As credit card issuers scramble to make their offerings more attractive to increase their customer base, American Express is making moves that could benefit new cardmembers even more. The issuer announced that it will now push preapproved offers in CardMatch, a tool that gives credit card applicants access to prequalified or preapproved credit card offers.
While the issuer has presented both prequalified offers and enhanced introductory bonuses in CardMatch for quite some time, these new preapproved offers represent a step up for potential applicants. A preapproved offer is your best chance at knowing you’ll be approved for the card once you apply, without a guarantee or hard pull.
If you’ve been contemplating getting an American Express credit card, going through CardMatch could be one of the best ways to apply. Why? You can better gauge your chances of approval without a full application (and associated hard credit inquiry) as well as potentially score a significantly increased welcome bonus.
What is CardMatch?
The CardMatch tool matches people with personalized credit card offers based on their credit profile. It collects a small amount of personal information to match users with credit card offers they are most likely to be approved for.
Another appealing feature of this tool is that it uses a soft pull, which doesn’t affect your credit score, to match you with credit card offers. Should you decide to apply for an offer, the card issuer will go forth with a hard credit inquiry, but you can decide whether or not you go forward with the application once the card offer is presented to you.
Prequalified versus preapproved credit card offers
Prequalified offers are generated when a card issuer has access to basic personal and financial information such as your income, monthly housing payment and Social Security number, as well as a soft pull of your credit profile. In a nutshell, prequalified offers mean you have higher approval odds for the credit card in question because you meet the issuer’s basic qualification criteria.
A preapproved offer, however, is slightly different. In this case, the card issuer has spent more money and time in the pre-screening process to identify the best applicants for their credit cards. If you are presented with a preapproval offer, it can signify the highest approval odds an issuer can offer without pulling your credit. In fact, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires that card offers that result from prescreening constitute a firm offer of credit.
Note, neither preapproved or prequalified offers are a guarantee of approval. There is always the chance that the issuer finds something in the hard credit pull that disqualifies you from the card. But, these offers can still offer more peace of mind.
Which Amex cards are available in CardMatch?
Again, one of the reasons you’d want to apply for an Amex card through CardMatch is because of elevated welcome bonuses. Some people are reporting offers as high as 150,000 Membership Rewards points. Not everyone will get access to the same targeted offers, but since there’s no hard credit pull, it doesn’t hurt to check.
At the moment, American Express has launched special offers through CardMatch for the following cards:
The current welcome bonus for non-targeted offers is 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months, up from 75,000 points. However, if you use CardMatch, you could get 125,000 or even up to 150,000 points after spending $6,000 on your new Amex Platinum card in the first six months. With many newly upgraded features, credit and benefits, this offer is definitely worth checking out.
The current welcome bonus for non-targeted offers is 60,000 Membership Rewards points with your Amex Gold card after spending $4,000 within six months of opening your account. There are also reports of people getting higher Membership Rewards point offers as part of their preapproved offer, too.
Additional Amex cards that you might be preapproved for include these:
How can I get a preapproved Amex offer with a higher welcome bonus?
You can use Bankrate’s CardMatch tool to find out if you are eligible for a preapproved offer from American Express. Once you get to the CardMatch site, simply enter your information, and you’ll be matched with various credit card offers based on your credit profile. If you are eligible for a preapproved offer from Amex, you could see something like this:
Then, you’ll see the American Express cards you’re eligible for, along with details about the welcome bonus, perks, benefits, etc. Even if you aren’t matched with an Amex offer, the tool can find other credit card offers that match your qualifications.
By simply checking CardMatch, you can see where you stand and which credit cards you are most likely to be approved for—all with no adverse effects on your credit score.