I am debting whether to open a savings account with Amex or Barclays .. Both are pretty much online banks.
Amex offers 1.25% APY and Barclays offers 1.30% APY.
I already have a relationship with Amex (credit cards) but I would like to establish one with Barclays.
Both are pretty transparent and doesn't look like they have any hidden fees or weird requirments.
What do you guys recommend ?
I haven't personally used Amex or Barclays. I've been very happy with Discover especially the customer service being stellar. You can also get the no-minimum no-fee checking account that comes with free checks. Account transfers from savings to checking are available immediately.
I have an Amex High Yield Savings account...just note that Amex Savings and Credit Cards are not linked in anyway so your savings have no impact on their credit decisions. However you can access your online savings account from your online credit card account (web browser only) if you set them up with the same name and passwords. But the Amex mobile app cannot manage your savings account and does not report on it; you can only access the savings account from a web browser. Also, the Amex High Yield Account does not offer a checking account and you're limited by federal law to no more than six withdrawals per month; they also don't provide a debit card.
That said, none of that is a problem for me since I use it as a genuine savings account where I hold cash for which I have no immediate need.
The one problem I've had with my Amex savings is their security protocols. When setting up the account they did no verification and I was able to transfer $27,000 from various other bank accounts that they willingly accepted. In August I opened accounts with PenFed and Chase Bank and wanted to withdraw $1,800 to fund them. When I entered the withdrawals on the Amex site they were rejected twice without explanation. I called up Amex Banking and they wouldn't tell me which the withdrawals were rejected only that they would send a letter explaining. I demanded they fax me instead, and I got a three page document that included an Affidavit of Identity that I had to complete and return. So I went to my local Chase branch where the personal banker is also a notary public, showed him my driver's license and he notarized the affidavit and helpfully faxed it back to Amex for me.
Then about a week later a got a call from their security department, and they kept me on the phone while they called every bank from which I had moved money to Amex, and the two banks where I wanted to send money FROM Amex, to verify that I was actually the owner of those accounts. Perhaps they suspected fraud or identity theft but I never got an explanation from them why and some of the banks they called were bemused to recieve calls from Amex since I had those accounts for over 10 years. Anyway, after all the verification was completed the funds were transferred and I've had no other problems. It would have been nice if they had verified my identity up front when I opened the account instead of waiting until I needed to make a withdrawal. Fortunately I had other funds available so I was able to fund the two accounts from other sources while waiting for Amex to verify my identity.