How to buy American Express shares

American Express is one of the most valuable brands in the world and has long been associated with jet-setting business travel. Find out if that makes the company a good investment, and where to get its shares.
By: James Knight
James Knight
When he isn’t at work, James is an avid trader and golfer who likes to travel. He once fed,… read more.
Updated: Jul 15, 2021
Tip: our preferred broker is, eToro: visit & create account

This beginner’s guide takes you through a history of American Express, its recent stock market performance, and what to expect from the future. If you’re ready to dive right in and get some shares, you can find out how to do that too.

Compare the best American Express trading platforms

The brokers below are some of the best platforms that offer American Express shares. You can go in and get some straight away, or keep reading to learn more about the company before you start.

1
Min. Deposit
$50
Exclusive promotion
user-score
10
Trade/invest in stocks with just $50
Invest for dividends and get payout on stocks on Ex-Dividend day
Over 11 payment methods, including PayPal
Start Trading
Description:
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform with more than 2000 assets, including FX, stocks, ETF’s, indices and commodities. eToro users can connect with, learn from, and copy or get copied by other users. Buying stocks on eToro is free and you can invest with as little as $50.
Payment Methods
Bank Transfer, Wire Transfer
Full regulations list:
CySEC, FCA
eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro. Your capital is at risk.
2
Min. Deposit
$1
Exclusive promotion
user-score
9.3
0 Commissions and no deposit minimums
Registered with and regulated by SEC and FINRA
Loss of cash protection
Start Trading
Description:
Financial company driven by technology and offering all-in-one self-directed investment platform that provides excellent user experience.
Payment Methods
Full regulations list:

How to buy American Express stock, a step-by-step guide

The process of getting shares in American Express isn’t massively complicated, so don’t worry even if you’re new to stock investing. These are the steps to follow in order to complete your investment:

  1. Choose a broker. You will need to use an online brokerage platform. There are many different options to choose from, each with their own unique benefits and drawbacks. The comparison table above can help you select the right broker for you, and you can head to our comprehensive broker reviews if you’re still unsure.
  2. Create an account. Once you’ve selected your broker, simply go to their website and create an account. The steps required for this will vary from platform to platform, but generally you can expect to have to provide your name, email address, phone number, and some form of photo identification.
  3. Deposit funds. Log into your broker account and select the option to deposit funds. Depending on your broker you’ll have a variety of payment options available; most brokers accept bank transfers and debit card payments, but not all accept e-wallets such as PayPal. Select your preferred payment method and deposit the amount of money you wish to invest in American Express shares.
  4. Place an order for AXP stock. Search for American Express’s ticker symbol (AXP) and see the current price at which the stock is trading. If you’re happy with the price, enter the amount of shares you wish to own and place your order.
  5. Execute your order. Once you have placed your order, your broker will automatically execute it for you and your American Express shares will be listed in your account. Congratulations, you’ve just bought shares in American Express.

What is American Express? And should I invest?

American Express is a financial services company that specialises in credit cards for individuals and corporate accounts. Traditionally associated with high-wealth customers who travel a lot, the modern Amex is available to a much wider range of people.

Best known for its credit cards, Amex is half payment provider and half high street bank. Where Visa and Mastercard, its two big-name rivals, simply act as payment providers for banks and earn a fee when the customer uses their cards, Amex runs more like a bank itself, which means it makes money from loans and credit but also has to hold much more cash as a precaution.

That means American Express’ stock rises and falls in much the same way as a bank or financial institution would do. You might want to add it to your portfolio because it’s reliable and does well in the economic good times, just be aware that it’s likely to suffer when consumer spending drops during tougher times like recessions.

How has the company performed in recent years?

It has performed very well for a long period of time, particularly over the last five years, which has seen the stock price increase by more than 200%. There have been tough times along the way however, most notably as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

With travel and entertainment purchases making up a third of its revenue, the total collapse in movement during the worst of the pandemic was a big blow to the bottom line. The stock plunged 30% in March 2020, and took a year to recover back up to that level again.

The fact it did recover, and relatively quickly, is testament to the strength of the business. It added millions more customers on fee paying cards, and much of its fall in revenue was because it had to set aside more money as a provision against bad loans. As the economic outlook improved, that became free cash that could be spent on other areas.

Is it a good time to buy American Express shares now?

It has usually been a good time, and American Express is a very successful company. It has a valuable brand – the 23rd most valuable in the world according to a Forbes report – and a varied revenue stream. It’s expanding into China and opening up its services to a wider range of clients.

Add to that the improved economic outlook in the aftermath of the pandemic and things look quite rosy. It makes a lot of its money from partner deals with companies in travel, so that whenever a customer uses their card for a particular purchase, Amex earns a fee. That’s likely to see a significant upturn in the months and years ahead.

