Advertiser Disclosure

American Express Personal Loans: 2018 Review

Nov. 6, 2018
Loans, Personal Loans, Personal Loans Reviews
NerdWallet adheres to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Some of the products we feature are from partners. Here’s how we make money.
We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

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
Compare rates on NerdWallet. Click to see estimated rates from multiple lenders.

» MORE: Personal loans for excellent credit

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 Barclays, 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 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.



6.9% - 18.98%

Min credit credit score


Time to funding

3 to 5 business days

Best for

Debt consolidation


6.26% - 15.49% (with autopay)

Min credit score


Time to funding

Typically 7 days

Best for

Good credit, high income, debt consolidation


5.74% - 18.99%

Min credit score

Excellent (typically above 700)

Time to funding

A few business days

Best for

Good credit, debt consolidation

Compare rates on NerdWallet. Click to see estimated rates from multiple lenders.

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 see estimated rates from multiple lenders on NerdWallet.


Before you shop for a personal loan:

About the author