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A Comprehensive Review of Popmoney

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

What is Popmoney?

Person-to-person (P2P) cash transfer services like Popmoney have become a popular and convenient way for exchange money via virtual hands these days. Powered by the tech service provider Fiserv, this service transfers cash from one bank account to another with a flat fee charged per transaction.

About 2,500 financial institutions offer Popmoney cash transfer services, allowing customers to send and request money by simply signing into their online bank account. If your bank doesn’t offer Popmoney for transfers, you can still send money through the Popmoney website or mobile app after creating a profile, but there are plenty of alternative payment apps out there to consider as well.

In this post, we’ll cover what you need to know about the service, including how to use the service, whether it’s safe and how it stacks up against other P2P cash transfer apps. Fees and pricing in this piece are accurate as the date of publishing.

How to send money with Popmoney

The process for sending money is different for people who have the Popmoney service offered through their bank.

If your bank participates with Popmoney: You initiate a transfer from your online bank account through your bank’s website. Find out if your bank participates here.

If your bank doesn’t participate with Popmoney: You need to create a Popmoney profile on the website to transfer money using your bank account or debit card.

You can send money to a friend or family member using their email, phone number or bank routing and account number. The recipient will be notified about the money transfer, and will be given instructions on how to receive the cash.

How to receive money with Popmoney

People can send you money in three ways — using your email, mobile number or bank account number. This process is a bit different for each method.

If someone sends you money using your phone number: You get a text with instructions on how to get your money.

If someone sends you money using your email address: You get an email with instructions on how to get your money.

If someone sends you money using your bank account: You get cash deposited straight into your account without a notification, unless the sender chooses to write a message.

You have 10 days to collect money if you get the cash by email or phone number. The payment is returned to the sender if it expires. There’s also an option to request funds. If the person you request money from isn’t already signed up, you should get cash within three days of them creating an account with Popmoney.

How long does Popmoney take to transfer money into a bank account?

It can take anywhere from one to three business days or more to transfer money depending on several factors including when you send the money, how you send the money and when the recipient accepts the cash.

Debit card transactions offer the speediest delivery. Payments can be delivered as early as the next business day if it’s sent using a debit card before 5 p.m. PST and the recipient accepts it by 10 p.m. PST.

Bank account transactions can take several days. Money paid by a bank account before 10 p.m. PST can take three business days to deliver.

Transfer limits

Popmoney limits how much money you can send and request through the platform.

When sending money, the limits are:

  • $500 per day and $1,000 every 30 days for debit card transactions
  • $2,000 per day and $5,000 every 30 days for bank accounts

For money requests, the limits are:

  • $1,000 per day and $2,500 every 30 days when you send money requests to someone else
  • $2,500 per day and $4,000 every 30 days when you pay someone else’s request

Popmoney fees

Receiving money is free. Sending and requesting money is what’s going to cost you a little bit. It costs $0.95 per transaction to send money to someone. It also costs $0.95 to request money from someone. However, you won’t be charged a fee if you make a request and the person doesn’t pay it. The fee is only deducted when you receive the money, and you have the option to transfer the fee to the person who sent you the cash.

Popmoney limitations

The service is only for people who live in the U.S. There are rules for how you can use the platform. Your payment may be canceled if you don’t adhere to the terms and conditions. Payments cannot be made that are related to the sale of tobacco, drugs, firearms or ammunition, illegal activities, gambling or gaming. You can read the full terms and conditions for the service here.

Is Popmoney safe to use?

Popmoney uses a verification process to make sure the person you’re sending money to owns the phone number or email address. If you send money to the wrong account, you can report it to the service, and an investigation may take place, but it offers very limited protection for users in this regard.

Popmoney may also give information to the receiver, like your name, address and phone number to fulfill the payment request. Because of this, you should be exchanging money only with people you trust. Overall, the service is safe to use. With that said, you should be cautious of any app when money is involved. There are two situations that could get you in trouble with a P2P app.

The first security risk is if someone gets access to your name, account number or debit card number, and initiates a transfer on your behalf. Identity theft is a real concern. People have reported fraudsters getting access to their bank account information and scheduling transfers. If this happens to you, and you catch it early, Popmoney offers some support.

