NEWS: Bank war on the cards as Amex ties in NatWest

A credit card war among the UK’s major high street banks is set to break out after NatWest this week announced the first deal between a British bank and American Express.

A credit card war among the UK’s major high street banks is set to break

out after NatWest this week announced the first deal between a British

bank and American Express.

Until now, MasterCard and Visa have had a duopoly in which theirs were

the only cards distributed through British banks. The arrangement

restricted the penetration of Amex.

But the new deal gives it NatWest’s marketing endorsement and is likely

to spawn co-branded Amex credit or debit cards issued by the bank in

conjunction with retailers, travel companies, airlines and car


The cards will offer a deal similar to NatWest’s Orange card launched

through Visa this year.

NatWest will have access to Amex’s global merchant network next year,

with the launch of its own-branded Amex card, understood to feature a

new NatWest brand to rival Barclaycard.

The bank has already signed a deal with United Airlines to issue a

corporate card for travel expenses on the Amex network.

The deal is expected to spark intense competition between the three card

networks and the banks for customers’ loyalty and will be a blow to Visa



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