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American Express has confirmed that it’s piloting a new “experience” for consumers, which will allow select applicants to find out if they’ll be approved for their preferred Amex card without having their credit score affected (i.e. Without a hard pull on their credit file).
How this works
The new experience is currently available for individuals who wish to apply for a U.S. consumer card at AmericanExpress.com/us/credit-cards or by calling American Express.
This option is not available if you apply for a card after you log into an existing online Amex account.
Here is how it works:
- Consumers who are interested in applying for a U.S. Personal American Express Card can visit AmericanExpress.com/us/credit-cards to see card offers.
- Upon applying for a chosen Card, a soft inquiry will be made on an applicant’s credit report and applicants will be told with 100% certainty if they are approved – without any impact to their credit score.
- If the approved applicant then accepts the Card, a hard inquiry will be made on their credit report, which may impact their credit score.
This is what it looks like when I access the application page for the American Express® Gold Card (when not logged in to my Amex account):
Amex tells us that in the future, prospective card members will be able to access this new experience through their co-brand partners’ websites (e.g. Hilton. Marriott, Delta, etc…) and that eventually, it will also be made available to current cardholders who are applying for another consumer card.
There are two important things to note here:
- This isn’t new. This is something Amex has been piloting for a number of weeks (some of you may have seen evidence of this already) but for reasons best known to Amex, a lot of us who write about credit cards have been prohibited from writing about it. Now that it has been announced via a press release, I’m assuming that it’s safe to mention it!
- Amex may be saying that that this isn’t yet available to existing card holders, but in reality, that shouldn’t matter. Historically, Amex has not requested a hard pull of an existing customer’s credit file if they’re not prepared to approve them for a new card (this applies to most, but not all, cases) so most existing cardholders don’t really need this new “experience”.
Having said that, overall, this is good news for prospective new Amex cardholders. There are few things more annoying (in the credit card world) than having a your credit card score affected by a hard pull for a credit card that you don’t get approved for, so anything that prevents this from happening is a big positive.
American Express is trailing a new option for prospective cardholders which allows them to check to see if they’ll be approved for an Amex consumer card without a hard pull on their credit score. The option appears on a consumer card application page as long as you’re not logged in to an existing American Express account.
Featured image courtesy of American Express