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Does American Express Hire Felons in 2021?

By Last update October 30, 2018
American Express, jobs for felons, company profile, banking and financial services

If you’re looking for a good job with a well-established international company, you might wonder: Does American Express hire felons? Relaunch Pad contacted them directly to ask this very question!

The company was founded in 1850. American Express is one of the world’s biggest payment networks — they process millions of payment transactions every day. More importantly, they are ranked among the best employers in the United States.

At Relaunch Pad, we’re here to do all we can to help you succeed once you leave prison. We know, often from personal experience, how hard it is to reintegrate back into the community after serving a sentence. A good job certainly helps!

Read our article below to understand how to get hired at American Express. We can answer:

  • What are some entry-level jobs at American Express?
  • Does American Express hire people with misdemeanors?
  • Does American Express do background checks?

Are you ready to find out how to get a job at American Express with a felony? Read on!

Does American Express hire felons?

American Express, jobs for felons, company profile, banking and financial services

Official company policy for hiring felons

We asked, they answered. This is what American Express had to say about their hiring practices:

“American Express is an equal opportunity employer. Disclosure of a criminal conviction will not necessarily disqualify you for employment. Each conviction or guilty plea will be evaluated on its own merits with respect to time, circumstances and seriousness in relation to the job for which you apply.”

This is good news! Your criminal record won’t stop you from applying. However, it can still impact the type of job you get. Let’s find out more.

Has American Express hired felons in the past?

American Express did not confirm or deny if they’ve hired felons in the past. However, we have confirmation from other sources that they have hired felons in the past.

Besides that, they employ a large number of people and gave us an encouraging official statement. Therefore, it’s likely they’ve previously hired felons.

Does American Express hire people with misdemeanors?

While American Express did not specify if they hire people with misdemeanors, their official statement suggests that they do.

Is American Express on the Ban the Box list?

Ban the Box is a grassroots initiative. It asks employers to remove the box asking about criminal history from their job applications.

Employers can also sign the Fair Chance Business Pledge to show they’ll use fair hiring practices. Companies that take the Pledge are saying they will treat all applicants equally.

There is no record that American Express is on the Ban the Box list or has signed the Fair Chance Business Pledge, unfortunately. Don’t let this get in the way of applying! The official statement should be enough to confirm they’ll treat your application fairly.

Does American Express have special programs for hiring felons?

We tried to find out if they have any special programs for hiring felons. Our conclusion is that they don’t.

This is not unusual, so don’t be too concerned about it.

Plus, American Express has other special programs. They offer a number of training programs that will help you be successful in your job once you get hired. On top of that, they support the community in other ways.

What are the odds someone with a felony will get hired?

High likelihood of being hired with a felony

We believe the odds of getting a job at American Express with a felony are high. Our assessment is based mainly on the company’s official statement. They take into account when each offense happened, as well as the seriousness and circumstances. Additionally, we know they’ve hired former felons in the past.

We’ll cover below how to present yourself in the best possible way to improve your chances of being hired.

What are some entry-level jobs?

Here are some examples of entry-level jobs:

  • Customer Care Professional or Customer Care Representative
  • Sales Representative
  • Travel Counsellor or Travel Consultant
  • Administrative Assistant

Most of these jobs depend on good computer and excellent organizational skills. More importantly, they depend on good interpersonal skills. This means being able to talk nicely to anyone at any time.

In these jobs you’ll need to work flexible hours. Some even allow you to work from home!

How to get hired at American Express with a felony

You can search for current openings in your city by going online at American Express. You’ll also find informational videos and staff testimonials. These are helpful because they tell you what people like about working for the company. Most importantly, it will also show you what skills and personal qualities American Express looks for in its staff.

Special Skills:

  • technical know-how (information technology, for example)
  • sales
  • customer care experience
  • management/leadership

Talk up these skills on your resume and in the interview. Some job in your past likely included one of the above, so relate to that. This extends, of course, to any experience you gained while in prison. Did you lead a support group inside? Were you trusted to work with minimal supervision on a cleaning crew? Did you show leadership in any way? These are all transferable skills.

According to, most employees applied online — 49%. Fifteen percent were recruited from a campus, 13% met with a company recruiter and 12% were referred by another employee.

In addition, American Express staff have some online advice on about how to do well in an interview. One person said to look at the STAR technique for shining at interviews.

Here are a few interview questions to prepare for:

  • Give an example of how you resolved a customer complaint.
  • Tell us about a time you experienced conflict and how did you deal with it?
  • Why do you want to work for American Express?

The last question is actually a fairly standard one for many companies. Therefore, spend some time practicing your responses to possible questions — including those about your criminal record.

Here are a few other ways you can present yourself as a good hire during the interview.

  • Arrive at least fifteen minutes early to demonstrate good time management.
  • Communicate well by making sure you let reception know you’ve arrived.
  • Show that you’re well-organized by bringing a resume.
  • Let the manager know you’re confident with good eye contact and posture.
  • Demonstrate that you’re trustworthy by using respectful language.
  • Thank the manager with a handshake at the end of the interview.
  • Send a thank you note after the interview to make sure you’re remembered favorably.

Does American Express do background checks?

You can expect American Express to do a background check on you. Their official statement doesn’t say this directly, but it does hint at it when they say they’ll consider your criminal record. There are also online comments from staff saying that they do background checks on your criminal record.

Here’s what you need to know about background checks:

Some states only allow employers to look back seven years when they do background checks. Below is a list of those states:

  • California
  • Colorado*
  • Kansas*
  • Maryland*
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire*
  • New York*
  • Texas*
  • Washington*

(* sometimes certain pay or salary bracket positions require one.)

However, some states know being arrested doesn’t make you guilty. The following states won’t look at not guilty verdicts:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New York

Unfortunately, there are states that look at your whole record, including any not guilty verdicts. Here are the states you need to be aware of:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • DC
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Company ratings

Over 6,200 respondents on gave American Express a very good rating. They gave them 3.8 out of 5 stars. This tells you the majority of people who bothered to answer like working here. In fact, 77% said they would recommend the company to a friend and an incredible 89% approved of the CEO!

What felony convictions might have a hard time getting hired here?

Does American Express hire felons? Yes, but certain offenses may create barriers.

If you have a criminal record for theft or fraud, for example, you may have some difficulty getting hired by the company. This is because any time you’re responsible for handling financial transactions, your employer will want to ensure you are trustworthy and honest.

Does American Express drug test?

American Express does drug test. According to online feedback from staff about the interview process, drug screening is required as part of the background check.

This is good to know. If you’re worried about passing the drug test, wait to apply. Or, if you want to get help making it through the drug test, seek counseling to help curb the addiction.

Have you applied for a job or worked here? Share your experiences!

We hope this article answered some of your questions about how to get a job at American Express with a felony!

If you’ve ever worked with this company, what helped you get hired? Please tell us your experience.

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Sandy Bell-Murray
Reentry Educator

Sandy Bell-Murray worked for more than thirty years for the Ontario public service, mainly in adult and youth justice. She began as a Probation and Parole Officer, then became a policy analyst, program supervisor and manager. Currently, she delivers workshops focused on building personal resilience and managing stress. She is an active member of Toastmasters International.