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31 Financial Role Models to Honor This Women’s History Month

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.

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From the first female millionaire to the only female Nobel Prize winner in economics, this Women’s History Month we’re honoring 31 women who have shaped today’s business world. Read on to learn about building your net worth, thriving in your career and carving your own financial path from the brightest, boldest and most innovative women who have influenced finance, economics and policy.

1. Henrietta “Hetty” Green

1834-1916

Born in 1834, Henrietta “Hetty” Green was one of the nation’s first value investors. Though Green came from a wealthy family that made most of its money in the whaling industry, her financial savvy turned her into an investing powerhouse. Case in point: When her father gave her beautiful dresses to attract a rich suiter, she instead sold the clothing and used the proceeds to invest in government bonds.

When Green died in 1916, she had amassed a fortune of more than $2 billion in today’s dollars and was considered the wealthiest woman in America. Known for her miserly ways and the black mourning clothes she adopted after the death of her husband, Green was commonly referred to as the “Witch of Wall Street.”

2. Janet Yellen

1946-

Janet Yellen was the first woman to be chair of the Board of Governors for the U.S. Federal Reserve, a position she held from 2014 to 2018. By and large, Yellen has been lauded for her performance as the fed chair, overseeing the economy during a period of low unemployment, record stock prices and low inflation. When she left office, 60% of economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal gave her an “A” rating, while 30% gave her a “B.”

Yellen received her bachelor’s degree in economics from Brown University before going on to receive a Ph.D in economics from Yale University. She is a professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley.

3. Millicent Garrett Fawcett

1847-1929

A major player in the women’s suffrage movement in the 1800s, Millicent Garrett Fawcett was well-known for her political activism, dedication to promoting women’s rights and keen understanding of economics.

Born in 1847, Fawcett penned many books, including “Political Economy for Beginners,” a short book published in 1870 that broke down economics so it was easy to understand. Numerous iterations of the book were published over the course of 41 years. Academics believe Fawcett’s contribution to today’s understanding of economics has been largely overlooked.

4. Abigail Adams

1744-1818

Although Abigail Adams was primarily known as the wife of founding father John Adams, she was noteworthy in her own right for fighting for financial independence during a time when doing so was largely unheard of for married women.

Not only did Adams manage the family’s household finances, but she also traded bonds and proved to have a sharp acumen for investing. Letters to her husband showed she also spoke out about laws that prohibited women’s rights, including the fact that married women couldn’t own property. Over the course of her life, Adams prudently invested her own “pocket” money and accrued quite the fortune, which she left primarily to women in her will.

5. Harriet Martineau

1802-1876

Often referred to as the first female sociologist, Harriet Martineau wrote many books, including “Illustrations of Political Economy.” This book explored political economic theories (such as labor strikes and overpopulation) through easy-to-digest illustrations that made the concepts accessible to the layperson.

Born in 1802, Martineau was known for her sharp intellect when it came to politics and economics. She wrote extensively over the course of her 74-year life, with 50 books and countless articles and essays to her name.

6. Elinor Ostrom

1933-2012

Elinor Ostrom is well-known for being the only woman to ever receive a Nobel Prize in economics. A political economist, Ostrom received a Ph.D in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles before becoming faculty at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.

Ostrom received a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2009 for debunking the long-held idea that natural resources, when used collectively, would be destroyed over time due to the self-interest of each individual. Through research, Ostrom proved that when communities shared natural resources, they often developed rules for caring for these resources, which in turn promoted economic sustainability.

7. Madam C. J. Walker

1867-1919

Madam C. J. Walker — born as Sarah Breedlove — is one of the first self-made African-American female millionaires in the U.S. An entrepreneur, activist and philanthropist, Walker created her own hair care product line in 1904 for black women called Madam Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower. Walker’s business exploded, and at the time of her death in 1919, her net worth was over $1 million.

Over the course of her career, Walker regularly advocated for black women by running sales training programs designed to help them achieve financial independence.

8. Carla Harris

1962-

Carla Harris is the vice chairman of global wealth management and senior client advisor at Morgan Stanley. In 2013, former president Barack Obama appointed Harris to chair the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC). Harris has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University, as well as an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

In addition, Harris penned two business books, “Expect to Win: 10 Proven Strategies for Thriving in the Workplace” and, “Strategize to Win: The New Way to Start Out, Step Up, or Start Over in Your Career.”

