American Express Merchant Financing review
Advances up to $2 million on future sales for Amex customers.
This merchant cash advance gives retail businesses that accept American Express cards an advance on their future sales. With rebates for customers who pay ahead of schedule, this could be a good choice if your business brings in a lot of revenue but experiences some cashflow disruptions. But you’re going to have to back it with business assets. And it might require a personal guarantee as well.
First, do I qualify?
Your business must meet the following criteria to meet American Express’s minimum requirements:
- Accept American Express cards. Your business must accept payment through Amex credit cards. And it must have accepted repayments for 6 months if you want to apply for a 24-month term.
- At least $50,000 in annual revenue. Your business must pull in at least this much per year overall.
- At least $12,000 in annual credit or debit receivables. Your business must bring in at least this amount in sales paid with a credit or debit card each year.
- At least two years in business. Young businesses can apply, but startups should look elsewhere.
American Express might also have restrictions on your industry. Contact a customer service representative if lenders typically consider your industry to be high risk.
What makes American Express Merchant Financing unique?
American Express Merchant Financing offers flexible repayments you might not find with other similar products. You can choose whether you want repayments to come from just your Amex sales or all credit and debit card sales. This lets you choose between payments that have a smaller impact on your cash flow or an advance that you can pay off early.
It’s also one of the few providers that rewards early repayment by offering a 10% or 25% rebate on your advance.
What is American Express Merchant Financing?
American Express Merchant Financing is an advance on your business’s future credit and debit card sales. You can borrow between $5,000 and $2,000,000 and repay it with a percentage of your daily sales over six, 12 or 24 months — plus a fee.
Fees range from 1.75% to 28%, depending on the loan term you choose:
- 6-month term — 1.75% to 7% fee
- 12-month term — 3.5% to 14% fee
- 24-month term — 7% to 28% fee
Early repayment rebate
If you pay back your advance ahead of schedule, you can get a rebate on the fee. How large a rebate you get depends on how early you pay it off and your loan term:
|Term||25% rebate||10% rebate|
You can estimate your fixed fee, daily and total cost, and rebate amounts by using the calculator on the American Express merchant cash advance website.
Since this is a secured form of financing, your business needs to have assets to back your advance. If you borrow less than $35,000, you and other business owners may need to back it with a personal guaranty. This means you’re responsible for the debt if your business defaults on the advance.
What are the benefits of an American Express merchant cash advance?
From its transparent rates and fees to its early repayment rebate, here are a few perks of borrowing from American Express:
- Early payment rebate. You can get a 10% or 25% rebate on your loan cost if you repay it in full ahead of schedule.
- Flexible repayments. You can choose to repay your advance with just your Amex sales to have a lower impact on your daily cash flow or all of your credit and debit sales to pay it off faster.
- Transparent website. American Express makes it easy for you to understand how this product works without having to pick up the phone.
- Wide range of funds. You can get up to $2,000,000 as long as your business’s revenue supports it.
- Chance to renew. You can apply for more funds after you’ve paid off at least 50% of your balance.
What to watch out for
Consider these potential drawbacks before taking out an advance with American Express:
- Must accept Amex cards. You have to accept American Express cards to qualify for this advance. And you must have accepted Amex cards for at least 24 months to qualify for 24-month financing.
- Not all industries qualify. If your industry has had trouble qualifying for financing in the past, you might want to reach out to make sure it’s eligible before you apply.
- Slow turnaround. It could take as long as five days before you see your funds — many other merchant cash advance providers offer funding the next business day.
- May require personal guaranty. You and other owners may be required to take on the responsibility of repaying the loan if you borrow less than $35,000.
Compare other business loan options
How do I apply?
You can apply online through the American Express Merchant Financing website. Check the eligibility requirements first to make sure your business can qualify before following these steps:
- Go to the American Express Merchant Financing website.
- Click Get Started.
- Enter your name, contact details and basic information about your business. Click Continue.
- Follow the directions to provide the required information.
- Review your application before you submit it.
What happens after I apply?
After you submit your application, American Express reaches out with a preliminary offer and instructions on how to complete the application. It’ll reach out with a final offer once you submit your full application. Typically, businesses receive funds in their account in two to five business days.
What documents do I need to apply?
You might have to provide the following documents to apply for American Express Merchant Financing:
- Business tax returns
- Business bank statements
- Monthly statements from credit card processors
How do repayments work with American Express Merchant Financing?
You’ll start repaying your loan with a percentage of your business’s daily sales. You have a few options when it comes to how you make repayments:
- Receivables from Amex transactions. Repay your loan with only a percentage of your American Express sales.
- Split funding for all credit and debit transactions. Amex partners with other credit card companies to automatically deduct repayments directly from your accounts with them.
- Transfer account for all credit and debit transactions. Have the other credit card companies send your receivables to an Amex bank account, and have Amex deduct your repayments from that account.
If you fall behind on repayments, you could be charged a late fee of $39 or 2.99% of the payment amount — whichever is greater. Reach out to customer service as soon as possible if you have any questions or concerns by calling 855-298-1209.
Frequently asked questions
Anna Serio is a trusted lending expert and certified Commercial Loan Officer who's published more than 1,000 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 Business Insider, CNBC and the Simple Dollar feature her professional commentary, and she earned an Expert Contributor in Finance badge from review site Best Company in 2020.
American Express Merchant Financing could be a good cashflow solution for businesses with high but spotty revenue. It’s one of the few providers that offers a rebate if you pay back your advance early. And its flexible repayment options means your daily cash flow won’t take a hit.
However, your business needs to accept Amex cards to qualify. And it’s not the fastest merchant cash advance out there — it could take up to five business days to receive your funds. You also need to be in business for at least two years to qualify.
Not sure this is right for you? Compare your other business loan options below.