American Express announced its acquisition of small-business lender Kabbage last August and didn't waste any time leveraging the fintech company's platform to create a new checking account for small businesses. The first of its kind for the major credit card company, Kabbage Checking offers a fee-free way for business owners to bank and also provides a significant interest rate on deposits.

Key Takeaways

  • American Express acquired online business lender Kabbage in August 2020.
  • On June 14, Amex launched Kabbage Checking, its first checking account tailored for small businesses in the U.S.
  • The account has straightforward pricing that includes no monthly fee as well as other breaks on fees that are common among small business checking accounts.
  • Business owners will also earn an interest rate on their deposits that rivals some of the best high-yield savings accounts.
  • The new account is one of two new Kabbage products Amex has launched since the acquisition, the other being a lending program.

Amex Leans Into Its Small Business Focus

American Express has been actively involved with the small business sector for some years now. The credit card company launched its Small Business Saturday initiative in 2010 to encourage consumers to spend more at local small businesses, particularly on the Saturday following Black Friday.  

With its acquisition of Kabbage in 2020, Amex is poised to expand its portfolio of products for small business owners. 

The new Kabbage Checking is one step in that direction. The account charges no monthly fee, no maintenance fees, and no ATM fees at more than 19,000 in-network ATMs. Users can also make deposits at more than 90,000 retail locations or with the Kabbage app.

In addition, account holders will earn 1.10% APY on up to $100,000 in deposits, a rate that can be difficult to find elsewhere, and they don't even need a savings account to do it.

In addition to Kabbage Checking, Amex has also launched Kabbage Funding for existing Kabbage and Amex customers. The program offers flexible lines of credit from $1,000 to $150,000. Approval can occur in minutes, the company says. 

Amex plans to expand the program beyond existing customers later in 2021.