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American Express balance transfer credit cards

Solid options for consolidating your debt — when they're available.

American Express has removed balance transfer offers for new credit card applications. But other card providers still offer balance transfer cards.

American Express balance transfer cards once offered a great opportunity to consolidate and reduce your debt while also giving you a solid rewards card after you finished paying down your balance. Unfortunately, American Express has removed balance transfer opportunities across their card lineup, with no cards currently available with the feature. Though it’s not clear when offers will return, here are some useful tips for choosing one when they do.

How to do a balance transfer with American Express

When eligible American Express balance transfer credit cards are available, you can use these steps to compare and apply:

  1. Choose an Amex balance transfer card.
    Compare the available offers and choose both the offer and the Amex credit card that best fits your balance transfer needs and spending style.
  2. Apply for the card online.
    The application should take just a few minutes. Click Apply now and start completing the fields with your details.
  3. Fill out your balance transfer details.
    Have the account number of your existing card ready and the balance amount you want to transfer.
  4. Wait for approval.
    You may receive a decision within a minute of applying. If additional information is required, you may have to wait several business days for manual approval.
  5. Continue paying off your old account.
    Amex won’t initiate your transfer until at least 10 days after it has given you access to a cardmember agreement. Furthermore, an Amex balance transfer typically takes five to seven days to complete. In the meantime, continue paying your old account as it comes due to avoid late fees.

How to do a balance transfer with American Express online after you’ve been approved for an account

You can request a balance transfer up until 60 days after account opening. Here’s how to do so:

  1. Log in to your online Amex account.
  2. Navigate to the Account services tab.
  3. On the left navigation bar, click Payment & credit options.
  4. Click Transfer balances.
  5. Enter your balance transfer details, including the card number of the account that currently holds your debt and the amount you wish to transfer.
  6. Review your information and submit your transfer request.
  7. Wait for your balance transfer to complete. In the meantime, keep making payments to the issuer who currently carries your debt.

How to do a balance transfer with American Express over the phone after you’ve been approved for an account

  1. Call 1-800-528-4800 to speak with a Customer Care Professional.
  2. Tell the representative you want to make a balance transfer.
  3. If a transfer is allowed, give the representative necessary information such as the card number of your previous issuer and the amount you wish to transfer.
  4. Confirm with the representative that your balance transfer has been initiated.
  5. Wait for your balance transfer to complete. In the meantime, keep making payments to the issuer who currently carries your debt.

What are the options for American Express balance transfer offers?

Amex recently removed balance transfer capabilities from many of their most popular cards. Prior to this, only three Delta SkyMiles cards maintained their ability to perform a balance transfer and none were particularly outstanding for that purpose. This is rather unfortunate, as the cards that lost their balance transfer capabilities were a terrific value.

Before the offers were halted, the only Amex balance transfer cards were Delta travel cards. If offers return and if you’re a Delta flyer, consider choosing a card based on how often you travel and what level of perks you desire. Also, consider if you’ll actually use the card after you pay off your balance transfer.

Top alternative to American Express balance transfers

As of February 2021, Citi balance transfer cards are among the best still available on the market, including cards like the Citi® Double Cash Card and Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card. These cards have always been strong picks for balance transfers and will likely continue to be so when Amex balance transfer cards return.

Consider this top balance transfer card
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Pros and cons of Amex balance transfers

If Amex balance transfer offers are reinstated, here’s why you might want to consolidate debt from multiple cards onto an Amex card and some drawbacks to consider:

Pros

  • Get rewards.
    American Express offers a variety of travel rewards structures that can earn you money back on your everyday purchases. Rewards can be redeemed for statement credit, gift cards, merchandise and more.
  • Welcome offers.
    When they were available, every Amex card capable of balance transfers featured a decent to excellent welcome offer.
  • Travel and purchase benefits.
    Enjoy a host of benefits that vary among cards. Some of the features that were available on eligible cards included global assistance, purchase protection and fee-based payment plans to reduce interest costs.

Cons

  • Balance transfer limits are based on credit score.
    You must transfer a minimum of $100, and may not exceed your approved credit limit. All balance transfers must also be requested within 60 days of your account opening.
  • Interest rates.
    Depending on your creditworthiness when you apply, your standard purchase APR could be quite high — up to 26.24%. Pay off the balance transfer before interest kicks in to avoid taking longer to get rid of your debt.
  • Balance transfer fees.
    A typical balance transfer fee for one of its cards is $5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater.

What debts are eligible for a balance transfer with American Express?

Before applying for an Amex card, check that your debt is eligible.

Debts you can transfer to an American Express card

  • Other credit card balances
  • Qualifying loans, such as those for vehicles, furniture, appliances or anything else you pay monthly
  • Only balances from accounts in your name

Debts you can’t transfer to an American Express card

  • Card accounts that are overdue or over their
    credit limits
  • Non-credit card accounts including debit cards, overdrafts, savings and personal loans
  • Credit issued in foreign currencies

Can I transfer balances from one American Express credit card to another?

No. American Express will not allow transfers from any card issued by the company or its affiliates. Most credit card companies don’t allow internal transfers.

In its credit card disclosures, American Express explicitly bars balance transfers from accounts issued by it and its affiliates.

Bottom Line

While American Express’s lineup balance transfer cards have merits, Amex’s recent changes to balance transfer eligibility has greatly limited your available card options. If you’re not interested in a balance transfer travel card, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

For a look at other providers, use our guide to compare additional balance transfer cards and get an idea of other available offers that may suit your needs.

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