American Express VS PenFed Credit Union

Which bank is better for you?

  • Financial Rates: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 5.0 Star Icon
Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon

Pros:

  • Options on how to receive interest
  • No opening required amount
  • Pay credit card bill from savings account
  • Competitive interest rates on accounts

Cons:

  • Only offer savings and CD accounts
  • Must link account to a different bank
  • Funds not transferred immediately
  • No checks, debit cards, or ATM cards
  • Financial Rates: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 4.0 Star Icon
Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon

Pros:

  • CDs have competitive interest rates
  • Low opening required amount
  • CDs offered to save for education
  • Low monthly fee for checking account

Cons:

  • High opening balances for CDs
  • Low-interest rates
  • Best rates require large balances
  • Do not offer a variety of accounts
American Express Review

American Express Bank offers ways to receive the money you earn off interest. You can deposit it back into the account earning the interest. The interest can be transferred to your CD account. You can deposit the money into your linked external account, or receive a check. You can request a check to come monthly, quarterly, or annually.

There is no minimum amount required to open an account. You start earning interest with any amount deposited into the high-yield savings account. The more money you deposit, the more interest you earn, but no required amount.

Once you open a savings account with American Express, you can link that account to your credit card. Log into your account and link the savings account to the credit card. Paying your credit card bill from your savings account does count as a withdrawal.

American Express Bank offers higher interest rates than your typical bank. Their rates are competitive with other online banks. You can find the current rates are on their website.

American Express Bank only offers a high-yield savings account and CDs. To deposit money into the accounts, you must link it to your current banking accounts. You can also sign up for direct deposit from your employer or to make automatic deposits.

You must link your American Express accounts to your current bank account. You can then transfer money between the different accounts. Federal regulations only allow six transactions each billing cycle for savings accounts.

Transferring money to and from your American Express personal account is not immediate. Money coming into your American Express account is not available until the fifth business day. All other transfers take 1-3 business days.

American Express Bank does not offer checks, debit cards, or ATM cards for their accounts. To get your money, you must transfer it from your American Express savings account back into your linked external account. If you open a CD, you must wait until the maturity date to access your money without a penalty.

Read the full American Express review.

PenFed Credit Union Review

PenFed CDs have competitive interest rates. The rates on CDs are competitive with online-only accounts. The longer you can invest the money in the CD the higher the interest rates you will earn. CD terms range from six months to seven years.

All accounts, other than CDs, have a low opening balance of only $25. The more you invest in the money market account, the higher interest rates you will earn. However, you are only required to have $25 to open an account with PenFed.

PenFed offers CDs designed to save specifically for education costs. These CDs only require $500 to open instead of $1,000. The education CDs range in term from one year to seven years. The interest rates earned on these CDs are competitive with other CD accounts.

Only the checking account has a monthly maintenance fee. The fee is low and is easy to waive. The fee is waived by having a daily balance of $500 in the account. Having a direct deposit into the account of more than $500 each month will also waive the fee. The savings account and money market accounts do not have a monthly fee.

To open a CD, PenFed requires $1,000. The CD terms vary in length from six months to seven years. The longer you can invest your money in a PenFed CD the higher interest you will earn over the CD term. The interest rates on these CDs are competitive with other online-only CDs.

The interest rates for PenFed savings, checking, and money market accounts are not competitive. The rates are low. Those interest rates are competitive to your typical bank rates. Online only accounts offer much higher interest rates for these accounts.

To earn the highest interest on the PenFed checking account, a daily balance of $20,000 to $50,000 is required. If you do not have at least $20,000, you will earn much lower interest rates. Any amount earns interest. To get the highest rates, your daily balance must meet the requirements.

PenFed only offers one checking account, savings account, and money market account. This does not allow you to find the account that best fits your needs.

Read the full PenFed Credit Union review.

Favorite Rates

PurePoint Financial
Savings 10/16/2018
APY 2.15%
Rate 2.13%
For APY $10,000
Monthly Fee $0.00
Checkbook No
Open Online in Minutes. Deposits FDIC Insured. Earn More Today.
Learn More &
Open Account
American Express National Bank
Savings 10/16/2018
APY 1.90%
Rate 1.88%
For APY $1
Monthly Fee $0.00
Checkbook No
Accounts offered by American Express National Bank. Member FDIC
Learn More &
Open Account
E*TRADE Bank
Savings 10/16/2018
APY 1.90%
Rate 1.88%
For APY $100
Monthly Fee $10.00
Checkbook No
Make the most of your savings - higher rates & a whole lot more!
Learn More &
Open Account
Capital One 360
MMA 10/16/2018
APY 1.85%
Rate 1.83%
For APY $10,000
Monthly Fee $0.00
Checkbook Yes
360 Money Market: Up to 1.85% APY
Learn More &
Open Account