American Express® Personal Loans Review 2023

American Express offers personal loans to its cardholders, but how does it stack up to personal loan lenders? Compare rates, terms, and more.
A man uses his laptop computer to apply for a personal loan
Edited by:
Kristin Marino verified
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Using credit cards is convenient, but if you need to finance a large purchase, a personal loan may offer a lower interest rate and predictable payments. For American Express cardholders, an American Express® personal loan is the logical choice for fast access to cash.

Keep reading to learn more about how to get an American Express personal loan and how one compares to other lending options.

American Express Personal Loans At a Glance

Some of the top reasons you may want an American Express personal loan include the following:

  • Loans of $3,500 to $40,000 available
  • Competitive fixed interest rate
  • No origination fee
  • No pre-payment penalty
  • Easy application process
  • Decisions usually made in seconds

Of course, no loan is perfect, and here are some drawbacks of American Express personal loans:

  • You must be a current Amex cardholder to apply
  • Loans can’t be used for certain purposes
  • May take 3-5 days to receive funds

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Compare American Express to Other Lenders

It’s always smart to shop around for the best personal loan, and here’s a look at how American Express compares to other lenders.


Avant is another company that makes it easy to apply for a personal loan online. Like American Express, it will offer large loans up to $35,000, and it offers convenient account management tools.

You’ll get your money faster with Avant, which usually disburses money in one to two days, but you’ll have to pay an origination fee that is currently 4.75% of the loan amount.


If you need a very large loan, SoFi will extend up to $100,000 to qualified borrowers. The company will also send payments directly to creditors if you are paying off debt with your loan, a feature not offered by American Express.

However, SoFi can take up to three days to make a lending decision, and its top interest rate is higher than that charged by American Express.


Those with lower credit scores may find they are more easily approved for a loan through LendingPoint than American Express. The company’s minimum credit score requirement is only 580.

While American Express operates nationwide, residents of some states won’t be able to apply for loans through LendingPoint. Depending on state law, LendingPoint may also charge an origination fee on some loans.

Compare these and other personal loan lenders to see how they stack up.

American Express Personal Loans Top Features

Here’s what we think makes American Express personal loans a viable option for borrowers:

Easy application

Since only American Express cardholders are eligible to take out personal loans, the company already has most of an applicant’s information. That means applying couldn’t be easier.

Wide range of loan amounts

Not every company is willing to extend personal loans for $40,000, but American Express will if your credit and income are sufficient. Or if you only need a small amount, the company provides loans for as little as $3,500.

No required fees

American Express doesn’t charge an application or origination fee. There aren’t any pre-payment penalties either. The only fee you might be charged is $39 if your payment is late or returned for insufficient funds.

Autopay available

You won’t have to worry about paying late fees, though, if you sign up for autopay. American Express will automatically debit your bank account for the payment each month after you sign up for this feature.

Fixed interest rate

Variable rates can change over the course of a loan, but American Express charges a fixed interest rate so you don’t have to worry about your costs or payment amount ever changing.

Multiple terms available

American Express lets applicants select from several repayment options, such as 12, 24, or 36-month loans. This allows applicants to adjust their monthly payments to fit their budgets.

Funds directly deposited

Money from an American Express personal loan will be directly deposited into the bank account of your choice.

Simple account management

Loans can be managed in a cardholder’s existing American Express account and no separate log-in is required.

What Is American Express?

American Express is a company that needs no introduction for many people. Founded in 1850, the company has grown into one of the country’s premier financial institutions. While it is best known for its charge and credit cards, it actually offers a full line of banking products.

Currently, you can use American Express for all the following:

  • Personal and business cards
  • Personal savings accounts and CDs
  • Personal and business checking
  • Personal loans and business lines of credit

American Express also offers investment and financial planning services, and it has a popular travel rewards program as well.

Who Is American Express Personal Loans For?

You’ll need to have an American Express card to apply for a personal loan from the company. Only those who have preapproved offers are eligible.

There are also restrictions on how you can use your loan. American Express prohibits borrowers from using their loan proceeds for certain purposes, such as consolidating or paying off balances on American Express cards, paying for college expenses or funding a real estate business.

