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American Express® Business Line of Credit: 2024 Review

American Express offers working capital to business owners with fair credit, but the monthly fee structure can be confusing compared with other online lenders.
By Randa Kriss
Last updated on January 2, 2024
Edited bySally Lauckner
Fact checked and reviewed

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Our Take

The bottom line:

American Express Business Blueprint™ is a good option for business owners with fair credit who want access to working capital.
Full review

American Express® Business Line of Credit

Max Loan Amount
$250,000
Min. credit score
660

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Streamlined application process with minimal paperwork.
  • Financing from $2,000 to $250,000 available.
  • Accepts borrowers with a minimum FICO score of at least 660 at the time of application.
  • Monthly repayment schedule (as opposed to daily or weekly).
  • No prepayment penalties, account maintenance fees or draw fees.

Cons

  • Must have online checking or PayPal account to verify cash flow.
  • Personal guarantee required.
  • Complex monthly fee structure makes it difficult to compare costs to other lenders.

Compare to Other Lenders

at OnDeck

at Bluevine

at Headway Capital

Max loan amount

$100,000

Max loan amount

$250,000

Max loan amount

$100,000

Min. credit score

625

Min. credit score

625

Min. credit score

625

Full Review

The American Express® Business Line of Credit is available to borrowers with a minimum FICO score of at least
660
at the time of application. (Note that the required FICO score may be higher based on your relationship with American Express, credit history, and other factors.)
This product is known for its streamlined application process in which borrowers can connect their business checking accounts to avoid application paperwork. Keep in mind that all businesses are unique and subject to approval and review when applying for a line of credit.

How much do you need?

with Fundera by NerdWallet

We’ll start with a brief questionnaire to better understand the unique needs of your business.

Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.

🤓 Nerdy Tip

Kabbage rebranded to American Express Business Blueprint™ in February 2023. Business Blueprint includes the American Express® Business Line of Credit, among other products.

The American Express® Business Line of Credit is best for borrowers who:

  • Don’t have perfect personal credit: While underwriting your loan, American Express focuses on less traditional information like banking, accounting and e-commerce data. That makes it a good fit for business owners with rocky credit histories.
  • Prefer a short repayment period: American Express Business Blueprint™ offers business lines of credit from $2,000 to $250,000 with repayment terms of six, 12, 18 or 24 months.

American Express® Business Line of Credit

Loan amount
$2,000 to $250,000.
Monthly fees
Instead of traditional interest, American Express charges monthly fees depending on your loan's term. Total monthly fees incurred over the loan term range are:
  • 3% to 9% for six-month loans.
  • 6% to 18% for 12-month loans.
  • 9% to 27% for 18-month loans.
  • 12% to 18% for 24-month loans.
Additional fees
  • No application fee, annual fee, monthly maintenance fee or origination fee.
  • No prepayment penalty.
  • Late payment and unsuccessful payment fees may apply based on the information in your loan agreement.
Terms
6, 12, 18 or 24 months.
Repayment schedule
Monthly.

Where American Express® Business Line of Credit stands out

Streamlined application process

The application process for the American Express® Business Line of Credit doesn’t require paperwork. Instead, you connect a business checking account, bookkeeping software or payment solution (such as PayPal or Square) to the American Express Business Blueprint™ platform and the company uses data from these accounts to evaluate your eligibility.

Available to startup businesses and business owners with fair credit

Although the American Express® Business Line of Credit may not be as startup-friendly as some competitors (who work with companies with only six months in business), borrowers who have started their business at least a year ago can qualify for this product. Startup business lines of credit can be used to manage cash flow gaps, cover short-term expenses or take advantage of unexpected opportunities.
Similarly, if you have fair credit — and can’t qualify for a bank small-business loan — the American Express® Business Line of Credit can be a good choice for access to working capital. Although American Express requires a minimum FICO score of at least
660
at the time of application, the company primarily considers data from the accounts you link, your average monthly revenue and the number of years you’ve been in business to evaluate your application, determine your credit limit and set your fees.

No extra fees

Whereas some lenders may charge draw fees or account maintenance fees with their line of credit products, American Express does not charge any extraneous fees. With an American Express® Business Line of Credit, you’ll pay a monthly fee (equivalent to interest) during the months you have an outstanding balance. American Express does not charge application fees, origination fees, annual fees or monthly maintenance fees.
You also have the option to pay back your loan early; American Express does not charge any prepayment penalties.

