American Express is well-known for offering luxury travel rewards credit cards and high-end cash back rewards cards. Did you know American Express also offers certificate of deposit (CD) accounts? Amex CDs come with competitive rates, no minimums, and no monthly fees.
As of this writing, rates reach an impressive 4.25% APY, more than double the national average. Here’s a closer look at American Express CD accounts to help you decide if one makes sense for your savings needs.
American Express Certificate of Deposit Summary
Amex offers a suite of banking products and services focused on long-term savings needs. The primary savings accounts from American Express are high-yield savings accounts, CDs, and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). Today, we’ll dig deeper into the CD account options to help you understand how they compare to other banks.
CD accounts are a type of time-bound savings account. When you put funds into a CD, you should plan on keeping them there for the entire term. If there’s a good chance you’ll need the funds early, you are better off with high-yield savings with no time limits on withdrawals.
In most cases, savers earn a higher rate for putting their funds away longer, guaranteeing the bank has funds to lend out for mortgages, credit cards, and other lending products. Locking in a rate is good when you expect rates to fall, but you could lock yourself into a lower rate when interest rates rise, which is important to consider when signing up.
|Certificate of Deposit||High-Yield Savings Account|
|Government Insurance: Yes||Government Insurance: Yes|
– Typically higher for longer terms
and lower for shorter terms.
– Usually higher than a savings account.
– Rate locked until account maturity.
– The rate can change at any time.
– Rates are usually lower than CD accounts.
|Time Requirement: Yes||Time Requirement: No|
In the United States, including American Express, CD accounts are backed by government insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or a similar agency. That means you are guaranteed to get your money back even if Amex goes out of business, which is incredibly unlikely. FDIC insurance covers you for up to $250,000 per depositor per account per financial institution. That means you get up to $500,000 in coverage for joint accounts.
Amex CD Rates and Terms
Interest rates can change at any time without notice for new accounts. Once a CD opens, your rate is locked for the certificate duration. Rates tend to rise and fall with the Federal Reserve’s target interest rate, so news on interest rates is likely passed on to you through adjusted CD rates for new accounts.
Each bank sets interest rates based on its borrowing needs. Amex is willing to pay more for certain savings periods. In the current environment, you can earn at least 4.00% on 12-month, 24-month, and 60-month accounts.
As mentioned above, it may not be wise to lock yourself into a long CD term when rates are rising. If rates go up 1% and you’re stuck with a 60-month CD, you could lose out on interest for years. Smart savers work to find the right balance between rates and savings needs to maximize their return.
Interest is compounded daily, which is favorable for savers. Interest is deposited into accounts monthly. Once your rate is locked, you’ll be able to calculate what your CD is worth on maturity.
American Express CD Costs and Fees
Many banks require minimum balances of $1,000 or more to open a certificate of deposit and charge monthly fees if you meet certain account criteria. American Express CDs don’t have any minimums or monthly fees.
You can open an account and fund it online in less than 10 minutes if you have your financial information. If you’ve ever used American Express or other online banks, it should be an intuitive experience.
The only cost to worry about with an American Express CD is if you withdraw early. If you have a CD with a term of 12 months to 47 months, you’ll have to pay 270 days of interest as a penalty for early withdrawals. That’s nine months of interest. If you get a 12-month CD and withdraw six months in, you will pay more in fees than you earn.
The penalty for early withdrawal on a CD of less than 12 months is a little less steep, but you’ll still be paying 90 days of interest. For 48 to 59-month CDs, you will pay a full year (365 days) of interest. At 60 months or more, Amex requires 540 days (about a year and a half) of interest for early withdrawals.
Because of these high-interest costs, you should only get a CD with American Express if you expect to keep your funds there for the duration.
When your CD matures, you have a 10-day grace period to withdraw or add more funds. After the grace period ends, the CD renews for the same term again. If you have a 24-month CD and allow it to roll over to a new CD, for example, the funds are locked away at the current rate during the grace period for another 24 months.
Are American Express CDs a Good Deal?
With interest rates well above average, a certificate of deposit from American Express could be an excellent deal for your needs. Thanks to higher rates, you can earn hundreds or thousands of dollars more with an Amex CD than with lower-rate accounts, depending on your balance. While the difference could be small, large accounts may be significant enough to be worth moving.
Keep in mind the risks of CDs for the long-term when rates are on the way up and that you have to pay an interest penalty for early withdrawals. If you can keep funds in for the entire term and don’t plan to need them early, a CD from American Express could be a great option. Click here to go to American Express, view current rates, and sign up for a new account.