With so many online savings accounts to choose from, it can be difficult to decide where to park your money.
People tend to make this decision based mostly on interest rates, but what if you could have your interest paid in miles rather than dollars?
This is the question that Bask Bank, a subsidiary of Texas Capital Bank, asked when creating this unique savings account in response.
The account pays AAdvantage miles instead of interest, giving you one mile for every dollar you deposit in a year, plus any bonus you manage to snag (Bask currently offers three).
Bask Bank is an online-only institution, launched in January of 2020, that has a lot to offer for frequent flying individuals on American Airlines.
In this post you'll learn:
About Bask Bank
Bask Bank is certainly quite new, but its parent holding company—Texas Capital Bank—has been around since 1999 and has been a partner of American Airlines all this time.
Texas Capital Bank was also a pioneer in digital banking back in the late 1990’s. To create Bask Bank, they leveraged both their digital banking expertise and their strong partnership with American Airlines.
How the Bask Bank Account Works?
With this account you earn American Airlines miles (or AAdvantage Miles) rather than interest – to the tune of 1 mile for $1 deposited.
Normally, frequent flyer miles are awarded on the spending side rather than savings. Customers are used to racking up miles when making certain purchases or booking flights with their credit card, but this account turns that model upside down.
With Bask Bank, the more money you save, the more miles you earn—no strings attached. It’ll keep your AAdvantage account active with a steady trickle of miles, plus you can earn unlimited miles and never have to worry about spending on a particular travel card or making purchases you don’t want through an online portal.
Keep in mind that like any other savings account, the rate of miles earned per dollar is variable and therefore subject to change at any time without notice. Miles are given based on your average monthly balance per month.
Bask Bank is an FDIC-insured bank and deposits are insured up to $250,000 per depositor or $500,000 on joint accounts.
How Are Miles Calculated and Deposited
According to NerdWallet, a single American Airlines mile comes out to a value of about $0.01. This means that for every $100 you save, you will nab $1.00 worth in American Airlines Miles at the end of the year.
Miles are earned every day that you account is active with funds in it. Miles are deposited directly into your AAdvantage account monthly.
If you’re a member of the American Airlines loyalty program but aren’t yet familiar with it, AAdvantage miles can be used on many different expenses. From upgraded flights to merchandise, they can be used to pay for just about anything related to travel through American Airlines.
American Airlines also partners with hotels and rental car agencies, and frequent flyer miles can be put toward these expenses as well. Redeem miles at any time—they’ll expire after 18 months of inactivity, but this expiration period resets every time Bask makes another deposit into your AAdvantage account, so you probably won’t need to worry about this.
How to Set Up Your Bask Bank Account
To open an account with Bask Bank, you’ll first need to be a part of the American Airlines frequent-flyer program. If you are not, this account will be of little use to you.
Assuming you are a member and you want to earn points via saving rather than spending, then click on the orange “open an account” button in the upper right on the Bask Bank website.
From here it will be a 4 step process that finalizes with transferring funds to the account.
The whole thing can be completed in minutes. The steps are as follows;
- Get started. You’ll need an email address and mobile number.
- Submit application. Here you’ll need things like your name, social security number, birthday and address.
- Create Login. Simple login creation (username and password).
- Transfer Funds. There’s no minimum deposit requirement or ongoing monthly balance requirement, but there are bonuses associated with deposits. We discuss this further down.
Bask Bank Account Bonuses
Bask Bank has special offers available for account holders that meet certain balance and action requirements.
For opening an account with Bask Bank and funding it with at least $5,000, you’ll be rewarded 5,000 bonus miles.
You will need to fund your account within 120 days of opening and maintain this balance for at least 90 days to qualify. These bonus miles are on top of what you will earn at the end of the year on your total balance (1 mile per $1).
There are other bonuses granted to qualifying accounts as well.
The Feedback Bonus is easy to obtain—all you need to do is take a short survey on your experience with the Bask Bank app and you’ll earn 1,000 AAdvantage bonus miles, credited to your AAdvantage account within 10 days of meeting the requirements. This survey can be taken through the online banking portal or mobile app and only takes a few minutes to complete. Offer expires June 30, 2020.
Finally, the Balance Bonus is a promotion that grants tiered bonuses. If you fund your account within 60 days of opening with at least $25,000, you qualify for this bonus offer.
Here’s how the Balance Bonus works:
- Average daily balances of $25,000 or more will earn 5,000 miles every 180 days,
- Average daily balances of $50,000 or more will earn 10,000 miles every 180 days (up to 20,000), and
- Average daily balances of $100,000 or more will earn 20,000 miles (up to 40,000).
Please note that you will need to stay within your tier for 12 months to qualify.
Bask Bank Support and Customer Sentiment
The Bask Bank website is clean and simple and about as easy-to-use as it gets. Customers leave high marks on review sites for the ease of use of its online interface.
The negative remarks generally revolve around the miles that are rewarded. Many customers point out the fact that this account is – for all intents and purposes – just a 1.0% APY savings account. However, if you’re able to cash in on any of the three bonus offers (and depending on your deposit size) you can still beat that 1.0% APY mark.
If you struggle to set up or service your account, you can contact customer service at (833) 260-4320 or email@example.com.
The phones are open Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM and Saturday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Central Standard Time.
Because Bask Bank does not have any physical branches, you will need to open your account and manage your finances online or through the mobile app. This can be downloaded through the App Store or through Google Play.
If you’re a long standing American Airlines traveler, in need of a savings account and dissatisfied with the current interest rate environment, then a Bask Bank account could be right for you.
Just remember, you’ll probably need to be eligible for at least one of the three bonus offers to make this account compete with some of the top APYs out there through traditional online savings accounts.