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AMEX at 46% APR when base rate is 1.5%!!!

This was the shock headline in London's largest newspaper, the Evening Standard, yesterday.  In their free sister paper, London Lite, the short version of the article read:

"AMEX at 46%?   No, that won't do nicely!

"AMERICAN Express has increased the cost of
borrowing on one of its credit cards to 46 per cent – more than 30
times the Bank of England base rate, which has been slashed to 1.5 percent.

"The company now charges 46
per cent APR on the British Airways Premium Plus card.  Virgin Money American Express (37 per cent) and Citi MasterCard (41 per cent) are among a number of other cards with APRs more than 35 percent despite
interest rates being at the lowest level since the Bank of England was
set up in 1694."

If they could bother reporting accurately, the AMEX BA Card is actually 19.9% APR with£150 fee for the card per annum.  By law, the total APR must be reported including that £150 fee, which is why it comes up as 46% APR. 

Nothing like a shock headline is there?

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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