Q: Is there an American Express student credit card?
A: First of all, thanks for your message and compliments about the site Molly. Whether someone is a college student, a retiree, or at any stage in-between… an American Express credit card is always considered to be the cream of the crop. In fact, this is far from being the first message I’ve received asking about an American Express for students.
Unfortunately, the company has very strict lending practices, so not everyone qualifies. This is especially true if you’re younger and have limited or no credit history. An American Express student credit card does not official exist, but that’s not to say you can’t get one while you’re in college. I’ll share with you the secrets of how I got an AmEx when I was only eighteen and the best way to go about it in today’s tightened lending environment.
Why an American Express?
While it’s true American Express is a very prestigious card to carry, there are actual real reasons why they’re the best.
First of all, saying they have outstanding benefits would be an understatement. There’s so many perks that come with their cards, many of their cardholders don’t even know about all of them!
For example, did you know that with AmEx charge cards, your eligible purchases are protected for 90 days against theft or accidental damage? That’s right- if you buy something and it gets damaged a month later, or stolen, you’re covered for up to $1,000 per incident for free? There are many more benefits like extended warranty coverage and more on eligible purchases.
How I got an AmEx credit card at the age of eighteen?
As soon as I turned eighteen I applied for a crappy credit card from my bank – it was some entry level Visa card with a $400 limit.
The only reason I opened it up was because I knew I had to start somewhere. I would use it for a few months to establish a credit record and then apply for something better as soon as I got the chance. So I would put a couple purchases on it each month (always paying off the balance in full) and did that for about seven months. Then it was time to start applying for something better…
At the time, there wasn’t an American Express student credit card specifically, but their Blue card had just came out. I though it was still a bit too early to get approved for that, but I decided to apply and give it a shot… much to my surprise not only was I approved, but I was also given a $2,000 credit limit! That’s not too shabby for an eighteen year old.
After the credit crisis, is that still possible to do in 2013?
The Blue Card still exists, but my experience would never happen today. Back then the economy was flying high and practically a pulse was all that was needed to get credit. Today, getting an American Express as a college student is no longer easy to accomplish. However, I do have good news…
You should do the same thing I did an start with an entry-level card. There’s not really such thing as an entry-level card with AmEx, but there are other banks who have cards which are very easy to get approved for, even if you have little to no credit history.
I recommend getting a student card now, then trying for an AmEx later. It’s certainly no guarantee of approval, but without a doubt… having a card or two on your report will certainly look a lot better than having nothing. Here are my favorite entry-level cards you should try for. The best one is from Discover:
If you already have a credit card or two and you’re looking for the easiest AmEx to qualify for, then I would recommend the Delta Gold. It’s not “easy” to get, but on a relative basis, it’s probably the easiest AmEx to qualify for. I have heard from many younger people in their 20’s getting it. I called up customer service to see if there is an income requirement (like other AmEx cards have) and he said there isn’t an official requirement, since the decision is based on the whole picture (credit history and income). The age requirement is eighteen. I would say this is definitely the best American Express for students to try for, but only after they have another account or two on their credit report.