American Express® Personal Savings Review

Christy Bieber is a personal finance and legal writer with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured on major outlets including MSN Money, CNBC, and USA Today.

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Personal savings accounts are not only offered by brick and mortar bank locations. As you search for an option that will maximize your savings, consider the American Express® Personal Savings from American Express National Bank, Member FDIC. With a high Annual Percentage Yield (APY) and no fees, American Express Personal Savings matches the criteria we value most in an online savings account. I'm also enthusiastic that American Express is broadening its offerings beyond credit cards, where the bank has amassed a legion of fans.

Top perks of the American Express Personal Savings Account

1.75% APY: When investing money in a high-yield savings account, APY will be one of the most important factors to consider. With the American Express Personal Savings Account, you have one of the higher APYs on the market.

Ease of Use: With the American Express Personal Savings Account, you can easily set up and use an account in minutes. You can also have multiple linked accounts and move money between them. I have two: an emergency fund and an account where I save for home repairs.

No Monthly Balance Requirements: Many savings accounts require account minimums either to earn interest or to open a savings account. American Express Personal Savings account doesn't require either, although there is a $1 minimum balance required to earn the APY. With no minimum balance, you don’t need to worry about having money trapped in your account. -- I’ve cleared mine out many times to cover big costs before building the accounts back up.

No maintenance fees: The absence of fees is a major benefit more likely to be offered by online banks such as American Express Personal Savings, as these online banks don’t have the overhead costs of brick-and-mortar stores.

What could be improved

ATM card access: The biggest downside of the American Express Personal Savings account is there’s no ATM card so you can’t withdraw funds instantly from your ATM.

Long processing time: While it is easy and free to move money back and forth between your American Express Personal Savings accounts and linked bank accounts via electronic funds transfer, it takes several days for deposits and withdrawals to process. You also don’t have access to local bank branches where you can go to get help with your account.

How to access your money

While there are often no physical branches to make deposits and withdrawals, you still have a wealth of options to easily and quickly access your money, some without incurring fees.

Deposit options

There are several ways to deposit funds into your American Express Personal Savings account including:

  • Electronic bank transfer from a linked bank account
  • Wire transfer
  • Mailing a physical check

Transfers can be initiated online or via phone 24/7, but if it’s after 7 p.m. ET, the transfer is considered to have occurred on the next business day. You also have the choice of setting up a one-time transfer or recurring transfer. Recurring transfers make it easy to make regular contributions to your savings.

When you transfer funds, the funds won’t be available immediately. Because of a mandatory holding period, money isn’t added to your available balance until five business days after you initiate your deposit. Business days are Monday through Friday, not including holidays.

Withdrawal options

Withdrawing money is possible using the same methods by which you can transfer money in: electronic bank transfers, wire transfers, or physical checks.

It takes one to three days for the funds to show up in your linked bank account after you make a withdrawal. The inability to quickly obtain money from an ATM or local bank branch is one of the biggest downsides of American Express Personal Savings, but you can work around this as long as you plan ahead and arrange to transfer funds several days before you’ll need the money.

Remember, because there’s no minimum balance requirement, you can withdraw all of the money in your account at any time without worrying about owing fees or having your account closed.

Online savings account comparison

American Express® Personal Savings is a solid pick, but we recognize it may not be a fit for everyone. We suggest comparing the savings account to a handful of other top picks.

Rates as of Nov. 25, 2019
Offer
American Express® Personal Savings
 
Member, FDIC
Marcus Savings by Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs Bank USA
Member, FDIC
CIT Bank Savings Builder
 
Member, FDIC
Rating
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
APY

APY: 1.75%

APY: 1.90%

APY: 1.85%

Best For

Best For: Low fees

Best For: High APY and low fees

Best For: Up to $300 bonus and High APY

Min. to earn APY

Min. to earn APY: $1

Min. to earn APY: $0

Min. to earn APY: $25k or $100 monthly deposit

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The American Express Personal Savings Account is right for you if:

If you’re looking to earn the highest possible returns on a savings account and you can plan ahead to deposit and withdraw funds, American Express Personal Savings is a great choice. The absence of fees, ability to maintain multiple accounts, and no minimum balance requirement provides the ultimate in flexibility. Not to mention the account’s high APR means your savings will earn the maximum interest possible without risking your deposited funds.

If you think you’ll miss out on having a local bank branch to visit or need immediate access to funds through an ATM, you should look elsewhere. If having a mobile app is important to you, you’ll also need to consider another personal savings account instead.

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