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What Credit Score is Needed for American Express? What is an American Express Card?

To secure an American Express card, a good to excellent credit score, typically a FICO score of 670 or higher, is generally required.

by Kowsalya

Updated Dec 21, 2023

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What Credit Score is Needed for American Express? What is an American Express Card?

What Credit Score is Needed for American Express?

To qualify for an American Express card, applicants generally need a good to excellent credit score. While the specific credit score requirement is not publicly disclosed, it is recommended to have a score of at least 670 based on FICO credit score ranges. Higher scores, such as 700 or above, may be necessary for cards with premium perks and rewards.

American Express considers factors beyond credit scores, including payment history, overall debt, reported income, and other information from credit bureau reports.

It's advisable to check your credit score before applying and work on improving it by catching up on late payments and reducing existing credit card balances. American Express has streamlined its application process, allowing applicants to receive a soft inquiry on their credit report and instant approval notification. Keep in mind that the credit score requirements may vary for different American Express cards.

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What is an American Express Card?

An American Express card, commonly referred to as an "Amex" card, is an electronic payment card branded and issued by the publicly traded financial services company American Express (AXP).

These cards come in various forms, including charge cards, credit cards, and prepaid cards, catering to a wide range of consumers, from individuals and small businesses to corporate clients, both in the United States and globally.

What sets American Express apart from many other card issuers is its unique position in the industry. American Express not only issues these payment cards but also operates its processing network. This dual role distinguishes it from competitors like Visa and Mastercard, which primarily focus on processing card payments but do not issue cards themselves.

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Is It Hard to Get Approved for American Express?

Securing approval for an American Express credit card can be challenging for the average consumer, as all cards offered by the company typically require a good credit score or better. With a recommended credit score of 700 and a stable income, applicants stand a better chance of meeting the stringent approval criteria set by American Express.

The company's emphasis on a higher credit threshold may make it more difficult for individuals with average or below-average credit to qualify for their credit cards.

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Is There a Minimum Score Needed for an American Express Card?

The credit score needed to qualify for an American Express credit card varies depending on the specific card and its issuer. American Express serves as both a card issuer and a credit card payment network. If you're applying directly through American Express, generally, you'll need a good credit score to qualify. According to FICO, a good credit score typically falls within the range of 670 to 739.

However, credit score requirements may differ among different card issuers partnering with American Express. It's advisable to check for prequalification options on the American Express website to assess your eligibility without impacting your credit score. Keep in mind that meeting the credit score requirements doesn't guarantee approval, as other factors are also considered during the application process.

What Are the Tips for Improving Your Credit Score?

Improving your credit score is crucial for securing favorable financial opportunities, such as approval for credit cards and loans. Here are simple steps to enhance your credit score:

Timely Payments

Ensure that you make all your payments on time, as payment history is a significant factor (35%) in your credit score. Set up automatic payments to avoid missing due dates.

Reduce Credit Balances

Lower your credit card balances to improve your credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of credit you're using compared to your total available credit. Aim to keep your utilization under 30%.

Maintain Old Accounts

Keep your oldest credit accounts open to demonstrate a longer credit history, positively affecting your credit score. Closing old accounts may shorten your credit history and potentially lower your score.

Credit Mix

A diverse mix of credit types, such as credit cards and installment loans, can positively impact your credit score. However, only open new credit accounts when necessary.

Request Credit Limit Increases

Contact your credit card issuers to request a credit limit increase. This can reduce your credit utilization ratio, assuming you don't increase your spending.

Limit New Credit Applications

Each credit inquiry can temporarily lower your credit score. Apply for new credit only when necessary and avoid multiple applications within a short timeframe.

Monitor Your Credit Report

Regularly check your credit report for errors and discrepancies. Dispute any inaccuracies promptly to ensure an accurate reflection of your credit history.

Income Increase

While your income itself doesn't directly impact your credit score, having a higher income can provide financial stability, making it easier to manage debt and make timely payments.

Avoid Closing Accounts

Closing credit accounts can reduce your available credit, potentially increasing your credit utilization ratio. If possible, keep accounts open even if you're not using them actively.

Build Good Financial Habits

Cultivate responsible financial habits over time, such as budgeting, saving, and avoiding excessive debt. Consistent positive financial behavior contributes to an improved credit score.

Related>> What is a Good Credit Score to Buy a Car? 

What Credit Score is Needed for American Express-FAQs

1. What credit score is typically required to qualify for an American Express credit card?

American Express offers a range of credit cards tailored to different credit profiles. Generally, good to excellent credit scores (typically 670 and above) increase your chances of approval for many American Express cards.

2. Can I get an American Express card with fair or average credit?

Yes, some American Express cards are designed for individuals with fair or average credit scores. 

3.  Is there a specific credit score cutoff for premium American Express cards?

Premium American Express cards, which come with enhanced rewards and perks, often require higher credit scores, usually in the excellent credit range (above 740).

4. Can I still get approved for an American Express card if my credit score is below 670?

While American Express cards are generally associated with higher credit scores, some cards might be accessible to individuals with credit scores below 670. 

5. Will my credit score be impacted by applying for an American Express card?

Yes, applying for any credit card, including an American Express card, usually triggers a hard inquiry on your credit report. 

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