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American Express Bank, FSB.0.80%--High Yield Savings Account
Accounts mentioned in this post. Rates as of July 22, 2014

New Online Savings Account and CDs at American Express Bank

POSTED ON BY

American Express Bank, FSB.

Update 3/03/11: The savings account rate has fallen to 1.15% APY. Refer to the bottom of the post for the rate history.

On June 1st American Express launched its new online personal savings products which include a high-yield savings account and CDs. This savings account is different than the old Savings Accelerator which was connected to the One from American Express credit card. This new savings account is a standalone account with no credit card.

The interest rates are not too exciting, but they are fairly competitive. As of 6/15/09, the savings account rate is 2.00% APY. Their short-term CDs are not competitive with only a 1% APY for a 6-month term and a 2.00% APY for a 12-month term. The longer-term CDs are more competitive with a 2.50% APY 24-month CD, a 3.00% APY 36-month CD and a 3.40% APY 60-month CD. These rates are listed at the bank's CD page as of 6/15/09.

Once nice feature is that both the savings account and CDs have no minimum balance requirements. Another nice feature is that both can be funded by electronic transfers (you can also fund by check).

I called their toll-free number at 1-800-446-6307, and I was pleased with their customer service. I was able to connect fast to a knowledgeable CSR. Below are some of the features of these accounts based on my conversation with the CSR, from their FAQ and from their Disclosure document:

Savings Account and CD Features:

  • Apply online or by phone
  • If you apply online, can fund with ACH transfer or by check
  • If you apply by phone, can fund only by check (CSR)
  • Trial deposits used to verify accounts in the linking process (FAQ)
  • Up to 6 beneficiaries can be added (used to say revocable trusts) (FAQ)
  • No minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees
  • No hard credit inquiry. Just a soft inquiry (CSR)

Savings Account Features:

  • 2.00% APY on all balances as of 6/15/09
  • Allows up to 5 links to external accounts (CSR) Update 3/9/10: Reader reported being told the limit is now 3.
  • Electronic transfers are limited to $250,000 per day (Disc)
  • Typical limit of 6 withdrawals per month as required by regulation (Disc)
  • Interest compounded daily and credited monthly (Disc)
  • Interest begins to accrue on the business day the deposit is received (Disc)

Certificate of Deposit Features:

  • Rate is fixed for initial term
  • The rate is locked at the time you submit the application provided that the account is funded within 30 days (FAQ) (updated 7/14/10).
  • Interest can be paid monthly or annually or at maturity for terms under one year
  • Early withdrawal penalty equals 90 days of interest on amount withdrawn for terms 1-year and under. Penalty equals 180 days for terms over 1-year. Update 7/14/10: The penalty may be higher than 3/6 months due to the Cost Recovery Value (Disc)
  • Grade period at maturity is 10 calendar days (Disc)
  • At maturity, you can request an ACH transfer of the money to the linked account (CSR)
  • At maturity, they accept instructions by phone (CSR)


These deposit accounts are FDIC insured under American Express Bank, FSB (FDIC Certificate # 35328). The bank has fair ratings for safety and soundness: 3½ stars (good) at BauerFinancial (based on 3/31/09 data) and 3 stars (performing) at Bankrate.com (based on 12/31/08 data).

Thanks to the reader who mentioned this new savings account in the Daily News & Deals Page.

For other high-yield savings accounts, please refer to my weekly rate summary.

Rate History:

  • 03/03/11: 1.15% APY
  • 03/04/10: 1.30% APY
  • 12/17/09: 1.50% APY
  • 10/27/09: 1.70% APY
  • 08/13/09: 1.85% APY
  • 08/07/09: 1.75% APY
  • 07/23/09: 1.85% APY
  • 06/15/09: 2.00% APY
  Tags: CD rates, American Express Bank, FSB., savings account

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Comments
32 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I find it interesting that the rate on the savings account that is linked to the American Express One card is 2.75% and the Online savings account is only 2.00%. I wonder if this spread will continue?

1
Comment #2 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
I forgot to mention that they no longer offer that savings account that's linked to the One card to new customers. This was according to the CSR. I guess existing customers are getting the 2.75% APY which is nice. The only problem is that the One Card has a $35 annual fee. But the higher interest rate could make up for this fee for a decent balance.

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Just got off the phone with their CSR, who checked with her supervisor. Although the website states that revocable trust accounts are available (as mentioned above), the fact is that they are not. The only options are either a single or joint personal account, to which you may add your trust as beneficiary after the account has been opened and funded.

There's a legal difference between an account in the name of your trust vs. a personal account with your trust as beneficiary. For some people, that difference matters.

1
Comment #4 by John (anonymous) posted on
John
Do you know if there are minimum CD deposits?

1
Comment #5 by clyde (anonymous) posted on
clyde
FYI, Amex withdraws the 2 small deposits they use for account verification, and they do it in 2 transactions, so if you're linking another savings account, you will use 2 of your 6 withdrawals per 30 days, etc.

2
Comment #6 by Avi (anonymous) posted on
Avi
I have average credit and not so much money, but will opening an account improve my chances of getting an amex card?

1
Comment #33 by Asandler posted on
Asandler
You could have $1m in Amex in any othe bank and it will not change your FICO score one iota.

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Avi, I'm almost positive it will not. There's no way to get around Amex's credit requirements. Especially in these times, Amex has beefed up credit needed to get approved.

