American Express Personal Savings Account Review
American Express Personal Savings is a high-yield savings account that provides great benefits to borrowers. There's no monthly fee or minimum balance requirements, and it's easy to move money in and out of the account. Your account is also FDIC insured.
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Several years ago, I opened a high-yield savings account with American Express (Amex). My American Express personal savings account has been a great one, and I’ve used it extensively over the years to save for a down payment on a house and other major purchases.
If you’re looking for a savings account offering competitive interest rates, timely and easy transfers of funds, and other borrower benefits, American Express personal savings may be a good choice for you.
This Amex savings account review can help you decide if this account is the right one or if there’s another online savings bank that may be a better fit.
On this page:
- An Overview of the American Express Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account
- Pros of the Amex Personal Savings
- Cons of the Amex Personal Savings
What is American Express Personal Savings?
American Express Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account is an online-only savings account similar to what’s Ally Bank’s savings account. Online-only checking accounts and savings accounts have become increasingly popular in recent years as local banks have increased fees and imposed new requirements such as account minimums. With no physical branches to maintain, the best online banks can offer more competitive rates on accounts with fewer fees or even no fees, and easy setup.
American Express, which has long been known for its credit cards, has moved into online banking, especially as it’s struggled to convince millennials that its card offerings are best in class. American Express offers both an online personal saving account as well as certificate of deposit (CDs) products, as part of its efforts to diversify.
An Overview of the American Express Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account
The high-yield savings account offered by American Express has many key features you should know about including:
- A 1.90% APY as of October 2018, compared with a 0.09% national average APY
- No minimum account balance required
- No monthly fees
- FDIC insurance for up to $250,000 in deposits per account
- Seamless integration with up to three bank accounts
- 24/7 fund transfers via phone or online
- Account options for easy automated transfers to make saving effortless
Opening an online savings account with American Express is easy. Simply click on “Apply for a Savings Account,” on the homepage of the American Express Personal savings website.
You must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen or resident alien with a valid Social Security number to open an account. You also must intend to use the account primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.
When you click “Apply for a Savings Account,” you’ll be asked whether you want to start a new application or retrieve an old one. You’ll next get to choose if you want your account to have one owner or if it will be a joint account.
If you already have an American Express personal savings account, you can sign in and the information will be auto-populated to your new account to make opening a new one easier. If you don’t, you’ll need to click the button indicating this new account will be your first one.
Next, you’ll input your email address, Social Security number, date of birth, information about your employment, and other basic financial details. You’ll agree to some basic account disclosures, and will provide information on how you want to fund your account – which can include mailing a deposit or doing an electronic transfer of funds for free from your existing bank account.
You can also choose to make your account a pay-on-death account and name designated beneficiaries who will inherit it if something happens to you. This allows you to ensure the assets in your account can transfer outside of the probate process if you pass away.
Once your account has been opened, there’s no minimum deposit and you don’t have to maintain a minimum monthly balance. However, you do need to put some funds into your account within 60 days of opening it or it will be closed.
Once you’ve made your initial deposit, you can transfer money to and from linked bank accounts using routing numbers at any time, although you are limited to six withdrawals out of your account per statement cycle because of federal regulations.
Pros of the Amex Personal Savings
American Express personal savings has many benefits as a place to stash your cash. Some of the biggest advantages include:
- A competitive APY: American Express Personal Savings has a much higher APY than many other savings accounts. For example, Chase Savings currently has a rate of 0.01%, while Bank of America has a standard APY of 0.03% to 0.06%, with the higher rate restricted to savers who can qualify for their Platinum Honors Tier. A higher APY means the money invested in your account will work harder for you.
- No minimum balance or fees: If you don’t have a fortune to start saving, American Express still makes it possible to open an account with a small initial deposit. The fact you don’t have ongoing fees also keeps costs of investing down. And, because you aren’t required to maintain a minimum balance, it doesn’t matter if you have to tap into your savings. My account had a $0 balance for several months after I bought my house, and it remained open with no charge, providing excellent flexibility.
- Convenience: Funds can be easily transferred into or out of your account at any time of the day, and the money moves quickly. Being able to link up to three bank accounts also makes it easy to move money around.
All-in-all, American Express Personal Savings has a lot of advantages, which makes it an account worth considering.
Cons of the Amex Personal Savings
There are a few cons to choosing American Express for your high-yield savings account. These include:
- A lack of physical branches: You can’t go in and talk to a banker about your account in a local branch. You may also have to mail check deposits and do other things that you wouldn’t ordinarily with a brick-and-mortar bank.
- No ATM card or debit card: Because this is a savings account, the funds in it aren’t meant to be easily accessible. Still, this can be a hassle when you want to get your money out quickly. It may be several business days in some cases before you can access funds, depending on the situation.
- A limited mobile app: American Express hasn’t done much to develop personal banking apps, so you won’t see many features when you sign into the savings account app on your phone.
Still, customer service is available via phone 24/7, which means that you may not miss having a physical branch or robust app, so these may be downsides you can live with.
Since I’ve been a loyal user of the American Express Personal Savings High Yield Savings Account, it’s obvious that I think this account is a great place to park your money. Rates and the annual percentage yield are similar to CD rates and rates on a money market account, but with more accessibility to funds.
>> Read More: Money Market vs. Savings Accounts
If you don’t want to worry about fees, want to be able to move money quickly and easily, and don’t mind the lack of physical branches, this personal finance account may be just what you’re looking for.
Author: Christy Rakoczy