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If you have some money you want to set aside for an emergency fund, a down payment on a home, a family vacation or another short-term goal, a high-yield savings account is usually the best place to put it.
And with recent interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve, high-yield savings accounts are offering the best interest rates in more than a decade. For example, the High Yield Savings Account from American Express National Bank is currently offering 4.35% APY, almost 10 times the national average rate, according to the FDIC.
The Annual Percentage Yield (APY) as advertised is accurate as of 12/22/2023. Interest rate and APY are subject to change at any time
If you're looking for a new place to stash your cash, here's what to know about American Express and its savings account, as well as its other high-yield options and how they stack up against the competition.
American Express High Yield Savings Account
American Express National Bank is primarily a credit card issuer, but it's recently started offering savings products, including its High Yield Savings Account, certificates of deposit and checking account.
Here's what you can expect from the online bank's savings account.
Solid Annual Percentage Yield
Throughout 2023, the Federal Reserve has hiked its federal funds rate multiple times, which means that high-yield savings account interest rates are in constant flux.
As of this article's most recent publish date, the High Yield Savings Account from American Express National Bank is offering 4.35% APY, which is much higher than what you can expect from a savings account from a traditional bank.
What's more, you'll earn that rate regardless of your balance. With some other savings accounts, banks and credit unions will set a balance limit for their higher APY and lower it once your balance exceeds that threshold. With that said, there is a $5 million maximum per account.
The interest you earn is compounded daily and credited to your account monthly. Keep in mind that the interest you earn from a bank account is considered income, and you'll receive a 1099-INT for each year in which you earn $10 or more in interest income. Even if you don't receive that form, you'll need to report all income on your tax return.
No Monthly Fees or Deposit Requirements
You don't need to have a lot of money to set up your High Yield Savings with American Express National Bank because there's no minimum balance requirement or minimum deposit. The bank also doesn't charge monthly fees.
However, Amex doesn't provide any other details on fees you may incur when using the account.
Joint Account Option
You can open an American Express savings account on your own or with another person. Not all banks offer joint accounts, so this can be beneficial if you want to open an account with your partner or another family member.
Funding Your Account
When you open a new High Yield Savings Account, you can fund it by linking another bank account or by sending a check to American Express Bank. It'll usually take up to two business days to link your external account, but once that's done, transfers typically take less than 24 hours.
For future deposits, you can mail a check made out to you or to American Express National Bank, or you can request a bank transfer, either through your Amex account or through your external bank account.
Unfortunately, you can't deposit checks via the Amex mobile app.
Accessing Your Funds
You can access funds in your American Express savings account by transferring the money to your checking account with the bank or to an external account. American Express caps the number of withdrawals you can make to nine per month, which is higher than the standard six-withdrawal limit with other banks, but still limiting.
Additionally, you won't receive a debit card, ATM card or paper checks you can use to draw money from the account.
American Express is an online-only bank, which means it doesn't have any brick-and-mortar branches for in-person service. However, the bank offers round-the-clock support, so you don't have to worry about running into a problem outside of business hours, an issue that can be common with other digital banks.
American Express National Bank is a member FDIC bank, which means that your cash is insured up to $250,000 per depositor per account in the event that the bank fails. Having your cash be FDIC insured is a standard feature with most high-yield savings accounts.
Other Financial Products
American Express also offers several other financial products that you can use for your everyday banking and spending needs. Here's a quick summary of each option.
American Express Rewards Checking
This online checking account offers a higher-than-average 1.00% APY on your balance, plus the chance to earn Membership Rewards points on your eligible debit card purchases—you'll receive 1 point for each $2 you spend with the card.
You can redeem your hard-earned points for deposits into your checking account, or if you have a credit card that offers Membership Rewards points, you can also redeem them for travel, gift cards, credit card statement credits, online shopping and more. You can even transfer your rewards to several airline and hotel loyalty programs.
The Amex Rewards Checking Account has no minimum balance and no monthly fees.
Certificates of Deposit
If you want safe long-term savings options, the online bank also offers certificates of deposit (CDs) with competitive interest rates and maturities ranging from 11 months to 60 months.
American Express CD Rates
These CD rates aren't the best on the market, but they're competitive with some other long-term savings options.
As with the high-yield savings account, the interest is compounded daily and credited to your account monthly. Because the longer-term APYs aren't much higher than the 12-month APY, however, it may be best to go with a 12-month maturity in case interest rates rise, so you're not locked into that rate for several years.
