Opening a new credit card can be a stressful process. If your credit score is young or you’ve taken a few hits, it’s important to decide carefully where to apply, because most credit card applications result in a hard inquiry. According to myFICO, a hard inquiry, or hard credit pull, can lower your score by five points, or even more in some cases.If you’re not willing to part with hard-won credit score gains or you’re new to the credit card game altogether, you might want to think about alternatives to cards that require a hard pull. You want to opt instead to apply to soft pull credit cards. You can even apply for soft pull store credit cards.

If you’re not willing to part with hard-won credit score gains or you’re new to the credit card game altogether, you might want to think about alternatives to cards that require a hard pull. You want to opt instead to apply to soft pull credit cards. You can even apply for soft pull store credit cards.

Fortunately, yes, there are other options besides hard credit inquiries. Soft inquiries, sometimes called soft pulls, don’t affect your credit score at all. If you’ve ever used an online company like Credit Karma to check out your credit score, that’s a soft inquiry. It allows you, or a company, to access your credit information without affecting your credit score.

If you get a pre-approved offer from any company that uses Comenity Bank as the card issuer, your approval will be based off a soft inquiry (according to Comenity customer service); however, repeatedly applying for the same card will result in a hard inquiry.

While credit card companies often won’t issue you a credit card without a hard inquiry, there are many department stores that will. These can be excellent starter cards for someone trying to establish or rebuild their credit score. But fear not because there are soft pull credit cards on this list that, while appearing to be simply a department store card, can be used anywhere major credit cards are accepted. Enjoy using our soft pull credit card finder article.

In This Article:

  • Phrases to know when applying for a credit card

  • Rumored soft pull credit cards (open loop)

  • Rumored soft pull store credit cards (closed loop)

  • And More…

Phrases to Know

Credit Score: This number reflects your trustworthiness with credit. It’s based on your length of credit history, number of open accounts, payment history, and amount of credit used. Credit scores generally range from 300-850. The higher your score, the better your chances of qualifying for competitive offers and lower interest rates.

Hard Inquiry: A hard inquiry is a request made by a creditor to pull your credit score information. Hard inquiries have a negative effect on your credit score. While it’s not a large effect compared to the other factors mentioned above, numerous inquiries can add up. Creditors may also start to reject you for credit cards and loans if they see too many inquiries in a short period.

Soft Inquiry: A soft inquiry allows a company to access your credit information without leaving a mark on the credit report. This allows them to access whatever they need to decide to approve you (or not) without impacting your credit score.

Shopping Cart Trick: If you’ve looked into soft inquiries before, you may have found mention of the shopping cart trick. The shopping cart trick allows you to obtain credit cards using a soft pull on your credit. Essentially, the trick is to wait until you receive a pre-approved credit card offer, which typically pops up at checkout. To make sure that you don’t receive a hard inquiry, you only input the last 4 digits of your social security number when applying (this is the most important step; if you input the entire number, it may change to a hard inquiry and you won’t know the difference until you check your credit score later).

Open Loop vs. Closed Loop: An open loop card is what most people think of as a normal credit card. These credit cards can be used anywhere that type of card (Visa, MasterCard, etc.) is accepted. A closed loop card is typically issued by a department store or other major retailer, and it can only be used at the same store (or other locations of the same chain). For example, if you get an Express credit card, you can only use it at Express stores, because it’s a closed loop card.

Rumored Soft Pull Credit Cards (Open Loop)

These cards are rumored to be soft pull cards if you are pre-approved for them. By disabling the popup blocker on your computer, you may get a pre-approved offer when shopping on the issuing company’s site. These rumors cannot be verified through the company websites or customer service at either the company or the issuing bank. Proceed at your own risk.

Credit cards listed below can be used wherever credit cards are accepted.

