American Express Basic Charge Card review August 2019

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.

Finder rating: ★★★★★

£0

Account fee

£500

Minimum credit limit

Details

IssuerAmerican Express
NetworkAmex
Annual/monthly fees£0
PurchasesN/A (this product is a charge card).
Min. credit limit£500
Max credit limitNot specified
Additional cards available1
IncentiveAccess to tickets for must-see music, theatre and film events, often before they go on sale to the general public with American Express Experiences.
Minimum Age18
ResidencyUK resident and has a UK bank or building society account.
AvailabilityAvailable to new customers
Annual/monthly fees£0
Foreign usage charge (EU)2.99%
Foreign usage charge (rest of world)2.99%
Cash advance fee3% (min. £3)
Late payment fee£12
Duplicate statement fee£2
Exceeding limit fee£0
Additional card fee£0
Replacement card fee£0
Dormancy fee£0

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, 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.

Updated August 23rd, 2019
Name Product Max. intro bonus Default earn-rate Annual/monthly fees Rep. APR Incentive Representative example
2,500 points
1 point per £1 spent
£0
9.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 2,500 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend £1,000 in your first 3 months, and 1 point for virtually every £1 spent thereafter.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 9.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 9.9% APR (variable).
N/A
1 point per £1 spent
£0
22.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 1 Membership Rewards® point for every £1 spent.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
5,000 points
1 point per £1 spent
£0
22.9% p.a. (variable)
Earn 5,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend £2,000 in your first 3 months, and 1 point for virtually every £1 spent thereafter.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
5,000 points
1 point per £1 spent
£0
22.9% p.a. (variable)
5,000 Avios when you spend £1,000 within 3 months of account opening. Earn 1 Avios for virtually every £1 spent. Spend £20K in 12 months and get 2 for 1 travel when redeeming Avios for a BA reward flight. Earn up to 90,000 bonus Avios points per calendar year, 4,000 points per friend/family member that successfully applies for an American Express card (Excl. Basic card) and uses the Referral Programme.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
£100
1% cashback
£0
22.9% p.a. (variable)
5% after £1 of yearly spend for introductory period of 3 months. 0.5% on £1 to £5000 of yearly spend. 1% after £5001 of yearly spend. Cashback paid Anniversary into Card Account. 5% intro cashback in the first 3 months (max £100). Must spend £3K annually to earn cashback.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a., your representative rate is 22.9% APR (variable).
20,000 points
2 points per £1 spent
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum
28.2% p.a. (variable)
20,000 Nectar points when you spend £2K within 3 months of account opening. Earn 2 Nectar points for virtually every £1 spent at Nectar partners and elsewhere.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £25 per annum, your representative rate is 28.2% APR (variable).
£125
1.25% cashback
£25 per annum
28.2% p.a. (variable)
5% on £1 to £2500 of yearly spend for introductory period of 3 months. 1% on £1 to £10000 of yearly spend. 1.25% after £10001 of yearly spend. Cashback paid Anniversary into Card Account. 5% intro cashback (max £125).
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £25 per annum, your representative rate is 28.2% APR (variable).
30,000 points
3 points per £1 spent
£75 per annum
39.7% p.a. (variable)
Earn 30,000 points when you spend £1K within 3 months of account opening. Earn 3 points for virtually every £1 spent. Earn 6 points for every £1 of eligible purchases at participating SPG & Marriott Rewards hotels, until 31.12.219.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 22.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £75 per annum, your representative rate is 39.7% APR (variable).

Compare up to 4 providers

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

If you want to keep things straightforward with this basic charge card and are keen to apply, just visit the Amex site to complete the secure application form, which 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.

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Our team evaluates credit cards to determine their value against similar products on the market.

We look at the how good the card is for its designated purpose – spending abroad, clearing debt, earning air miles etc. – how costly it is to use day-to-day and whether it offers much in the way of extras.

We exist to help you find better. The offers we've compared on this page are from a range of products whose details we can track; we don't cover every product on the market...yet. Unless we've indicated otherwise, products are shown in no particular order or ranking. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't product ratings, although we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it; this is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, it's wise to consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own financial circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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