[Update December 2021: Yields remain the same for both variable and fixed rate deposit accounts at American Express National Bank. Interest rate hikes, however, may come next year according to recent FED statements which may benefit savers looking for FDIC insured deposit products.]
American Express National Bank is the 25th largest bank in the U.S. by asset size with just over $130 billion.
Known by most as a credit card company—American Express—this financial corporation was approved to become a commercial bank with the name American Express National Bank in 2008 and has been a part of the digital banking sector ever since.
Within this relatively short period of time, American Express National Bank has racked up over $78 billion in consumer deposits.
Their current deposit suite consists of a personal high yield savings account and seven standard term CDs (certificates of deposit). The personal savings account comes with an APY that consistently places within the top yields from FDIC-insured, online banks with nationwide acceptance.
American Express National Bank is an online-only bank, so there are no physical branches. If you’re considering opening the personal online savings account from American Express, be sure you are comfortable with online banking. They also have no native apps available on IOS or Android so you will have to use a web browser on your PC, tablet or smartphone to manage your account(s).
To learn more, read our complete review of their personal savings account and certificate of deposit products below.
American Express Personal Savings Account Details + APY
The personal high yield savings account by American Express National Bank comes with zero monthly maintenance fees, and no minimum balance or deposit requirements. American Express Bank is member FDIC and all consumer deposits are federally insured up to the applicable limits.
American Express Personal Savings Account APY
To put this offer in perspective, the current national average for savings accounts sits at just 0.06% APY. However, a number of online institutions still offer slightly higher APYs such as the Citi Accelerate savings account, but remember, rates on these accounts are variable and can change at anytime without notice.
Fees, Minimum Balance Requirements, and Compounding Interest
The American Express Personal Savings account does not charge monthly maintenance fees nor does it require an average daily minimum balance. To earn the advertised interest rate and APY, you just need to maintain a balance of $1 or more.
There is no minimum opening deposit required either, but accounts that remain with a $0 balance for 180 days will be closed. These flexible terms put this savings product within reach of just about anyone, regardless of net worth or income.
Dividends on this high-yield account are compounded daily and credited monthly to your account.
You can make no more than 6 withdrawals or deposits into this account per month, per federal regulation D.
How to Open a Savings Account with American Express Bank
The account opening process is simple and straightforward. To get started, navigate to the high yield savings account page on the American Express Bank website (link above).
From here you will click on the blue “Apply” button, then it is a four step process that can be completed in minutes. If you have already begun the process you will also be able to access your saved application here.
The steps are:
- Account set up.
- Going through the terms and conditions.
- Funding the account.
- Online access set up.
For step 1, you will need the following information:
- Full name and date of birth (drivers license)
- Phone number
- Social security number
Once you arrive at step 3 you will need a few pieces of information from the bank in which you will be funding the savings account.
This information includes:
- Routing number of bank
- Your account number
Once your account is activated and funded you’ll be ready to start earning interest on your balance. As time goes on you will likely need access to these funds. You can learn more about your account access and monitoring your funds below.
Accessing and Monitoring your Funds
You can access your account online either on a desktop, tablet or phone 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. If you’re using your mobile phone you may use the web browser to access your account. American Express does not currently have an IOS or Android app for their savings account. They do, however, for credit cards, but those accounts are not in any way linked to the banking side. More on that below.
For moving funds about, you’ll want to link an external bank account. American Express allows you to link up to 3 external bank accounts. If you initiate this through American Express, this will take 3 or more business days. If you initiate this through the bank from which funds are being pulled, this will take just 1 or 2 business days.
A standard verification process will take place where American Express will send you small micro payments (typically two) in which you will then confirm to complete the syncing of your accounts. After this is completed, you’ll be able to transfer or deposit funds from or into your American Express savings account. Just keep in mind it generally takes one to three business days for new funds to be reflected in your account.
American Express Bank CD Rates + Account Details
American Express certificates of deposit aren’t nearly as competitive as the American Express Personal savings account with their rates, but they do offer APYs that sit well above the national average for their respective terms.
American Express CD Rates
To put these yields in perspective, the national average for a 12 month CD and a 60 month CD sit at just 0.14% and 0.24% APY, respectively according to recent FDIC data.
American Express’s certificates of deposit still feature ascending rates with ascending terms – meaning the longer you lock up your funds, the higher the rate you will receive. While this is standard and to be expected in normal market conditions, it is not what we presently see with a number of online banks and credit unions.
There is no minimum deposit or balance requirement to open and maintain an American Express CD. Any positive balance will earn the fixed APY on the account and you’ll never be charged a fee. You just need to deposit funds within 30 days of being approved for an account.
Dividends are compounded daily and credited monthly. Your interest will default to being deposited back into the certificate account, but you can choose instead to have it transferred automatically to your:
1) American Express Personal Savings account,
2) transferred automatically to a linked external account, or
3) mailed to you by check monthly, quarterly, or annually.
Partial withdrawals are not permitted. Early withdrawal policies for this bank are strict and the fees high, so do your best to wait until your certificate matures to withdraw funds or do so within the permitted window. There is a 10 day grace period within which you may deposit more money after issuance and make changes to your account after renewal. Here are all possible early withdrawal charges:
- 90 days’ interest for terms of less than 12 months
- 270 days’ interest for terms greater than 12 and less than 48 months
- 365 days’ interest for terms greater than 48 and less than 60 months
- 540 days’ interest for terms greater than 60 months
Keep in mind also that American Express reserves the right to deduct the difference from your principal if your CD does not have enough interest to pay the early withdrawal fee.
American Express Banking Experience + Customer Satisfaction
You won’t be able to withdraw or deposit savings account funds at in-network ATMs because an American Express Personal Savings account does not come with an ATM card and there is no Amex checking account. So really, these ATMs are for credit card users only.
The digital bank’s customer satisfaction is rather high. Out of 266 reviews on DepositAccounts, American Express Bank scored a rating of 4. Many reviewers go out of their way to mention the superior customer service—helpful representatives, reasonably short wait times, easy process, etc.—they have received with this bank and express their appreciation for the user-friendly online banking platform. Most have only good feedback for the company.
Unfortunately for those hoping to conduct their banking through a mobile app, the Amex mobile app is also only for credit card customers. Hopefully, though, you will agree with the majority of other users that say that the American Express online portal is convenient and easy to use.
To contact customer service—available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—call 1-(800)446-6307, fax 1-(800)-542-0779, or send checks/correspondence to the below address: American Express National Bank P.O. Box 30384 Salt Lake City, Utah 84130
Are American Express Credit Cards associated with American Express National Bank?
A common question among current American Express credit card holders is whether or not their account and information are tied (or will be tied) to American Express National Bank if they choose to open a personal savings account or CD.
The answer to that is NO.
American Express Credit Cards and American Express National Bank accounts like the Personal Savings Account or any of their CDs are offered by two separate entities.
On top of that, the login credentials for your Amex card(s) and the login credentials for your personal savings account or CD will be separate and used for two different websites. These systems do not share any personal information, balance or transaction data with one another.
American Express Bank isn’t trying to replace your other banks by becoming your number one.
It doesn’t offer a checking account and it doesn’t have in-person branches. In fact, this institution will likely be more supplementary than anything else.
With that said, their longer term deposit accounts and personal savings accounts are fee-free and competitive, so if you’re after higher than average yields American Express National Bank may be worth considering.