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American Express personal loans: 2023 review

Updated on June 13, 2023
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At a glance

Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
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Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5
Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5
Customer Experience
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5

About Bankrate Score

American Express has been in business since 1850 and strives to “provide the world’s best customer experience every day.” Headquartered in New York City, this lender serves customers across the U.S. and operates in 175 countries with 2,300 offices across the world.

Loan amount $3,500 - $40,000
APR from 5.98% starting rate
Clock Wait
Term lengths 12 to 48 months
This lender is best for borrowers looking for fast funding.

American Express is best for fast funding

To apply for an American Express personal loan, you must be an American Express card member and get preapproved. If you’ve received a preapproval offer, you can apply in minutes. 

American Express even populates your application to make the process faster. Once you have applied, you will receive a decision almost instantly. You can expect to receive funding within one to two business days. The American Express personal loan application and funding process is faster than many of its competitors, making American Express a great choice for borrowers who need their funds as soon as possible.

This lender might not be right for you if you are not and do not want to become an American Express card member. Although American Express does not specify a minimum credit score requirement, borrowers with bad credit may have a difficult time qualifying.

American Express pros and cons


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    Flexible loan amounts.

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    Fully online process.

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    Minimal fees.

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    Fast funding.


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    Membership requirement.

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    You must be preapproved to apply.

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    No option to change your due date.

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    No autopay discount.

Do you qualify?

You must meet the following eligibility requirements to qualify for an American Express personal loan.

What American Express doesn't allow loan funds to be used for

Personal loans from American Express can’t be used toward postsecondary education, business-related costs, real estate, securities or as a down payment or funds for a vehicle purchase. Additionally, it must not be used for any activity that is illegal.

How this lender compares

Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
APR from
5.98% starting rate
Loan Amount
$3,500 - $40,000
Term Length
12 to 48 months
Min Credit Score
Not disclosed
Rating: 4.6 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
APR from
8.49% - 24.49%
Loan Amount
$3,000 - $100,000
Term Length
12 - 84 months
Min Credit Score
Not disclosed
Rating: 4.8 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
APR from
7.99% to 24.99%
Loan Amount
$2,500 to $40,000
Term Length
36 to 84 months
Min Credit Score

American Express vs. Wells Fargo 

For borrowers who prefer the reputation that longstanding financial institutions carry, Wells Fargo is another strong option when searching for a personal loan. Similarly, the bank carries a minimum of $3,000 but goes up to $100,00 — ideal for those looking to finance a large expense. 

Another upside to a loan with Wells Fargo is the ability to work in person at a local branch. This face-to-face communication is not a perk offered by American Express, as all communication will be online. The latter option also boasts more long term long options, up to 84 months. 

American Express vs. Discover

Another financial institution, Discover is a great personal loan option for those with strong credit. Unlike American Express, there is a minimum credit score requirement disclosed of 660. While this qualification is fairly high, it is a good option for those who fall into that credit score band. 

Additionally, Discover offers borrowers online support that makes it stand out against other bank lender options. Specifically, there are helpful loan calculators which provide you with a firm idea of how much you’ll spend and what you can afford. 

American Express: in the details

What we like and what we don’t like

Every personal loan product has pros and cons that you’ll need to consider in your decision. Below is our take on the advantages and disadvantages of personal loans from American Express.

What we like

  • Flexible loan amounts. The lower limit of $3,500 ensures that you aren’t forced to borrow more money than you need. While the maximum borrowing threshold of $40,000 is flexible enough to cover high-cost expenses related to a home renovation or other life expenses.
  • Fully online process. Applying for an American Express personal loan is completely digital, taking just a few minutes to apply. You’ll also receive a decision nearly instantly to help you avoid wasting time as you search for the right personal loan for your needs. 
  • Minimal fees. You won’t get dinged for being a responsible borrower when you pay down your loan early with American Express. You also won't be charged an origination fee — also known as a loan processing fee.
  • Fast funding. Borrowers can receive funding for their personal loan needs in three to five business days following the initial application.

What we don't like

  • Membership requirement. Only existing American Express card members are eligible to apply for a personal loan through the lender. If you’re not already a member, it might not make sense for you to open a new revolving credit card account just to meet this eligibility criteria. 
  • You must be preapproved to apply. American Express personal loans applications are available by invitation only. Even if you open an American Express credit card account to address the first disadvantage, there’s no guarantee that you’ll automatically receive a personal loan offer.
  • No option to change your due date. Your loan payment due date is the date your personal loan is approved, and there’s no option to change it. This can be problematic if you’d like your payment due date to fall after pay day or on a specific date to better align with your monthly budget. Some lenders offer the option to change your due date.
  • No autopay discount. Although American Express gives you the option of setting up autopay when you apply for its personal loan, there’s no additional incentive for enrolling in automatic payments. Some lenders give their borrowers a nominal interest rate discount when enrolling their personal loan account in autopay.

How to contact American Express

If you are an American Express card member and have any questions about the personal loan process, you can contact the American Express support and help center over the phone, online chat or through the mobile app. 

The American Express mobile app is available for both Android and iOS users. You can call the personal loan customer service direct line at 844-273-1384 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.

How to apply for a personal loan with American Express

Applying for an American Express personal loan is straightforward, as long as you’re already an existing card member and have been preapproved. Here’s how to apply:

Each of the steps are completed on a single application page, making it easy to navigate the process. In total, the application for an American Express personal loan takes a few minutes to complete.

Fees and penalties

American Express does not charge origination fees, application fees or prepayment penalties. The only fee associated with the American Express personal loan is a $39 fee for late payments.

American Express FAQs

How Bankrate rates American Express

Overall Score 4.4 Explanation
Availability 4.7 American Express does not list certain requirements, which makes it harder to determine overall loan affordability.
Affordability 4.3 The funding takes a little longer with this lender than many others.
Customer Experience 5.0 American Express offers 24/7 customer support, an app and online account access.
Transparency 3.8 American Express discloses some expected fees and allows for prequalification.


To select the best personal loans, Bankrate’s team of experts evaluated over 30 lenders. Each lender was ranked using a meticulous 20-point system, focusing on four main categories:

  • Affordability: The interest rates, penalties and fees are measured in this section of the score. Lower rates and fees and fewer potential penalties result in a higher score. We also give bonus points to lenders offering rate discounts, grace periods and that allow borrowers to change their due date. 
  • Availability: Minimum loan amounts, number of repayment terms, eligibility requirements, ability to apply using a co-borrower or co-signer and loan turnaround time are considered in this category.
  • Customer experience: This category covers customer service hours, if online applications are available, online account access and mobile apps.
  • Transparency: For this factor, we consider how well information is presented to the borrower on the lender’s website. This includes listing credit requirements, rates and fees, in addition to offering prequalification.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the lender’s website for the most current information.