American Express just introduced a new pilot program that allows you to apply for an AmEx credit card to see if you're approved without a hard credit check.
This type of approval process involves what's called a "soft pull", which in and of itself will not have a negative impact on your credit score. The caveat it that if you choose to accept the card approval offer, and only then will there be a hard pull on your credit (which doesn't impact your score as negatively as a hard inquiry if you are denied).
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Apply For an AmEx Card with No Credit Check
Knowing whether or not you qualify for a credit card is almost impossible and can be quite nerve recking. Especially if you don't have a strong enough credit score to begin with.
This new feature allows consumers to apply for an AmEx credit card without having to worry about another inquiry being added to their report if they are denied.
Inquires only negatively affect your score by no more than five points but as you can imaging, if you have multiple inquiries in a short span of time, then they can add up.
The new feature also allows consumers to accept or reject the credit card offer after receiving approval. Which means that you could essentially apply for multiple cards, see which one(s) is the best fit for you and choose it/them.
AmEx says that the approval after the soft pull is also 100% guaranteed. So once you go through with accepting the card, there is no margin of an actual denial. Another caveat is that with this approval process you will not tell you what credit limit you qualify for. Only once you've gone through a full credit evaluation after the soft pull approval will they give you a limit.
In order to apply you must use the link here (AmEx No Impact Customer Card). You can also call them and apply as well. However, you cannot apply through an existing AmEx card member account. If you are an existing member, you can also apply for the card at the link above as well.
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Ways To Improve Your Approval Odds
Check your credit reports: it's always best practice to check your credit before you apply for any credit card. A good/excellent FICO score is considered a 670 or better.
Check Reviews: Most credit card issuers don't disclose their application requirements so a good place to go to get a feel for what to expect is online. You can simply google the cards reviews.
Utilize pre-approval tool: A lot of credit card issuer offer some kind of pre-approval/pre-qualification tool that will let you know how eligible you are for the card. And this process is a soft pull. However, it's not guaranteed.
Find out card issuer rules: To prevent the practice of "credit card churning" (the process of opening cards for the sole purpose of earning welcome bonuses or other benefits and then closing the card after and before the next annual fee posts). Which can be a big risk for lenders. For example, Chase has a "5/24 Rule", where if you've opened 5 or more credit cards in the last 24 months then you'll be denied.
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