Home Credit Cards Amex Amex launches a checking account that earns interest and Membership Rewards Points

Amex launches a checking account that earns interest and Membership Rewards Points

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It has been a while since we last saw a debit card that offered holders the chance to earn a valuable rewards currency (the Dodd-Frank Act signed the end of most such cards) but now Amex appears to be resurrecting just such a product with its introduction of a new checking account.

Here’s what Amex has had to say about its new account:

“Amex Rewards Checking offers a range of benefits, including Membership Rewards points for eligible Debit Card purchases, an annual percentage yield (APY) rate that is 10 times higher than the national rate and Purchase Protection for eligible purchases, all with no monthly maintenance fees or minimums and world-class customer service.”

Key features (per Amex):

  • 0.50% high-yield APY on the entire checking account balance
  • Earn 1 Membership Rewards point for every $2 spent on eligible Debit Card purchases which can be redeemed for deposits into your Amex Rewards Checking Account
  • No monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance fees
  • No minimum deposit requirements
  • Purchase Protection on eligible American Express Debit Card purchases covering accidental damage or theft
  • Backed by American Express world-class service, customers will be able to access a team of customer care providers 24/7, via phone or chat
  • Fraud Protection and Monitoring
  • Simple and efficient banking through the American Express App
  • Fee-free ATM withdrawals at 37,000 MoneyPass ATM locations nationwide

Currently, American Express is saying that this account is only available to “Consumer Card Members who have had a Card account for 3 months or longer”. American Express Business Checking customers are not eligible at this time.

At first glance, the fact that Amex’s promotional materials state that any Membership Rewards Points earned “can be redeemed for deposits into your Amex Rewards Checking Account” doesn’t look like great news for those of us who enjoy getting outsize value out of the points we earn through our Membership Rewards credit cards – it seems to suggest that the points earned can only be used for account credits – but a closer look at the webpage set up for the new checking account reveals a reassuring message:

“If you already have a Membership Rewards-enrolled Card, you can also choose to redeem points the same way you always have.”

What this means is that any Membership Rewards Points earned via this new checking account will be pooled with the Membership Rewards Points earned through cards like the Platinum Card® from American Express (review) and the American Express® Gold Card (review) and that’s very good news for anyone for whom this account is a good fit.

Speaking personally, this looks like an interesting product to have access to as I can’t think of any other debit card that offers me the opportunity to earn a currency that I value highly. What I now have to work out, however, is how much use I would get out of having this account and if the of use that I’d get out of it justifies a new search on my credit file – it’s time to check just how many bills I have that I can’t pay with a credit card but where a debit card would work just fine.

Bottom line

American Express has just put out a press release announcing the launch of a new checking account with which account holders are given a debit card that earns 2 Membership Rewards Points per dollar spent. With no monthly maintenance fees, no minimum balance fees, and no minimum deposit requirements, this looks like an account that’s worth a closer look – what do you think?

Our Favourite All-Round Travel Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card is Chase’s incredibly popular entry-level travel rewards card which has recently been refreshed and made better than ever.

It currently comes with a welcome offer of 60,000 points after a successful applicant spends $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of card membership and it charges an annual fee of $95 in return for a list of good earning rates and benefits.

Our Favorite Benefits:

  • 5 points/dollar on most travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3 points/dollar for spending on dining worldwide
  • 3 points/dollar for spending on select streaming services
  • 2 points/dollar for spending on travel worldwide
  • Redeem points at 1.25 cents each when booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Annual $50 credit for hotels booked through Chase 
  • Primary auto rental cover

Click for more details on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card

Regarding Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser or any other advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility or any other advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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