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 APR||6.9% - 18.98%|
|Fees||Origination fee: None
Late fee: $39
Unsuccessful payment fee: Amount not disclosed
Prepayment fee: None
|Time to funding||3 to 5 business days|
|Repayments||Monthly over 1 to 4 years|
|Soft credit check?||Yes|
|How to qualify||
|Best for||Debt consolidation|
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.
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 British bank Barclays and online lender SoFi.
The Barclays personal loan has similar rates and loan amounts, while SoFi has slightly lower rates and much larger loan amounts. Barclays sends loan funds directly to up to five different credit cards. Having the option to pay your creditors off is a bonus when you are trying to get rid of debt.
SoFi does not have that feature, but like AmEx, it offers exclusive perks to customers, including networking events and other resources for career development.
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.
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 multiple lenders on NerdWallet.
Before you shop for a personal loan: