American Express Business Checking: A High-Yield Account for Amex Cardholders
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The bottom line:
The American Express Business Checking account checks a lot of boxes, with no monthly or incidental fees and a competitive APY. But you need an Amex business or consumer credit card to apply for the account.
Pros & Cons
No monthly fees or minimum opening deposit.
Unlimited fee-free transactions; no overdraft fees.
Earn 1.30% APY on balances up to $500,000.
24/7 customer support.
Can’t deposit cash.
Only available to American Express customers.
How does American Express National Bank compare?
Grasshopper Business Checking Account
Bluevine Business Checking
Deposits are FDIC Insured
With $0 min. balance for APY
With $0 min. balance for APY
American Express launched its fully digital American Express Business Checking account in October 2021, bringing a household name to a space filled with lesser-known banks and fintech companies. Currently, the account is only available to Amex customers.
The free business checking account keeps pace with other online accounts, with no monthly fees or charges for things like overdrafts, stop-payment requests and incoming wire transfers. But American Express Business Checking goes a step further than most online business accounts, offering 24/7 live customer service, a competitive interest rate and a generous welcome bonus.
Account holders can deposit funds via mobile check deposit, ACH and wire transfers, and they can withdraw funds from any of 37,000-plus MoneyPass ATMs free of charge. But you can't deposit cash and you may incur fees from the ATM owner when using out-of-network ATMs.
American Express Business Checking is best for small-business owners who:
Run e-commerce businesses or other companies that do not deal with cash.
Are looking for a high-yield business account.
American Express business banking at a glance
American Express Business Checking
Minimum opening deposit:
1.30% on balances up to $500,000.
30,000 Membership Rewards points.
How to open an American Express Business Checking account
Opening an American Express business checking account is relatively straightforward. You can apply online or via the mobile app in a matter of minutes by providing some basic information about your business — industry, revenue, business email — and yourself. Once approved, you have 60 days to fund your account through ACH or wire transfer.
Note: You must be an Amex customer to open an American Express business account.
What you need to open an account
American Express asks for the following information from those applying for a business account:
Business name, legal structure and industry.
Personal name, address, date of birth.
Social Security number and U.S. government-issued photo identification for each beneficial owner (more than 25% stake in the business).
You also need to upload certain business documents with your application, depending on your business entity type, including articles of incorporation, certificate of formation or a DBA certificate.
American Express Business Checking welcome offer
New American Express Business Checking customers can earn 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which can be redeemed for things like travel or gift cards or converted to cash and deposited directly into your business checking account.
To earn the welcome bonus, you need to meet each of the following requirements:
Deposit a total of $5,000 within 30 days of account opening. Funds transferred from another American Express Business Checking account do not qualify.
Once you meet the deposit requirement, you must maintain an average balance of $5,000 for 60 days.
Complete at least five transactions within 60 days of account opening. Qualifying transactions include mobile deposits, ACH transfers, wire transfers and bill payments. Transfers between AmEx business checking accounts held by your business do not qualify.
Where American Express Business Checking stands out
No fees: The American Express Business Checking account has no monthly fee and very few incidental fees. Customers do not pay fees for nonsufficient funds, stop payment requests or e-checking. Incoming wire transfers, domestic and international, are also free. Outgoing domestic wire transfers are $20 each.
High APY: American Express offers one of the best interest rates for business checking accounts (1.30% APY). It also has a higher ceiling than other high-yield business accounts, allowing customers to earn interest on balances up to $500,000. Bluevine Business Checking offers a higher APY (2.00%) but only on balances up to $250,000.
24/7 customer support: American Express offers customer support online, by phone and via the app 24 hours a day, seven days a week — a feature rarely found with business accounts, even online business accounts. Not an Amex customer? Axos Basic Business Checking also offers an online business checking account with 24/7 live customer support, but the account does not earn interest.
AmEx Membership Rewards: American Express Business Checking customers can earn 1 Membership Reward point for every $2 spent on eligible business debit card purchases. If you already earn AmEx Membership Rewards via one of the issuer's business credit cards, you can pool your rewards, which can be redeemed in several ways.
Where American Express Business Checking falls short
Can’t deposit cash: American Express Business Checking does not allow cash deposits. You can only add funds via ACH or wire transfer, or via mobile check deposit (on iPhones only, more on that below). Businesses that deal with cash on a regular basis should look for a business bank account that offers easy cash deposits, with no caps or fees, such as LendingClub Tailored Checking or the NBKC business account.
Only available to existing Amex customers. You need an American Express business credit card or consumer card to apply for the bank's business checking account. That may not be a deal breaker, especially if you're in the market for a new business credit card, but excludes business owners that either don't want or can't qualify for an Amex business card.
All information about the American Express® Business Checking has been collected independently by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.