Credit Card Review: The Rewards Purchases Credit Card From American Express UK
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UPDATED 14 October 2019: American Express has now closed this card to new applicants.
American Express UK offers a number of simple-yet-rewarding credit card options to start earning points for your everyday spending. As far as those beginner reward credit cards, one of them is The American Express Rewards Purchases Credit Card.
Who Is This Card For?
This card is marketed towards those people looking to earn some rewards for everyday spending while still avoiding an annual fee. It’s also aimed at those who will utilise a generous 0% introductory rate on purchases.
Welcome Bonus and Annual Fee
Unfortunately, there is no welcome bonus for this card. To offset that, there is also no annual fee.
The real ‘bonus’ of this card is that there is a 0% interest rate on purchases for the first 18 months. Just ensure you do pay off your purchases before that 18-month period is over to avoid the interest. Though in general, TPG UK recommends paying off your full balance each and every month.
Representative example: 22.9% APR variable and a purchase rate of 22.9% variable for purchases (after the first 18 months) per annum with an assumed credit limit of £1,200.
This is an uncomplicated card, so it has a simple earn rate of one Membership Rewards point per (full) £1 spent.
Unfortunately, as this is a no annual fee card, there are no categories or purchases that earn a higher rate than 1:1, so if you are spending plenty on travel or with airlines, you may wish to consider other American Express UK cards that offer higher earn rates for these categories.
This card doesn’t come with as many perks as some of the more expensive (but more lucrative) premium American Express UK cards, but there are still some benefits you may find useful.
- You can opt to have free supplementary cards for any close family and friends in order to maximise your rewards. But remember that you, as the primary cardholder, will still be responsible for paying the balance each month.
- There’s travel accident insurance up to £150,000.
- Refund protection insurance up to £200, if a retailer refuses to refund an eligible item.
- Purchase protection insurance up to £2,500 for items stolen or damaged within 90 days or purchase.
Keep in mind that some of these benefits, such as the insurances, are subject to enrollment.
Which Cards Compete With This Card?
This card is unique because of the 0% rate for purchases for the first 18 months. Excluding that feature and looking at the no-annual-fee Membership Rewards earn rate, this card is similar to:
- The Rewards Low Rate Credit Card from American Express UK, which also has no annual fee, a 2,500 Membership Rewards points welcome bonus for £1,000 minimum spend, but provides a low-interest rate of 9.9% rather than the 18 months interest-free; and
- The American Express Rewards Credit Card which has no annual fee but provides 5,000 Membership Rewards points welcome bonus for £2,000 minimum spend, with a purchase rate of 22.9%.
How you choose between the three depends if you value a welcome bonus of points or a 0% purchases rate for 18 months.
The 0% interest rate can be appealing for those who are disciplined enough to use the benefit properly. It’s great that this card offers any Membership Rewards points per (full) £1 spent, though remember if more points are your priority, there are Membership Rewards cards that come with big welcome bonuses.
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