How to apply for an american express credit card

Choosing the right card can be tough—and applying for a credit card isn’t simple either. This guide could help you gain an edge.

By Allan Halcrow | American Express Credit Intel Freelance Contributor

5 Min Read | December 20, 2019 in Cards

How to apply for an american express credit card

Content

At-A-Glance

Careful planning will improve your odds of getting approved for a credit card, though there are no guarantees.

Research your options and be discriminating about which credit card(s) you apply for.

Take the process seriously. A credit card application is a legal document—and it affects your credit score.

You want to apply for a credit card. Do you assume the process will be like applying for a passport or a pet license—that is, approval is essentially guaranteed once you present the necessary information? Or do you assume that it will be like applying to a college or for a job—you focus on your qualifications, identify a good fit, and then present yourself in the best possible light?

Although you won’t have to write an essay or go to an interview to apply for a credit card, the process actually is more similar to applying for a job than for a passport. Yet approval rates suggest that many people either make wrong assumptions about the process or overestimate their qualifications. Federal Reserve numbers show that in October 2018, for example, more than one in five credit card applicants were turned down. 1 Experts point out that failed applications will knock points off your credit score, and the attempt will be visible on your credit report for as long as two years. 2

Although there are no guarantees, careful planning can boost the odds that your credit card application will be approved. Here are some experts’ suggestions for how to apply for a credit card.

Whether you need financial flexibility for a big purchase, or just a safe and easy way to make every-day transactions, a Credit Card or Charge Card is your loyal companion.

Here’s all the information you’ll need to help find the right product for you, and on how to apply.

How to apply for a Credit Card online

You can apply for an American Express Credit Card or Charge Card online in as little as 10 minutes. Here’s how:

  1. Start by visiting the American Express Credit Card page or Charge Card page
  2. Study and compare the Cards on offer and select the one that best suits your requirements.
  3. Click on the ‘Apply now’ button
  4. The application form will open in a separate window. You’ll need to provide your personal details; including your name, date of birth, income, PAN and address. Click ‘Save’ and continue to the next page.
  5. Here you’ll be asked for further financial information, such as your bank details. You can fill in the information, save and review it before you apply.
  6. After submitting, you’ll get confirmation that we’ve received your application
  7. We’ll then ask for any necessary documents to prove your legal status and identity

If your application is successful, you’ll hear from us within 15 days. If not, we’ll notify you on a decision within 90 days.

To help speed up the process, please double check your application and eligibility and make sure that you have all the necessary documents ready.

Finance & Tech

There are three major rules to know before applying for an American Express credit card:

Once in a lifetime bonus

One thing to be aware of, if you are not currently an American Express customer, don’t apply until you get targeted for a great offer. A lot of Amex card members are frustrated because they aren’t targeted for great offers like new customers, but it’s a user acquisition strategy for Amex.

The highest offer I’ve seen is 100,000 bonus points for The Platinum Card from American Express. CardMatch is a common way to find increased offers. Again, it depends on your timing if you want to hold out for the offer or not. The higher offers are usually targeted and not publicly available.

Before we dive into the core rules, there are a few prerequisites to be aware of to see if you’re eligible for welcome offers.

How to apply for an american express credit card

How to apply for an american express credit card

Welcome Offer Clawbacks

American Express updated their terms of service in 2018 by adding “anti-churning” language. Amex reserves the right to “clawback” a welcome offer if they detect any “gaming” activity like peer-to-peer payments, cash equivalent gift cards, and closing accounts early.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) payments is when you send money to a friend via a service like PayPal. However, if you make a purchase from a retail merchant with PayPal, this is a normal transaction. Amex has access to third-level data so they can distinguish between P2P and merchant payments.

Cash equivalents are another type of purchase that can raise a red flag. These can be in the form of Visa or American Express gift cards purchased from a drug store or any other retailer that sells them. Again, Amex has access to third-level data so they know when you’re purchasing cash equivalent gift cards.

Closing a new account before the 12-month mark is another red flag. When you try to close an account that’s less than a year old, it seems like you’re only opening the account for the welcome offer. Closing the account early means that Amex reserves the right to claw back the welcome bonus. Keep the card for at least 12 months and you can cancel or downgrade afterward if you don’t want it.

