When you think of American Express, you probably think of the credit card brand. However, the company also offers a suite of savings accounts and certificates of deposit with very competitive rates. In this American Express National Bank review, we’ll take a look at AMEX’s banking products and features.
With an American Express National Bank account, 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. And if you need more information on opening a business savings account, the bank can help you with that as well!
American Express National Bank Review
Product Name: American Express National Bank
Product Description: While American Express is most known for credit cards, the company also offers an online savings account with interest rates that are among the highest in the nation. AMEX also offers a variety of Certificates of Deposit, also featuring high interest rates. There are no minimum deposit or balance requirements. Note that this bank doesn't offer checking accounts.
- Products & Services
- Interest Rates
- Fees & Charges
- Website / App
- Customer Service
When it comes to Products & Services, the American Express National Bank offers high-yielding savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs). However, there’s a noticeable lack of a checking account. Interest Rates with these accounts are among the highest in the nation and far better than what you’ll find at a brick-and-mortar bank. It’s easy to grade American Express for Fees & Charges because you’d be hard-pressed to find any. There are only a few scattered fees. There’s no required minimum to open an account, either. The Website/App is easy to use. You can download an app for either Android or iPhone. Finally, you can’t beat Customer Service when it’s 24/7.
American Express National Bank: More Than Credit Cards
With a history stretching back more than 150 years, American Express has become one of the world’s premier credit card companies.
But in the last decade, American Express has reached further into the online banking space.
Thanks to the internet, companies no longer need to open brick-and-mortar branch offices to offer savings products. That has helped expand the American Express brand… while allowing the company to offer attractive interest rates.
American Express National Bank offers two online account options: online savings accounts and certificates of deposit.
American Express National Bank Features
|American Express National Bank|
|Banking Account Types||Savings Account, CDs|
|Other Account Types||Credit Cards|
|Minimum Required Deposit to Open Account||$1|
|Number of Branches||Internet Only|
|ATM Network Size||No ATM Network|
|Remote Deposit Availability||No; Can deposit checks by mail|
|App Availability||“Mobile Optimized Website|
|Apps Currently Only Work with Credit Cards, not Savings”|
|Person to Person Money Transfers||N/A|
|Money Transfers||Electronic Funds Transfer|
|Customer Service Types||Phone|
|Customer Service Hours||24 hours a day, 7 days a week.|
|Member FDIC||FDIC Certificate #27471|
|Routing Number / ABA Number||#124085066|
|Current Promotions||“Click to See Current Interest Rates;|
|See more Bank Promotions”|
Types of Accounts Available at American Express National Bank
American Express accounts can be used only for personal, family, or household purposes. They’re not available for IRAs, trust, or business accounts.
In addition, you can’t link IRAs, trusts, or business accounts to your American Express Personal Savings Account. In fact, American Express warns that it may terminate or freeze your account if it’s used for business or commercial purposes, or if it’s linked either to a business account or to an account you don’t own.
(In lieu of trusts, American Expres does offer Payable on Death (POD) accounts, in which the proceeds of the account automatically transfer to the named beneficiary on the account upon the death of the primary account owner.)
Hopefully, you won’t need to contact customer service with a problem. But if necessary, you can reach the American Express team on the phone 24 hours per day, seven days per week. This convenience is common among online-only institutions.
American Express’s customer service on the credit card side of things is exemplary, and you should expect the same on the banking side as well.
American Express National Bank – Personal Savings Account
With this product, you get an online-only account that pays a very competitive interest rate that’s often among the highest in the nation.
However, as with many things in life, not all online accounts are made the same.
Above all other options — interest rates, fees, etc. — coverage by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) is an absolute necessity for any banking account you open, whether online or brick-and-mortar.
As you might expect, the American Express Personal Savings Account is covered by the usual FDIC coverage of $250,000 per account, giving you the security of knowing your funds are guaranteed up to that limit.
When you look at the major players in the online savings account arena (big banks you’d feel comfortable with, rather than random, small institutions), the American Express Personal Savings Account has one of the highest interest rates available.
The current rate is comparable to or higher than other high-interest savings accounts such as Ally Bank, Capital One 360, CIT Bank, and TIAA Bank. You won’t really see much of a difference in rates unless you’re sticking thousands of dollars into an account, but nevertheless, American Express has among the highest rates.
Because rates change frequently, we recommend visiting our current rate table:
When it comes to fees, the American Express Personal Savings Account makes it easy: There are none. There’s also is no minimum balance requirement — not even to open the account. (You can get started with just $1.) There are no fees for withdrawing your funds or closing your account, either.
