Amex Creates New Tools to Entice Debt-Wary Consumers

American Express has tailored new features aimed at luring more budget-conscious consumers into taking on credit card debt.

The features, announced yesterday, include an option that allows users to separate bigger financial transactions from smaller, everyday purchases — separating the purchase of something like a plane ticket away from buying lunch, for instance.

Another feature would let customers pay for these smaller purchases directly via their bank accounts. Users can also load purchases up to $1,000 (or, 10 purchases of $100 each) into “installment plans,” to be paid back over smaller monthly increments.

These payment plans charge interest. Other spending within that month, however,  would be interest fee as long as the user has paid the full amount by the due date.

These features are aimed at drawing customers that might be more skittish about debt taking on credit card debt.

Amex’s new features, with their siloed spending purchases, smaller monthly fees, and direct access to debit, take on many of the same qualities as PFM apps or other fintechs attempting to reach this wary segment of consumers.

These new features come at a time when American Express, with the perceptions attached to its brand, has been losing market share to banks upgrading the rewards programs for their credit cards, like JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, as well as to these newer PFM players.

Read more at Reuters and PYMNTs.

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