Amex has recently been approving some credit card applications without any hard pull on the credit report.
Amex has always been a bit lenient with hard pulls: their hard pulls get combined and they also don’t always hard-pull your credit when denying you.
Numerous Reddit users noted that their recent Amex card applications haven’t been resulting in any hard pull at all.
People first noticed it on the leaked 100k personal Platinum applications, but it’s also been found on just about every other card too, both charge cards and credit cards. Most of the reports I’ve seen were regarding personal cards; unclear if business cards have the same leniency.
Initially the thinking was that if you’ve applied within the past 30-days they won’t do another hard pull, but some people have seen this even beyond 30-days. YMMV.
It’s not clear why they aren’t consistently hard pulling. It might be some sort of glitch or maybe they use more leeway with soft-pulling than other banks do or maybe they have other verification methods outside the standard credit bureaus.
I would have said that this is a new policy not to hard pull existing cardmembers, but there’s one data point indicating no pull for a first card which is really crazy. There’s a good chance that data point is an anomaly, and the real change here is that they stopped hard-pulling for existing cardholders. This makes sense.
In conclusion it’s worth noting that of late there’s a bigger emphasis on the number of cards approved as opposed to hard pulls, especially with regards to Chase and their 5/24 rule. Still always nice to save a hard pull on a credit card application. And if you apply for an Amex business card, you might get away with no hard pull and there won’t be a new account showing since Amex business cards don’t report to the credit bureaus.
Please share your own recent data points with Amex applications in the comments. Click here to learn how to monitor your credit for free.