According to the terms and conditions page, “your liability is no more than $50.00 should someone access your account without your permission” as long as you notify Popmoney within two days of finding out that your password or account could be compromised. Keep in mind, this means you need to notify them as soon as your wallet, password or bank account information is stolen. Your liability could be as much as $500 if you don’t notify them in time and they can prove that unauthorized use of your account could have been avoided if you had notified them earlier.

Ultimately, identity theft is something that can be challenging to catch right away. You may not even know someone has access to your personal information until money starts disappearing. Be vigilant and report stolen or lost information promptly.

Popmoney scams and how to avoid them

The second scenario where you can run into trouble with a P2P app is if you get duped into sending money to someone who’s requesting it as part of a scam. In this situation, there’s a good chance you won’t get the money back because transfers are cold, hard cash that someone can run away with. Popmoney does not offer fraud protection when you willfully make transactions. Compare this with a credit card which has certain purchase protections for members.

How can you avoid getting scammed? Remember — P2P apps like Popmoney are for transactions with trusted individuals. If you send cash for a one-off service or a Craigslist product that ends up not being what you want, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to file a dispute or track down that money.

Think twice if someone wants to sell you a used piece of furniture or show tickets, and can only take money from a cash app. These apps are meant to do straightforward transactions between trusted friends like splitting a bar tab or hotel stay, and are not meant for business transactions.

Which banks use Popmoney?

Popmoney and Zelle are two products available in the online bank account services of select financial institutions. Popmoney at this time has a wider reach than Zelle. Its service is offered by nearly 2,500 financial institutions including:

  • BBVA Compass
  • Commerce Bank
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • First Hawaiian Bank
  • MidCountry Bank
  • Midwest Bank
  • PNC Bank
  • Regions Bank
  • US Bank

To see if your bank is participating, you can type in your bank name or routing number here to search.

Popmoney vs. other person-to-person payment networks

Here’s how Popmoney stacks up against the competition:

Popmoney vs. Paypal

PayPal is a household name. When using PayPal, your money goes from your PayPal balance, bank account, debit card or credit card to another person’s PayPal account.

Fees. PayPal is free if you send money to another person through your bank account. By comparison, Popmoney charges $0.95.

If you’re sending money through PayPal from one personal account to another via a linked bank account or eligible debit card (Visa or Mastercard), you have the option to do an Instant Transfer. Instant Transfers can happen within 30 minutes, and the fee is $0.25.

Things get a little expensive if you use a credit card with PayPal. There’s a 2.9% transaction fee, plus a $0.30 fixed fee when you transfer money using a card within the U.S. You pay a little bit more when you’re sending money from the U.S. to another country. You can review those international fees here.

Network reach. PayPal has a wider reach than Popmoney since you can send money stateside and internationally. PayPal connects with brick-and-mortar banks and even some online ones.

Payment types. There are more payment options here than Popmoney since credit cards are accepted.

Speed. Instant transfers arrive in a receiver’s bank account within 30 minutes, which makes this faster than Popmoney. However, the regular transfer via PayPal account is on par with the speed of Popmoney account transfers. Transfers from the PayPal account to the recipient’s bank account can take one business day if they submit the request before 7 p.m. EST. Transfers initiated on weekends or holidays can take several days. Popmoney also takes about one to three business days.

Safety. PayPal offers more robust fraud protections for buyers. If you’re purchasing something from someone — concert tickets, used furniture, memorabilia, etc. — PayPal is a better place to do it because of Purchase Protection benefits. You can file a dispute for eligible purchases and possibly receive full reimbursement. Read more about buyer protection here.

Popmoney vs. Zelle

Zelle lets you send money to other people enrolled in the app. Like Popmoney, Zelle is a system that’s offered by some banks within the online banking portal.

Fees. There’s no fee to use Zelle, although, Zelle recommends that you check with your bank to confirm that they don’t charge a fee for transfers through the app.

Network reach. Like Popmoney, Zelle can be accessed through your online bank account. Zelle currently participates with 100+ banks, far less than Popmoney’s 2,500 financial institution network. But the Zelle network is made up of major banks like Ally Bank, Bank of America, Citibank, Citizens Bank, Wells Fargo and more. Plus, if your bank or credit union doesn’t offer Zelle, you can download the app to send money anyway as long as the receiver has Zelle.

Payment types. You send money using someone’s mobile number or email address. Payments go directly from one bank account to another for those who have the app in online banking. If one party doesn’t have a Zelle account through online banking, it’s a transaction between a bank account and a debit card (Visa or Mastercard) instead.

