In this American Express Bank review, you will find how this well-recognized financial institution provides a top-of-the-line savings account and see if it’s right for you.
The best way to build long-term wealth is by earning money and then, investing it in the right channels or platforms.
There are actually a lot of banks and other financial institutions out there that offer high-yield savings account, which definitely is a come-on. It’s very appealing given the fact that your money grows while it sits in the bank or a financial institution.
But wait, what is the attitude of Americans towards saving money?
Before the pandemic hit the country (and the world in general) in 2020, data from different studies show that many Americans are that good at saving money. In fact, there were still a few who are unbanked.
However, things changed when the pandemic happened.
A new survey conducted by Bankrate says that 54% of Americans have more emergency savings now than credit card debt. This was 5% higher as compared to the previous year, which was pre-pandemic.
The whole COVID-19 thing has changed the way people save money especially building an emergency fund.
Now, speaking of saving money, a high-yield savings account is absolutely the most ideal product especially if you intend to build an emergency fund. You know, as you keep adding money to the account, the more it earns.
As mentioned earlier, there are actually a lot of banks and other financial institutions that offer competitive rates on a savings account. With so many options to choose from, it is important to be smart in selecting your savings account.
One of the many options available is that of American Express Bank.
In the next few sections you are going to find out the most important details you need to know specifically about the American Express Personal Savings account.
Particularly, we are going to focus on providing answers to the following questions:
- What is American Express Bank?
- Who is American Express Bank best for?
- What does American Express Bank offer?
- How does American Express Bank’s online banking work?
- Are there fees involved?
- How to open an account with American Express Bank?
- Is American Express Bank safe?
- What are the upsides of American Express Bank?
- What are the downsides of American Express Bank?
WHAT IS AMERICAN EXPRESS BANK?
Many people know American Express Bank as a popular credit card company. However, what people are not that aware of is that it also has an arm devoted to bank accounts.
American Express National Bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). It is solely dedicated to personal banking solutions for consumers.
American Express offers online savings as well as a certificate of deposit accounts.
The bank’s personal savings account is actually one of the best online savings accounts you will find in the market today.
The American Express Bank is under the American Express Company, a multinational financial services corporation that is headquartered in New York City. The company was founded in 1850.
To know more about the American Express Bank and the products it offers, check out this informative video by Adam Venture:
WHO IS AMERICAN EXPRESS BANK BEST FOR?
Surely, American Express is one of the most popular credit card providers. But, there’s more to it than just credit cards.
American Express Bank is ideal for consumers who are looking for a bank that offers a high-yield savings account as it is definitely one of the top contenders for this area.
In addition, the bank should also appeal to consumers who prefer banking online instead of going to a physical branch location.
American Express Bank lets you open a certificate of deposit with no minimum deposit required. So, if you want to avail such a perk, then this is definitely a bank to consider.
Also, the bank should be a great choice for consumers who want to keep a savings account at a different bank from their main accounts, as well as open a savings account without monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.
WHAT DOES AMERICAN EXPRESS BANK OFFER?
American Express is one of the most popular credit card providers. But, not a lot of people know that the bank actually offers personal deposits as well, which includes a high-yield savings account and certificate of deposit accounts.
For the purpose of this American Express Bank review, we are going to focus only on both savings and CD accounts.
High-Yield Savings Account
If you are specifically looking for a savings account with high earnings potential, the American Express High-Yield Savings account is an ideal choice.
Currently, the account earns a 0.40% annual percentage yield (APY). Please take note that the interest is earned daily and is posted on a monthly basis.
Unlike other savings account offered by competing banks, American Express Bank does not charge monthly fees and does not require a minimum balance. However, the bank automatically closes an account with zero balance for 180 days.
Moving on, what’s nice about an American Express Bank savings account is that it can easily be connected to other bank accounts. Thus, allowing the account holder to transfer money back and forth anytime he or she wants to.
Meanwhile, to open an account or start making a deposit, all you need to do is either link your account to an external bank account or send a check via mail. The bank does not require a minimum deposit to open a savings account.
The American Express Bank savings account is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week online, or by calling the bank’s customer service.
Similar to other savings accounts out there, the American Express savings accounts are subject to federal Regulation D, which means account holders are not allowed to make more than the usual maximum of six withdrawals/debits per statement cycle.
It is important to know, though, that if you regularly exceed the six-withdrawal monthly limit, the bank may freeze or close your account, or change it so that it doesn’t earn any interest. Thus, you have to be very mindful about your monthly withdrawals to avoid this from happening.
Apart from all the perks we’ve already mentioned, American Express Bank also provides an option to convert your savings account to a CD account if in case you decide you want to keep your money for the long haul and get a chance to earn more.
Setting up the account is very easy. If you decide to convert your savings account to a CD account, it is important to know that you cannot contribute more money to a CD account. This should not be a concern, though, if you really want to take advantage of what a CD account has to offer.
Certificate of Deposit (CD) Account
Unlike its savings account, American Express Bank certificate of deposit (CD) accounts are not as competitive.
However, it does have a huge advantage because the bank’s CD account does not have a minimum deposit requirement, which is not a common cause because normally, banks require a minimum deposit of either $500 or $1,000. Some banks even require more.
With American Express Bank, you can open a CD account with whatever amount you have at the moment.
Similar to other banks, early withdrawals are penalized as well. The penalty varies depending on the CD term. The range would usually range from 90 to 540 days’ worth of interest.
American Express Bank CDs term ranges from 6 months to 60 months with rates that range between 0.10% and 0.55% as of this writing.
HOW DOES AMERICAN EXPRESS BANK’S ONLINE BANKING WORK?
