American Express Personal Loan Review

American Express personal loan rates are a low-cost way to meet financial goals

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American Express

American Express 

While it’s best known for its credit cards, American Express also offers personal loan options. To qualify for an American Express personal loan, you must be a cardmember in good standing. You can borrow up to $25,000 without any origination fees, but you can’t use it to pay off an Amex credit card or certain other expenses.

  • Product Specifications
  • Pros and Cons
  • Fees
  • Company Overview
Product Specifications
  • APR Range 6.98% APR to 19.98%
  • Loan Amounts $3,500 to $25,000
  • Loan Terms 12 to 36 months
  • Recommended Minimum Credit Score 670
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • No origination fees

  • Option to have money sent directly toward a credit card balance (but not an Amex card)

Cons
  • Late fee is high

  • Must be an Amex cardholder

  • Doesn’t offer flexible repayment options

Fees
  • Late fee: $39

American Express doesn’t charge origination, application, or prepayment fees.

Company Overview

American Express started as a freight forwarding company in 1850. Today, though, the company is best known for its credit and charge card offerings. However, American Express also offers a savings product as well as its personal loans.

Pros of American Express Personal Loans

  • No origination fees: You don’t have to worry about paying any application or origination fees with an Amex personal loan.
  • Option to have money sent directly to a credit card: One of the ways you can receive your funds for an Amex personal loan is to have the money disbursed directly to a current credit card (if you’re eligible), helping pay down its balance. This can make consolidating credit card debt a little simpler. However, you cannot use these funds to pay off an Amex credit card.

Cons of American Express Personal Loans

  • Late fee: If you pay late, or if you don’t make your full payment, you will be charged a fee of $39. 
  • Must be a cardholder: Amex personal loans are only available to current cardholders who receive an offer to apply. It’s possible to check for an offer on the Amex personal loan page. However, remember that you can’t use the personal loan funds to pay down debt on an Amex credit card.
  • Doesn’t offer flexible repayment options: While you can choose a monthly payment option, the repayment options aren’t very flexible. You can use a calculator to estimate your monthly payment, but in the end, you have to choose from what’s available to you in your loan offer. You also can’t change your payment due date.

American Express Personal Loan Rates & Terms

American Express personal loan rates start relatively low. Fixed rates range from 7.98% APR to 19.98% APR. However, your final APR will be based on your creditworthiness

Amex will offer you several options for monthly payments and loan terms based on the total amount and your situation. Once you accept the offer that is right for you, you’ll receive the funds within three to five business days, and can begin making payments as agreed.

How Much Can You Borrow With American Express Personal Loans?

You can borrow between $3,500 and $25,000 with an American Express personal loan. The amount you’re actually able to borrow depends on how Amex determines your creditworthiness. You might not get the full amount you ask for.

Funds can be used for a variety of purposes, including debt consolidation, home improvements or repairs, life events, and a number of other items.

American Express makes it clear on its website that you can’t use the money to pay off Amex credit cards, use it for postsecondary schooling, business purposes, or for real estate.

American Express Personal Loan Fees

American Express doesn’t charge application, origination, or prepayment fees or penalties. However, there’s a late payment fee of $39 if you don’t pay by your bill date or if you don’t make the required monthly payment.

How to Get a Personal Loan from American Express

American Express personal loans are only available to cardmembers. Additionally, you have to receive an offer to apply or check to see if you qualify for one on the website. You can check for an offer by going to the Amex personal loans page and clicking on the blue button in the upper right corner. 

The button will take you to a login page, where you enter your username and password for your credit card account. Once you do that, you’ll see if you’re eligible or not. If you are, you’ll also be able to see potential loan amounts and interest rates.

Final Verdict

For cardholders, an American Express personal loan can be a convenient way to get a lump sum of money to help reach your goals. Fixed rates make for payments that are predictable and potentially less expensive than using a traditional credit card to finance a purchase. 

However, if you don’t have an Amex credit card, or if you want to shop around for different personal loan rates, you might be able to find better deals, especially if you have good or excellent credit.

Methodology

We look at 40 data points from dozens of financial institutions to evaluate lenders for our personal loan reviews. Because a loan’s APR can dramatically impact the total cost you pay, we weight that feature the heaviest. But since a great APR usually requires at least a good credit score, we also give points to lenders who may have a higher potential APR but offer loans to people with less-than-perfect credit scores. 

Along those lines, we favor lenders who allow you to see if you prequalify before applying for a loan, so you won’t harm your credit score just by applying. Origination, prepayment, and late fees all get counted in our assessment. And lastly, we deduct points from the ratings of lenders with restricted access—for instance, those who require you to first have another type of account with them or to join a nonprofit organization.

FAQs

What is an American Express Personal Loan?

American Express personal loans are given to individuals to consolidate non-Amex credit card loans from approved banks or for personal needs like home improvement. You must be a Amex cardholder to be approved for a personal loan, and you’ll typically receive an offer in your American Express account encouraging you to apply if you’re eligible.

How Does the American Express Personal Loan Work?

American Express cardholders are approved for American Express personal loans based on their creditworthiness. You’ll go through an application process to verify how much you can borrow and to determine what your interest rate will be, just as you would with any other personal loan. You can apply online through your American Express account and receive a decision within seconds. You can borrow up to $25,000 with payment terms of up to 36 months. 

How Much Does the American Express Personal Loan Cost?

American Express doesn’t charge fees for originating a personal loan, or for anything else other than a $39 late payment fee. The overall cost of the loan is wrapped up into the total APR, which is between 7.98% and 19.98% of the total money owed. 

Does the Amex Personal Loan Impact Your Credit Score?

You can apply and obtain a loan without the Amex personal loan impacting your credit score. You won’t have to undergo a hard credit check when you apply because the offers are only made to cardholders, and American Express already has your financial information and the history on your account. 

What Happens if I Don’t Use My American Express Personal Loan?

You’ll have three days to accept after you receive an offer. American Express will send your approved loan funds all at one time, and the money will appear in your bank account. You’ll be charged interest and start making payments on the funds you borrowed regardless of what you do with the money, even if it just sits in your bank account. This personal loan doesn’t work like a line of credit. You’ll begin incurring interest immediately on the full borrowed amount.