What Credit Bureau Does American Express Use? (2023)

American Express (AMEX) will pull your credit report primarily from Experian with a likelihood of 70.1%, based on historical information data gathered from creditboards.com between 2002 and 2022.

A distant second is Equifax with a chance of being pulled by American Express at 19%, with TransUnion coming in third accounting for 11% of the total number of pulls.

What credit bureau does American Express use?
What credit bureau does American Express (AMEX) use?

These numbers are a reflection of all hard inquiry credit pulls that American Express has performed from all over the United States.

Therefore, it may be the case that American Express prefers to pull from one particular bureau that another on a state by state basis.

The maps below show the areas in the United States where each credit bureau is primarily being pulled by American Express.

US states where American Express (AMEX) pulls primarily from Experian

US states where American Express (AMEX) pulls primarily from Equifax

US states where American Express (AMEX) pulls primarily from TransUnion

There are only a handful of states where American Express chooses to pull preferably from either Equifax or TransUnion.

The majority of states have their credit pulls originating almost exclusively from Experian.

It is also important to note that the data gathered includes pulls:

  • associated with applications for credit cards, auto loans, etc
  • regardless of whether the application was successful or denied with an adverse action notice

Does American Express pull from the same credit bureau for each state?

No, the credit bureau from which American Express pulls your credit report is not always the same between states.

However, out of all states, American Express will pull from Experian for 45 of them, which is a resounding majority.

Below is a table which breaks down the historical data for each state, providing the likelihood for American Express to pull from each credit bureau.

The green percentage values indicate the credit bureau from which American Express has traditionally pulled the most for that state.

District of Columbia0.00%100.00%0.00%
New Hampshire0.00%80.00%20.00%
New Jersey11.97%67.52%20.51%
New Mexico0.00%85.71%14.29%
New York16.03%67.56%16.03%
North Carolina6.35%65.08%28.57%
North Dakota0.00%50.00%50.00%
Rhode Island0.00%36.36%63.64%
South Carolina9.52%78.57%11.90%
South Dakota100.00%0.00%0.00%
West Virginia0.00%50.00%50.00%
Credit bureaus from which American Express pulls for each US state (source: creditboards.com)

If a particular state is not listed, this would mean that there was insufficient data for that state.

It is evident from the data presented in the table, that the majority of the states are heavily in favor of pulling from Experian.

There are outliers however, with South Dakota and Rhode Island favoring TransUnion and Equifax respectively, albeit with only around 10 consumers providing data.

Note that the credit bureau from which American Express pulls your credit report will vary depending on the state in which you reside and the credit card for which you are applying.

Will American Express always prefer to use one credit bureau over another?

Yes, American Express will lean heavily towards Experian when pulling your credit report, with a likelihood of 70%.

The data has been gathered from consumers who have applied for credit and have decided to share the information found in their credit report.

Unfortunately, American Express does not disclose information regarding the credit bureau from which they pull for certain credit card applications.

Therefore, the information provided here should only be used as an indication of historical credit pulls, and should not be misconstrued as being true for all scenarios.

The heatmap below displays the states where American Express has historically pulled from Experian. The darker colors indicate larger numbers of credit pulls.

US states where American Express pulls from Experian the most

Compare this to credit reports pulled from Equifax and TransUnion below. What’s evident is that the areas covered by all the maps are quite similar, which indicates that American Express still pulls credit reports from Equifax and TransUnion for all states, but at considerably smaller numbers.

US states where American Express pulls from Equifax the most

US states where American Express pulls from TransUnion the most

The only exception is Rhode Island which has indicated that Equifax is the favorite by a small margin.

Again, the underlying motive for American Express to pull from Equifax in this case as opposed to Experian or TransUnion is unknown. Perhaps it may be more cost effective in those cases.

Is there any advantage in knowing which credit bureau American Express uses?

Having prior knowledge on the credit bureau that American Express uses, will allow you to focus on improving your credit report for that particular credit bureau.

Perhaps your credit report from all credit bureaus is quite poor and contains derogatory remarks associated with collections, charge-offs, or other delinquencies.

Knowing which credit bureau American Express has a high likelihood of pulling from in your situation, is potentially critical in getting a successful credit application.

In fact, as this article has mentioned on numerous occasions, American Express will prefer to pull from Experian, and so focussing on improving your credit report with them, should be your priority.

Regardless of whether you are applying for credit or not, careful and calculated steps should always be taken to constantly maintain a strong credit report with all bureaus and to use credit wisely.

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