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American Express

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28 User Reviews

4.5

Overall Score

American Express Bank is a creation of American Express Company (also known as AMEX) which was started as an express mail business in Buffalo, New York in the year 1850. AMEX was born out of a merger between three express companies: one owned by William Fargo, another owned by Henry Wells and a third owned by John Warren Butterfield. American Express officially born when William Fargo and Henry Wells both parted ways over business-related irreconcilable differences, forming what is still known today as the Wells Fargo company. Today, American Express is a multinational financial corporation headquartered in New York City, New York. Their American Express Bank, FSB, is a branchless bank that offers accounts with competitive rates and no hidden fees. The company prides itself on what they call “Blue Box Values” which reflect the principles the company stands for. The Blue Box values are: Customer Commitment, Quality, Integrity, Team Work, Respect for People, Good Citizenship, A Will to Win and Personal Responsibility.

 

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The Good

  • Services and Features
  • No Fees
  • Savings Accounts

Services and Features

American Express is a 100% virtual bank, which allows for easy customer access 24/7. It does have a brick and mortar address customers can contact through postal mail, however. AMEX also has a toll-free 800 number for transactions and inquiries. Access can be gained from anywhere there is internet access via computer or mobile device.

No Fees

Unlike other banks offering personal financial products,  American Express offers accounts with no fees, including:

  • No monthly fees. American Express Savings Accounts have no monthly or annual maintenance fees. There are no hidden fees and there are no latent fees waiting to be activated with a drop in balance. Customers can rest assure that when it says no fees, it means no fees under any circumstances.
  • No minimum balance required in order to be exempt from monthly fees. Many banks offer savings accounts with a minimum balance requirement unless customers incur a monthly fee of $5 or higher. The only way a customer can waive this fee is to get direct deposit of a minimum amount i.e. $250. American Express offers savings accounts that are fitting for people of every tax bracket.
  • No need to switch banks. American Express allows customers to transfer money easily. External bank accounts can be linked directly to AMEX's savings or CD accounts. Customers can directly deposit all or part of their payroll, Social Security or pension fund payment into their Savings account. There are no fees for account linking and transfer.
  • FDIC insured. AMEX insures account holders to at least $250,000
  • 24/7 account access. American Express has a simple and easy protocol for transactions like deposits and withdrawals, such as:
  • Bank account easily linked to Personal Savings
  • Transfer funds 24/7 online or by phone
  • Start earning interest on the same business day AMEX receives customer's deposit into high yield savings accounts

Savings Accounts

    American Express savings accounts accrue interest automatically. If a customer deposits a check into their account, it begins earning interest the very same day (if deposit is made on a business day). Customers may make up to six preauthorized, automatic, telephone or online transfers or withdrawals from a High-Yield Savings account during any monthly statement cycle.
  • CDs. Interest is credited to AMEX CD accounts on a monthly basis. Customers may also elect to:
      • Keep credited interest in your CD account until maturity
      • Receive credited interest in the form of checks AMEX mails to customers
      • Have credited interest transferred automatically each month from CD account to their High-Yield Savings account, a linked account or your original CD funding account

 

Limitations on CDs are standard for CDs at most banks. Such as:

    • Additional deposits may not be made into a Certificate of Deposit account before maturity.
    • Account holders can only withdraw the entire principal before maturity. They cannot withdraw partial amounts.
    • Customers can withdraw interest accrued and credited to their Certificate of Deposit account before maturity at any time without penalty.
    • A withdrawal of interest before maturity will reduce CD earnings.
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The Bad

  • Online Banking
  • Limited Transfers and Withdrawals
  • High Yield Savings Account

