reported cases of tools claiming that a consumer has high approval odds with a card, only to get denied upon applying. The card issuer is the only entity that can accurately say whether you’re approved for a credit card.

How can I improve my credit card approval odds?

The best way to get good approval odds for credit cards is to minimize high-risk borrowing practices. One way to achieve this is by improving your credit score. Keep your credit balances low, make timely monthly payments, maintain long-standing credit accounts, and avoid opening multiple new lines of credit in a short period.

How do you guarantee credit card approval?

There’s no way to absolutely guarantee credit card approval to any particular card. Card issuers base their decisions on a number of factors, like your credit history, credit score, income, credit utilization, debt-to-income ratio, and more.


Photo credit: iStock/akinbostanci

SoFi cardholders earn 2% unlimited cash back rewards when redeemed to save, invest, or pay down eligible SoFi debt. Cardholders earn 1% cash back rewards when redeemed for a statement credit.1
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s
website
.

The SoFi Credit Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri (TBOM) (“Issuer”) pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
1See Rewards Details at SoFi.com/card/rewards.
†SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS PROSPECTIVELY BASED ON MARKET CONDITIONS AND BORROWER ELIGIBILITY. Your eligibility for a SoFi Credit Card Account or a subsequently offered product or service is subject to the final determination by The Bank of Missouri (“TBOM”) (“Issuer”), as issuer, pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Please allow up to 30 days from the date of submission to process your application. The card offer referenced in this communication is only available to individuals who are at least 18 years of age (or of legal age in your state of residence), and who reside in the United States.

*You will need to maintain a qualifying Direct Deposit every month with SoFi Checking and Savings in order to continue to receive this promotional cash back rate. Qualifying Direct Deposits are defined as deposits from enrolled member’s employer, payroll, or benefits provider via ACH deposit. Deposits that are not from an employer (such as check deposits; P2P transfers such as from PayPal or Venmo, etc.; merchant transactions such as from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.; and bank ACH transfers not from employers) do not qualify for this promotion. A maximum of 36,000 rewards points can be earned from this limited-time offer. After the promotional period ends or once you have earned the maximum points offered by this promotion, your cash back earning rate will revert back to 2%. 36,000 rewards points are worth $360 when redeemed into SoFi Checking and Savings, SoFi Money, SoFi Invest, Crypto, SoFi Personal Loan, SoFi Private Student Loan or Student Loan Refinance and are worth $180 when redeemed as a SoFi Credit Card statement credit.

Promotion Period: The Program will be available from 10/1/22 12:01 AM ET to 12/31/23 11:59PM ET

Eligible Participants: All new members who apply and get approved for the SoFi Credit Card, open a SoFi Checking and Savings account, and set up Direct Deposit transactions (“Direct Deposit”) into their SoFi Checking and Savings account during the promotion period are eligible. All existing SoFi Credit Card members who set up Direct Deposit into a SoFi Checking & Savings account during the promotion period are eligible. All existing SoFi members who have already enrolled in Direct Deposit into a SoFi Checking & Savings account prior to the promotion period, and who apply and get approved for a SoFi Credit Card during the promotion period are eligible. Existing SoFi members who already have the SoFi Credit Card and previously set up Direct Deposit through SoFi Money or SoFi Checking & Savings are not eligible for this promotion.

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What Does Preapproved Mean for a Credit Card?

What Does Preapproved Mean for a Credit Card?

When you get preapproved for a credit card, this means you’ve met initial criteria to receive an offer to get a credit card. In other words, you’ve popped up on a list of consumers that fit the bill for a credit card company’s requirements and are being invited to sign up for a card.

In this piece, we’ll discuss exactly how preapproved credit card offers work, the difference between what preapproved for a credit card means vs. prequalifed, and the pros and cons of preapproved offers.

What Is a Preapproved Credit Card Offer?

As mentioned, a preapproved credit card offer is when a credit card company officially invites you to apply for a specific credit card. Credit card issuers usually use criteria pulled from credit reporting agencies to extend these offers. If you fall within the parameters of the credit card requirements set by the card issuer, then you may receive an offer — either via email, snail mail, or over the phone — to formally apply for approval for the card.

