American Express Business Loan Review

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Our Take

American Express offers a business line of credit with competitive interest rates, few fees, and an easy application process, especially for existing American Express customers. However, it only offers a business line of credit. If you need another kind of business financing, you’ll need to look elsewhere. 

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
  • Potentially low annual percentage rates (APRs)

  • No additional fees (except late fees)

  • No collateral required 

  • Few lending options

  • Personal guarantee required 

  • Complicated monthly fee

Key Takeaways
  • American Express offers its customers a business line of credit in amounts ranging from $500 to $250,000.
  • To qualify for a business line of credit, borrowers must have a personal credit score of at least 640. 
  • Term lengths vary, with six-, 12-, and 18-month options. 
Company Overview

American Express was founded in 1850 as an express delivery company rather than a financial institution. After significant success, the business began adding financial products to its lineup, including the invention of the traveler’s check. 

Since then, the company has continued to grow and now has millions of members who utilize its various products. These include credit cards, lines of credit, and bank accounts, all of which are also available to businesses. American Express operates in all 50 states. 

American Express’s business credit cards can offer very strong rewards to small business customers. 

  • Monthly Fees 6-month term: 3%–9%; 12-month term: 6%–18%; 18-month term: 9%–27%
  • Loan Amount $500–$250,000
  • Loan Terms 6–18 months
  • Recommended Minimum Credit Score 640
  • Origination Fee None
  • Late Fee $10–$100

Pros Explained

  • Potentially low APRs: American Express’ business line of credit features APRs as low as 5.80%, according to our research. Because American Express charges monthly fees (rather than interest), it’s difficult to determine APRs.
  • No additional fees: Beyond the monthly fee (and late payment fees), American Express doesn’t charge additional fees, including origination fees, prepayment fees, or draw fees. 
  • No collateral required: Unlike some other lenders, American Express doesn’t require that you use collateral to secure your line of credit. 

Cons Explained

  • Few lending options: American Express only offers its business line of credit. If you are looking for a term loan, an SBA loan, invoice factoring, or other borrowing services, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
  • Personal guarantee required: Although no collateral is necessary, a personal guarantee is. Borrowers must sign this guarantee in order to be approved. 
  • Complicated monthly fee: Instead of charging a standard interest rate on the funds you borrow, American Express charges a monthly fee, which is based on a percentage of the amount borrowed and the repayment term. For loan terms of six months, the total monthly fee incurred over the term is 3% to 9% of the amount borrowed; for 12 months it’s 6% to 18%; and for 18 months it’s 9% to 27%.

Types of Business Loans Offered by American Express

American Express offers a line of credit to its business customers, but not a secured or unsecured term loan. This may be limiting if you need longer fixed-term repayments or larger sums of cash for your business. 

It’s important to note that while the lowest monthly fee-equivalent APR American Express offers is 5.80%, the maximum possible is 35.99%. If you’re on the lower end of its creditworthiness scale, you’ll want to think carefully before drawing against a line of credit with this rate.

Time to Receive Funds

Applying for an American Express business line of credit shouldn't take long, especially if you’re already an American Express customer. If you have an account, most of your information will be pre-filled for you. 

If American Express is able to automatically confirm your information, it’s possible to be approved within minutes. Otherwise, a manual review will need to be done, which can take longer. Once approved, you’ll typically receive your funds within one business day. 

The time it takes to receive money for disbursement will depend on your bank. 

Borrower Requirements

American Express has specific borrower requirements that must be met in order to qualify for a business line of credit. 

  • 640 credit score
  • $3,000 monthly income; $36,000 annually
  • One year in business 
  • A business checking account
  • Be over 18 years old 
  • Work in an eligible industry 

American Express Business Loan Features

  • Builds credit: American Express reports your payments to the credit bureaus, which can help build your credit when you make on-time payments. 
  • Pay for only what you use: Unlike a term loan, a line of credit only charges you interest based on the money that you use.
  • Rotating term lengths: American Express offers three distinct term lengths. Each time you make a draw, you’ll be able to select a new repayment term for your funds. 
  • Mobile app: American Express maintains its own dedicated app for its business products. Features include the ability to apply for a line of credit, accept payments, and view your expenses. 

Can You Refinance a Business Loan With American Express?

A line of credit isn’t like a typical business loan, which means that refinancing won’t work in quite the same way. Each time you draw from your line of credit, you’ll be able to select a new loan length and how much you’d like to draw. It’s possible to use the proceeds from your new draw to repay the funds you previously received. 

Customer Service

American Express is well-known for its customer service, and this can be seen in the variety of ways you can contact the company. This includes phone, mail, social media, and live chat.

  • Business hours: 24/7
  • Phone: 1-800-528-4800
  • Chat: Log in to your account, then click the “Chat” icon. 
  • Twitter: @AskAmex 
  • Facebook: @AmericanExpressUS

Customer Satisfaction

Most are familiar with American Express thanks to its credit card lineup rather than its business line of credit offerings, which can make it difficult to assess customer satisfaction. 

However, J.D. Power’s U.S. Small Business Credit Card Satisfaction Study has ranked American Express number one for two years running, which is indicative of the kind of service you can expect to receive. 

Applying for an American Express Business Loan

Applying for an American Express small business loan is quick and easy. 

  1. Apply online. If you’re already an American Express customer, you can log in to your account and have most of your application pre-filled. Otherwise, you’ll need to input your personal information and link a business checking account. 
  2. Wait for a response. Once you’ve submitted your application, one of three things can happen. You may be quickly approved, you may be denied, or your application may need to go to manual review. 
  3. Sign documents. Once you’re approved for your business loan, you’ll be able to finalize your details, such as your initial draw amount and your disbursement account. You’ll also need to sign the loan documents. 
  4. Receive funds. After all paperwork is completed and the draw has been disbursed, you can expect to see the funds in your account within one to three business days.

Alternative Business Loan Lenders

Kapitus OnDeck Bluevine
Line of Credit Amount Up to $250,000 Up to $250,000 Up to $250,000
Loan Terms 3-18 months Up to 24 months 6-12 months
Recommended Minimum Credit Score 650 625 625

Final Verdict

American Express’ business line of credit offering may not be suitable for everyone, especially those who are looking for longer repayment terms. However, if you have good credit and proof of income, American Express provides some of the best benefits in the industry, including low APRs and no fees for origination, draws, or prepayment. 

What Is the Minimum Credit Score Required for American Express Business Loans?

American Express requires that borrowers have a credit score of at least 640 to apply for a business line of credit.

How Long Does American Express Take to Review a Loan Application?

The amount of time it takes to get a loan approval will vary based on your application and the material you provide. If American Express’s automated system is able to verify the information you’ve provided, approval can be done within minutes. Otherwise, the application will need to undergo a manual review and will take longer. 

Is an American Express Business Loan Unsecured?

There is no collateral required to open an American Express business loan, which means that it’s unsecured. However, you do need to provide a personal guarantee when applying for the line of credit. 

Is an American Express Business Loan a Line of Credit?

American Express’ business loan options are slim compared to other business lenders. The only loan American Express provides is a line of credit with revolving repayment terms between six and 18 months. 

Article Sources
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  1. American Express. “Blueprint Terms and Conditions.”

  2. American Express. “Applying for an American Express Business Line of Credit.”

  3. American Express. “Contact Us.”

  4. J.D. Power. “Inflation Puts Strains on Small Business Credit Card Customer Satisfaction, J.D. Power Finds.”