American Express to charge for dormant cards

Friday, 28 August 2009 12:00

American Express is introducing a £20 charge on Platinum credit card holders who have not spent on their card for a year.

The card provider has introduced the dormant charge immediately for new customers and from October 1st for existing cardholders.

A spokesperson for the company said: “The vast majority of cardmembers are spending regularly on their card to take advantage of the cashback which is the reason for taking out the product.

“Therefore this dormancy fee will not be a focus for many.”

Amex has also reduced its top rate of cashback from 1.50 per cent to 1.25 per cent – but lowered the level where the top rate kicks in, from £10,000 to £7,500.

Peter Harrison, credit cards expert at, said: “This new dormancy charge from American Express is no great surprise.

“It costs card firms money to issue and maintain cards and they are required to set capital aside to cover your credit limit.

“We expect to see more providers introduce similar charges as they seek to recoup the losses they are making on the credit card lending.”

To avoid the charge, customers should either remember to spend on their card at least once a year, or close their account, Mr Harrison added.

Several other credit card providers already charge dormancy fees, including the Santander Zero Card, which charges a £10 dormancy fee and Lloyds TSB, which charges £35.

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