Welcome Offer Eligibility

If you sign up for a card and you get a pop up saying that you’re not eligible for a welcome bonus, you will not receive one.

There are 2 theories:

You’re blacklisted from Amex from doing one of the activities in the previous section about “Welcome Offer Clawbacks.”

You’re not putting enough spend on your cards in recent months; Amex doesn’t see you as a person that needs another charge or credit card if your cards current cards with them are idle.

Once in a lifetime signup bonus

If you’ve ever had a certain Amex product past or present, regardless of if you received a signup bonus, you will not be eligible for the signup bonus again. The sole act of having X card means you will not be eligible for the signup bonus.

For example, if you had the Amex Everday card in the past and canceled it (or product change), you would not be eligible to receive another Amex Everyday signup bonus if you applied for it again in the future.

Another example would be if you opened the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card and downgraded it to the no annual fee Hilton Honors American Express Card. By downgrading it, you lose out on the 75k to 100k Hilton Honors bonus that’s pretty normal for the Hilton — easily 1 night in most of their expensive properties like Bora Bora, Maldives, or Koh Samui

Technically, we have seen some offers that don’t have this once in a lifetime language, but it’s not common. I would argue that this is the biggest core strategy to work around — especially for new people thinking about upgrades/downgrades.

However, cards like the Amex Platinum card have different variations, which are all considered different products. You could receive the signup bonus for each variation of the Amex Platinum card.

5 Credit Card Limit

Some data points suggest that you can only have 5 American Express credit cards at one time, regardless if it’s a personal or business card. Your mileage may vary.

If you’re currently at the 5 Amex credit card limit and you want to open a new Amex credit card, you’ll have to call in and close an account in order to open a new one.

Important note: Charge cards are NOT the same as credit cards. You can have as many charge cards as you want (Amex Platinum, Gold, Green).

Again, this is rule only applies to credit cards — 4 personal and 1 business, or 5 business credit cards— whatever other combination you want.

The 5 credit card rule is key depending on your card play style and strategy. if you’re optimizing for cash back, then there’s less to worry about. If you’re hunting for bonuses, then you don’t want to “lock up” one of your slots for no reason.

1 in 5 Rule

You can only get approved for one credit card every five days.

The 1 in 5 rule doesn’t affect charge cards, so you could apply for one credit card and X charge cards on the same day and be fine. Keep in mind that you’ll have to manage the minimum spend requirements.

Applying for multiple American Express cards doesn’t have a big impact on your credit score because once you have one Amex card, they typically only do soft pulls after that. Your mileage may vary.

2 in 90 Rule

You can only get approved for two credit cards every 90 days. This means that if you apply for a third card within the 90-day window, you’ll automatically be rejected.

These rules apply to credit cards only and not charge cards, so you can apply for as many charge cards as you like.

Welcome Offer Matches

American Express typically doesn’t match welcome offers. For example, if you apply for the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card with a 30,000 welcome offer, and the next week it increases to 60,000 points, Amex is unlikely to match it.

Optimal Strategy

Given the rules and restrictions, the optimal strategy would apply for a charge card and a credit card on the same day to combine hard pulls. This means you will only have one credit inquiry, as opposed to two.

If you don’t currently hold any American Express cards, I recommend checking CardMatch to see if you can get targeted for the 100k Platinum card offer.

Be aware that if you have more than a $35,000 cumulative credit limit with Amex, it will trigger a financial review. Your accounts will be frozen during the financial review.

Amex will not match any increased offers. For example, if you applied for a card with a 50,000 point offer, and the next week a 60,000 point offer pops up, they will not match the offer.

If you apply for a card and you’re rejected, you can always call the reconsideration line to speak to an agent to look into your profile. Calling the reconsideration line will not help you bypass any rules.

