American Express National Bank (American Express) launched a digital business checking account on Thursday with a very competitive rate (1.10% APY on balances up to $500k). This is not a rewards checking account; there are no activity requirements to qualify for this rate. As is typical with checking accounts, it’s a variable rate account with no guarantee about how long this rate will last. It’s also important to note that it’s only available as a business account, with specific business documentation required (I have more details about application requirements below.)
The American Express Business Checking account is designed for small and mid-sized businesses. It includes a debit card, which marks the first debit card that American Express has issued in the U.S. The card can be used at ATMs with free access to ATMs in the MoneyPass network.
There is no monthly maintenance fee and no minimum balance requirement. E-checks are free. A paper checkbook is optional and can be purchased via a third party.
The Business Checking account connects with existing American Express Credit Cards. In early 2022, Business Checking customers will be able to earn Membership Rewards points and redeem them for deposits into their Business Checking account.
For electronic payments and transfers, few details are provided. Domestic ACH is free, and domestic incoming wire transfers are free. Outgoing domestic wire transfers cost $20.
$300 New Account Bonus
American Express appears to be serious about attracting new business customers. In addition to offering a very competitive interest rate, it’s offering an attractive sign-up bonus. New customers can earn a $300 bonus for opening the Business Checking account and completing the following activities:
- Deposit $5k within 10 days of opening your account, AND
- Maintain an average account balance of $5k for 60 days, AND
- Make 10 or more qualifying transactions within 60 days of opening your account.
Qualifying transactions are mobile deposits and electronic/online transactions including ACH, Wire, and Bill Payments. Transfers between Business Checking accounts held by the same business do not qualify. After you have completed all the above requirements, the $300 account opening deposit will be deposited into your American Express Business Checking account within 8-12 weeks.
The promotion details are currently listed at the American Express Business Checking page. No expiration date is listed. As is usual for these types of offers, the small print warns that American Express “reserves the right to modify or revoke this offer at any time without notice.”
Relation to Kabbage
Last year American Express acquired the financial technology company Kabbage which offered a variety of products and services to small businesses, including a business checking account. The new American Express Business Checking account appears to be another move to attract more small business customers.
Kabbage is now part of American Express, and it also offers a business checking account with a 1.10% APY. However, this APY applies only to balances up to $100k. It’s called online Kabbage Checking, and it’s also a free business checking account with no monthly fees. Even though Kabbage is owned by American Express, deposits are not held by American Express National Bank. Instead, the Kabbage Checking account is provided by Green Dot Bank, and the deposits are held by Green Dot Bank.
Kabbage is also offering a $300 new account bonus. The requirements are different. For the case of Kabbage, the bonus requires that you complete 5 debit card purchases within 45 days of account opening. The account must be opened by 12/15/2021.
The Kabbage checking page provides the full details of the checking account and bonus.
There are several similarities between the Kabbage Checking and this new American Express Business Checking. You have to wonder how long the two will coexist.
The American Express Business Checking account can be opened online. You must provide the following to open the account:
- Your Employee Identification Number (EIN) or Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN)
- Your Articles of Organization or a Certificate of Formation
- Information from a Driver’s License, State I.D., or Passport for each owner
- A Social Security Number (SSN) and ID verification for any Beneficial Owner with ownership of 25% or more
- A “Doing Business As” (DBA) certificate only if your business operates under more than one name
- A U.S. business address
- Information about your industry, size, and the purpose of your account
If you’re approved for an account, you’ll be able to link an existing bank account, deposit funds, and begin making transactions.
American Express National Bank has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 1.64% (excellent) based on June 30, 2021 data. In the past year, American Express has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $864 million, an above average annual growth rate of 1.1%. Please refer to our financial overview of American Express National Bank (FDIC Certificate # 27471) for more details.
How American Express Business Checking Compares
When compared to business checking accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com, which offer high rates on large deposits, the American Express Business Checking currently ranks first.
The above rates and offers are accurate as of 10/29/2021.
To review the best business checking accounts, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our business checking rates table.