Online Banking

Banking 100% online has a downside. Any transfer of money that is not electronic, i.e. money orders, is not as simple and easy as direct deposit or electronic transfers. There is a huge drawback for people who do business with varying forms of checks. If a customer wants to deposit a check into their account, there are a few stumbling blocks. Deposits made by check are accepted in American Express Bank's sole discretion. This means they reserve the right to refuse, return or limit any deposit a customer makes to their account. Examples of items they do not accept for deposit include:  multiple-endorsed checks, counter checks, starter checks, travelers' checks and money orders. This "discretion" poses a severe limitation to customers, arguably putting AMEX more in control of an individual's account than it should have. It also creates a severe inconvenience factor, especially if the customer is getting paid from a third party. They are either forced to convert the checks to acceptable forms of payment themselves or request third parties to pay them electronically or by direct deposit. Unfortunately, that is not always an option. This is not the easiest option for people of lower financial means and limited resources who may not have options on how they receive money.

Limited Transfers and Withdrawals

Customers are only allowed to make no more than six preauthorized, automatic, telephone or online transfers or withdrawals from their Savings account during any monthly statement cycle. This "preauthorization factor" can potentially prove to be a convenience with the power in the hands of AMEX to determine what monies can and cannot be both deposited and withdrawn.

High Yield Savings Account

Another note regarding the high yield savings accounts is the time factor. If a customer is receiving payments and is waiting to withdraw the funds, it may take a little longer than expected. Funds from check deposits to AMEX savings accounts will generally be available for withdrawal on the eleventh business day after receiving the deposit. Electronic deposits into savings accounts that are linked directly, i.e. transfers from a linked external bank account, generally are available for withdrawal in six business days. Direct deposits from third parties (such as an employer) are available the same business day.

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The Bottom Line

American Express Bank is a function of American Express (AMEX), a multinational financial services corporation based in New York City. The Bank is addressed to Salt Lake City, Utah.  AMEX has been in business since the 1800's. Their American Express Bank, FSB, is a branchless bank that operates completely online. AMEX bank offers high yield Savings accounts and Certificate of Deposit (CDs) with competitive interest rates and no hidden fees such as transaction fees. There are no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance. There is also no minimum opening deposit. Customers should also understand the drawbacks of banking 100% online. Customer deposits and withdrawal of money is completely up to the sole discretion of American Express Bank, who can deny checks or withdrawals at any time. Fund withdrawals can take between six and eleven business days pending on the type of deposit.
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Star Rating

4.6

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28 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

68%

4 grade

29%

3 grade

0%

2 grade

4%

1 grade

0%

Sentiment Criteria

Value

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Quality

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Service

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Trustworthiness

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Thomas Hullinger Pleasant Grove, UT

I have an American Express credit card and it has wonderful rewards. I have the ability to use it anywhere and it has a good rate. I like the features that American Express offers its customers. They also have very good banking capabilities and even though they don't have a brick and mortar store in my area, they do have the ability to do everything online and I can still have all of the benefits of a local bank.

2 years ago

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Lori Schwab Sandy, UT

They offered the best rates for a CD at the time along with Ally. I still like the idea of being able to go to a bank as well as online banking but that is why you get to have a little higher rate. Customer service was great and website easy to navigate.

3 years ago

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Matt Hanzel Saratoga Springs, UT

Because American Express is it’s own bank holding company, I am assured that they are able to service the entire transaction. This results in not only better customer service, but a more secure transaction is well.

2 years ago

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Alicia Holman Gilbert, AZ

I like the fact that they will protect their clients from fraud when charges get put on their cards, but it does take some time to get it done. I do like that they have different levels that you can achieve as you get better credit with them.

2 years ago

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David Lewis Salt Lake City, UT

American Express has been a good credit card company and was good while I was flying more. But now that I am not flying as much anymore it is too expensive to keep. That is my only complaint about the card is how expensive it is. Customer service was always quick for me. I only needed to call customer service twice and both times was a fast experience.

3 years ago

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Larry Hawker Las Vegas, NV

I recently had an experience with customer service. I had an auto-pay account that I set up through AmEx. I could not get the company to stop the service and to stop billing me. Fortunately, American Express was able to block the billing and actually refunded two months of the fees that the company had collected from me. Thank you American Express!

