How should I deal with the AMEX Explorer card application rejection?

Hi there,

I just made an application for the AMEX Explorer Card for the 240k sign up bonus and got rejected. They said they aren’t able to tell me why exactly I have been rejected, which I found strange.

I am on 78k p.a salary, live with my parents which means my living expenses are quite low and my only debt is my HECS debt. This is the first card I have ever applied for as I have a few large expenses coming, but have no idea why they would reject the application.

Hopefully someone on this thread could help explain it to me?


If you haven’t held any credit cards previously, your chances of getting approved do get diminished. Have you checked your credit score with a credit reporting agency?

Ok, I didn’t know that. Thought it was based on the eligibility criteria and whether there are any other existing loans/large living expenses.

I will definitely check my credit score now with a credit reporting agency. Is there any specific one you recommend?

Thanks again

Finder credit score is giving me a 824 credit rating

Just FYI, financial institutions all give the same generic response if they reject you.
They will never tell you exactly why you were rejected.

You have to work it out through your own trial and error.

Without knowing anything about that particular offer, my advice is to start way smaller perhaps.

Hi @apatel898

I do agree with @graham that possibly your best course of action should be to go to the bank that you have your salary put into, and apply for a card from them. Ask for a low credit limit. Then spend a few months (maybe six months?) making your monthly payments on time, so AmEx and the credit reporting agencies can see that you have a history of being able to use credit responsibly. Then try again. The 240k sign-up bonus will return sooner or later.

My only other thought… you say that this is “the first card” you have applied for, but AmEx would have checked not just card applications but all credit applications. This can include new mobile phone plans, using buy-now-pay-later services, etc. Possibly something like that was taken into account?

Ultimately it’s a mystery why your application was rejected and probably it always will be. If you wait a few months your credit rating won’t take much of a hit, and then my best guess would be that you’ll be more likely to have success if you apply for a credit card from your bank.


Thanks @sixtyeight & @graham for your advice! Will definitely take it on board.

I’ve never used any BNPL services and I was only applying for a 5k credit limit with AMEX. I know ANZ (the bank my salary goes into) offer minimum 6k credit limits on their ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum card and the ANZ Rewards Platinum card which would mean if I am getting rejected for a 5k credit limit with AMEX, I definitely wouldn’t be able to get a 6k credit limit card with ANZ. Just seems really odd as they are targeting new customers yet are declining applications despite having an “excellent credit score of 824” and meeting all minimum eligibility requirements.

Nevertheless, as you both mention, it looks like it will be forever a mystery as to why the application got rejected so will have to look elsewhere.


@apatel898 it’s not quite as simple as “AmEx rejected me for $5k so ANZ will reject me for $6k”. You have a history with ANZ so they know you better, so my guess is that they’d be more likely to approve your application.

Just be aware that credit rating agencies see multiple applications for credit in a short period of time as possible evidence of financial stress, so be careful about applying for any credit card within 3 months of your application with AmEx.

Ah I see. I will wait another few months before applying for anything else. Thank you for the advice. Really appreciate it.

I was on a lower salary than you, plus had some credit card debt (~2-3k) with NAB, and I got approved for AMEX Explorer. I was also on a temporary visa as well.

So I guess either things have changed in the last 3~years, or it is just a matter of having a previously good credit card history.

I love AMEX and that specific card. I am kinda bummed I have cancelled it. I will definitely reapply once my 18 months have passed.

Yeah, something seems odd here. Think it’s more leaning towards having previous good credit history as opposed to none at all.

That card offer was too good to not apply for haha. Lesson learnt I guess and will have to start off with an ANZ card in a few months time hopefully.

Thought I would update everyone on the situation.

So, I rang AMEX again asking what the issue was and the new accounts team member said it was because they couldn’t verify my work status. To clarify, AMEX never asked for any supporting documents before rejecting me on Tuesday. So, I gave them my work email and completed two very weirdly sent identity verification checks. I thought it was a scam to be honest, because as someone who works in Cybersecurity, it wasn’t well designed at all.

I gave AMEX another ring today to see whether these were legitimate identity verification checks and they were able to confirm it was. I was then able to pass all their checks and send through a copy of my last 3 months bank statements for income verification (another process which did not occur on Tuesday when I was initially rejected).

Hopefully it gets accepted now - just incredibly confusing, the steps I had to go through and the fact they never did any identity verification nor income verification prior to rejecting me on Tuesday.

Thanks again for everyones helpful tips though!

1 Like