As one of the most recognizable brands in the world, the odds are that you’ve heard of American Express.
This New York-based financial institution has been around for over 170 years and is best known as a credit card issuer, with more than 20% of all American credit card transactions coming from an Amex card.
But did you know that Amex offers more financial products than just credit cards?
Through its Salt Lake City-based consumer banking subsidiary, American Express National Bank, Amex also offers online high-yield savings accounts and Certificates of Deposit.
In this post, you’ll learn everything there is to know about American Express Savings.
American Express Savings Products
Amex offers two deposit accounts, both of which come with competitive rates and low fee schedules.
Take a look and see what you can expect from each option.
American Express Personal Savings Account
The American Express Personal Savings Account is an FDIC-insured high-yield savings account (HYSA) that comes with no fees and has no minimum deposit requirement.
By far, the most attractive feature of this account is the annual percentage yield (APY) of 3.00%, which puts this online savings account among the top-earning HYSAs.
Interest compounds daily and deposits to your account at the end of each statement cycle.
When it’s time to fund your account, you can set up direct deposits, easily transfer funds from external bank accounts, or mail in a check.
If you want to automate your savings deposits, you can schedule recurring deposits from your external linked accounts.
One downside is that Amex doesn’t offer a checking account, so you still need to have one of those from a different bank.
Furthermore, Amex Express Personal Savings is a true savings account, so unlike a credit union or money market account, it doesn’t come with a debit card or ATM card.
There’s also no online check deposit available, so account holders must be comfortable with digital funding options like ACH transfers.
American Express Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
If you have some funds on hand that you don’t need access to in the short term, you might want to consider a CD, where you can find the highest interest rates that Amex has to offer.
Terms range anywhere from six months to 60 months, and the fixed CD rates are tiered based on how long your term is.
Depositors don’t have to worry about any minimum balance requirements or maintenance fees.
Here’s a look at the current breakdown of available APYs:
|5 Year CD||4.25% APY||$0|
|2 Year CD||4.10% APY||$0|
|1 Year CD||4.00% APY||$0|
|4 Year CD||1.20% APY||$0|
|3 Year CD||1.15% APY||$0|
|18 Month CD||1.00% APY||$0|
Keep in mind that if you have to withdraw your funds before the end of the term, you'll have to pay a fee based on how much you've earned so far in interest. This is pretty standard. The rule of thumb with a CD is to only allocate funds that you're sure you won't need for the length of your term.
American Express National Bank Features
Amex Savings is online-only, so all of your banking is done from your phone, desktop, or tablet.
You’ll have 24/7 access to your account, and you can easily make transfers, set auto-deposits, and monitor your balance.
Unfortunately, there’s no mobile banking app at the moment. Amex has a well-liked app for credit cards, but there’s no functionality to support its bank accounts.
According to Amex’s website, bank account access from the app is in the works, but there’s no timetable for when that might happen.
Paper or eStatements
Amex suggests that you take advantage of eStatements, but if you prefer a hard copy, you’ll have the option to receive paper statements for free.
9 Monthly Withdrawals
While most savings accounts only allow 6 transactions per month, you can make as many as 9 with an Amex savings account.
This includes both withdrawals and outgoing transfers.
I’m having a tough time finding anything to do with fees, and it isn’t because they’re well hidden. Amex savings accounts are almost entirely fee-free.
The only fees you have to watch out for are a $5 returned deposit fee, and an early withdrawal fee on CDs if you need to take out your money before your term matures. Otherwise, you’re in the clear.
Part of this is due to the simple nature of the accounts. There’s no spending option, so you cannot overdraft the account.
And without an ATM card, you can’t get hit with any ATM fees for taking out cash.
Overall, the lack of monthly maintenance fees and minimum deposit requirements make the American Express high yield savings account a solid option for savers.
Applying for an Amex savings account is easy. Simply head to the website, click “Apply” on the account that you want to open, and enter your personal information.
You can make your initial deposit via electronic transfer or check, but the ACH is probably your best bet if you don’t want to wait.
Before your account is fully active, you’ll notice two small credits from Amex in the bank account that you’re linking.
Don’t worry, these are just test deposits that Amex uses to verify that it’s pulling money from the right place.
Test deposits typically show up one to two business days after you apply. All you have to do is log into your Amex account and verify the amounts.
From there, you’re good to go.
If you're already an Amex credit cardholder, you should be able to save yourself some time by skipping the step of entering your personal information. Just make sure that you're logged in, and the process of opening your new account moves a little quicker.
