Different credit cards pull from different credit bureaus. In the age of information theft, it is better to block your credit profile at all three bureaus but in case you need to apply for a card, which one to unblock.
Below is the list of different credit cards and the bureaus’ they use. Generally, each credit card has a preferred bureau and goes to other bureaus only if they lack sufficient data from their primary vendor.
American Express generally uses Experian, but in some cases, they will use another bureau in addition to Experian. That happens more often in cases where your Experian profile is not enough or has gaps. Also, the majority of situations where another bureau was pulled results in a decline of the card.
From the data sources from creditboards.com, Bank of America pulls data from Experian. Over 80% of the pulls were from Experian with the other two hovering about 9% each. Their model seems to be similar to American Express
Barclays pull their data from TransUnion. It reaches out to other bureaus only in case of issues from TransUnion data.
Capital One is most unique in terms of credit cards as it targets the subprime market more than others. For that reason, it does a triple pull. i.e. It pulls data from all three bureaus. This makes it also a bit challenging as it means that your credit score would come down on all vendors with a Capital One card.
One important thing to note is that even if they do a triple pull, if your profile is locked at one of the vendors but is open at the other two, and you have a healthy score, you are still likely to get a card from them. If you have two of your profiles locked, you are more likely to get a rejection.
Chase is the most challenging one to determine. Their pull varies by state and by their products. Generally, it is Experian on the west and south and TransUnion on the northeast but there is no easy logic around it. Looking forward to someone from Chase letting us know how they actually do it
Citibank pulls their data from Experian and Equifax. If Experian is blocked, the pull happens from Equifax but if both are blocked, it would most likely end up in a denial.
Discover pulls their data from Equifax the majority of the time and the other two with equal likelihood when Equifax is not used. In case of a frozen credit report, Discover would force you to unfreeze it rather than to move to other vendors.
US Bank generally pulls from TransUnion and can pull others in case of missing info.
Wells Fargo is like Chase. They pull mostly Experian and TransUnion but it seems to vary by state.