Credit card approvals in general are based on multiple factors, including your FICO or credit score. Also considered important are your credit history, your family income, and employment. The FICO score encompasses several creditworthiness indicators, including payment history, length of credit, and diversity of credit. The more you pay on time, the longer credit history you have, and the different types of credit you have, the better are your chances. An especially important factor is your debt-to-credit ratio – it is best to use no more than one-third of the total credit line.
“If you have one card maxed out and two unused, that would be much worse than the same being evenly spread across the three cards,” says Ben Wolsey, Director of Consumer Research at CreditCards.com.
While we can’t pinpoint exactly what credit score is necessary for any particular card, due to the fact that credit card issuers do not reveal their criteria for approval, suffice to say, American Express requires at least a good score (670-719) for their lower rung Zinc and Green cards, and an excellent score of 720 or more for their Gold and Platinum cards. Blue cards are relatively easy to get approval for.
While approval may be based largely on your credit score, other factors enter into approval and terms of the credit, such as verifiable employment and annual income. American Express is often thought of as a card that caters to the “upper crust” – higher salaried individuals working for well-established companies with higher incomes. In actuality, American Express targets a wide range of people in all walks of life. With the right credit profile, many are able to get American Express cards with less than an excellent credit score.
Blue cards are among the easiest cards to qualify for and come in a variety of types that attract different users than the Gold and Platinum cards. Blue Cards are designed to fit college students and others just starting out. Blue Cash Everyday and Blue Cash Preferred allows you to earn 3% and 6% cash back respectively at supermarkets and 2% and 3% cash back respectively at gas stations and department stores.
American Express offers a total of 22 different personal cards for consumers. They come in five colors – Zinc, Green, Blue, White, Gold, and Platinum. Some are charge cards, some credit, and one is a prepaid card. American Express has seven “partner” cards: Costco, Delta Skymiles, Hilton HHoners, Jetblue, Mercedes-Benz, and Starwood. Each card has its own approval requirements.
With the help of this maybe it makes it clearer to understand how easier (or hard!) it can be to attain the world’s largest card issuer by volume, with nearly 90 million cards in force!