I recently received cheques from American Express. I normally just shred the letter and cheques without even looking at them, but decided it was time to finally have a look. So, here’s what the nice folks at Amex had to say to me.
- They were delighted to offer me all purpose cheques with a low interest rate
- In fact, I could benefit form a low rate of 0.99% for up to 6 months!
- I could use this cheque for just about anything – home improvement, vacation, or when credit cards are not accepted, like my dentist or doctor’s! (My dentist takes credit cards, and so does my doctor..I doubt they’d want a cheque).
- They are easy to use – just fill them out like I would a regular cheque.
- The cheque amount will be charged to my card account
- A low 1% balance transfer fee will be charged on my cheque transaction amount, and interest is payable on the amount of this fee at the applicable interest rate for purchases. Wait, what now?
Okay, I actually tried reading the Terms and Conditions and got completely lost. i understood about how long the 0.99 rate was good til, and that it was bad to miss a payment, and that would make the nice rate go away. And then I got lost.I think I may have to pay interest on a fee – or something like that..? And different interest rates in different cases.
It made my brain hurt. I can certainly see how people run into trouble with credit card companies.
I don’t think I’d use the cheques at all. There aren’t many places that prefer a cheque over a credit card, and I don’t carry a balance anyways, so a lower rate isn’t much use to me. I can see some benefit (if I actually understood the things correctly) to using the cheques over your credit card, if you really needed to pay for something, and would have the money to pay off your balance in the near future. And I guess they’d be helpful for balance transfers.
I’d still advocate the “don’t buy it til you can pay for it” route though.
Have you ever used cheques from your credit card company? How was your experience?