American Express Reviews

These reviews contributed towards 2009's Best Places to Work recognition. See ratings and reviews for all time.
71 Reviews

3.6
71 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
American Express Chairman and CEO Ken Chenault
Ken Chenault
49 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Usually a great work-life balance and they are very invested in their employees (in 399 reviews)

  • Home Based Servicing has a bit more flexibility given that it is a work from home position (in 59 reviews)


Cons
  • Amex is known for its work life balance but it is totally fake n wrong perception (in 69 reviews)

  • decision making processes and promotion of less qualified individuals (in 42 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    You're So Vain...I bet you think this review is about you..don't you?....don't you?.....well..actually it is ;-)

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Team Leader  in  Phoenix, AZ
    Former Employee - Team Leader in Phoenix, AZ

    I worked at American Express

    Pros

    Diminishing returns here. Used to be the benefits...but not any more (read below). If you do not have any other options, it is at least a paycheck....but pay is not that competitive either....I am struggling a bit here...okay... how about the educational and learning opportunities in the eHR Learning Center....not too bad.

    Cons

    Amex has changed its health insurance plans to "catastrophic" insurance coverage while greatly increasing the premiums. They claim to value their employees but the reality is that this company is willing to push the majority of risk of medical cost to its employee base to save a buck. My deductible (amount I pay before insurance kicks in) is $9600 per year. Unlike Mastercard or Visa, who make money from processing credit card transactions, Amex lends money. And, unlike Bank of America (and other card issuers) they DO NOT take deposits. This means that Amex is struggling to deal with its massive debt in the billions (with a "b") of dollars. For comparison, their debit/equity ratio is 6 point while Mastercard is 0.08 points. WOW! During this credit crunch crisis, Amex is having cash flow problems...another WOW!... They are also reducing the spend limits on accounts and attempting to raise rates on their cards all while raising fees for the "privilege" of using their card. This will drive customers and small businesses to Visa and Mastercard. Amex will soon be incapable of surviving on its own and will need to merge or be acquired by a firm that DOES take deposits and has massive cash reserves. I smell a takeover...maybe Bank of America if they have the stomach for all that massive debt. Bottom-line -- this company is going to shed a lot of jobs now and in the future when it can no longer operate without a cash sponsor and the acquiring company runs operations...BUYER (and employee prospects) BEWARE!! Boo! Time to be scared.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The employees can see management actions coming a hundred miles away. Be more upfront about the layoffs, downsizing, reductions, etc. We already know that employee are not highly valued as compared to share holders and market capitalization (rough to loose 67% of market cap isn't it Ken?). Stop embarrassing yourselves. We know what you are up to. The so called "Blue Box" vaues are used to control behavior of the masses. Also, this is the MOST VAIN company that I have ever worked for. The hiring managers who push the back end compensation (i.e. no real money but various vesting contributions over a 4 year period which will not be paid out because you will be laid off before any vesting occurs) try to convince people to accept a lower wage/salary in order to have the "prestige" of working for Amex. Get real. I have bills and a mortgage that need to get paid TODAY. Paying 25% below market does not work for us. AND... with Amex stock down ~67% over a year ago...the vesting of back end compensation is worthless...ouch!! Vanity, low pay, catastrophic insurance coverage, long term vesting ....not the best way to retain talent, is it Ken?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Caution

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Development  in  Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Business Development in Houston, TX

    I have been working at American Express

    Pros

    Excellent products and services and sales is virtual office - a big positive. Resources for info is strong. Brand is strong and company works to keep that brand real. Sharing information in teams and divisions strong. Commissions biggest positive.

    Cons

    Probably depends on where you work - regional management very important - this area needs help because reg sr management is not always ethical and has discrimination problems. Micro management is also a problem. If you don't like micro management you should not work here. Too many reports and systems demanded by regional management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't sacrafice ethics for numbers - get quality leadership

    Doesn't Recommend
    Approves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Perfect for new parents, those with rich spouses, school recruits or anyone looking for a stable 5-year career stretch

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

    I have been working at American Express

    Pros

    Amex is a world-class brand that gives gravitas to your resume once you've been there 2-3 years. There are numerous marketing and finance opportunities, including a few rotational programs that allow you to gain global knowledge and experience. Amex is great in terms of work-life balance: if you are sick, need to work from home or take time off personal/ family reasons, almost all bosses support that. Mid-year and annual reviews help track your progress and highlight your skills. If diversity is important to you - Amex has around 8 employee diversity networks that allow you to connect with others. It's also an extremely diverse population working at HQ. Grads recruited right out of school get access to employee development programs.

