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How difficult is AmEx Hilton card approval?

New Contributor

How difficult is AmEx Hilton card approval?

I apped for the AmEx SPG card in my most recent app spree and was denied, despite a 746 EX score, low utilization, and no baddies (though there were a couple recent inquiries). I learned shortly afterwards that it's one of the hardest AmEx cards to get (and I don't have an existing relationship with AmEx other than being an AU).

 

I'm thinking in my next mini-app spree (of a whole 2 cards in February) of getting the no fee AmEx Hilton HHonors card - in part due to a wedding in another city that I'll be a groomsman for that's being held at a Hilton, and in part due to the fact that there's no AF and the rate of return is good for gas, groceries, and drugstores. I don't want to app and get denied again though.

 

So, how hard is this card to get compared to other AmEx cards?

 

Credit profile:

  • 9 open CCs (2 closed) with current AAoA of 18 months. Much of AAoA is from an old AmEx card I was an AU on in 2005 - I opened quite a few new accounts in October/November this year (opened 4, reporting as AU on one added in Nov)
  • Total CL of all cards $42,800. Highest CL is $7,500
  • Util < 10% on all cards (I think it's probably around 1-2% overall)
  • Income ~$40k (getting married in January - do I include her income as well on CC apps? That would bump it up to $70k)
  • Inquiries on EX: 2 in 11/12, 1 in 10/12, 4 over a year old
Recent FICO scores: TU - 755 (mortgage lender pull)
Message 1 of 16
15 REPLIES
Blogger

Re: How difficult is AmEx Hilton card approval?

Total open limit being 100% of income is not working in your favor. I'd say, use your new household income for your application. Congrats by the way!

Message 2 of 16
Valued Contributor

Re: How difficult is AmEx Hilton card approval?

Also your AAoA is low. Keep your scores up and you will get there.


Starting Score: EQ 551 TU 548 CK 607on 6/8/12, EX 542(AMEX pull 3/4/12)
Current Score: EQ 710 TU 727 EX 704 CK 719(FAKO-EX 697, EQ 697, TU 697)
Goal Score: 750

Take the FICO Fitness Challenge
Message 3 of 16
Super Contributor

Re: How difficult is AmEx Hilton card approval?

I got approved for Hilton Amex three about 3 months ago and the CL is $2K. The score was 750.  I currently have other Amex cards. It wasn't instantly approved.

 

 

Ron.

Message 4 of 16
Established Contributor

Re: How difficult is AmEx Hilton card approval?

1. What were the listed reasons for denial of SPG?

 

2. Generally, cobranded Amex cards have lower underwriting criteria than pure amex cards like bce, bcp or blue sky. The general internet opinion is that the Amex Delta Gold is the easiest to get. I'm not sure where you heard SPG was amongst the hardest to get, I hadn't heard that.

 

3. I got the surpass (the AF version) this past summer with a 674 ex fico. However, I already had a zync that I'd run about 20k through in the preceeding 3 months, an income >100k, a DTI <25% and only got an initial CL of 1000. This month, with a fico I assume is pretty close to what it was, I got the costco TE card with a 5k limit. The costco is traditionally much harder to get than the hilton, but I got a higher credit limit and was instant approved. My point is that things like income, spending pattern and history really seem to matter at amex, so just stating your score doesn't tell much. Do you use the card you are an ACM on? Do you ever pay the bill?

 

4. Your income is going to be a barrier. Amex is a spend-centric company. No, you shouldn't include your household income, you aren't applying for a joint account. If your spending fails to match your stated income (70k), they may request proof of income via tax documents. You won't have them, since you don't make 70k. You could end up getting your account closed. I know there are lenders that ask household income, but amex isn't one of them.

In wallet: Ink Plus 10k, AMEX TE 25k. In bag: CSP 16k, USAA WMC 15k, Hyatt 13k, United MPE 12k, AMEX HHonors 3k. In SD: Cap 1 QS 5k, Discover IT 7k. FICO 08 says my EQ is now 844, was 510 in 2010.
Message 5 of 16
New Contributor

Re: How difficult is AmEx Hilton card approval?


Cdnewmanpac wrote:

1. What were the listed reasons for denial of SPG?

 

3. My point is that things like income, spending pattern and history really seem to matter at amex, so just stating your score doesn't tell much. Do you use the card you are an ACM on? Do you ever pay the bill?

