Top Reasons To Open A Bask Savings Account

Filed Under: Airline Rewards, American AAdvantage
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Bask Bank was introduced earlier this year, and it’s what I use as my primary savings account. Rather than earning interest, you can earn valuable American Airlines AAdvantage® miles at a compelling rate.

In no particular order, here are my reasons to consider a Bask Savings Account:

1. Why AAdvantage® miles are worth collecting in general

Understandably travel isn’t a focus for everyone right now, given everything going on in the world. Even so, I think it’s a great time to start collecting miles towards whatever your future travel goals may be. To expand on that a bit:

And in general, you want to start accruing miles long before you’re ready to plan travel. That way you not only have time to build up a sizable mileage balance that will get you the flights you’re looking for, you can be prepared to book when reward flight availability is at the peak.

2. Ability to redeem for outsized value

One of the things that I love about airline miles is the potential to redeem for incredible rewards, at far below the market rate.

While some programs are purely revenue based (where each mile is worth a certain amount towards a ticket), that’s not the case with AAdvantage® miles, which has a range of mileage prices within and between fixed zones.

This means you can redeem a set number of miles (even for last minute travel that might be much more expensive in cash), or pay a slight premium in miles for a much more premium travel experience in first and business class — including for travel on oneworld® and other partner airlines.

Not only that, but miles become more useful the more you have. In other words, your redemption options may be limited if you have just a few thousand, while when you have tens of thousands, you suddenly have a lot more options.

To give a better sense of that, here are some of the ways I’ve used AAdvantage® miles in the past:

As you can see, there’s an incremental value to miles you earn. While even a handful of AAdvantage® miles can save you quite a bit of money, the more miles you have the more you can do with them, giving you outsized value.

3. Interest rates are low, so earning miles offers an excellent alternative

The rewards you earn from a savings account can vary wildly. With most banks, you’re earning cash back, and the rate of return on the account depends on macro-economic trends.

The reality is that at the moment interest rates are extremely low. While there are accounts at some institutions offering higher rates, the national average interest rate on savings accounts has been hovering around 0.06%.

It goes without saying that the value proposition of a savings account will be very different depending on whether you’re earning 0.02% interest or 2.0% interest.

That’s one of the things that makes a Bask Savings Account such a great deal. Even when interest rates are higher a Bask Savings Account can make sense, but that’s even more the case with current interest rates.

4. One mile per dollar is a good return even without sign-up bonuses

With a Bask Savings Account you earn one AAdvantage® mile annually per dollar saved. I value AAdvantage® miles at ~1.5 cents each, so to me that’s like a 1.5% rate of return, which is exceptional. You won’t find many savings accounts offering that kind of a return. Even if you do, however, you’ll receive a 1099-INT for that 1.5% in interest. Meanwhile, Bask Bank will issue a 1099-INT based on the fair market value of the miles (which is around 0.42 cents). So even if you don’t value AAdvantage® miles as highly as I do, if you’re redeeming for even 0.5 cents each you’re coming out ahead.

You also don’t have to wait a full year to earn rewards. Rather you’ll earn one twelfth of an AAdvantage® mile every month per dollar saved. In other words, if you deposited $12,000 you’d receive 1,000 miles per month.

5. No fees, ever

With Bask Bank there are no fees to keep your account open, regardless of the balance you maintain. That’s quite a contrast to other savings accounts, which may have fees, especially for those who don’t maintain a minimum balance.

6. Opening bonus

Opening a Bask Savings Account can be worth it for the one AAdvantage® mile per dollar saved annually, and if you deposit $5,000 you’ll earn 1,000 AAdvantage® miles. You must maintain a $5,000 balance for at least 90 consecutive days within 120 days of account opening.

7. Keeps AAdvantage® miles active

AAdvantage® miles expire after 18 months of inactivity (if you’re over 21) – but keeping your account active is easy with Bask Bank. By maintaining a balance in your Bask Savings Account your miles will never expire, so this isn’t something you have to worry about. That’s because earned miles will be deposited into your account every month, making sure you always have some activity.

8. Easy to use mobile experience and website

Bask Bank has created a phenomenal user experience, as both the website and app are straightforward and intuitive. You can self-service your account entirely online, from signing up in minutes, to funding your account, to managing it.

I can’t chime in on how their phone customer service is, and that’s a good thing, because I’ve never had to use it. That’s one of the few banks where that has been the case for me.

Bottom line

I use a Bask Savings Account as my primary savings account, and recommend others do as well. There’s so much to like about Bask Bank, from the lack of fees, to the great mobile and web experience, to the ongoing rewards for maintaining a balance.

When you’re ready to travel again, the AAdvantage® miles you earn will come in handy for your next adventure.

Ready to earn miles without leaving home?

Set up your Bask Savings Account here

Bask Bank and BankDirect are divisions of Texas Capital Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. The sum of your total deposits with (i) Bask Bank; (ii) BankDirect; and (iii) Texas Capital Bank, N.A. are insured up to $250,000. Additional coverage may be available depending on how your assets are held.
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Comments
  1. 11. Ben gets a cut of your signup through affiliate links and you get to support your favorite travel writer :p

  2. “valuable American Airlines AAdvantage® miles”

    Yeah, no.

