American Express Reviews

Updated March 31, 2015
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3.8
525 Reviews
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American Express Chairman and CEO Ken Chenault
Ken Chenault
1,592 Ratings

525 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great people, average work environment, laid back culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - PAYMENTS in New York, NY
    Former Intern - PAYMENTS in New York, NY

    I worked at American Express as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Everyone is very easy going and gets along well with each other. There are some reputable names in leadership, coming from consulting or strong industry backgrounds.

    Cons

    I was not a fan of the culture. It seems very laid back. On top of that, the company seems very network heavy. It seems difficult to move around to other areas or get promoted unless you have good rapport with a lot of people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I think the company is being run fine, it's just not for me.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
  2. Great people, supportive work environment!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in New York, NY

    I worked at American Express full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Smart people who are great to work with, some great inspiring directors and leaders (some, but not all unfortunately). Great work/life balance.

    Cons

    Salary is low compared to other fin services companies in the industry.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    In many cases, need stronger directors who are can develop their teams. Also need better pay and less repetitive and confusing re-orgs,.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. Great place to become a well-rounded marketer

    Former Employee - Senior Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Senior Manager in New York, NY

    I worked at American Express full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Great marketing organization where you can learn about many aspects of marketing, brand building, project management, etc. Strong leadership overall, and you work with very smart people.

    Cons

    Gaining buy-in broadly is important. It has value, but can slow timing to get to market. Very political at senior levels of management.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful

    Iconic service brand with clear focus on work/life balance for its employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at American Express full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Work/life balance - ability to work from home 2-3 days per week is a broadly applied policy across many departments (Blue Work). No issues leaving the office early for a doctor's appointment or other personal matter.
    Supportive culture - people care about you as an individual.
    Fairly collaborative and team-oriented. Although everyone has individual goals and they are not always aligned across teams, people are helpful.
    Fair compensation - especially considering work/life balance. Few people work late nights or weekends (definitely NOT mandated - more by choice).
    Mobility across functional areas and departments is possible and mostly supported.

    Cons

    Corporate culture veers towards favoritism, with upward mobility being less tied to performance and more on executive sponsors willing to pull you up.
    Difficult business environment and challenges with company performance led to cutting of resources. These actions bring fear and are demotivating to employees. Goals and strategies are often scrapped, teams are often reorganized.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ongoing layoffs are damaging to employee morale - would be better to handled in one action (i.e., annually).
    Career advancement no longer a clear 'track,' as experience and performance do not equal promotions. Corporate culture based on 'sponsors' favors leaders of a particular type, not necessarily your best thinkers and results drivers.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful

    Good place. A reason they are #51 on Fortunes recent list of best places to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Procurement in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Procurement in New York, NY

    I have been working at American Express

    Pros

    If you deliver the results they deliver the green. Recognize with rewards and recognition. Virtual work from home is great. Wind up putting in more hours than if in the Tower but save commute time

    Cons

    Challenging to rise from a manager to a director. In group of maybe 15 managers and has been at least 5 years since someone was promoted

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote from within. Less promote from outside the company

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. Friendly, collaborative environment with smart people, great work-life balance and lots of opportunity to grow.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director - Marketing in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Director - Marketing in New York, NY

    I worked at American Express

    Pros

    * Great brand that employees are proud of
    * Work / life balance is sacred and respected
    * Lots of different role opportunities - marketing, technology, operations, risk, finance, strategy, etc.
    * Periodic movement to new roles is encouraged, allowing you to build new skills and learn different business units
    * Ken Chenault is an impressive CEO and makes you feel like you are part of something special

    Cons

    * Compensation does not stack up well against other financial services companies.
    * Employee stack ranking incentivizes and is inherently unfair given the subjective nature of the process - comparing employees is rarely apples to apples. Unfortunately the ranking determines your bonus comp and raise.
    * Difficult to get promoted. Results aren't good enough - management plays favorites and there's an unofficial pecking order of who is next in line.
    * Company develops great strategies but the execution is often lacking.
    * Too many initiatives across the company dilutes focus and resources.
    * Many processes are outdated. While management recognizes this, change has been slow

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    * Focus on fewer, high priority initiatives.
    * Get rid of the employee stack ranking.
    * Bonus compensation is too top heavy and needs to be smoothed out. The difference in comp between someone ranked in the top 10% vs. 20% is massive.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 4 people found this helpful

    It's all about trust and your personal brand.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Director of Marketing in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Director of Marketing in New York, NY

    I have been working at American Express full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The company is truly focused on the setting expectations appropriately with all stakeholders, including shareholders, customers and employees. Success is typically found among those who can propose a vision and then deliver according to plan, neither promising too much nor too little. This leads to reliability and eventually trust - the most regarded currency at the company.

    Cons

    The company has challenges linking strategy to tactics. A lot of this seems to develop from a very top heavy organization structure. Goals are set and tasks are assigned, but much depends on middle management to connect the two. More can be done to improve and when it's not, it becomes a real problem, not only for mid level VPs, but their teams as well. The number one concern of an employee is whether his/her leader offers a clear vision for the team.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It takes much too long to identify gaps in leadership behavior, and even the poor performance among a select few can really inhibit progress of the great many high performing potential. Cultivating a stronger culture of constructive feedback and enabling people to coarse correct quickly can transform setbacks into opportunities. Focus on year end performance is good but not enough to address challenges throughout the year.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful

    Great work life balance... but pay could be better

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Manager - Strategic Planning in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Manager - Strategic Planning in New York, NY

    I have been working at American Express full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    work life balance, employee engagement, culture, peers,

    Cons

    lower pay than industry, slow moving

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    pay better or people will leave to the competition

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. Great brand and company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Contractor - Contractor in New York, NY
    Former Contractor - Contractor in New York, NY

    I worked at American Express as a contractor (more than a year)

    Pros

    Strong brand, generally good management team, good work-life balance, real focus on creating a diverse talent pool. Town halls are a nice way to connect the company mission to the day to day business. Mostly fun and collaborative people. Lots of employee networks to participate in.

    Cons

    Compensation is a bit below market competition, but you'll be working for a leading brand. Challenges getting gender diversity into management ranks consistently.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep focus on internal communications to build company cohesion at all employee levels and across multiple geographies.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. Good culture, good people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Marketing Manager in New York, NY

    I worked at American Express

    Pros

    Amex takes a balanced view of corporate life. Hard work, of course, but also a reasonable workday, and strong encouragement to take and appreciate time off. The company hires 'good eggs' with strong social skills, and then invests a lot of time and effort in both professional training and supportive processes to keep them sharp. A notable absence of shark-tank internal politics.

    Cons

    Well, the company operates in a very conservative, heavily-regulated industry.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

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