Unfortunately, American Express doesn't offer specialized CDs, such as no-penalty CDs or bump-up CDs. As with other traditional CDs, you can't make additional deposits after you first open the account, and you can't withdraw money before the account matures. Otherwise, you'll pay a penalty worth between 90 days' and 540 days' interest, depending on the term.
American Express offers several different credit cards, including options for cash back, points and miles. If you're looking for a new credit card and want to maximize your rewards, pairing a Membership Rewards-earning card and the Rewards Checking Account, along with a savings account, can help you do that.
Credit card annual fees can vary, depending on which card you get.
Additionally, Amex offers personal loans between $3,500 and $40,000 with fixed interest rates and no origination fee, which you can pay back over one to three years.
American Express High Yield Savings Pros and Cons
No savings account is perfect for everyone, so it's important to know both the benefits and drawbacks of each option to consider to determine the one that's best suited to your needs. Here are some pros and cons to consider.
- High yield: You won't be able to beat inflation, but High Yield Savings offers a much better APY than what you'd find with a standard savings account.
- Accessible: With no minimum balance requirements and no minimum deposit, this account is a good fit for anyone who wants to save.
- Great customer service: American Express is regularly rated among the best for customer satisfaction with its credit cards, and you can expect a similar experience with its banking products.
- Not the best APY out there: If you're looking to maximize the interest you earn on your savings, you'll find banks with higher APYs.
- No cash or mobile deposits: If you want to add money to your savings account, you'll need to transfer it from another account or send a check in the mail. You also can't make cash deposits because the account has no physical branches or ATM access.
- Limited access: With no ATM card, you can't withdraw cash from High Yield Savings. If you want access to your money, you'll need to transfer it to another bank account, which can take several days to process.
How the American Express High Yield Savings Account Stacks Up
It's important to do your due diligence to ensure that you're getting the best return on your savings. Here are some other banks with above-average APYs to consider, along with some benefits and drawbacks to help you find the best fit for you.
UFB Direct Secure Savings Account
- Our Rating 5/5 How our ratings work Read the review
UFB Direct breaks balances into five tiers, but, currently, there is only one interest rate.
- Intro Bonus N/A
The UFB Direct Secure Savings Account has one of the highest interest rates we’ve seen for a high-yield savings account at up to 5.25% APY. Plus, there are no monthly fees and no minimum balance to open.
UFB Direct is a division of Axos® Bank. Its high-yield savings account features one of the strongest interest rates currently available.
- Offers impressive APY
- No monthly fee or minimum deposit requirement
- ATM access
- No checking account
Bask Bank Interest Savings or Mileage Savings
The online bank offers you the chance to earn interest or American Airlines miles on your savings balance.
- Offers a high APY or 1.5 American Airlines miles per dollar saved annually
- Has no monthly fee or minimum balance requirements
- No checking account
- No physical branches
- No cash deposits
LendingClub High-Yield Savings
Originally a peer-to-peer lender, LendingClub now offers checking and savings accounts with solid features.
- Offers a competitive APY
- No monthly fees or minimum balance
- Comes with an ATM card
- Require $100 to open
CIT Bank Savings Connect Account
- Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work Read the review
Annual Percentage Yield is accurate as of July 27, 2023. Interest rates for the Savings Connect account are variable and subject to change at any time without notice.
- Intro Bonus N/A
CIT Bank's Savings Connect account is one of our top picks for high-yield savings accounts. Featuring a competitive flat APY on all balances, it can go head-to-head with most of the top savings accounts available. What's more, you don't have to do anything special to earn this high interest rate; many similar accounts (including some offered by CIT) only offer their highest interest rates to customers who complete certain requirements.
A division of First-Citizens Bank & Trust, CIT Bank offers savings and checking options, as well as home loans.
- Offers strong APY
- No monthly fee
- Offers a checking account
- Has a $100 minimum deposit requirement
Is the American Express High Yield Savings Account Right for You?
Amex offers an above-average APY on its savings account, but compared to a lot of other top high-yield savings accounts, it falls short on value.
It may, however, be worth it to get this account if you always want to take advantage of the features offered by the Amex Rewards Checking account. Not only will you earn interest on that account — most checking accounts don't offer interest at all — but you'll also earn rewards points on your debit card purchases.
And while the savings account won't give you the most bang for your buck, it can simplify your life to keep both your checking and savings accounts in one place for quicker transfers and easier access.
As with any other financial product, take your time to shop around and compare multiple options before you settle on one. In addition to the interest rate, you'll also want to consider fees, minimum deposit and balance requirements, customer satisfaction, in-person versus online service and other factors that are important to you.