Here’s How Amex’s Rewards Check Account Stacks Up – Forbes Advisor

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American Express launched its first-ever consumer checking account earlier this year and didn’t hold back. New American Express Rewards Checking offers industry-leading interest rates on your balance, plus Membership Rewards points when you spend on the accompanying debit card.

Even better: there are no monthly account fees or minimum balance to keep your account open. If you already love the American Express experience, chances are you’ll love its checking account too.

American Express Rewards Verification Overview

The all-new American Express Rewards Chequing Account combines Amex’s popular Membership Rewards program with the features you need in an everyday chequing account.

“We designed this product for cardholders who want more from their checking accounts,” says Liz Bergman, vice president of personal banking at American Express. For this reason, customers will find added value without major compromises:

  • Competitive interest rates: Earn 0.50% APY, well above the national average.
  • Debit Card Rewards: Earn 1 Membership Rewards point for every $2 of eligible debit card charges.
  • No account fees: There are no fees to open or maintain an account, and ATM withdrawals are free at participating branches.
  • Easy to use technology: Manage your account online or through the Amex app, with options to easily transfer funds, connect accounts and make mobile deposits.
  • Use your card with confidence: Debit cards come with purchase protection and zero liability fraud protection.
  • ATM locations nationwide: Make withdrawals free of charge at any of the 37,000 points of sale across the country.

While all of the above makes this card sound like a solid option, there are two potential downsides. First, only existing American Express consumer cardholders can open this new account. Second, this is a digital-only product with no physical locations. For some potential customers, none of these points will be a deciding factor.

Earn and Redeem Membership Rewards with Amex Rewards Verification

While some customers may be attracted to this new checking account option due to American Express’ reputation and customer service, the ability to earn Membership Rewards points by spending with the associated debit card is a unique and compelling attraction. . Cardholders will earn 1 point for every $2 of eligible purchases spent with the card.

Chequing account holders will be able to redeem points as deposits into their account at the rate of 0.8 cents per point. If they also have a Membership Rewards credit card, their accounts will be linked. This opens up additional redemption options: points can be transferred to travel partners, redeemed through the American Express Travel portal, used to pay for purchases or cover past charges, or redeemed for gift cards or purchases.

Usually, Amex credit cardholders find the highest returns for their rewards by transferring membership rewards to partner airlines and redeeming them through these loyalty programs. Since you’re already earning competitive rates on your account balance and the rewards go beyond that, there’s less pressure to get the “best” trade. Instead, enjoy your extra points in whatever form works best for you.

American Express Rewards Verification Highlights

American Express offers competitive interest rates

Currently, checking accounts with American Express earn 0.50% APY, which is much higher than the national average. In fact, it matches what many savings accounts currently earn, but with the freedom and flexibility that you get with a checking account.

You can earn rewards in addition to interest

While most consumers are used to earning interest on their account balance, earning rewards from a checking account is rarer.

“Rewards are at the heart of what people love about Amex,” says Bergman. The card therefore integrates the most popular Amex rewards into the new current account. When you use your debit card to make purchases, you earn 1 Membership Rewards point for every $2 spent.

Most American Express credit cards earn 1 point or more for every dollar spent, which means the debit card’s earn rate isn’t as good. However, the debit card doesn’t come with a separate application and approval process, making it easier to get, and there’s no annual fee. Additionally, there are several types of purchases where it may make more sense to use a debit card instead of a credit card to avoid high charges, such as paying for utilities or taxes.

Weaknesses of Amex Rewards Verification

American Express Checking is digital only

Unlike most traditional banking products, American Express’ checking account will be digital only and is aimed at customers who are comfortable managing their banking needs electronically.

There are no physical branches to visit: most transactions will be processed through the Amex website or app, with a handful of times you may need to contact the company by phone. When you need cash, you can withdraw it at participating MoneyPass ATMs at no additional cost – there are 37,000 nationwide, with specific locations easy to confirm online.

Only existing American Express customers are eligible

Currently, only existing Consumer Card members can open an American Express Rewards Chequing Account. Specifically, you must have held the card for at least three months.

American Express does not require you to have a Membership Rewards loyalty card, so if you have a co-branded consumer card like the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express* or a cashback card like the Blue Cash Everyday® card from American Express (conditions apply), you may still be eligible. However, business cards do not count towards these eligibility requirements.

If you do not yet have an American Express consumer card but are interested in the new Rewards Checking, you will need to apply for a new card first and then wait at least three months after approval.

Several cards earn Membership Rewards points (the same currency as the debit card) and are great options for doubling up. Some of our favorites include the American Express® Gold Card (conditions apply) which earns bonus points at restaurants and grocery stores, and the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card*which earns Membership Rewards on every purchase with no annual fee.

American Express does not offer a full range of banking products

Although American Express offers a wide selection of financial products, it is not a full-service bank and does not claim to be. In addition to its new Rewards Checking product, Amex also offers personal loans and several savings accounts (including high-yield savings accounts, certificates of deposit and individual retirement accounts). However, you won’t find mortgages, home equity loans, or other specialty products, so you may still need a separate account elsewhere.

Alternatives to American Express Checks

Finding a no-fee checking account with competitive interest rates and the ability to earn rewards is like finding a four-leaf clover. The new rewards check is best in class when it comes to balancing all of these popular perks. If you’re not eligible, or the account isn’t right for you for some other reason, there are a handful of alternatives for earning rewards with your verification.

Debit cards that earn rewards

Although still not the norm, there are a few other debit cards that earn rewards with every purchase. Unlike Amex, you’ll usually earn cash back, which might not be as valuable as travel rewards, and there are usually a few conditions attached: account fees or minimum balances, for example.

The simply named PointCard is one of the most rewarding options, with several bonus categories that earn up to 5 points per dollar, with non-bonus transactions always earning 1 point (worth 1 cent). These earn rates are better than what you’ll find with American Express, but the extra points could be eaten up by the card’s $9.99 monthly fee.

Bank accounts that earn rewards instead of interest

If you already have credit cards that earn valuable rewards and aren’t interested in a debit card, you might still be interested in earning rewards points on your account balance instead of interest, especially if rates remain relatively low. This is a different approach than you’ll find with Amex Checking (which still earns cash interest).

Bask Bank currently offers savers 1 American Airlines AAdvantage mile per dollar saved each year when you open its Bask Bank savings account. There are no account fees or minimum balances, but this is a savings account rather than a checking account, so you will lose some flexibility in the types of transactions allowed.

Find the best online savings accounts of 2022

Conclusion

The American Express Rewards Chequing Account is complete with features that appeal to potential customers. With no fees, a competitive interest rate on your account balance, and the ability to earn rewards through debit card purchases, it’s a comprehensive product that could make a great counterpoint to the credit cards already in your wallet. .

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