American Express High Yield Savings Account Review

Last updated on July 15th, 2017

I just finished opening the American Express high yield savings account and thought I’d write a review. The entire process was fairly quick from start to finish.

Update: Discover currently offers a better interest rate and 100% U.S. customer service. Click Here to Read our Full Discover Savings Account Review.

I opened the account because I’m tired of earning nothing from my local checking/savings account. I’ll use this savings account for short-term liquidity purposes, and I’ll continue investing in financial assets like stocks and bonds (see reviews of my favorite investment platforms here and here) for long term growth.

Here is a little background information from Wikipedia:

American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) or AmEx, is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in New York City. Founded in 1850, it is one of the 30 components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Amex credit cards account for approximately 24% of the total dollar volume of credit card transactions in the US, the highest of any card issuer. BusinessWeek and Interbrand ranked American Express as the 22nd most valuable brand in the world, estimating the brand to be worth US$14.97 billion.

American Express High Yield Savings Review

The American Express High Yield Savings Account is fully protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000 per depositor.

Everyting is handled online. You’ll want to maintain a separate checking account so that you can deposit or withdraw money at any time. By making the account online only, American Express keeps their overhead costs lower.

Account Benefits:

  • Automatic Transfers – You can set up an automatic transfer to/from your external checking account, and schedule a direct deposit to your AmEx savings account.
  • Solid Interest Rate  – The rates are usually competitive with other online banks.
  • No Minimums – You only need $1 to open an account, and you don’t have to keep a certain balance.
  • Convenience – The application process takes only a few minutes if you have all of your personal information ready.
  • No Fees – There are no fees to open or maintain your account.
  • Safety – FDIC insurance and a reputable brand that should be around for a long time.

How to Open an Account

Here are the steps you need to take to open a new account:

  1. Gather and Input Information: They will ask for your Social Security number, address, email, date of birth and existing bank account information if funding your account electronically.
  2. Choose your Account: Decide if you want a single or joint account.
  3. Verify Identity: You must answer a few identity questions, such as previous loans and past address information.
  4. Fund: You are required to link a checking account and fund your new American Express high yield savings account with at least $1.

American Express High Yield Savings Account Review (AmEx)

That’s it. These steps literally took me about 5 minutes.

American Express High Yield Savings Account Summary

An online savings account will offer a better interest rate than many local banks, making it a great addition to a local checking account. Using both accounts, you can easily transfer money between the two.

Update: We switch to Discover, who consistently offers a better interest rate and better customer service. Read our Full Discover Savings Account Review.

Comments
    • Melissa
    • July 28, 2017
    Reply

    Is it difficult to get approved for this High Yield Savings account? I have my loan from college in my credit report will that be a red flag for my application?

    • Kate
    • November 19, 2015
    Reply

    So what happens when you die – how is this account transferred to your heirs. Is there a way of having at TOD or POD (transfer or payable on death) designation for the account?

    • Anand
    • December 11, 2014
    Reply

    Hi Jacob,
    You have recommendations for both Amex & Discover high yield savings account. Could you please suggest the best out of it…
    1) Citi bank
    2) Discover
    3) Amex

      • Jacob
      • December 12, 2014
      Reply

      I have relationships with all 3 companies. Right now I really like Discover primarily for the excellent customer service that I’ve experienced.

    • Mathias
    • May 20, 2014
    Reply

    Hey there! I’ve been following your weblog for a long time now and
    finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Texas!
    Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic work!

      • Jacob
      • May 20, 2014
      Reply

      Thanks Mathias!

    • Justin
    • March 29, 2014
    Reply

    Do you think this is a good option for setting up a savings account for a child. I am looking at the best ways to set up an account, feed it a little money here or there, and then let it accumulate till he is some undefined age (at the moment). I’d also love to hear what some of your other suggestions are.

      • Jacob
      • March 29, 2014
      Reply

      Hi Justin, you could use a Savings Account, but if the child is young and you have a longer time horizon, I would definitely consider setting up an investment account that is comprised of stocks and potentially some bonds. How long do you have?

