No,. American Express is not specifically for rich people, even though it does have a high level of status in many people’s minds. Applicants need good or excellent credit scores of 700+ to qualify for Amex credit cards, and you don’t need to be rich to have a good credit score.
In addition, some forums even report approvals for people with incomes as low as $25,000 per year. An income of $60,000 or higher is more likely to get you approved, though.
Why Some People Think Amex is for the Rich
The Black Card
The rumor that American Express cards are for rich people might come from the fact that one card––the Centurion “Black” Amex––is, in fact, for rich people. This card is invitation only, and it’s rumored that you must spend at least $100,000 across your Amex cards annually to be considered, though it could be much more. There is also a hefty $5,000 annual fee that cardholders must pay each year.
Another aspect of American Express credit cards that caters to the rich is the fact that some Amex cards, such as The Plum Card® from American Express, are charge cards. This means that cardholders must pay their balance in full each month, since they are not allowed to carry a balance on the card. These cards are clearly not intended for long-term borrowing, so they better suit the spending habits of those who can afford to pay their balance in full each month.
Average Spending Volume
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that the average spending volume on Amex cards is very high compared to other card networks. In 2018, for example, the average American Express cardholder spent $14,480. In contrast, the average spending across cards on the other 3 major networks that year was only $3,918.
This means that many American Express cardholders are heavy spenders, but it certainly doesn’t mean that low spenders can’t get approved for Amex cards.
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