American Express Business Loan Review 2022

We examined and scored American Express’s business loans. Here’s what we think of them.
american express logo
American Express
2.7 out of 5 stars
2.7
  • Check
    Low interest rates
  • Check
    Monthly repayment schedule
  • Check
    No hard credit check
  • X
    Exclusivity to American Express cardholders

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You probably already know all about American Express from its credit card offerings (including both personal credit card and business credit card options). So when you hear about this card issuer offering business loans, it’s natural to wonder if American Express business loans are as competitive as its credit cards.

American Express loans come with great, low rates. They also have perks like a monthly repayment schedule (rather than weekly), and you don’t have to have a hard credit check to get one.

But low loan amounts, mysterious borrower requirements, and exclusivity to long-time American Express customers keep us from broadly recommending American Express as a lender.

Want to know more? Then let’s dive in.

Pros
Pro Bullet Low interest rates
Pro Bullet Monthly repayment schedule
Pro Bullet No hard credit check
Cons
Con Bullet Low maximum loan size
Con Bullet Exclusivity to American Express cardholders
Con Bullet Unlisted borrower requirements

American Express loan options and pricing

American Express offers just one type of business financing: a short-term loan.

Still, it’s a relatively versatile loan. American Express lets you use your business loan for all sorts of working capital and cash flow needs (like buying inventory, hiring staff, and creating marketing campaigns). You can also use your American Express loan for debt consolidation (to refinance business credit card debt at a lower interest rate).

The only issue? American Express loans top out at just $75,000―a (much) lower number than we see from most lenders. If you’ve got big expenses and big plans, an American Express working capital loan might not be enough.

If you can live with a smaller loan, though, we’ve found a lot to like about American Express’s small-business loans.

American Express financing

Product
Min./max. loan size
Min./max. APR
Repayment terms
Learn more
Loan$3,500/$75,000 6.98%/19.97%6–36 mos.

Data effective 11/19/21. At publishing time, loan types and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

For example, American Express offers pretty competitive APR (annual percentage rate) on its loans. Sure, you might find a slightly lower interest rate from a traditional bank, but American Express has cheaper loans that we see from online lenders. And it doesn’t charge much in the way of fees―you’ll have no application fee, origination fee, or prepayment penalty to worry about. (Just late payment fees.)

American Express also offers a nice spread of loan terms (for a short-term loan anyway). Your loan term can be 6, 12, 24, or 36 months. Yes, you can get a longer loan term elsewhere, but these short terms make sense for the smaller loan sizes offered by American Express.

American Express loan features

Clearly, the biggest perk to American Express loans are the low interest rates. But it’s also got a couple other features we like.

For example, your loan will have a monthly repayment schedule―not the weekly or even daily repayment schedule offered by so many online lenders. That can really free up cash flow for your business. (Of course, your monthly payment amount will depend on your loan size, loan term, and APR.)

Put simply, American Express doesn’t have the biggest loans or the lowest rates out there―but its rates and fees are still competitive, as are its loan terms and repayment schedule.

We also like that American Express doesn’t do a hard credit check when you apply for its loans. Not for pre-approval or final approval―which sets it apart from many other lenders.

American Express vs. other business lenders

And speaking of other lenders, let’s look more at how they compare.

American Express vs. other business lenders

Product
Lowest listed rate
Min. credit score
Loan options
Learn more
American Express6.98% APRUnlistedTerm loan
BlueVine4.8% interest530Lines of credit & invoice factoring
Fundbox4.66% draw rate600Lines of credit
Funding Circle6% interest650Lines of credit, term loans, & SBA loans
OnDeck35% APR600Lines of credit & term loans

Data effective 11/12/21. At publishing time, loan types and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

American Express offers lower rates than many online lenders. (Remember as you look at the table that BlueVine and Funding Circle are using interest, which doesn’t include fee costs. American Express uses APR, which does.) It’s definitely cheaper than alternative lenders like Fundbox that use loan fees instead of interest.

Of course, the biggest difference comes down to exclusivity. As we’ll discuss in a minute, American Express only lends to long-time users of its other products. Most lenders will happily lend to new customers (as long as they meet other borrower requirements).

So let’s go ahead and look at that exclusivity thing―and some other drawbacks.

American Express loan drawbacks

As we mentioned in the beginning, American Express has some downsides that keep it from being one of our favorite lenders.

Exclusivity

The biggest issue with American Express’s business loans? They’re available only to American Express customers―or, more specifically, small-business owners that already have a business credit card from American Express.

In fact, you need to have had an American Express business card for at least one year before you can potentially qualify for an American Express business loan.

Fortunately, American Express offers some of the best small-business credit cards out there, including our recommended picks:

  • Blue Business Cash Card
  • Blue Business Plus Credit Card
  • Business Gold Card
  • Business Platinum Card
  • Delta SkyMiles Gold Business Card

But any of its business credit cards will do.

If you’ve had your credit card for one year, then American Express may pre-approve you for a business loan. You just have to check your American Express account and see if you have an offer.

Now, we’ll talk more about the loan pre-approval and application process in a bit. But first, what does it take to get pre-approved for an American Express business loan?

Borrower requirements

Unfortunately, American Express doesn’t list borrower requirements (outside of the credit card requirement). But clearly, if you want to get a business loan from American Express, you need to be able to qualify for one of its credit card options.

