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One of the most prestigious travel credit cards you can own is the American Express Platinum. With its huge sign-up bonus, tiered purchase rewards, annual travel credits, and fringe benefits that will make any frequent flier drool, the Amex Platinum Card is highly sought after. While many travelers have their eyes on it, how hard is it to get the American Express Platinum? Let’s find out.
Credit Score for Amex Platinum
The credit score needed for the American Express Platinum is generally above 700. According to Credit Karma, the average score is 715. Although, several applicants with credit scores in the 600s have also been approved, even as low as 643.
If your credit score is borderline 700, you might wait until your score crosses that threshold so you can be considered to have good or above average credit. A few ways to quickly boost your credit score include paying any current credit card debt, paying off a financial loan, and not applying for any new credit accounts. This includes not applying for any additional credit card accounts as each inquiry will drop your score a few points.
If your credit score is in the 600s, you can still get approved for the Platinum card, but, it depends on the quality of your credit. Your approval chances will be highest if you have a low debt-to-income ratio and have not applied for many new credit accounts recently. This tells American Express that while you might have a low score, you can responsibly manage the credit you do have.
Having too many new accounts can potentially jeopardize your approval chances because the reviewer might think you are going on a spending spree and will not afford the monthly payment. While American Express doesn’t have the rigorous 5/24 rule like Chase, where your application is declined if you have five new credit cards within the most recent 24 months, too many recent applications can still raise a red flag. And you can only receive a sign-up bonus once per lifetime on American Express cards.
Consider Getting Another Amex Credit Card First
If you are concerned about your credit score, you might consider getting another American Express credit card first. This can be a wise move if you don’t own a credit card already as your approval odds increase if you can responsibly manage a credit card.
Applying for an American Express credit card lets you establish a relationship with Amex and can make it easier to add the Amex Platinum Card to your wallet in the near future. There are several no-fee rewards cards offered by American Express.
Or, you might even consider the Premier Rewards Gold from American Express as it also offers an annual travel credit and is cheaper than the Platinum Card. But, it doesn’t come with all the additional travel benefits or and also doesn’t earn purchase rewards as quickly on travel purchases.
Some experts recommend waiting two years to apply for the Amex Platinum after you get your first credit card. It largely depends on your credit history. If you have a credit score in the 700s or upper 600s, you might be able to apply for one in as little as six months provided you have never missed a payment.
Must Be 21
Your approval chances are much better if you’re 21 years old when you apply for the American Express Platinum. To be an authorized user, you must be 18 years old. As most teenagers do not have the credit score or income to pay the $550 annual fee, this restriction won’t disqualify too many applicants.
Basically, American Express wants to know their applicants have shown they can honor their commitments by being steadily employed or graduating college in the four years between when they graduate high school at age 18 and usually get their first “real” job at age 21.
You can still submit an application if you are under age 21, but, might have to submit additional documentation to verify your income.
Afford the Amex Platinum’s $550 Annual Fee
Unlike other credit cards that waive the annual fee for the first year, the $550 annual fee will be charged on your first monthly billing cycle. If you don’t have $550 to pay the annual fee, don’t apply for the card.
If you want to add an authorized user, you will also need to pay $175 upfront for each additional card. Your authorized users can receive an American Express Gold card for free.
The fee isn’t due as soon as you activate the American Express Platinum, so you do have a month to come up with the money.
There are no published salary requirements in order to qualify for the American Express Platinum, but, the more you earn the better. If you make near $100,000 a year and have good credit, you should have no issue getting approved. But, applicants with annual incomes as low as $40,000 have also been approved if they have a low debt-to-income ratio and pay their other credit cards in full every month.
Having a lower income means you will most likely get a lower credit limit. But, it still means you get the Platinum Card and can enjoy all the benefits. You just might have to make other purchases on your secondary cards to keep your monthly balance below 30% of your Platinum Card’s credit limit to maximize your credit score potential.
Apply for the Card
The last step is to apply for the Platinum Card from American Express. The easiest way is online as you enter all your personal information and your salary to receive an instant decision. If American Express has a few questions about your credit history, they might hold your application for additional review and give you a decision within a few business days.
You will also need the full name and social security number of all people you wish to add as an additional cardholder.
If you do not want to apply for the card online, you can also apply by phone.
How Hard is it to Get the American Express Platinum?
Getting approved for the American Express Platinum is a lot like any new credit card application. You have better chances with a credit score above 700, a clean credit history, and a low debt-to-income ratio. If you think you might have to work on these factors, take the time to improve your credit so that you too can enjoy the benefits of the American Express Platinum.
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