Is credit scoring required for an American Express card?
Is credit scoring required for an American Express card?

If you’re considering applying for an American Express card, it’s a good idea to determine your chances of getting approved before applying. The first thing to know is that you need a credit limit on a card.

What credit rating does American Express need?

Unlike some other issuers, American Express doesn’t offer credit cards for people with bad or rebuilding credit. In other words, you may need at least a score in the “good” range to qualify for an American Express card. Other American Express cards usually require higher scores.

Based on the FICO score, this means that American Express claimants typically have a score of at least 670:

  • Exceptional. 800 and above.
  • Very good. 740-799.
  • Good. 670-739.
  • Fair. 580-669.
  • Poor. 300 – 579.

Why is credit score important to card issuers? “Consumers with low credit scores are more likely to have defaults, high credit card balances, or more serious problems like collections or bankruptcy,” said Rod Gerry, senior director of consumer education and advocacy at Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus. Finn said. “Consumers with higher credit scores are more likely to have a good history of on-time payments, as well as low utilization rates and no history of defaults.”

As a result, lenders will assess applicants’ creditworthiness to determine whether they will extend credit and set appropriate credit limits, interest rates and other terms, Griffin added.


In addition to scores, credit card companies have a unique set of requirements that consumers must meet in order for companies to expand their credit card offerings, which vary by issuer and specific card.

How to get your credit score

There are many ways to get your credit score online for free. Here are three routes you can take:

  • Use free services. Sign up for services like American Express’s MyCredit Guide or Capital One’s CreditWise, both available to everyone.
  • Please consult your issuer. If you have a credit card, your card issuer or bank may allow you to view your credit history through your online account.
  • Register with Experian. The credit bureau provides monthly credit reports and FICO scores for those who sign up.

American Express Cards with Different Credit Ratings

The exact credit score required for a personal American Express card has not been announced, but you can make an educated guess. “In general, most card issuers offer many different types of credit cards with different features and terms, and may have different risk thresholds depending on the card’s capabilities,” said Tom Quinn, vice president of scoring at FICO.

Your credit score is only part of an American Express assessment. “While specific requirements vary by Amex product, we look at payment history and Amex totals and, if applicable, total debt, reported income, credit bureau results, and data from credit bureaus,” the company said. other information reported by the agency.” in a statement.


Generally, you need good credit, although some cards are more difficult to qualify for others.

“You can assume that the card with the best perks and rewards needs an average credit score of 700 or higher to qualify,” Griffin said. “It may take a higher score to get the best terms. As a rule of thumb, 750 points Scores of and above generally lead to the best terms.”

Here are three different levels of American Express to consider:

American Express Everyday Credit Card. It’s a free rewards card with two points per dollar on groceries and one point per dollar on all other purchases. It’s a solid entry-level rewards card that requires good credit, but it’s probably easier to get given the higher quality products out there.


American Express Blue Cash Priority Card. The card offers a wider range of benefits, including 6% cash back on groceries (on the first $6,000 spent annually) and 3% cash back on gas stations and public transportation. There is also a $95 annual fee.

American Express Platinum Card. Platinum card rewards and benefits are aimed at affluent travelers and frequent travelers with good credit who are looking for a VIP-like experience. The card has an annual fee of $695.

How to Get Pre-Approved for American Express

First, you should understand the difference between pre-approval and pre-qualification. Quinn said the terms are used interchangeably, although they are different. “Pre-approval usually means that the credit card issuer has reviewed your information and based on that review, decides whether to offer you a binding credit offer. Pre-qualification usually means that the issuer has reviewed your financial information and has Whether it will be approved is a “best guess”,” he said.

American Express encourages applicants who are curious about which cards might be the best fit for them to search online for card issuer prequalification offers. After entering your key data, you will receive personalized offers.

Alternatively, you may receive an unsolicited, pre-approved credit card offer in the mail, which means the lender has performed an automatic review of your credit history and other criteria and determined that you meet the terms of the offer, Griffin Say. “Pre-approved offers are a good thing because they expand the market for consumers.”

While these offers don’t affect your credit score, when you accept an offer, you’re officially applying for a credit card, at which point the lender will charge your loan.

Of course, no formal pre-approval proposal is required to apply for a card. However, it’s wise to do some research on the specific card you’re interested in to understand the requirements.

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Jake Smith

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Jake Smith

He is the editor of Eragoncred. Previously, he was editor-in-chief of Eragoncred and a financial industry reporter. Jake has spent most of his career as a Digital Media journalist and has over 10 years of experience as a writer and editor.