Ultimately, Amex is a reliable, long-term investment. It has consistently paid a dividend for many years and would work well as part of a balanced portfolio with other stocks that can see you through more difficult economic environments. You can learn more about the company and time when to get its shares using the analysis below:

The stock market has collapsed at the beginning of this trading week on fears that a new variant of COVID-19 is more contagious and more dangerous. American Express (NYSE: AXP) is a stable company but maybe now is not the right moment to invest in these shares because the…
Shares of American Express (NYSE: AXP) gained 3% on Friday to partially offset losses from earlier in the week. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) finally announced today it has approved a network clearing licence for the American Express joint venture.  Fundamental analysis: American Express enters the biggest card…

Buying, selling and trading American Express shares for beginners

What to do before buying shares

You should always take the time to research a stock fully before investing your money, especially if you haven’t bought shares before. The more knowledge you have, the better your chances of making a wise investment. 

With that in mind, here’s a checklist to run through before you start.

  1. Research the company. You should always examine the fundamentals of a company first. What is American Express? How did the company get its start? How did it grow? Is American Express’s revenue and profit growth picking up? Is the company innovating? The more you know about American Express, the better positioned you’ll be to make smart investment decisions.
  2. Make sure you understand the basics of stock investing. Before getting involved in the stock market, make sure you have an understanding of how it works. This will ensure that you have more clearly defined goals and have thought through how you will achieve them.
  3. Decide between share dealing and CFD trading. Choose the type of investment strategy you want to pursue, and make sure you have carried out the necessary fundamental or technical analysis for share dealing and CFD trading respectively.
  4. Set the size of your budget. The golden rule of investing is never to risk more than you can afford to lose. Not every investment you make will result in a profit, so it is important to set a budget that not only allows good potential for capital growth, but also protects against overly damaging losses.
  5. Find the right broker. Individual brokers each have their own pros and cons. Some will have low fees but have a user interface you struggle to understand, whereas others may be a bit more expensive but come with a range of features that you want to take advantage of. Our broker reviews can help you find the right platform for you.
  6. Examine broader market conditions. No stock exists in a vacuum, and it’s always important to analyse the general trends of the stock market as a whole before investing. If a bear market is setting in and stock prices are falling, it’s best to wait it out and invest your money later when the stock is cheaper. If, however, the market is looking bullish, you’ll want to make your investment quickly to get the maximum benefit from rising stock prices. Our news section can help you keep on top of movements in the financial markets.

What is the difference between buying, selling, and trading shares?

If you’re new to stock investing, then it’s important to understand the basics of how to buy, sell, and trade American Express shares. Here’s a quick run-through of what’s involved in each.

Buying American Express

This process involves finding a broker and placing an order for American Express stock, as outlined in the steps further up this page. Ideally you want to time your investment when the stock’s price is low so that you can profit by selling the shares after they increase in value.

Selling American Express

When you sell any American Express shares you have bought, you’ll want to do so at a higher price than the one at which you bought to earn a profit. 

When you sell is up to you. You might decide to hold for a long period of time, hoping to benefit from the company growing steadily throughout. Or, if you see that American Express’s stock is already up a lot compared to the price you bought it and you’ve noticed that the stock market is starting to fall, it might make sense to sell and take your profits to invest elsewhere. Equally, if the stock has fallen since you bought it and looks set to fall further, it might be a good idea to cut your losses by selling your shares.

Trading American Express

Trading is the same process, it’s just done over shorter periods of time with the aim to make small profits on a regular basis. This means that you can make money faster and spend your profits in your day-to-day life – however, on the other side it means you can lose money faster as well. For inexperienced investors, we generally recommend making investments for at least 6 months to a year instead of making trades in quick succession.

You can trade American Express shares through buying and selling shares, or by trading with CFDs. These allow investors to speculate on stock prices and trade with leverage in pursuit of bigger gains. CFDs trading is explained further in the next section, but it is worth noting that beginners should avoid trading with leverage. It comes with large risks and is best left to experienced investors.

Share dealing vs CFD trading

When it comes to investing in any stock, the two options you have are share dealing and trading. Which one of these methods to opt for largely depends on your investment timeline, with investors thinking long term tending to go for share dealing, and those looking for short term gains pursuing a more aggressive trading strategy.

Here’s a quick summary of the two approaches, and the pros and cons of each.

Share dealing 

Share dealing refers to the practice of buying and holding shares in a particular company over the long term. When investing like this, you’re seeking to profit either from dividend payments or an increase in the stock’s price over time.

