Iconic, but light on benefits: A review of the American Express Card from American Express UK

Sep 12, 2021

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When you think of American Express — especially in a historical sense — green is the color that may come to mind. This still holds true for The American Express Card, which is the classic charge card that American Express was built on more than 60 years ago.

Who Is This Card For?

This card is marketed toward anyone wanting to earn valuable Membership Rewards points with an uncomplicated earning structure and a fairly low annual fee.

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Welcome Bonus and Annual Fee

This card carries an annual fee of £60, which puts it in the mid-range of American Express U.K. card fees.

Unfortunately, there is no welcome bonus for this card, which is disappointing considering other American Express cards with lower annual fees still offer welcome bonuses. This may be because it is a 60-year-old iconic card that does not innovate as newer American Express products do.

It’s worth noting that this card is a charge card rather than a credit card, so there’s no limit on what you can spend. But it also means you are required to pay off the full balance each and every month.

Representative example: This card has an APR of 24.7% (variable) and a purchase rate of 24.7% (variable) with an assumed credit limit of £1,200.


Earning Membership Rewards is the main benefit of this card, and the earning structure is really simple. You’ll earn 1 Membership Reward point for each £1 spent on the card.


Membership Rewards are valuable and have loads of different uses. Read our complete guide to using Membership Rewards points in the UK.


In the absence of a welcome bonus, there are a number of attractive perks:

  • Refund protection for eligible items for 90 days up to £200, where the retailer you bought the items from won’t refund.
  • Purchase protection for eligible items stolen or damaged, up to £2,500 per item.
  • Extended warranties on eligible purchased items, up to £1,500 per item.
  • Travel inconvenience and baggage insurance in case of delays or last baggage.
  • Travel accident insurance up to £75,000.

Keep in mind that some of these benefits, such as the insurance, are subject to enrollment.

Which Cards Compete With This Card?

This card relies heavily on its history as being the classic Amex card, which some potential customers might think to apply for that reason alone.

But, in reality, the Gold Rewards Card from American Express UK (which is a credit card, not a charge card) is a much better value proposition for the first year. It has a generous welcome bonus, no annual fee in the first year and earns those same valuable Membership Rewards points.

Don’t be fooled into thinking the ‘green’ Amex is the best just because it is the most recognisable.

Related: The best UK miles and points credit cards of 2021

Bottom Line

There’s no doubt that this is an iconic card that has survived for 60 years.

It has some solid perks but has somewhat been left behind by newer, more innovative American Express products that offer a better overall value proposition for the first year of car membership.

You can apply for this card here.

Featured image by MangoStar_Studio/Getty Images

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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