    Cons

    The highly-matrixed nature of the organization and large number of team/ group projects results in little accountability at the top when things go south; also, a very large number of people will take credit for team project successes despite marginal contributions. If you have to pull long hours to cover an open position or deliver a new product, your compensation will fall in line with the department's average...this can be a disincentive for high-performers. Also, even if you have good ratings and performance, it can be hard to move upward outside of your immediate LOB if your managers are not the oriented to publicly praising their team's efforts or care little about the advancement of those under them. The pay for those with degrees is below-par for a Manhattan-headquartered marketing company with (until this quarter) healthy returns. Amex's NYC healthcare program (an HSA) also forces undue costs to individuals (save up early!). You can still live off of your salary if you're single...just not in Manhattan without serious, major, quality-of-life sacrifices.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay more for talented employees. Raise salaries to levels of peer companies in NYC. If high-performers are identified, do more to promote them, reward them or involve HR in the process to help them move up. Implement more 360-degree reviews of management that hold people leaders accountable for poor work habits and leadership. Make it easier to let go of poor performers. Bring back a defined benefit health care plan that doesn't punish single employees.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Overall a good company to work for

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

    I have been working at American Express

    Pros

    Abiltiy to obtain experience across departments

    Cons

    You need to have your MBA from a top school.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Ensure that core values trickle down to all

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Good corporate gig with fair pay, great work-life balance (esp for NYC), and opportunities to move around

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

    I have been working at American Express

    Pros

    Amex has developed a strong culture which promotes diversity, openness, and personal development. Embodying that culture are people who are generally friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. Not many Type-A personalities here, lots of B+s, which is a good thing in my book. Makes it a lot easier to come to work each day.

    While not true of every group/function, Amex overall keeps its promise of work-life balance, especially for NYC. Nearly 4 weeks of vacation for managers, plus 4 summer flex days. A 45-55 hour work week is typical for the people around me.

    At Amex, you are expected to change jobs about every 1.5 - 2 years. You post internally and interview. Your networking ability is tested and rewarded. This is great for people who tend to get bored easily, and offers a way to develop new skills and handle new responsibilities.

    As a premier financial services company, amex has many international opportunities in some of the world's greatest cities. Movement across geographies is supported and encouraged (esp when the economic environment is healthy).

    Cons

    There are some things that plague Amex. One is slow decision making... it can take weeks or months for even minor projects to build consensus and finally get underway (if lucky). Powerpoint is the local language, and countless presentations often result in limbo.

    I often feel as if management is overstaffed. The current economic conditions will result in upcoming layoffs - I am skeptical that senior management will make the best decisions regarding who to keep, but I hope to be proved wrong.

    One large underlying concern is the lack of technological competence that is pervasive throughout the organization. As a credit card company, we have a tremendous abundance of data about our cardmembers and the merchants at which they spend. This can clearly provide a huge competitive advantage for us, but I don't feel the company spends enough time or money to truly develop the infrastructure it needs to benefit from this data. We need to start thinking about ourselves as a technology company in part, or risk getting left behind by network competitors, Visa and Mastercard.

    It is worth mentioning that the company has poor health benefits. If you are single, and in relative good health, then this is not a big concern, but this tends to be a common area of concern for many employees..

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    be more aggressive, invest in better technology, focus on emerging payments or risk being left behind

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Dynamic Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Business Analyst I  in  New York, NY
    Former Employee - Business Analyst I in New York, NY

    I worked at American Express

    Pros

    Recognition & Rewards
    Good Solid Company
    Management Leadership

    Cons

    Lack of work/life balance
    Aggressive deadlines
    Unrealistic expectations

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Decision Making and Communication could be quicker from the top down

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Their desire to let someone else run their IT infrastructure is the first step to ruin.

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

    I have been working at American Express

    Pros

    The understanding by leadership about the importance of a work-life balance. The pay is good, the benefits are relatively good, the ability to move around within the company is true value in working for AMEX.

    Cons

    The constant desire for them to outsource, outtask, and offshore every piece of IT, alienating their professional employees, while treating zero skill customer support representatives as protected people.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Outsourcing does not save money. In the end, you will pay more, your business will suffer, and it's impossible to reverse. If you cannot make the necessary improvements, streamline IT, or reduce costs, why would a company without the years of experiencing running your business be capable?

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Happy with my time at AXP

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

    I worked at American Express

    Pros

    The pay and benefits and value of having the company on your resume.

    Cons

    Many, many layers of management.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good job.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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