Q: Is there an American Express for fair credit scores? I know Amex is a lot pickier than other credit cards and my credit is only fair because I have a couple past blemishes. Do you think there’s any chance of me getting approved for an American Express card?
A: Thanks for your email Julie. Indeed, American Express is known to arguably be the most stringent credit card issuer out there. This is even more true for 2013, since we are still recovering from the credit crunch of the last few years. If you have fair credit, here are my tips for trying to get an American Express:
1. Be in good standing with American Express: What I mean by this is, if you’ve ever burned American Express in the past and defaulted on a debt with them, it will be extremely hard to get approved for card from them again. So if you’ve never been their customer, that’s totally fine. But if you’ve ever had a charge off with them in the past, it’s highly unlikely you would get a second chance with them.
2. Apply for a charge card, not a credit card: With a charge card, you have to pay your balance in full each month. With a credit card, you only have to make the minimum payment. For this reason, charge cards are generally considered to be less risky for the issuer, since the most the customer could ever default on would be about one month of charges. For this reason, often times charge cards seem to be easier to get approved for. So the best American Express for fair credit will most likely be a charge card.
Don’t go for the premium cards: If you’re trying to get an American Express with fair credit, you need to be realistic in your expectations. I already said go for a charge card, but which one? Well a Platinum won’t be your cup of tea right now!
2013 Update: According to the most recent customer credit card reviews on our site, it sounds as if the Gold Delta SkyMiles is the easiest to get approved for right now. We actually advertise the card on our site and have a detailed review you can read about the Gold Delta SkyMiles credit card. Good luck!