Editorial Review

American Express Personal Loans: 2019 Review

Ideal for consumers who carry American Express and want to consolidate high-interest debt and avoid fees.

Amrita JayakumarAugust 15, 2019

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Our Take


NerdWallet rating 

The Bottom Line: A good option for existing Amex cardholders, with competitive rates and no fees.

American Express

American Express

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Pros & Cons

  • No origination fee.

  • Free credit score access.

  • Option to directly pay creditors.

  • Charges late fees.

  • No flexible payment options.

Compare to Other Lenders

Marcus by Goldman Sachs
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Loan Term

2 to 7 years

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3 to 6 years

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Loan Amount


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Compare estimated rates from multiple lenders

Compare Rates

Full 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.

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.


  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: $39.

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.

Before you shop for a personal loan

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.