Published 1:50 p.m. ET Oct. 2, 2023
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Many American Express credit cards offer perks like cash back and travel bonuses through their Membership Rewards® program. You can even claim welcome bonuses and travel benefits.
One challenge with credit cards that offer these advanced perks and rewards is overcoming the stringent application requirements. If you’re unsure whether you’ll meet the credit requirements to qualify, you might hesitate to submit a full application with a hard credit pull. However, there is a solution: You can try to get preapproval for an American Express credit card. Though it’s no guarantee, getting Amex preapproval means your chances of qualifying for one of their credit cards is higher.
Already been preapproved? Here’s how to apply for a credit card.
American Express preapproval overview
For an American Express card (or other cards like it), preapproval means the card issuer has prescreened you for a credit card offer. The issuer — in this case American Express — uses information from credit reporting bureaus and conducts a soft credit pull in order to determine if you meet their minimum card requirements. For example, you may have met the minimum credit score requirements for the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express or your business has met the criteria for the American Express® Business Gold Card
The information for the American Express® Business Gold Card has been collected independently by Blueprint. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Since credit card issuers want to earn your business, you can think of Amex preapproval offers as a marketing strategy. Even if you receive one of these offers via email or physical mail (existing American Express customers may be able to see offers after logging into their account), you’re not guaranteed to be approved for the card. You will still need to submit an application form and American Express will review your credit profile before making their final decision.
Preapproval vs. pre-qualification: What’s the difference?
Though both preapproval and pre-qualification refers to a soft credit pull or a prescreened offer, the difference lies in who submits the request. With preapprovals, the credit card issuer is the one who requests your credit information and sends you an offer.
However, pre-qualification is where you initiate the request. You can visit the American Express website to understand which cards you have a higher likelihood of being approved based on a soft credit pull. You may notice on the individual application pages that submitting your initial information has no impact on your credit score.
Like preapproval, getting pre-qualified for an American Express credit card doesn’t automatically guarantee your application will be approved. You will need to submit a full application for American Express to review before they make a final decision.
How to pre-qualify for an American Express card
While you may want to wait to send a full application, choosing to get pre-qualified could be a good first step because it won’t impact your credit score. Though the steps may be similar for other credit cards, there are two ways how you can pre-qualify for an American Express card:
- Visit the American Express pre-qualified offers website: Go to Amex’s website and fill in required information on the pre-qualification page. You will need to submit information like your full name, date of birth, email address, and your Social Security Number.
- Visit the page of the specific credit card you’re interested in. American Express has an “Apply With Confidence” tool that will let you check to see if you’re preapproved for a specific card. The process is the same as on the pre-qualified offers site where you’ll have to fill in some basic information. American Express will indicate whether or not you’re approved for the card and at what terms. Not everyone will qualify for the same APR or a welcome offer. And you have a chance to review the offer to determine if you want to submit a full application.
Helpful tips to increase your chance of preapproval
Here are some best practices that can help you increase your chance of getting preapproved by American Express.
- Improve your credit score: The more creditworthy you appear to credit card issuers, the higher the odds are that you’ll receive a preapproval offer. Some ways you can improve your score include making on-time payments consistently, keeping your credit utilization (the percentage of revolving credit you’re using) as low as you can, and regularly checking your credit report to dispute any errors you may find.
- Be a good Amex customer: If you’re an existing customer, you can increase your chances by using your card frequently and paying your balance on time. Consider adding a small recurring purchase such as a streaming service on your card to ensure you’re using it regularly.
- Keep your information current: Consider logging into an existing American Express account and updating your information such as your annual income. That way, the issuer can scan your information and use it to determine if you qualify for any of their cards.
Can I still apply if I’m not preapproved?
Yes. A preapproval is simply American Express offering you the opportunity to apply for a credit card. However, you can apply for pre-qualification even if the issuer hasn’t screened your information yet. Before submitting your information, consider looking at your credit profile to understand whether you meet the minimum criteria to qualify for the Amex card you want.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
American Express doesn’t indicate an official minimum credit score you need to qualify for one of their credit cards. However, those who have good to excellent credit scores tend to be ones who get approved more often. In general, the more benefits a credit card offers, the more likely you will need a higher credit score to qualify.
American Express does a soft credit pull for credit card preapprovals, so your credit score isn’t affected.
There aren’t any definitive credit cards that are “easy” to get approved for when it comes to American Express cards. The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to be approved for their cards.
*The information for the American Express® Business Gold Card has been collected independently by Blueprint.
The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy. The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.
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