Speed. Zelle is faster than PopMoney. The transfer can happen in minutes when both the sender and recipient have Zelle. A transfer between someone enrolled in Zelle and someone who isn’t can take one to three business days.

Safety. Like Popmoney, there may be some protections when someone initiates a fraudulent transaction from your account if you report it early enough. However, the Zelle’s terms and conditions clearly state that this is a service meant to send money bank and forth to people you know. Zelle takes no responsibility for loss or damages incurred because of scams. You’re also responsible for entering the recipient’s email and phone number in correctly.

Popmoney vs. Google Pay Send

Google Wallet used to be the name of the Google app used to send and receive money. Rebranding has caused some reorganization. Google Pay is now the umbrella payment system you can use to make in-store payments and much more. Within Google Pay is the Google Pay Send app, which can send and receive payments using your friend’s name, email address or phone number.

Fees. There are no fees to use this service compared with the $0.95 cost of Popmoney.

Network reach. You can use the Google Send Pay app on mobile or on desktop. Google Pay Send is part of Google Pay, which has more features overall since it’s a full mobile wallet. You can use Google Pay to pay for takeout, rideshares, transit and easy checkout when buying Google products.

Payment types. You link a debit card or bank account. Credit cards, prepaid cards, and PayPal accounts can’t be used to send and receive money at this time.

Speed. Again, PopMoney gets beat on speed. Money transferred will go to the recipient’s default payment method. If there is no method specified, it will go to the Google Pay balance. Money transferred to a debit card often happens within minutes, but it could take up to 24 hours depending on the bank. Bank account transfers can take up to three business days.

Safety. Google Pay offers Google Pay Fraud Protection which covers 100% of unauthorized transactions that are verifiable. Google Pay, like other services that offer P2P transfers, still recommends you only send money to people you know to avoid scams.

A transfer you make to someone who ends up scamming you could be considered authorized rather than unauthorized, and may not be covered. So, again, be careful with where you send money.

You need to report fraud within 120 days if you think you’ve been a victim of unauthorized payment activity. Google gives you double the amount of time to report fraudulent transactions compared with Popmoney.

Popmoney vs. Venmo

Venmo is a P2P payment service by PayPal. Money can be transferred from a Venmo balance, bank account, debit card or credit card. Compared with PayPal, Venmo has a more social interface because you can interact with users.

Fees. Using Venmo to transfer money with a bank account or debit card is free, $1 cheaper than Popmoney. Venmo lets you use a credit card for a 3% transaction fee.

Like PayPal, there’s an instant transfer option to move money from your Venmo balance to your debit card within 30 minutes. This feature costs an extra $0.25. Alternatively, standard ACH transfer from your Venmo balance to your bank account can take one to three business days.

Network reach. You need to live in the U.S. and have a U.S. bank account to transfer money from your Venmo balance. Venmo is not available through financial institutions like Popmoney.

Payment types. You can use a bank account, debit card, credit card, prepaid card or Venmo balance to transfer money. The credit card option is available (Popmoney doesn’t have this), but the convenience costs a 3% fee.

Speed. You can invest in instant transfer for $0.25 and get money faster here than you would from Popmoney. Otherwise, money comes in one to three business days, which is the same as Popmoney.

Safety. Similar to Popmoney, Venmo doesn’t offer buyer or seller protection, and the service takes very limited liability for mishaps. Payments for products or services are considered high risk and should be avoided. Both services are comparable as far as safety.

Popmoney vs. Square Cash

Square Cash is a mobile app known simply as the Cash App. You can send cash through debit card, credit card or from the balance you have in your Cash App account. You can pay through iMessage, Siri or Cash.me.

Fees. There’s no charge to send personal payments, making this option cheaper than Popmoney. However, personal payments sent through a credit card costs 3%. Standard deposits are free, but instant deposits cost 1.5%.

Network reach. The Cash App can be used in the U.S. only. If you are sent money through the Cash App, you’ll be asked to cash out by linking a bank account or debit card.

Payment types. Payments can be made with a debit card, credit card or the balance that you have in your Cash App.

Speed. There are two speeds that you can choose from — instant and standard. The instant deposit option sends money to your bank account right away and costs 1.5% for the convenience. The standard deposit happens within one to three business days.

Safety. The app offers security locks with two-step authentication that can prevent fraudulent transactions. However, like Popmoney, you need to be careful about who send money too because reimbursement for scams is not mentioned in the security terms.

