American Express business loans review
Streamlined financing straight from your credit card provider.
finder.com’s rating: 4.3 / 5.0
- Best for Amex cardholders looking for a fast application process.
- Pick something else if you want long-term funding or don’t have an Amex card.
Anna Serio is a trusted loans expert who's published more than 800 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. A former editor of a newspaper in Beirut, Anna writes about personal, student, business and car loans. Today, digital publications like Fundera, Business.com, and ValueWalk feature her professional commentary, and she earned an Expert Contributor in Finance badge from review site Best Company in 2020.
A fast, painless application is the main draw for American Express business loans — but it’s only available if you already have an Amex business card. You can check your rate by logging in to your account and completing the application by answering a few additional questions.
But if you’re looking to fund a long-term project, this isn’t the right choice for you. It only offers loans up to $75,000 and terms only run as long as three years, which is shorter than what you’ll find with most term loans.
Not sold on Amex? Find a different lender below.
Does American Express offer business loans?
Yes, American Express offers unsecured fixed-rate loans for small businesses. You have two options:
- Direct deposit business loan. Financing for one-time expenses to help grow your business. Use it to cover the cost of moving, opening another location, buying inventory in bulk — just about any large expense that can give your business an edge.
- Credit card debt consolidation. Use this loan to consolidate debt from up to four US bank-issued commercial credit cards.
How much will this loan cost me?
American Express business loan rates run from 6.98% to 19.97% APR with a choice of terms from six months to three years. You can borrow between $3,500 and $75,000.
Use the calculator below to find out how much you might pay each month and in total, based on the rates, terms and loan amounts you’re interested in.
Business loan calculatorSee how much you'll pay
|Loan terms (in years)|
How it works
Only borrowers with near-perfect credit, high revenue and in excellent standing with American Express will qualify for the low 6.98% APR. But if your repayments just barely fit into your budget or your credit is lacking, you might expect a rate closer to 19.97%.
Your loan amount and term might also affect your rate.
What do I need to qualify?
To qualify for an American Express business loan, you must meet the following criteria:
- American Express Basic or Business Cardmember in good standing
- US citizen or legal resident
- Age of majority in your state
To qualify for debt consolidation, you can have no more than four business credit cards issued by US banks with:
- At least $1,000 in credit card debt per card
- At least $3,500 in credit card debt overall
There are no hard credit requirements, but Amex bases its fees on your creditworthiness, your standing with Amex, your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio and aspects of your financial history.
What information do I need to apply?
We called Amex to confirm specific documents it might require for loan approval. Turns out that because you’re an Amex business cardholder, Amex already has a lot of the info it needs about you and your finances.
If any additional documentation is required, Amex will let you know during the application process.
What industries does Amex work with?
American Express doesn’t work with all industries. Its customer service team would not specify which industries are excluded without an account number when we called to ask. Your best bet to find out if your industry is eligible is to prequalify or call in to customer service with your account number.
What else does American Express offer businesses?
Amex offers services to business owners that go beyond small business loans, including:
- Merchant financing. Short-term commercial loans up to $2 million with daily repayments based on credit card sales.
- Complimentary signs and supplies. Get American Express decals, register signs, business card holders and more for free.
- Payment processing solutions. Online tools to simplify managing your credit card payments.
- Fraud prevention. Multiple online and offline tools for verifying customer IDs.
Pros and cons
Here’s a snapshot of what you might like and not like about the American Express business loan.
- Simple application
- Transparent about costs
- Hard credit check after approval, not before
- Only for Amex business cardholders
- Short loan terms only up to 3 years — other lenders offer longer terms
- Only borrow up to $75,000
See other top business loan options
Is American Express legit?
Yes, American Express is one of the most widely used credit card and merchant service companies. It protects all information you enter online with SSL encryption. And it’s up front about most information you need to make a meaningful comparison with other providers, including rates, terms and fees.
Do American Express business loans get good customer reviews?
American Express itself gets mostly negative customer reviews as of March 2020. But these are mainly about other Amex products — mainly, its credit cards. Most reviews are complaints about customer service, namely difficulty getting an error fixed. Some customers also complained about being surprised by fees.
How do I apply?
Follow these steps to apply for an American Express business loan:
- Go to the American Express business loans website and click Check Your Rate.
- Sign in to your account by entering your user ID and password, or create an account by hitting Create New Online Account.
- Once logged in, review your potential loan offer and follow the directions to apply. You should get a decision within a few minutes.
- Choose how much you would like to borrow and your loan term — 6 months to 3 years — to see what your monthly payments might be.
- Review the terms and conditions of your loan if approved and sign the promissory note.
What happens after I apply?
After you apply, American Express runs your application through an algorithm and gives you a decision in a few seconds in most cases. If you’re approved and accept the offer, American Express runs a hard credit check.
Your funds should be disbursed between three and five business days after your application is accepted. Contact Amex by calling the number on the back of your card if it takes more than two weeks to receive your money.
How do repayments work with American Express?
American Express business loans come with monthly repayments, which you can make online by logging in to your Amex account. To simplify the process, set up autopay. If you’re late, American Express charges a $39 fee for late or insufficient payments.
If you find yourself unable to repay your loan according to your terms, contact American Express as soon as possible. Amex may be willing to renegotiate your terms or make other adjustments to get you back on track.
Compare American Express to other lenders by reading our guide to business loans.
Frequently asked questions
Image source: AmericanExpress.com
Business loan ratings
★★★★★ — Excellent
★★★★★ — Good
★★★★★ — Average
★★★★★ — Subpar
★★★★★ — Poor
We rate business loan providers on a scale of 1 to 5 stars based on factors like transparency, costs and customer experience. We don’t take into account elements like eligibility criteria, state availability or payment frequency — we save that for our reviews.
Read the full methodology of how we rate business loan providers to get a better picture of what goes into each star rating.