Shopping Cart Trick for Store Credit Cards in 2022

Having a negative credit score is worrisome. A negative credit score may be as a result of:

  • A negative or nil credit history
  • Several credit inquiries
  • Filing for bankruptcy
  • Inability to pay your credit card bills
  • Late payment of credit card bills

You can check: Hard vs. Soft Inquiries: How They Affect Your Credit Score

Among several things, a bad credit score will result in the following:

  • Credit cards and loans will attract high-interest rates
  • Applications for credit and loans may be denied
  • Difficulty in getting approved for a house
  • Denial for a cell phone contract
  • Denial for employment

To avoid all of these, you may need to apply for a new credit account or fix your existing negative credit . Both of these methods can be strenuous and challenging. To help you get passed this challenge is the reason we will be discussing the shopping cart trick .

Terms Help Understand the Shopping Cart Trick Better

Before we go on to discuss the shopping cart trick, let's briefly look at a few terms that will help you understand the shopping cart trick better.

1. Soft Pull

A soft pull is a word used to describe an analysis of a credit report that is not thorough or detailed . When a company looks at your credit report without performing a detailed analysis of it, it is said to be a soft pull. The information provided to the company is limited, but it is still enough for them to make a credit decision for you.

2. Hard Pull

A hard credit pull allows a company to do a complete inquiry on your credit report . The effect of a single hard pull on your credit score may be small. However, you may be damaging your credit score if you allow it to be subjected to multiple hard pulls, especially in a short time. For example, applying for 10 different credit cards having the mind that one of it may get approved. Doing this means that your credit report will be subjected to several hard inquires. It could lead to your credit score decreasing by between 3-5 points per application. For this reason, it is recommended that you cut the number of applications you file for a card.

Details about Shopping Cart Trick

Now you know what a soft and hard pull is, let's go into details discussing shopping cart trick.

The shopping cart trick is a strategy that enables you to get a pre-approved credit card offer from a retailer website during the checkout process. It works based on the fact that most retail websites do not check your credit score during checkouts, before pre-approving you for a credit. The shopping cart trick is sometimes referred to as a soft pull trick . This is because it affords you the opportunity of getting a card without your credit report being subjected to a hard pull. One good thing about this trick is that the stores which offer you this opportunity are your frequently visited shops. Besides the advantage of getting a new credit card with the shopping cart trick, you also enjoy other benefits which include:

  • Adding an account in good standing to your credit report
  • Retails shops benefits like:

i. Discounts

ii. Bonus of coupons

iii. Promotional offers (free merchandise and gift certificates)

Once you get a new store credit card, you can start building your credit score again.

Consider using the shopping cart trick if you

  • Have a bad credit standing
  • Want to deter your credit score from going from bad to worse
  • Find it hard getting approved for the best credit cards
  • Find it difficult obtaining credits

How to Use the Shopping Cart Trick

1. You must opt-in for pre-screened (pre-approved) credit card offers

Opting out of pre-approved offers simply means that you are putting a stop to you receiving notifications of these offers either by mail or through the phone. Chances that the shopping cart trick will work for you depends on you receiving this promotional offers from shopping cart trick stores. You can skip this step if you are certain that you have never submitted a form to opt-out of this pre-approved credit card offers. You as well could have opted out by calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT . So, be sure you haven't opted out before skipping this step.

If you have opted out, you will need to opt-in again. To do so, you either:

Opting in will not take your time. You can decide to opt-out again once you are approved for a store credit card(s).

2. Disable pop-up blockers or anti-spam tools

To use the shopping cart trick successfully, you need to turn off pop-up blockers or ad-blockers you activated in your browser . This is because the retail store you are shopping on will send you their offers for credit cards during the checkout process. If you activate any form of pop-up blockers on your browser, you will not see a credit card offer display on the checkout screen. You will miss this offer even if you are qualified for it. Therefore, you must disable pop-up blockers to enable the preapproved offers to appear on the screen. Once you receive the card(s) you want, you can always turn back on the pop-up blockers.

3. Clear your browser history

Before visiting your favorite store's website, you need to clear your browser history. This involves wiping out the cache and cookies of the browser . The steps to clearing your browser history in Google Chrome is as follows:

  • Locate the menu bar and select "History" or use the shortcut "Ctrl+H" to reach the same page
  • Click on "Clear Browsing Data"
  • Move to the "Advanced" tab
  • Select the following options

i. Browsing history

ii. Download history

iii. Cookies and other site data

iv. Cached images and files

You can skip all of the above steps by using your browser's incognito window .