Popmoney vs. Circle Pay

Circle was founded in 2013 and is a payment app that’s available in 29 countries. Circle Pay is the person-to-person cash transfer part of the Circle brand. Beyond Circle Pay, there’s Circle Invest and Circle Trade for investing and trading cryptocurrencies. You can transfer money using Circle Pay in U.S. dollars, British pounds, and euros with no exchange markups or fees.

Fees. Circle Pay doesn’t charge fees to transfer funds, although your credit card company may charge fees for a cash advance when using the app.

Network reach. Circle Pay has a farther reach than Popmoney because it’s something that you can use internationally. You can also use a credit card to transfer funds. Despite there being a possible cash advance fee from your issuer, it’s still an option not offered by Popmoney.

Payment types. You can use a debit card, credit card or bank account to make payments.

Speed. There’s an option to cash out instantly without a fee when depositing to a debit card.
Bank transactions can take one to four days, excluding holidays which is pretty much the same as Popmoney.

Safety. Circle Pay uses two-factor authentication and encryption to secure your account. There’s also reimbursement offered if an unauthorized transaction happens from your account. An unauthorized transaction is one that you did not initiate from your account. You must notify Circle Pay within 60 days of fraudulent transfers.

Same PSA applies here as with all the cash apps. The reimbursement comes into play if you did not authorize a payment. If you have authorized a payment for a product or service, and you’re duped by a seller, this transaction will probably not qualify for coverage.

Popmoney vs. Facebook Messenger

Over a billion people use Facebook per day on average. Sending and receiving money through this platform could be the most accessible for current users. There’s no need to sign up for another app when you use Facebook Messenger for payments.

Fees. It’s free to send and receive money through Facebook Messenger.

Network reach. You can send and receive money if you live in the U.S., France or United Kingdom. The preferred currencies are U.S. dollars, pounds and euros.

Payment types. You can send money using a debit card or Paypal account. To get started, you need to add one of these accounts to your Facebook messenger profile.

Speed. PopMoney has the edge here. Facebook Money transfers right away, but it may not show up in your account for five business days, depending on your bank.

Safety. According to Facebook, payments can only be made to family and friends. If they discover you’re making payments for business reasons, your account can be shut down. Facebook lists some popular scams here under commonly asked questions. Facebook works with users to identify users who are trying to swindle others.

People using Facebook Messenger to send or receive money may have to provide information to verify their identify like a legal name, date of birth, last four digits of their social and photo ID. This is more information than what’s required from a recipient through Popmoney making it a potentially safer option.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor here

Advertiser Disclosure

Best of, Reviews

The Top 7 Second Chance Bank Accounts

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Some banks don’t like giving second chances to customers who have less-than-stellar financial histories, especially since it could expose them to expensive risks. A record of bounced checks or debit card overdrafts could easily lock you out of the conveniences of modern banking.

Fortunately, banks also like making money, and some offer special “second chance” accounts that minimize their risk while allowing consumers to stay in the banking system. A second chance bank account gives customers with troubled records a fresh opportunity to demonstrate they can bank responsibly.

When it comes to a second chance account, fees are an unfortunate reality. But some accounts offer customers a better deal than others, and we’ve researched our database to find the second chance accounts with the most reasonable fee structures, while also factoring in whether they provide online and mobile banking, and how accessible accounts are throughout the country.

Account Name

Monthly Fee

Minimum to open

Availability

Chime$0$0Nationwide
Peoples Bank Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking$4.95$30Nationwide
GoBank Checking Account$8.95, can be waived if you meet requirements$20Nationwide
Radius Essential Checking$0$10Nationwide
Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts$10, can be waived if you meet requirements$2539 states (plus Washington D.C.) that have a Wells Fargo location.
BBVA Easy Checking$13.95$25Nationwide, with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii
Woodforest National Bank Second Chance Checking$9.95 monthly maintenance fee if you use a direct deposit; $11.95 without a direct deposit$25Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia

Second chance account basics

With a second chance bank account, customers shut out of traditional bank accounts get the opportunity to win their way back into a bank’s good graces. Similar to credit bureaus, financial services company ChexSystems maintains records of consumers’ banking histories. Bounced checks, overdrawn accounts or instances of fraud can all end up on your ChexSystems record; if you accumulate enough black marks on ChexSystems, banks could deny your application to open a new account.