Where American Express® Business Line of Credit falls short

Complex fee structure

American Express charges a fee each month that you have an outstanding balance — instead of a more traditional interest rate. You’ll pay this fee in addition to your monthly loan principal payments.
The specific fee you receive will vary based on your loan term, as well as your creditworthiness and other factors. Total monthly fees incurred over the loan term range are:
  • 3% to 9% for six-month loans.
  • 6% to 18% for 12-month loans.
  • 9% to 27% for 18-month loans.
  • 12% to 18% for 24-month loans.
Each time you draw from your line of credit, American Express issues you a separate installment loan with its own loan agreement. You’ll then pay fees on each individual loan.
American Express' proprietary fee structure makes it difficult to compare their costs to other lenders. You should always calculate these types of fees into an annual percentage rate to understand the total borrowing costs.

Not suitable for all businesses

American Express offers small-business loans only in the form of lines of credit and doesn’t offer any other products, such as term loans or invoice financing. If you’d prefer a different type of business loan, you’ll have to consider other lenders.
The American Express® Business Line of Credit is also available only in small amounts — from $2,000 to $250,000 — with short terms of six, 12, 18 or 24 months. Businesses that are looking for larger loan amounts or longer terms will want to explore alternative options.

American Express® Business Line of Credit requirements

Minimum borrower eligibility requirements include:
  • A minimum FICO score of at least
    660
    at the time of application.
  • You started your business at least a year ago.
  • Average monthly revenue of at least $3,000.
You must be able to link a bank account that shows business revenue to qualify for an American Express® Business Line of Credit. It's also important to keep in mind that all businesses are unique and subject to approval and review.

How to apply for an American Express® Business Line of Credit

You can apply for an American Express® Business Line of Credit online. First, you’ll need to create and log in to your American Express account. Then, you will connect your business checking account and any additional accounts to the American Express Business Blueprint™ platform.
American Express will also ask for basic information about you and your business including:
  • Your name, home address and phone number.
  • Your business name, address and phone number.
  • Your business industry.
  • Your business tax ID.
  • Your Social Security number.
Before you submit your application, American Express will ask you to consent to a hard pull on your credit.
If you are approved for an American Express® Business Line of Credit, you’ll receive a loan agreement that lays out your credit line amount, term length and monthly fees.
You will have to sign a personal guarantee as part of your loan agreement.
Keep in mind that when you draw on your credit line, American Express does have minimum withdrawal requirements based on your term length:
  • $500 for a six-month loan.
  • $10,000 for a 12-month or an 18-month loan.
  • $20,000 for a 24-month loan.

Alternatives to the American Express® Business Line of Credit

OnDeck

Like American Express, online lender OnDeck has a streamlined application process. OnDeck offers business lines of credit of up to $100,000 and term loans of up to $250,000. OnDeck lines of credit can have weekly or monthly repayments, whereas American Express’ repayments are monthly, but OnDeck will accept a minimum credit score of
625
. Interest rates on both products run high compared with American Express, however.
For more details on how they compare, read our American Express Business Blueprint™ vs. OnDeck comparison review.

Bluevine

Bluevine offers a business line of credit up to $250,000. And similar to OnDeck, Bluevine can approve applications in just minutes.
Interest rates on a Bluevine line of credit range from approximately
20
% to
50
% APR with terms of six or
12
months. You may be able to qualify with a credit score of
625
or higher.
Learn more about these products in our Bluevine small-business loans review.

Compare your business loan options

The best business loan is generally the one with the lowest rates and most ideal terms. But other factors — like time to fund and your business’s qualifications — can help determine which option you should choose. NerdWallet recommends comparing small-business loans to find the right fit for your business.

Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates small-business loan products from both traditional and online lenders. We collect over 30 data points on each lender using company websites and public documents. We may also go through a lender’s initial application flow and reach out to company representatives. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.
Our star ratings formula takes into account features we consider to be small-business friendly, including: transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to business credit bureaus and responsible lending practices.
We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to small-business owners and how meaningfully they impact borrowers’ experiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

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