Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Carrying a balance? The American Express AIR MILES cards are offering 0% balance transfer for 6 months for new customers

A huge no-no for those of you holding travel rewards credit cards is to be carrying a balance for longer than a few months. The interest will kill you and any rewards you can get from these cards. As we mentioned in our post The upcoming year in travel rewards for Canadians: current state and predictions for 2016! the market in Canada has seen balances held on credit cards grow by roughly half a billion dollars in the last year or so!!! That's good for the credit card companies but bad for the consumer. A sign of the times I guess, people trying to make ends meet in this downtrodden economy filled with layoffs, wage cuts and more.

So what can you do? You can get a consolidation loan, you can get credit cards with lower interest rates or take advantage of balance  transfer offers like those just released by American Express on their AIR MILES cards. Now, you only get 0% for the first 6 months so this can save you some money on any balances you're carrying. Well only for half a year and then your paying it again. But hopefully 6 months is all you would need to pay off those balances! The great thing about both of the Amex cards offering this transfer balance of 0% is that they are both free, well the basic card is always free while the Platinum Card is free in the first year. This offer is only for brand new Amex cardholders, ie you cannot have any other cards in your name with Amex to get this offer.

Both cards have the following balance transfer offer:

Optional Balance Transfer Offer for new Cardmembers - Enjoy a 0% interest in first 6 months** if you choose to transfer your other credit card balances to this American Express card at time of online application.
** Offer only available to new Cardmembers. Cardmembers who currently hold a card by Amex Bank of Canada are ineligible for this offer. Offer is subject to approval up to an amount of $7,500 or 50% of your assigned credit limit, whichever is less. A balance transfer made at the time of application is eligible for a special interest rate of 0% for the first 6 billing periods, provided you meet the eligibility criteria specified in the offer terms and conditions and provided further that we always receive your minimum monthly payments by the date of the next billing statement. If either: (i) you still have an amount owing from your balance transfer when the special interest rate expires; or (ii) you do not make your minimum monthly payments by the date of the next billing statement (a "Missed Payment"), any remaining balance owing in relation to the balance transfer will be subject to interest at the rate then in effect for Funds Advances. The Preferred Rate for Funds Advances is currently 21.99% and will increase if you have additional missed payments. A 1% balance transfer fee will be charged on the transaction amount and interest is payable on the amount of this fee at the applicable interest rate for purchases. Please see the Product Information box on your online application for complete details on fees and interest rates. 

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