Did you know that earning airline miles with a bank account is possible? It’s true. With Bask Bank, you can choose between earning a high-interest rate or American Airlines miles on your savings account deposits. You also won’t pay any service fees to use Bask Bank.
But how does Bask Bank stack up against other online banks, like Discover, Chime, or Ally? In this Bask Bank review, I’ll cover the key features, pros and cons, and let you know who Bask Bank is best suited for.
Table of Contents
What Is Bask Bank?
Bask Bank is the digital banking arm of Dallas-based Texas Capital Bank. It’s best known for its 20-year (and counting) partnership with American Airlines. Its Mileage Savings Account lets you earn 2 miles per dollar deposit without minimum deposit requirements.
If earning AAdvantage miles isn’t your cup of tea, a high-yield savings account and CDs are also available. To the dismay of some, Bask Bank doesn’t offer checking accounts or business banking.
In addition to earning cash interest or airline miles, Bask Bank has FDIC protection of up to $250,000 through Texas Capital Bank (FDIC #34383).
Who Can Join Bask Bank?
You must be at least 18 years old and have a Social Security number to apply for an account. All banking options are available across the United States, and you can join online.
After initial approval, you must deposit at least $1 within the first 15 days from a linked checking account or a similar service. For example, you may decide to transfer your balance from an existing savings account that doesn’t earn as much interest.
If you wish to add a joint owner to your Bask Bank account, you can do that during the application process. Note that joint owners can only be added to Bask Interest Savings Accounts and Bask Certificate of Deposit (CD) Accounts. Both account owners must be 18 years of age or older.
Bask Bank Fees
With Bask, there are no account service fees, inactivity fees, or minimum balance thresholds.
The only minimum funding requirement is making your first deposit within the first 15 days to avoid account closure.
Term CDs redeemed before their maturity date will also incur an early redemption penalty of 3-6 months of interest income. This is a standard penalty for any bank CD unless you open a no-penalty CD, which Bask Bank doesn’t offer.
Bask Bank Account Types
Bask Bank offers three different savings options: the Bask Interest Savings Account, Bask Mileage Savings Account, and the Bask Certificate of Deposit (CD) Account. Let’s take a closer look at each account type.
Bask Interest Savings Account
The Bask Interest Savings Account is an online high-yield savings account that pays 4.65% APY on all deposits (as of this writing). For 2023, Bask was named among the Best Online & NeoBank Savings Accounts.
Consider this account to earn cash interest like a traditional interest-bearing savings account. However, if you need extra AAdvantage miles to book an award flight, the Bask Mileage Savings Account may be the better option.
Bask Mileage Savings Account
Bask Bank is well-known for its American Airlines Mileage Savings Account. It’s free to open, and you can earn 2 AAdvantage miles per $1 saved annually.
Your earned miles will be deposited into your linked American Airlines AAdvantage account monthly before the 5th. As an example, earned miles during October will deposit by November 5th.
While there are no account service fees or mileage transfer fees, your earned miles are taxable as interest income. Like your other savings account, you will receive an IRS Form 1099-INT at the end of the year.
Bonus Offer: New members can earn 2,000 Bonus AAdvantage Miles after making at least $10,000 in qualifying deposits and maintaining that balance for at least 90 consecutive days out of the first 120 days after initial account opening. You must open your account by May 31, 2023, and fund your account within 15 business days of account opening.
Bask Bank Mileage Calculator
Because your miles earning potential will differ from cash interest, the bank offers an easy-to-use online calculator to estimate your annual miles interest.
For example, let’s say you make an initial deposit of $10,000 and deposit $2,000 monthly. You will earn 42,000 miles during the first 12 months in this scenario.
One-way domestic award flights start at 7,500 miles through American Airlines. Additionally, each AAdvantage mile tends to be worth approximately 1.5 cents for award flights, but the actual redemption value varies by itinerary.
Bask Certificate of Deposit (CD) Account
With Bask Bank, you can purchase term CDs with maturity dates from 6 months to 24 months. The minimum deposit is $1,000.
The upfront rates can be higher than the interest-bearing account. For example, you can earn at least for a 6-month term (as of this writing).
However, early redemption penalties apply, and you may need to forfeit the first three months or six months of interest earnings, depending on the CD terms.
Compare Bask Bank with the best CD Rates available right now.
Bask Bank Pros and Cons
Bask Bank offers some of the best interest rates on savings and CDs, but some customers may find their product range too limited. Here’s my list of Bask Bank’s pros and cons.
- Earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles
- High APY on Interest Savings Account
- Attractive CD rates
- No account fees or minimum balances on savings accounts
- Up to $250,000 in FDIC Insurance coverage
- No checking accounts, loans, or business banking
- No ATM withdrawals
Bask Bank Alternatives
Bask Bank has plenty to offer clients looking for attractive interest rates on savings. Unfortunately, they don’t have a checking account product, nor do they have an ATM network for easy access to cash.
If you want an online bank with both savings and checking, the following Bask Bank alternatives might be a better fit. Keep in mind their interest rates may not be as high as Bask.
You can open a Discover Bank high-interest savings account without a minimum deposit. You can also get a free checking account that earns 1% cash back on the first $3,000 in monthly debit purchases.
Discover also offers bank CDs, money market accounts, IRA CDs, and IRA savings accounts. Our Discover Bank review digs deeper into the account options.
At the time of this writing, Discover’s savings interest rate isn’t as attractive as Bask’s rate but several Discover Bank promotions offer bonus cash and are worth considering.
Chime lets you open a checking account, a high-yield savings account, and a credit builder account. There are no monthly fees, but you may need to receive a minimum amount of direct deposits to be eligible for free overdraft protection and a secured credit card.
You may also consider Chime as it’s a second-chance bank that’s easier to qualify for if you have no credit or damaged credit. Unlike most online banks, Chime won’t run your application through ChexSystems to determine your eligibility. For more information, check out our Chime Bank review.
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Please see back of your Card for its issuing bank.
Ally Bank offers interest-bearing savings and checking accounts without service fees or balance requirements. Additionally, the “Savings Buckets” feature can make planning for upcoming expenses easier.
You may also be able for an Ally Bank or Ally Invest bonus promotion when you join.
No, Bask Bank only offers online savings accounts and CDs. You can add funds only by linking an external bank account and scheduling one-time or recurring transfers.
Yes, Bask Bank is the online banking arm of Texas Capital Bank, which was founded in 1998 and has more than $40 billion in assets. Eligible deposits held with Bask Bank are protected with FDIC insurance.
Phone support is available Mondays-Fridays from 7 am to 7 pm CST and Saturdays from 9 am to 4 pm CST. Email support is available 24/7 for non-urgent topics.
No, Bask Bank only offers savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).
Is Bask Bank Worth It?
Bask Bank is worth using if you want to earn American Airlines AAdvantage miles instead of interest on your savings. Also, the Bask Interest Savings Account offers a competitive yield with no fees.
Other online banks, like the ones mentioned above, are better if you want more account options, such as a checking account, rewards credit card, or personal loans. You may also choose a national bank if you need local branch access across the United States.
If you don’t mind opening multiple accounts, you could always keep your savings with Bask and have your online checking account elsewhere.