How To Use An American Express Balance Transfer Credit Card

Read on to find out more.

Updated: May 18, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

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If you've ever carried a balance on your credit card, you’re probably aware of how awkward it can get when trying to pay off your credit card debt and manage other finances in your life. However, there’s hope yet, and you’re certainly not alone in this plight. 

Do you know what balance transfer credit cards are? In essence, these are cards that let you consolidate various high-interest loans you may have into one easy-to-manage credit card.

The idea here is that by grouping all your debts into one account, you can take advantage of 0% APR introductory periods and pay off your debt without incurring further interest charges.

Throughout this article, we’ll be taking a look at one of the most popular banks around for balance transfers, American Express. We’ll be going over how you can start a balance transfer with them later on, but firstly, let’s take a closer look at whether this method is appropriate for the debt you’re trying to consolidate

And don't worry either; even if you're new to the world of credit cards and their confusing jargon, we'll be explaining everything in plain English. Let's get started!

Determining If A Balance Transfer Is Right For You

As mentioned, it’s vital that you’ve assessed whether this is the best option for your current debt situation before beginning the balance transfer process. Moving forward, let’s discuss a few different factors worth considering:

Current Credit Card Balance & Interest Rates 

The cards were specifically designed to tackle all the hassle that comes with high-interest rates, so safe to say you’re in the right place if this resonates with your current situation. With a balance transfer card, you’ll be able to transfer all of your funds to an additional credit card with much lower interest rates, letting you save money in the long run.

Your Ability To Make Payments

Starting a balance transfer with American Express credit cards is an all-around great way of making your debt repayments more manageable; we get it. However, it's incredibly important that you're actually able to make payments on time, or you'll find yourself right back in the same position you've been trying to escape. 

If you don’t think you’d be able to keep up with the monthly repayment terms that American Express set out, it’d be wise to choose an alternative option that won’t put you at an added risk of accruing additional fees and interest.

Your Credit Score

Lastly, make sure you're aware of your credit score before applying for any type of balance transfer credit card. While you're probably already on top of this, you'll not be able to get approved for new credit cards if you've got a fairly low credit rating.

They could still offer balance transfers to you, but generally, you shouldn't expect competitive interest rates when your credit rating is risky to the lender.

Assessing Eligibility

So, now that we’ve got a clearer picture of whether this is the right choice for you or not, it’s time to see if you’re actually eligible to apply for balance transfer cards with American Express.

Let’s take a look at a few key factors:

Current Credit Score

If you're looking to apply for an American Express credit card, ensure you're within the correct credit score range to avoid wasting any time. As a heads-up, American Express typically requires you to have a good credit score when applying for a bank transfer credit card, which means around 670 or higher.

Once again, while you may still get approved for one of their credit cards, you might not receive the interest rates or flexibility you were looking for when you sought out a balance transfer. 

After all, the whole point of a balance transfer credit card is to grant yourself the best conditions possible to pay off your debt, so the utility of these types of credit cards wanes slightly if you've got a low credit rating.

Credit Limit

Lastly, always ensure that you’ve understood your credit limit before committing to any paperwork. 

Whenever you apply for a credit card from any UK financial organisation (in this case, an Amex balance transfer), you'll always be given a credit limit that represents the maximum amount of money they'll let you borrow from them at any given time.

The specific amount that you'll be allotted depends on a range of variables, namely, your creditworthiness. If the banks find you more dependable, you'll likely be given a higher credit limit.

Now, the problems ensue when you’re being allotted a total credit limit that’s under the amount of money you were looking to transfer over. Typically, you can only transfer up to the credit limit on your new card, so it’s vital that this figure is high enough to cover your old credit card account balance.

If, for whatever reason, American Express is unwilling to give you a high enough credit limit, you may not be able to send the full amount from your old card to the new account. Naturally, this would mean you’d still have to pay interest on the remaining balance left in the account, which effectively defeats the whole purpose of a balance transfer.

How To Do A Balance Transfer With American Express

Once you're comfortable with the idea of a balance transfer and you're aware of the credentials necessary to acquire one, it's finally time to apply!

American Express makes this process fairly streamlined, so you should be able to select a balance transfer credit card without any hassle.

1. Check Your Balance Transfer Options

Before you finally pull the trigger and select a balance transfer option with American Express, it’s worth taking a look at all the available options at your disposal. After logging in to your online account, check out the ‘Balance Transfer’ part of their website, and you’ll get an idea of the choices they’ve provided. 

At this stage, make sure you’re taking note of the interest rates associated with each of their offers, as well as any other fees you might see.

2. Take Your Pick

Now that carefully read through the balance transfer cards Amex have to offer, you’ll want to ultimately land on the card that best reflects your needs. Once again, it’s worth stressing the importance of selecting a card with a generous promotional period. 

Remember, aside from having generally lower fees and interest rates than your old card, the main advantage of balance transfers are their interest-free periods.

3. Initiate The Balance Transfer

Once you're ready to take the leap, contact the customer service number on the back of your current credit card and try to get through to an operator. At this point, you'll need to have a few key pieces of information at hand, such as the account number and amount of money you're looking to transfer. 

In addition, you'll also need the account information for the new American Express card you're transferring the balance from, so don't go into this phone call empty-handed.

4. Confirm The Transfer

After you've got off the phone with your previous bank and initiated the transfer, you should hear some sort of confirmation from Amex to verify it. Congratulations! You've officially ended your long-standing battle with high-interest debt and taken a remarkable step into securing a debt-free future and reaching financial freedom!

Related Guides:

FAQs

How Do I Check My Credit Score?

What Is A Balance Transfer Fee?

Are There Any Other Balance Transfer Offers That Don't Charge Fees?

What Are Promotional APR Periods?

What Happens When The Promotional APR Period Ends?

How Can I Avoid Interest Charges On My Balance Transfer?

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