American Express National Bank Ups Personal Savings APY to 1.65%

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Deal Summary: American Express Personal Savings account (1.65% APY); no minimum balance.

Availability: Nationwide (internet bank)

American Express National Bank raised its American Express Personal Savings account (Personal Savings) by 5 bps to 1.65% APY. This is the second 5-bps rate hike in the last two weeks. Since the March Fed rate hike, the Personal Saving account rate has risen a total of 20 bps. The 1.65% APY applies to all balances. There are no monthly fees or minimums.

APYMINMAXINSTITUTIONPRODUCTDETAILS
1.65%--American Express National BankHigh Yield Savings Account
Rates as of June 20, 2018.

The new Personal Savings rate isn’t high enough to be a rate leader, but it does position American Express to be in the mid-range of the big internet banks, and it should help to encourage other big internet banks like Ally and Discover to raise their rates.

The size and the timing of the Personal Savings account rate hikes may be driven more by competition than by the Fed rate hikes. Big internet banks like CIT Bank, Goldman Sachs Bank USA and Synchrony Bank have recently raised the rates of their no-minimum savings and money market accounts to a range between 1.70% and 1.85% APY, and there are several small internet banks offering savings account rates as high as 2.05% APY.

Personal Savings Account Rate History

Since the March Fed rate hike, the Personal Saving account rate has risen a total of 20 bps. Since the June 2017 Fed rate hike, American Express National Bank has responded to Fed rate hikes in a pretty consistent fashion. Between the June and December Fed rate hikes, the Personal Savings account rate went up 30 bps in three rate hikes. Between the December and March Fed rate hikes, the savings account rate went up 20 bps in two rate hikes. If the expected Fed rate hike comes next week, this will be another case of the savings account rising 20 bps between Fed rate hikes.

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%.

Personal Savings Account Features

Even though there are several internet banks offering yields of over 1.70%, 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.”

Thanks again to DA reader, Maecl, for mentioning the rate hike in the DA forum.

Availability

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.

Bank Overview

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 218 Savings Accounts and 185 Money Market Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationally and have no large minimum requirements or small maximum balances, 11 savings accounts and six money market accounts have higher rates. When I posted on the American Express Personal Savings rate increase in May, 15 savings accounts and five 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.

Interest RateAccount NameCredit Union/Bank
2.01% APYeMoney Market - New Money Promo ($100 min to open)Virtual Bank
1.85% APYMoney Market Account ($100 min to open)CIT Bank
1.75% APYHigh Yield Savings Account (no min)Synchrony Bank
1.65% APYAmerican Express Personal Savings (no min)American Express National Bank

To review the top Savings and Money Market rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our Savings Account rates table and Money Market Account rates table.

The above rates are accurate as of 6/7/2018.

Related Pages: Salt Lake City savings accounts, savings accounts, nationwide deals, Internet banks

Comments
DCGuy
DCGuy   |     |   Comment #1
Two of my top five yielding accounts went up this week.
scared to commit
scared to commit   |     |   Comment #2
1.65% reminds me of 2016.
RJM
RJM   |     |   Comment #3
1.65% with availability does not sound too bad.

Now that I and many others are LOCKED OUT of our money while executives and Popular Direct are on vacation spending our savings.
#4 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
TheBombingRange
TheBombingRange   |     |   Comment #6
Glad I didn't take the Popular deal, sorry for all the troubles. No such issues at Purepoint? Considering opening there next week.
DCGuy
DCGuy   |     |   Comment #8
A bank that has its operations based in FL and the Caribbean should give one pause. Money laundering and hidden assets come to mind.
Rickny
Rickny   |     |   Comment #9
#3 What do you mean by "locked out". I didn't like Popular after they took over Doral.

I've been with Dollar Direct and have had no problems. They have been a rate leader or near the top of the pack since April 2017. Their rates have seemed to stall lately.
ConfedrcyDunces
ConfedrcyDunces   |     |   Comment #10
Dollar Direct has a 60 day hold on withdrawals for new accounts:

"For Your Protection: Security Update

As of March 15th, 2018, a 60-day account authorization hold may be placed on all new accounts, starting the date the account was opened. Your account will continue to earn interest during this time.

