American Express Rewards Checking Account Review: Earn Points and Other Perks

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Quick Take: If you like the idea of digital banking that comes with a debit card, app and no monthly fees, the American Express® Rewards Checking account could be right for you.

Unlike other online-only checking accounts, you can earn rewards that can be redeemed for travel, experiences or gift cards. But first, you'll need to have had an American Express personal credit card account for at least three months to be eligible for a Rewards Checking account.

  • Fees
  • Interest Rate
  • Rewards
  • Mobile App
How did we calculate this?

All information about the American Express Rewards Checking account has been collected independently by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or approved by American Express. These offers are not available through GOBankingRates.


  • Mobile check depositing is available via the app
  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • No minimum balance requirement


  • No bonus when you open a Rewards Checking account
  • No cash depositing option
  • No physical branches for in-person banking

American Express Checking Account Overview

American Express is well known for its premium rewards credit cards. After listening to what current cardholders have to say about the ideal checking account, American Express National Bank, Member FDIC, launched the Rewards Checking account.

The rewards account was created “to deliver more value for Members with the powerful and trusted backing of American Express,” Eva Reda, president of the Consumer Banking division of American Express, said in a press release.

Key Features

Here’s a look at the key features of the American Express checking account.


A big selling point of the American Express checking account is the lack of several types of common fees. There won’t be any overdraft charges to worry about, since a debit card transaction will simply decline if you don’t have the funds in the checking account to cover it. There are no monthly maintenance or minimum balance fees or fees for making withdrawals at any one of the 37,000 MoneyPass ATMs.

The account isn’t entirely free of fees — transactions conducted in foreign currencies come with a charge of 2.7%. Luckily, such transactions are typically rare for the average account holder.

Interest Rate

You can earn an annual percentage yield of on the balance you hold in the American Express Rewards Checking account. That’s higher than what you can expect to earn at many brick-and-mortar banks.


The most unique feature of the American Express Rewards Checking account is the rewards perk. You’ll earn one Membership Rewards point for every $2 in eligible debit card purchases.

The points will go toward the same Membership Rewards account linked to your existing American Express card, so you can maximize the amount you can earn to use toward travel, gift cards and deposits into your Rewards Checking account.

Mobile App

With the American Express mobile app, you have 24/7 access to customer service via its chat feature. You can also use the app to deposit checks, send money to Venmo or PayPal users, set up monthly American Express bill payments, manage your alerts and more. 

American Express Rewards Checking: Debit Card

The account’s linked debit card is an alternative to checks and can come in handy to make withdrawals or make cash-free payments. It may be a great way to slide in and pay your mortgage or taxes without the convenience fee charged on credit card payments. Keep in mind that to use it, the retailer must accept American Express as a form of payment.

You’ll eventually be able to add the debit card to virtual wallets. However, it’s too early to tell how many merchants will accept the card or offer purchase protection. Most debit cards are issued by Visa or Mastercard, which are readily accepted just about everywhere.

American Express Rewards Checking Account vs. Competitors

Here’s a look at how the Rewards Checking account stacks up against a few other options you might consider.

American Express National Bank vs. Ally Bank

While both financial institutions offer online-only checking, Ally Bank’s checking account features an APY of on balances of at least $15,000, which is lower than what the American Express® Rewards Checking account offers and the APY also drops to on lower balances. However, Ally Bank provides a larger range of banking services than you’d find with American Express National Bank.

On the other hand, Ally can’t compete with American Express when it comes to credit cards, so it’s all about what’s more important to you.

American Express National Bank vs. Discover Bank

Comparing two financial institutions known for their credit cards can be challenging. Both companies offer free checking. Each offers rewards.

The difference is that Discover’s rewards program is about cash back while American Express National Bank’s is about points that can be redeemed. Another big difference is that Discover offers more accessibility to free ATMs with over 60,000 locations available compared to 37,000 from American Express National Bank.

How the American Express Rewards Checking Account Stands Out

If you tend to keep a significant cash balance in your checking account, maximizing the amount of interest you can earn is probably a priority. The American Express® Rewards Checking account’s APY of is highly competitive and is a stand-out feature.

In addition to the high interest rate, this account offers an easy to use mobile app and low fees. Along with the rewards you can earn, this account is definitely one to keep on your radar.

Is the American Express Checking Account Right for You?

The American Express checking account may be a great option if you can’t live without your American Express credit card. You’ll receive the same level of support you’re used to and earn more Membership Rewards points each time you spend on eligible purchases using the account’s linked debit card.

You’ll need to spend $2 to earn one point, which isn’t the most generous rewards offer, but it’s still a great opportunity to earn points on banking transactions you normally wouldn’t get anything for.

Final Take To GO

Although the checking account is promising, it’s hard to know yet how widespread acceptance of the debit card will be. If more merchants are willing to take the debit card, it could be a great backup when your American Express credit card isn’t accepted. Either way, the points you can earn make your user experience rewarding.


Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about banking with American Express.
  • Does American Express offer bank accounts?
    • Yes, American Express offers a Rewards Checking account as well as a High Yield Savings Account.
  • Does American Express have a debit account?
    • Yes, there is a linked debit card to the Rewards Checking account. This card can come in handy to make withdrawals or make cash-free payments. You may run into the same issues as American Express credit cards as they may not be accepted at all the places you frequent.
  • What is the minimum balance for the American Express® High Yield Savings Account?
    • The American Express High Yield Savings Account has no fees and no minimum balance requirements.

More on American Express Bank

Daria Uhlig, Caitlyn Moorhead and Cynthia Measom contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of July 7, 2023.

All information about the American Express Rewards Checking account has been collected independently by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or approved by American Express. These offers are not available through GOBankingRates.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Express. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. American Express credit card products are not available through


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