Coldwater Creek

  • Incentives: Five points per dollar spent at Coldwater Creek. Three points per dollar spent on gas and groceries. One point per dollar spent elsewhere. $10 Coldwater Creek reward for every 1,000 points. $25 birthday coupon to use during the cardholder’s birthday month. Two free standard-shipping events each year.
  • APR: 25.49%
  • Annual Fee: None.
  • Late Payment Fee: $37.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the Coldwater Creek page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

Sportsman’s Guide

  • Incentives: 2.5% discount on all merchandise. One point per $10 spent on gas, groceries, hotels, travel, and more. $10 rewards certificate for every 1,000 points. $10 rewards certificate when cardholders spend $500 in the first 90 days.
  • APR: 25.49%. Minimum interest charge is $1.00 per credit plan.
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Late Payment Fee: $37.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the Sportsman’s Guide page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

Total Rewards

  • Incentives: 10,000 reward credit bonus after cardholders spend $750 in the first 90 days. Five reward credits per $1 at Total Rewards destinations. Two reward credits per $1 on gas, groceries, and airlines. One reward credit per $1 everywhere Visa is accepted.
  • APR: 23.49%, 18.49%, or 14.49%. The APR will be determined when the account is opened based on the consumer’s creditworthiness.
  • Annual Fee: Beginning the 13th month after the card is purchased, there is a monthly fee of $2.50 for as long as there are funds on the card.
  • Late Payment Fee: $37.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the Total Rewards page of the Comenity website.

Rumored Soft Pull Store Credit Cards (Closed Loop)

These cards are rumored to be soft pull cards if you are pre-approved for them. By disabling the popup blocker on your computer, you may get a pre-approved offer when shopping on the company’s site. These rumors cannot be verified through the company websites or customer service at either the company or the issuing bank. Proceed at your own risk.

These cards are limited to purchases at the specific store where they were issued. They cannot be used with other vendors.

Abercrombie & Fitch

  • Incentives: 25% off the first purchase on the card, exclusive cardholder offers, a special birthday surprise.
  • APR: 25.49%
  • Annual Fee: None.
  • Late Payment Fee: $27.00 for the first time; $38.00 for subsequent late fees in a 6-month period
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the Abercrombie & Fitch page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

Ann Taylor

  • Incentives: Five rewards points for every dollar spent in stores or online. Receive a $20 Rewards Card for every 2,000 points earned. $15 Birthday Gift during the cardholder’s birthday month. 15% off on Tuesdays. 15% off on the first purchase when the card is opened.
  • APR: 25.49%
  • Annual Fee: None.
  • Late Payment Fee: $37.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the Instant Credit Registration page of the Ann Taylor website.
  • Start shopping

Brylane Home

  • Incentives: $10 rewards for every 400 points earned. 20% off birthday coupon and double points during the cardholder’s birthday month. Free shipping four times a year.
  • APR: 27.49%
  • Annual Fee: None.
  • Late Payment Fee: $38.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the Brylane Home page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

Buckle

  • Incentives: 10% off the first Buckle credit card purchase. $10 B-Rewards card for every $300 spent during a B-Rewards period. Special birthday rewards.
  • APR: 25.49%
  • Annual Fee: None.
  • Late Payment Fee: $37.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the Buckle page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

Express

  • Incentives: 15 points per $1 spent. $10 reward for every 2,500 points earned. Annual birthday gift.
  • APR: 25.49%
  • Annual Fee: None.
  • Late Payment Fee: $37.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the Express page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

fullbeauty

  • Incentives: $10 rewards for every 400 points earned with all fullbeauty brands (including Jessica London, Brylane Home, and others). 20% off birthday coupon and double points during the cardholder’s birthday month. Free shipping four times per year.
  • APR: 27.49%. Minimum interest charge is $2.00 per credit plan.
  • Annual Fee: None.
  • Late Payment Fee: $38.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the fullbeauty page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

Gamestop

  • Incentives: First purchase bonus: 15,000 points for Pro card members, 5,000 for Basic card members.
  • APR: 27.74%. Minimum interest charge is $2.00 per credit plan.
  • Annual Fee: None for Basic, $14.99 per year for Pro
  • Late Payment Fee: $37.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the Gamestop page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