9. Abigail Johnson

1961-

With a net worth of over $16 billion, Abigail Johnson is one of the richest women in the U.S. Johnson is the president and CEO of Fidelity Investments (a company her grandfather founded). She became CEO and president of the company in 2014, and was later named chairwoman in 2016.

Since taking the helm of Fidelity, Johnson has publicly stated that one of her primary goals is to hire more women.

10. Ho Ching

1953-

Regularly included on lists of the most powerful women in the world, Ho Ching is the CEO of Temasek Holdings, an investment company in Singapore. During her 16-year reign there, she has given the company a global reach by shifting its focus beyond Singapore, growing the company’s portfolio to more than $235 billion.

Ching is also active in public service and philanthropy. She was the chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards & Industrial Research, the deputy chairman of the Productivity Standards Board and the deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board. She is also the founding Chairman of Trailblazer Foundation Limited, a charity dedicated to education, sports, health and community welfare. Her husband is Lee Hsien Loong, the prime minister of Singapore.

11. Stacey Cunningham

Stacey Cunningham is the first female president of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). She rose in the ranks to her current position, beginning as an intern at the NYSE in 1994 and later going on to be a clerk on the trading floor. At this time, she was one of only around 30 women at the NYSE, and was regularly referred to as “the girl” by her mostly male colleagues.

In 2015, Cunningham became the NYSE’s chief operating officer and in 2018, she became the exchange’s 67th president.

12. Adena Friedman

1969-

Adena Friedman is the president and CEO of the Nasdaq, a position she has held since 2017. This position makes her the first woman to ever lead a global exchange company.

Friedman has a long history with the Nasdaq, having been with the company on and off since 1993. Prior to serving as the president and CEO, she served as the president and COO from 2014 to 2016. Friedman also had a stint as the managing director and CFO of The Carlyle Group, a private equity company, and she is credited with helping the company go public.

13. Anne Finucane

1953-

Anne Finucane is the vice chairman at Bank of America and chairman of the board for Bank of America Merrill Lynch Europe. As part of her responsibilities, she oversees £30 billion in assets. Finucane established the Bank of America Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Cornell University, which offers free courses for female entrepreneurs taught by Cornell faculty.

14. Christina Romer

1958-

The former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), Christina Romer worked closely with former president Barack Obama from 2009 to 2010 to help guide the administration in the wake of the Great Recession. She is the second woman in history to hold this role.

Romer is currently a professor in the Department of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition, she is the former vice president of the American Economic Association (AEA).

15. Rania Nashar

Rania Nashar is the CEO of Samba Financial Group, the third largest bank in Saudi Arabia. Not only has she been the CEO since 2017, her role also made her the first woman to hold the position at a listed bank in the country. Prior to this position, Nashar had an extensive history at the company and was a board member for Samba Financial Group’s global markets subsidiary.

16. Helena Morrissey

1966-

Helena Morrissey is the head of personal investing for Legal & General Investment Management, an investment management firm in England. Prior to that, she served as the chief executive of Newton Investment Management.

Morrissey is well-regarded for creating the 30% Club a campaign that advocates for more gender balance on company boards and in senior management. She is also the author of, “A Good Time to Be a Girl: Don’t Lean In, Change the System.”

17. Thasunda Brown Duckett

Thasunda Brown Duckett is the CEO of consumer banking at JPMorgan Chase. She is the first African-American to hold this position. Duckett helms the bank’s consumer banking division, which includes wealth management. She oversees 47,000 employees across 5,300 branches. Prior to her current position, Duckett served as the CEO of Chase Auto Finance.

Duckett founded a charity, the Otis & Rosie Brown Foundation, which is named after her parents. The charity recognizes unsung heroes who are making a difference in their communities.

18. Mary Paley Marshall

1850-1944

Economist Mary Paley Marshall was the first female economics lecturer at the University of Cambridge, a role she was given in 1875 at just 25 years old. In addition, she was one of the first women ever admitted to attend college at the University of Cambridge.

Marshall co-authored “The Economics of Industry” in 1879, a text that is widely considered one of the most influential in economics. Marshall spent the last two decades of her life helping create the Marshall Library of Economics in Cambridge.

19. Francine Blau

1946-

Francine Blau is an economist and professor at Cornell University whose formative research on gender wage gaps in the U.S. has informed our country for decades. Blau has published over 100 articles, chapters and conference proceedings, as well as 10 books, including, “The Economics of Men, Women, and Work,” a seminal work that explores gender issues in today’s labor market.

