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American Express personal loans review

Current card holders can take advantage of minimal fees — but watch out for that high maximum APR.

finder.com’s rating: 3.3 / 5.0

★★★★★

  • Best for current Amex card holders.
  • Pick something else if you're looking for a lender with a low maximum APR.

Details

Min. Loan Amount$3,500
Max. Loan Amount$40,000
APR5.91% to 19.98%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Min. Credit Score660
Loan Term1 to 3 years

How much will this loan cost me?

American Express personal loans come with rates from 5.91% to 19.98% with no application, origination or prepayment fees. The only fee Amex charges a $39 fee for late or returned payments.

You can borrow between $3,500 and $40,000 with terms from one to three years. Use the calculator below to find out how much your loan will cost you based on different rates, terms and loan amounts.

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How it works

Not everyone can get a $40,000 loan with a 5.91% APR. You’ll generally need to have a credit score of 760 or even higher to qualify for the most competitive rates a lender offers. Other factors like your income and monthly debt obligations can also affect the loan you receive.

If you want to use your loan to pay off credit card debt, you apply for a minimum of $1,000 per card, with a minimum total of $3,500. And you can’t use it to pay off an Amex credit card.

Am I eligible?

You need to meet a few eligibility criteria to qualify for a personal loan from American Express:

  • Amex credit card holder with an online account
  • US citizen or permanent resident
  • At least 18 years old

Amex also has restrictions on how you use the funds. You can’t use your American Express personal loan to fund a business, post-secondary education, consolidating American Express credit card debt or buying a car — though you can use it for a down payment. You also can’t use it to buy real estate or invest.

What information do I need to apply?

When you’re ready to apply, have the following information ready:

  • Employment details and income
  • Social Security number
  • Contact details
  • Checking account information

American Express may also require additional documents if you apply for debt consolidation.

Pros and cons

An Amex personal loan might not be right for you — even if you are a cardholder. Weigh these benefits and drawbacks before you start your application.

Pros

  • Competitive APRs of 5.91% to 19.98%
  • No origination or prepayment fees
  • Minimal documents compared to other lenders

Cons

  • Only available to Amex card holders
  • Can’t use loan for education, business or vehicle purchases
  • Short terms of one to three years
  • High late fee of $39

See other personal loan options

Name Product Filter Values APR Min. Credit Score Loan Amount
BHG personal loans
Varies
700
$20,000 – $200,000
A highly-rated lender with quick turnaround and reliable customer service.
Credible personal loans
2.49% to 35.99%
Fair to excellent credit
$600 – $100,000
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose an offer from a selection of top online lenders.
Best Egg personal loans
5.99% to 29.99%
600
$2,000 – $50,000
A prime online lending platform with multiple repayment methods.
PenFed Credit Union personal loans
5.99% to 17.99%
650
$600 – $50,000
With over 80 years of lending experience, this credit union offers personal loans for a variety of expenses.
SoFi personal loans
4.99% to 19.63%
680
$5,000 – $100,000
A highly-rated lender with competitive rates, high loan amounts and no fees.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Is American Express legit?

American Express is a legitimate personal loan provider. While it’s one of the most popular credit card companies in the US, it also offers several other services, including savings accounts and CDs.

It’s safe to apply too. The information you enter online is protected from hackers by SSL encryption. And it has a privacy center that breaks down its privacy policy in a way that’s a lot easier to understand than most other lenders.

American Express reviews and complaints

BBB accreditedYes
BBB ratingA+
BBB customer reviews1.15 out of 5 stars, based on 190 customer reviews
BBB customer complaints3371
J.D. Power rankingRanked No. 1 in J.D. Power 2021 customer satisfaction survey
Trustpilot score1.9 out of 5 stars, based on 1,657 customer reviews
Customer reviews verified as of15 July 2021

Because American Express personal loans aren’t nearly as popular as its credit cards, there are very few reviews about that specific product. However, it came in sixth place in the 2020 J.D. Power Consumer Lending Customer Review awards, based on the application and repayment process, as well as the terms of the loan.

How do I apply?

Follow these steps to get started on your application. If you’ve already received a preapproval offer, follow the instructions in the offer.

  1. Go to the American Express personal loans website.
  2. Click Check for an offer.
  3. Log in to your American Express account — or set one up if you haven’t already.
  4. If you’re preapproved, follow the instructions to fill out the application, providing information about yourself, how much you want to borrow and selecting the monthly repayment option you prefer.

How does credit card debt consolidation work through Amex?

The application process is slightly different if you want to consolidate credit card debt. Here’s how it works:

  1. Apply for a personal loan through American Express.
  2. Select up to four credit card accounts that aren’t with Amex.
  3. Request at least $1,000 for each account.
  4. Reach the minimum loan amount of $3,500, up to the maximum amount you’re offered.
  5. Submit your application for approval.

What happens after I apply?

If you’re approved for a loan, you’ll have three days to review and agree to the terms offered by Amex. It then takes another three to five business days for your loan funds to be deposited into your bank account or sent to your credit card accounts.

If consolidating your credit card debt, Amex sends the funds directly to the credit card company. It may take longer for your bank or credit card company to process the payment and make it available to you.

How do repayments work with American Express?

You can choose to make your monthly repayments by bank account transfer or check, and American Express also allows you to set up automatic payments. If you make a late payment or a payment bounces, you’ll be charged a $39 fee. And Amex may report it to the major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Once you repay your loan, you won’t be able to borrow again for at least 60 days and will need a new preapproval offer to apply again.

Not sure American Express is right for you? Compare even more lenders with our guide to personal loans.

Frequently asked questions

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Review by


Kellye Guinan is a seasoned financial writer with over 500 articles under her belt spanning all things loans from auto to personal to business and everything in between. With four years in the field and five years of research experience, she's able to make complex personal finance decisions easier for anyone to tackle. When she's not up to her knees learning about the latest trends in lending, she spends her time improving her own financial literacy and expertise — and maintaining a Duolingo streak of over 1,300 days.

Expert review

You won’t be able to take out a personal loan from American Express (Amex) unless you receive a preapproval offer. And the only way to receive that is if you’re an Amex credit card holder and meet other eligibility requirements.

Even if you do, its rates start and end on the high side for such a large bank. And it doesn’t offer terms as long as other lenders do.

To potentially get a better rate and stronger terms, compare your other personal loan options before committing.

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2 Comments

    Default Gravatar
    Darryl
    October 15, 2018

    I am a personal loan with Amex. I am trying to make a payment, but I don’t have a website separate from my Amex card website. I cannot access the personal loan a/c from the card a/c. What is the website I should use to make an online payment? Thanks. Darryl

      Default Gravatar
      joelmarcelo
      October 15, 2018

      Hi Darryl,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      You can access information about your loan, including the outstanding balance due, monthly payment amounts, payment due dates, and prior payments and credits, through your American Express online account. If you are having issues accessing it, you can contact AMEX directly at 1-800-528-4800.

      Please send me a message if you need anything else. :)

      Cheers,
      Joel

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