The Platinum Card® from American Express and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express are easily 2 of the most recognizable travel credit cards on the market and are often considered to be a symbol of luxury and status.
Since both cards offer fantastic benefits and lucrative point earnings, you might think that it can be exceptionally difficult to be approved for them. But are the Amex Platinum card and the Amex Business Platinum card as exclusive as they are made out to be?
Similar to most other credit cards, when applying for the Amex Platinum card or the Amex Business Platinum card, American Express takes factors into consideration like your credit score, length of credit history, and your income. Here’s a breakdown of those factors to help you determine your chances of being approved for the Amex Platinum card or the Amex Business Platinum card.
The Amex Platinum Card (Snapshot)
Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a welcome offer of up to 150,000 points with the Amex Platinum card! (The current public offer is 80,000.)
The Amex Business Platinum Card (Snapshot)
Hot Tip: Check to see if you’re eligible for a huge welcome offer of up to 150,000 points with the Amex Business Platinum! (The current public offer is 120,000.)
Credit Score Factors
One of the most important factors, if not the most important, that any bank or credit issuer is going to look at when applying for a new credit card is your credit score. If you’re unfamiliar with how credit scores work, it’s very important to have some basic knowledge of the 5 factors that comprise your score:
- Payment history
- Credit utilization
- Length of credit history
- New credit
- Credit mix
Understanding each of these factors can help you better understand what your score means, and how each of these factors impacts your overall score.
Your payment history is the most important aspect of your credit as it is responsible for 35% of your overall score. To receive a high credit score, you need to show a running history of on-time payments every month. If you have a history of late payments (especially those that have occurred recently), you’re unlikely to get approved for a card like the Amex Platinum card or the Amex Business Platinum card.
HOT TIP: Avoid missing a credit card payment by setting up auto-pay! This ensures you’ll never miss a payment and your account will remain in good standing. Just make sure you’re spending responsibly to ensure you don’t overdraft.
The second most important aspect of your credit score is your credit utilization, comprising 30% of your overall score.
Credit utilization is the percentage of available credit that you have currently borrowed. For example, if you have a credit card with a $5,000 limit and make $2,000 in charges, when the statement posts, your credit utilization will be 40%.
The lower you can keep your credit utilization, the better. If you’re constantly maxing out your credit cards each month (even if you’re paying off the balance in full), it will adversely impact your credit. If you’re able, try to pay most or all of your balance off before your statement post. This will help keep your overall credit utilization low and improve your credit score.
HOT TIP: You may have heard that it is good for your credit score to leave a small balance on your credit card every month. This is absolutely not true. Keeping a small balance on your card will not improve your credit score and will only cost you money in interest. Always pay your credit card bills off in full and on time!
Average Age of Accounts
Your average age of accounts is the aggregate of the duration that each of your credit card accounts has been open. For example, if you have had a credit card open for 4 years, and another for 3 years, your average age of accounts is 3.5 years.
The average age of accounts is calculated by totaling the monthly ages of all accounts, then dividing this sum by the number of accounts.
This factor makes up 15% of your total credit score.
If your credit history is relatively new, it is important not to open up too many new accounts in a short timeframe. New accounts will lower your average account age, which will have a larger effect on your score if you don’t have a lot of other credit information.
The impact is not as significant as other categories, though — this factor makes up just 10% of your overall score.
Your credit mix makes up the final 10% of your credit score. While this category is generally the most confusing for people, data indicate that borrowers with a good mix of revolving credit and installment loans generally represent less risk for lenders.
In other words, if you have multiple forms of credit extended to you — say in the form of credit cards, car notes, student loans, or housing loans — you appear less risky to credit lenders.
BOTTOM LINE: As you can see, just 3 factors make up 80% of your overall credit score. While it is true that opening a new credit card can negatively impact your overall age of accounts, many other factors can actually improve with a new account if used responsibly.
How To Check Your Credit Score
In order to determine if your credit score is high enough for the Amex Platinum card or the Amex Business Platinum card, you need to know what your credit score is in the first place. But how should you go about finding out what it is?
If you already have a credit card open, then you likely already have access to your credit score. Most credit card issuers offer a free monthly credit monitoring service that keeps you informed of how your score fluctuates month to month.
If you do not already have a credit monitoring service available to you, you can also easily open an account on a site like Credit Karma. Credit Karma is a free website that helps you keep track of your credit score, gives you a breakdown of each factor, and helps monitor for any fraudulent activity. You can also check your credit score for free at each of the 3 credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian).
Business Credit Scores
If you’re applying for the Amex Business Platinum card using an EIN number, as opposed to your social security number, then American Express will perform a check of your business credit score. But what is a business credit score, and what makes it different from your personal credit score?
