Fundbox vs. American Express Business Blueprint™: Which Is Better for Your Business?

Fundbox is good for startups and business owners with bad credit, while American Express Business Blueprint™ is better for more payment flexibility.
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Fundbox and American Express Business Blueprint™ (formerly Kabbage) are both online lenders that offer short-term business lines of credit. These small-business loans are good options for business owners who want access to working capital — especially for those who can’t qualify for bank financing.

Although the two lenders share a number of similarities, Fundbox is well suited for startups and business owners with bad credit (a FICO score below 630). American Express Business Blueprint™, on the other hand, is a better choice for business owners with higher credit scores, as well as those that are looking for a line of credit with more payment flexibility.

Here’s a breakdown of Fundbox versus American Express Business Blueprint™, including how they compare in terms of interest rates, eligibility requirements and application processes.

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Fundbox vs. American Express Business Blueprint™: Deciding factors

Fundbox

American Express Business Blueprint™

Fundbox - Line of credit
NerdWallet rating 
American Express® Business Line of Credit
NerdWallet rating 

Loan amount

Up to $150,000.

$2,000 to $250,000.

Cost

Fundbox charges interest as weekly fees, starting at:

  • 12-week terms: 4.66%.

  • 24-week terms: 8.99%.

Fundbox says its fees equal an estimated APR of 10.1% to 79.8%.

Instead of traditional interest, American Express charges monthly fees depending on your loan's term. Total monthly fees incurred over the loan term range are:

  • 3% to 9% for six-month loans.

  • 6% to 18% for 12-month loans.

  • 9% to 27% for 18-month loans.

  • 12% to 18% for 24-month loans.

Additional fees

  • No application fee, account maintenance fee or origination fee.

  • No prepayment penalties.

  • Late payment and nonsufficient funds fees may apply based on information provided in your loan agreement.

  • No application fee, monthly maintenance fee or origination fee.

  • No prepayment penalties.

  • Late payment and unsuccessful payment fees may apply based on the information in your loan agreement.

Terms

12 or 24 weeks.

6, 12, 18 or 24 months.

Repayment schedule

Weekly.

Monthly.

Fundbox vs. American Express Business Blueprint™: Comparison

Small-business loan types

Both Fundbox and American Express Business Blueprint™ offer business lines of credit that allow you to draw funds from your line when you need them, and only pay interest on the money you draw. You can use a line of credit from Fundbox or American Express for a variety of business purposes, such as managing cash flow gaps or covering short-term expenses. Fundbox offers credit lines up to $150,000 and American Express offers lines from $2,000 to $250,000.

Fundbox also includes a Flex Pay service that allows you to pay your vendors directly from your line of credit. This service gives you three business days to repay Fundbox with no fees; after that period, this functions like any other draw on your credit line.

Fundbox is in the process of launching a term loan, but as of this writing, the product isn't yet available for all borrowers.

American Express doesn't provide any additional lending products, but it does offer the American Express® Business Checking account, among other products.

Interest rates and terms

Fundbox and American Express are both short-term lenders; however, Fundbox will require weekly repayments over a shorter period of time — 12 or 24 weeks — while American Express offers monthly payments over six, 12, 18 or 24 months.

American Express charges a fee for each month that you have an outstanding balance. You’ll pay this fee in addition to your monthly loan principal payments. The monthly fee that you receive will range based on your loan terms (as well as creditworthiness and other factors):

Total monthly fees incurred over the loan term range are:

  • 3% to 9% for six-month loans.

  • 6% to 18% for 12-month loans.

  • 9% to 27% for 18-month loans.

  • 12% to 18% for 24-month loans.

Fundbox charges interest as weekly fees, and when you draw on your credit line, you repay your funds with amortized weekly payments. Weekly fees vary based on your business credentials and start at:

  • 12-week terms: 4.66%.

  • 24-week terms: 8.99%.

Let’s break down an example and compare what your costs might look like on a $30,000 line of credit draw with Fundbox versus American Express Business Blueprint™:

Fundbox

  • Draw amount: $30,000.

  • Weekly rate: 8.99%

  • Term: 24 weeks.

Weeks

Repayment toward principal

Fees

Total weekly payment

One to eight.

$1,109.54.

$252.84.

$1,362.38.

Nine to 24.

$1,320.24.

$42.14.

$1,362.38.

Totals:

$30,000.

$2,697.12.

$32,697.12.

The estimated annual percentage rate on a line of credit with these terms would be roughly 19.53%.

American Express

  • Draw amount: $30,000.

  • Monthly rate: 3%

  • Term: Six months.

Months

Repayment toward principal

Fees

Total monthly payment

One to two.

$5,000.

$900.

$5,900.

Three to six.

$5,000.

$225.

$5,225.

Totals:

$30,000.

$2,700.

$32,700.

Although an 8.99% weekly rate may seem much higher than a 3% monthly rate, you can see in the examples above that Fundbox and American Express ultimately have comparable costs for line of credit draws over the same term in this instance.

Before accepting a business line of credit from any lender, it’s important to calculate their fees into an APR. This number will give you the true cost of the loan and make it easier to accurately compare offers from different lenders.

Additional fees

Neither American Express nor Fundbox charges application fees, origination fees, annual fees or monthly maintenance fees. Additionally, with either of these lenders, you can repay your line of credit balance early without facing prepayment penalties.

You may face fees from American Express or Fundbox for late payments or nonsufficient funds (also called return payment fees). The details of these fees will be outlined in your business loan agreement.

Borrower requirements

Fundbox and American Express will work with businesses that have been operating for less than two years and those with less-than-perfect credit histories, making them both good options for small-business owners who can’t qualify for bank loans.

Here’s what you need to qualify for a line of credit for American Express versus Fundbox:

Fundbox

American Express Business Blueprint™

Personal credit score

600 or higher.

Minimum FICO score of at least 660 at the time of application.*

Time in business

Six months or more.

Must have started your business at least a year ago.

Annual revenue

$100,000 or more.

Average monthly revenue of at least $3,000.

Business checking account required

Yes.

Yes.

*The required FICO score may be higher based on your relationship with American Express, credit history, and other factors.

It's important to remember, however, that all businesses are unique and are subject to approval and review.

American Express will also require you to sign a personal guarantee as part of your loan agreement. Fundbox, on the other hand, will file a blanket lien — which gives them the right to seize a business’s assets in the event of default — on all borrowers and may require you to sign a personal guarantee.

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Bluevine - Line of credit
OnDeck - Online term loan
Funding Circle - Online term loan
NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5

Est. APR 

20.00-50.00%

Est. APR 

27.20-99.90%

Est. APR 

15.22-45.00%

Min. credit score 

625

Min. credit score 

625

Min. credit score 

660

Application process

Both American Express and Fundbox offer streamlined application processes that allow you to apply with minimal paperwork.

To apply with either lender, you’ll create an account on their website and then provide basic information about you and your business. Next, you’ll connect your business bank account or other financial accounts to the American Express Business Blueprint™ or Fundbox platform.

Before you submit your application, American Express will ask for your consent to perform a hard pull on your credit. This will impact your credit score.

Fundbox will only perform a soft credit inquiry (which will not impact your credit score) if you use your credit report as a data source. The lender will only perform a hard credit pull when you draw on your line of credit for the first time.

Fundbox can provide a decision as fast as the same day as you apply, and you can receive funds as soon as the next business day.

Compare your business loan options

The best business loan is generally the one with the lowest rates and most ideal terms. But other factors — like time to fund and your business’s qualifications — can help determine which option you should choose. NerdWallet recommends comparing small-business loans to find the right fit for your business.