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    • nelson davis
    • February 27, 2014
    Reply

    I have an Am Exp online savings account for a couple of years and it’s always discouraging to see the interest rate continue to drop over time. I looked last month, it was .85%, today it’s .80%.

    Very sad that we all “ah” and “ah” about how “high” online interest rates are compared to brick and mortar banks paying a tiny fraction of what you get online. But come on, we’re all “a-ga-ga” with less than 1%? OMG. I can’t imagine retired folks looking for safe haven for their hard earned retirements and putting their bucks into a “high” yield savings account being happy with the minuscule return they get.

    When I openedmby first online savings account with ING, I was getting close to 7%. With 50k in the account, you really did see your money grow. And yet the banks are making billions – and I’m making close to nothing. Anger and frustration.

      • Jacob
      • February 28, 2014
      Reply

      Hey Nelson, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I agree with much of what you said (yields are currently low across the board, it’s tough to support a retiree’s lifestyle with current fixed income yields, etc.), I would add that American Express interest rates do seem to lag others like Discover.

    • Eric
    • February 17, 2014
    Reply

    Hi, I just opened up an amex savings account. do you reccommend me closing my wells fargo savings account, which yielded 0.03%? I don’t really see a need for it anymore. I would appreciate a response! THank you!!

      • Jacob
      • February 18, 2014
      Reply

      Hi Eric, if you don’t need it and won’t use it, I don’t see a reason to keep it open either!

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    • scubasteve5150
    • February 10, 2014
    Reply

    I opened an AMEX High Yield account last week and moved part of my “branch bank” savings earning only 0.03% and am now earning 0.85%. My only thought was, why on earth does it take so long for my “Current Balance” to be reflected in my “Available Balance”. You would think electronically transferred balances would be available much quicker with today’s technology. But, the extra interest is worth not having immediate access to the funds, for me anyway.

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    • William
    • February 3, 2014
    Reply

    I just opened my own American Express High Yield Savings Account less than two weeks ago. Flawless process and was extremely easy. I transferred our home down payment savings from our banks “Growth” savings account that was paying out 0.35% to Amex and I am now earning 0.85%.

    Love this AMEX savings vehicle and my AMEX cash back rewards credit card.

      • Jacob
      • February 3, 2014
      Reply

      William, thank you for sharing your experience!

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    • Richard
    • November 20, 2013
    Reply

    Can you sign up for direct deposit thru an employer using amex savings?

      • Jacob
      • November 20, 2013
      Reply

      Richard I think I saw that as an option. You might email them real quick to know for sure.

    • yt
    • November 14, 2013
    Reply

    I am wondering what is the direct electronic transfer fee? For example if I am transfering from my BOA to amex account, BOA will charge me $25 per transaction. Do you have such issue? What is the fee for amex to transfer in / out from account?

      • Jacob
      • November 15, 2013
      Reply

      It is free to transfer money to and from a checking account. There is a limit on how many transfers you can place, but that shouldn’t be a problem.

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    • drymtime
    • October 19, 2013
    Reply

    This is a great idea. The only other bank offer I have seen this good recently is a money market account through Discover Bank, which is offered to AAII members. I’m not sure if you can get the same rate if you aren’t an AAII(American Association of Individual Investors) member, but it might be worth checking out.

      • Jacob
      • October 19, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks for the information. And for reading and commenting!

  10. I love online banking, I have a very similar account with discover. Looking for a good savings and checking account for the bf at the moment. He’s going to Europe for six months to work and we need to find something where he won’t get slammed with any foreign transaction fees or expensive wire transfer fees when he gets paid.

      • Jacob
      • October 25, 2013
      Reply

      I don’t know a ton about the best accounts for foreign transactions. I suppose most of the online accounts would work well paired with a good credit card. But then again, checking is another issue.

        • Sheila Anderson
        • January 28, 2016
        Reply

        Capital One has always had “no foreign transaction fee”. Amex started doing the same a year or so ago. Best rate for taking money out of a foreign ATM is to use the foreign ATM. Airports usually have the worst exchange rate.

        It’s also a good idea to tell your credit card and bank your dates of travel, etc. Saves being turned down because the institution doesn’t know if it’s you using it or not.

 

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