There's nothing more frustrating than studying up on the best credit card bonuses, finally deciding what you want, filling out your application, and hitting submit only to learn the bank won't approve you. American Express has a solution.
After months of trying and testing, Amex officially rolled out its new feature last fall dubbed the “Apply with Confidence” tool. Whether you're concerned your credit score isn't up to snuff or can't remember whether you've had a certain card before, this new tool can help reassure you before that fateful moment when you hit “submit.”
During the application process, American Express card applicants can use the Apply with Confidence tool to find out if they are approved for a card without impacting their credit score. If you get the green light, apply, and get approved for the card, then your credit score may be affected.
This new application experience is currently available for individuals applying for a U.S. personal card via Thrifty Traveler, at AmericanExpress.com/us/credit-cards, or by calling American Express and is not available if you apply for a card after you log in to an existing card member account. As of publication, this tool isn't available if you're applying for an American Express business card.
Let's walk through how this new ‘Apply with Confidence' feature and how you can use it to your advantage before applying for an American Express personal card.
How the American Express Apply with Confidence Tool Works
The new American Express “Apply with Confidence” tool allows you to see if you'll be approved for a card before you actually submit your application for an Amex card. That allows consumers to fill out the card application as they normally would and then agree to the terms of the application.
If this new feature is available on your card application, American Express performs a soft pull on your credit to determine whether or not you will be approved for the card. This won't have any impact on your credit score.
After you agree to the terms and submit your inquiry, American Express will provide you with an approval decision. As you can see from the screenshot below, assuming you are approved for the card, Amex will give you the option of accepting the card or withdrawing your application completely.
Decide not to go ahead? Your entire application will be canceled and there won't be an impact on your credit score. But if you choose to move ahead and accept the card, American Express will then submit your application to the credit bureaus and perform a hard credit pull, which could have an impact on your credit score.
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Who is the Apply with Confidence Tool for?
According to American Express, this feature is aimed at individuals applying for an American Express personal credit card for the first time. Because of that, the Apply with Confidence feature won't be available if you are already logged in to your American Express account.
But there's an easy workaround if you've already got an Amex card in your wallet. As an existing American Express customer, I applied for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card without logging into my existing American Express account. Luckily, this new Apply with Confidence feature was available for my application.
Notably, the new Apply with Confidence feature isn't intended to replace the welcome offer bonus eligibility pop-up that lets you know whether or not you are eligible to earn the welcome offer for the specific card you are applying for. Rather, the tools will work alongside one another … and that's a good thing. It takes out the guesswork of knowing if you'll be approved and also if you're eligible to earn the welcome offer bonus.
Without a doubt, this new feature makes applying for American Express cards easier and provides more transparency than any other bank out there.
“With our new application experience, prospective card members can apply for a specific card — and know if they are approved — without having to worry about whether their application will change their credit score until they accept the card. We hope this new, more transparent application experience encourages anyone with an interest in American Express membership to apply,” Sara Milsten, Amex's executive vice president of U.S. consumer marketing, said in a statement last fall.
It's unclear when the ‘Apply with Confidence' feature will be available for American Express business card applications, but there is no question this new feature makes Amex personal cards among the easiest to apply for. It completely removes the guessing game of whether or not you'll be approved – something that can be a bit of a black hole from other banks like Chase, Capital One, and more.
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The American Express “Apply with Confidence” feature, allows prospective cardholders to get an approval decision without any impact on their credit score.
As of publication, the feature is only available for U.S.-based personal cards through select channels. If you are applying for an American Express business card, this tool won't be available yet, but we hope to see it added soon.
The Apply with Confidence tool also won't be available if you are already logged in to your American Express account. That means you'll want to make sure you're not logged in to your account before applying for an additional Amex card.