In 2010, Blau was awarded the prestigious IZA Prize for her contributions to the field of labor economics.

20. Edith Abbott

1876-1957

Although primarily known for her pivotal role in establishing the field of social work, Edith Abbott also garnered recognition for her work in economics. In 1905, she received a Ph.D in economics from the University of Chicago and shortly thereafter, she completed a fellowship at the London School of Economics. In 1907, Abbott became a professor of economics at Wellesley College.

In 1935, Abbott helped draft the U.S. Social Security Act with Frances Perkins, the U.S. Secretary of Labor at the time.

21. Anna Schwartz

1915-2012

An American economist, Anna Schwartz was best known for her work co-authoring the 1963 book, “A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960” with Milton Friedman. This influential text on economics dissected the cause of the Great Depression, attributing it to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policies.

In 1981, Schwartz became executive director for the U.S. Gold Commission. In 1993, the American Economic Association (AEA) named her a distinguished fellow.

22. Deirdre McCloskey

1942-

Deirdre McCloskey is regarded by many as one of today’s most influential economic minds. A distinguished professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, McCloskey has written more than 15 books and over 300 articles on economic theory and economic history, among other topics. Some of her most notable books include, “The Rhetoric of Economics” and “The Secret Sins of Economics.”

McCloskey holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from Harvard University.

23. Dambisa Moyo

1969-

Originally from Zambia, Dambisa Moyo is a macroeconomist and author who previously worked as a banker at World Bank and Goldman Sachs. She has authored four New York Times best-selling books, including “Edge of Chaos: Why Democracy is Failing to Deliver Economic Growth — And How to Fix It,” which came out last year.

Moyo originally studied chemistry as an undergraduate student at American University before going on to receive an MPA from Harvard University and a Ph.D in economics from Oxford University.

24. Joan Robinson

1903-1983

Joan Robinson was a British economist recognized for her important contributions to economic theory, in particular Keynesian economic theory. She came up with the theory of monopsony, which describes a market with only one buyer and many sellers, in her 1933 book, “The Economics of Imperfect Competition.”

Robinson earned her degree in economics from the University of Cambridge, where she went on to work as a professor. She was the first female honorary fellow at King’s College in Cambridge.

25. Janice Bryant Howroyd

1952-

Janice Bryant Howroyd is the founder and CEO of ActOne Group employment agency, one of the largest minority- and woman-owned business enterprises (MWBE) in the country. Howroyd is known for being the first black woman to run a business valued close to $1 billion. The staffing agency has over 17,000 clients in 19 countries.

Howroyd started her business in 1978 in a small office in Beverly Hills, Calif. In 2018, she was listed as one of the wealthiest self-made women in the U.S. by Forbes, with a family net worth of over $350 million.

26. Angela Merkel

1954-

Angela Merkel is a powerhouse in the financial world, and no list of women who impacted finance would be complete without her. Merkel is often referred to as the “de facto leader of Europe.”

The first woman to become chancellor of Germany, Merkel is No. 1 on the Forbes 2018 list of “Most Powerful Women in the World.” She is regarded as the primary force that got Germany through a major financial crisis and back on its feet.

In the fall of 2018, Merkel announced that she would be stepping down as the chancellor of Germany in 2021.

27. Marianne Lake

1969-

Marianne Lake is the CFO of JPMorgan Chase, a position she has held since 2012. As CFO of the largest bank in the country, she oversees over $2.5 trillion in assets. Lake is well-known for improving automation technology at the bank. There has been significant speculation that Lake could one day replace Jamie Dimon as the bank’s chairman and CEO.

Lake has shown a commitment to empowering women in finance through her role as a co-founder of the Women on the Move initiative, which aims to help women advance in their careers.

28. Mary L. Schapiro

1955-

Mary L. Schapiro is the first woman to be permanent chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Schapiro served as a financial services regulator for four U.S. presidents: Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Schapiro also served as the chairman and CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) from 2006 to 2009, as well as the chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Schapiro is the only person to have been chair of both the SEC and the CFTC. Currently, Schapiro is the vice chair for public policy and special advisor to the founder and chairman at Bloomberg LP.

