American Express National Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs
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Overall bank rating
- CD rates
- Banking experience
- Overdraft fees
The FDIC-insured American Express National Bank offers competitive accounts. Its savings account has a solid annual percentage yield, and its certificates of deposit are worth considering. The bank also offers a rewards checking account with a strong interest rate, but you have to be an American Express cardholder to open one, and you won't be able to make cash deposits.
Best for: Those who want to earn competitive yields across checking, savings and CD accounts, are comfortable with an online-only banking experience and won't need to make cash deposits.
- Highly competitive interest rates on savings and rewards checking.
- No monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.
- It's not possible to deposit cash.
- Must have an American Express credit card to open a checking account.
- Must have an American Express credit card to manage bank accounts with the mobile app.
4.5/5 NerdWallet rating
At a 4.00% APY (annual percentage yield) as of 05/31/2023, American Express offers a good interest rate on savings. You won’t have to worry about paying monthly fees, making a minimum opening deposit or maintaining a high balance in your account to earn the rate. And the bank allows you to make up to nine withdrawals or transfers from savings per month; many banks only allow six.
American Express mobile apps are built for its credit card customers, so you’ll need to have a credit card to be able to access and manage your savings account in the app. To fund your savings account, you'll have to link your current bank account, set up direct deposit, mail a check to the office in Salt Lake City or deposit a check via the mobile site. American Express doesn't accept cash deposits.
» Looking for banks that offer the highest rates? See our list of the best high-yield online savings accounts
3.5/5 NerdWallet rating
You’ll find solid CD rates for some of the CD terms offered by American Express, including a 3.00% APY (annual percentage yield) as of 04/12/2023 for a 60-month term. (To see high rates at other banks, check out our list of this month’s best CD rates.)
Banks typically require some deposit amount, whether hundreds or even thousands of dollars, to open a certificate of deposit, but that’s not the case at American Express. The bank doesn't have a minimum balance requirement to open a CD.
» Curious what other banks offer? See our list of this month’s best CD rates
5.0/5 NerdWallet rating
The American Express Rewards Checking Account, also known as Amex Rewards Checking, is a new offering as of February 2022. Currently, the account is available only to consumers who have had an American Express credit card for at least three months.
The new American Express checking account earns 1.00% APY (annual percentage yield) as of 12/14/2022 on all balances, which is higher than what you’ll find on other rewards checking accounts. It doesn’t require a minimum deposit to open, and there are no minimum balance requirements or monthly fees. Checking account holders get access to ATMs in the MoneyPass network but won't be able to make cash deposits.
In addition to interest on balances, you’ll earn a point for every two dollars spent on eligible purchases using your debit card. Points can be redeemed for a deposit into your checking account. If your existing American Express credit card is linked to the American Express Membership Rewards program, you can redeem debit card points for all the options offered for your credit card. Choices for points redemption include travel bookings, hotel and restaurant gift cards, and purchases from various retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Rite Aid and Saks Fifth Avenue.
» Want to compare options? See our list of the best online checking accounts
Rates and fees are clearly displayed on the bank's website, and a robust FAQ section answers many questions that you’ll likely have about the accounts.
You can use the American Express mobile apps to manage your checking, savings and CD accounts only if you already have the apps set up to manage your American Express credit cards.
As an online bank, American Express National Bank doesn't have any branches. If you need to talk to someone, support is available around the clock by phone. Customers can also log in to the site to chat with support or reach out for help on Twitter.
American Express Rewards Checking doesn’t offer overdraft protection. However, like many other banks now, it also doesn’t charge overdraft fees. If a transaction will overdraw your account, the bank will likely decline it. If your balance becomes negative (from a subscription autopayment, for example), you’ll need to bring your balance back to positive when the bank notifies you. The bank could close your account if you fail to do so.
How does American Express National Bank compare?
SoFi Checking and Savings
CIT Bank Platinum Savings
Citizens Online Savings Account
With $0 min. balance for APY
With $5,000 min. balance for APY
With $0.01 min. balance for APY
Earn up to $250 with direct deposit. Terms apply.
NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star. How we rate banks, credit unions and other financial service providers.