Cash in on up to $300–and 3% cash back for 365 days.¹

Apply and get approved for the SoFi Credit Card. Then open a bank account with qualifying direct deposits. Some things are just better together.


How Do Preapproved Credit Card Offers Work?

While it sounds promising, getting a preapproved credit card offer doesn’t necessarily mean you’re guaranteed to get approved for a credit card. Even if you’re preapproved, you’ll need to properly apply.

When you do, the credit card issuer will look over your application and usually request additional financial and personal information. The credit card company will also check your updated credit report to figure out if your credit still meets the criteria it referred to when it sent you the preapproved offer.

Preapproved vs Prequalified Credit Card Offers

The terms “preapproved” and “prequalified” often are used interchangeably when it comes to prescreened credit card offers. And within the realm of credit cards, they often are one and the same. But in other types of lending, they mean different things.

Prequalified offers are usually requested by you, the consumer. To get prequalified, you typically need to provide basic personal and financial information. During the screening process, the credit card issuer will check your credit. However, it will only conduct a soft pull, which won’t impact your credit score. After reviewing the info you submitted, the credit card company will let you know if you’re likely to get approved.

Preapproval, on the other hand, is when you’re prescreened for offers by the credit card company. These credit companies work with the three major credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to come up with a list of consumers that meet their lending criteria.

With both preapproval and prequalification, you’ll still have to submit to a hard credit inquiry and potentially provide additional financial information to actually get approved for the loan product. Keep in mind that unlike a soft inquiry, a hard credit inquiry will temporarily affect your score.

Recommended: Can You Buy Crypto With a Credit Card?

Benefits of a Preapproved Credit Card

Now that you know what preapproved means for a credit card, you may be wondering what the benefits are. In general, these are the upsides of preapproval, whether for a valuable rewards card or a virtual credit card.

Recommended: Can You Buy Crypto With a Credit Card?

Indicates Your Odds of Approval

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of getting preapproved for a credit card is that you’ll have a better sense of how likely you are to ultimately get approved for the card. Although preapproval is not a guarantee of eventual approval, if a credit card issuer has already selected you to apply and your financial situation hasn’t drastically changed, you’re likely within the required parameters to get the card.

Won’t Impact Your Credit Score

One of the major benefits of getting preapproved for a credit card is that it won’t impact your credit score. To get preapproved, the card issuer does a soft pull of your credit. Only if you decide to formally apply for the card will the credit card company do a hard pull of your credit.

Could Allow You To Secure More Competitive Terms

Getting preapproved for a credit card may allow you to secure a lower interest rate than you’d otherwise be able to get. This is because the lender is effectively advertising the card to you in order to get you to apply. Keep in mind, however, that your rates aren’t set until after you formally apply.

Recommended: How to Avoid Interest On a Credit Card

May Provide Access to Better Intro Offers

Another advantage of a preapproved credit card is that it might come with more lucrative perks than what’s more widely advertised to the public. You might be privy to cards with more attractive sign-up bonuses or introductory earnings opportunities. For instance, a cash-back credit card might offer a higher initial earnings rate through preapproval offers.

Could Get a Longer Intro APR for Balance Transfers Cards

For balance transfer credit cards that allow you to transfer your existing debt over to the new card, you might be able to get a lower introductory annual percentage rate (APR) for longer through preapproved offers. This longer introductory period could make it easier to pay off your balance in full before the regular interest rate kicks in.

Easier for You

Because credit card companies have vetted you and know that you’ve passed its criteria, you don’t have to spend time researching cards. Instead, these offers are coming to you. Still, when choosing a credit card, it doesn’t hurt to take a look around to make sure this is truly the right fit for you.

Drawbacks of a Preapproved Credit Card

While there are benefits of preapproved credit card offers, there are drawbacks to them as well.

Might Not Be the Best Card for You

While you don’t have to jump through the same hoops as you would looking for a credit card on your own, the credit card you’re preapproved may not be the right one for you. It might be a good idea to spend some time doing your own research and understanding differences in how credit cards work even if you do get preapproved.