Because second chance accounts are meant for customers who have demonstrated bad banking behavior, some lack features of traditional accounts, such as overdraft protection. In the eyes of the bank, you represent too much of a risk for them to extend you such courtesies.

Nobody likes paying fees, and we generally advise consumers to avoid needless banking fees due to the many fee-free banking options available. But fees are the price you pay for access to banking when you have a poor record. Plus, the second chance accounts listed below give you access to online and mobile banking, which is always a plus.

The 7 best second chance bank accounts

1. Chime

Chime

Fintech app developer Chime is not a bank, however their online checking account product is open to everybody no matter how bad your record is with ChexSystems. Chime does not check on applicants with ChexSystems, plus they offer lots of non-traditional features to help you get your financial life back on track. Best of all is the fact that they charge no fees at all, and require neither a minimum opening deposit or a minimum balance.

Chime account features:

  • No opening balance or minimum balance requirements.
  • Set up direct deposit for your paycheck, and the funds from each pay period will be deposited as soon as the transaction is initiated, giving you access to your pay up to two days earlier than conventional checking accounts.
  • Automatic savings features to help you save in your connected Chime Savings account.
  • The app sends you daily bank account balance notifications, and sends transaction alerts every time you use your debit card.
  • You can disable the debit card from the app.
  • Send 15 fee-free “friend transfers” P2P payments each month.
  • Nominal 0.01% APY on all deposits.

Fees to watch out for:

  • Chime’s service is almost entirely fee-free: No monthly charges, no ACH transfer fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no ATM fees if you withdraw funds from MoneyPass or Visa Plus Alliance network ATMs.
  • If you make an ATM withdrawal outside of these networks, there is a $2.50 fee.
  • Overdrafts are not permitted, so there is never an overdraft fee.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Chime’s secure website

Member FDIC

2. Peoples Bank Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking

Peoples Bank Cash Solutions

This Texas-based bank offers a second chance bank account that is available nationwide, and so long as you don’t have a record of bank or checking fraud on your record, you should be approved for this account. You’ll need to deposit at least $30 before the bank activates your account and provides you with checks and a debit card.

Fees to watch out for:

  • $4.95 monthly maintenance fee
  • $27.50 overdraft fee
  • $27.50 nonsufficient funds fee
  • $3.95 printed statement fee (which can be avoided with electronic statements)
  • $2.00 ATM withdrawal fee at machines not owned by Peoples Bank
  • $25 stop payment fee
  • $20 account closure fee (if within 90 days of opening account)

LEARN MORE Secured

on Peoples Bank Cash Solutions’s secure website

Member FDIC

3. GoBank Checking Account

GoBank

A brand of Green Dot Bank, GoBank does not run a background check for new checking customers on ChexSystems, and it does not require a credit check. The account comes with a free debit card and fee-free access to a large network of ATMs, although be warned that out-of-network ATM withdrawals carry a $3 fee, on top of whatever the ATM operator charges. GoBank’s $8.95 monthly fee is high. However, this fee can be avoided with a monthly $500 direct deposit.

Account Features:

  • A free debit card
  • 24/7 mobile and online banking
  • Simple budgeting and spending tracker tools
  • Mobile check deposits

Fees to watch out for:

  • $2.95 sign-up fee, waived if you set up your account online
  • $8.95 monthly maintenance fee, waived each month your account receives payroll or government direct deposits totaling at least $500
  • Fees of up to $4.95 charged by retailers to make cash deposits
  • $3 out-of-network ATM withdrawal fee
  • $5 card replacement fee
  • Foreign transaction fee is 3% total transaction

LEARN MORE Secured

on GoBank’s secure website

Member FDIC

4. Radius Essential Checking

Radius Bank

Products from online bank Radius are available to customers nationwide, and accessibility is a strong point in its favor. This second chance bank account only requires customers to deposit $10 to open an Essential Checking account, which is lower than some other accounts on this list.

Account Features:

  • A free debit card
  • 24/7 mobile and online banking
  • Access to Radius’s budgeting and personal finance tracking apps
  • Eligibility to upgrade to Radius’s Reward Checking account after 12 months of positive banking history

Fees to watch out for:

  • $9 monthly maintenance fee
  • $25 per item non-sufficient funds fee (waived on all overdraft items $5 or less)
  • $5 daily overdraft fee

LEARN MORE Secured

on Radius Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

5. Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts

Wells Fargo Bank

Wells Fargo’s Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts are tailor-made for folks with a lackluster credit or banking history. With a $25 opening deposit, you’ll get access to a second chance bank account that offers most of the bells and whistles of a traditional bank account. The account does come with a monthly fee, although it’s possible to waive it if you meet a few requirements (see below).

