American Express Personal Savings Review – High Yield Bank Account Comments7 Comments

Hey everyone, Josh here again and it’s time for the financial product review of the week. This week, I want to talk a bit about savings accounts. After all, we all know the importance of saving! Anyway, I wanted to take a look at an option that was a bit unconventional, American Express personal savings accounts. I say that this is unconventional because American Express isn’t known as a bank to have your savings account with, they’re known as credit card lenders. So, today we’re going to see if they’ve got what it takes to be a true contender in the savings account industry.

American Express Personal Savings Short Review

American Express Personal Savings Pros – My favorite thing about American Express personal savings is that they don’t hit you with crazy monthly account maintenance fees. As a matter of fact, there’s no monthly maintenance fees at all. Also, the savings options that American Express offers are high yielding. So, you won’t have to worry about earning pennies while paying those monthly maintenance fees.

American Express Personal Savings Cons – The only real downside I’ve found about American Express personal savings accounts is that they can be fairly picky about the types of checks that the accept for a deposit. Although, most people won’t have a problem here, it will definitely get to some.

American Express Personal Savings Overall – Overall, American Express personal savings options are some of the best you’ll find. Because most of their business is done online, they take away overhead cost and put that into things like not charging consumers a monthly account maintenance fee. Their rates are some of the highest in the business, so you’ll earn more than pennies. The only real drawback is the limited types of checks they accept for deposits, but most people won’t have an issue here.

American Express Personal Savings Long Review

Rates & Fees

When you think of American Express, you definitely don’t think checking accounts, but don’t count them out of the game just yet. As always, I’d like to start with the fees, which just so happen to be one of my favorite parts of the personal savings options offered by American Express. That’s because the personal savings account is free. You’re not going to have to worry about paying a pesky monthly maintenance fee anymore.

OK, so we’re done with the fees. Now, let’s get into the profits that you can make. Have you opened a savings account with a traditional bank recently? If so, you probably weren’t just slapped in the face with an account maintenance fee, you most likely also got hit with incredibly low rates. Well, no worries on the rates side with American Express personal savings. They not only say their accounts are high yield, they prove it! In a market filled with .1% and .05% APYs, American Express jumps out with an impressive APY on their personal savings accounts.

What About The Customer Service?

When it comes to any form of financial account, you’re going to want to make sure that the customer service is up to par. After all, you’re not talking about a bicycle, you’re talking about your savings, something that could be your financial livelihood one day. You don’t want to trust your savings account to just anyone. You want to make sure that when you call with a question, there’s a polite voice on the other side of the line to answer it. Well, when it comes to customer service, American Express is no stranger. They’ve been providing stellar customer service for years. It’s why they’ve become one of the world’s largest credit card brands. No matter if you’re talking credit cards, or checking accounts, American Express customer service is top notch.

So, Where’s The Kicker?

As mentioned above, the only real drawback to American Express personal checking accounts is that they are limited on the types of checks they are willing to accept for deposits. The types of checks that are excluded are as follows.

  • Personal checks from an account you don’t own or are not authorized to use.
  • Counter checks.
  • Money orders.
  • Starter checks.
  • Traveler’s checks.
  • Checks with multiple endorsements.

So, if grandma sends you a check, you’re going to have to cash it in your bank account and send a check from your bank account to American Express to put it in savings. It’s definitely not the most ideal, but is really only a minor setback in lieu of all the great things that their personal checking accounts have to offer.

My Final Thoughts On American Express Personal Savings Accounts

Overall, this is a great option. The only setback is the types of checks you can use for deposits. But lets face it, how often do we send money orders to our savings account. The money almost always comes out of checking. Aside from that, American Express is perfect. They don’t charge ridiculous monthly maintenance fees, they pay out high APYs, it’s just a great option!

Rating: 4.2 / 5
American Express Personal Savings ratingAmerican Express Personal Savings ratingAmerican Express Personal Savings ratingAmerican Express Personal Savings rating

American Express Personal Savings Reviewed by Clarkgym on .

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By : Josh Rodriguez | 6 Dec 2013
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7 thoughts on “American Express Personal Savings Review – High Yield Bank Account

  1. Tim M

    I like their High Yield Savings account so far. Like you indicate, accepted checks isn’t an issue for me as everything will be done through transfers.

    I will say that the transfer time FROM my checking TO the High Yield Savings (initiated on the American Express website) does seem to take a lot of business days. But I suspect this is the case with any bank-to-bank transfer. I have not yet tried to transfer OUT of the savings back TO a checking to gauge how long that direction takes, or if there are any issues or push-back.

    The website is wonderfully simple. They could probably stand to put a little programmer attention on it, as it can be quirky with problems here and there. Nothing catastrophic, you just have to be persistent with it. If experiencing problems or it seems the site is confused and erroring out, or logging you off at surprise interactive moments, try clearing your browser history and starting again.

    I can tell you that customer service (telephone is really the only option) is simply stellar. I’ve called twice. The first was to close my original HYS account and open a joint account, as I got married in 2013. I had gotten almost all the way through the opening process online, but (as per my comments about the sometimes-quirky site) it got confused at the point of funding the new account. So I had to call. Complete service was rendered in less than five minutes… old account closed, new account open and funded (by transferring the amount from the old one.) The second time I called was to have corrected a first name misspelling on my user profile. (Only AMEX can “change” a name.) Out of curiosity, it was late on a Saturday night I placed the call. IT WAS ANSWERED! Stellar. The correction was made on the first business day after my call. I will further say that both calls were answered by people who seemed local to the United States and the calls quality was perfect.

    I know there’s opinions out there as to whether or not to even engage any time of garden-variety savings accounts at all. On the heels of that, I hope that these opinions/advice is softening after the debacle of the past 6 financial years or so. How many people would have ultimately been “OK” had they simply saved liquid? So my own goals in 2014 (and hopefully beyond) is going to be to really make a difference in saved liquid. I want to feel safe. Period. And I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy seeing monthly interest payments in the dollars as opposed to the pennies my bank was crediting.

  2. Jim

    This savings account is great for the no-fee perk as well as the competitive interest rate, however, the week-long delay in posting transfers from outside checking accounts INTO the savings account is inexcusable. Your “current balance” shows the deposit, but the “available balance” doesn’t reflect the increase sometimes for over a week. Not sure why this is and it seems like an overly lengthy timeframe in 2014 banking standards. Just make sure that if you transfer money into this savings account that you don’t need to withdraw it immediately after. If anything could be worked on with these accounts, the deposit posting delay would definitely be one of them.

  3. Jim

    Big downside: after less than two months the interest rate on my account was decreased. Why no mention that the initial rate given is nothing but a teaser? How well do initial interest rates quoted hold up over time for the various competitors?

  4. Drew

    Yes Josh, I too agree with you that american express is just great, though this is my personal opinion, I just like the way they work.


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