American Express Personal Savings Account Review: High Yield and No Fees

Need help saving? This AmEx savings account might be for you.

The national average savings account interest rate sits at a paltry 0.09% annual percentage yield, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as of May 2019. Keep in mind that’s based on a savings balance of $2,500; according to a GOBankingRates survey, more than half of Americans don’t even have $1,000 saved up. This is a problem given that the average inflation rate was over 2% for 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Without a high interest rate, your savings will fall behind consumer prices, and judging by the first half of the year, 2019 looks poised to yield higher inflation.

When it comes to finding the best savings account, a good place to start is with reputable, established companies like American Express National Bank, Member FDIC. Although well-known for its line of credit cards, American Express also offers a variety of financial services for individuals, including a high-yield savings account. With no monthly fees and no minimums, the American Express® Personal Savings account can help you grow your money.

Here’s a quick look at the savings account from American Express:

American Express® Personal Savings Account at a Glance
Annual Percentage Yield (APY)1.90%
Annual Fee$0
Account Minimum$0  
FDIC InsuranceAt least $250,000 per depositor
ProsEasy sign-up
High APY
No fees
Links with outside bank accounts
FDIC insurance
No minimum balance requirement
24/7 customer service
ConsNo physical branches
No ATM card
No checks
No mobile app
Rate accurate as of today; All other information accurate as of July 3, 2019

This guide covers:

What You Need To Know About the American Express Personal Savings

This American Express savings account is leagues above the national average, meaning your money will grow with time. The account has no fees, plus 24/7 customer service and other convenient features. One of the ways American Express National Bank can offer such a low-cost account is that the high-yield savings offering is online only, meaning there are no brick-and-mortar offices to drive up expenses passed down to customers.

All in all, this savings account is a convenient option for banking customers looking to store their cash for the long haul without the restrictions of a bank certificate of deposit, for instance.

Check Out: Pros and Cons of Online Savings Accounts

Advantages of Having American Express Personal Savings

American Express Personal Savings is fee-free, has no minimum balance requirements and offers online sign-up. As an online bank, American Express National Bank also offers round-the-clock account access. The American Express Personal Savings account is a safe choice for online banking customers because accounts are insured by the FDIC, up to $250,000 per depositor. Account holders will also enjoy:

  • Easy sign-up
  • High APY
  • No fees
  • Links with outside bank accounts
  • FDIC insurance
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • 24/7 customer service

The online savings account also offers a competitive 1.90% APY. This rate is significantly higher than the national average savings account interest rate. Nearly 70% of Americans do not set up automatic transfers to their savings account, according to a GOBankingRates survey, but with this account it’d be a good idea to consider that.

Learn: How To Save Money With These 8 Banking Products

Disadvantages of American Express Personal Savings

If you’re looking for a face-to-face meeting with your American Express National Bank high-yield savings account banker, you might be out of luck. Although you can access your account online at any time, you can’t just stroll into a branch. This lack of service might be an issue if you’re in a location with shoddy phone or internet access.

Also, your account doesn’t come with a debit card or checks, so accessing your funds in case of an emergency will be a challenge. Because it might be more difficult for you to reach your funds, this savings account option is best for customers who have emergency funds stored elsewhere. Another option is linking your American Express National Bank account to another bank account which you can more easily access by debit card or other means. Keep in mind you cannot link business accounts, IRAs or trust accounts; doing so could result in account closure.

Consider these downsides of the American Express Personal Savings account before signing up:

  • Limit of six withdrawals per statement cycle
  • No physical branches
  • No ATM card or checks
  • Cannot link to business accounts, IRA accounts or similar
  • No app available for mobile banking

Find Out: How To Deposit Cash To an Online Bank Account

How the American Express Personal Savings Account Compares With Others

Online savings account rates are far above rates offered by brick-and-mortar banks. Online banks have lower overhead costs, allowing them to offer more competitive rates. Here’s how the American Express Personal Savings account’s rate compares with other savings accounts:

Savings Account Rates From Top Online Banks
Savings AccountRate (APY)
 American Express National Bank, Member FDIC1.90%
CIT Bank Savings Builder 2.10%
3-BarclaysBarclays Online Savings2.20%
Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings2.25%
Ally Bank Online Savings1.80%
DiscoverDiscover Savings 1.90%
Capital OneCapital One 360 Savings1.90%
 American Express rates accurate as of Sept. 12, 2019; all other rates accurate as of today

How To Open Your American Express Personal Savings Account 

You can sign up for this savings account in a few simple steps: 

  1. Navigate to the American Express Personal Savings account product offer page.
  2. Select “Apply for a Savings Account.”
  3. Select “Open a New Account” and provide basic information, such as:
    • Social Security number
    • Email address
    • Home address
    • Phone number
    • Date of birth
    • Account and routing numbers (primary applicant only)

Once you receive confirmation, you’ll be able to fund your savings account through either another bank or by mailing a check. Checks can be mailed to:

American Express National Bank
P.O. Box 30384
Salt Lake City, Utah 84130

Funds should appear in your account from one to three business days upon receiving.

American Express National Bank Products and Services

A high-yield savings account is not the only way to grow your nest egg. American Express’ bank is not a bank in the traditional sense, as it offers no checking account and only saving instruments: The high-yield savings account and certificates of deposits. However, because there is no overhead cost — a standard loss encountered by physical branches — the products are able to provide a higher APY.

While the lack of standard banking offerings such as a checking account may be a hit against the bank for some people, the institution is perfectly suited for customers who are focused on savings. American Express also offers a variety of credit cards.

Keep Reading: American Express Credit Card Comparison

American Express CDs

Certificates of deposit allow you to grow a principal amount at rates higher than most savings accounts. However, these instruments’ returns depend on the term of the CD. Furthermore, you cannot withdraw from the CD without incurring a heavy penalty. American Express offers customers term lengths that range from six months to five years.

American Express National Bank, Member FDIC, CD Rates
TermAPY
6 Months0.40%
1 Year0.55%
18 Months1.90%
24 Months2.00%
3 Years2.05%
4 Years2.10%
5 Years2.15%
Rates accurate as of Sept. 12, 2019

Great Rates From an Online Bank: American Express CD Rates Review

Should I Open an American Express Personal Savings Account?

A prodigious APY, no fees, no minimum balance and easy access to customer service make the American Express Personal Savings Account a great investment for savers looking for a strong savings tool. The people who might find this account most useful are:

  • People with less to save: No fees and no minimum balance means the account is a good jumping off point for those with less to invest.
  • Consumers looking for an online savings account: With no physical branches and an easy sign-up process, this account is ideal for people who want a simple online savings tool.
  • Savers looking for a competitive rate: Because online banks have no overhead costs, you can be assured your investment will earn a higher yield.

Although the lack of cards, physical branch location and limited withdrawals will pose problems for people who enjoy more expansive access to their funds, the account’s impressive savings potential should appeal to a range of customers.

Up Next: The Revamped Amex Card Pays a Whopping 6% Cash Back on Uber, Netflix and Groceries

Sean Dennison contributed to the reporting for this article.

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All rates are accurate as of today, except for the American Express rates, which are accurate as of August 22, 2019. All fees and rates are subject to change at the financial institutions’ discretion.

GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack, Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions and other financial services organizations. Some companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article. All fees and rates are subject to change at the issuers’ discretion. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met in order to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Verify terms and conditions before opening an account. 

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been endorsed by American Express.

About the Author

John Csiszar is a freelance writer and article curator. He served as a registered investment advisor for 18 years before becoming a writing and editing contractor for private clients. In addition to writing thousands of articles for various online publications, he has published two educational books for young adults.