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Amex Rewards Checking Account Review 2024: Earn 1% APY

  • American Express Rewards Checking is only available to people who have had an American Express credit card for at least three months.
  • Your Amex Rewards Checking comes with a variable APY of 1.00%, which is considerably higher than most checking accounts.
  • Eligible Amex checking purchases earn one point per $2 spent.
  • There are no monthly fees or balance minimums for Amex Rewards Checking.

The American Express Rewards Checking account is American Express’ first — and only — personal checking option. Launched in 2022, it’s a relatively new addition to the bank’s lineup of financial products. Offering a competitive APY, fee-free checking and the opportunity to earn American Express Membership Rewards points, this account is an attractive option for current Amex customers.

Before you open an account, it’s important to understand the terms and read American Express checking account reviews from current customers.?

In this guide, we’ll walk you through all the most important things to know about Amex checking, including:

  • The benefits of Amex Rewards Checking
  • How to earn Membership Rewards points
  • How to access funds in your Amex checking account

Best American Express credit cards of 2024

The Platinum Card? from American Express

If you like to travel in style and don’t mind paying a pretty penny to do so, The Platinum Card? from American Express could help you seriously level up your travel game. With ample statement credits, extensive airport lounge access, an exceptional rewards rate, hotel benefits, and more, it’s easy to counterbalance the $695 annual fee (see rates and fees) if you’re determined enough.

American Express? Gold Card

The rewards-earning capacity of the American Express? Gold Card is top-notch, especially for people who love to dine out or eat in. It still has a pretty hefty $250 annual fee (see rates and fees), but that could easily be justified by the yearly statement credits, worth hundreds of dollars alone. Plus, it’s a really pretty card, available in the colors gold and rose gold (you get to choose).

Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express

If you tend to spend a lot at U.S. supermarkets and on streaming services, the Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express has an extremely generous rewards rate in those categories. It does have a modest $95 annual fee ($0 for the first year, see rates and fees) but it would be easy for most households to make up for that with their weekly grocery runs.

Blue Cash Everyday? Card from American Express

If you don’t want to pay an annual fee but still want to access generous rewards on purchases in everyday categories, the Blue Cash Everyday? Card from American Express may be just what you’re looking for. Its reward rate may not be quite as generous as the Blue Cash Preferred, but we can understand not wanting to pay an annual fee (see rates and fees).

Is the American Express Rewards Checking account right for me?

American Express Rewards checking could be a good option if you’ve had an American Express credit card for at least three months and you want to earn Membership Rewards for debit card transactions.?

This account is best if you plan to use it primarily in the United States — the 2.7% foreign transaction fees can add up quickly when traveling out of the country. Bear in mind that since American Express doesn’t have physical branches, you’ll need to do all your banking online, over the phone or at a participating ATM for this online checking account.

As you weigh your options to decide if it’s the best checking account for you, consider whether the pros and cons of an Amex checking account suit your lifestyle and financial preferences.

American Express Rewards Checking account: Pros and cons

Pros
  • High 1.00% APY
  • Ability to earn rewards
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Easy online account management
  • Large network of fee-free ATMs
  • Fraud and purchase protection
Cons
  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee
  • Limited to American Express credit card holders
  • Online and phone support only; no in-person option
  • No overdraft protection

Amex Rewards Checking account benefits

American Express Rewards Checking offers a variety of benefits for account holders:

Amex Rewards Checking account rewards

An Amex checking account can help maximize your Membership Rewards. Each time you make an eligible purchase with your debit card, you’ll earn one Membership Rewards point for every $2 you spend. American Express does not cap the number of points you can earn.

It’s important to note that the rewards earning rate for the American Express Rewards Checking is lower than that of most American Express credit cards. They typically earn a minimum of 50% more — one point for every $1 you spend. The American Express Gold Card can earn up to four points per dollar.

Redeem American Express checking rewards

When you open an Amex Rewards Checking account, make sure it’s linked to your current credit card Membership Rewards account. That way, all your points will go to the same place.

This means you can use points to:

If your checking account isn’t linked to your rewards credit card, you won’t enjoy the same flexible redemption options.?

Instead, American Express provides two choices:

1

Redeem for deposits.

Choose to redeem rewards points in the form of cash deposits. The system will deduct the points from your account, and you’ll get $0.08 per point. If you make an eligible $200 debit card purchase and earn 100 points, it translates to an $8 deposit. This usually happens within 48 hours but may take longer.

See More See Less
2

Transfer points.

You can also transfer your debit card rewards to a few specific airline and hotel loyalty partners.

See More See Less

How to earn interest with an Amex Rewards Checking account

Every American Express Rewards Checking account earns a variable APY of 1.00%, regardless of your opening deposit and monthly balance. The bank compounds interest every day and deposits it into your account every month.?

