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American Express Business Loans Review

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American Express Business Loans Review

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Date Established
1850
Location
New York, NY

Pros

  • No origination fee
  • Reasonable terms and fees
  • Suited for small businesses

Cons

  • Only available to American Express customers
  • (Some products) unsuited to large businesses

Overview

American Express is a financial service company based in New York City. You’ve probably heard of their charge cards. What you may not know is that they provide a number of other financial services, including loans to businesses.

Though their rates are competitive and their products versatile, loan products are only available to Amex’s business card holders or merchants that accept American Express cards.

Not carrying or swiping Amex cards? Check out our short-term funding comparison chart.

Services Offered

American Express offers the following loan products:

Borrower Qualifications

These are the preferred prerequisites to qualify for funding through Amex:

RequirementMinimum requirement
Time In Business:24 months
Personal Credit Score:Unknown
Business Revenue:$50,000 per year

You’ll also need to be an American Express Business Card holder for Working Capital and Business Loans. For Merchant Financing, you’ll need to accept American Express cards. Depending on the product, you may also need to do at least $12,000 in card-based sales annually.

Terms & Fees

Merchant Financing

Here are the terms for Amex’s Merchant Financing loans:

RequirementMinimum requirement
Borrowing Amount:$5,000 – $2 million
Term Length:6, 12, or 24 months
Fixed Fee:1.75% - 28% of the borrowing amount
Origination Fee:None
APR:Learn more
Collateral:None; personal guarantee for loans of $35,000 or less

Merchant Financing resembles a merchant cash advance in a number of ways, but Amex’s product is not a purchase of your future receivables. It’s a true short-term loan.

If you qualify for Merchant Financing, you’ll be quoted a flat fee in the form of a percentage. This percentage is multiplied by the amount you’re borrowing. So if you accept a $10,000 at a 10 percent, you’ll owe $11,000. Amex also provides an early payoff incentive in the form of a rebate. Here’s how that works:

  • 6-month term: 25 percent rebate if you pay in full within 90 days; 10 percent if you pay in full within 135 days.
  • 12-month term: 25 percent rebate if you pay in full within 180 days; 10 percent if you pay in full within 270 days.
  • 24-month term: 25 percent rebate if you pay in full within 360 days; 10 percent if you pay in full within 540 days.

You have four repayment options for Merchant Financing:

  • Amex Receivables: You can have Amex hold back a percentage of your daily American Express receivables (similar to a merchant cash advance).
  • Split-funding: In this case, you’ll be sharing a percentage of your total daily receivables. This is done through a partnership with your payment processor.
  • Transfer Account: Amex will open a temporary transfer account with Wells Fargo. Your total receivables will be sent to that account. Wells Fargo will then send a percentage of your receivables to Amex.
  • Automated Clearing House: A fixed amount will automatically be deducted from your business bank account each day.

Late fees, when applicable, are $39 or 2.99 percent of the past due amount, whichever is greater.

Apply for AMEX Merchant Financing

Working Capital

Here are the terms for Amex’s Working Capital loans:

RequirementMinimum requirement
Borrowing Amount:$1,000 - $750,000
Term Length:30, 60, or 90 days
Fixed Fee:0.5% - 5.2% of the borrowing amount
Origination Fee:None
APR:Learn more
Collateral:None

Amex’s Working Capital loans are unusual financial products offered exclusively to business card holders. Essentially, they allow you to take out a very short-term loan, make no payments for the term length, and then repay the entirety of the loan plus your flat fee at the end of the term.

There are a couple catches. The money you’re borrowing is paid directly to a third party vendor; it never passes through your hands. Secondly, your repayment is automatically debited from your bank account, so you’ll want to be sure you have the full amount you borrowed plus your flat fee deposited in that account when that happens.

Apply for AMEX Working Capital loan

Business Loans

Here are the terms for Business Loans:

RequirementMinimum requirement
Borrowing Amount:$3,500 - $50,000
Term Length:1, 2, or 3 years
APR:6.98 – 19.97%
Origination Fee:None
Collateral:None

Amex Business Card members who are looking for medium-term loans can tap the company’s aptly named Business Loan product. You can check your pre-approved rate online through your American Express account and then apply for the loan at the quoted terms at any time.

Unlike the other two products, Amex’s business loans use a traditional APR rather than a flat fee to calculate your interest. The better your credit, the better your APR will be. And the shorter your term, the less interest your loan will accrue. Payments are monthly and, as is the case with Amex’s other products, there are several payment methods to choose from.

Apply for AMEX business loan

Application Process

To apply for Merchant Financing, your business has to accept American Express Cards. To begin the application process, you can visit American Express’s site.

To apply for a Working Capital loan or Business Loan, you’ll have to be an American Express Business Card member. In the case of the latter, you’ll also need to have an account on American Express’s website and be preapproved for the loan. For Working Capital loans, you can enroll in the program on Amex’s website. Once you’re approved for an amount, you can tap that money to make a vendor payment at your discretion.

Sales & Advertising Transparency

Just about all the information you need is available on Amex’s website, so long as you’re willing to navigate through a page or two. There are even loan calculators available that you can use to estimate your payment. The one criticism I’d have is that the Business Loan product doesn’t have as extensive documentation as the other two.

Customer Service & Technical Support

Customer support is available through FAQs on the company’s website or by phone at 1-855-531-2364. If you prefer social media, American Express has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

American Express has a generally positive reputation where customer service is concerned.

Negative Reviews & Complaints

American Express has maintained an A+ rating with the BBB. As you might expect of a company of their size, however, there are plenty of criticisms to go around. Here are a few:

  • Unclear Terms: Mostly related to Amex’s charge cards, these complaints cited credit limits and fees that went up without notice.
  • Technical Difficulties: A few customers complained about funds being routed to the wrong account or vendor.
  • Unresponsive: Some customers found Amex slow to respond to their issues.

Positive Reviews & Testimonials

Here are some of the positive qualities reviewers have assigned to American Express’s loan services:

  • Fast: Amex can get your funds to you, or to your vendor, typically within a couple days.
  •  Good customer service: Most customers found American Express’s customer service to be helpful and knowledgeable.
  • Good rates: As alternative loans go, American Express offers competitive rates to businesses that use their products.

Final Verdict

American Express offers a convenient and competitive service to business card holders and merchants who accept Amex cards at point of sale. If you don’t already fall into one of those categories, I wouldn’t suggest getting involved with American Express’s infrastructure just to access their loans. On the other hand, if you’re already a customer who qualifies for these loans, you should definitely give them a look.

Not ready to commit to a charge card? You can find other sources of funding through our comparison charts for merchant cash advances and small business loans.

Compare top traditional loan options:
LenderBorrowing AmountTermReq. Time in BusinessMin. Credit ScoreNext Steps

$5K - $500K3 - 36 monthsx1.003 - x1.04/mo12 months600Apply Now

$5K - $500K13 - 52 weeksx1.029 - x1.18729 months550Apply Now

$2K - $5MVariesAs low as 2%6 months550Apply Now

$20K - $500K1 - 4 years7.99% - 29.99% APR2 years660Apply Now
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Chris Motola

Chris Motola

Finance Writer at Merchant Maverick
Chris Motola is a writer, programmer, game designer, and product of NY. These days he's mostly writing about financial products, but in a past life he wrote about health care and business. He's a graduate of the University of Central Florida.
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1 Comment

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Jenifer stedman

    Organization Name: Acemebar

    Out sourced financing that isnt actually American Express. Document team is in a third world country. So are the underwriters. I would take your business to a REAL financial company not an outsourced third party

    1
    • Organization Name: Acemebar

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