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American Express loans
Only existing cardmembers can take advantage of most of these exclusive offers.
Loans from American Express aren't as much of a status symbol as its Centurion® Card, but they also aren't open to just anyone. And it doesn't have the widest selection — right now it only offers personal loans and three types of business financing.
What types of loans does American Express offer?
Only one type of personal loan is currently available through Amex, but it offers three types of business financing.
- Personal loans. You won't need to provide collateral for an Amex personal loan. Uses are restricted though — you can't use the funds for real estate, car purchases, post-secondary education or business expenses.
- Business loans. As a business cardholder, you can potentially consolidate business debts, cover one-off expenses or expand your business with a business loan from Amex.
- Merchant Financing. You can get a loan with a fixed fee if your business accepts Amex credit cards. Financing can be delivered in as soon as two business days of approval.
- Working Capital Terms. Pay vendors you use with a loan from Amex. Terms are up to 90 days, and once you pay it back you can use it to pay your vendors again.
Amex loans at a glance
Terms, amounts and the APR you're ultimately offered will depend on factors like your income and creditworthiness
|Loan amounts||Loan terms||APR|
American Express personal loans
American Express business loans
6 months–3 years
American Express Merchant Financing
6 months–2 years
American Express Working Capital Terms
Fixed fee of 0.6%–5.25%
Why should I consider taking out a loan with American Express?
Benefits vary by loan type, but Amex has a few shining features.
- Transparency. All of the terms, loan amounts and APRs are available directly on Amex's website. This isn't the norm, especially when it comes to business loans.
- Applying won't affect credit score. If you apply for an offer you're preapproved for — either a business loan or a personal loan — it won't require a hard pull on your credit.
- Competitive APRs. While it's not the absolute lowest rate, 5.91% is fairly competitive for a personal loan. Likewise, its business loan rates are also reasonable.
Where does American Express fall short?
Consider the drawbacks before signing on and accepting an offer.
- Exclusive to cardholders. Personal loans, business loans, and Working Capital Terms are only available current cardholders. And if you want to apply for its Merchant Financing, your business must accept Amex credit cards.
- Terms are limited. Both its business and personal loans are capped at three years, which is short compared to similar loans with competitors.
- Few uses. Personal loans from Amex explicitly can't be used for a number of expenses, including post-secondary school costs and buying a vehicle.
See more personal loan options
Use our table to find personal loan options that don't require a credit card.
How much will it cost me to borrow with American Express?
Many online lenders charge an origination fee, but American Express doesn't. This is true of all its loan options. And where some lenders charge prepayment penalties, Amex rewards its Merchant Financing borrowers who pay off their loans early — up to 25% of the financing fee charged.
Your overall cost will vary based on the amount you borrow, the term and APR. Late fees and returned payment fees may also add to the cost of your loan.
What do borrowers say about American Express?
Though it is certified by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and has an A+ rating, Amex has a fairly rough reputation online. It's sitting at just over 1 out of 5 stars from almost 180 reviews on BBB as of July 2020. And its profile on Trustpilot isn't much better — 2 out of 5 stars based on over 1,040 reviews.
Many of the complaints revolve around its credit card products though, not its loans. Those that do deal with loans are typically customers upset over being denied one after applying. But preapproval is never a guarantee that an application will be accepted.
Are American Express loans safe?
Yes, American Express is a legit lender. It's widely known for its credit cards, but its loan products are also safe. You can read about how it protects your information by reading the online privacy statement provided on its website.
How to apply for a loan with American Express
Since its business and personal loans and Working Capital Terms are by preapproval only, you have to log on to your Amex account and look for an offer. But you can contact customer service by phone with any questions you have.
Business customers looking for Merchant Financing can call 855-298-1209 to start a loan application. Once it's started, you can continue the application online.
Requirements vary based on the type of financing you're applying for, but all have a few common factors.
- Have an active Amex online account
- At least 18 years old
- US citizen or permanent resident
More about American Express
American Express was founded back in 1850, and has over 114 million credit cards in circulation today. With revenue and income in the billions, it's one of the biggest financial institutions in the US.
In the early 1980s, American Express ran a three-month marketing campaign with an interesting quirk. It donated one cent every time one of its cards was used to help restore the Statue of Liberty. Ultimately it raised $1.7 million for the cause.
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