What credit score do you need for the Amex Blue Cash Preferred?

Sep 17, 2020

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If you’re looking for a great cash-back credit card to help you rack up rewards on common everyday spending purchases, you may have checked out the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. The card earns an impressive 6% back on U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in spending each calendar year; then 1%) and select U.S. streaming services, 3% back on transit and U.S. gas stations and 1% on everything else — $95 annual fee (see rates and fees). Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.

Sound like a great card option for you? Before you apply, make sure you have the right credit score to make sure you have the best chances of getting approved for the card.

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Credit score required for the Blue Cash Preferred

(Photo by The Points Guy)
(Photo by The Points Guy)

There is no specific credit score required to be approved for the Blue Cash Preferred. Like other issuers, Amex looks at a number of factors to make an approval decision. So having a certain credit score won’t automatically mean you’ll be approved for the card.  Amex does recommend having “good to excellent” credit to apply for the card, which means you should aim for at least a 670 score. It’s best to have a 700+ credit score, especially with the current economic situation and many credit card issuers pulling back on approvals.

Related: What is a good credit score?

The Blue Cash Preferred is a mid-tier card, which means you’ll typically have an easier time applying for it than premium travel credit cards such as The Platinum Card® from American Express or the Chase Sapphire Reserve. In fact, TPG staffer Austin Konkle actually got the Blue Cash Preferred as his first credit card, even with his limited credit history.

Related: My mom got her first rewards card after using cash for 50 years

How to check your credit score

American Express actually offers a way for you to check your credit score (even if you aren’t already a cardholder) called MyCredit Guide, which gives you access to your Vantage 3.0 score. Upon creating an account or logging in, you’ll be able to see your credit score on an easy-to-read scale. You’ll also be able to see how your credit score measures up, a summary of which Amex cards you’re most likely to be approved for, a credit summary that gives you a status update on your late payments, opened accounts, current balances and other factors that contribute to your credit score.

Screenshot courtesy of Amex's website.
Screenshot courtesy of Amex’s website.


There are also a number of ways you can check your credit score with other issuers and third-party services.

Related: How to check your credit score 

What other factors go into a credit card approval?

While your credit score is an important factor that issuers look at when determining whether or not you are approved for a credit card, it’s not the only thing they look at. Credit card issuers don’t share a full list of factors or how heavily each weighs in an approval, but here are a few of the general things credit issuers will look at:

  • Payment history – This plays into your credit score, too, but issuers will also take your credit history into account separately when looking at an application. Paying your bills on time and in full is a signal to credit card issuers that you are a low-risk lender, which increases your chances of being approved.
  • Income – On your application, you likely had to list your estimated annual income. Creditors use this to help make sure that you are earning enough money to pay off a credit card bill each month. This also plays a role in your credit limit given initially.
  • Number of accounts open – Many issuers will limit the number of credit cards you can have open, or at least limit how much overall credit they will extend to you across accounts. Make sure you know the application restrictions of each credit card issuer before you apply for a card.

This certainly isn’t an exhaustive list of factors — some issuers take into account existing customer relationships and more when considering whether to approve you for a new card. And keep in mind the requirements issuers look for constantly changes depending on the economy and other external factors that you have no control over. For example, because of the current economic state, it’s harder to be approved for a credit card in general because many issuers have made their approval criteria stricter.

Bottom line

This isn’t to say that you have to have a 670 credit score to have any hope of being approved, nor is it a guarantee that those with 700+ scores will be eligible for the card. However, it does give you a better picture of your approval odds based on your current credit score. If you fall at the lower end of this range, there are a few things you can do to help increase your score before applying.

Check out TPG’s Blue Cash Preferred credit card review for more details. 

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred, please click here.

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