Credit score

Credit Score Requirement for American Express Card Approval

To get the most benefits from a credit card, it’s essential that applicants choose a card that offers the best rewards and privileges. For this reason, many people want to qualify for an American Express® Card because it provides access to premium benefits.

However, this level of luxury is not always easy to achieve. American Express credit cards are generally reserved for people who maintain a high credit score.

What credit score is needed for an American Express card?

American Express groups credit scores into three categories. They consider FICO and VantageScore credit scoring models to determine creditworthiness.

According to the credit score table on the American Express website, credit scores are broken down into the following levels:

  • Excellent: 781 and more
  • Good: 661-780
  • Fair to poor: 661 and below

American Express Cards for Great Credit

An “Excellent” credit score gives applicants the greatest chance of getting their application approved. This is because lenders are confident that people in this bracket will repay their debts. As a result, these applicants will be rewarded with the best repayment terms and the best interest rates.

With an “Excellent” credit score, one can apply for any American Express credit card, including the highly sought-after American Express® Platinum Card. It’s the premier card from American Express that offers great rewards for lifestyle and travel.

The American Express® Gold Card is another favorite choice with great culinary rewards and is usually reserved for people with a credit score of 680 or higher.

American Express cards for good credit

Those with a “good” credit rating still have a high probability of credit card approval, as long as other factors meet the criteria for acceptance. However, these applicants will not receive terms as generous as those in the “Excellent” range.

With a credit score towards the top of the “Good” range, one can still apply for premium American Express cards like Platinum and Gold cards. Both cards have a minimum required credit score of around 680-700.

With credit scores at the lower end of the “good” range, it may be best to apply for an entry-level card or cash back card and focus on establishing a better credit rating.

These include the Blue Cash Preferred® card, the Blue Cash Everyday® card and the travel-oriented American Express Green® card. These cards generally require a minimum credit score of 670, although some people report being approved with scores in the mid-600s.

American Express cards for fair to poor credit

People with “fair to poor” credit scores may find it difficult to get approved for an American Express credit card.

As with any credit card application, higher credit scores guarantee a higher chance of application approval. It is therefore recommended that applicants in this category improve their credit before applying.

What factors are considered for credit card approval?

Many people think that credit card approval is solely determined by credit rating. While this is undoubtedly an important factor, it is not the only one. Banks typically consider a range of factors when approving credit card applications:

  • credit history
  • Number of accounts opened
  • Account status
  • Overall Financial Responsibility

How long does it take to get approved for an American Express card?

The American Express card application process should only take about 10 minutes online. Eligible applicants can receive an instant credit card number immediately upon approval of their online application. Otherwise, cardholders must wait three to five days after account approval for the physical card to be mailed.

If a claim is denied, claimants may appeal the decision by contacting customer service at 1-800-567-1083.

How do you improve your credit score?

American Express credit cards are not for people who are establishing new credit or rebuilding poor credit. People whose applications have been rejected in the past or those who want to increase their chances of approval may want to focus on establishing their credit score before reapplying.

Credit scores can be improved by:

  • Reduce debt to income ratio: Pay off small debts in full to reduce total debt to total income. This shows lenders that a person is more likely to repay their debts.
  • Reduced credit usage: If a credit card is maxed out every month, it will lower the credit score. Aim to use a credit card to reach 30% of available credit before paying it off in full.
  • Pay your bills on time: Late or missed payments are two factors that can lower credit scores.
  • Checking credit reports for errors: In some cases, incorrect information on a credit report can significantly affect the overall score. However, credit scores can be improved by resolving errors with the credit bureau.
  • Using a secure credit card: Secured cards are a great way to start for people with poor credit or those who are just starting to build credit. Unfortunately, American Express does not offer secure cards. Therefore, building up enough credit to apply for an American Express credit card can take time.

Final grip

Although American Express does not list its official credit score requirements, they tend to only approve applicants with good or excellent credit. People with lower credit scores are recommended to work on improving their credit rating to increase their chances of qualifying in the future.

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about credit scores from American Express.

  • Can I get an American Express card with a credit score of 600?
    • Based on American Express’ judgment of credit scores, American Express is unlikely to approve applications with a credit score of 600, as they rank such borrowers as “less likely to be approved for loans “.
    • This falls in the “fair to poor” range. Applicants with credit scores in this range should focus on building credit by adopting responsible financial behaviors, such as paying bills on time and not taking additional lines of credit.
  • Can I get an American Express card with a credit score of 650?
    • American Express is also unlikely to approve applications with a credit score of 650. This score is still in the “fair to poor” range. However, this is on the higher end of that range. Applicants with an otherwise strong financial profile can still try to apply.
  • What FICO score does American Express use?
    • American Express lists the FICO scores they use to review applications. Here is a quick breakdown of FICO credit ranges:
    • Exceptional: 800–850
    • Very good: 740–499
    • Good: 670–739
    • Just: 580–669
    • Very poor: 300–579

Information is accurate as of July 13, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, criticisms, ratings, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or otherwise endorsed by American Express.

American Express is a partner of GOBankingRates.com.

About the Author

Preston Hartwick has extensive writing experience for some of the leading companies in technology and finance, but his interests and portfolio also cover topics such as gardening, design, health and more. Preston’s writing is rooted in a research-driven approach and he seeks to bring something new to each article.