American Express Bank account holders do not have the option to visit a physical branch like other financial institutions of a similar type. However, they do have the option to reach someone from the bank anytime and any day if there is any concern.
The digital banking experience varies depending on what product you have. For those with savings accounts, do not expect too many digital frills. By logging in to your online banking account, you get to take care of tasks like moving money from one account to another.
Meanwhile, customers with AMEX Serve prepaid debit cards, a product that is provided and issued by the American Express Travel Related Services Company, gets access to a mobile app that allows users to do tasks like deposit checks and pay bills.
Since American Express Bank does not intend its personal savings account to be used like any other typical savings account, it does not come with a debit card, checks, as well as ATM access.
ARE THERE FEES INVOLVED?
By now you already know a lot about the American Express Bank.
This time, in this part of our American Express Bank review, we are going to talk about fees.
As mentioned in the earlier sections, the bank does not charge monthly or annual fees, as well as strange fees. Furthermore, it does not require a minimum balance for its savings account.
Like any other bank, savings account holders are limited to making six transactions per month. However, American Express Bank does not charge extra if you go over the limit.
While it sounds great, it is important to know that the bank does reserve the right to freeze or close your account or change it so that it doesn’t earn any interest – whatever is applicable.
HOW TO OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH AMERICAN EXPRESS BANK?
The American Express Bank is an online-only bank, which means opening an account is easy and very accessible. All you need to do to start opening an account is go online.
Apart from that, you may also opt to sign up over the phone by calling the bank at 1-800-446-6307.
American Express Bank does not have a mobile app, so, the only way to deposit money into your account apart from the electronic transfer is to send a check directly to the bank.
Meanwhile, to be able to transfer money between your savings account and your external bank account, all you need to do is follow the following procedure as stated on the American Express website:
- Open an Account. To verify your identification, American Express uses your personal details to check public records – without affecting your credit.
- Register your online savings account after you receive your confirmation email (within minutes of applying).
- Sign in and fund your new account by linking to your current bank or mailing a check. Linking your external account can take up to 2 days. Transfers typically take less than 24 hours once linked.
IS AMERICAN EXPRESS BANK SAFE?
One of the many concerns that customers have especially when it comes to all-digital banking is the safety and security of their personal data and their money.
American Express is a well-known financial institution, which means it does have integrity when it comes to safety and security matters.
Rest assured that American Express has put multiple security systems in place to ensure your accounts and your personal information are safe and secured.
In fact, the bank uses 128-bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology to encrypt all data. Additionally, the bank also uses other safeguards such as hone security questions, email confirmations of password changes, automatic account time-outs, and a lot more.
As mentioned, American Express Bank is a member of the FDIC, which means all accounts are insured for up to $250,000 per depositor, per account ownership category, in case of a bank failure.
WHAT ARE THE UPSIDES OF AMERICAN EXPRESS BANK?
To give you a better view of what to expect and what not to expect from the bank, in this part of our American Express Bank review, we are providing you with the upsides of the institution, which include:
- High-Yield Savings Account – American Express Bank offers as high as 0.40% APY on its savings account, which definitely is one of the best offered in the market today.
- No Minimum Deposit Required – The bank does not require a minimum deposit on its savings account, which means you can open an account with whatever amount you have at the moment — regardless if it’s spare cash or not. Similarly, the bank does not require a minimum deposit requirement for its certificate of deposit (CD) account as well.
- No Monthly Fees – Unlike most online banks, American Express does not charge monthly service fees or overdraft fees. In fact, it does not charge any fees at all with any of its accounts, which is quite surprising because banks of similar types usually charge a lot of different fees.
- Interest can be Withdrawn during the CD Term – Unlike other banks, American Express allows you to withdraw the interest you’ve earned in your CD account during the term.
- 24/7 Online and Phone Access – American Express account holders may access their accounts via online channels or through phone anytime and on any day of the week.
- FDIC Insured – All American Express accounts are insured by the FDIC, which means each depositor receives up to $250,000 per account ownership in case of a bank failure.
WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES OF AMERICAN EXPRESS BANK?
To complete our American Express Bank review, below are some of the downsides of American Express Bank:
- No Mobile App – Unfortunately, American Express does not have a mobile application where customers can easily access their accounts. For personal savings and CD account holders, they may access their accounts via online banking or by calling the bank’s customer support hotline.
- No Physical Branch Location – American Express Bank is an entirely online bank, which means customers do not have access to a physical branch location. For any immediate concern you may have with your account, you may ask help by calling the bank’s customer support.
- Limited Product Offerings – Unlike other popular banks, American Express is limited to personal savings and CD accounts only. Sad to say, the bank does not offer checking or money market accounts yet.
- No Mobile Check Deposit Option – To deposit money to your account, you have two options — either to do an electronic transfer or to send a check via mail.
- No Debit Cards or ATM Access – Unfortunately, the American Express savings account does not come with a debit card or ATM access. To withdraw money, you need to transfer it to your linked checking account first.
- No Checks – Similarly, American Express Bank does not provide check options as well.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON AMERICAN EXPRESS BANK
American Express Bank is a well-known credit card provider. However, what people do not know much is that it also offers bank accounts. Particularly, the bank offers a personal high-yield savings account and a certificate of deposit account.
While its CD accounts’ rates are not as competitive, the bank’s personal savings account has definitely one of the best rates in the industry to date.
Although the rates may entice a lot of customers, unfortunately, the bank does have its share of downsides, including not having mobile app access. Savings and CD account holders may access their accounts either through online banking or via phone call to the bank’s customer support.
Given all the information we provided, do you think American Express Bank provides everything you need in a bank?