Many American Express cards are harder to qualify for, but you can get a better idea of which ones you’re likely to be approved for by checking prequalified offers.
American Express offers a wide variety of credit and charge cards – meaning it might not be as exclusive as it once was considered. Nevertheless, scoring one of these top cards usually requires a good to excellent credit score (above 670).
For those worried about meeting these requirements, it can seem too risky to apply for a card and risk rejection alongside a hard pull to your credit.
Luckily, there is a great way to find out which Amex cards you may qualify for. With prequalified and preapproved offers, you can see which American Express cards you are likely to be approved for – taking some of the stress out of your application process. Read on to learn more about where to score these offers.
Top Amex cards for prequalified offers
|6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)|
6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
3% cash back at U.S. gas stations
3% cash back on transit, including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more
1% cash back on other purchases
$150 statement credit after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months
20% back on Amazon.com purchases in first 6 months, up to $200 back
Annual fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
|4 points per dollar on restaurant purchases|
4 points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per year in purchases (then 1 point per dollar)
3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com
60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in the first 6 months
Annual fee: $250
|5 points per dollar on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year)|
10 points per dollar on eligible purchases at restaurants and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of card membership
1 point per dollar on all other purchases
100,000 points if you spend $6,000 in the first 6 months of membership
Annual fee: $695
Check for offers on CardMatch
One place to check for American Express prequalified and preapproved offers is on CardMatch™, a tool offered here on CreditCards.com. You just need to enter basic personal information such as your name and address, as well as the last four digits of your social security number to check your offers.
When you check for prequalified card offers on CardMatch, it does not trigger a hard pull to your credit. Instead, offers are extended based on a soft pull – meaning you don’t have to worry about hurting your score.
Once you enter the requested information, you’ll be able to view a full list of prequalified and preapproved card offers plus other suggestions for you from American Express, as well as many other card issuers.
Many card issuers use the terms “prequalified” and “preapproved” interchangeably, but Amex distinguishes between the two. When you check CardMatch, you might see a banner that refers to an offer as either prequalified or preapproved.
The main difference between the two kinds of offers is that preapproved offers a slightly better chance that you’ll be approved for the card once you submit your application. Neither of these kinds of offers are a guarantee of approval, but American Express uses your basic income and credit information to determine if you are a likely candidate. Preapproved offers have a stricter review process, so they represent your best odds.
Prequalify on the Amex website
Additionally, American Express allows applicants to check for prequalified offers directly on the American Express website. Just like with CardMatch, you’ll enter personal info and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
American Express prequalified offers don’t trigger a hard pull to your credit until you apply.
Other ways to prequalify for Amex cards
Although the easiest way to get a prequalified offer from American Express is online, you might be able to score a targeted offer by mail. If you have any accounts with American Express, be sure to keep your contact information up to date to boost your chances of getting one of these offers.
Boost your chances
As mentioned, most American Express cards are designed for users with good to excellent credit (above 670). If you are hovering on the edge of this threshold – or hoping to qualify for one of the issuer’s more exclusive cards, like The Platinum Card® from American Express – you might want to take steps to improve your credit score before you apply.
You can do this by always paying your bills on time and keeping your overall credit utilization ratio low. If you need to bulk up your credit history, you can also consider asking a family member to add you as an authorized user to one of their accounts. This strategy has its pros and cons, but it can boost your score and add to your credit file as long as the primary cardholder is responsible.
Prequalifying does not guarantee approval
Prequalifying for a credit card offer is a great way to know whether or not you will be approved, but remember – it’s not a guarantee. You may receive a prequalified card offer only to be denied for the card. Nevertheless, your chances are significantly improved by prequalifying first. And if you get a preapproved offer, your chances are even better.
One more important thing to note here: American Express is notorious for offering different introductory bonuses through different avenues. That means the offer you get on CardMatch or in the mail might not be the same as what you see on the website. In many cases, you can score a larger bonus by applying through a prequalified or preapproved offer – but you should always compare to make sure you are getting a good deal.
If you’re unsure of your credit card approval odds, prequalified and preapproved offers are a great way to know ahead of time which cards are in your reach. With several different methods to score these offers, American Express makes it easy to improve your chances of scoring the card you want.