American Express Basic Charge Card review July 2020

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This no-frills charge card has little in the way of benefits, but could be a good introduction to card use.

Don’t expect wonderful rewards, but you can take advantage of entertainment discounts and perks with the American Express Experiences programme.

You say: ★★★★★We say: ★★★★★

£0

Account fee

Details

IssuerAmerican Express
NetworkAmex
Rep. APRN/A (this product is a charge card).
Annual/monthly fees£0
Additional Rewards InfoAccess to tickets for must-see music, theatre and film events, often before they go on sale to the general public with American Express Experiences. Eligible for American Express Offers where cardmembers can choose offers from selected retailers to obtain discounts or cashback.

Expert review

Chris Lilly

Review by


Chris Lilly is a publisher at finder.com. He's a specialist in credit-based products including business and personal loans, mortgages and credit cards, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their borrowing. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more.

Expert review

This super-simple charge card does exactly what it says on the tin. Because it’s a charge card, there’s no set spending limit, you won’t incur interest, but you do have to clear your balance in full each month. Plus, there are no regular fees, so you can have peace of mind that you’re not in for any nasty surprises.

On the flip-side, by Amex standards the perks are pretty limited. There’s no welcome bonus and no ongoing rewards scheme. As with all Amex cards, however, you’ll be able to enjoy exclusive discounts and pre-sale gig tickets through the American Express Experiences (formerly Invites) programme – so although you can’t earn rewards points, you could earn brownie points with your family and friends.

The American Express range

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first

Whether you’re looking for a card that lets you earn rewards or one that offers payment flexibility on forthcoming purchases, American Express has a wide range to match a variety of financial requirements.

Data indicated here is updated daily
Name Product Rewards earn rate Max. intro bonus Annual/monthly fees Rep. APR Ratings Link Incentive Representative example
American Express Rewards Credit Card
1 point per £1 spent
5,000 points
£0
22.2% (variable)
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
As a new Cardmember, earn 5,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend £2,000 in your first 6 months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.2% APR (variable).
British Airways American Express Card
1 point per £1 spent
5,000 points
£0
22.2% (variable)
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
New Cardmember offer: Earn 5,000 bonus Avios when you spend £1,000 in your first 6 months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.2% APR (variable).
American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card
1% cashback
£100
£0
22.2% (variable)
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
New Cardmember offer: Get 5% cashback on your purchases (up to £100) for the first 6 months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.2% APR (variable).
The American Express Nectar Credit Card
2 points per £1 spent
20,000 points
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum
27.3% (variable)
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
As a new Cardmember, earn 20,000 bonus Nectar points when you spend £2,000 in your first 6 months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum, your representative rate is 27.3% APR (variable).
American Express Platinum Cashback Card
1.25% cashback
£125
£25 per annum
27.3% (variable)
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
As a new Cardmember, get 5% cashback on your purchases (up to £125) for the first six months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £25 per annum, your representative rate is 27.3% APR (variable).
Vitality American Express Credit Card
Vitality American Express Credit Card
1% cashback
N/A
£0
35.9% (variable)
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
0.5% on £1 to £5000 of yearly spend. 1% after £5001 of yearly spend. Cashback paid Anniversary into Card Account. Must spend £3K annually to earn cashback. Earn between 0-2% additional cashback on first £1K spend each month. Cashback booster rate is based on number of eligible Vitality products held and monthly activity points earned two months prior.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 35.9% APR (variable).
The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card
6 points per £1 spent with selected partners
2 points per £1 spent elsewhere
20,000 points
£75 per annum
38.8% (variable)
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
As a new Cardmember earn 20,000 points bonus when you spend £3,000 in the first 6 months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £75 per annum, your representative rate is 38.8% APR (variable).
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card
2 points per £1 spent with selected partners
1 point per £1 spent elsewhere
10,000 points
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £140 per annum
56.6% (variable)
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
New Cardmember offer: Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend £3,000 in your first six months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a. with an annual fee of £140 (£0 in first year), your representative APR is 56.6% APR (variable).
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
3 points per £1 spent with selected partners
1.5 points per £1 spent elsewhere
25,000 points
£195 per annum
74.7% (variable)
We say
★★★★★
You say
★★★★★
As a new Cardmember, earn 25,000 bonus Avios when you spend £3,000 in your first 6 months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.2% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £195 per annum, your representative rate is 74.7% APR (variable).
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Approval for any credit card will depend on your status. The APR shown represents the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow.

How to apply for the American Express Basic Charge Card

You can apply by visiting the American Express site and completing an application form. Before you apply, check that you meet the eligibility requirements and have all your necessary personal and financial details ready.

Frequently asked questions

How does an Amex charge card work?
A charge card is similar to a credit card, but has no credit limit and does not charge interest on your unpaid balance. However, you will be charged late fees if you fail to pay off your balance each month.
Why can’t I earn reward points?
As this is a basic charge card, you will not be signed up to any rewards scheme. If you want an American Express card that offers rewards, you can compare them here.
How does American Express Experiences work?
Formerly called ‘American Express Invites, Amex Experiences is an entertainment service that’s only available to American Express cardholders. You can get exclusive discounts, access to pre-sale tickets and entry into Amex competitions.
What happens if I don’t pay off my balance?
If you fail to pay off your balance each month, you’ll be charged a late fee.

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