 


Jeez, I thought I stated quite a bit more than just my score in my post. The reasons listed were: "Amount of credit available on accounts," "Too many recent credit checks," "Your FICO score" (which I thought was curious), "Length of time accounts have been established." I can understand 2 and 4. At the time I apped for this card, I wasn't approaching my income in CLs. I either had 21.3k or 13.8k at the time (not sure if my 7.5k CL was reporting at the time), so I am still a bit surprised at the "Amount of credit available..." reason (not sure if they mean that's too much or too little, but I felt like I had a decent medium). I just recently got the AU card, and yes, I do use it (and pay the bill), though of course that's not applicable to the past denial.

 

As for AmEx being spend-centric, oh well, I guess that's life. I'm a frugal spender and a saver - that's why I got into CCs to begin with - to save money. Nice to be aware that I shouldn't list household income though. I was uncertain about that.

Recent FICO scores: TU - 755 (mortgage lender pull)
Message 6 of 16
Established Contributor

Re: How difficult is AmEx Hilton card approval?


The reasons listed were: "Amount of credit available on accounts," "Too many recent credit checks," "Your FICO score" (which I thought was curious), "Length of time accounts have been established." I can understand 2 and 4. At the time I apped for this card, I wasn't approaching my income in CLs. I either had 21.3k or 13.8k at the time (not sure if my 7.5k CL was reporting at the time), so I am still a bit surprised at the "Amount of credit available..." reason (not sure if they mean that's too much or too little, but I felt like I had a decent medium). I just recently got the AU card, and yes, I do use it (and pay the bill), though of course that's not applicable to the past denial.

 


In my opinion you were prime to recon that decline and had a decent chance to get it after explaining the reasons. Would have been worth the attempt in the form of a letter as it cost you a pull anyhow. As far a household income don't do it unless you are willing to lose the card IF you ever get the dreaded financial review. DO make note at what you listed as income on prior apps and keep that figure in mind as you do new AMEX apps as I believe they keep track of that stuff. It's understandable that people show increased income but doubling it would be cause for suspicion. 

I'm not so sure they monitor the spend on the card(s) compared to your income in great detail. Seems a bit odd to expect you to spend $70k on a card if you make $70k. We all like our various AMEX products but to spend every earned dollar on it is unreasonable. What I believe to be a larger red flag is that if you state $70k income yet spend $250k on the card. 

 

I was declined for that card earlier this year but it was my first app with AMEX (like you I should have reconed but did not know how). I eventually tried for a Delta Platinum and got it, then personal Gold card and got it, then Business Gold and got it then Business Delta Reserve and got it. 

Message 7 of 16
New Contributor

Re: How difficult is AmEx Hilton card approval?

I tried to recon over the phone, and they wouldn't let me. I called customer service twice, and the second time, he said he'd go ahead and put it through for a review (I never got to talk to a credit analyst), and I got a letter a week later saying "We won't reconsider an application unless there's an error in your credit report." You're right though that I should have sent a letter - I didn't think to do that until I read it a few days ago.

Recent FICO scores: TU - 755 (mortgage lender pull)
Message 8 of 16
Regular Contributor

Re: How difficult is AmEx Hilton card approval?

Thanks to the OP for starting this thread (and potentially bringing up some problems with Amex recon?) I would love to get some more takes on the original question. Doing some long-term app planning (like Jan 2014 long-term haha)
EX: 758 (10/12), TU: ???, EQ: ???

BankAmericard Travel Rewards // Citi Forward // Amex Blue Cash Preferred // Gap Visa
Message 9 of 16
Valued Contributor

Re: How difficult is AmEx Hilton card approval?

I'm getting nervous now. Apping for BCE in Jan. I need Amex to soft me still. They haven't since 11/11/12.
2013 Approvals: Discover IT - 3/1, Amex BCE - 3/4, CSP - 5/4, Barclay Ring - 6/12, BoA Privileges Cash - 6/27, Citi TY Preferred - 8/6, OCCU Duck - 11/4, USBank (Cash+) - 11/22, Wells Fargo - 12/21, Nordstrom - 12/29

12/19/2013, $100k+ Available Credit. Total Util: 0-1%
Message 10 of 16