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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

American Express Personal Loans Review 2020

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American Express is well known for offering a range of personal and business credit cards. It also offers personal loans with competitive rates and few fees for existing credit cardholders, as well as online savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).

To qualify for a personal loan, you must receive an offer from American Express and meet eligibility criteria. Our in-depth review covers what you need to know about American Express personal loans and how to decide if one is right for you.    

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Pros Explained

  • Competitive rates: American Express offers an annual percentage rate (APR) as low as 6.98% for the most creditworthy borrowers. 
  • Ability to pre-qualify with a soft credit check: You can check personal loan rates without impacting your credit score.
  • Quick decision process: American Express promises a decision “within seconds,” according to the company’s website. 
  • Minimal fees: There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties. 

Cons Explained

  • Must be an existing cardholder: You must have an American Express credit card and receive an offer to apply for a personal loan.
  • No flexibility on payment due date: You can’t change when your loan payment is due.  
  • Low maximum loan amount: The maximum loan amount is $40,000, which is low compared to some competitors. 
  • Late payment fee: Borrowers are charged $39 for late payments and insufficient funds.

Types of Personal Loans Offered by American Express

American Express offers one unsecured personal loan for existing credit cardholders.

Loan Amounts

If you qualify, you can borrow between $3,500 to $40,000. The amount depends on your creditworthiness.


American Express offers a competitive fixed rate personal loan, but doesn’t offer a variable rate option.

Fixed Rate APR 6.98% to 19.98%
Variable Rate APR N/A

Loan Terms

Personal loan terms range from 12 to 36 months.

Credit Score Requirements

American Express doesn’t list a minimum credit score on its website. But keep in mind that not everyone will qualify for the lowest APR, largest loan amount, or all repayment options. 


The lender doesn’t charge an origination fee or prepayment penalty. But you need to watch fees for late payments or insufficient funds for which it charges $39.

Time to Receive Funds

After signing your personal loan agreement, it may take three-to-five business days to receive the funds. It may take longer if American Express needs to verify your bank account.

American Express Personal Loan Features

In addition to the features mentioned above, personal loans offered by American Express also have these characteristics:

  • Quick online application: American Express offers a fast online application process. 
  • Pay creditors directly: The lender can pay up to four creditors directly, which is a convenient option to consolidate credit card debt.
  • Mutiple ways to use the money: You can use the money for debt consolidation, home renovations, or other large purchases. 

American Express personal loans have some restrictions. You can’t use the funds for post-secondary education, real estate, business, buying stocks, purchasing a vehicle, or paying off an American Express credit card.

Apply for an American Express Personal Loan

To apply for a personal loan, you must be an existing American Express credit cardholder in good standing. You also must receive a personal loan offer from American Express.

You can start the process by entering a loan amount and credit score on the lender’s website. It will show your estimated monthly payment options—12, 24, or 36 months. You can check if you have an offer from American Express by clicking on the blue “check for offer” button. You will need to login to see the offer. 

If you have an offer, you may pre-qualify with a soft inquiry on your credit—which won’t impact your credit score. Before submitting a personal loan application, you can see your maximum loan amount, maximum APR, and repayment options. This isn’t a guarantee of approval. The personal loan application will ask for the following details:

  • Amount you want to borrow
  • Desired repayment period
  • Purpose for personal loan
  • Your income

Once you submit the application, American Express will conduct a hard inquiry on your credit. This will temporarily lower your credit score. Most applicants will receive an answer “within seconds,” according to American Express. But it may take longer if the company needs additional information.

You must have a valid checking account to receive the funds via direct deposit. The process may be faster if American Express already has your banking details on file. After signing the personal loan agreement, American Express will transfer the money within three-to-five business days.

There is a brief timeline—only three days—to sign the personal loan agreement after approval. If you miss this deadline, American Express will withdraw your application and you can’t re-apply for 60 days.    

Can I Refinance a Personal Loan with American Express?

It’s not possible to refinance an American Express personal loan, according to a customer service representative.


If you’re an existing American Express credit cardholder and looking for a personal loan between $3,500 to $40,000, it’s worthwhile to check for an offer. The APR is competitive for eligible borrowers. You can pre-qualify without hurting your credit score and you may get a loan approval within seconds.

This personal loan isn’t the most flexible option, though. You can’t apply with someone else, change the payment due date, or refinance later. Keep those restrictions in mind before submitting an application.


Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of personal loan lenders. We collected over 25 data points across more than 50 lenders—including interest rates, fees, loan amounts, and repayment terms—to ensure that our content helps users make the right borrowing decision for their needs.

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