On Google Chrome, you can locate the incognito window by:

  • Locating the menu bar and clicking on "New incognito window" or
  • Use the shortcut "Ctrl+Shift+N"

With incognito mode, your browser history will not interrupt the shopping cart trick.

4. Visit your favorite store website to apply for credit card

The next step on how to use the shopping cart trick is to visit a store website that allows you to use the shopping cart trick.

  • This website will give you the option of either signing up for an account or signing in as a guest . It doesn't matter whether you create an account or just sign in as a guest. The choice is yours.
  • Next, you need to add a few items to your shopping cart . Don't worry, it is not a must for you to buy these items . What you are doing is window shopping . It is best if you pick a few items rather than picking one large item.
  • Ensure your cart merchandise has a total value of about $100 . Then, head straight to the checkout page.
  • The checkout process will require you to fill in your billing information . Fill it with the exact address you have on your credit reports.
  • As stated before, you are not purchasing the items. Therefore, do not click the submit or purchase button.
  • All you need is for a credit card offer to a pop-up while you are filling your billing information. Therefore, you have to patiently wait for it to pop-up.
  • The best chance you have of receiving an offer is to fill in the required details slowly. Avoid the use of any auto-fill text.
  • You may still not get any credit offer to pop-up even after following the above. Don't panic! Go back to your shopping cart and alter a few things.
  • You may change your merchandise picks and value. Keep altering things in your shopping cart until you get an offer that pops up.

You can check out: best travel rewards credit cards

5. Look for credit card offers that don't require you to enter your full social security number (SSN)

  • If you are successful in getting the credit card offer to appear, you will be asked to accept.
  • Click on the accept button to accept the offer. You will then be redirected to a new page to apply for the credit card.
  • This is the last test to determine whether the shopping cart trick worked for you. Don't be in a haste to apply for the card.
  • First, check to see if the application page asks you for your full SSN or just the last 4 digits.
  • Only apply if it requires you to enter just the last 4 digits of your SSN. This is because a hard inquiry will be done if you are required to enter the full SSN.
  • A soft pull will only require you to enter the last 4 digits .
  • The goal of the shopping cart trick is to get a card without your credit report being subjected to a hard inquiry. Therefore, you will be forfeiting the goal if a hard inquiry is done.
  • Once you see that your full SSN is required, cancel the application .
  • Try again on a different retail website, you may be lucky this time around.
  • You don't have to continue with the purchase once you get approved for the credit card . Cancel the purchase and leave the checkout page.

Shops that allows you to use the shopping cart trick

Now you've known how to go about the shopping cart trick, you need to decide on the online store to try out. The shopping cart trick will only work on:

The table below is a list of some retail store cards from Comenity Bank, Synchrony and Wells Fargo

Comenity Bank Retail Store Cards

Synchrony Retail Store Cards

Wells Fargo Retail Store Card

  • QVC
  • Walmart
  • Dillard's
  • Kirkland's

You can also try out the following stores

  • Boscovs
  • The Children's Place
  • New York & Company
  • Wayfair

How retail store cards affects your credit

You probably need a new store account to help rebuild your credit score . If you feel you can't meet up with paying the monthly bills of your new store credit card, don't apply for it. Remember, debts and overspending were part of the reason you had a bad credit history before. Only apply for a new store card if you are determined to rebuild your credit history.

The discipline with which you use your shopping card has an impact on your credit history. You must do all you can to keep this new store card in good standing to help fix your credit report. A new store card will reduce the overall age of your credit accounts. The older your accounts, the better your score in the "length of credit history" category. The length of credit history accounts for 15 percent of your total credit score. Payment of dues on your card every month should be done on time and in full. This will help reduce your credit utilization, hence, building your credit score. Your payment history contributes 35% to your total credit score.

The chart below shows how FICO credit score works.

Learn more on FICO score

How retail store cards affects your credit
How retail store cards affects your credit

Payment History : How frequent and early you are in paying your bills

Credit Utilization : Debts you owe to creditors and lenders

Length of Credit History : How long you have had access to credit

Credit Mix : Diversity of the types of card you have

Credit Inquiries : Number of inquiries you have had in the past 2 years


Recent reports tell that the shopping cart trick is dying off. Most companies now resort to hard pulls even when they ask you for only the last 4 digits of your SSN. You can be successful with this trick on a few stores only now. With consistent effort, you can get through with this trick. Once you get your new store card, try to avoid the temptation of going for items you cannot afford. With this, you will be on your way to improving your credit score.

Thoughts on "Shopping Cart Trick for Store Credit Cards in 2022"