Minimum borrower requirements for American Express

Min. credit score
Min. revenue
Min. time in business
Learn more
Unlisted$100,0001 yr.

Data effective 11/19/21. At publishing time, loan types and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

American Express doesn’t list specific criteria for its credit cards either. But its credit card finding tool assumes that your business makes at least $100,000 in annual revenue. And based on what we know of this card issuer, we expect you need at least a good personal credit score―probably in the high 600s, at minimum.

So between revenue requirements, credit expectations, and the year-long relationship requirement, American Express business loans aren’t the easiest to get. And as we showed you, its loans are good―but not jaw-droppingly so.

That’s why we ultimately recommend American Express loans only to existing American Express customers. Sure, you could always apply for an AmEx card today and a loan in a year―but we’d suggest using that time to work toward better loans (like the best low-interest small-business loans).

If you already use and like American Express, though, it has decent working capital loans. But how do you get them?

How to get an American Express business loan

Like we said, American Express will pre-approve you for a business loan if it thinks you’ll qualify. So if you want one of its loans, login to your account and check for a pre-approval offer.

If you don’t see an offer, there’s not much you can do except keep using your American Express card wisely and working on your personal and business credit scores. With any luck, American Express will eventually offer you a loan.

If you do see a loan pre-approval offer, it should include details about exactly how much money American Express will lend your business. It will also include your maximum APR (though your actual rate could end up lower).

Money
Will an American Express loan affect your credit score?

Applying for an American Express business loan won’t affect your credit score, as there’s no hard credit check. But if you get approved for and accept a business loan, American Express will report your loan and repayment to credit bureaus.

If the loan offer looks appealing, you have to submit a fairly simple loan application with information about yourself and your business (like your business revenue and your personal income).

As part of your application, you’ll also tell American Express how much you want to borrow. Likewise, you’ll choose a monthly payment option (which, as we said earlier, will vary depending on the loan amount and repayment schedule you want).

From there, American Express will review your application. Since you’ve been pre-approved, your odds of getting approved are good. In fact, in some cases American Express will instantly approve your application. In other cases, though, you may have to wait a few days.

Either way, your approved loan funds will get transferred into your business bank account in three to five days.

Grow your business today

Browse hundreds of loan options, custom-tailored to your business and budget needs, from a single, simple platform.

American Express customer reviews

Now that you know our take on American Express business loans, you might be wondering what actual American Express borrowers have to say.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of American Express reviews out there have to do with American Express cards―not its business loans. And they’re mostly about its personal credit cards too, rather than its business products. So it’s hard to say what business loan customers say.

We will tell you, though, that American Express as a whole has pretty negative customer reviews. It earns just a 1.7 on Trustpilot (out of 5).1 That’s not unheard of for banks and credit card companies, but it’s definitely not a great score.

Most reviews we saw complained about poor customer service, confusing credit limits, and problems redeeming credit card rewards. A business loan shouldn’t have issues with credit limits or rewards, but the poor customer service is something you might want to consider.

Of course, if you qualify for an American Express business loan, you’ve already been using American Express for at least one year. So you probably have your own opinions about the company―and hopefully you like it more than many of its customers do.

Want more options? Fund your business with a personal loan

The takeaway

If you’ve got an American Express credit card, you may qualify for one of its working capital term loans. While you won’t get a huge loan from American Express, you can get pretty low interest rates and fees (plus a nice monthly payment cadence) without a hard credit check, making them an appealing financing option.

But if you don’t already have an AmEx card, we suggest looking elsewhere for your next business loan. Sure, American Express business loans have a lot going for them―but if you can qualify for an American Express credit card, you can probably qualify for other (bigger) business loans too.

Want to compare American Express financing to other business loan options? Take a look at our rankings of the best small-business loans.

Methodology

We researched American Express business loans, focusing on specific factors like loan amounts, interest rates, borrower requirements, and so on. After scoring American Express on those factors, we calculated its overall score and analyzed how it compared other business lenders.

American Express business loan FAQ

Does American Express offer business loans?

Yes, American Express offers business loans―specifically short-term working capital loans. You have to have had a business credit card with American Express for at least one year to qualify.

Is American Express an SBA lender?

No, American Express doesn’t offer SBA loans (loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration). You’ll have to get your SBA 7(a) loans and PPP loans elsewhere.

Can I get a business loan with a 500 credit score?

Yes, you may be able to get a business loan with a 500 credit score―depending on your other borrower qualifications (like revenue and time in business). We’ve even got a list of the best bad credit small-business loans. Just plan on paying more in interest and fees.

Can I get a business loan with a 750 credit score?

Yes, you should qualify for all sorts of business loans with a 750 credit score (assuming you have an established business with decent revenue). In fact, a 750 credit score should qualify you for even low-cost bank loans.

Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Sources:

  1. Trustpilot, “American Express.” Accessed November 19, 2021.
Chloe Goodshore
Written by
Chloe Goodshore
Chloe covers business financing and loans for Business.org. She has worked with many small businesses over the past 10 years, from video game stores to law firms. Those years watching frustrated business owners try to sift through their many options gave her a passion for breaking down complex business topics. She wants to help business owners spend less time agonizing over their businesses so they can spend more time running them.
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