Prequalified offers can boost your chances of snagging your dream card

damircudic / Getty Images

How to apply for an american express credit card

February 12, 2021

Summary

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.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

How to apply for an american express credit card

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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 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

Everyday spending

How to apply for an american express credit card

Rewards

How to apply for an american express credit card

Luxury perks

How to apply for an american express credit card

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

$300 statement credit after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months

Annual Fee $95 (waived the first year)

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 flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel

5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked on American Express Travel

75,000 points if you spend $5,000 in the first 6 months

Annual Fee $550

Check for offers on CardMatch

One place to check for American Express prequalified 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 card offers and other suggestions for you from American Express, as well as many other card issuers.

Tip: You might be able to qualify for a targeted offer for a higher introductory bonus when you apply for an American Express card through CardMatch.

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 input 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

Though 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.

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 offer – but you should always compare to make sure you are getting a good deal.

Final thoughts

For those worried about your credit card approval odds, prequalified 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 maximize your chances of scoring the card you want.

Finance & Tech

There are three major rules to know before applying for an American Express credit card:

Once in a lifetime bonus

One thing to be aware of, if you are not currently an American Express customer, don’t apply until you get targeted for a great offer. A lot of Amex card members are frustrated because they aren’t targeted for great offers like new customers, but it’s a user acquisition strategy for Amex.

The highest offer I’ve seen is 100,000 bonus points for The Platinum Card from American Express. CardMatch is a common way to find increased offers. Again, it depends on your timing if you want to hold out for the offer or not. The higher offers are usually targeted and not publicly available.

Before we dive into the core rules, there are a few prerequisites to be aware of to see if you’re eligible for welcome offers.

How to apply for an american express credit card

How to apply for an american express credit card

Welcome Offer Clawbacks

American Express updated their terms of service in 2018 by adding “anti-churning” language. Amex reserves the right to “clawback” a welcome offer if they detect any “gaming” activity like peer-to-peer payments, cash equivalent gift cards, and closing accounts early.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) payments is when you send money to a friend via a service like PayPal. However, if you make a purchase from a retail merchant with PayPal, this is a normal transaction. Amex has access to third-level data so they can distinguish between P2P and merchant payments.

Cash equivalents are another type of purchase that can raise a red flag. These can be in the form of Visa or American Express gift cards purchased from a drug store or any other retailer that sells them. Again, Amex has access to third-level data so they know when you’re purchasing cash equivalent gift cards.

Closing a new account before the 12-month mark is another red flag. When you try to close an account that’s less than a year old, it seems like you’re only opening the account for the welcome offer. Closing the account early means that Amex reserves the right to claw back the welcome bonus. Keep the card for at least 12 months and you can cancel or downgrade afterward if you don’t want it.

Welcome Offer Eligibility

If you sign up for a card and you get a pop up saying that you’re not eligible for a welcome bonus, you will not receive one.

There are 2 theories:

You’re blacklisted from Amex from doing one of the activities in the previous section about “Welcome Offer Clawbacks.”

You’re not putting enough spend on your cards in recent months; Amex doesn’t see you as a person that needs another charge or credit card if your cards current cards with them are idle.

Once in a lifetime signup bonus

If you’ve ever had a certain Amex product past or present, regardless of if you received a signup bonus, you will not be eligible for the signup bonus again. The sole act of having X card means you will not be eligible for the signup bonus.

For example, if you had the Amex Everday card in the past and canceled it (or product change), you would not be eligible to receive another Amex Everyday signup bonus if you applied for it again in the future.

Another example would be if you opened the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card and downgraded it to the no annual fee Hilton Honors American Express Card. By downgrading it, you lose out on the 75k to 100k Hilton Honors bonus that’s pretty normal for the Hilton — easily 1 night in most of their expensive properties like Bora Bora, Maldives, or Koh Samui

Technically, we have seen some offers that don’t have this once in a lifetime language, but it’s not common. I would argue that this is the biggest core strategy to work around — especially for new people thinking about upgrades/downgrades.

However, cards like the Amex Platinum card have different variations, which are all considered different products. You could receive the signup bonus for each variation of the Amex Platinum card.

5 Credit Card Limit

Some data points suggest that you can only have 5 American Express credit cards at one time, regardless if it’s a personal or business card. Your mileage may vary.

