Earning money and investing it is the key to building long-term wealth. However, saving money in a high-yield savings account offers dramatic lifestyle benefits. With a large cash cushion, you have the freedom to change careers, take advantage of buying opportunities, or fund once-in-a-decade investment opportunities.
Because of these advantages, I’m a huge advocate of stashing cash into an FDIC-insured savings account, even if you have to slow down your investing progress to save money.
That said, I think it’s important to be smart about selecting your savings account. Right now, the American Express Personal Savings® account checks all the right boxes for an ideal savings account. I’ll explain why this account may be such a good fit for people who are just starting to save extra cash.
See why the American Express Savings Account is always consistently on our list of the best savings accounts for college students.
- One of the top high-yield savings account options
- No fees and no account minimums
- No ATM access or mobile app
American Express Details
American Express Online Savings
What Is American Express National Bank?
American Express is best known as a credit card issuer. But the financial services company also has a banking subsidiary - American Express National Bank, Member FDIC - that offers high-yield savings and CD accounts.
As an online-only bank, Amex Bank can't offer customers in-person support at local branches. However, it does provide round-the-clock phone support.
What Does It Offer?
American Express National Bank's accounts offer competitive interest rates. But don't expect a lot of additional frills. Here's a closer look at what the Amex savings products offer.
In general, the yield on savings accounts loses value relative to inflation. These aren’t investment accounts, and it's unreasonable to think you’ll get stock-like (or even bond-like) returns on money that’s guaranteed to be in the account the next day. That said, you have to be smart about selecting an account that consistently offers a high yield.
The American Express Personal Savings offers a 4.30% annual percentage yield (APY). This isn’t the highest yield account but it matches industry leaders Ally Bank and Alliant Credit Union. And it's always near the top of the interest rate tables.
I think it’s safe to say that American Express’s yield will remain near the top of the pack (which is great, since you don’t want to spend a bunch of time changing bank accounts).
Easy To Automate Savings
Generally speaking, it’s easy to set up an automated deposit from a checking account into a savings account. That said, they bury the secret to automation deep within their website. On the other hand, American Express emphasizes how to set up the automation.
They compare well to the other accounts listed on the best high yield savings account list.
Separate From Checking
A lot of banks, like Ally and Capital One offer great interest rates on savings accounts, and decent checking rates. That said, they allow you to make immediate transfers between checking and savings.
Personally, I like to put some distance between my spending account and my savings account. I like that American Express Personal Savings doesn’t have a checking option. That little bit of added inconvenience may make me more likely to think twice before pulling from my savings.
However, if you need the funds, it’ll only take one to three business days for the money to show up in your checking account when you initiate a transfer from your American Express Personal Savings account.
See why we think American Express is one of the best online banks.
American Express National Bank doesn’t just offer a high-yield savings account. If you decide you want to keep the cash safe for the long haul, you may want to upgrade from a savings account to a CD (or even a CD ladder).
American Express bank has CDs with maturities ranging from 6 to 60 months and offers competitive rates. They also make it easy to set up a CD directly from your savings account. Of course, you can't contribute more money to a CD (like you can to a savings account), but it’s nice to have the option.
Right now, I would caution that interest rates on CDs are only nominally higher than interest rates on savings accounts for long duration accounts. And CDs with maturities less than 24 months actually have lower yields than the current yield on the savings account.
Be sure to weigh the costs and benefits of the interest rate difference before committing to a CD. If you pull money out of a CD early, you forgo 90 days of interest on CDs with maturities of less than 12 months, and 180 days of interest on CDs with maturities longer than 12 months.
Check out the full list of the Best Bank CD Rates.
Can't Accept Cash Or Check Deposits
We've already mentioned that Amex doesn't have any checking accounts. It also doesn't issue ATM cards for any of its savings products. This means that you won't be able to withdraw or deposit cash into your American Express National Bank account.
It should also be noted that while the bank's website is mobile-optimized, there is no dedicated mobile app. That means you won't be able to deposit checks into your account either.
If you do want to deposit cash or checks into your savings accounts, you'll need to deposit them into a different bank first and then transfer the money over via ACH. It's a bit inconvenient; but it could also be a non-issue if you don't deal in cash very often.
Are There Any Fees?
The account has no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees. And since Amex doesn't offer checking accounts, you're won't into transaction fees such as debit card overdrafts, insufficient funds, bounced checks, or ATM fees.
Though you are limited to nine withdrawals/debits per month, American Express doesn’t charge extra if you go over the limit. However, the company does reserve the right to stop extra transfers.
How Does American Express Bank Compare?
If you're looking for a one-stop-shop banking service, you'll need to look elsewhere. American Express Bank doesn't offer checking accounts, ATM access, or even a dedicated mobile app.
But if you're just looking for a high-yield spot to park your cash reserves, Amex National Bank could be worth considering due to its competitive rates. Here's a quick look at how it compares:
How Do I Open An Account?
The entire account opening process with American Express Bank can be completed online in minutes. You can begin by visit its website and clicking the big blue "Open an account" button.
To be eligible to apply, you'll need to be at least 18 years of age. You'll also need to provide a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and a U.S home address during your application.
Is My Money Safe
Yes, American Bank National Bank is a member FDIC bank. That means your deposits are insured by the federal government up to $250,000 per depositor. The bank's website is also secured by 128-bit Secure Sockets layer (SSL) encryption technology.
How Do I Contact American Express Bank?
Although American Bank doesn't have any physical branches you can visit, it does provide 24/7 customer service. To reach a support team member, you can call 1-800-446-6307.
Is It Worth It?
American Express National Bank has one of the best online savings accounts right now. If you don’t have a savings account, set one up today. The interest rate is compelling, and American Express is a trusted name that’s big enough to provide a great online experience.
If you already have a savings account, check the interest rate, and decide whether a higher yield is worth the switch.
American Express Bank FAQs
Let's answer a few of the most common questions that people ask about American Express Bank:
Does American Express National Bank offer IRAs?
Yes, it offers a high-yield savings IRA and CD IRAs that come with the same yields as their non-IRA savings and CD products.
Are there any no-penalty CDs offered by American Express Bank?
No, it only offers traditional CDs that will charge penalties for early withdrawals.
Can you make a partial withdrawal from an American Express Bank CD?
No, to withdraw any amount from one of its CDs, the entire account will need to be withdrawn and closed.
Does American Bank National Bank have any signup bonuses?
No, Amex isn't currently running any bonus promotions on its savings products.
American Express Bank Features
Savings, CDs, IRAs
None (online-only bank)
No ATM card issued
Customer Service Number
Customer Service Hours
Mobile Check Deposits
Mobile App Availability
American Express Bank Review
Fees and Charges
Ease of Use
Tools and Resources
Products and Services
American Express offers a solid high yield savings account that is consistently near the top of all APY.
- Top-yielding savings accounts and CDs
- Easy-to-use online bank
- 24/7 customer service
- No checking account
- Doesn’t support cash or check deposits
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared toward anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.