American Express Reviews

Updated March 26, 2015
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These reviews contributed towards 2011's Best Places to Work recognition. See ratings and reviews for all time.
3.6
1,482 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
American Express Chairman and CEO Ken Chenault
Ken Chenault
359 Ratings

Pros
  • Work/Life balance is very good and one of the few reasons I have stayed so long (in 455 reviews)

  • The schedule my department has is amazing and there are work from home opportunities (in 62 reviews)

Cons
  • Amex is known for its work life balance but it is totally fake n wrong perception (in 77 reviews)

  • Consensus based decision making slows everything down, to a ridiculous extent at times (in 49 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Great wages and breadth of work opportunity, but includes common large Co. bureaucracy issues.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Lead Technical Architect
    Current Employee - Lead Technical Architect

    I have been working at American Express full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great wages and breadth of work opportunity for experienced IT professionals. My group is great for work-time flexibility. Good benefits package. More often than not, direct management will provide goals to experienced and motivated individuals, and allow space to succeed.

    Cons

    Typical large company bureaucracy issues and Sr. Management positioning. Probably is less of an issue than some large companies though. Work-life balance can tend to be a bit of a challenge in salaried positions. Reorgs have become multiple times a year recently.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a longer view. Or a clearer view. Multiple course changes (reorgs) in the last 2 years causes difficulties with morale and productivity.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. Excellent company to work

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at American Express

    Pros

    Work culture, people, value, fun

    Cons

    there are no cons for me

  3. Awesome place to work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Phoenix, AZ
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Phoenix, AZ

    I have been working at American Express full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Flexibility
    Work Life Balance
    Team Effort
    Telecommuting Available for most
    Training Library
    Opportunity to learn and grow

    Cons

    Some people don't prefer telecommuting, but for most of us, it is wonderful! A quiet location in home is a must, however, as dogs barking and children crying can be heard when speaking to clients and peers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I haven't been there as long as most, as most people enjoy it and do not leave. Even those who have left typically return, so there must not be much to improve upon.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Overall good company to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at American Express

    Pros

    Work-life balance, Job Rotations, People - smart people to work with, great for working mothers

    Cons

    Too many changes too quick, hard to keep up with the change, very decentralized

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. Great Company with emphasis on work/life balance

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at American Express

    Pros

    Work/life balance is provided and encouraged

    Cons

    Company is faced with declining revenue

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ensure that right people are rewarded and kept

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11. 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

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