If you’re currently at the 5 Amex credit card limit and you want to open a new Amex credit card, you’ll have to call in and close an account in order to open a new one.

Important note: Charge cards are NOT the same as credit cards. You can have as many charge cards as you want (Amex Platinum, Gold, Green).

Again, this is rule only applies to credit cards — 4 personal and 1 business, or 5 business credit cards— whatever other combination you want.

The 5 credit card rule is key depending on your card play style and strategy. if you’re optimizing for cash back, then there’s less to worry about. If you’re hunting for bonuses, then you don’t want to “lock up” one of your slots for no reason.

1 in 5 Rule

You can only get approved for one credit card every five days.

The 1 in 5 rule doesn’t affect charge cards, so you could apply for one credit card and X charge cards on the same day and be fine. Keep in mind that you’ll have to manage the minimum spend requirements.

Applying for multiple American Express cards doesn’t have a big impact on your credit score because once you have one Amex card, they typically only do soft pulls after that. Your mileage may vary.

2 in 90 Rule

You can only get approved for two credit cards every 90 days. This means that if you apply for a third card within the 90-day window, you’ll automatically be rejected.

These rules apply to credit cards only and not charge cards, so you can apply for as many charge cards as you like.

Welcome Offer Matches

American Express typically doesn’t match welcome offers. For example, if you apply for the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card with a 30,000 welcome offer, and the next week it increases to 60,000 points, Amex is unlikely to match it.

Optimal Strategy

Given the rules and restrictions, the optimal strategy would apply for a charge card and a credit card on the same day to combine hard pulls. This means you will only have one credit inquiry, as opposed to two.

If you don’t currently hold any American Express cards, I recommend checking CardMatch to see if you can get targeted for the 100k Platinum card offer.

Be aware that if you have more than a $35,000 cumulative credit limit with Amex, it will trigger a financial review. Your accounts will be frozen during the financial review.

Amex will not match any increased offers. For example, if you applied for a card with a 50,000 point offer, and the next week a 60,000 point offer pops up, they will not match the offer.

If you apply for a card and you’re rejected, you can always call the reconsideration line to speak to an agent to look into your profile. Calling the reconsideration line will not help you bypass any rules.

Finance & Tech

There are three major rules to know before applying for an American Express credit card:

Once in a lifetime bonus

One thing to be aware of, if you are not currently an American Express customer, don’t apply until you get targeted for a great offer. A lot of Amex card members are frustrated because they aren’t targeted for great offers like new customers, but it’s a user acquisition strategy for Amex.

The highest offer I’ve seen is 100,000 bonus points for The Platinum Card from American Express. CardMatch is a common way to find increased offers. Again, it depends on your timing if you want to hold out for the offer or not. The higher offers are usually targeted and not publicly available.

Before we dive into the core rules, there are a few prerequisites to be aware of to see if you’re eligible for welcome offers.

How to apply for an american express credit card

How to apply for an american express credit card

Welcome Offer Clawbacks

American Express updated their terms of service in 2018 by adding “anti-churning” language. Amex reserves the right to “clawback” a welcome offer if they detect any “gaming” activity like peer-to-peer payments, cash equivalent gift cards, and closing accounts early.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) payments is when you send money to a friend via a service like PayPal. However, if you make a purchase from a retail merchant with PayPal, this is a normal transaction. Amex has access to third-level data so they can distinguish between P2P and merchant payments.

Cash equivalents are another type of purchase that can raise a red flag. These can be in the form of Visa or American Express gift cards purchased from a drug store or any other retailer that sells them. Again, Amex has access to third-level data so they know when you’re purchasing cash equivalent gift cards.

Closing a new account before the 12-month mark is another red flag. When you try to close an account that’s less than a year old, it seems like you’re only opening the account for the welcome offer. Closing the account early means that Amex reserves the right to claw back the welcome bonus. Keep the card for at least 12 months and you can cancel or downgrade afterward if you don’t want it.

Welcome Offer Eligibility

If you sign up for a card and you get a pop up saying that you’re not eligible for a welcome bonus, you will not receive one.

There are 2 theories:

You’re blacklisted from Amex from doing one of the activities in the previous section about “Welcome Offer Clawbacks.”