Account features:

  • $25 minimum deposit to open
  • Free transfers are available between Opportunity Checking and Savings accounts
  • You can choose to opt into overdraft protection
  • Free access to bill pay
  • “My Spending Report with Budget Watch” is available if you want to pay extra attention to where your money is going
  • Free debit card with access to more than 13,000 Wells Fargo ATMs throughout the country

Fees to watch out for:

  • $10 monthly service fee, waived if any of the following are true:
    • You make 10 posted debit card purchases or payments
    • You keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500 in the account
    • You receive $500 total in direct deposits each statement cycle
  • $35 overdraft and returned item fee
  • $12.50 overdraft protection transfer fee
  • $15 fee for excess activity (exceeding withdrawals from your savings account)
  • 3% foreign transaction fee with your debit card
  • $5 for money orders
  • $31 for stop payments

LEARN MORE Secured

on Wells Fargo Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

6. BBVA Easy Checking

BBVA
BBVA’s Easy Checking product is available as a second chance account to customers in the Lower 48 (sorry, residents of Alaska and Hawaii, you’ll have to look elsewhere). Note that you must open the account at one of the bank’s branch locations, or by phone outside of the branch network footprint; you cannot open this account via their website. There is a $13.95 monthly service charge to maintain the account. You can request that BBVA upgrade your account one of their regular checking products after 12 months — and ditch that high monthly fee — so long as the Easy Checking account remains active and has a positive balance.

BBVA Easy Checking features::

  • Online and mobile banking, customized alerts, and a free debit card (with option to personalize)
  • $25 minimum deposit to open
  • Free BBVA ATM withdrawals

Fees to watch out for:

  • $3 fee for out-of-network ATM withdrawals
  • $38 insufficient funds fee ($32 in California)
  • $15 deposit item returned fee
  • $32 stop payment fee made over the phone or in person ($30 in California); $25 if made online
  • No fee for closing your account within 180 days of opening

LEARN MORE Secured

on BBVA’s secure website

Member FDIC

7. Woodforest National Bank Second Chance Checking

Woodforest National Bank

This regional bank has a checking account aptly named Second Chance Checking, to help people rejected by other banks access — provided they live in one of the 17 states where a physical branch exists and can meet the $25 minimum opening deposit requirement. Those states are: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Fees to watch out for:

  • $9.95 monthly maintenance fee if you use a direct deposit (or $11.95 without a direct deposit), $3.00 monthly paper statement fee (which can be avoided if you sign up for electronic statements)
  • $9 one-time account set-up fee
  • $2.50 ATM withdrawal fee when used at a non-Woodforest network ATM
  • $15 debit card set-up fee
  • $29 overdraft fee (for each charge)

LEARN MORE Secured

on Woodforest National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Alternatives to a second chance bank account

Get a prepaid debit card

Tired of the traditional banking experience? You could opt for a prepaid debit card instead. With a prepaid card, you can load money onto it and spend at merchants that accept major credit and debit cards. But if you try and spend more money than what’s on the card, the transaction is declined — although this prevents you from accruing any overdraft or insufficient funds fees. This is useful if you feel you may still have trouble managing your spending and need an extra layer of security to prevent you from getting into trouble.

Some prepaid cards offer extra perks like advance direct deposit and free ATMs so long as you stay in their network.

Open a secured credit card

You may also have better luck applying for a secured credit card if your credit score is in good enough shape. Usually, this requires depositing cash with the lender, who then gives you the credit card for the same amount. Each month that you make on-time payments, the bank will report that good behavior to the credit bureaus, helping you boost your credit score. At the end of the payment period (generally 12 months, though it varies by banks), you’ll get the full deposit back.

Secured cards can come with high interest rates and many don’t feature the enticing rewards other high-end cards do, but they get the basic job done for consumers who don’t need a card with a high credit limit.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Erin Millard
Erin Millard |

Erin Millard is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Erin at [email protected]

James Ellis
James Ellis |

James Ellis is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email James here

Advertiser Disclosure

Reviews, Strategies to Save

American Express® Personal Savings Account Review: A Solid Choice for Online Banking

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

American Express Personal Savings Account

This account is a great option for anyone who wants the flexibility of earning a high interest rate without the withdrawal restrictions that come with a CD.