    AA is borrowing at 11% interest rates because there’s an exceedingly high chance they will declare bankruptcy in October.

    Those miles could be worthless. I’ll stick with money backed by the fed and their printer, thanks.

  3. Just to make certain that I understand, if I deposit $100,000, and leave it with Bask for a year, I will have earned 146,000 miles (assuming I complete the survey) which would would result in a 1099 for $613.20.

  4. Shouldn’t there be a disclosure on this page that OMAAT gets a referral fee for everyone signing up via the link on this page (thereby rendering this a paid advertisement)?

    Or did I miss it?

  5. @ Anne — It should be there! If it isn’t, please refresh or clear your cookies, then definitely let us know if they still aren’t showing. We’ve been tweaking how credit card disclosures are handled on the site this week, and since this post doesn’t have any card links it shouldn’t be impacted by that, but…technology is sometimes hard.

  6. @CJ — that’s correct. So, if you’re in the 30% tax bracket for federal plus state income tax, you’ll pay about $200 for 146,000 AA miles.

  7. 1. They’re not at this moment.
    2. Nope. Not now. No.
    3. Nope.
    4. No sir.
    5. Yes! Great!
    6. Nice! High five.
    7. And… no again.
    8. …nice. Small? Still nice.
    9. Sad it’s come to this.
    10. Cool story bro

  8. Have you spoken with your financial advisor about parking that much cash in a savings account, instead of a balanced investment portfolio, especially at your age and likely retirement horizon?

  9. Earning miles instead of (non-existent) interest is a great idea for a savings account. Unfortunately, Bask doesn’t allow Trust Accounts, and I understand why they don’t. But it does make the proposition more difficult for us middle age adults planning for the future.

  10. Seriously, Ben? This is about the worst advice I’ve seen on your blog. If you had read this “deal” on another bloggers site, honestly, what would you think? You have educated us better than this….

  11. I suppose if you have reason to keep large amounts of money in a savings account because you want to remain liquid short-term, it’s not the worst option. But otherwise, you must realize it’s a bad financial strategy to keep a lot of money sitting around in a savings account, as there are far better places to stash your money. Even a simple bond ETF, if you want to stay low-risk, will return significantly more.

    Also, it’s a little disingenuous to compare with the national average interest rate on savings accounts of 0.06%. Some quick Googling reveals that there are numerous places you can get a savings account with ~1% or higher interest rate (normally, much higher, but they’ve all dropped to around 1% now given that interest rates have bottomed out).

  12. “valuable American Airlines AAdvantage® miles”

    C’mon Ben…. This has been your most pathetic post in some time. You somehow combined the worst financial advice ever and waved the carrot of devaluing AA points as a good thing.

    You are getting awful close to the TPG mindset!

  13. @Paulz: Don’t worry! Tiffany works daily to make sure Ben never goes rogue! She is his best defense and a terrific writer on top!

  14. I don’t understand how opening a savings account and earning some AAdvantage miles is bad advice. Worst case, you walk away with 5,000 AA miles after a few months then you can close account if you hate it that much. I just clicked on link and opened and funded account in about 5 minutes.

    BTW, I have multiple savings accounts. With Chase, I have $30K and earn a total of about 20 cents in interest income each month. So, I’d rather have the AA miles.

  15. @Tim: “BTW, I have multiple savings accounts. With Chase, I have $30K and earn a total of about 20 cents in interest income each month. So, I’d rather have the AA miles.”

    And there are any number of online HYSA options where your $30K will earn $25 or more per month, at an interest rate of 1 percent or more. The real comparisons with this account should be with the HYSAs, not with Chase or the other B&M banks offering interest rates 20 times lower.

  16. “And there are any number of online HYSA options where your $30K will earn $25 or more per month, at an interest rate of 1 percent or more. The real comparisons with this account should be with the HYSAs, not with Chase or the other B&M banks offering interest rates 20 times lower.”

    This. Just because most savings accounts have very low interest rates isn’t an excuse, there are plenty of easy, viable options that are 1% or more. Amex Personal Savings is one (up until 3 months ago it was 1.7% interest, too…).

    Also, interest compounds over time. Points don’t, and in fact they frequently get devalued.

    I can only see this being worth it if you are very adept at redeeming AA miles for good value, which is probably not most people (and probably requires a flexibility most people don’t have).

  17. well disclosed to me:

    In the interest of full disclosure, One Mile at a Time earns a referral bonus for purchases made through some of the below links. These are products and services we use ourselves, and are the best offers we know of. Check out our Advertising Policy for further details. Thanks for your support!

  18. I’m satisfied!

    I quite like it.

    I got it to make sure my 780k AA miles stay alive, and added some idle funds for the $25k bonus x 2.

    The only thing not to like is the 1099int and the loss of investment opportunity.

    Unlike the other 1099s, like Amex, at inflated mileage values, these are quite reasonable, and I’ve got enough net worth, that I don’t have to worry about investing.

    Even if you got the account/bonuses and left $1 in, it keeps your miles alive.

  19. Wife & i each opened a $50k account – After 1 year it’s 1/2 of r/t to Africa on Biz.
    What’s not to like?

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