According to index.hu, OTP Bank will recall all American Express (Amex) citizen credit cards and replace them with Mastercard Bonus cards until the 31st of next January. Since OTP was the only one to have Amex citizen cards, the company leaves the Hungarian citizen segment with this step.
Index was informed that OTP Bank plans on replacing its American Express citizen cards with Mastercard Bonus cards due to the end of the two companies’ collaboration. Rumours about this step have been going around the market, but it seems to be a fact now, as the bank started notifying its clients.
No big change is expected in the Hungarian card market, because out of the three leaders, Mastercard, Visa and Amex, the first two have always been the outstanding market actors.
The corporate Amex cards stay under the control of Amex, so the company keeps its role in the Hungarian corporate segment. It is believed that OTP won’t issue new Amex cards from the 17th of July, while the old ones will be replaced upon their expiry date or until the 31st of January, 2018. If one wants to speed up the process, one gets a credit entry of 2,000 forints (~EUR 6.5).
Clients loved the Amex cards because of the occasional 3% refund (for instance, in the MOL, Lidl and C&A networks), the regular 1% refund and further discounts in certain shops.
The conditions of the replacement cards won’t change, but they will be completed with the use of Mastercard’s waiting room at the airport. Traders didn’t really like the Amex cards, because its general dividend level was the highest (around 2%). Neither did merchant banks take to Amex cards.
However, it is a very popular card type in the USA, so touristic destinations will surely continue to accept the card in Hungary. In the past year the European Union had several initiations to decrease the level of interbank dividends, especially in the case of online shopping.
Featured image: www.facebook.com/AmericanExpress