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INSIDER SECRET: American Express credit cards and charge cards are among the easiest of the “big banks” to get approved for.
Recently, I shared the minimum credit scores you would need to be approved for various Chase credit cards. That’s because although applying for new cards can be exciting, it’s a two way street in which the bank needs to choose you, too.
Chase remains my favorite overall bank for its generous intro bonuses and strong earnings potential, but American Express is a close second. Amex offers dozens of lucrative credit cards — more than any other issuer — and evidence suggests your odds of approval are good as long as you meet the basic minimum qualifications.
I want to reiterate that there’s no precise science to guaranteeing whether you might be approved for any given credit card. But by looking at historical approval rates and considering typical application behavior, we can have a rough guideline of what cards might be a good fit for you based on your credit score and income qualifications.
I’ll share what we’ve found for the minimum credit score needed for Amex personal credit cards. Remember, Amex doesn’t publish firm rules or scores required, so these are based on reports from the team and readers.
Things to Remember When Applying for Amex Credit Cards
I’m all for doing due diligence before applying for a new Amex card. But keep in mind that Amex (and any other bank) has the final say, and sometimes credit card denials can come as an unfortunate shock. In these cases, you can always call up Amex personal credit reconsideration at 877-399-3083. Sometimes they’re just looking for a little more information that could help boost your chances of approval.
You also need to make sure you’re adhering to Amex’s application rules, including how frequently you can apply for new credit cards. Remember, Amex only allows you to earn the bonus on a specific card once, per person, per lifetime.
And sometimes you might not be eligible for a given card’s welcome bonus depending on what credit cards you’ve applied for and held in the past. Because of this, I recommend you read our full review of each of the below cards before deciding whether or not to apply.
If you do choose to sign up for any of the below cards, best of luck in your application process and may the approval odds be ever in your favor!
The Platinum Card from American Express
Apply Here: The Platinum Card® from American Express
First up is the widely talked about Amex Platinum card. This might be the most famous credit card around because of its prestige, perks and exclusivity. The card comes with a $550 annual fee (See rates & fees), but you can get so much value that most people (myself included!) still see the card as being worth it year over year. You’ll earn 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening your account.
The average credit score of folks approved for this card is in the 715 range, though some folks are approved with scores as low as 700. Keep in mind that Amex also considers income when approving high-value credit cards (such as this one), so you’ll need steady income as well.
Hilton Honors American Express Card
Apply Here: Hilton Honors American Express Card
Read our Hilton Honors Card review
The first of three Hilton credit cards from Amex, the Hilton Honors American Express card comes with no annual fee (See rates & fees) and is the most accessible of the three personal Hilton cards. This card is the easiest to get approved for and is a great introduction to earning Hilton Honors points and possibly upgrading to a “higher” level card in the future.
Until August 28, 2019, this card comes with a welcome bonus of 90,000 Hilton points after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
Although this card carries no annual fee, folks report needing a credit score of at least 680 to get approved. But some others were approved with scores of as low as 650, so you might have a good shot even with less of a credit history.
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card
Apply Here: Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Read our Hilton Surpass review
The next step up from the “regular” Hilton Honors Amex is the Hilton Surpass credit card, which carries a $95 annual fee (See rates & fees) and offers 130,000 Hilton points and a free weekend night after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first four months of account opening. This limited-time increased offer expires August 28, 2019.
This is a great mid-tier card that comes with good earnings potential and Gold Hilton status benefits without the significant annual fee.
Folks report needing similar credit scores to be approved for this card, typically in the 680+ range. I love this card and kept it open since I was first approved in 2015 with a score of around 700.
Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express
Apply Here: Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express
Read our Hilton Aspire review
The Amex Hilton Aspire might be my very favorite credit card because of its insane perks, top tier automatic Hilton Diamond status, and massive welcome bonus. You can earn 150,000 Hilton points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of card opening — a significant amount of points!