APY (%)

1.90% Variable

Minimum Deposit Amount to Open Account

$0

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

$1

Permitted Monthly Withdrawals

6

Annual Fee

$0

FDIC Insured?

Yes

Mobile App?

No

Transfer Time

Deposits will be available within five business days.
Transfers from savings to a checking account
take one to three business days.

In an American Express® Personal Savings account, your money earns 1.90% variable APY. It’s currently one of the best rates you can earn from an online savings account. The account does not have a monthly fee and they don’t require a minimum deposit, which makes it an affordable account to open. You will have to fund your account within 60 days of applying, and the FDIC insures your deposits up to full legal limit.

How the American Express Personal Savings account works

The American Express savings account compounds daily at a variable 1.90% APY, and interest earned is credited to your account on your monthly cycle date. The rate is variable, so American Express can raise or lower the interest rate at any time without notice to you before or after the savings account is opened.

Account holders must fund the account within 60 days, which you can do by setting up a bank transfer or direct deposit to the savings account, as well as by sending a check.

What we like about the American Express Personal Savings account

  • High interest rate The 1.90% variable APY is better than what you would earn putting your money in the accounts most brick-and-mortar banks offer. While there are higher rates to be had, American Express has a good offer.
  • Automatic savings It’s easy to make saving automatic when you have an online savings account. With the American Express Personal Savings account, you can easily set up a recurring deposit to pull funds from an external savings or checking account. To make it even easier to resist touching your savings, you can even have a portion of your paycheck directly deposited to the account.
  • Discourages spending With your money in an online account like the American Express Personal Savings account, you can only get your cash after making a transfer to an external checking account to which you have debit card access. The inconvenience makes it that much more difficult to spend your savings.

What we don’t like about the American Express Personal Savings account

  • No ATM card Not having card access is great when you need to prevent yourself from spending your savings, but the hassle of setting up and making an ACH transfer from your online American Express Personal Savings account can be problematic in a pinch. (American Express says transfers will take one to three business days for funds to become available in your checking account.) If you’re worried about this, you can instead turn to an online bank like Synchrony Bank that makes it easier to access your savings by issuing an ATM card tied to your high yield savings account.
  • Variable interest rate The annual yield rate American Express is offering on this savings account is high at 1.90%, but the bank can change that rate at any time for any reason, as the rate is variable. If you’re looking for a more predictable rate of return, consider a certificate of deposit.
  • Limited withdrawals Because this is a high yield savings account, banks are limited by Federal Reserve Board Regulation D to a maximum of six withdrawals and/or transfers from your online savings account per statement cycle without penalty. With that in mind, before you decide how much you’ll put away each month, make sure it’s not more than you can afford to, so you aren’t repeatedly reaching into your savings.

How the American Express Personal Savings account compares

As indicated earlier, the American Express Personal Savings account offer is strong, but how does it compare to other savings accounts?

Institution
APY
Minimum Account Balance to Earn APY
American Express National Bank
High Yield Savings Account from American Express National Bank

1.90%

$1

LEARN MORE Secured

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Partner Offer

Member FDIC

Synchrony Bank – 1.90% APY and no minimum balance

Institution
APY
Minimum Account Balance to Earn APY
Synchrony Bank
High Yield Savings from Synchrony Bank

1.90%

$0

LEARN MORE Secured

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

With $0 to open the account, you can earn an annual yield of 1.90% on savings account balances through Synchrony Bank and there are no monthly fees.

Savings accounts through Synchrony interest is compounded daily and is credited to the account monthly. An ATM card is offered through this account and you can still easily transfer or deposit funds through an ACH transaction or online.

Goldman Sachs Bank USA – 1.90% APY* and $0 minimum to open

Institution
APY
Minimum Account Balance to Earn APY
Goldman Sachs Bank USA
High-yield Online Savings Account from Goldman Sachs Bank USA

1.90%

$0

LEARN MORE Secured

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC


Goldman Sachs Bank USA currently offers an APY of 1.90% on their Marcus Online Savings Account. You don’t need to deposit a minimum amount to open the account, but you will need to have a minimum balance amount of $1* to earn the APY. Interest on the Marcus Savings Account starts accruing the business day you deposit funds into the account. Goldman Sachs Bank USA doesn’t apply any service charges to their savings accounts.

