Looking for a place to earn some extra interest on your savings? You’ve probably heard of some of the banks that offer online savings accounts, but many people had no idea that American Express offers the exact same thing. You can earn a great interest rate while enjoying the same high level of customer service you have come to expect from a company like AMEX.
American Express Savings Account Features
American Express is one of the premiere credit card companies around. With the recent financial crisis some of the traditional credit card firms like AmEx and Discover got into the banking business in an attempt to steal market share.
American Express Bank, FSB offers two online account options: the online savings account and a certificate of deposit.
The Online Savings Account is similar to options from companies like Discover Bank, Ally Bank, and EverBank. You get an online-only account that pays a very competitive interest rate compared to brick and mortar banks in your city, and is often among the highest in the nation.
However, as with many things in life, not all online accounts are made the same.
How Does AmEx Online Savings Account Compare?
Is the American Express Savings Account account any better or worse than the competition? Here’s a deeper look.
FDIC Coverage. Above all other options — interest rates, fees, etc. — the need for Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is an absolute necessary for any banking account you open whether online or brick-and-mortar. As you might expect, American Express’ savings accounts are covered by the normal FDIC coverage of $250,000 per account, giving you the security of knowing your funds are guaranteed up to that limit.
Interest Rates. When you look at the major players in the online savings account arena (big banks that you would feel comfortable with rather than random small institutions), American Express’ online savings account has one of the highest interest rates available. The current rate is ahead of Ally Bank, Capital One 360, Discover Bank, and EverBank. The difference in rates are mostly insignificant unless you are sticking thousands of dollars into the account, but nonetheless one of the highest rates is with American Express.
Interest rates for certificates of deposit (CDs) are also competitive, and vary based on the duration of the CD. American Express offers CDs ranging from 6 months to 6 years. Because the rates change frequently, we recommend visiting our rate table for current rates:
Fees. When it comes to fees, the American Express Savings Account makes it easy: there are none. There is no minimum balance requirement, not even to open the account. (You can get started with $1.) There are no fees for withdrawing your funds or closing your account.
The only time you would ever pay a fee would be if you had an overdraft on the account. Since this is a savings account and you handle your online transfers online the likelihood of that is incredibly low.
Opening an American Express Personal Savings Account. To open an account, you simply need to apply online, then verify the online accounts you wish to link to your new American Express account. American Express will verify your account by making two small test deposits into your account, then require you to verify the amounts deposited. Once you do that, your accounts are linked and you are in business. You can link up to three external accounts.
Deposits and Withdrawals. As with other online savings accounts, you handle your deposits through online transfers. That means you need to have an account elsewhere (usually a brick-and-mortar bank that offers you checking privileges and other necessary in-person perks), but the transfer process is simple and is handled via ACH transfers, which typically only take a day or two. You can also mail a check directly to American Express and they will deposit it into your account that way as well. (The check has to be from your own account, not from someone else.)
The only downside is some other banks offer electronic check deposit through scanning the check or taking a picture of it. American Express hasn’t rolled out that feature out yet.
Customer Service. Hopefully you won’t need to contact customer service with a problem, but if necessary they are reachable on the phone 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. This is common with online-only institutions that compete with American Express, but it is nice to know the same holds true. American Express’ customer service on the credit card side of things is exemplary, and you should expect the same on the banking side.
Overall, the American Express Savings Account offers a great online savings account from a trusted name in the financial industry. If you are looking for best in class interest rates and a trusted bank, then check out American Express.
For more information, or to open an American Express Personal Savings Account online, visit, http://personalsavings.americanexpress.com/