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American Express personal loans: 2024 review

Updated on October 4, 2023

At a glance

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Check rate with Bankrate
Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
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Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
Rating: 4.3 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.

Lender Details


Loan amount

$3,500 - $40,000


APR from


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Term lengths

12 to 60 months

American Express is best for current members

To apply for an American Express personal loan, you must have an American Express card and receive a preapproval offer. If approved, you can expect to receive funding within three to five business days. The application process is faster than many of its competitors, but you can easily find other lenders with quicker funding — and less strict requirements.

American Express personal loans might not be right for you if you are not and do not want to become an American Express cardholder. Although American Express does not specify a minimum credit score, borrowers with bad credit may have a difficult time qualifying even if they have a preapproval offer.

American Express pros and cons


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    Low minimum APR.

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    Fully online process.

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    Minimal fees.


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    Membership requirement.

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    You must be preapproved to apply.

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    Comparatively slow funding timeline.

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
Loan Amount
$3,500 - $40,000
Term Length
12 to 60 months
Min Credit Score
Not disclosed
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
APR from
Loan Amount
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. 

Read a full comparison of American Express vs. Wells Fargo

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. 

Read a full comparison of American Express vs. Discover

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

  • Low minimum APR. While American Express doesn't list its maximum APR for its personal loans, it does have the minimum — one of the lowest available. 
  • Fully online process. Applying for an American Express personal loan is completely digital with a nearly instant decision.
  • Minimal fees. American Express only charges a late fee to help keep the cost of borrowing down.

What we don't like

  • Membership requirement. Only existing American Express card members are eligible — and even then, you need a preapproval offer.
  • You must be preapproved to apply. American Express personal loans are available by invitation only. Even if you get an American Express credit card, there’s no guarantee that you’ll receive an offer.
  • Slower funding timeline. Many lenders are able to process and fund loans in one to two business days. American Express can take up to five. 

How to contact American Express

If you 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. 

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.