American Express Basic Charge Card review 2023
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: ★★★★★
Doing its job: 3/5
In a nutshell:
- No annual fee.
- No rewards programme.
|Representative APR||N/A (this product is a charge card).|
|Additional Rewards Info||Access 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 Connect where cardmembers can choose offers from selected retailers to obtain discounts or cashback.|
|Doing its job||★★★★★|
|Overall Finder rating||★★★★★|
Chris Lilly is a publisher at finder.com. He's a specialist in personal finance, from day-to-day banking to investing to borrowing, and is passionate about helping UK consumers make informed decisions about their money. In his spare time Chris likes forcing his kids to exercise more.
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.
Find out which cards you are eligible for
- Check a range of cards in minutes
- No impact on your credit score
- One fast and simple form
Pros and cons
- Customers report excellent customer service when dealing with American Express
- No annual fee
- Applicants with low credit scores are unlikely to be eligible
The American Express range
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.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
Approval for any credit card will depend on your status. The representative APRs shown represent 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
If you've compared cards and settled on the American Express Basic Charge Card, completing the secure online application form takes about 15 minutes. Before you apply, check that you meet the eligibility requirements and have the information and documents you'll need to make the process as straightforward as possible.
As the name suggests, the American Express Basic credit card is a straightforward charge card with limited perks. There’s no ongoing reward scheme and no introductory bonus, which really just leaves you with the American Express Experiences as a potential draw.
Unsurprisingly, this means you won’t need to pay an annual fee, and given it’s a charge card, there’s also no interest to pay. But you’ll still need to clear your balance in full to avoid late payment fees.
Frequently asked questions
How does an Amex Basic 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 with the American Express Basic Charge Card?
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.
What happens if I don't pay off my American Express Basic Charge Card balance?
If you fail to pay off your balance by the agreed date, you'll be charged a late fee.
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.
Finder credit card ratings
Our experts score credit cards to determine their value against similar products on the market. We look at a number of important factors, like its suitability for its intended purpose, any perks/extras it brings to the table, plus the potential costs involved with running the card both in the short and longer term.
You can read more about our scoring criteria on our credit card methodology page.