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We’ve all heard of American Express credit cards and their generous rewards programs. But did you know that the AMEX parent company also owns a banking business that offers a reward of its own in the form of excellent interest rates?
Having the right bank account is crucial to your money-saving efforts. But with so many choices on the market, it can be tough to pick the right one for your needs. A quality savings account should offer FDIC insurance, easy access to your money, a competitive interest rate and friendly and effective customer service.
American Express National Bank checks all of these boxes, but is it good enough for your money? Follow along with our review to learn more about banking with American Express.
American Express National Bank Features
|Accounts||Savings, Checking, Money Market, CDs|
|Access||Web Based, iPhone App, Android App, Blackberry App|
|Amount of Branches||0|
|Customer Service||Phone: 24/7|
Pros & Cons
- No annual fees or minimum balance requirements
- No overdraft fees
- Earn a high interest rate with its savings account
- Earn 0.50% APY with its rewards checking account
- 24/7 phone customer support is available
- You need an American Express credit card to apply for its rewards checking
- An American Express credit card is also needed to manage your savings account through its mobile app
- Fewer CD terms than some other banks offer
- You can’t deposit cash
- No physical branches
What American Express National Bank Offers
In recent years, American Express has expanded its banking services. You can now open a high-yield savings account, rewards checking account, and take advantage of various CD terms. Here’s everything this online bank has to offer:
American Express® High Yield Savings Account – Member FDIC
American Express Personal Savings offers a no-fuss high-yield savings account that’s simple to open and maintain. There’s no minimum balance requirement or any monthly fees. Plus, the rate offered is among the highest we’ve seen from many other online banks.
Minimum Deposit $0 – 1.15% APY
Accounts also get up to $250,000 in FDIC insurance. But it’s the 1.15% APY that makes this account so attractive. If you’re looking for somewhere to store your emergency fund or to work towards a savings goal, it could be the right account for you.
American Express Rewards Checking
At the time of writing, American Express’ Rewards Checking account pays 0.50% APY. This lets you earn interest on your cash balance while having the flexibility to spend it. And you don’t pay any monthly fees or face minimum balance requirements.
To sweeten the deal, you earn one Membership Rewards points for every $2 you spend on eligible purchases. You can redeem points for statement credits, travel discounts, gift cards, and various merchandise rewards.
Just note: the Rewards Checking account is only available if you’ve had an American Express card account, which means one of its credit cards, for at least three months.
American Express National Bank CDs
Another savings product American Express offers is certificate of deposits (CDs). There’s no minimum required to participate; nor are there fees. If you’re looking for fixed-income, CDs are a reliable option you can consider.
Here are American Express’ current CD rates:
Earning up to 2.90% is similar to what many other banks offer. For example, Capital One 360 also offers CD rates up to 2.90% for its 60-month term. However, it has better rates for shorter terms, and also offers six and nine month terms unlike American Express. Ultimately, we prefer American Express for its high-yield savings account and credit cards but not its CDs.
Other American Express National Bank Features & Services
American Express National Bank’s main offerings are its checking and high-yield savings accounts. But you can also take advantage of other banking services, as well as some leading credit cards.
- Credit Cards: It goes without saying that American Express has some of the best credit card rewards out there. It’s known for a variety of cash back and travel rewards cards, as well as several business credit cards.
- Personal Loans: With American Express Personal Loans, you can borrow $3,500 to $40,000 if you’re an eligible Card Member (which means having a credit card). You don’t pay origination fees, but your APR and loan amount depend on your credit and account history.
- Investment Management: American Express offers an investing service in partnership with Vanguard known as INVEST. You get a consultation with a Vanguard advisor when you sign up, and your advisor helps you build an investment portfolio to match your goals. After 90 days, you pay an annual advisory fee of 0.50%. Just note you can use Vanguard Digital Advisors or its Personal Advisors service on your own and pay way less in fees.
- Business Banking: With its Business Checking account, you can earn 1.10% on up to $500,000 and up to 20,000 bonus Membership Rewards points.
- IRA Savings Plans: Members can also open an IRA high-yield savings account or IRA certificates of deposits.
What Are The Fees?
You don’t pay any monthly fees for American Express’ various bank accounts. There aren’t monthly fees or overdraft fees either, making it an excellent mobile banking option.
How’s The Customer Service
One advantage of banking with American Express is that it offers 24/7 phone support if you call 1-800-446-6307. In contrast, many smaller online banks have limited customer service hours, especially on weekends.
I actually have an American Express credit card that I use to earn cash back. It’s a different customer support number and team, but in the two times I’ve called, the longest I’ve waited for support was around 20 minutes. I also bank with TD Bank and have had much longer wait times in the past, so I’m pretty happy with American Express’ customer service.
If you’re already an American Express customer because of its credit cards, opening a rewards checking or high-yield savings account makes sense. This lets you earn a high interest rate on your balance while consolidating your banking.
However, certain alternatives might be superior depending on the account types and investing options you’re looking for.
Ally is one of our favorite alternatives if you’re looking for a full-service bank with more investing options. It has direct investing and robo investing options you can explore depending on your needs. And, it also has one of the best high-yield savings accounts that pays slightly more than American Express.
As for Capital One 360, it has an excellent Performance Savings account that pays a high interest rate without charging fees. Plus, you can get in-person customer support at its branches or cafe-bank hybrid locations, and it also has more flexible CD terms.
Finally, we like CIT Bank if you’re looking for a high-yield savings account or money market account. Its Savings Connect account pays up to 1.65% APY, which is significantly higher than American Express.
If you’re looking for savings accounts or CDs that offer competitive rates while charging zero fees, American Express National Bank could be a good choice for you. And if you’re an American Express cardholder, you can also take advantage of its rewards checking account.