The only time you would ever pay a fee would be if you had an overdraft on the account, or if you incur a prepayment penalty for withdrawing principal from a CD before its maturity date. Since this is a savings account and you handle your online transfers online, the likelihood of that happening is incredibly low.
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 the bank will deposit it into your account that way as well. (The check has to be from your own account, not from someone else’s.)
Note that some other banks offer electronic check deposits via scanning the check or taking a picture of it. American Express hasn’t rolled out that feature yet.
How to Open an American Express Personal Savings Account
To open an account, you simply need to apply online or by phone and then verify the online accounts you wish to link to your new American Express Personal Savings Account.
In order to open an American Express Personal Savings Account, you’ll need to provide the following information for each account holder:
- Social Security number
- Email address
- Home address
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Account and routing numbers for the outside bank account(s) you will link to your American Express account
The external linked bank account(s) must belong to you and have the same ownership as your American Express Personal Savings Account. You can link as many as three of your current bank accounts to your American Express account.
American Express will verify your account by making two small test deposits into your account. The company will then require you to verify the amounts deposited. Once you do that, your accounts are linked and you’re in business.
As soon as the money is received and credited to your account, you’ll begin receiving interest on your account.
American Express National Bank – High Yield Savings Account
This is a true high-yield savings account that provides more-than-usual interest with limited access to your funds. There is no minimum deposit required to open a high yield account.
Under Federal Reserve Regulation D, this type of account allows a maximum of six withdrawals or debits per statement cycle. For this reason, the account does not come with an ATM card, debit card, or checks to facilitate frequent withdrawals.
(Here’s a list of free online checking accounts you can review if you need a checking account.)
That said, many users open an account with American Express to take advantage of their high interest rates. You can connect three external banks to your American Express account, which makes this a great account for emergency or long-term savings.
To fund a High Yield Savings Account, you can make lump sum deposits or set up recurring deposits — or a combination of both. Recurring deposits can be either monthly or weekly.
American Express National Bank – Certificates of Deposit
American Express National Bank offers certificates of deposit with terms ranging from six to 60 months.
Interest is compounded daily and is credited to your CD account on a monthly basis. You have four options as to exactly where the interest will go:
- It can remain in your CD account, where it will earn compound interest (this is the default setting)
- It can be transferred automatically into your High Yield Savings Account on a monthly basis
- You can arrange for it to be transferred automatically into a linked bank account on a monthly basis
- It can be mailed to you by check on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis
Early withdrawals: You can withdraw interest earned at any time before the maturity date of the CD. However, the bank advises this will reduce interest income earned. Principal withdrawn prior to the maturity date will be subject to an early withdrawal penalty.
Early withdrawal penalties are as follows:
- For a CD with a term of 12 months or less: If you withdraw all of your principal balance, or if the account is closed for any other reason, the penalty is 90 days’ interest on the withdrawn amount, applying the interest rate disclosed in your account-opening documents.
- For a CD with a term of more than 12 months: If you withdraw all of your principal balance, or if the account is closed for any other reason, the penalty is 180 days’ interest on the withdrawn amount, applying the interest rate disclosed in your account-opening documents.
CD renewals: American Express with automatically roll CDs over to a new CD of the same term. You’ll have 10 calendar days from the maturity date to cancel the rollover without penalty. Renewal will not take place if you’ve specified that you don’t want automatic renewal, or if the bank no longer offers a CD of the same term.
You can add funds to a CD after it matures, but only within the 10-day grace period on the renewal.
Interest rates for certificates of deposit (CDs) are also competitive and vary based on the duration of the CD. Because rates change frequently, we recommend visiting our current rate table:
American Express Personal Savings Account Security
As an online banking platform, American Express Personal Savings Account does everything possible to ensure the security of your account while you’re transacting business online or on your mobile device.
Unauthorized transactions limit your liability to $50, as long as you notify the bank within two business days after you learn of the loss or theft of your account access information or mobile device. A toll-free phone number is provided for this purpose.
Other security features provided by the bank include:
- Constant monitoring of the activity in your account for potential fraud
- Multifactor authentication through use of one-time codes on non-recognized devices
- Blocking of unauthorized access through the use of numerous secure firewalls
- Use of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption to create a secure connection with your browser
- You’re automatically logged out of your account after 10 minutes of inactivity
- The bank doesn’t share your usernames and passwords with anyone
Should You Open an American Express National Bank Account?
Overall, the American Express National Bank offers a great online savings account from a trusted name in the financial industry. If you’re looking for best-in-class interest rates and a trusted bank, then check out American Express.
There are no current welcome bonuses for the American Express Personal Savings Account. See our list of bank bonus offers for current bank bonus offers.
For more information, or to open an American Express Personal Savings Account online, visit, https://americanexpress.com/
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express.