American Express Review

ByTop10 StaffAug.21, 2018

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In a Nutshell

American Express offers a variety of funding options for your business, most notably merchant financing, though it also offers business credit cards and working capital loans, with excellent customer ratings and the backing of a secure and reputable financial institution.

pros

  • Easy online application
  • Merchant Funding within 1 to 3 weeks
  • No origination or prepayment fees

cons

  • Only available to merchants accepting AmEx Cards
  • No guarantee of pre-approval for Business Loans

American Express at a Glance 

Loan typesMerchant financing, working capital, business loans
Loan amount$5,000 to $2 million for merchant financing
Age of business2 years
Repayment terms30 days to 24 months for merchant financing
Minimum credit score650+
Minimum monthly revenue$4,000
Time until fundingTypically 1 to 3 weeks for merchant financing

Overview

American Express is more than just one of the biggest names in the credit card business. It also offers many financial services, focusing on merchant financing with terms from 6 to 24 months and an 83% approval rating, business loans and working capital. With American Express, you can secure the funding your business needs to realize its growth potential. 

Best For?

American Express excels at merchant financing, providing large amounts for short periods of time and is best suited for financing big projects or simply for expanding your business. 65% of merchants who apply get an instant decision, and most customers return for more financing in the future. Use your funds to manage cash flow or to take advantage of a new opportunity for your business, and repay in daily increments. American Express merchant financing also offers auto-debt, so you know what you'll pay every day, or payments as a percentage of your receivables, so you'll pay based on how your business is doing.  Early repayment is free, with reimbursement of up to 25% of your fixed fee. 

Loan Features

Each of the financing options has different eligibility requirements, different terms and conditions, and caters to a different set of purposes. Below are highlights of all 3 types of financing: merchant financing, business loans, and working capital.

  • American Express merchant financing loans are commercial loans for bigger purposes. They are open to eligible AmEx card-accepting businesses in certain industries. They come with a fixed fee designed to give your business predictability and allow you to focus on expansion, and are secured by business assets. These loans may only be used for business purposes and pre-approval can be instant. 

  • American Express business loans are for pre-approved business card members. They can be used to consolidate high-interest debt on up to 4 business cards at a lower fixed rate without origination fees or pre-payment penalties. Loans can also be used to invest in your business’s growth actions such as opening a new location, upgrading equipment, or spending on marketing. As long as these growth efforts cost less than $50,000, you can fund your plans with a business loan.

  • American Express working capital is a bigger-ticket item for business card members. It’s really designed for one purpose: strengthening your cash flow by paying your vendors through working capital terms. It works like this: American Express pays your vendors up front; and you repay American Express at the end of 30, 60, or 90 days—with interest. Members can stay on working capital for as long as they wish, up to the maximum $750,000 funding amount.

  • Small business credit cards are for smaller businesses and have more flexible eligibility requirements. There are several types of AmEx credit cards for businesses, including a new co-branded corporate card operated by American Express and Amazon for small businesses in the U.S. to do their shopping.

The Application Process

Only pre-approved American Express Business Card members that have been using their business card for at least 1 year may apply for business loans or working capital, but any business over 24 months old,  accepting American Express credit cards, with $50,000 in annual revenue may be eligible for merchant financing.

To check your rate and apply for a loan or other type of funding, call the American Express business funding team or log into your online account. 

For merchant financing, business are required to meet the following requirements:

  • Accept American Express cards (to qualify for the 24 month financing, you must have accepted AmEx cards for the past 24 months)
  • Have a minimum of $12,000 in annual credit
  • Have a minimum of $50,000 in annual business revenue
  • Have been in business for at least 24 months

Business loan approval and APR depend on the following requirements:

  • The authorizing borrower must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen or resident

  • The borrower must be a Basic Card Member on an eligible American Express Business Card in the name of the business (meaning the person responsible for repayments)

  • The APR also depends on the Basic Card Member’s credit score and other metrics. To apply, the borrower must provide their Social Security number so American Express can run a credit query. They may also be asked to supply additional documentation about their personal finances and their company’s financial situation

How Much Can You Borrow? 

Loan amounts vary depending on the amount of funding. Business loans can be used to borrow anywhere from $3,500 to $50,000. If you’re looking for higher amounts, working capital and merchant financing give access to 5-figure, 6-figure, and even 7-figure sources of funding—up to a maximum of $2 million.

Repayment Terms

The following table breaks down the range of APRs, repayment terms, and loan amounts for the different types of funding:


Business LoansWorking Capital TermsMerchant Financing
Loan Amounts$3,500 to $50,000$1,000 to $750,000$5,000 to $2 million
Repayment Terms12, 24, or 36 months30, 60, or 90 days6, 12, or 24 months
Fixed Rate6.98% to 19.97%0.5% to 3%3.5% to 14%

Privacy and Security 

American Express business loans are backed by the American Express Company (AmEx), one of the world’s oldest and largest financial services providers. Amex has a strong credit rating from all the major ratings agencies. It services around $300 billion in loans worldwide each year, including several billion dollars in small-business loans and financing in the United States. 

Help & Support

To speak to a member of the American Express business funding team, call the toll-free number during business hours (Mondays to Fridays, 9am to 6pm ET.  American Express is a large financial services provider with thousands of customer support staff around the world, but this phone number is designed specifically to help Business Card members speak to company experts about business loans, financing, and working capital. For enquiries about small business credit cards, AmEx offers a live chat function or support via a toll-free number.

Summary

American Express offers its Business Card members several sources of funding to help grow their business, including business loans, and working capital. Businesses must accept American Express cards to qualify for merchant financing. However, non-participating small businesses can still secure small amounts of funding through an AmEx small business credit card.

Physical Address

American Express
PO Box 981535
El Paso, TX 79998-1535

AMERICAN EXPRESS