I was approved for this card last year with a 775 credit score, and team member Jasmin was approved with a score over 800. However, some folks report being approved with scores as low as 700. Because this is the most “premium” of the Amex Hiilton cards, you’ll need the highest score overall.
American Express Gold Card
Apply Here: American Express® Gold Card
Read our American Express Gold Card review
The Amex Gold card has a permanent spot at the top of my wallet for its amazing earning structure, including 4x points per dollar on US supermarket purchases (up to $25,000 per year, then 1x) and dining. I love earning and redeeming Amex Membership Rewards points for their flexibility and value, so this is a card I’ll hold on to long term despite the $250 annual fee (See rates & fees). You’ll earn 35,000 Amex Membership Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
I was approved for this card more than five years ago and have kept it open since then. My credit score at the time of my application was around 750, but some readers report being approved with scores as low as 680 (with an average approval score just over 700).
Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express
The mid-tier Delta credit card offered by Amex is the Platinum Delta SkyMiles credit card. This card is great for folks hoping to earn Delta elite status and Delta SkyMiles without paying the large price tag on a “super-premium” card that can sometimes cost up to $600 annually just to keep open.
You can earn 35,000 Delta miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. Plus, you’ll earn a $100 statement credit after making your first Delta purchase in the same timeframe.
I open this card last year and was approved with a credit score of around 780, but reports online show you would likely be approved with a score as low as just 690 or above. This is a great card to keep long term because of its perks for Delta flyers.
Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express
Surprisingly, the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card might be the easiest card on this list to be approved for. One report showed a new card approval with a credit score as low as 625, though the applicant did have steady income of at least $50,000 annually.
This card comes with 30,000 Delta miles after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Plus, you’ll earn a $50 statement credit for making a Delta purchase within the same time frame.
This card is a great option if you want to grow your Delta miles balance, though be sure to check out the three other personal Delta credit cards from Amex as well.
Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express
Apply Here: Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express
Read our Delta Reserve credit card review
The most premium and the most expensive Delta credit card from Amex is the Delta Reserve card, coming in with a $450 annual fee ($550 if application is received on or after 1/30/2020) (See rates & fees). This card comes with 40,000 Delta miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
This is the toughest of the Delta credit cards to get approved for, but still only requires a credit score of around 700 or above. That’s fairly reasonable for a great card that some folks will want to keep long term for its perks and benefits.
Blue Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express
The Blue Delta Skymiles credit card was introduced in recent years and offers no annual fee (See rates & fees) and 10,000 Delta miles after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. This is a great starter card for folks with little credit history or who are new to collecting miles and points.
Some folks report being approved for this card with a small annual income and credits scores as low as 660, making this card a great option for those who are still working on their credit score.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
Last but certainly not least is the premium Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant credit card. This is also a credit card, meaning you have the ability to carry a balance month over month. It’s a great option for folks who stay at Marriott hotels or who value Marriott Bonvoy elite status.
You’ll earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. But keep an eye out for the hefty $450 annual fee (See rates & fees). This is another premium credit card where you should plan to have a 700 credit score or above before applying.
Amex offers some of the very best credit cards around. Overall, Amex is more generous in their credit card approvals than other banks, but nothing is guaranteed. Make sure that you come in with reasonable expectations and that you understand the typical credit scores with which folks are approved.
Remember, you can only earn the bonus on a particular Amex card once, per person, per lifetime. So it makes sense to apply when bonuses are at their highest.
To learn more about earning and using Amex Membership Rewards points, be sure to check out these guides:
- American Express Points Review
- Amex Points Value
- Best Way to Use Amex Points
- Amex Transfer Partners
- How to Earn Amex Points
- How to Setup an American Express Membership Rewards Account
- How to Use American Express Points
- Do American Express Points Expire?
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For the rates and fees of The Platinum Card from American Express, please click here.
For the rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, please click here.
For the rates and fees of the Hilton Surpass card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the American Express Gold Card, please click here.
For the rates and fees of the Delta Reserve card, please click here.
For the rates and fees of the Blue Delta SkyMiles credit card, please click here.
For the rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card, please click here.