Can I get approved for a Discover, Visa, or MasterCard after I'm approved for an American Express Gold Card?

By , CardRatings contributor
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American Express and Citi are CardRatings.com advertisers.

The short answer: yes. If you already have the kind of credit report that would qualify you for one of American Express's prestige charge cards, you'll probably be okay to apply for another credit card to round out your wallet. However, our sources tell us that you'll want to take three important steps to ensure that you get the best possible credit card deal without wrecking your credit score:

  • Vary the amounts you spend on your American Express Gold Card. Unlike credit cards, an American Express charge card carries no pre-set spending limit. That can confuse some credit scoring algorithms, especially from companies that like to track your overall credit utilization. Instead of reporting your credit limit to the major reporting agencies, American Express reports the spread between your current balance and your highest-ever monthly balance. According to FICO spokesman Craig Watts, you can prevent this from hurting your credit score by using your Gold Card to make a few very large purchases, then using it for smaller routine expenses. That will fool scoring systems into thinking you're using just a fraction of the credit available on your American Express card.
  • Make all your credit card payments on time. Missing a monthly minimum payment can hurt your chances of getting approved for any kind of credit card in the future. Since your Gold Card requires you to pay your balance in full every month, ensure that your spending habits align with what you're comfortably able to pay at the end of every statement cycle.
  • Respond to pre-approved credit card offers sparingly. Your credit score will take a short-term drop every time you accept a new credit card offer, so you may want to wait a few months before applying for another account. Then, use our credit card database to find the card that fits your lifestyle the best, so you don't damage your credit score with too many external inquiries from prospective lenders.

As much as we love American Express, not every merchant welcomes your Gold Card. That's why selecting a complementary Visa or MasterCard can help you prepare for your daily routine or for any upcoming travel plans on your calendar.


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