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The American Express® Gold Card is a popular rewards card to have as the world gradually reopens from the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. This card earns bonus rewards on travel, dining, and grocery purchases, making it possible to maximize both at-home and away-from-home purchases. Here is the minimum credit score needed for the Amex Gold to add this card to your wallet.

Knowing the credit score needed for the Amex Gold can help you increase your chances of getting this benefit-rich card. Credit: American Express

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Amex Gold Welcome Offer

Before we dive in, we wanted to make sure you were aware of the exciting welcome offer available (one of the best in Amex Gold Card history!). New American Express® Gold Card cardholders can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases with their new Card within the first 6 months. Spending $4,000 in six months is doable for many people.

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards

Additionally, some people may pre-qualify and may be able to earn 75,000 bonus Membership Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first 6 months by trying through the CardMatch™ tool. Seeing if you pre-qualify with the free CardMatch tool can quickly calculate your approval odds and show your best card offers.

Note that this offer isn’t available to returning applicants that have already earned a Gold Card or Premier Rewards Gold welcome offer.

Now, onto what credit score needed for the Amex Gold.

Amex Gold Credit Score Needed? Get a Good Credit Score First

American Express doesn’t publicly disclose the minimum credit score range or the “secret formula” to qualify for the Gold Card or the other best American Express Cards.

But we do have the benefit of accessing online data points from the testimonies of recent applicants. These reports can give potential applicants with a similar credit background an idea of whether they will get instant approval or may need to wait for a secondary review.

It’s best to try for the Amex Gold with a minimum 680 FICO score (an approximate 700 VantageScore 3.0). This credit score is the start of good credit.

A similar credit score can be necessary for the business version of this card, the American Express® Business Gold Card. Check out our in-depth American Express Business Gold Card review, also one of the best American Express business cards to have, to learn more.

Other Credit Factors

Having a 680+ credit score doesn’t mean automatic approval for the Amex Gold—or any card for that matter.

It’s important to clean up your credit history as much as possible before trying.

Other factors to pay attention to include:

  • No missed card or loan payments
  • Credit utilization below 30% for each card account
  • Few or no recent credit applications

As the American Express Gold Card is a “semi-premium” rewards card, most applicants may need an existing card to demonstrate they can responsibly pay the balance in full.

You may decide to keep your old cards open to easily establish a credit history. Closing old accounts reduce your average account age and may also penalize your credit score.

The Gold Card has no preset spending limit, giving cardholders some flexibility. But this doesn’t mean you have infinite spending power. The Gold Card terms and conditions state the variable spending limit depends on the primary accountholder’s purchase, payment, and credit history.

Minimum Income

The only minimum requirement that American Express publicly discloses is being at least 18 years old to try for the Gold Card.

But having a healthy annual income can also help gain instant approval. The card issuer doesn’t provide guidance but a high income can offset a lower credit score or a streak of recently opened cards or a missed payment.

The U.S. Census Bureau states the national household median income in 2019 was $68,703. This may include two-income households. Having an income above the median can signal higher approval odds, but, you can still try with a lower income.

Like any card, try if you can comfortably pay your bills on your current salary. Banks are less likely to approve card applications if you are struggling financially and more likely to default.

American Express Application Rules

Like other banks, American Express discourages trying for new cards if you have several new accounts. These rules may jeopardize your application status even if you have excellent credit.

With the exception of the welcome offer qualification rules, these application guidelines are not publicly disclosed on the Amex website. You may have success trying, but you may wait to try if you fall into one of these groups.

1 in 5 Rule

Only try for one American Express card in a 5-day period. Some exceptions to this guideline may vary.

Rudolphreindeer, an active MyFico member with several open cards, reports trying for and receiving approval for two Amex cards on the same day in March 2021. Those two cards were the American Express Gold Card (Rose Gold design) and the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express with a 778 FICO score. Individual results may vary, but the person reports getting a mail-in prescreened offer for the Blue Cash EveryDay and trying without an offer for the Amex Gold.

Getting prescreened offers can supersede the typical application restrictions.

2 in 90 Rule

You can try for up to 2 Amex cards in a 90-day period.

Up to 5 Amex Cards

American Express may only let you have up to 5 American Express cards open at one time. However, the American Express Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express may be exempt from this guideline as they are cards without a preset spending limit. While no preset spending limit means your spending limit is flexible, unlike a traditional card with a set limit, the amount you can spend adapts based on factors such as your purchase, payment, and credit history.

One Welcome Offer

The American Express cards only let cardholders earn one welcome offer per card per lifetime. As a result, you can only earn the Gold Card welcome offer once in a lifetime.

You may decide to time your applications when your preferred American Express card is offering one of their best welcome offers. Now can be one of those times for the Amex Gold if you can achieve the $4,000 minimum spend during the first 6 months. If you can, you can earn 60,000 points!

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards

Recent Amex Gold Applications

Here are some recent data points to help you determine what to expect when you try. And if you aren’t sure what your credit score is, here are some of the best places to get free credit score checks without affecting your credit.

Rebuilding Credit and Instant Approval (730 FICO)

Sauciefarr reports having a 730 FICO 8 credit score and getting instantly approved after getting a pre-qualified offer from American Express.

A 730 FICO Score is slightly below the minimum threshold to qualify for excellent credit. But any credit score above 700 has good approval odds for most cards if you don’t have any credit history surprises.

This applicant reports rebuilding their credit score for 5 years before getting above 700 FICO to try.

Instant Approval and $40k Approval (720 FICO)

Mav2246 reports an instant approval in February 2021 shortly after getting approved for the Amex Platinum. This decision comes after getting declined for the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Their credit score is 724 FICO and has a $40,000 annual income. This is a healthy credit score and annual income but both credit factors can be higher.

Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs American Express Gold


In conclusion, the Amex Gold credit score needed isn’t exactly a set number. However, many of the best rewards cards require a FICO score in the high 600s to have the best approval odds. If you can qualify for many of the other travel cards, you may qualify for the Amex Gold. Then, you can enjoy all the perks that come with this card. Note that the annual fee is $250 (See Rates and Fees).

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards


Is it hard to get an Amex Gold Card?

The Amex Gold Card can be harder to get than a “starter card” but maybe easier than similar travel rewards cards that require good or excellent credit.

It’s possible to qualify with a minimum 680 credit score and have a positive payment history with an existing card.

Can I get an Amex card with a 650 credit score?

American Express cards typically require a good credit score that starts at 680 FICO. A 650 credit score is in the “fair credit” range, but it’s still prime credit and can qualify for an unsecured card that doesn’t require a security deposit.

People who want an American Express credit score but have a score below 680, may try to prequalify for card offers first. The prescreened offers have the best approval odds with the current credit history, but you can still try for similar cards without an offer and may get approved.

Applicants can have the best approval odds for American Express cards with a credit score above 700. Ideally, you will try for Amex cards with a 700 credit score.

Does Amex Gold have a credit limit?

No, the Amex Gold doesn’t have a preset spending limit. Instead, the maximum spending power depends on the primary user’s purchase, payment, and credit history. This credit limit can fluctuate monthly.

What credit score does Amex use?

Data points indicate that American Express uses the FICO 8 scoring model from the Experian credit bureau. The bank is also likely to pull the same score from either Equifax or TransUnion but the applicant won’t know until after they try.

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards

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For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, please click here

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