American Express working capital loans review
Get access to short-term cash in just minutes — but only for current Amex Business Card holders.
- Best for business owners who need help paying their vendors during slow seasons.
- Pick something else if you don't have at least six months of account history on your Amex Business Card.
Kathryn Pomroy was a writer for Finder, specializing in loans. She has written for dozens of major publications, small businesses and many well-known personal finance companies, including LendingTree, Money Crashers, Quickbooks/Intuit, BankRate, LendEDU and more. Kathryn holds a BA in Journalism and drinks super bold coffee while eating peanut butter and honey toast.
American Express (Amex) working capital loans give small business owners the working capital they need to cover their company’s short-term operational costs, specifically to pay off vendor invoices.
You can apply online and request funds between $500 and $150,000 to pay vendors whenever you need. The whole process takes just minutes, according to Amex’s website.
But you need to be an Amex Business Card holder for at least six months to qualify. And you can only pay vendors based in the US.
Not sure Amex is right for you? Take a peek at other business loan options below.
First, do I qualify?
To qualify for the Amex Working Capital Terms program, you need to meet the following criteria at a minimum:
- American Express Business Card holder for at least six months
- Identified at least one US-based vendor
- Linked to at least one business bank account
The six-month cardholder requirement doesn’t apply to Business Gold Card members. And Business Centurion, Centurion Card and Corporate Centurion members aren’t eligible for the program. While Amex doesn’t disclose specific credit requirements, you need to have a score of at least 700 to qualify for the Amex Business Card.
What makes the American Express Working Capital Terms program unique?
Besides the fact that many feel American Express is the apex of credit cards, its Working Capital Terms program allows business owners to select a vendor, choose a term, pay the vendor, then automatically have the funds withdrawn from your business bank account at the end of the term.
Then, you can do it all over again — as many times as you want up to the amount available. Besides that, business owners have:
- One simplified solution
- One low cost
What is the American Express Working Capital Terms program?
In the summer of 2016, Amex launched the Working Capital Terms program to help business owners with an Amex Business Card reimburse their vendors during a lull in sales.
It started the program because business owners often wait to pay vendors until their customers have paid them, which can lead to cashflow issues. Companies that take in more money during certain seasons, like snow removal companies, can be especially vulnerable to this.
Business owners can select vendors and quickly get the money they need — when they need it. You can also use the funds to pay for other business expenses like advertising and to purchase inventory or equipment.
What are the benefits of the Amex Working Capital Terms program?
From its competitive pricing structure to its simple application process, here are a few perks of the Amex Working Capital Terms program:
- Competitive fees. While Amex doesn’t charge interest, the one-time fee it charges for each transaction translates to an APR between 6% and 21% — relatively low compared to other short-term financing options.
- No hidden costs. You won’t be on the hook for an annual, enrollment or origination fee.
- No paperwork or collateral required. You can apply for funding 100% online — with zero paperwork or collateral required.
- No limits to how many vendors you can pay. Business owners can choose to pay as many eligible vendors as they want, as many times as they want.
- Fast funding. Funds can be sent to your vendor’s bank account within two business days.
- Doesn’t require vendors to accept Amex. Payments can be made to vendors who don’t accept Amex as a form of payment.
What to watch out for
Consider these potential drawbacks before applying for the Amex Working Capital Terms program:
- Confusion around loan amounts. Amex has two different homepages for its working capital program — each with different loan amounts listed.
- Can only pay US-based vendors. If you primarily work with vendors based around the world, this isn’t the best choice for you.
- Vendors need to be verified. Before you can pay your vendor, it needs to be verified by Amex — which can take anywhere from one to five business days.
- Lump-sum payment at end of loan term. You’ll be required to make a one-time lump-sum payment at the end of the loan term, which can be difficult to afford if
Compare other business loan options
What do borrowers say about American Express?
As of May 2020, American Express takes a beating on Trustpilot, earning a measly 2 out of 5 stars based on over 900 reviews. In fact, over 65% of reviewers give American Express a bad rating — not great for a company that has the reputation of marketing to an affluent population.
Many reviewers were unhappy with how credit card charges were handled and how customer service failed to respond to problems. In general, most people had issues getting problems resolved.
Although not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, American Express does get an A+ rating based on factors like transparency and time in business. Account holders, on the other hand, gave Amex less than 1.5 out of 5 stars. Misleading credit card agreements, excess fees, poor customer service and problems with system maintenance stood out as reasons for the poor reviews.
How do I apply?
To enroll in the Working Capital Terms program, you must submit an online application, which Amex claims only takes two minutes to complete. Follow these steps to get started:
- Go to the American Express website and click Business in the top navigation bar.
- Click Working Capital Terms under the header: Funding & Payment Products.
- Click Get started to sign in to your Amex account and apply for enrollment.
You should receive an immediate decision about whether you’re approved or not.
I joined the Amex Working Capital Terms program. Now what?
Once you’re in the program, follow these steps to begin taking advantage of its funding options:
- Choose your vendors. Add vendors, select how much you want to pay them and wait for Amex to verify them.
- Select your term. Choose a 30-, 60-, or 90-day term with a corresponding fixed fee between 0.6% and 5.25%.
- Pay your vendor. Amex sends payment within two business days to your vendor via ACH.
- Pay Amex. Your loan amount plus the fixed fee are automatically debited from your bank account at the end of the term.
- Start all over. You can ask to pay as many eligible vendors as you want — whenever you want — up to your available amount.
Any questions you have can be handled by one of Amex’s Working Capital Terms loan experts by calling 855-531-2364. You can also check out the FAQ section on American Express’s website to get answers to your funding questions.
Not an Amex cardholder? Find other options with our guide to business loans.