American Express Bank is relatively new to the online savings account world as they currently only have 2 options for customers (CDs and online savings). After opening an account with American Express Bank, the Ratehero team gives them an overall medium rating compared to other banks (such as Ally Bank and ING Direct) based on the limited products that they offer. Even though American Express doesn’t have as many unique features as ING Direct, the customer service is far superior to many of the other banks out there.
American Express Bank has only been open since 2000, making them relatively “young” in the online savings account world. The potential is there for them to expand their online services. With some of the best rates for savings accounts, American Express Bank does get a high rating from our team to help customers build up their savings accounts in a timely manner.
What we have found from most of our customers is that the feedback is generally neutral with the account features but the customer service is prompt and most customers that use the credit cards find the savings accounts to be generally the same. Here are some of the things that stood out to us once we opened an account with American Express Bank.
One of the nice features to American Express Bank is the easy to use access page. The overall screen is easy to navigate, giving you a clear picture of your savings along with how quickly new deposits will be transferred to the account.
The downside to the account access page is that you are unable to link accounts. It would be nice to have the same login information for your online savings account as your credit card. This would make it easier to transfer funds from the savings to pay off your credit card balance each month. This brings up another point; American Express Bank doesn’t have a checking account. This is frustrating as you will need to have another bank to manage your checking account and to pay off your credit cards and to transfer the money from this account to your savings account. It would be nice to see American Express Bank step up to the checking account world to provide customers with a little more convenience with managing money.
The initial deposit can be cleared in just about a day or so. This is nice as your savings account can start growing quickly. Transferring to American Express Bank seems to go smoothly but it’s a different story when you want to pull the money out of the account. It can take about 10 business days for the bank to transfer the funds between the accounts for the money to be available. If you are in desperate need of the money, having it tied up for 10 business days may seem like an eternity!
The other thing about the transferring of funds is the initial process that will verify your account. American Express Bank needs to verify that this is your account so they will submit 2 small transfers to your checking account. Since you are only allowed 6 withdrawals per month, this will count towards it so you only have 4 transfers left. This might not be a big deal for most customers but it can be an annoyance to those of use that need to move money around a lot.
When comparing interest rates to other online savings accounts, American Express Bank is usually in the top 10. It would be nice to see a little more consistency with the rates. It seems that the interest rate will be high for a few months and then it drops quickly for several months. Offering some consistency with the APY can make it easier for customers to establish savings goals. The CD rates tend to be a little more competitive than the online savings rates. This is something to think about if you are chasing interest rates to try and grow your savings and to build a rainy day account to fall back on. The longer the term on the CD account, the higher the interest rate will be.
If you choose to open a CD account, you need to be aware of the fees for an early withdrawal. You will end up with a penalty if you pull money from the account before its term. The penalty amount will cost you about 3-6 months interest amount plus additional fees.
The good news to American Express Bank is that they are FDIC insured. They have about $32.98 Billion in assets and $13.6 Billion in deposits. This helps investors to know that American Express is a safe bank to do business with. Based on the above information our Ratehero team gives American Express Bank a 3 ½ star rating out of 5 stars.