Should You Open an Account at American Express National Bank?

Andrew Reyes
A closeup of an American Express Gold credit card.
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Based in New York City, American Express has an interesting history. It started in 1850 as an early version of Federal Express. It was founded by Henry Wells, William G. Fargo, and John Warren Butterfield as a freight forwarder to deliver express mail. The partners eventually split ways and Henry Wells and William G. Fargo started a future banking powerhouse — Wells Fargo.

Over the years American Express evolved from delivering shipments, to issuing the first travelers cheques for customers who traveled regularly, to becoming one of the top credit card providers and banks.

American Express is best known for its high-end credit card products, but the financial services company also provides savings accounts and certificates of deposit to customers. The banking side of American Express pays some of the highest interest rates you’ll find in the industry on their savings products.

Before you get too far, it’s important to understand that although American Express credit cards and American Express National Bank are affiliated, they operate separately. American Express National Bank works differently, therefore, you won’t be able to access your bank accounts or your credit cards from a single login. If this isn’t a dealbreaker, read on to learn more about how American Express National Bank works.

Who Can Benefit from American Express National Bank?

If you’re looking for an online savings account that pays better interest rates than a traditional bank, American Express National Bank would be a good option. Or perhaps you’d like to have a separate savings account to put money aside for goals, such as growing an emergency fund, or saving money to open a business.

Another reason to consider having a savings account at a separate bank has to do with the protection of your funds. If you have more than $250,000 in deposits at one bank, you may want to move the excess funds to another bank to ensure you’re covered under Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance. Should the bank fail, any money over the $250,000 may not be protected against loss.

American Express National Bank Services

American Express National Bank’s account offerings are limited. The bank does not offer any checking accounts or money market accounts. You have access to a couple of core banking services that revolve around savings. If you’re trying to decide on how to choose the right bank, take a closer look at what the online-only bank has to offer.

Savings Accounts

American Express offers one high-yield savings account. The current rate on deposits is 1.15% annual percentage yield (APY). To deposit or access the funds, you’ll need to link an external bank account to transfer money in and out of the savings account.

As with all savings accounts, federal regulations limit you to only six withdrawals or transfers per month. Your account may be shut down if you go over the monthly withdrawal limit. This may be positive if you’re trying to limit spending the amount you set aside in your high-yield savings account.

Certificates of Deposit

Besides a high-yield savings account, American Express provides certificates of deposit (CDs). If you don’t need to access the funds for an extended period, setting aside your savings in a CD will lock in an interest rate for the length of time you commit to keeping your funds in the CD. This may be beneficial if you suspect interest rates are expected to drop soon. If they do, the money you set aside in the CD continues to earn the initial, agreed-to rate.

Credit Cards

American Express is best known for its credit cards. You’ll need a separate login for your credit card products since American Express Bank operates separately from American Express Card Services. Amex offers 18 different credit cards in the following categories:

  • Personal credit cards in which the full balance is due each month;
  • Installment credit cards in which you can pay back your balance over several payments;
  • Business and corporate credit cards;
  • Travel rewards credit cards to earn free travel based on the number of purchases you make;
  • Travel loyalty credit cards for Delta, Hilton, and Marriott;
  • Cash-back rewards credit cards.

Online Banking

American Express National Bank does not have any physical branches. You’ll need to do all your banking from the online banking portal, where you can transfer funds to linked accounts, check your balances, and view or download statements.

American Express National Bank Customer Service

You can reach a helpful American Express customer service representative in several ways. Login to your account to live chat with a representative, call to speak with a representative 24/7, or reach out on social media.

American Express National Bank Contact Information

Here are the ways you can reach American Express customer service:

  • Bank customer service number:1-800-446-6307;
  • Bank fax number:1-800-542-0779;
  • Online banking login;
  • To send cheques for deposit or banking-related correspondence: American Express National Bank

P.O. Box 30384
Salt Lake City, Utah 84130;

  • Log in to chat with a representative or send messages through the secure message center;
  • Credit card customer service number: 1-800-528-4800;
  • Hearing-disabled telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) credit card customer service number: 1-800-221-9950;
  • Pay credit card bills: 1-800-472-9297;
  • General card inquiries: American Express

P.O. Box 981535
El Paso, TX 79998-1535;

  • Overnight address for American Express credit card payments: American Express

Attn: Express Mail Remittance Processing
20500 Belshaw Ave
Carson, CA 90746.

Pros and Cons of American Express National Bank

Users have reported both benefits and disadvantages to banking with American Express National Bank. One main point to think about is whether you’re a technophobe. If you don’t feel comfortable banking online or don’t feel you have the skills, American Express National Bank may not be right for you.

Consider the following points to decide whether the bank works for your needs:

Drawbacks

  • Online banking only;
  • No mobile banking app available;
  • No checking account available;
  • ATM withdrawal of funds unavailable;
  • Separate login information required from American Express credit card login.

Benefits

  • No monthly fees;
  • No minimum balance requirements;
  • Many credit card options;
  • Higher-than-average interest rates.

Image Source: https://depositphotos.com/

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