You’re not putting enough spend on your cards in recent months; Amex doesn’t see you as a person that needs another charge or credit card if your cards current cards with them are idle.

Once in a lifetime signup bonus

If you’ve ever had a certain Amex product past or present, regardless of if you received a signup bonus, you will not be eligible for the signup bonus again. The sole act of having X card means you will not be eligible for the signup bonus.

For example, if you had the Amex Everday card in the past and canceled it (or product change), you would not be eligible to receive another Amex Everyday signup bonus if you applied for it again in the future.

Another example would be if you opened the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card and downgraded it to the no annual fee Hilton Honors American Express Card. By downgrading it, you lose out on the 75k to 100k Hilton Honors bonus that’s pretty normal for the Hilton — easily 1 night in most of their expensive properties like Bora Bora, Maldives, or Koh Samui

Technically, we have seen some offers that don’t have this once in a lifetime language, but it’s not common. I would argue that this is the biggest core strategy to work around — especially for new people thinking about upgrades/downgrades.

However, cards like the Amex Platinum card have different variations, which are all considered different products. You could receive the signup bonus for each variation of the Amex Platinum card.

5 Credit Card Limit

Some data points suggest that you can only have 5 American Express credit cards at one time, regardless if it’s a personal or business card. Your mileage may vary.

If you’re currently at the 5 Amex credit card limit and you want to open a new Amex credit card, you’ll have to call in and close an account in order to open a new one.

Important note: Charge cards are NOT the same as credit cards. You can have as many charge cards as you want (Amex Platinum, Gold, Green).

Again, this is rule only applies to credit cards — 4 personal and 1 business, or 5 business credit cards— whatever other combination you want.

The 5 credit card rule is key depending on your card play style and strategy. if you’re optimizing for cash back, then there’s less to worry about. If you’re hunting for bonuses, then you don’t want to “lock up” one of your slots for no reason.

1 in 5 Rule

You can only get approved for one credit card every five days.

The 1 in 5 rule doesn’t affect charge cards, so you could apply for one credit card and X charge cards on the same day and be fine. Keep in mind that you’ll have to manage the minimum spend requirements.

Applying for multiple American Express cards doesn’t have a big impact on your credit score because once you have one Amex card, they typically only do soft pulls after that. Your mileage may vary.

2 in 90 Rule

You can only get approved for two credit cards every 90 days. This means that if you apply for a third card within the 90-day window, you’ll automatically be rejected.

These rules apply to credit cards only and not charge cards, so you can apply for as many charge cards as you like.

Welcome Offer Matches

American Express typically doesn’t match welcome offers. For example, if you apply for the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card with a 30,000 welcome offer, and the next week it increases to 60,000 points, Amex is unlikely to match it.

Optimal Strategy

Given the rules and restrictions, the optimal strategy would apply for a charge card and a credit card on the same day to combine hard pulls. This means you will only have one credit inquiry, as opposed to two.

If you don’t currently hold any American Express cards, I recommend checking CardMatch to see if you can get targeted for the 100k Platinum card offer.

Be aware that if you have more than a $35,000 cumulative credit limit with Amex, it will trigger a financial review. Your accounts will be frozen during the financial review.

Amex will not match any increased offers. For example, if you applied for a card with a 50,000 point offer, and the next week a 60,000 point offer pops up, they will not match the offer.

If you apply for a card and you’re rejected, you can always call the reconsideration line to speak to an agent to look into your profile. Calling the reconsideration line will not help you bypass any rules.

by Lyle Daly | Dec. 10, 2018

The Ascent is reader-supported: we may earn a commission from offers on this page. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation.

How to apply for an american express credit card

Image source: Getty Images

Offer Status

Some offers on this page might be out of date. Please visit out best credit cards page for all up to date offers.

With an extensive lineup of credit and charge cards, American Express is a popular choice among consumers. However, it’s also one of the more restrictive banks in terms of its application rules, especially when it comes to sign-up bonuses and other welcome offers.

To avoid any issues with an American Express application or your welcome offer, you’ll need to know what those rules are.