American Express Savings Promotions
Here are some of the best American Express promotions going on right now:
1. Business Checking - 30,000 MR bonus points
Expires: Limited Time
Available nationwide with the ability to open online, Amex is offering a 30,000 MR Points welcome bonus when you open a new business checking account and make qualifying transactions. Previously, this was a cash offer, but Amex is not offering it as Membership Rewards points which means you can likely stretch it further if you redeem for travel. This is a rare offer from American Express and relatively easy to earn.
How to earn the bonus
The Business Checking sign up offer requires you to deposit and maintain a minimum balance and make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the 30,000 MR bonus points. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:
- Open a new business checking account.
- Within 20 days, deposit $5,000 into your account and maintain an average account balance of $5,000 for 60 days.
- Within 60 days, make 10 or more transactions (mobile deposits, and electronic/online transactions including ACH, Wire, and Bill Payments).
- Bonus will be deposited within 8-12 weeks after completing the requirements.
American Express credit cards are known for top-notch security and support, and its savings accounts are no different.
Amex constantly monitors account activity for potential fraud and requires multi-factor authentication for access.
The personal savings website comes with Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption to protect your personal information, and if you end up the victim of fraud or identity theft, your liability is limited to $50 at a maximum.
All Amex accounts are also FDIC-insured, so any deposits are covered for up to $250,000.
Amex offers 24/7 customer support, so you’ll be able to speak with someone if you need a little help, no matter what time it is. The customer support line is 1-800-446-6307.
On top of that, there is a savings-specific online help center that has a ton of FAQs and useful tools to help answer your questions.
Overall, customers seem to be pretty happy with the level of customer and support they are getting from Amex savings.
The fact that you have access to 24/7 phone support makes Amex savings stand out from any of its online-only savings account competitors.
Pros & Cons
- Top-earning HYSA
- No monthly fees
- No minimum deposit or minimum balance requirements
- 24/7 customer support
- Limited account options
- No physical locations
- No mobile app
- Limited funding options
Alternatives to American Express Savings
When it comes to HYSAs, one of the most comparable alternatives is Marcus by Goldman Sachs.
There are a few reasons that Marcus stands out as a top alternative: a large brand name bank backs it, Marcus also doesn’t have a checking account option, and it offers similar interest rates.
Other popular online-only HYSA alternatives include:
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Amex savings account good?
The Amex high yield savings account is a solid option mainly because it comes with a competitive APY, and there are no fees associated with it.
This makes it a good account in my book, but whether or not it’s the right account for you completely depends on what you’re looking for.
Is American Express National Bank legit?
Yes, it’s absolutely legit. Amex National Bank is owned by American Express, which is considered one of the world’s most valuable brands.
All accounts with Amex are FDIC-insured, so your money is always protected.
What is the interest rate on American Express savings account?
At the moment, the high-yield savings account has an interest rate of 0.40% for any account balance, and the CDs have a tiered rate that maxes out at 0.55% if you commit your funds for five years.
How do I deposit money into an Amex savings account?
You can deposit funds into your Amex account via electronic transfer or by sending a check in the mail.
There’s no option to deposit checks digitally, and without retail locations, you won’t be able to stop into a branch to deposit cash.
The easiest way to fund your account is by linking it with an existing bank account, which you can do easily with just your account number and routing number.
Does Amex Savings use Zelle?
No, Amex does not utilize Zelle or any other instant transfer platform. This means that your transfers may take a little longer (up to 24 hours) to come through.
Is American Express Savings Right For You?
American Express Savings accounts are solid, low fee options from one of the world’s best-known financial service providers.
Its high-yield savings account and CD earn much higher rates than the national average.
As such, Amex’s foray into the online banking space looks promising. Plus, Amex tends to score well when it comes to customer loyalty.
So if you’re already happy with one of its other products, there’s a good chance you’ll like what comes along with an Amex savings account.
That said, there are some drawbacks to consider. The lack of a mobile banking app might be a turn-off for some, and the limited options for quick transfers and deposits (especially without an in-house checking account) might be a headache.
I am getting the impression that Amex plans to increase functionality in the future. Still, there are other accounts out there with similar rates that also have mobile apps and easier funding options.
Whatever you decide, you’re on the right track by doing your research and learning what’s out there. Keep it up, and it should soon be clear which is the best savings account for you.
Until then, keep on saving and investing your hard-earned money so that it can grow for you over the long haul. Only then can you achieve financial freedom.