American Express Rewards Checking Account (Debit Card/ATM Card) Review
2023.9 Update: The new offer is $250.
- $250 welcome offer. See below for the requirements to get this bonus. Offer ends on 2023.10.31.
- 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.
- You are not eligible for the Welcome Bonus if you have an existing Rewards Checking Account.
- Have a qualifying Direct Deposit (DD) of $500 or more by December 10.
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.