29. Maggie Lena Walker

1864-1934

Maggie Lena Walker was the first woman in the U.S. to charter a bank. Walker founded St. Luke’s Penny Savings Bank, which later merged with two other banks in the U.S. to become The Consolidated Bank and Trust Company. (The Consolidated Bank and Trust Company was the oldest bank in the U.S. to have black-ownership status until it was acquired in 2005.)

Walker founded the bank in 1903 and served as the bank’s president until her death. Throughout her life, she was well-regarded as an outspoken advocate for both women and members of the black community.

30. Muriel Siebert

1928-2013

In 1967, Muriel Siebert became the first woman to have a seat on the NYSE. She was the only woman among 1,365 men. Often referred to as “The First Woman of Finance,” Siebert founded and served as the president of Siebert Financial Corp., which made her the first woman to run one of the NYSE’s firms. Siebert was also the first woman to hold the role of superintendent of banks for New York state, a position she held for five years.

Siebert was known for helping other women have a place on Wall Street. In fact, she donated millions of dollars to help other women start their own businesses.

31. Claudia Goldin

1946-

In 1990, Claudia Goldin became the first woman to receive tenure at the Department of Economics at Harvard University. Goldin served as the director of development for the American Economy Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) from 1989 to 2017. Her economic research spans many topics, including the female labor force, income inequality and the gender gap.

Goldin has written many books, including, “Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women” and, “Women Working Longer: Increased Employment at Older Ages,” which was published in 2018.

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.

Jamie Friedlander
Jamie Friedlander |

Jamie Friedlander is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Jamie here

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Uncategorized

A Beginner’s Guide to Using a Credit Card

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.

Nice couple at laptop learn how to get a debit card

Are you thinking about opening a credit card account? Or have you recently opened an account? You may feel like a novice, but worry not — we’ve compiled a guide to help walk you through the most common credit card terms. You’ll also find advice on how to be a responsible credit card user.

How credit cards work

Credit cards are lines of credit that can be used continuously as you pay off your balance. They’re a handy way to pay for items of all kinds, and can help you build credit when used responsibly. Credit cards usually have detailed terms and conditions that list fees, rewards, benefit restrictions and more. Here are the important ones you should know

Typical credit card terms

  • Annual fee: This is the fee you will be charged each year — if your card has a fee. Plenty of credit cards come with no annual fee, and you might prefer to stick with a no-fee card.
  • Credit limit: The maximum amount of credit you can charge on your card.
  • APR: This is the annual percentage rate or, simply, the interest rate you will be charged on balances carried. The rate is annual, so divide it by 12 to get your monthly  rate. Most often, this rate is variable and fluctuates with the prime rate, so your APR may change at any time.
  • Cash advance APR: If you use your card to take out cash, you’ll be charged at a higher interest rate than for regular purchases.
  • Penalty APR: This is a higher APR than you are typically charged, and is often the result of a late or returned payment. The penalty APR can be in effect for several months or indefinitely, depending on the issuer.
  • Intro 0% period: You may be fortunate enough to have a credit card that offers an introductory period during which you can carry a balance that doesn’t accrue interest. The terms for these intro periods vary.
  • Late payment fee: If you pay late, you will incur a fee that is typically greater than $30.
  • Returned payment fee: Payments you submit that aren’t approved may be subject to a fee, usually $30 or more.
  • Foreign transaction fee: Some cards charge a fee for purchases made outside of the U.S., which is typically around 3%.
  • Cash advance fee: If you take out a cash advance, you will likely will be charged a 3% to 5% fee.
  • Balance transfer fee: Any balances you transfer from an existing credit card to an eligible new card may be subject to a balance transfer fee, on average 3% to 5% of the amount transferred.

Other common credit card features

  • Sign-up bonus: Your card may offer a sign-up bonus, which typically requires you to spend a certain amount within a given time period (usually three months).
  • Rewards: Many credit cards offer rewards programs that allow you to earn cash back, airline miles or points for purchases. This can be a great way to be rewarded for your spending, but don’t overspend and risk falling into debt simply for the sake of earning rewards.
  • Alerts: Issuers often let you set up fraud or balance limit alerts and reminders when it’s time for a payment.
  • Autopay: You can set this up with your credit card issuer so you are sure to avoid late or missed payments.

Choose a card that fits your needs

There are numerous credit cards available for a wide range of needs, from building credit to earning rewards, to getting out of debt and more. You should decide what your goal is with a credit card, then compare cards from various issuers prior to applying. Some issuers allow you to fill out a prequalification form that does a soft pull on your credit. This doesn’t affect your credit score and is a great way to shop around for the best deals. One note: Prequalification is not a guarantee of approval.

