PROS / If you repay the financing within 90 days, you can receive a 50 percent rebate on the repayment fee.
CONS / If your repayment falls behind schedule, the hold-back percentage rate may increase up to 100 percent until your account is current.
VERDICT / American Express Merchant Financing is a good choice if you have an established business that qualifies and you can make the minimum payments.
American Express Merchant Financing provides working capital loans for small businesses that are also American Express merchants. Although technically a loan, the repayment structure functions as a merchant cash advance, with daily repayments tied to your credit card sales. The company extends alternative business funding from $10,000 up to $2 million, the maximum amount being the most of all of the best merchant cash advance services in our review. It has one of the lowest repayment costs compared to other lenders and offers rebates when you repay your advance ahead of schedule, making it an even more affordable option. For this reason, it earns the Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.
American Express Merchant Financing is among the best merchant cash advance loans you can choose because it offers one of the lowest repayment costs in our review, ranging from 6 to 14 percent. Additionally, you may be eligible to receive a rebate on the repayment costs of up to 50 percent if you repay your advance within 90 days, which is the best discount offer in our review. There is no cost to apply and no origination fee applied to your financing. However, there are repayment minimums that you need to meet in order to be considered current on your advance, and you may be required to provide a personal guarantee.
Although the lender didn't provide a quote over the phone with estimates of repayment costs and holdback rates, the representative we spoke with was forthcoming with information about this business cash advance program.
The lender's eligibility rates are posted on its website. To be eligible for a merchant cash advance loan from American Express Merchant Financing, you must have accepted American Express cards for a minimum of 24 months, which is the longest time requirement in our review, and you must process more than $50,000 per year in credit and debit card sales, which is average compared to other services we evaluated.
Along with your application, the lender requests between six and 12 months of your credit card processing statements so it can analyze the health of your business and create a repayment schedule based on your cash flow. This is a more extensive documentation requirement than other services, as on average, most lenders require four months of statements. Like most of the merchant cash advance lenders we reviewed, American Express Merchant Financing checks your business and personal credit histories.
American Express Merchant Financing extends two financing options: You can receive funds as either a lump sum or as a monthly advance. You can use the financing for nearly any business purpose. You cannot use the financing to purchase real estate, to pay for construction expenses or to use for personal expenditures.
You repay merchant loans from American Express Merchant Financing as a daily fixed percentage of your credit and debit card sales. The hold-back rate may be up to 50 percent of your processing, depending on the amount of the advance and your projected charge volume. You can continue working with your existing credit card processor, but you must accept American Express cards.
Financing terms for one or two years are available, which is a longer repayment timeframe than most of the lenders we reviewed. You are expected to repay the financing on time, and if your business slows and your sales volume isn't as high as anticipated, you may be required to make a catchup payment or your hold-back rate may increase to 100 percent until your advance repayment is current. This hold-back increase may prove problematic if your small business's cash flow fluctuates or slows, in which case selecting financing with more flexible repayment terms may be worth the additional expense.
American Express Merchant Financing offers alternative business funding with repayment costs that range from 6 to 14 percent of the advance – one of the lowest compared to other services in our review. It offers a repayment rebate of up to 50 percent of the repayment cost, making it an especially attractive option if you intend to repay the advance quickly. However, if you are unable to repay the advance on schedule, the hold-back rate may increase to 100 percent. The eligibility requirements have a longer timeframe than most, as you must accept American Express cards for 24 months prior to receiving a loan, but the processing requirement of $50,000 per year in credit and debit card sales is average.