The Complete Shopping Cart Trick Stores List (+ Where It Won’t Work)

The “shopping cart trick” is a way to get approved for a store credit card without a hard pull, which can lower your credit score by up to five points. If you’re having a difficult time securing a credit card because of poor credit, then the shopping cart trick may allow you to get a pre-approved credit card from many retail websites during checkout. Read on to find out how to use this trick and to see the list of shopping cart trick stores.

In This Article

Benefits of the Shopping Cart Trick

The shopping cart trick is especially useful if your credit score is too low to get a credit card. This trick can also help you avoid a hard pull on your credit report, which can often bring your score down even if you are approved for the card.

Only a soft credit inquiry is conducted so that the retailer can verify your identity. With the shopping cart trick, the lender won’t even look at your full credit report!

You’ll probably be offered some great bonuses and additional promotions from the store through which you are approved. Sometimes you’ll get cash back offers; other times you may get special deals for purchases at the partnered store. Some stores may even offer a special signup bonus which you can use as an instant discount on in-store purchases.

Drawbacks of the Shopping Cart Trick

The shopping cart trick can be useful for building credit when your score is low. Typically, the more credit you’ve been approved for, the higher your score will be. But be aware that when you add new cards, especially in a short time period, the average age of your open accounts will decrease, which will bring your score down temporarily.

Note that the credit limits for cards acquired with this trick usually start out relatively low (around $500 in many cases). So if you need a lot of credit, the shopping cart trick won’t be able to help you.

How to Do the Shopping Cart Trick

Note: Be careful if you’re asked to provide your full social security number at any point during the application process. If you are, the application may run a hard pull on your credit report. Almost all cards issued through the shopping cart trick only require the last four digits of your SSN.

  1. Go to the website of the store where you want to get a credit card.
  2. Register on the website and/or join the loyalty program. Typically there is a link on the top menu that says “Create an account.”
  3. Make sure you’re logged in.
  4. Add items to your shopping cart. It doesn’t matter which item or items you choose — you won’t need to actually buy them for the trick to work.
  5. Begin the checkout process. When prompted, enter your address and information exactly as it appears on your credit reports.
  6. At some point in the checkout process, you should receive an offer stating that you’ve been pre-approved for the store credit card. Choose to accept the offer and complete the application per the provided instructions.
  7. After you finish the credit card application, you’ll be taken back to the final payment page of the checkout process. You can stop here. You do not need to complete checkout or actually purchase anything.
  8. If you haven’t received an offer by the time you get to the final checkout page, either the shopping cart trick isn’t working at this time or you need to make an adjustment and try again. Check out the tips below.

The Shopping Cart Trick and PayPal

When you begin the checkout process, you might see an option of choosing PayPal. If you are looking to get the store credit card for one of the stores listed below, it is best to proceed as if you were going to make a credit or debit card purchase rather than choosing the PayPal option. While we don’t know for sure that the shopping cart trick doesn’t work with PayPal, choosing PayPal as your payment method usually prompts a pop-up window to your PayPal account. In order for the shopping cart trick to work, you need to stay on the website of the store you’re shopping with and fill out your information on their website in order to get their pop-up offer. So it’s better to play it safe and avoid choosing PayPal when doing the shopping cart trick.

The exception to this rule is if you are seeking approval for PayPal Credit rather than a store credit card. In that case, choose a store (customers report eBay is a good store for PayPal approval) and follow the same steps above. In this case, you will want to select PayPal as your payment option. When prompted, sign into your PayPal account. Once signed in, you may get the offer of PayPal Credit the same way you would get the pop-up offer for the store credit cards.

For a list of stores who accept PayPal Credit, check out our article: Who Accepts PayPal Credit Online or In-Store?

The Shopping Cart Trick on Mobile Devices

The shopping cart trick can also work on mobile devices, including Android phones and iPhones. The key thing to remember about the shopping cart trick is that it doesn’t work without the pop-up offer. If your mobile device is blocking pop-ups, then you won’t be able to get the credit card offer. So you first need to enable pop-ups. Both Android phones and iPhones are able to receive pop-ups in Chrome. Visit Google Chrome Help for step-by-step instructions to allow pop-ups on an Android phone and pop-ups on an iPhone in Chrome.

Another thing to remember is that websites have two different versions, the desktop version and the mobile version. If the shopping cart trick is not working on the mobile version after you have enabled pop-ups, you can try switching to the desktop version. There is often a link somewhere on the mobile site to switch/ view the desktop version. With some stores, it won’t matter which version you use. For example, Walmart customer service and Victoria’s Secret customer service have both advised that their pop-up offers are available on their mobile sites as well as their desktop sites.

Help! It’s Not Working

Is the shopping cart trick not working? Check these things…

  • Check who issues the card in the offer. Typically, the shopping cart trick only works for Comenity-based cards. (Synchrony or Wells Fargo issued cards usually don’t work.)
  • Make sure you are opted in to credit card promotions. You’re automatically opted in, so unless you went through the process of opting out, you shouldn’t have to change anything. But, if the trick isn’t working, go to the Opt Out Prescreen website to ensure that you’ve opted in.
  • Double check that the information entered for your account matches the information on your credit report. The retailer will need to do a soft credit pull to verify your identity, which requires accurate information.
  • Turn off the pop-up blocker for your browser, if you’re using one. Go to Preferences or Settings in your browser to turn off the pop-up blocker. Most credit card offers appear in pop-up windows that your computer may be automatically preventing from showing up.
  • Sometimes you have to begin typing in payment information before you get the pre-approved offer. Once you begin typing numbers in the credit card box, an offer may appear.
  • If you are on a mobile device, first make sure you have allowed pop-ups. Second, switch to the desktop site instead of the mobile site and try again.