Could Get Flooded With Unwanted Offers

Preapproval offers may lead to getting a lot of unsolicited emails, mail, or phone calls. Especially if you’re not in the market for a new credit card, you could feel inundated with offers you don’t necessarily want or need.

Potential for Theft of Personal Information

There’s a chance that a would-be identity thief can intercept your prescreened offer and get ahold of your name and mailing address. The good news is that prescreened offers are one of the least likely forms of identity theft. Plus, an identity thief would likely need information beyond what’s included in a preapproval offer.

Data Privacy Issues

This is not very common, but there’s a chance that your name, address, and other personal information are stored in databases for consumers that qualify for prescreened offers. This means that in the instance of a data breach, your information could be accessed.

Temptation to Open More Cards

Receiving preapproved offers for credit cards may tempt you to open a new credit card you don’t necessarily need, especially if the preapproval offer includes a lucrative sign-up bonus or an extended introductory APR offer. Especially if you’re already set with your lineup of credit cards, this might entice you to take on more cards than you can comfortably manage.

When You May Need Credit Card Preapproval

You might want to receive a preapproved credit card offer if you’re in the market for a new credit card and would rather not go through the full process of researching credit cards. As you know you already meet certain lending criteria, the odds of getting approved for a card are improved.

Keep in mind, however, that you don’t need to get credit card preapproval in order to apply for a credit card. If you’re getting a credit card for the first time and have a limited credit history, for instance, you’re likely not going to get so many preapproval offers — but that doesn’t mean you can’t still try applying.

Recommended: What is the Average Credit Card Limit?

Tips for Getting a Preapproved Credit Card Offer

If you’d like to get preapproved offers, you’ll want to opt in by visiting OptOutPrescreen.com . From there, you can choose to get these offers through the mail, email, or via phone.

Instead of waiting for offers to come to you, you can also get preapproved by visiting a credit card issuer’s website and applying for prequalification. This typically requires providing basic personal and financial information.

Recommended: How Long It Takes to Get a Credit Card

Tips for Improving Your Chances of Preapproval

While you can still get preapproved for offers with not-so-great credit, you’ll get offers with the most favorable terms and rates with a strong credit score. To keep your credit score game strong and thus improve your chances of improval, make sure to do the following:

•   Avoid late payments

•   Keep your credit utilization rate low

•   Aim to keep cards open

•   Don’t apply for too many new accounts

•   Maintain a diverse mix of different forms of credit

Recommended: When Are Credit Card Payments Due?

How Does a Preapproved Credit Card Impact Your Credit Score?

A preapproved offer for a credit card doesn’t impact your credit score. As we talked about, lenders will do a soft pull of your score, which doesn’t affect your score.

But if you decide to apply for a card, the credit card issuer will do a hard pull of your credit. This will most likely ding your score, though generally only temporarily.

Recommended: When Are Credit Card Payments Due?

Opting Out of Preapproved Credit Cards

If you don’t want to get flooded by preapproval offers, you can decide to opt out. Visit the website OptOutPrescreen.com and follow the simple steps outlined on the website to do so. You then won’t be included on lists to get considered for preapproval for five years.

Recommended: Does Applying For a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score?

The Takeaway

A preapproved offer for a credit card means you’ve met certain lending criteria to most likely get approved for a specific card. You’ll still need to officially apply to secure approval though. But if your credit score and financial history are the same as when you initially received the offer, there’s a high likelihood you’ll get approved.

Looking to add another credit card? The SoFi Credit Card allows you to submit a request for prequalification. Plus, you can earn generous cash-back rewards through your spending with the card. For a limited time, new credit card holders† who also sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings with direct deposit can start earning 3% cash back rewards on all eligible credit card purchases for 365 days*. Offer ends 12/31/22.

Take advantage of this offer by applying for a SoFi credit card today.

FAQ

How long does it take to get a credit card if you are preapproved?

It depends on the credit card and credit card company. If you’re preapproved for a card, you’ll still need to officially apply. If you do get approved for a card, it could take anywhere from five business days to two weeks for your card to arrive in the mail.