3 years ago

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Charlotte Ash Sandy, UT

I love having an American Express card. They are easy to work with and they give great perks to their customers. We have flown everywhere using sky miles.

3 years ago

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Hannah Pleasant Grove, UT

The thing that stands out to me is their customer service. I have never had a company that is so easy to call and deal with. I actually look forward to it.

3 years ago

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Kimberly Bronson Idaho Falls, ID

Love our rewards- fees are just too high! They need to be more competitive in the market. So many places won’t accept their cards either which makes it hard on travel.

3 years ago

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Gary Mayer South Jordan, UT

Have a delta reserve card and love American Express. You cannot find better customer service from any company. They are always number 1 in customer service.

3 years ago

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Alex Murphy Reno, NV

I have the Cash Preferred card at it has been great. I get 6% back on groceries and love it. The customer service has been great every time that we have called.

3 years ago

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Andrea Smith Idaho Falls, ID

American Express is very aggressive in their advertising and sales tactics. Additionally, businesses must pay a fee for customers who use their credit cards to make purchases. This fee is often passed on the customer to cover the cost of the fee the business pays. Many companies won't accept American Express because of this fee, so customers should be aware of this when deciding whether to have an American Express account. However, American Express travelers checks (which have largely been replaced now by online options) are still a secure way to have cash-like funds when traveling. The security American Express provides for their services is good. This, along with the fact that the total balance upon the card must be paid every month, is why many businesses still use American Express cards for personal accounts.

3 years ago

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Juliann Mecham Managua, MN

I actually do love American Express, they have a quality website easy to navigate and they have great customer service and willing to help.

1 year ago

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Tom Pleasant Grove, UT

I have used my American Express credit card forever. I love the convenience of being able to spend around the world and I love the easy ability to pay it off monthly, or have a running balance for larger purchases.

2 years ago

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David Lewis Salt Lake City, UT

I have enjoyed my experience with American Express. I have the Delta American Express card and I like getting miles back and being able to check a bag for free. Their customer service is helpful and knowledgeable.

3 years ago

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Anne Marie Milne Layton, UT

The best credit card I've ever had. They are so incredible. They do anything for there customers. I truly do love that card!!I would recommend it to anyone that can..

3 years ago

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Steve

Good card, but my Costco citicard is better for travel even though I have the Delta Plat. card. Need to be more competitive with card bonuses.

3 years ago

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L. Fowler Pleasant Grove, UT

I had an American Express card several years ago and liked it for the frequent flyer miles I received. I was not thrilled to be paying a yearly fee, so I had to cancel it.

2 years ago

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Erin Rhoton Veguita, NM

I love American Express! I have a credit card with them and their rewards are great. They are easy to get in touch with if you have any questions.

3 years ago

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Maryayb Draper, UT

The travel benefits of the business platinum card are exceptional and allow us to offer amazing incentives to our employees.

3 years ago

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Shirley Mitchell South Jordan, UT

Love my card and have had it before a lot of places accepted it, good PR if a problem arrives.

1 year ago

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Sadie Scoville Pleasant Grove, UT

My mom sometimes uses american express but she wishes that there was more cash back.

2 years ago

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Amanda Sherwood, OR

Used an Amex with Costco for a while through them. Easy app and no problem with credit card service.

3 years ago

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Stevie American Fork, UT

Great, reliable company. Customer service has always been above and beyond.

3 years ago

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H Moore Lehi, UT

I've been with American Express for over twenty years and have always been happy with their card.

2 years ago

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Gary Hill Pittsburgh, PA

They are a great customer service company

2 years ago

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Shanna South Jordan, UT

Absolutely love American Express. They have amazing customer service

2 years ago

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Michael Ogden, UT

Travel points are a big plus with this card

3 years ago

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