Bank Cart Trick (BCT) – Get Credit Cards Without The Hard Pull

One of our most popular posts is about the shopping cart trick, basically this trick lets you get store credit cards without a hard pull by signing up for an account and then getting a pop up offering you to apply. Reader ZiggyZ let us know that this is also possible when signing up for a checking account with KeyBank, I’ll let his comment explain this in a bit more detail:

I Found a NEW SCT, or should I say a BCT (Bank Cart Trick)

Per, I was checking out the Banking Sign-up Bonuses to see about making some money from Manufactured Banking (Spending).

After I applied for a new Checking account to get the $200 from KeyBank, In the middle of the process, I received a Pop-up saying I’ve been pre-qualified for 2 of the Credit Cards. It specified that the CL would be at least $2k.

I chose one, but right before I submitted the app, I did a google search to find out if Keybank does a SP/HP on the PreQual pop-ups. Based on additional info from others I’ve found, is that if you get the pop-up, similar to SCT pop-ups, then it’s a SP.

This is NOT normal usually for a Major Bank to offer a SCT type CC offer. Also, I’ve never received or heard of a Bank in General presenting you with a Pre-Qual Pop-up either. Caught me by surprised as it was unexpected and Banks don’t usually do that. HOWEVER, I didn’t accept the offer just yet. I was told I can come back to the site if I want to, which I did to test it out and sure enough every page I navigated to kept presenting me the pop-up offer, just like a SCT.

I’ve only found a couple sources saying Keybank is SP with these offers. I haven’t found anything about Keybank doing a HP at all, unless you outright make a direct request to apply for the card.

Does anyone know or can confirm if Keybank does a HP/SP on Pre-Qual pop-ups?

All of the data points I was able to find suggest it’s also a soft pull. I’m sure that KeyBank isn’t the only one to offer a credit card via this bank cart trick (or bank account trick), in fact Huntington Bank also presents you a pop up after applying for a checking account. If you know of any other banks, let me know and I’ll add them. Also add if it was a soft pull or hard pull if you applied and any other information you have.

List Of Banks

  • KeyBank (AK, CO, ID, IN, ME, MI, NY, OH, OR, UT, VT, or WA only) – soft pull hard pull
  • Citizens Bank – soft pull (not actually a pop up, need to go in branch. Read this comment for more)
  • Huntington Bank – (OH, MI, IN, PA, KY, WV) Hard pull. Only pops up when you’re pre-approved
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Ryan (@guest_393986)
April 22, 2017 18:54

I had this happen with US Bank. I opened a new savings account so I’d be considered a customer for the Altitude Reserve card, and it popped up with a preapproval for the Cash+ or Cash365 Amex. Gave me a CL (low, but normal for US Bank), and set APR.

ZiggyZ (@guest_306672)
October 15, 2016 09:43

I think I posted something a while back in January or March about getting the KB pop up while signing up for a Bank account. All banks do SP while signing up for a checking account whether through the web or in a branch. In this case through the web, I received the pop-up offer after I provided my info and agreed to their T&C, but not completely through their entire Checking A/C open process. However, I did signup for their CC. It was all VERY quick, but I did take a Hard Hit. Thought for sure it was going to be a Soft Pull as well, especially with how quick it was. Nope. It was a Hard Pull. I have a 744 credit score. Hard to find a Major Brick & Mortar Bank that does SP on CC approvals like SCT.

Their rewards programs really sucks as well. If anyone else gets their card, and your given option to choose btwn 2 cards, choose the one with the better promo terms.

BOA does a SP to target/solicit you for their card under their Special Offers Tab, but this card is also a HP.

William (@guest_217293)
January 13, 2016 21:46

Citizens – only a SP on EQ, even after accepting the offer. This also works on existing checking accounts – you can ask the banker in the branch and they may have the offer waiting for you, also an SP on EQ.
Huntington – SP on EQ during the checking account opening, but a HP on EQ after accepting.
Key – I don’t know, the banker didn’t say whether it popped up, and I’ve already closed the account because of the lackluster experience.

blake (@guest_217222)
January 13, 2016 17:56

Sure, you get the “pop up” for a credit card, (if qualified) when opening a checking/savings acct at Huntington, but you still get a HP if then moving on and actually apping for the credit card, regardless of the pre-approval. Such happened to me, but I really wasn’t expecting anything different!!

Dave P
Dave P (@guest_217551)
January 14, 2016 19:02

Just confirming that accepting the Huntington pop-up offer resulted in me getting a Hard Pull.

Primo (@guest_217204)
January 13, 2016 17:09

Key Bank also is limited in the number of states that it can receive applications from, right?

Sa (@guest_217183)
January 13, 2016 15:55

From my recent experience with Citizens Bank, when I did the $150 bonus for no DD required: I had to go to the branch because the online application was not going through. The branch specialist did the application for the checking again / got me approved and also tried really hard to sell me one of their crappy credit cards, during which she explained that there would NOT be another credit inquiry for that. I was approved not just “qualified to apply”. In short: Datapoint : Citizens/soft pull for checking/pre-approval for credit.

JB (@guest_217177)
January 13, 2016 15:40

Interesting trick or rather exploit… Since this site is call Dr. of Credit, maybe you can refresh our memories on how/where exactly to look for hard pulls on our records. I use Credit Karma and Credit Sesame but it seems like they are not showing everything. And the free annual credit report is kind of a hassle to go through on a frequent basis for me as I usually do not see my report online but have to mail all kinds of documents before I get to see my own data.

Joy (@guest_217166)
January 13, 2016 15:16

Crazy! They don’t do a hard pull when offering a credit card, but my husband recently opened a savings account with them after previously opening a checking account and it was a hard pull. (No hard for the checking account though). They make no sense.