Shopping Cart Trick Not Working? 7 Possible Fixes Explained

Toy shopping cart with cardboard boxes sitting on laptop

Shopping cart trick not working? We’re here to help. The shopping cart trick lets you get pre-approved for credit card offers on the checkout pages of online retailers, without needing a credit check. This little hack is great if you have a bad credit score and have had trouble obtaining a credit card or who want to improve your credit score. However, this trick can be finicky, so we’ve put together some information about what you can do if the shopping cart trick’s not working. Keep reading to find out why the shopping cart trick might not be working for you and some steps you can take for a higher chance at success.

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, see our article The Complete Shopping Cart Trick Stores List (+Where It Won’t Work).

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. Shopping cart trick not working for you? Here are a few fixes for different complications that can come up.

What to Do 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 be getting 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 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 have 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 website.

What to Do If You Have Trouble Qualifying

So maybe the card offer is popping up, but for some reason, 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).

In Summary

Shopping cart trick not working? If you can’t get the shopping cart trick to work right away, don’t be discouraged. Some people have tried for months before getting the trick to work, so keep trying and eventually, it may work for you. Most importantly, make sure that your pop-up blocker is turned off, you’re opted-in to receive credit card offers, and all of the information you input is exactly as it appears on your credit report. This will give you the highest chance at success when using the shopping cart trick.


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