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American Express Basic Charge Card review 2022

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
Representative 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.

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.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Customers report excellent customer service when dealing with American Express
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • Applicants with low credit scores are unlikely to be eligible

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.

Name Product Rewards earn rate Max. intro bonus Annual/monthly fees Representative APR Ratings Link Incentive Representative example
British Airways American Express® Credit Card
1 point per £1 spent
10,000 points
£0
24.5% APR (variable)
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
Go to site
Earn 10,000 bonus Avios when you spend £1,000 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership. New Cardmembers Only. Earn 1 Avios for virtually every £1 spent. Spend £12,000 annually and get a travel companion voucher when redeeming Avios for a BA reward flight. Terms Apply
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.5% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.5% APR (variable).
American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday Card
1% cashback
£100
£0
24.5% APR (variable)
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
Go to site
New Cardmember offer: Get 5% cashback on your purchases (up to £100) for the first 3 months of Cardmembership. Spend £0 to £10,000 and receive 0.5% cashback on all purchases. Spend over £10,000 and receive 1% cashback on purchases.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.5% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.5% APR (variable).
American Express Rewards Credit Card
1 point per £1 spent
10,000 points
£0
24.5% APR (variable)
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
Check eligibility
As a new Cardmember, earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend £2,000 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership. Earn 1 point for every £1 spent thereafter.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.5% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 24.5% APR (variable).
The American Express Nectar Credit Card
2 points per £1 spent with selected partners
3 points per £1 spent elsewhere
20,000 points
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum
29.8% APR (variable)
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
Check eligibility
Earn 20,000 bonus Nectar points when you spend £2,000 in your first 3 months. Earn a minimum of 3 Nectar points for virtually every £1 spent at Nectar partners, and 2 Nectar points for virtually every £1 spent elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.5% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £25 per annum (waived in year one), your representative rate is 29.8% APR (variable).
American Express Platinum Cashback Card
1.25% cashback
£125
£25 per annum
29.8% APR (variable)
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
Check eligibility
As a new Cardmember, get 5% cashback on your purchases (up to £125) for the first 3 months of Cardmembership. Spend £0 to £10,000 and receive 0.75% cashback on all purchases. Spend over £10,000 and receive 1.25% cashback on purchases.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.5% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £25 per annum, your representative rate is 29.8% 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
41.6% APR (variable)
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
Check eligibility
Earn 20,000 points bonus when you spend £3,000 in the first 3 months. Earn 2 points per £1 spent and 6 points per £1 of eligible spend at Marriott properties.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.5% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £75 per annum, your representative rate is 41.6% APR (variable).
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card
2 points per £1 spent with selected partners
1 point per £1 spent elsewhere
20,000 points
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £140 per annum
59.9% APR (variable)
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
Check eligibility
Earn 20,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend £3,000 in your first three months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.5% (variable) p.a. with an annual fee of £140 (£0 in first year), your representative APR is 59.9% APR (variable).
British Airways American Express® Premium Plus Card
3 points per £1 spent with selected partners
1.5 points per £1 spent elsewhere
40,000 points
£250 per annum
101.1% APR (variable)
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
Check eligibility
Earn 40,000 bonus Avios when you spend £3,000 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership. New Cardmembers Only. Earn 3 Avios for per £1 spent directly with BA and 1.5 Avios per £1 spent elsewhere. Terms Apply

Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.5% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £250 per annum, your representative rate is 101.1% APR (variable).
The Platinum Card
Finder Award
The Platinum Card
1 point per £1 spent
30,000 points
£575 per annum
N/A (this product is a charge card).
Finder score
★★★★★
User survey
★★★★★
Check eligibility
Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend £4,000 in your first 3 months of Cardmembership (New Cardmembers Only). Get up to £100 in statement credits every year at Harvey Nichols (Offer valid for current and new Platinum Cardmembers). Terms Apply
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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.

The verdict

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.

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