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American Express Launches a Points-Earning Checking Account

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Jarrod West
Jarrod West's image

Jarrod West

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Boasting a portfolio of over 20 cards, Jarrod has been an expert in the points and miles space for over 6 years. He earns and redeems over 1 million points per year and his work has been featured in o...

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Checking accounts usually aren’t very exciting. They often offer paltry interest rates and seldom give you the opportunity to earn any sort of rewards when you use your debit cards associated with the account.

However, the newly launched American Express® Rewards Checking program is set to change all of that.

Earn Membership Rewards Points With Your Checking Account

On the face of it, the American Express checking account will function like most other checking accounts. However, it will offer a handful of great benefits that will set it apart from its competitors.

For starters, transactions made with the debit card associated with the account will earn 1x Membership Rewards points per $2 spent on the card. These points can then be pooled with the Membership Rewards points you earn from other Amex cards — like The Platinum Card® from American Express or the American Express® Gold Card — to redeem for huge travel value!

While you’ll still want to use a credit card for the vast majority of purchases to maximize your rewards, having this option could come in handy for purchases that usually levy high fees for using a credit card, such as rent payments, tax payments, or person-to-person payments.

Hot Tip: Check out this post on the best Amex credit cards for our picks of the top Membership Rewards-earning cards!

Other American Express Rewards Checking Benefits

Amex Rewards Checking Image
Image Credit: American Express

Another unique benefit is that the Amex Rewards Checking account offers a 0.50% APY on your account balance. While this figure won’t exactly set you up for early retirement, it’s still significantly better than the rates offered with most other checking accounts. By comparison, the fan-favorite Schwab High Yield Investor Checking account offers an APY of just 0.03%.

In addition to earning points, purchases with your debit card will receive purchase protection that provides $1,000 of coverage per occurrence, and $50,000 in coverage per year, towards accidental damage or theft of items purchased less than 90 days ago.

Your Amex Rewards Checking account also gets you access to no-additional fee ATM withdrawals nationwide at 37,000 MoneyPass locations. The downside here is that it’s limited to U.S. withdrawals, while other accounts like the Schwab High Yield Investor Checking account offer free ATM withdraws worldwide with no foreign transaction fees.

Finally, the Amex Rewards Checking account does not charge any account maintenance fees, account minimum fees, or overdraft fees.

If you’re interested, you can sign up for an account or learn more online.

Final Thoughts

While it’s not perfect (no account is), the Amex Rewards Checking account is a pretty compelling option for points travelers to not only earn a little more interest on the money they have in a checking account but also to earn some extra Membership Rewards points on purchases where they’re not able to use a credit card or would have to pay a large fee for doing so.


The information regarding American Express® Rewards Checking was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

Jarrod West's image

About Jarrod West

Boasting a portfolio of over 20 cards, Jarrod has been an expert in the points and miles space for over 6 years. He earns and redeems over 1 million points per year and his work has been featured in outlets like The New York Times.

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