Figuring out whether to put money your extra money isn’t as easy as it may seem. It’s easy to drop it into a regular savings account at your bank or credit union. But, you won’t get much for it there. In fact, you’ll only get about .01% right now.1 So, should you put it in a CD, in stocks or in bonds or what?
One possibility is to put it in a high-interest savings account, like the American Express Personal Savings account that currently pays 2.10% annual percentage yield or APY savings rate—a 210% improvement over the .01% with a regular savings account.
This review covers some of the many reasons the American Express Personal Savings Account is a good choice for your savings.
The Benefits of the American Express Personal Savings Account
There’s plenty to love about this online savings account—from a higher interest rate to no monthly fees.
Higher Returns on Investment than a Traditional Savings Account
A high-interest savings account lets you earn higher interest rates on your savings while also avoiding monthly fees. Those fees can easily eat away at your money, making a mattress-savings plan begin to look a lot more tempting than trusting a bank.
The American Express Personal Savings account offers a 2.10% APY, which is compounded daily. And when it comes to savings, there are no better words than “daily compound interest.”
While the APY is slightly lower than some other high-interest savings accounts, it’s a lot higher than the .01% you get a traditional brick-and-mortar bank or credit union account today.1
No Minimum Balance Required and No Fees
Most traditional banks require a minimum balance—even for regular savings accounts. And many high-interest savings accounts do too. Not the American Express personal savings account:
- There’s no minimum balance to open the account or to avoid fees.
- There are no monthly fees.
- The minimum deposit to fund your account and start earning interest is just $1, and you have 60 days to deposit that first $1 after opening your account.
- The ability to pay your American Express card bill using your American Express Personal Savings account.
- The ability to make a direct deposit using electronic transfer from your bank or credit union account.
If you’re just getting started with a solid savings plan and most of your money is tied up paying off debt, this account gives you a perfect opportunity to go from in debt to in the dough. This account is a low-risk and relatively high-return option for investing your savings.
Your Money Is FDIC Insured
The American Express Personal Savings is offered through American Express National Bank, which is a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or FDIC-insured bank. Your funds are insured up to $250,000. That means that if American Express goes under, you’re eligible to get up to $250,000 of the money in your savings account back.
The American Express Savings account offers joint ownership. If you’re married or have a trusted family member or friend, it’s the perfect opportunity to team up and maximize that daily compound interest.
Together, you may earn a much better return on your joint investments than if you decide to go the savings road alone. Keep in mind, however, that there’s typically one primary applicant and one joint applicant, so both parties may not have equal rights to the account.
Estate and Retirement Planning
The American Express Personal Savings account is a better vehicle for retirement savings than a regular savings account. That’s because inflation rates are forecast to stay around 2% for at least the next few years.2 And if you put your money in a regular savings account at just .01% APY, you’ll come out in the negative against inflation.
Drawbacks of the American Express Personal Savings Account
Depending on your situation, there are a few things about the American Express Personal Savings account that may not be ideal for you, including:
- No ATM access. Depending on your reason for saving, this could be a good thing and a bad thing. No ATM access may discourage you from making frequent withdrawals. However, if you need emergency money in a pinch, you could be looking at five business days before a transfer goes through.
- No checking account, check writing or debit card. If you’re after a savings account that lets you write checks against the account, this isn’t the account for you.
- A six withdrawals/debits per month/statement cycle limit might cramp your style if you’re used to pulling money out of your savings account. But, it could also encourage you not to pull money out and leave it in to earn more money. And, the six withdrawal a month cap is a federal regulation that applies to any online savings account. You can make unlimited deposits.
- No app. When it comes to online banking, an app just makes things easier. Who really wants to log in via a webpage every time they need to make a deposit?
- Not the highest APY available. Yes, an APY of 2.10% with daily compound interest is impressive, but it’s not the highest rate you can find. Nonetheless, American Express Bank is a solid institution with a long history, so, this account is still a good choice.
How to Set Up Your Account
Setting up an American Express personal savings account is easy and can be done online through Credit.com. You want to start the application process with some information in hand on top of your address and other information that you know by heart:
- Current bank account and routing numbers
- Social Security number
The Benefits of a High-interest Savings Account
When you choose a traditional bank or credit union savings account with interest rates as low as 0.01%, your savings don’t rack up—not enough to make your investment in savings worthwhile or nearly enough interest to compete with inflation. But, when you choose a high-interest savings account like the American Express Personal Savings account, you give your money the extra kick of a high interest rate in interest to help your money grow in value.
For example, if have $2,000 and put it in a high-interest savings account and then add another $100 per month, you’ll see a return rate of $1,788 in interest, leading to a grand total of $15,688 after 10 years. With a traditional bank at the max offering of 1.5%, you earn only around $15,256. Take things down a notch further to the 0.01% offered by Wells Fargo on their savings account, and you wind up with just $14,007.1
Interest Earned on Different APYs Over 10 Years
|APY on Beginning Balance of $2,000||Added Monthly Deposit||Ending Balance at 10 Years|
The only better savings vehicle might be certificates of deposit or CDs. CD—or certificate of deposit—rates can be higher. Rates at the time of publishing are as high as 3.5%. The caveat—you only earn that rate when you commit to leaving your money untouched in the CD for a specified term, such as 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, 7 years, etc. If you’re looking to use any of your savings—for example, in an emergency—you may not want to tie it all up.
How Much Money to Stash
There’s a general recommendation from financial experts that you should have enough money in a savings account—aka an emergency fund—to cover six to eight months of your regular expenses. Even if you aren’t earning the income you need or are repaying debts, consider savings something. Even if you put just $1 in a high-interest American Express personal savings account, you’re saving!
Who Is American Express Bank?
American Express—or Amex—is most commonly thought of as a credit card. At Credit.com, you can find a variety of Amex credit cards. American Express is actually one of if not the world’s largest credit payment-card companies.
What you may not know is that American Express is actually the parent name for a group of companies that offer financial and travel services in more than 130 different countries. It was founded in 1850.
American Express Bank, FBS, is the bank that backs the American Express personal savings account. It’s a federal savings bank (FSB) and is owned by American Express. The bank offers savings accounts and CDs. It operates solely as an online bank.
There’s a lot to love about the American Express high-interest savings account. While you definitely want to shop around and compare competitive interest rates and account features before making a final decision, you won’t go wrong by keeping this account on your shortlist. And the sooner you open an account, the sooner you can start benefiting from that daily compound interest.
1 Based on the available savings rate for the Wells Fargo Way2Save® Savings account as of April 2019.
NOTE: Accounts mentioned here may not be visible on Credit.com at certain points due to partner caps on the number of accounts that can be opened in a given day or timeframe.
DISCLOSURE: At publishing time, the American Express personal savings account is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this account. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the financial institution(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).