The American Express Gold card can be a valuable addition to your wallet, but only if your application is approved. By understanding approximately how high your credit score needs to be for approval, and what you can do if your application isn’t initially approved, you can decide if it makes sense for you to apply for this card.
It offers 4 points per dollar spent at restaurants, 4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases each calendar year, then 1 point per dollar), 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, and 1 point per dollar on other purchases, plus a host of other benefits and perks. And since it’s a solid metal card that’s available in both standard and rose gold colors, many people consider it to be one of the most attractive cards offered.
But none of this will matter to you if you don’t have the credit score required to be approved.
What credit score do I need to get the Amex Gold Card?
As with most card issuers, American Express doesn’t specifically disclose what credit score is required to be approved for any of its cards. That leaves credit card experts to speculate based on reports of people who have applied. Most of these reports indicate that people with excellent credit have a very high likelihood of being approved, and there are even some accounts of applicants with good credit being approved for this card.
With FICO scores, excellent credit is considered to be a score of 740 or above, while good credit is a score of 670 to 739. This means that you likely need a credit score at least near 700 or above to be considered for the Gold Card.
How can I improve my score to get this card?
Thankfully, there are several ways to improve your credit score and increase your odds of being approved for the American Express Gold Card if you’re not quite there yet. The quickest and easiest way to increase your credit score is to pay down your existing balances as much as possible if you’re currently carrying any credit card debt. That’s because 30% of the FICO credit scoring system is based on the amounts you owe.
By paying down or paying off your existing balances, you’ll reduce your debt-to-credit ratio. This term refers to the total amount of debt you have, divided by the total amount of your outstanding balances. Most credit experts recommend keeping your credit utilization below 30%, but having a lower ratio is even better. Also, having fewer accounts with outstanding balances is better for your credit than having more. So if you’re unable to pay off all your existing balances, try paying off the smaller balances first, so you owe money on as few of your accounts as possible.
Once you’ve paid down as much of your existing balances as possible, you’ll need to wait until each account’s statement period ends. Once each account’s statement period is over, its new statement balance will be reported to the major consumer credit bureaus, and the new balances will then be reflected in your credit score.
Also note that your statement balances are always reported to the credit bureaus as debt, even if you eventually avoid interest charges by paying it in full. So if you currently have a high account balance, it can make sense to reduce that by making a payment before your account’s statement period ends. If you do this, you can have a smaller statement balance reported, or none at all, which can help your credit score.
Other ways to improve your credit score will take more time. The most important factor in your credit score is your payment history, so you should do everything possible to make your payments on time. The easiest way to do this is to configure your accounts to be paid automatically, which is a feature that nearly every credit card issuer offers.
You should also take the time to review your credit reports and look for any errors or fraudulently opened accounts. By disputing inaccurate negative information on your credit reports, you can also improve your credit.
Finally, you can use free services such as Experian Boost and UltraFICO, both of which provide lenders with additional financial history from other accounts, such as utility payments and your banking data.
See related: My credit score is 847! Why was I denied a card?
What can I do if American Express declines my application?
No matter how high your credit score is, there’s always a chance that your credit card application won’t be approved. However, you always have the option of contacting the card issuer to discuss your application, which is a process known as reconsideration. To do so with American Express, contact its reconsideration department at 1-800-567-1083 and ask to have your application reviewed.
Credit card applications are often declined due to inaccurate personal information or even something as innocuous as a typo. For example, American Express may reject your application if the address you listed doesn’t match the one it has on file, which can happen if you’ve recently moved and you haven’t updated your online profile. Or your application can be denied due to a misentered birthdate or Social Security number.
During your reconsideration call, you can also update your financial information, such as your annual income. Some credit card applicants don’t realize they’re able to list all available sources of income – including alimony, child support, disability and retirement benefits. There’s also a law that says you can include the income of your spouse or domestic partner, so long as you can reasonably expect to access that income for the purpose of repaying a loan. This law was created to offer non-working spouses the ability to access credit in their own name.
Another reason you may be declined for an American Express card is that you already have too many open accounts. American Express doesn’t allow customers to have more than five personal accounts with preset credit limits at one time. If you discover this is why you weren’t approved for the Gold Card, you can offer to close an unused account so your Gold Card application can be approved. If American Express still declines to extend additional credit to you, you can offer to move some of your existing line of credit from another Amex card to your Gold Card.
If you’re not successful in getting your application reconsidered, American Express asks that you wait at least 30 days before reapplying.
The American Express Gold Card can be a valuable addition to your wallet, but only if your application is approved. By understanding approximately how high your credit score needs to be for approval, and what you can do if your application isn’t initially approved, you can decide if it makes sense for you to apply for this card.