Which AMEX Should I Apply For? (If any)

American Express forum. Talk about AmEx credit cards like Blue, Gold, Platinum, Centurion, and more.
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CalAlumnus13
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Which AMEX Should I Apply For? (If any)

Postby CalAlumnus13 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:48 pm

I'm fairly new to this stuff, having just graduated from college in May. I'd like to get an AMEX as soon as possible to take advantage of backdating in the future. It seems my choices are a Blue Cash Everyday (no annual fee) or Green/Gold (I'd tend toward the Green, since it has a lower annual fee and I already have other good rewards cards).

My Discover-provided FICO is 693 as of 1/20/14. My overall utilization is about 21%.

My Experian CR currently has 9 (!) hard pulls showing, 8 from the last year. Two are from a car I financed in June, and the rest are credit card applications. My TU has 1 HP, and I'm not sure about Equifax.

Here's a list of my current cards and utilization:
Chase Slate $6,300/$7,000 (still at 0% APR)
Discover IT: $30/$6,500
Chase Sapphire Preferred $250/$5,000
Capital One Venture $600/$5,000
Bank of America $30/$4,500
Capital One Quicksilver $0/4,500
Bank of America $0/2,500
Chase Freedom $250/$1,000


I also have a $16,000 auto loan and $9,000 in student debt. Salary of $60,000.

So: What should I apply for now, or should I wait? Thanks for your help!
Wallet: AMEX Premier Rewards Gold NPSL | BankAmericard Cash Rewards (Cal Alumni Association) $9.6k | Chase Sapphire Preferred $5k | Capital One Venture $5k | Chase Freedom $3k

Drawer: Discover IT $10k | Chase Slate $6k | BankAmericard $5.9k | Capital One Quicksilver $4.5k | AMEX Hilton HHonors $4.4k

FICOs: EX (per AMEX, 3/18/14): 728 | TU (per Discover, 3/20/14): 753 | EQ (per Capital One, 2/25/14): 720


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djrez4
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Postby djrez4 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:43 pm

CalAlumnus13 wrote:Chase Slate $6,300/$7,000 (still at 0% APR)


That's your Waterloo right there. Amex is not going to issue you a card with 90% utilization showing on your Slate. Pay that down.
[RIGHT][size=100]- Sapphire Preferred - Freedom - Ink - Platinum - Everyday Preferred -[/size]
[/RIGHT]

MemberSince99
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Postby MemberSince99 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:45 pm

Agree with djrez, also I'd pay the balances on all your other cards but one as well. Granted they are small balances but they may see balances on too many cards reporting and deny for that as well. If you can get a balance showing on only one card and utilization of between 1-4% you'll have the best odds possible.

CalAlumnus13
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Postby CalAlumnus13 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:55 pm

I don't carry balances that cost me interest. Assuming that, is it better for me to have 0% utilization on all cards, or modest utilization (under 5%) to show that I'm using cards, and then paid off before the grace period ends?

My sense was that it would be best to have some utilization (so long as its small), but if 0% for every tradeline is always best (meaning I pay off everything before the statement closed), I'll start doing that.

Thanks again for your help.
Wallet: AMEX Premier Rewards Gold NPSL | BankAmericard Cash Rewards (Cal Alumni Association) $9.6k | Chase Sapphire Preferred $5k | Capital One Venture $5k | Chase Freedom $3k

Drawer: Discover IT $10k | Chase Slate $6k | BankAmericard $5.9k | Capital One Quicksilver $4.5k | AMEX Hilton HHonors $4.4k

FICOs: EX (per AMEX, 3/18/14): 728 | TU (per Discover, 3/20/14): 753 | EQ (per Capital One, 2/25/14): 720

CalAlumnus13
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Postby CalAlumnus13 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:17 pm

So I'll be staying at Hilton properties several times in March, so I'm thinking of applying for the no annual fee AMEX HHonors. I already have HHonors Gold, so that's not an issue. Here are my updated numbers:

TU FICO (per Discover): 729 2/20/14
EQ FICO (per Capital One): 707 1/28/14
CK FAKO: 758 2/24/14

Overall utilization: 13.5%
EX HPs: 8 in past 12 months, most recent 1/4/14

Chase Slate $4,800/$7,000 (still at 0% APR, just under 70% utilization)
Discover IT: $0/$6,500
Chase Sapphire Preferred $0/$5,000
Capital One Venture $0/$5,000
Bank of America $0/$4,500
Capital One Quicksilver $0/4,500
Bank of America $0/2,000
Chase Freedom $0/$1,000

Am I ready yet, or do I need to wait a bit longer?
Wallet: AMEX Premier Rewards Gold NPSL | BankAmericard Cash Rewards (Cal Alumni Association) $9.6k | Chase Sapphire Preferred $5k | Capital One Venture $5k | Chase Freedom $3k

Drawer: Discover IT $10k | Chase Slate $6k | BankAmericard $5.9k | Capital One Quicksilver $4.5k | AMEX Hilton HHonors $4.4k

FICOs: EX (per AMEX, 3/18/14): 728 | TU (per Discover, 3/20/14): 753 | EQ (per Capital One, 2/25/14): 720

takeshi
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Postby takeshi » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:48 pm

CalAlumnus13 wrote:I don't carry balances that cost me interest. Assuming that, is it better for me to have 0% utilization on all cards, or modest utilization (under 5%) to show that I'm using cards, and then paid off before the grace period ends?

Interest really isn't relevant for approvals, CL's and terms. Utilization is. Your reports don't indicate that you have an introductory offer on your accounts. I'm not sure what you mean by the grace period comment. The grace period is also irrelevant. Most cards report at statement end. Paying after that doesn't affect reported utilization (except for the following period).

The generally recommended max utilization (both overall and individual matter) is 30% while optimal tends to be around 10% or less. I generally don't apply until my utilization is optimized. It's your call if you want to go ahead an apply with your current situation or to apply when your utilization is in better shape. Low utilization is ideal but not 0 utilization. In general, the fewer tradelines reporting balances the better.

AmEx is generally regarded as being averse to balance carriers as well.

thom02099
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Postby thom02099 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:11 pm

CalAlumnus13 wrote:I'm fairly new to this stuff, having just graduated from college in May. I'd like to get an AMEX as soon as possible to take advantage of backdating in the future. [color="red"]It seems my choices are a Blue Cash Everyday (no annual fee) or Green/Gold (I'd tend toward the Green, since it has a lower annual fee and I already have other good rewards cards).[/color]



Keep in mind with AMEX that the underwriting criteria is reportedly different for the charge cards vs the revolvers. All of the charge cards have the same criteria, while the revolvers may have varying degrees of difficulty to get. The charge cards are generally considered easier to get.
Retired, and in the process of retiring cards!
EQ = 846 EX=828 TU = 836 as of 02/2016

linuxmachine
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Postby linuxmachine » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:16 pm

The Surpass has a 75k signup promo that ends today. Worth your while and you can downgrade later if you like. the 12x on Hilton stays is pretty good, as well as 6x on gas and restaurants.



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