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American Express National Bank review: Earn a high interest rate on savings, and open accounts with no minimum deposits

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  • American Express National Bank (Member FDIC) is an online bank that offers a high-yield savings account and CDs.
  • American Express® Personal Savings pays one of the highest interest rates in the industry, and there's no minimum opening deposit or monthly maintenance fees.
  • American Express CD interest rates are mediocre — but it's one of the few banks that doesn't require a minimum deposit to open a CD.
  • American Express doesn't have a banking mobile app, so this bank probably isn't the best fit for savers who like to bank from their phones.
  • See Business Insider's picks for the best high-yield savings accounts »

Should you bank with American Express National Bank?

You might like American Express if you… You might not like American Express if you…
  • Are comfortable banking digitally
  • Want to earn a high APY on savings
  • Don't have much money to open an account
  • Value 24/7 customer service over the phone
  • Aren't comfortable banking digitally
  • Want a banking mobile app
  • Are searching for high CD interest rates
  • Want to open a checking account
  • Are worried about quick access to your savings

The bottom line: The American Express savings account is stronger than its CDs, but because there's no checking account, you can't access your savings immediately.

American Express Personal Savings review 

American Express® Personal Savings

American Express American Express® Personal Savings

American Express Personal Savings pays a competitive interest rate. There's no required opening deposit or minimum account balance, although you must make a deposit within the first 60 days or the bank will close your account. American Express also doesn't charge monthly service fees.

Accessing your savings can be tricky, though. American Express doesn't have a checking account, so you can't just transfer money to checking and spend it immediately. You'll have to transfer funds to an external bank account, which could take a couple business days.

American Express CD review

American Express Certificate of Deposit

American Express American Express Certificate of Deposit

Many banks require hundreds or thousands of dollars to open a CD, but American Express doesn't require an opening deposit. You might earn a decent rate, depending on the term length, but you can find a higher APY elsewhere. There are other online banks that require low deposits, or even no minimum deposit at all, and pay better rates.

American Express National Bank features

American Express is an online-only bank that doesn't require an opening deposit or minimum account balance for any of its accounts — although you must make a deposit in your high-yield savings account within the first 60 days or the bank will close your account. American Express also doesn't charge monthly service fees.

The American Express website is easy to use, but the bank doesn't have a mobile app; the American Express app is just for credit card customers.

American Express offers 24/7 customer support by phone, but unlike many competing banks, it doesn't have live chat online with representatives.

Your American Express accounts are FDIC insured for up to $250,000, or $500,000 for a joint account.

How American Express National Bank compares to similar banks

We've compared American Express with two other online banks with no minimum opening deposits: Ally and Capital One 360.

American Express
Ally
Capital One 360

Savings APY

0.60% APY

Savings APY

0.60% APY

Savings APY

0.50% APY

CD APY

0.10% to 0.55% APY

CD APY

0.20% to 1.00% APY

CD APY

0.20% to 0.60% APY

Open an account Open an account Open an account

American Express National Bank review vs. Ally review

American Express and Ally both pay high rates on savings, but Ally pays better rates on CDs. Unlike American Express, Ally has a checking account, which makes it easier to access savings quickly. You can just transfer money from one Ally account to another and spend it almost immediately.

You'll prefer Ally if you like to bank from your phone. Ally has a mobile app, but American Express does not.

American Express National Bank review vs. Capital One 360 review

American Express and Capital One 360 offer similar savings accounts, but otherwise, Capital One 360 has some advantages.

Capital One 360 also offers a checking account, which means you can access your savings more quickly. You'll probably like Capital One 360 if you bank from your phone, because it has a highly rated mobile app, but American Express doesn't have a banking app.

Although Capital One 360 is an online bank, it does have branches in several states. You may find this useful in case you want to speak with a banker face-to-face.

This post was reviewed and updated on October 6, 2020.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

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