Shopping Cart Trick Not Working? 7 Possible Fixes

Toy shopping cart with cardboard boxes sitting on laptop

The shopping cart trick allows you to get pre-approved for credit card offers on the checkout pages of online retailers, without needing a credit check. If you have a bad credit score or minimal credit, this can make it easier to get a credit card. But the trick doesn’t always work, so we’ve compiled information about what to do if the shopping cart trick isn’t working.

How to Use the Shopping Cart Trick

To do the shopping cart trick, go to the website of the store you want to get a credit card from. Then, start putting items in your shopping cart. Any item will do (you won’t actually be purchasing it), although some people feel they have the most luck when their cart balance is over $100. Head to the checkout and begin filling out your information; do not use autofill for this step. If you’re shopping on the website of a store where the shopping cart trick works, a credit card offer should pop up sometime during the checkout process. If you reach the final page and still haven’t received an offer, you may need to try again.

For more info on how the shopping cart trick works and to learn which sites the trick is most likely to work on, comprehensive list of shopping cart trick stores.

What to Do If the Shopping Cart Trick Isn’t Working

The shopping cart trick sounds easy, and usually, it is. But, sometimes it doesn’t work. Here are a few fixes for different complications that can come up.

If the Credit Card Offer Doesn’t Pop Up

The first thing to do when the shopping cart trick isn’t working is to make sure there are no technical problems on your end:

  1. Check your pop-up blocker if you have one; if it’s on, you probably won’t get any credit card offers.
  2. Make sure that you opt-in to credit card offers. You can use the Opt Out Prescreen website to opt in or out.
  3. Clear your browser’s history, cache, and cookies. If you still aren’t having any success, try using a different browser.
  4. Be sure that any information you submit at checkout is the exact same as what you see on your credit report. The most minute detail (3rd St vs 3rd St.) can make a difference. Leaving out middle initials when your credit report has them, for example, can prevent the shopping cart trick from working.

If you’ve tried all of these steps and still aren’t getting a pop-up, then it is possible that the website you’re on cannot be used for this trick. Remember: the shopping cart trick doesn’t work for every retailer.

If You Have Trouble Qualifying

So maybe the card offer is popping up, but once you fill out the form you aren’t able to qualify for the card.

  1. Again, make sure the information you’re submitting is exactly the same as what is on your credit report.
  2. You might notice that on some credit reports, your information is different than on others. It’s impossible to know which variation of your info is being used for qualification, so try entering each variation of your name and address.
  3. You may want to update the information on your credit report and then try the shopping cart trick again later. (This could take a few days or even a few weeks).

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