Can you get denied after preapproval?

In some cases, yes. For instance, if your credit or financial situation changed between the time you received a preapproved offer and when you applied, you might get denied.

Can I get a credit card if I am not preapproved or I don’t qualify for a credit card?

Yes, you don’t need to get preapproved for a credit card; it simply nixes a few steps and boosts your odds of getting a card. However, you will need to qualify for a credit card to get it. This happens if you meet the credit card company’s lending criteria. If you do, you’ll have a chance of getting a particular credit card.

Should I still apply if I am not preapproved for a credit card?

Just because you aren’t preapproved doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get a particular credit card. Spend some time doing your homework to figure out which cards are a good fit for your needs and financial situation. When choosing a credit card, it’s important to check the rates, credit limits, and fees.


Photo credit: iStock/akinbostanci

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s
website
.

The SoFi Credit Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri (TBOM) (“Issuer”) pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
1See Rewards Details at SoFi.com/card/rewards.
SoFi cardholders earn 2% unlimited cash back rewards when redeemed to save, invest, or pay down eligible SoFi debt. Cardholders earn 1% cash back rewards when redeemed for a statement credit.1
†SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS PROSPECTIVELY BASED ON MARKET CONDITIONS AND BORROWER ELIGIBILITY. Your eligibility for a SoFi Credit Card Account or a subsequently offered product or service is subject to the final determination by The Bank of Missouri (“TBOM”) (“Issuer”), as issuer, pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Please allow up to 30 days from the date of submission to process your application. The card offer referenced in this communication is only available to individuals who are at least 18 years of age (or of legal age in your state of residence), and who reside in the United States.

*You will need to maintain a qualifying Direct Deposit every month with SoFi Checking and Savings in order to continue to receive this promotional cash back rate. Qualifying Direct Deposits are defined as deposits from enrolled member’s employer, payroll, or benefits provider via ACH deposit. Deposits that are not from an employer (such as check deposits; P2P transfers such as from PayPal or Venmo, etc.; merchant transactions such as from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.; and bank ACH transfers not from employers) do not qualify for this promotion. A maximum of 36,000 rewards points can be earned from this limited-time offer. After the promotional period ends or once you have earned the maximum points offered by this promotion, your cash back earning rate will revert back to 2%. 36,000 rewards points are worth $360 when redeemed into SoFi Checking and Savings, SoFi Money, SoFi Invest, Crypto, SoFi Personal Loan, SoFi Private Student Loan or Student Loan Refinance and are worth $180 when redeemed as a SoFi Credit Card statement credit.

Promotion Period: The Program will be available from 10/1/22 12:01 AM ET to 12/31/23 11:59PM ET

Eligible Participants: All new members who apply and get approved for the SoFi Credit Card, open a SoFi Checking and Savings account, and set up Direct Deposit transactions (“Direct Deposit”) into their SoFi Checking and Savings account during the promotion period are eligible. All existing SoFi Credit Card members who set up Direct Deposit into a SoFi Checking & Savings account during the promotion period are eligible. All existing SoFi members who have already enrolled in Direct Deposit into a SoFi Checking & Savings account prior to the promotion period, and who apply and get approved for a SoFi Credit Card during the promotion period are eligible. Existing SoFi members who already have the SoFi Credit Card and previously set up Direct Deposit through SoFi Money or SoFi Checking & Savings are not eligible for this promotion.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
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What Is a Black Credit Card? How It Works

Colloquial references to a black credit card typically refer to the American Express Centurion Card that launched in 1999. It quickly developed a reputation for being more than a credit card — rather, it became a status symbol of ultra-wealth and limitless spending power reserved only for the elite.

The rumored black card requirements — such as a steep minimum spending criteria — add more intrigue to this luxury card. Here’s a look at how to get a black credit card, as well as the black credit card’s benefits and drawbacks.

What Is a Black Credit Card?

A black credit card is an ultra-luxury private banking credit card product that’s designed to support the credit needs of the world’s upper-echelon, including A-list celebrities, professional athletes, and multi-millionaires..

