Review of American Express Personal Savings Account and CD Rates

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Written by Mitchell Grant | Published on 4/17/2020

 

The Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account and certificates of deposit (CDs) offered by American Express National Bank, our sponsored advertiser, boast high yields and low barriers to entry, making it an attractive choice for most consumers.

The online-only bank touts no minimum balance requirement for its savings account. American Express Bank’s high yield account earns interest daily and performs well in comparison with other high yield accounts when considering factors like balance requirements, yields and access to customer service.

In this article we will cover:
APYMINMAXINSTITUTIONPRODUCTDETAILS
1.10%$1-American Express National Bank60 Month CD
1.00%$1-American Express National BankHigh Yield Savings Account
0.90%$1-American Express National Bank48 Month CD
0.80%$1-American Express National Bank36 Month CD
0.70%$1-American Express National Bank24 Month CD
0.50%$1-American Express National Bank18 Month CD
0.40%$1-American Express National Bank12 Month CD
0.30%$1-American Express National Bank6 Month CD
Rates as of July 2, 2020.

American Express savings account features 

American Express offers a noteworthy high yield account in its online-only lineup that holds its own, even when compared with banks known for their high yield accounts, such as Vio Bank and HSBC.

In addition to its high yield account, American Express National Bank also offers CD options of various term lengths, starting at six months and scaling up to five years for longer-term savers. Like almost all other CD accounts, there is a penalty for early withdrawal. Interest is credited on a monthly basis, and while rates seem competitive, they’re not the best we’ve seen

Overall, the freight-transport company turned credit card issuer seems to have diversified well with its Personal Savings offerings, giving customers excellent savings choices without going overboard with options. This keeps costs low, which translates into higher yields for savers. 

American Express Personal Savings High Yield Savings account 

The American Express Personal Savings High Yield Savings account is exactly that. The APY is one of the highest available, and American Express makes it easy to open an account. 

Because the account is intended for savings rather than day-to-day use, a good amount of features are not available. For example, the account does not offer a debit card, ATM card or checks. If you want to make deposits with checks, you’ll need to mail them in to do so. Additionally, you won’t be able to access your information in any sort of branch.

However, in accordance with the style of other bare-bones, online-only accounts, the American Express Personal Savings High Yield Savings account cuts the fat and delivers a truly exceptional interest rate to those who choose to bank with them. For many, this is exactly what they want from a high yield account.

Additionally, the account has the following limits and requirements:

  • Deposit limits: The current maximum total account balance for this account is $5 million. 
  • Minimum balance: This is one area where the account really shines. There is no minimum deposit required to open the account. However, for the account to remain open and to earn interest, you must maintain a balance over zero. 
  • Withdrawal limit: The account is held to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which mandates certain types of telephone and electronic withdrawals, including limiting transfers from savings accounts to up to six per statement cycle. Any more, and you could face fines or account closures. 
  • Overdraft fees: Since this is a savings account, you can’t overdraft it. You’re simply responsible for the amount in the account, and if you need to make a transfer, you just need to have the money in the account. 

Deposits are insured up to the FDIC maximum of up to $250,000 per ownership category in case the bank goes insolvent, however unlikely that may be.

American Express National Bank CD account 

The CD options available through American Express National Bank cover a broad range of terms and interest rates. The bank’s initial deposit requirements, when compared with other large banks, seem amazing (since there are none) and the early withdrawal penalties are just shy of average.

At American Express, the penalties for withdrawing all of your principal balance or closing the for any other reason before maturity vary depending on the term length of the CD:

  • For terms less than 12 months: 90 days’ interest 
  • For terms of 12 to 47 months: 270 days’ interest
  • For terms of 48 to 59 months: 365 days’ interest
  • For terms over 60 months: 540 days’ interest

Ideally, you would never need to make an early withdrawal. American Express does not offer a flexible CD option that would allow such a withdrawal, and it’s important to note that you also cannot make any partial withdrawals. You have to wait until maturity to collect, or pay the corresponding penalty. 

Your interest rate is fixed from the day you submit your application, which means if rates fluctuate between then and when you fund your account, you’re locked into your original rate. Interest is credited to your CD account on a monthly basis, though you can call the bank if you’d prefer to have the interest transferred automatically to your American Express Personal Savings high yield account or different linked account or mailed to you as a check. 

You will be notified 10 days before your CD reaches maturity. If you choose to do nothing, it will automatically renew at the maturity date. 

Opening an American Express savings account 

You need to submit the following information if you want to open an account with American Express National Bank:
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your email address
  • Your home address
  • Your phone number
  • Your date of birth
  • Account and routing numbers of the account you’ll use to fund your American Express Personal Savings accounts 

Once you have all of this ready, you can submit your application online or by calling American Express National Bank’s application line at 1-800-446-6307. The website says you can call the application number anytime, and after trying it at 3:30 in the morning, we’ve found this to be true. 

Once you receive a confirmation email and a welcome kit in the mail, you’ll then need to fund your account either by linking an external account or by mailing in a check. 

Overall review of American Express Personal Savings account and CDs 

The American Express Personal Savings account and CDs are worthy of serious consideration. You’ll be banking with a company known for treating its customers well and delivering on its accounts. The high yield account offers an exceptional yield even though it might not offer the bells and whistles of other savings accounts, and the CD account has a broad range of terms and slightly better-than-average early withdrawal penalties. 

The bank is known as a card issuer but for those looking for easy-to-navigate savings account options, American Express National Bank has hit it out of the park. Any version of its CDs is a solid offering, and the bank’s no-fee, no minimum (opening or required balance) high yield account is certainly attractive.


Comments
CD Guy
  |     |   Comment #1
Is the saving account interest rate guaranteed for any period of time, like 6 months or a year?
The Oracle
  |     |   Comment #2
No, I don't believe they have any high yield savings account interest guarantees. Essentially, that's what CDs are for. By the way, today May 14, 2020, Amex radically slashed their CD rates, a startling indicator of how the fees paid for renting your money are being ground into dust as the government strives to stabilize the COVID economy. This is unfortunately on top of the anemic rates its corporate-centric monetary policy already had in place, even as business was booming.
DCGuy
  |     |   Comment #3
Rate guarantees are going to be hard to find. I moved money into four banks over the past month. Each one (including American Express Bank) dropped their rates a few days after I moved the money.
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