Review of: American Express National Bank
Reviewed by: Eric Rosenberg
Last modified: July 31, 2018
Are you looking for a no-frills savings account? American Express National Bank might be just the ticket. This bank, which is owned by the same parent as the famous credit card company, offers savings accounts and CDs that pay high rates, along with no required minimums or fees. However, this account might not be for you if you're looking for a checking account or if you prefer mobile banking.
- Savings accounts
- CD investors
- No fees
- No minimums
- Online depositors
We’ve all heard of American Express credit cards and their generous rewards programs. But did you know that the AMEX parent company also owns a banking business that offers a reward of its own in the form of excellent interest rates?
Having the right bank account is crucial to your money-saving efforts. But with so many choices on the market, it can be tough to pick the right one for your needs. A quality savings account should offer FDIC insurance, easy access to your money, a competitive interest rate and friendly and effective customer service.
American Express National Bank checks all of these boxes, but is it good enough for your money? Follow along with this review to learn more about banking with American Express.
American Express National Bank Features
|Amount of Branches||None|
|Customer Service||Phone: 24/7|
|Promotions||Earn 1.75% APY with Savings Account|
What Is American Express Personal Savings?
First off, it’s important to note that American Express® Personal Savings and American Express’ credit card business operate completely independently of each other. Savings and CD accounts require their own login.
Bank accounts from American Express National Bank are very simple. As with CIT Bank, there is no checking account option, so you should not use American Express Personal Savings for any regular transactions outside a simple recurring deposit or withdrawal. American Express Personal Savings does not offer debit cards, checkbooks or an ability to use cash. If a checking account is a requirement for you, you might want to explore another option such as the highly rated Ally Bank or Capital One 360.
American Express Personal Savings might also not be a great choice for you if you prefer mobile banking. In fact, the bank currently doesn’t even offer an app. This is a shame, since the American Express credit card business app consistently rates high among its users. However, the bank’s website states that the company is working to improve its connectivity, so this issue may eventually be resolved. And for now, the website is viewable on your cellphone anyway.
There’s another limitation to an American Express Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account. You can make up to only six withdrawals from your savings account per month. However, this drawback isn’t exclusive to American Express, since it’s in accordance with federal regulations and applies to other banks as well. Note that if you want to pay your American Express credit card bill from your American Express Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account, this will count as one of your six monthly withdrawals.
American Express National Bank Alternatives
How American Express Personal Savings Works
American Express Personal Savings offers two types of savings vehicles, a savings account and certificates of deposit (CDs), and they are available only to individuals. American Express Personal Savings is an online-only bank without any physical bank branches to visit, but that is an issue only if you need cash, which is less and less common these days.
Essentially, American Express Personal Savings is a place to store your savings at a competitive interest rate with no bells and whistles.
You can open both the savings and CD accounts online by completing a short application. You can fund your new account via electrionic transfer or by mailing in a paper check.
Once a new savings account is up and running, you can easily move funds in or out via electronic transfer. You can link any major United States bank account to an American Express Personal Savings account using its account and routing numbers. American Express Personal Savings does not support mobile check deposits at the moment. If you wish to deposit funds into your account via paper check, you’ll have to mail it in.
If you have any questions about your account, you can reach a customer service representative at American Express Personal Savings via phone 24/7. At the moment, there is no support through live chat on the website.
American Express Personal Savings Fees
Here’s where we get to a real selling point for American Express Personal Savings. The bank charges practically no fees for regular bank account use. There are no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements to avoid a charge. Because there is no debit or ATM card, there are no ATM or overdraft fees.
The only fee I was able to find was a $5 fee for a returned deposit. Even in the account terms, there is nothing about fees. That earns this bank a perfect 10/10 score in this category.
American Express National Bank CD Rates
American Express National Bank CDs
Earn a competitive rate with American Express's certificates of deposit (CDs). There's no minimum required to participate; nor are there fees. There are a number of fixed terms offered.
Pros and Cons
- High Savings Account Rate — American Express Personal Savings offers a rate that's among the top in the industry.
- FDIC Insurance — Not only is American Express Personal Savings a trusted brand, but your deposits will be protected by the FDIC up to $250,000 per depositor.
- Fees? What Fees? — There are no fees with these accounts.
- Limited Account Options — You won't be able to open a checking account with American Express Personal Savings. Accounts are limited to individual, taxable savings accounts and CDs.
- No ATM/Debit Card or Checks — You won't be able to withdraw cash from your account from an ATM, with a debit card or with checks.
- Not a Participant in Fast Transfer Networks — American Express Personal Savings doesn't use a service such as Zelle, which can speed up online transfers.
- No Mobile App — This might not be a good choice for you if you want to use mobile banking. As of now, there is no mobile app to support your account. However, you can view the web page from your mobile device.
- No Online Check Deposit — If you want to deposit a paper check, you'll have to mail it in, the old-fashioned way.
If you’re looking for savings accounts or CDs that offer extremely competitive rates while charging zero fees, American Express National Bank could be a good choice for you. The bank’s accounts are certainly simple and offer no bells and whistles. There’s currently no mobile app and no support for online check deposits. You also won’t find a checking account from this bank. However, the interest rates are among the highest of any savings accounts today, online or offline.
While American Express National Bank doesn’t offer any extra features, it does offer the most important ones. It is a good, safe place to store your money while growing that stash, as well. If that’s all you need, this account is a winner.