Read our list of the best credit cards in a variety of categories to find a card for your needs.

Read the terms and conditions

An important step prior to applying for a credit card is to review the cardmember agreement. Each card has different rates and fees that vary based on any number of reasons, including credit history, actions you take (or don’t take), the prime rate in the market and more. It’s crucial to review the cardmember agreement so you’re aware of any fees you may be charged, as well as how the card works.

Practice responsible credit behavior

Make on-time payments. Perhaps the most important aspect of having a credit card is to make timely payments. By doing so, you avoid late payment fees and penalty APRs that can hurt your credit score.

Pay your balance in full. A great goal is to always pay your bill in full so you never carry a balance. Any unpaid balance will be charged interest (unless associated with a 0% APR promotion) and can cause you to rack up debt. This also negatively affects your credit score.

Avoid overspending. It’s common for people to mismanage their credit cards and be tempted to overspend, but with proper budgeting, you can avoid falling into debt. A good rule of thumb is to only spend what you can afford to pay at the time of purchase — this way you know you can pay off your balance.

Keep a low utilization rate. The percentage of available credit you use is known as utilization, and is a factor in your credit score. It’s important to keep a low utilization rate so issuers see you’re not a risk — ideally no higher than 30%, but the lower the rate, the better. Constantly maxing out your card raises concerns for issuers and can cause you to fall into debt.

Check your monthly statements. By simply reviewing your monthly statements, you can proactively notice any fraud that may occur on your account and isn’t flagged by your credit card company. Most companies send notifications if they think there’s fraud on your account, but they don’t catch every instance of suspicious behavior.

You can also choose to use a service to monitor your credit. MagnifyMoney’s parent company, LendingTree, offers this service for free. There are several other places now where you can check your credit score for free, across all three major bureaus.

Check your credit score and credit report. Checking your credit score on a monthly basis is a good habit to get into and can promote positive credit  behavior. Read our guide on where to access your free credit score and other credit tips. It’s also a good idea to check your credit report every few months to make sure everything checks out and no unknown accounts are opened in your name. Annualcreditreport.com is the only source for authorized credit reports from all three major credit bureaus, and you can run one report annually for each bureau. We recommend spacing them out every four months.

Secure your card. Don’t leave your card unattended or loan it to friends. Your card is your responsibility and should be treated with care. If you happen to lose your card or it’s stolen, contact your issuer immediately and put a hold on your account until your card is found or replaced.

Don’t request a cash advance. Cash advances are notorious for high fees and tricky terms that can draw you into debt, so it’s best to avoid them entirely. If you need cash, look to personal loans, which may have better terms.

Bottom line

Having a credit card can be a great way to build a credit history, as long as you use it responsibly. Understanding all the terms, as well as your cardmember agreement, is crucial to being a responsible cardholder.  Refer to this guide before signing up for your first credit card, or if you have any questions about your current credit card account. Your wallet — and credit score — will thank you.

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.

Alexandria White
Alexandria White |

Alexandria White is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Alexandria at [email protected]

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Reviews, Strategies to Save, Uncategorized

American Express® Personal Savings Account and CD Rates 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 (%)

2.10% 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 2.10% 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 2.10% 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 2.10% 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 2.10%, 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

2.10%

$1

LEARN MORE Secured

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Advertiser Disclosure.

We'll receive a referral fee if you click here. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations

Synchrony Bank – 2.15% APY and no minimum balance

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

2.15%

$0

LEARN MORE Secured

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Advertiser Disclosure.

We'll receive a referral fee if you click here. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations

With $0 to open the account, you can earn an annual yield of 2.15% 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 – 2.15% 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

2.15%

$0

LEARN MORE Secured

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Advertiser Disclosure.

We'll receive a referral fee if you click here. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations

Goldman Sachs Bank USA currently offers an APY of 2.15% 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 – 2.10% APY and no minimum balance

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

2.10%

$0

LEARN MORE Secured

on Barclays’s secure website

Member FDIC

Advertiser Disclosure.

We'll receive a referral fee if you click here. This does not impact our rankings or recommendations

With $0 to open the account, you can earn an annual yield of 2.10% 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

2.15%

24 months

2.30%

36 months

2.45%

48 months

2.50%

60 months

2.55%

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]