Find out how you can save on interest when you move your debt to an American Express credit card with a low or 0% p.a. balance transfer offer.
A balance transfer with American Express gives you a way to move debt from your existing credit card onto a new American Express card with an introductory low or 0% p.a. interest rate. This means you have a window of time when you’ll pay little or no interest on your balance, which can help you clear the debt faster.
At the end of the introductory period, the promotional interest rate will revert to the standard variable cash advance rate on your Amex card. Use this guide to learn more about getting a balance transfer so you can decide if an American Express card is right for you.
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- $375 p.a. annual fee.
- 20.74% p.a. on purchases
- 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% BT fee on balance transfers
- Up to 55 days interest free
- Minimum income requirement of $65,000 p.a.
Compare American Express balance transfer credit cards
What you'll find in this guide
What are the benefits of getting a balance transfer with American Express?
An American Express balance transfer offer can give you the following potential benefits:
- Save on interest. If you’re feeling the strain of high interest charges on your current credit card, use the table above to see how much you could save through a balance transfer with American Express. Just enter the amount of debt you want to transfer and your current interest rate, hit “Calculate” and look at the “Amount saved” column for each card.
- Consolidate debts. If you have debt on a few credit cards from other issuers, you could transfer them to an American Express card so you only have to manage one account. This can take some of the pressure off when it comes to dealing with fees and making repayments, as you’ll only need to look at one bill once the debts are consolidated.
- Pay off debt faster. During the introductory period, all or most of your repayments will go towards reducing your original debt (instead of on interest charges). This can help you clear your balance faster. If you plan your repayments around the introductory period, you could even pay it off before any interest charges apply.
Are there any risks to getting a balance transfer with American Express?
As with any balance transfer, one with American Express comes with some risks, including:
- High standard interest rates. If you don’t pay off your balance transfer during the introductory period, the low or 0% interest rate will revert to your Amex card’s standard variable rate. This is the same rate that applies for purchases, and could quickly add to your balance.
- Temptation to spend. While most American Express cards offer points and other perks when you use them, any new purchases you make when you have a balance transfer will be charged interest straight away.
- Impact on credit score. Applying for the credit card, getting access to more credit and keeping your old accounts open are some of the factors that could hurt your credit score when you get a balance transfer. This could make it harder to get approved for future cards or loans, so think carefully about these factors and check your credit score before you apply.
What rates and features should I look at when choosing an offer?
- The introductory interest rate and length of the offer. These details give you an idea of how much you can save through your balance transfer. In general, a 0% introductory rate and a long balance transfer period offer the most savings. But if you have a smaller debt you can pay off in a few months, the length of the introductory period may not matter as much as other fees and features.
- The balance transfer fee. Also referred to as a credit establishment fee, this is a one-off charge that may apply when you get a balance transfer with American Express. Usually, this fee is worth between 1% and 3% of the debt you transfer, although it can vary based on the balance transfer offer or card.
- The revert rate when the introductory period ends. If there’s a chance that you won’t pay off your debt before the low or 0% balance transfer period ends, make sure you check the card’s standard variable interest rate. If the standard interest rate is high, you’ll pay a lot of interest on the remainder of your debt, which could mean it takes longer to clear.
- Eligible debts. You can request a balance transfer for debt/s you hold on Australian credit cards issued by another bank or credit card company. Note that the name on these accounts must match the one you use for your American Express card, and the account/s must not be overdue or over the credit limit at the time of the transfer.
- Balance transfer limits. American Express allows you to transfer a minimum of $50 and up to 70% of your approved credit limit. Note that the value of the balance transfer is capped at $10,000, regardless of your credit limit. If your credit limit is lower than the balance transfer amount you requested, these are some of the options you can consider.
Application requirements for a new balance transfer with American Express
If you want to get an introductory low or 0% balance transfer offer on a new American Express credit card, you will need to request it at the time of your application. There is a section for this on the application form, where you’ll be asked to provide details of each account and the amount of debt you want to balance transfer. As American Express normally processes balance transfers by BPAY, make sure you include these details on the application as well.
Note that these introductory balance transfer offers are only available for new American Express card members. This means that you won’t be eligible if you have held a card issued by American Express in the past 60 days – although you may be able to access offers for existing card members instead.
What else do I need to know?
- Bank-issued American Express companion cards. If you have a bank-issued account with both an Amex and a Visa or Mastercard, you can request a balance transfer by providing the Visa/Mastercard details on your application. Note that this will not work for Westpac American Express bundles, as American Express issues and manages the Amex card.
- How long the balance transfer will take. Once approved, American Express balance transfers are normally completed within 10 working days. During this time, you’ll need to continue making any payments that are due on your existing accounts.
- Closing your old cards. After the debt has been transferred from your existing card, you can close the account in a few steps.
- Minimum payments. Even if you have a 0% balance transfer rate, you will need to pay at least the minimum amount listed on your American Express credit card statement by the due date.
- No interest-free days. You won’t be eligible for an interest-free period on new purchases when you’re paying off your balance transfer debt. This means any time you use your Amex card, interest will be added to your balance straight away and could make it harder to pay off your debt.
- Reward points. American Express credit cards only offer reward or frequent flyer points for eligible purchases, so you won’t get any from the balance transfer.
- Payment allocation. Your credit card repayments will go towards the part of your balance that has the highest interest rate first. During the introductory period, this means any new purchases will be paid off before your money goes towards the balance transfer debt.
What if I already have an American Express credit card? Can existing customers still balance transfer?
If you want to move a debt onto your existing American Express credit card, you can check your online account to see if there are any available offers or call 1300 132 639. American Express balance transfer offers for existing customers are usually different from those you see advertised for new customers, so make sure you check the rates and fees before you apply.
If you have debt on an American Express card, or if you’re not eligible for a balance transfer offer with Amex, compare other options to find a card that works for you.
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