Although the black credit card meaning was originally derived from the AmEx Centurion Card, it now includes other luxury cards that have since come to the market. The list of exclusive card products include the Dubai First Royale Mastercard and the J.P. Mortgage Reserve Card.

Although the Mastercard Black Card might have the phrase “black card” in its name, it’s more accessible and arguably not in the same caliber as the aforementioned cards. That’s because consumers can submit an application online for this card without first being invited, which is more in line with typical credit card rules.

Cash in on up to $300–and 3% cash back for 365 days.¹

Apply and get approved for the SoFi Credit Card. Then open a bank account with qualifying direct deposits. Some things are just better together.


How Black Credit Cards Work

Unlike other consumer credit cards, the most exclusive black credit cards aren’t available for online applications. Card issuers publish very limited details — if any at all — about how to apply for the card or what it takes to receive an invitation. All of the elusiveness only enhances the allure of black cards.

Aside from their exclusiveness, black cards are generally known for having no credit limit, allowing members to spend freely. However, credit card issuers have already determined who they feel is financially capable of wielding the black card’s limitless buying power.

Recommended: Does Applying For a Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score?

Requirements for Getting a Black Credit Card

Specific black credit card requirements and thresholds vary between black card products. However, they generally include the following factors:

•   Minimum annual spending

•   Income and/or net worth

•   Creditworthiness

If you believe that you meet the criteria for a black credit card, you can reach out to the card issuer directly to see if you’re eligible. American Express, for instance, offers an online form for its Centurion Card for those who want to request consideration.

What Kinds of Perks Do Black Credit Cards Offer?

Whether you’re still learning how credit cards work or are experienced with credit, you likely know that different cards offer varying benefits, including rewards, travel and shopping credits, and more. The perks of a black credit card also differ depending on the type of black card.

For example, the AmEx Centurion Card, offers the following black card benefits:

•   VIP airport lounges. Access to AmEx’s Global Lounge Collection, including the coveted The Centurion Lounge.

•   Travel accommodation enhancements. Upgraded bookings and credits through AmEx’s Fine Hotels and Resorts and The Hotel Collection programs.

•   Airline loyalty status. Complimentary top-tier status through airline partner loyalty programs.

•   Unique experiences. Access to one-of-a-kind travel experiences around the world.

•   Travel inconvenience credit. Up to a $250 credit per traveler for carrier-related inconveniences, like cancellations, delays, and more.

•   Travel insurance. Up to $100,000 in travel medical assistance, and up to $1 million in travel accident insurance.

•   Rental car insurance. Up to $75,000 in car rental loss and damage insurance.

•   Lost baggage insurance. Up to $1,200 per trip for lost checked baggage.

•   Saks Fifth Avenue credit. Quarterly $250 shopping credit, up to $1,000 per year.

•   Equinox fitness club membership. Access to clubs in multiple countries.

•   Additional buying protection. Purchase protection, return protection, and extended warranty for goods purchased on the card.

•   Personalized support. Access to personal shoppers and 24/7 personal concierge service.

Recommended: What is a Charge Card?

Pros and Cons of Using a Black Card

As a card that’s not intended for the masses, the card’s pros and cons highly depend on which side of the eligibility spectrum you fall under. Here’s a closer look at black credit card benefits and drawbacks:

Pros of Using a Black Card Cons of Using a Black Card
No credit limit Accessible by invitation only
Status symbol High initiation and annual fees
Luxury perks High spending requirement
Tailored service experience High income requirement

Is a Black Credit Card Worth It?

With a reputation of having excessively high annual fees and high minimum spending criteria, an important credit card consideration for a black card is ensuring that you can afford it — that is, assuming you’ve received an invitation in the first place.

Weigh the black card benefits, and consider if you’d actually be using a credit cardin such a way that it would be worth it for your needs.

Recommended: When Are Credit Card Payments Due?

The Takeaway

Black cards are reserved for elite customers who have demonstrated the ability to spend thousands of dollars and repay that amount with ease. If you’re an everyday consumer or it’s your first time getting a credit card, a flashy black card probably isn’t a practical credit card solution.

