Brady Gilliam

“I don’t know how they do it. Everything about American Express® Business Checking has really, really worked for us.”

Brady Gilliam

Real American Express® Business Checking customer who was aware that their testimonial may be featured by American Express.

The Gilliam Writers Group: Nurturing Talent with American Express® Business Checking

Brady Gilliam’s story is one forged in love for the literary arts and an innate talent for teaching. Born and raised in North Carolina, he completed his B.A. in Comparative Literature and Anthropology from UNC Chapel Hill. Along with work in the publishing industry, his international pursuits – from tutoring Buddhist monks in Thailand to medical workers in Bolivia to middle and high schoolers in Greece – cemented his passion for passing on his expertise.

“I’ve always really loved writing since I was young,” he says. “My career helped me understand that I was not only skilled enough to be a writer and editor, but able to help others hone their craft.”

Soon the city lights of New York beckoned, and so did an ambitious dream. His initial days in the city were dedicated to a writing project, only to be disrupted by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Identifying a pronounced need in the market, from the calls of struggling students in a pandemic-stricken educational system to the nuanced needs of adult authors, he founded the Gilliam Writers Group in September 2020.

What started as a solo venture in Brooklyn quickly blossomed into a more expansive, two- pronged enterprise: tutoring middle and high school students, and coaching and editing adult writers, from casual hobbyists to those making their way through the industry. The Gilliam Writers Group’s staff now boasts around 30 professionals, largely sourced from Ph.D. programs in literature and Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. From the offices of Gilliam Writers Group, talented individuals often find their way to feeling comfortable and excited about their writing skills and projects. It’s clear that the environment doesn’t just refine a writer’s skills but can help them develop confidence in writing a variety of genres.

“We have a pretty rigorous hiring and interview process for our employees,” says Gilliam. “That’s how we know for sure that they’re able to coach experienced writers and authors through their careers and building better bodies of work.”

As the firm grew, Gilliam faced the quintessential challenges of a budding entrepreneur: efficient management of finances, ensuring smooth transactions, and fostering growth without financial hiccups. “When you’re a business the size of ours,” he says, “it feels next to impossible to find the perfect resource in terms of a payroll system and also a bank.”

Gilliam is not alone in the challenges he faces. Small to medium-sized businesses can sometimes find it difficult to grapple with the complexities of modern banking. Fees, poor customer service, convoluted online interfaces – the list of grievances is long. And as Gilliam put it, businesses like his are often caught in a conundrum: They’re “not quite big enough” for the fees levied by some banks, but “big enough” to demand responsive customer service.

In January 2023, Gilliam’s thorough market analysis led him to American Express® Business Checking. On paper, he thought the fully digital bank account seemed almost too good to be true. American Express Business Checking is a fully digital bank account offered by American Express National Bank (Member FDIC) that has no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirements. Plus, it provided a competitive APY on balances up to $500k.

Following a straight-forward application process, the American Express® Business Checking account swiftly became an integral tool for the Gilliam Writers Group. Gilliam was also struck with its remarkable user-friendliness. As a writer and literary aficionado, Gilliam freely admits that he’s “not the most tech-savvy.” But with American Express, this was never an issue. “To be able to use a product without having a steep learning curve is totally wonderful,” he shares. He’s on the Business Blueprint platform every day.

Beyond just ease of use, however, Business Checking had numerous other perks. The included Business Debit Card helped with the business’s everyday purchases and ATM withdrawals. The administrative team, who meet weekly to manage payroll and monitor finances, found the platform’s design intuitively streamlined. Gilliam and his team can even convert the Membership Rewards® points they earn into direct deposits into their Business Checking account.*

Customer service, an aspect that can make or break a business’s relationship with its bank, shone brightly for American Express, whose dedicated support was available 24/7. Gilliam found that every call was met with a quick, helpful response. “Every time we call, it’s fast and super helpful,” he says. This responsiveness was a refreshing change for him.

By offering a product that is as easy to navigate as it is powerful, American Express carved out a special place in Gilliam’s operations. And with each page turned, the group can author its own growth story with a Business Checking account that understands efficiency and dependable backing.

*Membership Rewards® Program – Redeem for Deposits
When you open an American Express® Business Checking Account, you will also receive a Membership Rewards® Account, in which you will earn one Membership Rewards point for every two dollars of eligible Debit Card purchases. Eligible purchases are purchases for goods and services minus returns and other credits. For more information on eligible purchases, visit You can redeem Membership Rewards points for a deposit into your checking account. Click here to learn what other redemption options may also be available. If you also have a Rewards Account in connection with a Card Account, your Rewards Accounts can be linked, and you will have access to all redemption options offered with that Card Account. For more information, visit

You may redeem Membership Rewards® points for deposits into your American Express® Business Checking Account at the standard rate of 1000 points for an $8 deposit. If you have a Business Platinum Card® and an American Express Business Checking Account linked to the same Membership Rewards Account, you can redeem points for a deposit at a rate of 1000 points for $10 for up to 1,000,000 points per calendar year, after which you may continue to redeem points at the standard rate. There is no minimum number of points needed to use Redeem for Deposits. American Express will deduct the number of points you select from your Membership Rewards Account and deposit a corresponding dollar amount into your checking account. Generally, deposits will post to your account within 48 hours of redemption. For more information, visit

Business Facts

Year Established: 2020
Industry Type: Education
Location: New York
Number of Employees: 30
American Express® Business Checking Customer Since: 2023

American Express® Member Since: 2023

Behind the businessAmerican Express Business Blueprint Customer Stories

View All