If you have negative credit history due to things like late payments or bankruptcy, you may be denied for most credit cards. Furthermore, every time a creditor views your credit history, it typically lowers your score a little bit more, whether you are approved or not.
However, there is a way to get a store credit card without a hard pull on your credit history. Using the shopping cart trick, which involves applying for the card through the application that pops up during checkout, you can get a store credit card (like HSN) even if you have bad or no credit.
Below, we have the details of how the trick works and what to do before you try it.
What to Do Before Trying the Shopping Cart Trick
Before you try the shopping cart trick, here’s what you need to know to maximize your chances of success:
- Make sure you haven’t previously opted out of receiving prescreened credit card offers. If you have, the shopping cart trick won’t work. Call (888) 567-8688 or visit www.optoutprescreen.com to opt back in.
- The shopping cart trick works with a pop-up ad that offers you the opportunity to apply for an HSN credit card during the checkout purchase process. So, if you have a pop-up blocker, the ad won’t appear. You’ll need to switch off the blocker before beginning.
- It’s a good idea to clear your browser history and cache before you start so that this does not interfere with the process.
- Make sure that the application asks you to submit only the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you’re asked to enter the full number, you should exit out of the application, as this means there will likely be a hard pull on your credit report.
How to Use the Shopping Cart Trick at HSN
Register for an HSN Account
You’ll first need to register for an account on the HSN website. You can do this by choosing the “Hello, Sign In” button at the top, left of the website. In the next window, choose “Create an Account” and follow the steps.
Select a Few Items to Purchase
Once you’ve created an account with HSN, select one or two items and add them to your shopping cart. You won’t actually need to purchase these items, but you must have an item in your cart for the HSN shopping cart trick to work.
Enter Your Details Carefully and Correctly
Go through the checkout process and fill out your information (including your billing and/or shipping address) as if you were purchasing the items, but don’t actually enter payment information or complete the purchase. Make sure you enter all of your information correctly, and do this manually, as opposed to copy-pasting or using autofill. The information, including your name and address, should exactly match the details that appear on your credit report.
Follow the Pop-Up Prompt
Sometime during the checkout process — before your enter payment information to complete the purchase — you should receive a pop-up inviting you to register for a credit card. Make sure you’re asked to enter only the last four digits of your Social Security number before proceeding with the credit card application. Once you apply for the credit card, you can empty your shopping cart if you don’t want to purchase those items.
If you don’t see a pop-up invitation, double-check that you’ve entered your information correctly, especially things like middle initials and abbreviated addresses, to make sure it matches what is on your credit report. You may also want to double-check to make sure you are opted in to receive pop-ups. If you’re sure that you’ve done everything correctly, you can simply try again later — the trick may not always work on the first try.
How to Decide If the Shopping Cart Trick Is Right for You
Using the shopping cart trick can help you get an HSN store credit card, and using the credit card responsibly by making timely payments can help raise your credit score. However, if your poor credit history is a result of late payments or overspending, another credit card might make it even more difficult for you to get out of debt.
Furthermore, even though the credit card company will not do a hard pull on your credit, opening any new credit card lowers your credit score temporarily. Opening new accounts lowers the average age of your overall credit history, which is a factor in calculating your credit score.
Credit Card Perks
Having an HSN credit card can be useful if you are a frequent shopper because you can take advantage of a variety of promotions when shopping with HSN. New cardholder offers usually give you a certain amount or percentage off the first time you use your HSN credit card. When using the credit card, you can also divide your payments on a purchase so that you don’t need to pay the full amount right away. For other deals and promotions related to the HSN credit card, visit the HSN website.
Limits and Interest Rates
Store credit card limits tend to be low, while interest rates can be quite high in comparison to traditional credit cards. The limit for the HSN credit card varies per approved applicant, but the interest rate is listed as nearly 28%. This is important to keep in mind when you’re considering carrying a balance from one payment cycle to the next.
If you’re looking for more options, there are plenty of other stores where the shopping cart trick works. See our article for the list of shopping cart trick stores (plus where it won’t work).