However, a card with solid perks can be a reliable daily option. The SoFi Credit Card lets you earn generous cash-back rewards points. For a limited time, new credit card holders† who also sign up for a SoFi Checking and Savings with direct deposit can start earning 3% cash back rewards points on all eligible credit card purchases for 365 days*. Offer ends 12/31/22.

Take advantage of this offer by applying for a SoFi credit card now!

FAQ

What does it mean to have a black credit card?

Being invited as a black card member means that you’ve met the card issuer’s underwriting criteria in terms of having a high income, high net worth, high spending activity, and more. It’s perceived as being a card that’s only accessible to the ultra-wealthy and elite.

How much does a black credit card cost?

Black credit card fees vary between card products but often cost hundreds to thousands of dollars in annual fees each month. The AmEx Centurion Card, for example, has a $10,000 initiation fee and a $5,000 annual membership fee thereafter.

Are black credit cards actually black?

Generally, black credit cards are designed with a black color scheme. However, some elite private banking cards that fall into the exclusive black card circuit aren’t black. For example, the JP Morgan Reserve card is made of brass and palladium, and has a silver metal finish.

What is the difference between a black card and a platinum card?

The AmEx Platinum Card is more accessible to consumers than the AmEx Centurion Card, also dubbed the black credit card. Members who want to apply for a Platinum Card can do so on their own online, while the black card is offered by invitation only. The requirements and annual membership fees of both cards also vastly differ.


Photo credit: iStock/Lemon_tm

SoFi cardholders earn 2% unlimited cash back rewards when redeemed to save, invest, or pay down eligible SoFi debt. Cardholders earn 1% cash back rewards when redeemed for a statement credit.1
Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.
The SoFi Credit Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri (TBOM) (“Issuer”) pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated.
1See Rewards Details at SoFi.com/card/rewards.
†SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS PROSPECTIVELY BASED ON MARKET CONDITIONS AND BORROWER ELIGIBILITY. Your eligibility for a SoFi Credit Card Account or a subsequently offered product or service is subject to the final determination by The Bank of Missouri (“TBOM”) (“Issuer”), as issuer, pursuant to license by Mastercard® International Incorporated and can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Please allow up to 30 days from the date of submission to process your application. The card offer referenced in this communication is only available to individuals who are at least 18 years of age (or of legal age in your state of residence), and who reside in the United States.

*You will need to maintain a qualifying Direct Deposit every month with SoFi Checking and Savings in order to continue to receive this promotional cash back rate. Qualifying Direct Deposits are defined as deposits from enrolled member’s employer, payroll, or benefits provider via ACH deposit. Deposits that are not from an employer (such as check deposits; P2P transfers such as from PayPal or Venmo, etc.; merchant transactions such as from PayPal, Stripe, Square, etc.; and bank ACH transfers not from employers) do not qualify for this promotion. A maximum of 36,000 rewards points can be earned from this limited-time offer. After the promotional period ends or once you have earned the maximum points offered by this promotion, your cash back earning rate will revert back to 2%. 36,000 rewards points are worth $360 when redeemed into SoFi Checking and Savings, SoFi Money, SoFi Invest, Crypto, SoFi Personal Loan, SoFi Private Student Loan or Student Loan Refinance and are worth $180 when redeemed as a SoFi Credit Card statement credit.

Promotion Period: The Program will be available from 10/1/22 12:01 AM ET to 12/31/23 11:59PM ET

Eligible Participants: All new members who apply and get approved for the SoFi Credit Card, open a SoFi Checking and Savings account, and set up Direct Deposit transactions (“Direct Deposit”) into their SoFi Checking and Savings account during the promotion period are eligible. All existing SoFi Credit Card members who set up Direct Deposit into a SoFi Checking & Savings account during the promotion period are eligible. All existing SoFi members who have already enrolled in Direct Deposit into a SoFi Checking & Savings account prior to the promotion period, and who apply and get approved for a SoFi Credit Card during the promotion period are eligible. Existing SoFi members who already have the SoFi Credit Card and previously set up Direct Deposit through SoFi Money or SoFi Checking & Savings are not eligible for this promotion.

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.
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