American Express National Bank raised its American Express Personal Savings account (Personal Savings) by 10 bps to 1.75% APY. Also, four CDs had rate increases with yield gains of 15 bps and 20 bps. All four of the new CD APYs plus the new Personal Savings account APY are shown below in bold and are effective as of 6/22/2018. The previous APYs are noted inside parentheses.
- Personal Savings - 1.75% (1.65%)
- 24 mo - 2.45% (2.30%)
- 36 mo - 2.55% (2.35%)
- 48 mo - 2.60% (2.40%)
- 60 mo - 2.85% (2.70%)
The new Personal Savings rate is approaching the rate leaders for no-minimum and non-promotional savings and money market accounts. A few small internet banks have higher rates on no-minimum savings accounts. Compared to large internet banks, the 1.75% is on the high end. That’s a change for American Express National Bank which has a savings account rate history of being in the mid range for large internet banks. As of 6/22/2018, we only have two large internet banks offering no-minimum savings or money market accounts with equal or higher rates. The first is Synchrony Bank which raised its High Yield Savings account rate to 1.75% APY on June 5th. The other large internet bank is CIT Bank which has a money market account that earns 1.85% APY (Its only minimum is a minimum opening deposit of $100.)
The previous Personal Savings rate hike was on June 7th when the rate went up by 5 bps. The new 1.75% APY applies to all balances. There are no monthly fees or minimums.
CDs also have no minimum deposit requirement. The details of the current rates and the rate histories can be seen in the following table. For the full list of American Express National Bank CD rates, please refer to the CD rates section of our American Express National Bank page.
Thanks to DA reader, buckeye61, for mentioning the rate hikes in the DA forum.
Personal Savings Account Rate History and Features
The American Express Personal Savings has a long history. I first wrote about it in 2009. During that time, the account has never been a rate leader, but it has always been respectable when compared with other internet banks. The lowest rate it has ever been was 0.75% for a couple of months in 2012. In early 2015, the rate had gone back up to 0.90% where it held until the middle of May 2017 when the rate went up to 0.95%.
Even though there are several small internet banks offering yields of over 1.80%, it’s worth noting that American Express has several features that give them an advantage over other internet banks. In fact, I seem to receive more positive opinions from readers about this bank than most other internet banks. In addition to not having monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, the Personal Savings has no dollar limitations for ACH bank-to-bank transfers. In addition, wire transfers are free. Readers have also commented about the bank’s fast ACH transfers, their top-notch user interface and excellent customer service.
Below are a few of the relevant features that are mentioned in the bank’s FAQ section that are worth repeating. I also included three features that were based on my conversation with a CSR on April 5, 2018.
- ”maximum total account balance is $5 million”
- Two small test deposits are used to link external accounts
- Maximum of 3 external accounts can be linked at a time (according to CSR)
- For Pulling Funds from Your External Bank, ”On the day you initiate your transaction on the Personal Savings website, the funds will be reflected in your Current Balance and begin earning interest. [...] the funds will not appear in your Available Balance until the 5th business day after the deposit is initiated.”
- For Pushing Funds to Your External Bank, “On the day you initiate your transaction on the Personal Savings site, the amount will be deducted from your Current and Available balance and the funds transfer will be initiated. The funds will generally be reflected at your bank in 1-3 business days.”
- No dollar limits for ACH bank-to-bank transfers (according to CSR)
- No wire transfer fees (according to CSR)
- Wire transfers have a minimum amount of $500 per deposit or withdrawal (added to disclosure on 4-1-18)
- ”ATM cards, debit cards, or checks are not provided”
- Personal Savings “may not be opened in the name of a trust, IRA, or business”
- ”You may designate up to six (6) beneficiaries per account.”
- ”Beneficiaries named on POD accounts must be individuals; POD accounts cannot be set up in the names of trusts.”
CD Rate Hikes
Today’s CD rate hikes keep American Express National Bank’s mid-term and long-term CDs in the competitive territory for internet banks. This is the third round of rate hikes for these CDs since last December. The previous round of CD rate hikes was on May 24th.
The short-term CDs with terms of 6 and 12 months continue to have disappointing rates. These two rates haven’t changed since 2011.
One important CD change occurred in April. The CD early withdrawal penalties (EWP) increased for new and renewed CDs. Here’s a summary of the changes in days of interest:
- 12 months: EWP will be 270 days (was 90)
- More than 12, less than 48 months: EWP will be 270 days (was 180)
- 48 months, less than 60 months: EWP will be 365 days (was 180)
- 60 month or more: EWP will be 540 days (was 180)
Another additional thing to note is that partial withdrawals from CD accounts are not allowed. You are only allowed to withdraw the full amount in your CD account and the CD account will be closed.
American Express National Bank is an internet-only bank that is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Personal Savings account and CDs can be opened online or by phone. You can fund the account by either linking your current bank account or by mailing a check.
To open an account with American Express National Bank, you must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen or a resident alien with a valid Social Security number or other taxpayer identification number and have a residential address in the United States.
American Express National Bank is currently the 38th largest bank in the nation based on assets. It has total assets just over $57 billion, with over one million customer accounts. The bank has an overall health grade at DepositAccounts.com of “A” with a Texas ratio of 5.34% (excellent) based on March 31, 2018 data. Please refer to our financial overview of American Express National Bank for more details. The bank has been a FDIC member since 2000 (FDIC Certificate # 27471).
How the American Express Personal Savings Account Compares
When compared to the 219 Savings Accounts and 186 Money Market Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationally and have no large minimum requirements or small maximum balances, six savings accounts and three money market accounts have higher rates. When I posted on the American Express Personal Savings rate increase on June 7th, 11 savings accounts and six money market accounts had higher rates. Below is a sample of these accounts with higher rates, showing how they compare with American Express National Bank.
The above rates are accurate as of 6/22/2018.