AmEx withdraws balance transfer deals

American Express has announced that it is to withdraw all balance transfer deals from the offers available to new customers.

The company’s cards will instead be marketed to those who want to use them to spend money rather than those juggling debt.

The credit card provider is offering one of the firmest signs yet that balance transfer deals may be more bother than they are worth for many companies.

The deal follows a major American Express embarrassment, in which letters were mailed out offering card holders a zero per cent balance transfer on the lifetime of a loan.

Thousands were ready to transfer their mortgages and other large debts to the cards by the time the company clarified that the zero per cent term was actually six months.

“American Express will no longer be offering balance transfers for new customers from 13 June,” an American Express spokesperson told the Scotsman.

“Existing card members’ balance transfer agreements are unaffected.

“We are focusing our efforts on attracting card members who primarily want to take advantage of our reward schemes such as MoneyBack and Nectar and benefit from these.”

The decision comes as the entire credit card industry faces a cut in the kind of profit margins that have made generous balance transfer periods feasible as the government clamps down on penalty fees.

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