Barclays Bank – 1.90% APY and no minimum balance

Institution
APY
Minimum Account Balance to Earn APY
Barclays
Online Savings Account from Barclays

1.90%

$0

LEARN MORE Secured

on Barclays’s secure website

Member FDIC


With $0 to open the account, you can earn an annual yield of 1.90% on savings account balances through Barclays. While there are no monthly fees, an account that has a balance that is less than $1 for 180 days or more may be closed by Barclays. Savings accounts through Barlcays will start accruing interest the day your initial deposit posts to your account, and interest is compounded daily. While an ATM card is not offered through this account, you can easily transfer or deposit funds through an ACH transaction or online through your account.

American Express CD Rates

These CDs are great for those who don’t have a lot of money to deposit, but the rates are slightly lower than the best CD rates available.

Term

APY

6 months

0.40%

12 months

0.55%

18 months

1.90%

24 months

2.00%

36 months

2.05%

48 months

2.10%

60 months

2.15%

CDs from American Express do not come with a minimum deposit amount. You’re free to deposit as little or as much as you want to begin earning interest on any of its CD terms. This is great for individuals who don’t have a lot of money to deposit in CDs offered by other online banks. The downside is that you won’t be receiving as high of an APY as you could at other online banks. While the rates aren’t terribly low, they just don’t compare to most of the best CD rates currently available.

How CDs offered by American Express work

American Express offers terms spanning from 6 months to 5 years. Interested is credited on a monthly basis and compounds until it matures. You can choose to have the interest transferred out of the CD and into the American Express Personal Savings Account on a monthy basis, transferred into a linked account, or mailed to you monthly, quarterly, or annually via a check. If you touch the principal, however, you’ll incur an early withdrawal penalty. The penalty is based on your CDs term:

  • For CDs with a term of less than 12 months: 90 days worth of interest
  • For CDs with a term of 12 months, but less than 48 months: 270 days worth of interest
  • For CDs with a term of 48 months: 365 days worth of interest
  • For CDs with a term of 60 months: 540 days worth of interest

If you’re able to keep your principal and interest within the CD, you’ll receive notice, either by mail or email, that your CD is about to mature in ten days. If you don’t tell American Express that you do not wish to renew your CD, they’ll automatically renew the CD with the same term unless they no longer offer that term. You can call American Express any time before your maturity date to tell them that you do not wish to have your CD automatically renewed.

Online banks vs. brick-and-mortar banks

Online banks have been having a moment not only because of the rise in mobile banking among consumers, but also because they can simply offer consumers more benefits because they don’t have to worry about as many overhead expenses as brick-and-mortar banks. An August 2017 study by DepositAccounts.com, another subsidiary of LendingTree, shows the annual percentage yield internet banks offer on savings accounts is more than four times what brick-and-mortar banks or credit unions offer. The same analysis shows annual percentage yields on internet bank savings accounts have surged 29 percent since January 2016.

Simply put, the main benefit of putting your money in an online savings account is your money does more for you. To show this, DepositAccounts provided an example, based on the average APYs in those savings categories: If a saver were to put $100,000 in a savings account and leave it alone for 10 years, they would earn $8,338.79 at an online bank versus $1,747.04 in a brick-and-mortar bank and $1,895.28 in a credit union, assuming a fixed APY.

Overall Review of the American Express Personal Savings Account and CDs

Overall, the American Express Personal Savings Account is a solid online savings option. The interest rate they offer is high and the features of the account are comparable to other online banks’ savings accounts. While there are certain aspects of the Personal Savings account that could use improvement, other online banks present the same obstacles. As was mentioned earlier, the American Express Personal Savings account is one of the best options available.

The CDs American Express offers, on the other hand, aren’t quite as good. The 6 and 12-month CDs are nowhere near the best rates offered by other online banks and the 18 – 60-month CDs fall short of the other rates offered. The only feature that makes American Express stand out from most of the other online banks is that this bank doesn’t require a minimum deposit to open an account or start earning interest. If you’re not quite ready to deposit a huge chunk of money into a locked account, you may want to start out with on of the CDs offered by American Express.

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Brittney Laryea
Brittney Laryea |

Brittney Laryea is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brittney at [email protected]