Although American Express is certainly famous for its credit card offerings, the company also provides banking services and two financial products. American Express banking services include certificates of deposit (CDs), personal savings accounts and high-yield savings accounts. The bank is FDIC insured, and customers frequently cite the extensive bank account options and online management tools as primary reasons for opening accounts with American Express.
The specialization of American Express is notable, as it is one of several banks to operate online and to exclusively offer a very limited number of financial products in order to attract customers with simple, clear policies. CD and high-yield savings accounts from American Express are available with a variety of terms. CDs have no fees and no minimum deposits, although as with any CD account, there are penalties for early withdrawals. American Express banking services offer CDs with account lengths of anywhere from six months to 60 months, and although APY rates change throughout the year, American Express is able to stay very competitive thanks to its size and the specialization of its online services. High-yield savings accounts are similarly competitive. Customers aren't forced to use American Express as their main bank; American Express allows checking accounts to be electronically linked, so a customer could make deposits into a high-yield savings account directly from their primary account at another bank in a matter of seconds. Transfers are completed through the American Express banking website or by mail-in check.
Because of the enormous size and lending power of American Express, the bank is considered to be very financially stable, which can be extremely important when considering an investment bank. American Express has been a major lender for over a century, and the banking arm of the company uses name recognition as a major selling point. It's also a convenient and technologically up-to-date online banking solution for the limited account types offered. Bank account options like 24/7 account access and the aforementioned variety of account lengths make it easier for customers to find ways to save and manage their money. Automatic transfers can also be set up and managed through the American Express banking website after another bank account has been linked to a CD or a high-yield savings account, which also improves the user experience and provides an easier way to save money.
As a credit card company, American Express is notable for a unique business model that emphasizes customer rewards. This philosophy carries over to the banking side of Amex, and thanks to extreme specialization and simple, clear policy terms, American Express has become a major provider of CD and high-yield savings accounts online.