When investing your money this way, it is important to do thorough fundamental analysis of the company in which you are investing. You want to put your money in a stock you believe will trend upwards over time, even if there is some market volatility along the way, rather than get distracted by shorter term peaks and troughs.

Pros

  • Can build wealth over time to achieve financial goals
  • Don’t need to be very reactive to short-term market movements
  • Some stocks will give you an income through regular dividend payments

Cons

  • Takes a long time to realise any profits
  • Your capital is tied up in stocks and cannot be used for other investments

CFD Trading 

If your aim is to generate profits in the short term, then you might be better off trading shares than holding them in your portfolio. Stock trades like this are executed using CFDs (contracts for difference), which allow investors to trade against the value of a stock without having to take ownership of it. When CFD trading, investors are looking to buy and sell stocks fast to profit from short-term fluctuations in value.

One aspect of CFD trading that many investors find attractive is that they allow you to trade with leverage. This means you can place large trades while only putting up a fraction of the value yourself – for instance, if a platform offered leverage of 1:10, you could put £10 into AXP shares and be able to trade £100 worth. This can maximise profits if the market moves in your favour, but be careful as it can also lead to heavy losses.

When trading using CFDs, it is key to be skilled at technical analysis and reading stock price charts. As you’re trading stocks quickly and frequently, the fundamental strength of the company in which you’re investing isn’t as important as being able to predict how its stock price will rise and fall minute-by-minute.

Pros

  • Can generate fast profits if you read the market right 
  • Some platforms allow you to trade with leverage
  • Prevents your capital being tied up so you can take advantage of investment opportunities

Cons

  • Trading with leverage is risky and can lead to big losses
  • Doesn’t necessarily generate growth over the long term

Consider which approach suits you best and craft an investment strategy that works for you. If you need more information, then simply take our course on how to trade stocks.

How to choose a broker

With the wide variety of online brokers available these days, it can be hard to figure out which is the best service to go with. Our comparison table and in-depth reviews can help you cut through the noise, but by and large these are the aspects you should be considering when selecting a broker:

  • Range of stocks available. The most important thing is that you can actually use the broker to find the shares you’re looking for. Some brokers offer more stocks than others, and many will allow you to trade other assets, such as forex and commodities.
  • Fees and commissions. You want to keep as large a chunk of your profits as you can, so it’s important to make sure your broker doesn’t charge high fees that can eat into your profits.
  • Regulation. You should only use regulated brokers. Unregulated brokers can be risky and offer little to no protection if the business were to fail while you had funds in your account.
  • Payment methods available. You might want to fund your trading account using a specific payment method, such as PayPal. Not all brokers accept every payment method, but using our comparisons you can search only the brokers that support the option you’re looking for.
  • Reputation. One of the strongest indicators of a broker’s reliability is the reputation it has with the customers who have used it. Brokers are online businesses, and as such many user experiences can be found online. You can check these out in addition to our reviews to make sure you choose the right platform.
  • Customer service. As you’re going to be investing your money using the platform, you want to check that the broker offers good customer service in case you have a query or something goes wrong.

Latest American Express news

American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) shares have advanced more than 4% in the last five trading days and closed the week at $168.65. The U.S. stock market remains supported after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell signaled the U.S. central bank would continue to keep its ultra-loose monetary policy. Fundamental…
American Express Co. (NYSE:AXP) shares surged 3.44% higher on Friday after the company delivered impressive Q2 results. AXP reported stronger than expected revenue and earnings before markets opened. The company’s EPS spiked 866% to $2.80, beating analyst expectations by $1.17. On the other hand, revenue grew…
American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) reported its financial results for the second quarter on Friday that beat Wall Street estimates on the back of acceleration in spending. Shares of the company were about 4% up in premarket trading on Friday. Financial performance American Express said its net income in…
American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) shares have advanced from $121.30 above $167 since the beginning of January 2021, and the current price stands around $166. American Express’s first-quarter results were in line with the recovery in economic activity, and at the current stock price, this company is reasonably valued.
The U.S. economy has been gradually reopening in recent weeks as Americans continue to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus. As restrictions eased, people have been increasingly using their credit cards for travelling and dining, according to American Express Co (NYSE: AXP) CEO, Steve Squeri. Steve Squeri’s remarks on CNBC’s…
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) said on Friday that its revenue in the fiscal first quarter fell shy of Wall Street estimates due to the COVID-19 restrictions. American Express shares that you can learn to buy online here slid roughly 4% in premarket trading on Friday but regained…

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James Knight
Financial writer
When he isn’t at work, James is an avid trader and golfer who likes to travel. He once fed, rode, and ate an ostrich all on… read more.