Posted by sirtheta on December 14, 2016
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Published on December 14th, 2016 | by sirtheta


Bank of America Credit Card Approvals without a Hard Pull?

update: a number of data points have rolled in and I feel pretty comfortable stating that this is a generally applicable rule. How close the applications need to be is up in the air, but 30 days seems to be the maximum limit.

Recently, Bank of America has approved some different-day credit card applications, using an applicant’s existing credit file (without issuing an additional hard pull). Bank of America is known to combine hard pulls for same-day applications, but not different-day applications.

Data points are scant at the moment, but my assumption is that this can only happen when the applications are within 30 days and for personal cards.

If you have any recent data points for BOA (different-day applications in 2016, within 90 days of each other), please share them in the comments or use this handy Google form, which tracks a wide scope of information. American Express have also been doing something somewhat similar as well (approvals without a hard pull). It’s possible this means that the lack of a hard pull is due to the way that the consumer reporting agencies, rather than the card issuers themselves. If you have noticed this recently with any other card issuers, please let us know in the comments.

You can learn how to monitor your credit for free at this link.

24 Responses to Bank of America Credit Card Approvals without a Hard Pull?

  1. m says:

    I can confirm this. I requested a credit limit increase one day and it was approved with a hard pull on TU. About 5 days later, I applied for a BoA credit card. It was approved using the same credit report for the CLI, without a hard pull. The CSR did mention that they will use existing credit files if they are within 30 days.

  2. Trung Nguyen says:

    My friend got America card without ssn months ago.

  3. Kevin says:

    I always thought pulls being combined or not was strictly due to the bureaus. It’s not that the bank wants to do you a favor or anything. It’s just that the bureau assumes it’s a duplicate.

    • sirtheta   says:

      That is my understanding of how it works, and is why the post’s wording is “using an applicant’s existing credit file”. This would be on BOA’s side, not the bureau’s side.

  4. Onsale says:

    I’ve talked to a CSR and the CSR’s higher-up and they assure me that each application gets a pull. I’m wondering how you guys know that is not the case.

    Also, my credit score reporting service updates monthly, do you know of others that can do it more frequently?

    • sirtheta says:

      When you apply and are approved for a new credit card, a company is required to send you a data sheet with your credit score, the bureau it was pulled from, and the date it was pulled. For some recent applications, I received a sheet listing a date & score from ~2 weeks in the past, and no new hard pull showed up with any of the credit bureaus.

      You can only get updates with an explicit list of hard pulls on Experian monthly, but CreditKarma gives you TransUnion and Equifax weekly.

  5. DCjoe says:

    How long after you apply and are approved would a hard pull show up? I applied for the Merrill+ and Alaska card on 11-25-16, combined into one hard pull from Experian (see it on ProtectMyID). At the time I couldn’t find the link for the Amtrak card with the 30K bonus, so I didn’t do that one.

    I see this post, decide to take a risk (Be the data point you want to see!), and apply for the Amtrak card with one of the links from Reddit for 30K. Instantly approved. About 30 minutes later went to ProtectMyID, don’t see a new hard pull listed. Not sure if that means they didn’t do one, or if it just isn’t showing up yet.

  6. Skyriver says:

    BoA pulled Experian on 11/5, and it was valid for new application on 11/28 and credit consolidation on 12/5.

  7. bellevuemike says:

    2 years ago a B of A credit VP told me it was standard policy to use a credit pull 30 days or fresher. It was reliable and less costly for the company. Made sense to me and as I had 5 Alaska cards applied for on 5 different days and only 2 pulls over 3 months, it shook out.

    Don’t know what it is today.

  8. Shaun Rogas says:

    Can confirm this. I was approved for an Alaska card on 07/07 but unfortunately for the plus. Decided to cancel then re-applied on 8/30, same HP.

  9. Jason says:

    I have my Experian frozen before I applied for Merrill lynch credit card on 11/17, asked to pull Trans Union so there was a hard pull there, of course later on I received my Merril CC. But about 1-2 weeks later, realized they added cash reward CC to my account. I did apply for it some time ago but couldn’t remember the date. But only 1 BOA inquiry on Trans Union. I’m in New York.

  10. Mark says:

    Denied for the BBR 11/20 (INQ) and approved for Alaska VS 5k 12/2, same EX pull

  11. JB says:

    Can also confirm. Applied for BoA cards on Friday and Monday. Spoke with reconsideration rep on Tuesday and she said pulls were combined into just 1

  12. Allen says:

    Anybody know if this applies to biz cards? Requested a cli on Friday (cash rewards), thinkinh of pulling the trigger on the Alaska biz tomorrow. It was a TU pull for the CLI (California)

  13. TG says:

    DP: Applied 12/20 and 1/16 and they used the same pull.

  14. Justin says:

    I applied and was approved for 3 BoA business cards on Friday but all went to recon. I’m seeing 3 separate hard pulls on TU. Is this the typical reporting nature then they combine or did I play with fire and get burned?

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