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American Express adds ‘Apply with confidence’ tool prior to submitting applications

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Wouldn’t you love to know whether you’re getting approved for a credit card before submitting the application and getting an inquiry on your credit report? That dream may be a step closer to reality, now that American Express is rolling out an “Apply with confidence” tool.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through this new feature, including how it works, where you can (and can’t) see it and an evaluation of how useful it is.

American Express ‘Apply with confidence’ tool

header image for new Apply With Confidence tool on American Express website

The new “Apply with confidence” tool allows you to see whether you’ll be approved before submitting your application for an American Express card. In this way, you can fill out the application as normal, agree to the terms and then know whether you’ll be approved. This is done through a soft pull on your credit to determine whether you’ll be accepted. If Amex says you should be approved, then you can accept the card, at which point American Express will do any necessary hard pull on your credit.

Screenshot of application process using the new tool

If this feature is available during your application, you will see information about it on the first page, above the fields where you fill out your personal information to start the application. Disclosures on the page will inform you that you can know whether you’re approved without affecting your credit score and briefly outline the process for you.

screenshot of application terms using Apply with confidence on Amex website

After completing the application, you’ll have a chance to review your information before you submit it. At the top of this page, you’ll also see terms indicating that there is no hard pull and no impact on your credit score at this stage. That’s because Amex will only conduct a soft pull during this preliminary stage.

Related: How your credit scores work

Availability of the new feature

screenshot of information about Apply with confidence tool

This tool is aimed at individuals applying for an American Express personal card for the first time, according to a spokesperson for American Express who indicated this feature should be available to those people online and when calling to inquire about cards. “We think it will be especially useful for those consumers who are unsure if they’ll qualify for a card.”

Thus, this feature will not be available if you are already logged in to your American Express account and browsing available credit cards.

How useful is this tool?

For those who already have an American Express card, this new feature will have limited value. That’s because American Express doesn’t tend to perform hard inquiries on existing customers when deciding whether to approve them for another credit card. Moreover, the tool is not aimed at these individuals.

Screenshot of what this tool looks like

However, if you don’t have any American Express accounts at present, this tool can be handy. Rather than submitting an application, having an inquiry show up on your credit report and then finding out you were denied, you can cancel the application before the hard pull.

Note that this new feature works alongside the Amex pop-up tool, which determines your eligibility for a welcome offer. That is different from this new feature determining whether you will be approved for a new account.

Bottom line

American Express is rolling out a new feature called “Apply with confidence.” It’s not available on all cards or to all users at present.

However, if it’s available during your application, you can know whether your card application should be approved before a hard pull affects your credit report and credit score.

Amex also says prospective applicants should be able to access this new tool through partners’ websites, which would apply to credit cards from brands like Delta and Hilton.

We would love to see additional banks implement this feature.