American Express suffers ‘technical issues’: should you carry more than one credit card?

Some American Express credit card users have been unable to make payments following ‘technical issues’. So, is this a reason to carry more than one card?

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Paying for online shopping using a credit card

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On Friday 1 April, American Express revealed it was experiencing ‘multiple technical issues’. The situation has left many of its credit card users unable to make payments.

So, does this latest issue highlight the importance of holding more than one credit card? Let’s take a look.

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What’s the situation with American Express?

On Friday 1 April, American Express acknowledged on its Twitter account that a number of its users were experiencing issues with making payments. The company tweeted: “We are currently experiencing multiple technical issues impacting our servicing and payment systems.”

The provider suggested that while the issues were ongoing, cardholders who wished to make payments should do so via bank transfer. Amex also thanked users for their patience. 

The card issuer’s Twitter post followed a number of its cardholders raising concerns on the social media platform about being unable to send payments.

It also seems as though the situation is not just impacting its UK customer base. There have also been reports of its users in Germany having similar problems.


What credit cards does Amex offer?

Amex offers a variety of reward credit cards giving cashback or rewards every time you spend on them. The card provider’s current offering is split between free cards and those with a yearly fee. Unsurprisingly, its cards with a fee are more generous than those without.

That said, some Amex fee-free cards may still be considered a decent option for those looking to be rewarded for their everyday spending. 

For example, the Amex Platinum Cashback Everyday gives 5% cashback for three months (up to a maximum of £100 cashback). After this, the cashback rate is 0.5% up to £10,000, and then 1% on spending above this. Importantly, in order to get any cashback at all, you must spend at least £3,000 per year on the card. The representative APR is 24.7%.

Another popular card is the Amex Preferred Reward Gold. It gives 20,000 bonus ‘Membership Rewards’ points if you spend £3,000 on the card within the first three months. You also earn one point per £1 spent on top of this. As an added bonus, the card throws in two free airport lounge passes a year. 

However, this card does come with a £140 annual fee, though this is waived in the first year. As a result, it’s possible to bag the bonus, cancel the card within your first year and pay nothing. The representative APR on this card, including the fee, is 60.1%.

For more options, take a look at the Motley Fool’s top-rated reward credit cards.

Is it wise to carry more than one credit card?

While the ongoing issues with Amex are likely to be resolved shortly, the disruption to its system does outline the importance of not relying on one payment processor. That’s because technical issues can happen – even with multinational banks and/or payment processors.

So, if you only have cards issued by a single bank or payment processor (Mastercard, Visa, American Express) then its probably worth ensuring you have an alternative way of making payments.

It’s also worth knowing that technical issues are rarely exclusive to one type of plastic. So, if you’re reluctant to sign up for a new credit card, consider a debit card or even a prepaid card.

Are you looking for a new credit card? If you are keen to get a new credit card, it’s worth carefully considering what you’ll use it for.

So, whether you need a card to borrow at 0%, boost your credit score, or help pay down debt, take a look at The Motley Fool’s guide to the different types of credit cards.

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