The difference between credit cards and charge cards

While most banks stick to credit cards, American Express has credit cards and charge cards available. Many of the rules American Express has only apply to credit cards, which is why it’s important to recognize the difference between the two.

A credit card has a revolving line of credit, and you’re just required to make a minimum payment every month. With a charge card, you’re expected to pay your entire balance.

All American Express cards clearly state whether they’re credit cards or charge cards.

American Express card limits

There are three limits you should know about before applying for an American Express credit card:

  • American Express will only approve you for one credit card within a five-day period.
  • American Express will approve you for a maximum of two credit cards within a 90-day period.
  • You can hold up to five credit cards with American Express simultaneously.

Unless you’re applying for cards left and right, these limits probably won’t come into play. None of those limits apply to American Express charge cards.

Sign-up bonuses and other welcome offers

Here’s where American Express is very strict. The terms for its cards, including credit and charge cards, specify that sign-up bonus offers aren’t available if you’ve already had the card in the past. It doesn’t matter if you failed to receive a sign-up bonus the first time around, even if one wasn’t available at that time. Once you’ve had an American Express card, you won’t be eligible for its sign-up bonus in the future.

The same rule applies with other types of welcome offers, such as 0% intro APRs.

American Express reserves the right to disqualify you from bonus offers for other reasons as well. If so, it will notify you of that as you start the card’s application process and give you the option of canceling your application.

If American Express believes you’ve abused its Membership Rewards program in any way, that can also affect your bonus and your card accounts. One specific example of program abuse cited in the card terms is canceling or downgrading an account within 12 months of opening it. Potential actions American Express may take for this include:

  • Not issuing your sign-up bonus
  • Taking your sign-up bonus back after issuing it
  • Canceling the card account in question
  • Canceling all your American Express card accounts

How to choose the right American Express card

With the way American Express limits welcome offers, it’s a good idea to prioritize American Express cards with the best offers. Here are a few to consider for points, cash back, and 0% intro APRs.

Travel rewards cards

The Platinum Card® from American Express is the bank’s top-of-the-line travel card. It carries a steep $550 annual fee, but for that you get one of the longest lists of perks you’ll find, including:

  • 60,000 points for spending $5,000 in three months
  • 5 points per $1 on flights booked directly with airlines along with flights and hotels booked through the American Express travel portal
  • 1 point per $1 on all other spending
  • Up to $200 in Uber ride credits per year
  • Up to $200 in airline incidental credits per year

If you’re understandably skeptical about paying $550 annually for a credit card, there are plenty of much more affordable options among the best travel rewards cards.

Cash-back and 0% intro APR cards

There are two standouts here in the American Express Cash Magnet® Card and the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. Both are no-annual-fee cards that have 0% intro APRs for 15 months on purchases.

The American Express Cash Magnet® Card has one cash-back rate for everything, making it ideal if you’d like to stick to a single credit card. Its benefits include:

  • Up to $250 in bonus cash back, consisting of a $150 bonus for spending $1,000 within the first three months and a $100 bonus for spending another $6,500 within the first 12 months
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has bonus categories where you can earn more back. This card’s main benefits are:

  • $150 in bonus cash back for spending $1,000 within the first three months
  • 3% back at U.S. supermarkets up to a maximum $6,000 per year
  • 2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
  • 1% back on everything else

All of the cards and bonus offers available through American Express give you plenty of options when you’re in the market for a new credit card or charge card. Just keep its limitations in mind and remember that you only have one shot to get a card’s sign-up bonus.

Top credit card wipes out interest until 2022

If you have credit card debt, transferring it to this top balance transfer card can allow you to pay 0% interest for a whopping 18 months! That’s one reason our experts rate this card as a top pick to help get control of your debt. It’ll allow you to pay 0% interest on both balance transfers and new purchases until 2022, and you’ll pay no annual fee. Read The Ascent’s full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.

About the Author

How to apply for an american express credit card

Lyle is a writer specializing in credit cards, travel rewards programs, and banking. His work has also appeared on MSN Money, USA Today, and Yahoo! Finance.

We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.

The Ascent is reader-supported: we may earn a commission from offers on this page. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation.