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Does anyone know how fast their transfers are? Is only 1 day of interest lost during a transfer? Or 2 or 3 days?

1
Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Great to get an ebanking account with a Brand you can trust. The CSR calls provided me really good service -- in line with my high expectations of American Express.

1
Comment #10 by Data Is Gold (anonymous) posted on
Data Is Gold
The interface for this website is done by ibanking-services.

I just opened an Account yesterday. We'll see how long it takes to do their Transfer.

1
Comment #11 by Data Is Gold (anonymous) posted on
Data Is Gold
Yesterday I confirmed my account. This morning I see they withdrew money from my checking and it is displayed in the AMEX savings with a post date of 7/1. So does this count as 1 day transfer or 0?

1
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I'm thinking of moving my money from ally to here. Is it worth in terms of ACH transfer time, hold periods etc?

Thnaks

1
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I'm also considering moving from Ally to American Express. Depends on whether Ally's rates continue dropping every Friday.

1
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I initiated an external transfer on amex web site. The stupid system did the same transfer twice. So NSF fee charged on my account. Is that how they make money?

1
Comment #15 by Data Is Gold (anonymous) posted on
Data Is Gold
Here's my notes on the Transfer speeds of the accounts.
I scheduled two transfers (push/pull)

They were for different amounts on the same day.
I pushed money from Alliant CU into Amex
I pulled money from Alliant CU into Amex.
Here are the results


Amex Pull from Alliant
Credits Amex Same Day 8/3
Debits AU Next Day 8/4

Alliant Push into Amex
Debits Alliant Same Day 8/3
Credits Amex 2-days 8/5 (still says in progress)

1
Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Rate has now dropped to 1.75%

1
Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Discover or AMEX or Costcocap1interest+savings?

1
Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Just opened an account on August 19. Easiest and fastest account opening I've ever experienced. The test deposits were in my linked account on August 20. After verification, my initial deposit was posted to the Amex account on August 21. Added two additional external accounts and those test deposits were posted the following day as well. Transfers are posted the next business day following the initial transfer request.

The only thing everyone should be aware of is that while the transfers are posted to your account the next day, the funds are not available for withdrawal for 6 business days. Not a big deal since they still earn interest, but something to keep in mind.

1
Comment #19 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
Thanks for sharing your experience with this account. Glad to read they've made the linking and the ACH transfer process easy and fast.

1
Comment #20 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
My recent experience opening online savings (currently @ 1.85%apy), was good.
Had trouble with being automatically verified online, so asked phone customer service to expedite, and they did.
One note, ALL deposits are held for verification (5 biz days) except (pre-verified, ie., direct deposit) ACH's that originate from outside of AMEX.
So if you have an outside financial institution that will link to AMEX account/routing #, it will be received by AMEX Bank with immediate availability.

1
Comment #21 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
https://www124.americanexpress.com/cards/loyalty.do?page=one.highyieldsavingsaccount&Onepagesource=OneMain

The 2.75% is still available on the website?

1
Comment #22 by Banking Guy (anonymous) posted on
Banking Guy
When I called Amex in June, the CSR said that the old Savings Accelerator was no longer available for new customers. It would be interesting to know if existing customers are still getting 2.75% APY.

1
Comment #23 by Uncle Fester (anonymous) posted on
Uncle Fester
Opened an account this week. Was planning to will split most of my cash between this bank and Ally.

However bankrate.com now lists both as only 2 stars. Should I be concerned?

1
Comment #24 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I've had no trouble opening or using the account. One minor gripe, though: They don't use the same date on your American Express Bank account as the date you have on your checking account (as Dollar Savings Direct does) for the transfer. If you transfer out the date in the American Express account is that business day and the date in your checking account is the next business day. On the other hand, if you transfer in you are credited immediately in the American Express account with that business day's date while your checking account is charged with the next business day's date, so you could say it all balances out, the lost day and the extra day, but I would definitely prefer the Dollar Savings' method (but not their interest rate), since after all these transactions go 186,000 mps.

1
Comment #25 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
No problems with American Express either so far.

Account opening worked like a charm. Did anyone get hit with the first statement and federal taxes being withheld even if they selected no to backup withholding? I wrote to them just to make sure since someone said they made a mistake.

Other than that, it looks like this account is smooth.

Countrywide had really nice transfer system but reduced their fund hold times which started out long as well. This is the big problem with Amex. 6 days of non use is akin to a 6 day CD for 1.85% HOWEVER what if you put the money in and they lower the rate? So far the rate is still 1.85% though so it looks good so far.

ShoreDirect has a higher rate but the bank appears to be very unstable and Amex is a big recognizable name with excellent customer service so the Amex account seemed like the best choice. Heard problems with Discover when they had the 2%.

1
Comment #26 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Down to 1.70%

1
Comment #27 by marc (anonymous) posted on
marc
Impressed with the speed of ACH. I made a transfer to them on Friday morning and it's posted today (Saturday) but hasn't yet left my debited bank. Not sure if this means I'm getting interest twice on the money, but I'll take whatever I can get. Agree, hold time is something to keep mind on, but almost certainly will not be an issue unless someone demands a huge kidnap ransom from you.

1
Comment #28 by scott (anonymous) posted on
scott
Down to 1.50%

1
Comment #29 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Down to 1.30%

3
Comment #30 by CK (anonymous) posted on
CK
Was told by CS today that there is a max limit of 3 linked external accounts and that there is no way around this.  The review says it is 5.

3
Comment #31 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
unable to do external transfer!!

1