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American Express 3X CLI Cautionary Tale

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Regular Contributor

American Express 3X CLI Cautionary Tale

Just wanted to pass this info along to the community, since the community has been helpful to me. I have noticed something about AMEX's updating of credit scores in their internal system when it comes to applications and CLIs. 

 

I first opened a Delta Gold Skymiles on 1-26-19. First AMEX card ever. SL was $1K. They HP'd EX, which was 677 at the time. Because of the prior baddies in my CRs, I thought it would be best to wait 90 days instead of 60 before I tried a 3X CLI (and because of the starter limit I had been given). In the interim, I noticed that AMEX was soft pulling my EX on or about the 27th of the month. So I figured if I waited until April 27th to request the 3x CLI, that would be 90 days, AND I would have an updated EX. The problem was that my EX dropped 10 points in February. When AMEX SP'd EX on March 27, it was a 667. When I applied for the CLI on April 27, it was an instant denial. The AMEX app was still showing my EX score was 667 (from March 27). So I kicked myself and said "I should have waited until after the updated EX score from April 27 was actually showing in the app."

 

The next morning, April 28, it updated in the app. It was then saying my EX score as of April 27 was 678. So I decided I would try and call and ask for a recon. I spoke to a CSR and said I was calling to ask for a recon because I was concerned that my recent CLI denial was based on an incorrect credit score that was from March 27. The CSR said something like "yes, I see here your EX is 667." I replied "No, that's the old one. It's 678 now, as of April 27, the date I applied for the CLI." So he said he would send it up the chain and for me to call back in a few days. When I called back a few days later, it was denied again. I was told to wait for "the letter."

 

I got the letter on 4-30-19. It was dated 4-28-19. And it said I was denied for not having a long enough relationship with AMEX (which I understood), and my FICO score of 667 (which was the old score). So that told me that even though AMEX had SP'd my EX on 4-27-19, and I had requested a recon AFTER that updated score had made it to my account, the computer was still giving them an old score. I figured that was because I had originally applied BEFORE my score had been updated AND had posted in their system (where I could see it in the app).

 

Fast forward to late May. I had gotten a pre-approval for the Delta Platinum. Having learned from the prior experience (so I thought), I said that I wasn't pulling the trigger until AFTER the updated score was visible in the app. May 27 and 28 came and went with no updated score in the app. Finally, on May 29, the updated EX score of 688 made its way to the app--but it said the score was "As of May 27." Despite the delay, I felt confident that given it had been three days since they pulled the score (even if it had just posted on the app), they would base any decisions off of the May 27 score.

 

I was wrong.

 

I first decided to try the 3x CLI. Instant approval. So I thought, "that's surely a good sign--time to go for the Delta Platinum." Instant approval, with a $1400 SL (which perplexed me since I had just been given a CLI to $3,000 minutes before on the Delta Gold). Oh well, I thought. I received the Delta Platinum yesterday (May 31). Although I had been approved for the Delta Platinum on May 29 (which is also the date on the cardmember agreement), and the AMEX app had been updated on that date and was saying my EX AS OF May 27 was 688, the "Price You Pay For Credit" letter said the Delta Platinum approval was based on an EX score of 678 from April 27! I'm assuming this was why my SL on that card was $1400.

 

I post this as maybe a cautionary tale to everyone... If you are timing your CLI request with an AMEX app FICO score update, maybe wait like a week or so after it is visible in the app to hopefully make sure it has migrated throught their network or whatever... apparently, even a few days is not long enough. And those missing points may make a difference, obviously.

Message 1 of 21
20 REPLIES 20
Valued Contributor

Re: American Express 3X CLI Cautionary Tale

There are literally hundreds of datapoints that indicate that the score used by Amex underwriting to make credit decisions lags the EX FICO score shown in your online account and in the app by approximately one month.  So its always a good idea to wait 3-4 weeks after an online score update before submitting an application.





Message 2 of 21
Regular Contributor

Re: American Express 3X CLI Cautionary Tale

Well I hadn't seen any. So my apologies for trying to share information that I had not come across on here, despite having read a lot of threads.

Message 3 of 21
Established Member

Re: American Express 3X CLI Cautionary Tale

Thank you for sharing!

9ninne
Message 4 of 21
Established Contributor

Re: American Express 3X CLI Cautionary Tale


@felipestrong wrote:

Well I hadn't seen any. So my apologies for trying to share information that I had not come across on here, despite having read a lot of threads.


https://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/Credit-Card-Applications/The-Definitive-Amex-3X-CLI-Guide/m-p/18110...

500K+ TCL / 800+ FCOs
Message 5 of 21
Regular Contributor

Re: American Express 3X CLI Cautionary Tale

Yes, I've seen that thread with 4,600+ posts. The very first post (which is the actual "CLI guide") says:

 

"Fortunately not. American Express initiates soft pulls on Experian throughout the life of an open account with random frequency. During the first 60 days, it is not uncommon for Amex to have soft pulled at least 3-4 times. The CLI approval or denial will be based on the last soft pull before the CLI request and other factors like income/rent etc. A new hard pull or soft pull is not initiated when requesting the 3X CLI. If in doubt, get a copy of your Experian report and see when Amex issued a soft pull to gauge account statistics at that snapshot and request CLI accordingly. Post 186 explains how to get your experian report and check for soft pullsIf there are concerns that the overall utilization or Amex utilization was high during the last soft pull, it might be worth waiting a few more days and then applying for CLI after Amex has issued a new soft pull."

 

It says nothing about timing. Sure, I suppose you're trying to point out that *somewhere* in that 4,600 post thread there are posts about what I just discussed. I must have missed them. My apologies to everyone. I was simply trying to make this information more readily accessible. 

Message 6 of 21
Valued Contributor

Re: American Express 3X CLI Cautionary Tale

Message 7 of 21
Regular Contributor

Re: American Express 3X CLI Cautionary Tale

Thanks for sharing.

Message 8 of 21
Established Contributor

Re: American Express 3X CLI Cautionary Tale

I didn't bother reading it either.  I had a 750 something when I apped and got a 10K CL from them.  I read up on 61/180 CLI time frames to maximize the CLI's on it but, otherwise never paid attn to when the score updated.  When I look at my full reports though and the SP's they're insane.

 

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500K+ TCL / 800+ FCOs
Message 9 of 21
Regular Contributor

Re: American Express 3X CLI Cautionary Tale

That is insane!
Message 10 of 21
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