If you need access to your funds sooner, please call our Care Center at 1.800.274.5696."

Several of us tried to warn our dear friend RJM, but alas...
Anonymously
Anonymously   |     |   Comment #11
Confederacy, that notice is from Popular Direct, which RJM cited.
ConfedrcyDunces
ConfedrcyDunces   |     |   Comment #21
Thank you Anonymously!

A true friend, always good information!
RJM
RJM   |     |   Comment #12
Yes, nothing to do with dollar direct. And the "few basis points" you cited was actually FORTY, a 25% premium at the time. 2% versus 1.60%.

Please point out where you said they would refuse a $350 withdrawal on a 6 figure account and ignore me for 4 business days.
111
111   |     |   Comment #13
Dunces (#10) - Your statement that a 60-day hold exists is true and is taken directly from Popular Direct, as mentioned above. However, others including RJM above and others in previous posts have already cited this multiple times, so it is hardly "news".

What is news, and what is the far larger issue, is that some are reporting that the hold extends LONGER than 60 days. For example, here - https://www.depositaccounts.com/banks/popular-direct.html#promo34007

Surely you understand that this is a separate, and larger, issue?

Let's say Person A "warns" Person B that there is a new stop sign 2 miles down the road on which Person B is traveling. It turns out that the stop sign is present, but another mile down the road a semi has jackknifed and is now blocking the road, making it impassable to Person B. Should Person A now claim credit for "warning" Person B about the semi?
#14 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
#15 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
#16 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
111
111   |     |   Comment #17
ConfedrcyDunces - Regarding your post #10, where you state "Several of us tried to warn our dear friend ..." - any chance you could clarify what mean by "Several of us"? Specifically, who is "us" in this context?
RJM
RJM   |     |   Comment #18
Its clear the poster is a troll. Hopefully ken will use this to make sure everyone who posts is a registered user. Its long past time.

By the way, they say I have access to my money now.

Via bank message where I complained, not email...

Thank you for contacting Popular Direct Customer Service. We gladly assist you with
your inquiry.
After reviewing your account information, the restriction on your account has been
removed. Transfers will process as normal.
If you have any further questions, you may reply to this message or call us at
800.274.5696, press option 0, then 2 to speak with a Customer Service
representative. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
#19 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
111
111   |     |   Comment #20
RJM - Regarding everyone being required to be a registered user - I haven't done that myself yet, but I think due to recent events, I'd certainly support a rule like that.
#23 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
#24 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
TexArk
TexArk   |     |   Comment #22
Meanwhile you can get over 2% other places.......why even consider this??
RJM
RJM   |     |   Comment #25
For those with constantly changing monikers who like to pretend they are omniscient:

The reality is, my lack of availability was just over a week.

Still too long but no reasonable person could have predicted this. And they do pay a 25% premium to the 1.6% of Ally. .40% is a little more than a "few basis points".

"Date: 06/07/2018
Thank you for contacting Popular Direct Customer Service. We gladly assist you with your inquiry.
After reviewing your account information, the restriction on your account has been removed. Transfers will process as normal."
-------
I am not a fan of Popular because of this and will be moving the bulk of my money as soon as reasonably practicable. Their way of soothing over a bad situation only makes thing worse....

"In the terms and conditions of your account on page 6, under the section Restrictions on Accounts and Services/Right of Refusal and Termination of Account. It is disclosed that we reserve the right to terminate, freeze or restrict a Popular Direct Account at any time."
Cycles
Cycles   |     |   Comment #26
I feel for you RJM. I would also be in your shoes if it was not for waiting on 2 CD's to expire at Andrews CU. It looks like we need to be ever more vigilant of these underhanded sneaky acts from crooks like these. This was a eye opening lesson for all of us to learn from. We as a group need to read those disclosures with a fine tooth comb and report any suspicious wording on the forum to expose these rat traps.

It also appears that this bank has been taken over or merged with CNB. Merged/Acquired
CNB https://www.depositaccounts.com/banks/cnb.html
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Deal Summary: American Express Personal Savings account (1.60% APY); no minimum balance.

Availability: Nationwide (internet bank)

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Availability: Nationwide (internet bank)

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