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Even among “premium” credit cards – those with annual fees that cost $250 or more – some cards have more benefits than others.

The difference is that some were designed to offer a better lifestyle, while others spice up the high-end lifestyle that people already live.

Let’s find out more about the American Express Platinum card!

How to apply for an american express credit card

FEATURES of this Card

The annual fee of the American Express Platinum Credit Card is $550. Users will receive a 60,000 points bonus if more than $5,000 are spent in the first 3 months.

Points can be earned by purchasing plane tickets straight from the airline, and on prepaid hotels and flights booked through Amex Travel – 5x points. Everything else will bring 1 point/dollar. There is no fee for foreign transactions.

Benefits

The reward earned from your spending is usually the signature of travel cards. This one, however, is not like that. Even the 5x points earned from hotel stays and flights are something hard to gather before you earn something consistent. Premium services, exclusive access, upgrades, and other benefits are also given, but they are small.

Automatic credits

  • $200/year for a single airline’s incidental fees that cover things like in-flight refreshments or checked-bag fees, but not upgrades or airfare.
  • $200/year, divided per month for Uber. You will get $35 in December and $15 for the other months, but if the amount isn’t used in the given month, it will not be transferred to the upcoming month, but lost. VIP status is also given.
  • $100/year for online and in-store purchases from Saks Fifth Avenue. They are split in $50 for January to June, and another $50 from July to December
  • Reimbursements for trusted traveler programs for up to $100. You can receive reimbursement for the registration fee of $100 for Global Entry or $85 for TSA Precheck. The Global Entry refund is every 4 years, and TSA Precheck every 4.5 years.

Airport lounge access

The American Express Platinum Card® offers unique access that is worldwide for airport lounges. Some of them are Escape network, Airspace network, Plaza Premium’s lounges, lounges in the Priority Pass Select, lounges for International American Express, Centurion lounges and when flying Delta, you get access to Delta Sky Clubs.

Hotel Benefits

Marriott Hotels have a rewards program, called Marriott’s bonvoy, to which you can get a Gold Elite status without fulfilling any hotel stay requirements.

You will receive automatic Gold status for Hilton’s loyalty program, Hilton Honors.

If you stay for at least two nights at The Hotel Collection, an automatic upgrade will be given, plus a $100 credit to use in the hotel’s activities such as resort, spa or dining.

Booking at the Fine Hotels & Resorts will get you facilities and upgrades that are worth $550 /stay, such as room upgrades, late checkout, early check-in, free Wi-Fi, and complimentary breakfast.

Other goodies

You will receive 24-hour concierge services access, available by phone. Global Dining Collection access for high-end restaurant reservations is another attractive feature that comes with the card. You will be able to enjoy the Kentucky Derby and Wimbledon events, by buying VIP tickets (by invitation only), and get to select your preferred seats for cultural events and select sports.

How To APPLY and Eligibility

For the application, click here and to check your eligibility, click here. To apply online, you will have to fill in personal and financial information, including the annual net income, that needs to be higher than the limit set by the American Express Bank.

In terms of eligibility, applicants need to be older than 18 years of age, with no payment defaults and good credit history. The required income varies.

FEES And Interest

Here are The American Express Platinum Card® fees and interests.

  • Annual Fee: This is $550, to which another $175 will be added for as much as 3 additional platinum cards
  • Cash Advance: $10 or 5% of any cash advance amount, whichever is greater.
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction: There is no foreign purchase transaction
  • Late Penalty: As high as $40
  • Returned Payment: As high as $40

If you need help keeping track of your income and expenditure each month, be sure to read this article to find the best app to do so.

How to apply for an american express credit card

Summary

American Express’s Platinum Card® is probably the most distinguished card that can be found on the market, offering Membership Rewards® Points of 60,000 as an intro bonus, and 5x for purchases. It comes along with a long list of benefits such as access to airport lounges and travel credits.

However, the $550 annual fee, this card is suitable for those who already live quite a luxurious life, and want to make it even better through all the perks offered by this card.

Note: There are risks involved when applying for and using credit cards. Consult the institution’s terms and conditions page for more information.