HSN

  • Incentives: VIP easy returns. ExtraFlex on beauty, fashion, and jewelry.
  • APR: 21.24%. Minimum interest charge is $1.00 per credit plan.
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Late Payment Fee: $37.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the HSN page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

J.Crew

  • Incentives: 15% off the first purchase with the credit card. $25 rewards card for every $500 spent. Birthday surprise. Free standard alterations on in-store purchases.
  • APR: 25.49%
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Late Payment Fee: $37.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the J.Crew page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

Jessica London

  • Incentives: Earn $10 rewards for every 400 points earned. 20% off birthday coupon and double points during the cardholder’s birthday month. Free shipping four times a year.
  • APR: 27.49%
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Late Payment Fee: $38.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the Jessica London page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

J.Jill

  • Incentives: 10% off the first J.Jill credit card purchase. 5% off every purchase made on the J.Jill credit card. 10% off during the cardholder’s birthday month.
  • APR: 27.49%
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Late Payment Fee: $37.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the J.Jill page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

King Size Direct

  • Incentives: $10 rewards for every 400 points earned. 20% off plus double points during the cardholder’s birthday month. Free shipping four times a year.
  • APR: 27.49%
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Late Payment Fee: $38.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the King Size Direct page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

Loft

  • Incentives: Five rewards points for every dollar spent in stores. $20 rewards card for every 2,000 points earned. $15 birthday gift during the cardholder’s birthday month.
  • APR: 25.49%. Minimum interest charge is $1.00 per credit plan.
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Late Payment Fee: $37.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the Loft page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

Mandee

  • Incentives: 20% coupon when the card arrives. Reward points earned with every Mandee purchase.
  • APR: 25.49%. Minimum interest charge is $1.00 per credit plan.
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Late Payment Fee: $37.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the Mandee page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

Motorola

  • Incentives: Five rewards points for every dollar spent in stores. $20 rewards card for every 2,000 points earned. $15 birthday gift during the cardholder’s birthday month.
  • APR: 25.49%. Minimum interest charge is $1.00 per credit plan.
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Late Payment Fee: $37.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the Motorola page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

New York & Company

  • Incentives: $10 reward when $200 is spent on the card, or $20 reward for Platinum Card members. $10 off birthday coupon, or $15 off for Platinum members. To qualify for Platinum status, cardholders must spend $400 a year and their account must be in good standing.
  • APR: 26.49%. Minimum interest charge is $1.00 per credit plan.
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Late Payment Fee: $37.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the New York & Company page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

Overstock

  • Incentives: None
  • APR: 27.49%. Minimum interest charge is $1.00 per credit plan.
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Late Payment Fee: $38.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the Overstock page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

Roamans

  • Incentives: $10 reward for every 400 points earned with all affiliated brands (including fullbeauty, Jessica London, Brylane Home, and more). 20% off birthday coupon plus double points during the cardholder’s birthday month. Free shipping four times per year.
  • APR: 27.49%. Minimum interest charge is $2.00 per credit plan.
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Late Payment Fee: $38.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the Roamans page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

Venus

  • Incentives: $15 off on the first purchase. $5 in rewards for every $100 spent. $15 gift certificate during the cardholder’s birthday month.
  • APR: 25.49%. Minimum interest charge is $2.00 per credit plan.
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Late Payment Fee: $38.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the Venus page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

Victoria’s Secret

  • Incentives: Birthday gift. Free shipping. Earn a reward every time you earn 250 points. $1 = 1 point.
  • APR: 25.49%. Minimum interest charge is $1.00 per credit plan.
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Late Payment Fee: $37.00
  • Instant Approval: Yes
  • Read the above information and more on the Victoria’s Secret page of the Comenity website.
  • Start shopping

In Summary

Keep in mind that there are many reports throughout the web of folks have managed to obtain these cards by using the shopping cart trick without a hard inquiry. However, this is not verifiable anywhere on the companies’ websites or by contacting their customer service lines.

That being said, if you’re just beginning to build your credit or your credit score is very low, you’re likely to have some luck with these cards. Happy choosing!