American Express Rewards Checking Account (Debit Card/ATM Card) Review
- Welcome offer: none.
- Earn 1x Membership Rewards (MR) points for every $2 debit card purchases.
- MR points are worth about 1.6 cents/point, therefore a 0.5x earning rate is equivalent to about 0.8% in return.
- Earn 0.50% APY on your balance. That’s a good APY even compared to savings accounts.
- $0 monthly fee. No minimum balance requirement.
- This account does not support wire payments, overdraft protection, or online bill payment for now. It also does not support Zelle yet.
- AmEx is very new to the debit card market so we don’t know its acceptance rate yet.
- You can only open this account if you have an AmEx credit card for more than 3 months.
- If you only have this account, you can’t transfer your MR points to its partner mileage programs, you can only redeem it towards cash at a very poor rate. If you have a credit card that earns MR, then you will be able to transfer the points that you earn from this account.
Finally AmEx has its own checking account. Earning MR points on debit card purchases is a good feature, even though the rate is only 0.5x. Not sure how the approval rate is, data points are welcomed. 0.50% APY is also competitive.
However, as a checking account, not supporting wire transfers makes me feel it’s not a complete product. It’s probably better to wait for a few years to actually open and use this account.