American Express Personal Loans Review

A competitive personal loan option for existing cardholders

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American-Express-Logo
overall rating
3.7

American Express is well known for offering a range of personal and business credit cards. It also offers personal loans with competitive rates and few fees for existing credit cardholders, as well as online savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).

To qualify for a personal loan, you must receive an offer from American Express and meet eligibility criteria. Our in-depth review covers what you need to know about American Express personal loans and how to decide if one is right for you. 

  • Product Specifications
  • Pros and Cons 
  • Fees
Product Specifications
  • APR Range 6.98% to 19.98%
  • Loan Amounts $3,500 to $25,000 (depending on your creditworthiness)
  • Loan Terms 12 to 36 months
  • Recommended Minimum Credit Score No minimum score listed on website. Not everyone qualifies for the lowest APR, largest loan amount, or all repayment options.
Pros and Cons 
Pros
  • Competitive rates

  • Ability to pre-qualify with soft credit check

  • Quick decision process

  • Minimal fees

Cons
  • Must be an existing cardholder

  • No flexibility on payment due date

  • Low maximum loan amount

  • Late payment fee

Fees
  • Origination Fee: None
  • Late Payment Fee: $39
  • Insufficient Funds Fee: $39
  • Application Fee: None
  • Prepayment Penalty: None

Pros Explained

  • Competitive rates: American Express offers an annual percentage rate (APR) as low as 6.98% for the most creditworthy borrowers. 
  • Ability to pre-qualify with a soft credit check: You can check personal loan rates without impacting your credit score.
  • Quick decision process: American Express promises a decision “within seconds,” according to the company’s website. 
  • Minimal fees: There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties. 

Cons Explained

  • Must be an existing cardholder: You must have an American Express credit card and receive an offer to apply for a personal loan.
  • No flexibility on payment due date: You can’t change when your loan payment is due.  
  • Low maximum loan amount: The maximum loan amount is $25,000, which is low compared to some competitors. 
  • Late payment fee: Borrowers are charged $39 for late payments and insufficient funds.

Types of Personal Loans Offered by American Express

American Express offers one unsecured personal loan for existing credit cardholders.

Time to Receive Funds

After signing your personal loan agreement, it may take three-to-five business days to receive the funds. It may take longer if American Express needs to verify your bank account.

American Express Personal Loan Features

In addition to the features mentioned above, personal loans offered by American Express also have these characteristics:

  • Quick online application: American Express offers a fast online application process. 
  • Pay creditors directly: The lender can pay up to four creditors directly, which is a convenient option to consolidate credit card debt.
  • Multiple ways to use the money: You can use the money for debt consolidation, home renovations, or other large purchases. 

American Express personal loans have some restrictions. You can’t use the funds for post-secondary education, real estate, business, buying stocks, purchasing a vehicle, or paying off an American Express credit card.

Apply for an American Express Personal Loan

To apply for a personal loan, you must be an existing American Express credit cardholder in good standing. You also must receive a personal loan offer from American Express.

You can start the process by entering a loan amount and credit score on the lender's website. It will show your estimated monthly payment options—12, 24, or 36 months. You can check if you have an offer from American Express by clicking on the blue “check for offer” button. You will need to login to see the offer. 

If you have an offer, you may pre-qualify with a soft inquiry on your credit—which won’t impact your credit score. Before submitting a personal loan application, you can see your maximum loan amount, maximum APR, and repayment options. This isn’t a guarantee of approval. The personal loan application will ask for the following details:

  • Amount you want to borrow
  • Desired repayment period
  • Purpose for personal loan
  • Your income

Once you submit the application, American Express will conduct a hard inquiry on your credit. This will temporarily lower your credit score. Most applicants will receive an answer “within seconds,” according to American Express. But it may take longer if the company needs additional information.

You must have a valid checking account to receive the funds via direct deposit. The process may be faster if American Express already has your banking details on file. After signing the personal loan agreement, American Express will transfer the money within three-to-five business days.

There is a brief timeline—only three days—to sign the personal loan agreement after approval. If you miss this deadline, American Express will withdraw your application and you can’t re-apply for 60 days.    

Can I Refinance a Personal Loan with American Express?

It’s not possible to refinance an American Express personal loan, according to a customer service representative.

Verdict

If you’re an existing American Express credit cardholder and looking for a personal loan between $3,500 to $25,000, it’s worthwhile to check for an offer. The APR is competitive for eligible borrowers. You can pre-qualify without hurting your credit score and you may get a loan approval within seconds.

This personal loan isn’t the most flexible option, though. You can’t apply with someone else, change the payment due date, or refinance later. Keep those restrictions in mind before submitting an application.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of personal loan lenders. We collected over 25 data points across more than 50 lenders—including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms—to ensure that our content helps users make the right borrowing decision for their needs.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. American Express. “Personal Loans.” Accessed July 10, 2020.

  2. American Express. “Frequently Asked Questions.” Accessed July 10, 2020.