American Express National Bank – High Yield Savings Account Review

American Express National Bank has one of the best online high yield savings accounts. Read our full review here for their CD rates as well.
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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 review, we’ll take a look at the banking products and features offered by American Express National Bank, Member FDIC.

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

Summary

4.7

When it comes to Products & Services, the American Express National Bank offers high yield 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 Features

American Express National BankFeatures
Banking Account TypesSavings Account, CDs
Other Account TypesCredit Cards
Minimum Required Deposit to Open Account$1
Number of BranchesInternet Only
ATM Network SizeNo ATM Network
ATM ReimbursementsN/A
Remote Deposit AvailabilityNo; Can deposit checks by mail
App AvailabilityMobile Optimized Website
Apps Currently Only Work with Credit Cards, not Savings
Bill PayN/A
Person to Person Money TransfersN/A
Money TransfersElectronic Funds Transfer
Customer Service TypesPhone
Customer Service Hours24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Member FDICFDIC Certificate #27471
Routing Number / ABA Number#124085066
Current PromotionsClick to See Current Interest Rates
See more Bank Promotions

Additional Features

  • High Interest Rates. American Express National Bank offers interest rates on its High Yield Savings Account product that are among the top in the industry.
  • FDIC Insurance. Every American Express High Yield Savings Account product is protected by the FDIC up to $250,000 per depositor.
  • No Minimum Deposit. It’s worth emphasizing that, unlike some other banks, American Express National Bank doesn’t require a minimum deposit to open a savings CD.
  • 24/7 Customer Support. If you need assistance with your account, you can phone up American Express and talk to a representative at any time.

What Is American Express National Bank?

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 High Yield Savings Account 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 High Yield 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 Express 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.)

How to Get Started with American Express National Bank

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 High Yield Savings Account.

In order to open an American Express High Yield 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 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.

Funding Your American Express High Yield Savings Account.

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.

American Express National Bank Account Options

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 the 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 an American Express 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.

Certificates of Deposit

American Express National Bank offers certificates of deposit (CDs) 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:

  1. It can remain in your CD account, where it will earn compound interest (this is the default setting)
  2. It can be transferred automatically into your High Yield Savings Account on a monthly basis
  3. You can arrange for it to be transferred automatically into a linked bank account on a monthly basis
  4. 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 will 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 CDs are also competitive and vary based on each product’s terms. Because rates change frequently, we recommend visiting our current rate table:

See current interest rates from American Express National Bank and other online banks.

American Express National Bank Customer Service

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 Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Great Interest Rates. The American Express High Yield Savings Account has one of the highest interest rates available.
  • 24/7 Customer Service. If you need help with your account, you can always call the customer support team.
  • No Minimum Balance or Monthly Maintenance Fees. 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.

Cons

  • No Checking Account. American Express National Bank doesn’t offer a checking account at this time.
  • No IRA Savings. There’s no IRA option available for an American Express High Yield Savings Account.
  • No ATM Card. There’s no debit or ATM card associated with this account, so you won’t be able to withdraw your cash as easily as with some other accounts. However, because this is a savings-oriented bank, that might not be a bad thing.
  • No Mobile App. There’s no smartphone app for savings and CD accounts, which is an inconvenience.
  • No Mobile Check Deposit. If you want to fund your account, you’ll need to link a current bank account or mail in a check the old-fashioned way.

Conclusion

Overall, the American Express National Bank offers a great online savings account from a trusted name in the financial industry. However, in return, you’ll need to give up some of the conveniences some other online banks offer, such as mobile apps, ATM access, and mobile check deposit.

But if you’re looking for best-in-class interest rates and a trusted bank, check out American Express.

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.


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About Kevin Mercadante

Kevin Mercadante is professional personal finance blogger, and the owner of his own personal finance blog, OutOfYourRut.com. He has backgrounds in both accounting and the mortgage industry. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and two teenage kids and can be followed on Twitter at @OutOfYourRut.

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