Here’s a key perk: Earnings aren’t capped, so there are no limits to how much interest you can earn. The higher your balance, the better your return.

The Amex Rewards Checking APY is subject to change, so it’s important to keep an eye on the account terms. American Express may adjust the rate at any time at the provider’s discretion.

American Express Rewards Checking account fees

An American Express Rewards Checking account has very few fees, which may make it an appealing option — especially if you already have an American Express Rewards credit card.

American Express Rewards Checking account fees

Type Fee
Monthly fee No fee
Overdraft fee No fee
Out-of-network ATM fee No fee (ATM provider may charge a fee)
ATM and debit card non-USD transaction fee 2.7% of the transaction
Unpaid item fee No fee
Returned item fee No fee
Replacement debit card fee No fee
Incoming wire transfer No fee
Cashier’s check No fee

American Express does not offer overdraft protection. In other words, if you make a purchase that’s more than the balance of your checking account, the bank may simply deny the charge. In some cases, it will pay for the purchase and leave you with a negative balance. You won’t be charged a fee if this happens, but you will be expected to deposit money to cover the deficit.

How the Amex Rewards Checking account compares

Compared to most checking accounts, American Express offers a better APY and the opportunity to earn rewards.?

Here’s how it compares to the Chase checking account, another popular checking account option.

Amex Rewards Checking vs. Chase Total Checking

Both American Express and Chase offer checking accounts that can be opened without a minimum required balance.?

However, Chase checking accounts fall short in a few key areas:?

Chase has one key advantage over American Express — it offers in-person banking, which can be helpful when you want to deposit cash or chat with a banker in person. Chase checking accounts also come with overdraft protection and may be a good option if you’re looking for joint checking accounts.

How to open an Amex Rewards Checking account

To apply for an American Express Rewards Checking account, you must log into your existing American Express credit card account — the application is only available to cardholders who have been active for at least three months. In the Banking tab, choose “Personal Checking” and click the “Apply Now” button. Expect to provide basic personal, financial and contact information. Approval decisions are usually quick but may take a few days.

How to access funds with an Amex Rewards Checking account

Once approved for?Amex Rewards Checking, you have 60 days to make your first deposit. If you don’t, the bank will close the account. There are a few ways to deposit, transfer and withdraw money.

Deposit options

American Express provides four ways to deposit money into your Rewards Checking account:

Transfer options

If you need to move money out of your American Express checking account to another bank or account, there are two ways to go about it:

Withdrawal options

With Amex Rewards Checking, you can take advantage of multiple withdrawal options:

Other American Express Checking and Saving accounts

At present, the Rewards Checking account is American Express’ only personal checking product. However, the bank does offer business checking accounts and a few types of savings accounts.

Open a new American Express High-Yield Savings Account

Our top picks for the best checking accounts

FAQ: Amex Rewards Checking

How much are American Express rewards points worth?

The value of American Express Membership Rewards points varies based on how you redeem them. If you redeem them for deposits into your account, they’re worth $0.08 per point. When redeemed in the American Express Travel Portal, points can be worth up to $0.10 each.

How do you access money from an Amex Rewards Checking account?

To get money out of an Amex Rewards Checking account, simply use your debit card to make a purchase or a withdrawal from an ATM. You can also use online transfers, wire transfers, and P2P payment services such as PayPal.

How much does the Amex Rewards Checking account cost?

American Express Rewards Checking accounts are free for Amex credit card holders.

How do you open an American Express Rewards Checking account?

You can open an Amex checking account from within your existing American Express account. The application is only available to card members.

How do you find the routing number for the Amex Rewards Checking account?

To see your routing number, log into your online account management dashboard and click on “Your Checking Account Details.”

Is Amex Rewards Checking a second chance checking account?

No, the Amex checking account is not a second chance checking account.

The American Express checking account and second chance checking accounts are geared toward different types of consumers. To get Amex checking, you must already qualify for one of the bank’s credit cards. This assumes you already meet the bank’s credit and income requirements.

Second Chance checking accounts are designed for people who are trying to overcome past financial mistakes. They provide access to banking, even if you have a history of unpaid fees or checks that don’t clear. These accounts may come with transaction restrictions or limited features.

Hayley Harrison
Hayley Harrison Personal Finance

Hayley Harrison is an active personal finance contributor for LA Times Compare. She is passionate about helping consumers make informed financial decisions and achieve their financial goals by simplifying complex topics relating to insurance and personal finance.

Hayley brings first-hand knowledge of the finance industry thanks to her previous experience as a branch manager for a mid-sized regional bank and as a licensed accident and health insurance agent.

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