If a pre-approved offer still doesn’t show up, try again in a few weeks. Offers are not always available, and the trick doesn’t have a 100% success rate. Better luck next time!

If the card offer is popping up, but you aren’t able to qualify for the card, check out our article, Shopping Cart Trick Not Working? Here are 7 Ways to Fix It.

Stores Where the Shopping Cart Trick Works

Abercrombie & Fitch

American Home Furnishings

Ann Taylor

Bath & Body Works

Bed Bath and Beyond

Big Lots

Boscov’s

  • Items sold: Apparel, shoes, handbags, cosmetics, jewelry, small appliances, and home decor
  • How to shop: Online and in stores nationwide
  • Start shopping at Boscov’s

Buckle

Coldwater Creek

Dillard’s

Eddie Bauer

Express

Forever 21

GameStop

  • Items sold: Video games, consumer electronics, and wireless services
  • How to shop: Online and in stores nationwide
  • Start shopping at Gamestop

HSN

  • Items sold: Clothing, shoes, jewelry, beauty supplies, home decor, appliances, and toys
  • How to shop: Online retailer only
  • Start shopping at HSN

Check out our article on the HSN shopping cart trick for some trick tips specific to HSN.

Jared

  • Items sold: Jewelry
  • How to shop: Online and in-store nationwide
  • Start shopping at Jared and select “Get Prequalified Now”

J.Jill

  • Items sold: Women’s apparel, accessories, and footwear
  • How to shop: Online and in stores nationwide
  • Start shopping at J.Jill

The Loft

Lowe’s

  • Items sold: Tools, building materials, home improvement, home decor, lawn and garden supplies, and appliances
  • How to shop: Online and in stores nationwide
  • Star shopping at Lowe’s

Check out our article on the Lowe’s shopping cart trick for some trick tips specific to Lowe’s.

Motorola

New York & Company

Overstock

  • Items sold: Home decor, rugs, furniture, bedding, jewelry, clothing, and many other goods
  • How to shop: Online retailer only
  • Other information: Customers applying for the Overstock credit card will be asked for their full Social Security Number, but it is still a soft pull. Also, this card is known to provide a high credit limit with regular automatic increases.
  • Start shopping at Overstock

PC Richard & Son

  • Items sold: Appliances, electronics, and mattresses
  • How to shop: Online and in stores in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania
  • Start shopping at PC Richard & Son

Ulta Beauty

Victoria’s Secret

Walmart

  • Items sold: Home decor, electronics, furniture, bedding, jewelry, clothing, and many other goods
  • How to shop: Online and in-stores nationwide
  • Start shopping at Walmart

Check out our article on the Walmart shopping cart trick for some trick tips specific to Walmart.

Wayfair

  • Items sold: Furniture, rugs, home decor, cookware, outdoor goods, and more
  • How to shop: Online retailer only
  • Start shopping at Wayfair

Check out our article on the Wayfair shopping cart trick for some trick tips specific to Wayfair.

Williams-Sonoma

Zales

Stores Where the Shopping Cart Trick Does Not Work

Because of the issuing bank and the promotions provided by these stores, customers report that the shopping cart trick does not work at the following major retailers:

  • Amazon
  • Costco
  • Home Depot
  • Macy’s
  • Nordstrom
  • Sears
  • Target

In Summary

The shopping cart trick is a handy way to get a new credit card when you have a low credit score or want to avoid a hard pull. It works at a number of retailers, the majority of which use Comenity Bank to issue cards. All you have to do is create an account on a store’s website, add some items to the shopping cart, and then wait to be pre-approved. If that doesn’t work, try one of our helpful troubleshooting tips.

To find out how to use the shopping cart trick for travel and entertainment, see our article on the Caesars Entertainment Total Rewards Visa shopping cart trick.

Leave a Comment

4 comments

  • Wasn’t working for the life of me..then I started adding my middle name..and boom.. simply be 200,jd willaims 250,Victoria secret 250, pier 1imports 350, buckle 250, and FINALLY Overstock 250.. I just want Boscovs and GameStop and I’ll be done! Very pleased considering before that I had ZERO credit! My score has improved ALOT!

  • I have five or six cards already but I wanted an overstock it was having problems , so I went to the top of my page and turned on my Incognito….
    I went through the process and when it came to my social which required the full nine digits…. which I tried previously with my social and it didn’t work this time I put in 222-22- then the LAST 4 digit of my ssn# and I got the pop up right there with a $350 cl…

    • Lowes is funded through Synchrony, not Comenity. Be prepared to take a hard inquiry if you apply. I was prequalified in store for Lowes and accepted (fridge went out). It showed as a hard inquiry like I had anticipated. I was also prequalified for the Loft Mastercard and after careful consideration decided to accept because I teach and buy most of my clothes there. Considering its the Mastercard version I figure I will get a hard inquiry for that as well.