The Bottom Line: A solid option for existing cardholders who have good credit, American Express personal loans offer competitive rates and no fees.
Min. Credit Score
Pros & Cons
No origination fee.
Free credit score access.
Option to directly pay creditors.
Exclusive to preapproved cardholders.
No flexible payment options.
Charges late fees.
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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 multiple 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 makes preapproval offers after an eligible customer has been a cardholder for about nine months. 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.
Ways to pay: Cardholders can make payments on their loans by check or online. The company doesn’t offer the ability to make loan payments through the mobile app as it does with credit cards.
Alternative installment option: Different from the personal loan, American Express has a “Pay It Plan It” feature that allows you to pay for purchases made with your AmEx credit card in installments with a fixed monthly fee.
Origination fee: None.
Late fee: $39, but your first late fee can be waived if you make the payment.
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.
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.
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.
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Personal Loans Rating Methodology
NerdWallet's ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks, no fees, transparency of loan rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus, and financial education. We also consider the number of complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation of any sort for our reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.