The CardMatch tool quickly shows you if you're eligible for better credit card welcome bonuses, and using it won't affect your credit score

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  • CardMatch is a pre-qualification tool that shows you semi-personalized credit card offers and doesn't impact your credit.
  • While there's never a guarantee of approval, using this tool can help you get access to lucrative targeted welcome bonuses.
  • The increased 100,000-point welcome bonus for The Platinum Card® from American Express regularly shows up in CardMatch, and earning this bonus can net you at least $1,000 in travel. 
  • CardMatch offers are subject to change at any time without notice, but now is a great time to check if you're eligible for the increased Amex Platinum offer, as reports indicate it's still available. 
  • Read Business Insider's guide to the best rewards credit cards.

Have you ever received a flyer in the mail for a really good credit card bonus? Or do you have a friend who scored a mountain of points through a credit card offer?

CardMatch is a tool that gives you a list of the special credit card offers you personally qualify for so you can start racking up points too. Here's everything you need to know about it.

What is CardMatch?

CardMatch is a credit card pre-qualification tool offered by CreditCards.com. The tool asks you to fill out a brief form, performs a soft credit inquiry, and then gives you a list of personalized credit card offers. Pre-qualifying is not a guarantee that you'll be approved for a card or special offer, and you still have to complete the regular credit card application process to find out.

Many similar tools exist — for example, Experian offers one called CreditMatch, and some credit card issuers have their own pre-qualification tools available on their website.

How to use CardMatch

The CardMatch tool is easy to use and can get you credit card offers within minutes. All you have to do is fill out a basic form and wait for your offers to populate.

CardMatch will ask you for information like your full name, address, the last four digits of your Social Security Number, and your email address. It will also ask for your employment status, income, and monthly housing payments. All of this information helps the tool generate more personalized credit card offers for you.

Does CardMatch affect your credit score?

Using CardMatch will not affect your credit score. The tool runs a soft credit check (also known as a "soft pull") to gauge your eligibility, and soft credit inquiries don't show up on your credit report. Even if you use the tool multiple times, it won't impact your credit.

How accurate is CardMatch?

CardMatch goes off your credit score alone to provide special offers for you, so they're lacking a lot of information that credit card issuers use to determine your eligibility, such as your income and full credit history. This alone means the offers you pre-qualify for won't be 100% accurate.

On top of that, CardMatch doesn't usually take into account the idiosyncrasies of each card issuer's approval process. For example, the tool doesn't know what credit cards you already have. This means it could say you pre-qualify for a Chase credit card even if you're over the 5/24 rule — you've opened more than five credit cards in the past 24 months — and Chase wouldn't approve you. 

The tool also relies on partnerships with credit card issuers, so when certain card issuers aren't partnering with the tool, it won't show their cards as pre-qualification options. For example, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic when a lot of card issuers were suspending their affiliate programs, many users reported only being able to pre-qualify for Credit One cards. 

It's likely that some card offers are genuine pre-qualifications based on your credentials, while others are simply recommendations that don't have a lot to do with your credit history. If you're worried about being rejected for a credit card offer, it's smart to check that issuer's pre-qualification tool in addition to CardMatch.

Using CardMatch to get targeted credit card offers

While CardMatch can't give you any guarantees, and doesn't always offer recommendations tailored to your full credit history, it is great for getting targeted credit card offers.

These are typically limited-time promotions, such as an elevated welcome bonus, that aren't made public but rather sent out to a targeted group of consumers. You might receive these targeted offers via mailers sent to your house or as ads in your web browser. If there's a big intro bonus floating around that you haven't been targeted for, you might be able to get it through CardMatch.

One popular targeted credit card offer that people like to try and find using CardMatch is the 100,000-point welcome bonus on the Amex Platinum card. The public offer on the Amex Platinum is usually much lower, but some consumers are targeted for an offer of 100,000 points with the same spending requirement, which is easily worth at least $1,000 when redeemed for travel (offers are subject to change at any time).

Another common offer people find is for 75,000 points on the American Express® Gold Card after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. The public offer on the Amex Gold card usually ranges from 35,000 to 60,000 points.

If you haven't received these offers, you might be able to get them by checking CardMatch. You might find other targeted offers you didn't even know about. 

Other ways to get targeted credit card offers

It's certainly worth trying CardMatch to find targeted credit card offers, but it's not the only route. Here are a few other methods for scoring an elevated welcome bonus.

  • Check individual card issuer websites for pre-qualified offers
  • Try using a different browser or private mode and pull up credit card websites and pre-qualification tools from there
  • Try calling credit card issuers or going to a branch location to ask if they'll match a targeted offer other people are receiving
  • Sign up to receive mailers and emails from your favorite credit card issuers
  • Make sure to keep your income and other information updated on banking websites
  • Pay attention when you shop online, as targeted offers can pop up when you're checking out
  • If you're gunning for hotel points or airline miles, try starting a booking with the hotel or airline of your choice to see if an offer shows up when you go to check out

In the end, if a credit card is going to provide lasting value for you, it's worth applying even if you can't get a targeted offer. Of course, it doesn't hurt to try!

Citi Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit CardChase Chase Freedom Unlimited®

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

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