You can use an American Express loan for any of the following:

  • Personal, family, or household expenses
  • Debt consolidation from existing, eligible credit cards
  • Major purchases
  • Home improvements and repairs
  • Down payment or repairs to a vehicle
  • Vacations, weddings, or other life events

While there are some restrictions, an American Express personal loan can be a good way to quickly and easily access the cash you need for almost anything.

How Do American Express Personal Loans Work?

Requesting a loan through American Express is a straightforward process. Since only those who have been preapproved can apply, it is also quick and easy to set up your loan.

Here are the steps involved in receiving a personal loan from American Express:

  1. Check for a preapproved loan offer in your existing American Express account.
  2. Complete the application, which includes selecting your loan amount and repayment term.
  3. Receive a decision within seconds.
  4. Funds will be transferred within 3-5 business days to the bank account you indicated on your application.
  5. Use the funds to pay off credit cards, go on vacation, fix up your house, or almost anything else you’d like.

Be sure to make your monthly loan payments on time though. While American Express personal loans don’t charge an origination fee or pre-payment penalty, you could get hit with a charge if your payment is late. Use the autopay function to avoid this possibility.

How to Get Started

American Express cardholders should log into their existing account to apply. After logging in, some people might receive a pop-up inviting them to apply for a personal loan. If you don’t, navigate to the Amex Offers section of your account and look for a link to personal loans there.

Assuming you have been preapproved, you will be brought to the application page. At the top, your approved loan amount and interest rate will appear.

Scroll down to fill out the rest of the application which includes the following:

  • How much you’d like to borrow
  • Your repayment term
  • Where you’d like the funds sent
  • Whether you’d like to enroll in autopay
  • Total annual income and, if you’d like, non-taxable income and asset value
  • What you plan to use the loan for

For that last question, American Express provides a drop-down box that allows you to select from options such as credit card debt consolidation, medical expenses, a wedding, or something else.

Once everything has been completed, American Express displays the terms of your loan and estimated monthly payment. If everything looks good to you, there is a box to click saying you agree to the company’s terms and then you can click “submit.”

Rating the Features

If you are applying for an American Express personal loan, here’s what you can expect from its top features.

User Experience

It couldn’t be easier to apply for a personal loan from American Express. Since the company only extends preapprovals to existing customers, very little information is required on the application. It is as simple as filling in a couple of boxes.

Fees and Rates

This is another area in which American Express excels. It doesn’t charge an origination fee or pre-payment penalties. The only fee you might be assessed is a late charge. Meanwhile, its interest rates are comparable to or lower than those charged by other online lenders.


American Express has a comprehensive FAQs section that answers almost all questions applicants may have. A link to this section is clearly displayed next to the application, and if you need additional assistance, American Express customer services are available via phone or live chat.


If there is a critique to make about American Express personal loans, it would be the lack of flexibility in the payment date. Many companies allow borrowers to select a payment date that is convenient for them, but that is not an option with American Express.

Customer Support

American Express’s customer service is what you would expect from a major U.S. firm. It has a user-friendly website and app and provides multiple ways to reach its customer service representatives. The help section of the Amex website also makes it easy to do things such as update personal details.

Pros and Cons of American Express Personal Loans

Here’s a closer look at the benefits and potential drawbacks of an American Express Personal Loan.

Pros of American Express Personal Loans

Cons of American Express Personal Loans

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does Amex do a hard credit report pull for a loan?

No, American Express only conducts a soft inquiry for its loans. This doesn’t affect your credit score in the same way as a hard inquiry. The company may be able to use a soft credit check since it only offers loans to existing credit card customers.

What can you use Amex personal loan for?

Personal loans can be used for a variety of purposes, such as making a major purchase, consolidating debt, or completing home repairs. However, you can’t pay off Amex credit cards with your loan. There are also restrictions on using loan funds for college expenses and real estate businesses.

What is the minimum credit score for American Express?

American Express credit cards and loans are typically reserved for those with good to excellent credit so those with scores greater than 700 are most likely to be approved.

Bottom Line

An American Express personal loan is a top choice for current Amex cardholders. Borrowers get all the following:

  • A competitive interest rate
  • Easy application process
  • Convenient account management tools

There is little to dislike here, but the requirement of being an Amex cardholder to apply takes a lot of borrowers out of the running. If you aren’t an American Express cardholder, check out some of the other best personal loan options.