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American Express Personal Loans: 2019 Review

June 20, 2019
Loans, Personal Loans, Personal Loans Reviews
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.
4.0 NerdWallet rating

Good for: Excellent credit, debt consolidation

The American Express personal loan is designed for its well-heeled customers: Only existing AmEx cardholders who receive a preapproval offer from the company can get one.

American Express may be a good fit if:

  • You’re in good standing on your AmEx credit card. You need to be the primary cardholder and have an online account to be eligible for a loan offer.
  • You need to consolidate credit card debt. You can use the loan to pay off up to four credit cards at other banks, but not your American Express card.

American Express loan rates and terms

Loan amounts$3,500 - $40,000
Typical APR6.9% - 18.98%
FeesOrigination fee: None

Late fee: $39

Unsuccessful payment fee: Amount not disclosed

Prepayment fee: None
Time to funding3 to 5 business days
RepaymentsMonthly over 1 to 4 years
Soft credit check?Yes
How to qualify
  • Get a preapproval offer.
  • Be the primary cardholder on an eligible American Express Card, and be in good status with American Express at the time of application.
Best forDebt consolidation
Pre-qualify and receive a personalized rate from lenders that partner with NerdWallet.

American Express personal loans review

To review American Express, NerdWallet collected more than 30 data points from the lender and compared the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. Loan terms and fees may vary by state.

The AmEx personal loan is useful when you need a lump sum for a large expense, like home improvements or life events, or when you want to roll your debts into a single payment. The loan’s fixed interest rate and payments are more predictable than the revolving balance of a credit card.

American Express did not respond to repeated requests for details about its personal loan qualification requirements. To learn about typical requirements for its credit cards, read NerdWallet’s review of the best American Express cards.

A customer service representative for the company said it regularly adds preapproval offers to eligible cardholders’ online accounts. The company allows only one personal loan per customer.

No fees: AmEx doesn’t charge an origination fee for its personal loan, which is similar to other large financial institutions, including Citibank, Discover and Wells Fargo.

Credit information: AmEx gives everyone — not just cardholders —  access to their VantageScore credit score and TransUnion credit report, which are also available on NerdWallet.

Customer service: American Express has a reputation for good customer service and exclusive perks for cardholders. The company has a phone number, social media channels, live chat and a mailing address for customer questions. The company doesn’t offer the ability to make loan payments through the mobile app as it does with credit cards.

Loan example: For a borrower with excellent credit, a $12,000 personal loan with a repayment term of 24 months at 13.9% APR would carry monthly payments of $576, according to NerdWallet’s personal loan calculator.

Installment pay option: Aside from the personal loan, American Express has a “Pay It Plan It” feature that allows you to pay for a purchase in installments using your credit card.

How American Express compares

AmEx’s personal loan rates are in the same low range as other lenders that target consumers with excellent credit and high earning power, such as online lender SoFi and Marcus by Goldman Sachs.

Both SoFi and Marcus have slightly lower rates. SoFi, like AmEx, offers exclusive perks to customers, including networking events and other resources for career development. Marcus offers flexible loan payments and tools to track your credit.

» MORE: Top banks offering personal loans

4.0 NerdWallet rating

5.0 NerdWallet rating

5.0 NerdWallet rating


6.9% - 18.98%

Min credit score


Best for

Debt consolidation


5.74% - 16.24% (with autopay)

Min credit score


Best for

Good credit, high income, debt consolidation


5.99% - 28.99%

Min credit score


Best for

Flexible loan terms

Pre-qualify and receive a personalized rate from lenders that partner with NerdWallet.

How to apply for a personal loan through American Express

You can apply for the loan through your existing AmEx online account. There’s no hard pull to your credit if you take the preapproved offer, since the company already runs a soft credit pull to check if you qualify, according to the customer service representative.

Check rates from other lenders

NerdWallet recommends comparing loans to find the best rate for you, especially if you have excellent credit. Click the button below to pre-qualify and receive a personalized rate from lenders that partner with NerdWallet.

Before you shop for a personal loan:

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