For starters, your business is tracked by its name, address, and employer identification number (EIN). While personal credit scores are private, business credit scores are publicly available and can be viewed by anyone by visiting one of the business credit reporting agencies like Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax Business, and Experian Business. Finally, your personal credit is scored on a scale of 300 to 850, but your business credit score is usually scored on a scale of 1 to 100.
While a business and personal credit score are different, they effectively function the same, as having a great business credit score will help you get approved for small business credit cards, take out business loans at lower rates, or qualify for lower insurance premiums.
What Credit Score Is Needed for the Amex Platinum Card and Amex Business Platinum Card?
Our recommendation for the Amex Platinum card and the Amex Business Platinum card is a credit score of 670 or higher.
If you’re applying for the Amex Business Platinum card using an EIN, then we recommend that your business credit score be 75 or higher. It might be the case that this score is lower than you were expecting, but the truth is you don’t need an 800+ credit score in order to get approved for premium credit cards!
Keep in mind that, while this is a general recommendation, there is no “minimum requirement” for the card. Likewise, there is no score that will guarantee your approval either. Applicants have been approved for both the Amex Platinum card and the Amex Business Platinum card with scores in the 600s and denied with scores in the 800s.
Your credit score is just a single factor that will be considered before Amex will approve you for the Amex Platinum card or the Amex Business Platinum card. So what else matters when banks are determining whether or not to approve you?
Hot Tip:Not sure what your credit score is considered? Learn what is a good and low credit score, plus 5 ways to boost your score.
Other Approval Considerations
Aside from your credit score, there are several other factors that can weigh heavily on whether a bank will approve you for a new credit card.
Person Income/Business Income
Your stated income on your application plays a large role in your approval odds. On average, Amex Platinum and Amex Business Platinum cardholders tend to have high incomes. However, a high income is by no means a requirement. We recommend that your annual income be at least $50,000 or higher before applying for the Amex Platinum.
The Amex Business Platinum card gives you a little more wiggle room because even if you have low business income or are just starting your business, you can still qualify for an Amex small business card. Even part-time business owners, freelancers, side hustlers, and sole proprietors are eligible for the Amex Business Platinum card.
Length of Credit
An issue that can be quite confusing if you’re new to credit is getting denied for a new credit card despite having a relatively high score. If this has happened to you, the cause might be your length of credit history.
To simplify, credit issuers deem people who are new to credit riskier than those who have been responsibly using credit for many years. We recommend that you have at least 2 years or more of blemish-free credit history before applying for the Amex Platinum card or the Amex Business Platinum card.
Tips to Boost Your Credit Score
If your credit score isn’t high enough to get approved for the Amex Platinum card or the Amex Business Platinum card, there are several ways to improve your credit score.
If you have low or no credit right now, it is by no means permanent. Your credit can be improved by following these steps:
Get a Starter Credit Card
If you have a low credit score or have never had a credit card at all, you’ll likely struggle to get approved for most credit cards.
In this case, opening a secured credit card or a card with a low limit is usually the best option. If you successfully manage the card by making on-time payments, your score will begin to improve relatively quickly.
HOT TIP: Do you need to repair or build your credit score? The Platinum Credit Card from Capital One® is a great option with no annual fee, fraud coverage, and access to a higher credit limit after making your first 5 monthly payments on time.
Get Added as an Authorized User
One easy option that can make a big difference to your score is being added as an authorized user on someone else’s credit card. It shows that someone else trusts you with their credit, and can help lower your credit utilization, improve your payment history, and increase the average age of your accounts.
However, you should only ask someone to add you as an authorized user if they are responsible with their credit. If you’re an authorized user on the account of someone who regularly carries a high balance and misses payments, this can negatively impact your score (even though you aren’t the main account holder).
On the note of authorized users, we’ve gone into detail about the benefits of being added as an authorized user for the Amex Platinum card.
Get Errors Removed
This step is helpful for everyone, even if you already have a fantastic score. If there are any inaccuracies or potential cases of fraud on your credit report, these can greatly decrease your score, and what’s worse, you may not even know about it! This is why you should regularly monitor your credit report (using a free resource) to ensure that there are no problems.
If you see anything that seems suspicious, inaccurate, or you receive an alert for a new account that’s unfamiliar to you, you need to attempt to dispute the credit error immediately. Depending on the severity of the error, you could see a major change in your credit score. Always staying on top of your score will allow you to quickly rectify any mistakes or cases of fraud, and minimize the damage to your credit score.
If you’re in the market for a premium travel credit card, the Amex Platinum card and the Amex Business Platinum card are definitely 2 of the best options on the market. Both cards offer airport lounge access, hotel elite status, and earn one of the most lucrative points currencies, Membership Rewards points.
If you have a solid annual income, a good credit score, and a few years’ worth of great credit history, you stand a solid chance of being approved for either the Amex Platinum card or the Amex Business Platinum card. If not, follow the tips outlined in this post and you’ll be on your way there in no time.
For rates and fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.