Marcus vs. American Express Savings: Which Is Better?

If you’re looking to get the best interest rate on your short-term savings, your best option is likely an online high-interest savings account. But with so many options, it can be hard to decide where to place your money.

The Marcus Online Savings account and the American Express Online Savings account are popular options. Both offer attractive interest rates and no monthly fees. But while you can’t really go wrong with either account, I’ve created a head-to-head comparison to help you determine which is better for your money.

Table of Contents
  1. Marcus vs. Amex Savings: Key Features
    1. Summary of Features
  2. American Express Online Savings Review
    1. Other Products
    2. AMEX Pros
    3. AMEX Cons
  3. Marcus Online Savings Review
    1. Other Products 
    2. Marcus Pros
    3. Marcus Cons
  4. Amex vs. Marcus: Which One Should I Choose?

Marcus vs. Amex Savings: Key Features

To begin our comparison, here’s a chart summarizing the main features of the two accounts. From there, we’ll dig into the details of both accounts:

Summary of Features

FeaturesMarcus Online SavingsAmerican Express
High Yield Savings
Interest Rate3.30% APY3.00% APY
Monthly FeeNoneMonthly Fee: None
ATM CardNoNo
Minimum BalanceNoneMinimum Balance: None
Opening Deposit$0$0
Transfer SpeedSame-day transfers availableTransfers are between 1-5 days
FDIC InsuredYes, up to $250,000Yes, up to $250,000

*All features listed are current as of this writing. Note that numbers are subject to change. 

As you can see, both accounts offer some of the highest-paying interest rates available and no minimum balance requirements or fees. In addition, balances held in both accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. Let’s take a closer look at each account, starting with American Express.

American Express Online Savings Review

The American Express Online Savings account is high-yield with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. Interest is compounded daily, paid monthly, and is 3.00% APY at the time of this writing.

While most accountholders will choose to have interest added to their account balance, there are no fewer than four ways you can receive interest:

  • Have it deposited into your savings account
  • Have it deposited into a linked external account
  • Get a check mailed to you
  • Have it deposited into an American Express CD

You can deposit money through a transfer from an external account by setting up a Direct Deposit, or you can send a check or a wire transfer. Withdrawals can be completed via wire transfer or ACH transfer to an externally linked account.

Unfortunately, it can take up to five days to get access to money transferred into your Amex savings from an externally linked account. Outgoing transfers from Amex to a connected external account can take 1-3 days, so you want to plan before making withdrawals.

You can pay your American Express credit card balance from your Amex savings account. 

The Amex Savings account has a maximum balance limit of $5,000,000. If, at any time, your account exceeds a balance of $5 million, you’ll continue to earn interest; however, no further deposits will be allowed, and you’ll only be allowed to make withdrawals if those withdrawals bring the balance to at or below that $5 million mark. 

An added benefit to dealing with American Express; they offer 24/7 customer service. In fact, J.D. Power ranked the company #1 in Customer Satisfaction with Savings Accounts from Online Only Direct Banks for 2022.

Other Products

American Express offers other online products as well. The American Express Rewards Checking account has no minimum balance requirement or monthly service fees.

Your checking balance will earn (as of this writing) 1.00% interest and rewards points for purchases with your debit card. Points convert into cash deposits into your checking account.

American Express also offers high-yield CD rates, personal loans, and a variety of American Express credit cards to choose from.

Find out more about the best American Express credit card promotions currently available. 

AMEX Pros

  • Attractive 3.00% APY
  • Multiple options for receiving interest payments
  • Pay your American Express credit card balance from your savings account
  • Online checking account available
  • FDIC protects the balance up to $250,000
  • Award-winning customer service

AMEX Cons

  • No ATM or debit card
  • Cannot make immediate transfers

Marcus Online Savings Review

The Marcus Online Savings account is a high-yield account offered through Marcus Goldman Sachs. The account has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. 

As of this writing, the interest rate paid on the account is 3.30% APY, which is 4x the national average. Interest is compounded daily and credited to your account every month. You can open the account online, and won’t be subject to a credit check. 

You must link this account to at least one external checking or savings account. You’ll begin earning interest as soon as the money arrives in your Marcus Online Savings account.

You can deposit money through a transfer from an external account by setting up a Direct Deposit, or you can send a check or a wire transfer. Withdrawals can be completed via wire transfer or ACH transfer to an externally linked account.

Transfers of $100,000 or less to or from your Marcus account will be posted on the same business day. 

Note that there are no ATM or debit cards issued with this account. There is a maximum balance limit of $1,000,000 per account and $3,000,000 per account owner. Goldman Sachs backs Marcus, so there is a long history of success behind this fintech.

Other Products 

Like Amex, Marcus Goldman Sachs offers other products as well. They have high-yield CDs, personal loans, and rewards credit cards. 

The other product they offer is the Marcus Invest app. This app allows you to start investing with as little as $5.

With this product, you’ll invest in Marcus ETF portfolios built by Goldman Sachs investment experts. 

You choose the ETF that aligns with your investment goals. The annual fee is 0.25%, which is very competitive. Automatic rebalancing is offered with this investment account as well.

One downside with Marcus is that they aren’t currently offering a checking product. However, there are rumblings that one may be provided in the future.  

Marcus Pros

  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Immediate transfer capabilities
  • High-interest yield
  • Investment app available
  • FDIC-insured up to $250,000

Marcus Cons

  • No ATM or debit card issued
  • Must link to an external account
  • No checking account available

Amex vs. Marcus: Which One Should I Choose?

The answer to this question depends on your situation. If you have an American Express credit card, you might want to choose Amex savings for convenience’s sake.

You can make easy payments from your Amex online savings account.  Another benefit of the American Express online savings account is that you can direct your interest to several places – your savings account, into an Amex CD, get a check mailed, or have the interest sent to an external linked bank account. 

The main benefit of the Marcus savings account over the American Express savings is the same-day transfers to and from other banks for amounts of $100,000 or less.

When you transfer to or from American Express, it can take up to five days to access your money. This feature could be a hindrance if you need your money sooner than that.

Which one should you choose?

The American Express Savings account is the way to go if you’re an existing American Express customer and don’t anticipate needing immediate access to your funds.

If access to your savings is the top priority and you don’t need a checking account, I recommend the Marcus Online Savings Account.

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About Laurie Blank

Laurie Blank is a blogger, freelance writer, and mother of four. She’s psyched about teaching others how to manage their money in a way that aligns with their values and has been quoted in Bankrate.

She's a licensed Realtor with Edina Realty in Minneapolis, Minnesota (also licensed in Wisconsin too) and has been freelance writing for over six years.

She shares powerful insights on her blog, Great Passive Income Ideas, that will show you how you can create passive income sources of your own.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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