The term “blacklist” sounds ominous. In truth, though, American Express just does what every other credit-card company does: It studies your financial health before deciding whether to approve you for their credit cards.
The difference is that American Express seems to have higher standards.
I use the word “seems” for a reason. American Express is secretive about its standards for approval. Few outside the company knows, for instance, exactly what credit score you’ll need to qualify for a Green card, or how much debt consumers can have and still earn a Platinum card.
In general, though, it seems that American Express demands that its customers have credit scores of at least 700 on the popular FICO credit-scoring system.
Fortunately, this is a fairly simple task, though it will require discipline and maturity on your part.
The secret to boosting your credit score is to make all of your monthly payments on time and cut down on your outstanding credit-card debt. That’s it. Don’t fall for the hype from companies that promise to raise your credit scores overnight. Unless you have serious errors in your credit report, there is no legal way to raise your credit score by a significant amount in such a short period of time.
If you pay down your debts and mail out your bills on time, your three-digit credit score will improve. This is a long process, though; it may take a year or more until your score is high enough for American Express.
While your waiting, you can always apply to credit-card companies that are less picky; they are out there, and many of them offer cards that come with generous rewards programs and solid interest rates. American Express, remember, is far from your only option when it comes to credit.
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