If you’ve got extra money sitting in a savings or checking account, you’re probably missing out on a chance to earn some serious interest. The average APY on a savings account is only 0.10%, according to the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation). Many people don’t realize that they could see a much higher return with a high-yield personal savings account like American Express online savings.
There’s comfort in knowing your money is readily available, which may be why Americans had record-high checking account balances in 2018. That’s why we suggest choosing a savings account that allows frequent transfers and makes the process easy. If you choose the right savings account, you’ll have nothing to lose by keeping your hard-earned dollars tucked away — and plenty of money to gain.
How the American Express Online Savings Account works
While American Express may be best-known for its credit cards, it also offers other personal finance products, like online savings and certificate of deposit accounts. The American Express Personal Savings account is a high-yield savings account that links with your current bank accounts, so you won’t need to switch banks.
With a 1.50% annual percentage yield (APY) (as of April 2020), this account earns significantly more than the national average. If you deposited just $5,000 today, you’d have $5,386 at the end of five years. You can also set up recurring transfers from your checking account to make sure you’re always putting something aside for emergencies.
This account is a great choice for anyone who wants to watch their money grow, but you should only use it if you can wait one to three business days to access the money in your savings account. Initiating transfers to your checking account online via online banking is easy, and you can make up to six withdrawals per billing cycle. However, you won’t get an ATM card or otherwise have immediate access. You also can’t access your personal savings account through the Amex app, so you’ll need to visit the website on your computer to manage your account.
What you should know about the account
|APY||1.50% (as of April 2020)|
|Min. deposit amount||$0.01|
|Min. balance to earn APY||$0.01|
|Options for funding the account||Either mail a check or link to an existing checking or savings account at another bank using the American Express website|
|Transfer time||One to three business days|
|Options for withdrawing from the account||Transfer funds online or receive a check by mail|
|Mobile app available?||No|
|Customer service availability||24/7 Support|
Because this savings account doesn’t have any associated monthly fees, a minimum deposit amount, or a minimum balance requirement, it’s a great choice for people who are just getting started saving or don’t have a lot to deposit at once. We also love that American Express offers 24/7 support for their financial products, and their customer service is always top notch.
Pros of the American Express Personal Savings account
- High APY
- No minimum deposit ($0.01 needed for account linkage)
- No monthly maintenance fees
- FDIC insured
- 24/7 customer support
Cons of the American Express Personal Savings account
- One to three business days for transfers
- No mobile app
- No ATM or debit card offered
How to open an American Express Personal Savings account
1. Apply online or by phone
You can open an account online or by phone, and you’ll need to submit the following personal information:
- Social Security number
- Email address
- Home address
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Account and routing numbers
2. Confirm your account
Once you’re approved, American Express will send you a welcome kit in the mail along with email confirmation.
3. Fund your account
To fund your account, you’ll either need to mail a check or set up an online transfer from your existing checking or savings account. The account must be in your name, and you’ll need your routing and account numbers to complete the transfer.
Once you’ve done that, American Express will send you test deposits to verify your account. These two small credits, which will be less than $0.99 each, will appear in your external account within two to four business days of linking your account. They will be labeled AXP TEST. You’ll need to verify these test deposits by following these steps:
- Look for the test deposits in your external account
- Write down the amounts
- Log into your account
- From the Transfers tab, click “View Pending Linked Accounts” from the drop-down menu
- Select the correct account name and click “Verify”
Alternatively, you can mail a live check made payable to American Express National Bank. Should you choose this option, make sure to write your Personal Savings account number on the memo line of the check.
Is the American Express Personal Savings account safe?
Account holders can rest easy with Amex. Your American Express Personal Savings account is FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor, and you can increase your coverage amount by adding beneficiaries to your account. Rest assured, your money will be protected. The FDIC certificate number for American Express National Bank is 27471.
Deciding if the American Express Personal Savings account is right for you
If you’re looking to grow your money quickly without risk while still maintaining access to your savings, the American Express high-yield savings account could be the perfect choice for you.
However, you should review the pros and cons. You’ll also need to determine if you would prefer quicker access to your funds and the convenience of a mobile app. The American Express savings account isn’t the only option in high-yield accounts, so be sure to consider your options for best savings accounts. No matter which one you choose, you’re making a wise decision by putting money aside where it can earn interest.