Since you burned them in 2011 it is going to be awhile before they will give you another shot. AMEX has a long memory. Time is all that will help with this.
Since you were instantly denied, that usually means you a "blacklisted" and they don't even do a HP, its done internally.
I suspect you will be blacklisted for a minimum of 10 years. Others have reported getting off the AMEX blacklist but, it took a very long time.
When they say AMEX has a LONG memory, they aren't kidding. I got a card fresh out of high school, in my second year of college in 1989. Life happened, mistakes were made, lots and lots and lots of them unfortunately. I'm on the road to recovery for the 3rd time (hoping I have finally got this thing figured out) and after burning AMEX back in the mid 1990s. JUST got approved for an Amex Blue Cash every day card yesterday, and guess what it has at the top of my online profile? My name and "member since 1989" I sure did think they'd forgotten abot that card from almost 30 years ago. Guess not.
In 2011 I was approved for 2 Amex cards, Amex gold and the Amex green. I was fairly young, and did not take care of these cards and eventually went to charge off. Now my credit is good around 780 after the charge offs dropped off my credit report.
I recently applied for an Amex gold but was instantly denied. Will I ever get my hands on Amex again?
How muhc did you end up owing them? Sometimes if people only owed say 2K or less, they will just pay AMEX back and you are instantly off the blacklist. You might also be able to offer them something like half and see if that will get you off the blacklist. They usuallly don't tell you in advance but if they accept your money you are likely good to go.
To say that Amex has a long memory is an understatement! I had a AMEX Green charge-off when I was 19. It was my fault I thought it was a 'credit card'. Nine new financed cars and 2 condo's later my PRG says 'member since 1984'. I started appyling again 10 years ago. My AMEX PRG is now 15 months old!
I confess that I am a bit of a fanboy of AmEx. I have had my Platinum since the early days so I have been around them a long time. I have seen this before in my industry with colleagues, and as the other good folks here point out, it will be a very long time before they forget. I have seen 10 years and I have another buddy from college that hasn't ever gotten back. Think the late 70's - early eighties...
I will suggest that you pay them the back money you owe them if you are interested in re-establishing a business relationship. From what I have gathered through time, they seem much more amenable once your debt is paid.
I am on their blacklist because of my 2008 Chapter 13. I have no plans to app with them again. Good luck to you. I have found my credit union cards serve my needs just great. Again, best of luck.