TORONTO – American Express has a new credit card that charges much lower interest compared with similar products in Canada.
The company says the Amex Essential card will charge interest at an annualized rate of 8.99 per cent.
That’s below the lowest rate currently listed on a Government of Canada website that compares prices and features for about 190 credit cards offered by Visa, Mastercard and Amex through various partners.
The Essential card becomes the fourth Amex personal credit card that charges no annual fee and a basic set of features. But the others charge 19.99 per cent interest on outstanding balances from purchases — in line with other mainstream cards.
American Express says the Essential card’s low rate isn’t a promotion and won’t expire at any particular date, but it says there could be changes if market conditions warrant.
The announcement comes as Canadian credit card operators face increased competition with the advent of new payment technologies, including Apple Pay, and long-standing complaints from merchants about the cost of processing transactions.
The federal government’s Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has an online “credit card selector tool” that tracks fees, features and other details for many of the country’s credit cards.