American Express Rewards Low Rate Credit Card

By: Kate Anderson | Updated: 12th July, 2019.

The American Express Rewards Low Rate Credit Card offers a notably low APR and the opportunity to earn rewards through Amex’s Membership Rewards programme. To clinch the deal, American Express is also offering new cardmembers 2,500 Membership Rewards points if they spend £1,000 in the first three months (subject to eligibility). All of that and no annual fee make this an attractive package.

Great for: Earning rewards, low interest rate
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This card offers the enticing combination of a competitively low APR alongside reward points. The APR sits among the lowest available on the market, and then there is the added bonus of access to the American Express Membership Rewards programme. The deal is further sweetened for new cardmembers with a welcome award of 2,500 points (subject to minimum spend and eligibility), giving them a much appreciated boost to starting to earn rewards. This all comes with no annual fee attached.

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CREDIT RATING req:

  • Poor/No credit
  • Fair/Average
  • Good/Excellent

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Welcome award of 2,500 points subject to eligibility and minimum spend of £1,000 in first three months
  • Low APR
  • 1 Membership Rewards point for every full £1 spent
  • No annual fee
  • Travel accident insurance up to £150,000 (subject to enrolment)
  • Further array of American Express services including Purchase Protection (subject to enrolment) and American Express Experiences

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative 9.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 9.9% p.a. (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Annual fee £0

what we like

  • Welcome award of 2,500 points (subject to eligibility and qualifying spend)
  • Low APR
  • 1 Membership Rewards point for every full £1 spent
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £0
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    9.9%
  • INTRO OFFER:

    2,500 Membership points if you spend £1,000 in the first 3 months (subject to eligibility)

KEY SCORES:

  • 5/5 Perks
  • 3/5Fees
  • 5/5APR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Welcome award of 2,500 points subject to eligibility and minimum spend of £1,000 in first three months
  • Low APR
  • 1 Membership Rewards point for every full £1 spent
  • No annual fee
  • Travel accident insurance up to £150,000 (subject to enrolment)
  • Further array of American Express services including Purchase Protection (subject to enrolment) and American Express Experiences

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative 9.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 9.9% p.a. (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Annual fee £0

The American Express Rewards Low Rate Credit Card bottom line

This card offers the enticing combination of a competitively low APR alongside reward points. The APR sits among the lowest available on the market, and then there is the added bonus of access to the American Express Membership Rewards programme. The deal is then sweetened for new cardmembers with a welcome award of 2,500 points (subject to minimum spend and eligibility), giving them a much appreciated boost to starting to earn rewards.

Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent

What I like

This card fulfils its brief with a little added extra reward.

  • Low APR – The hint is in the card’s name. One of its key selling points is its competitively low APR, which sits well below the average credit card APR of around 19%. When you are considering a credit card, an APR gives an indication of the cost of borrowing – and the lower the better. One thing to note with this card is that the low APR only applies to purchases. Cash advances carry a much higher interest rate.
  • Welcome bonus – American Express is looking to entice new customers with a welcome award of 2,500 points if they spend £1,000 in the first three months. This is lower than other welcome offers available from the provider, but it’s a starting block that can be built on the more the card is used. Plus, higher intro bonuses often come with an annual fee, whereas you won’t have to cough up a fee to hold this card.
  • Reward points – The real benefit of this card is the ongoing ability to earn reward points. Cardholders can earn one Membership Rewards point for every £1 spent, with no upper limit to how much they can accrue. Points can then be redeemed for everything from gift cards to flights and hotel stays. 
  • Protection – Being part of the American Express family definitely has its perks. Refund and purchase protection is one of them. With the card, items up to the value of £200 will be replaced or refunded if the retailer refuses to do so. Additionally, if something you have bought with your card is stolen or damaged within 90 days, American Express will replace, repair or refund you up to £2,500 per eligible item, giving you peace of mind when spending your money and using your card. It’s worth noting that you have to enrol in these programs to activate the protections.
  • Other benefits – With a provider like American Express, you are looking at a full service package. As a cardmember, if you phone with a problem, you will be dealing with one person throughout your enquiry. There are also benefits if you travel, with travel accident insurance up to £150,000 available with the card (subject to enrolment).
  • Worth knowing – You are not eligible for the welcome award if you have held a personal American Express card in the past 24 months (or if you still hold one) .

Why trust me

I worked on the front line of personal-finance best buys for over eight years at one of the world’s largest research companies, Nielsen. I reported daily on the developments of the 2008 financial crisis and beyond, keeping up with the changing financial landscape and providing insights to all the major banks in the UK. I know the key players in the market and the tactics behind how they behave. All of which I will apply to highlight the best deals and give honest reviews to help you in your search.

What could be improved?

It is always worth looking beyond the headline rate and considering what you plan to use your credit card for.

  • Cash advances – It’s not typically advisable to use your credit card to make cash withdrawals anyway, but especially with this card. The headline low APR only applies to purchases, with a much higher charge being placed on cash advances. Added to that, the card has a cash advance fee of 3% (minimum £3) – which is standard, but worth mentioning.
  • Welcome award eligibility – This is the same across most American Express cards, but you will not be eligible for the welcome award if you hold a personal American Express card or have held one in the past 24 months. It is typical to have some sort of restriction for existing customers and welcome rewards, but two years is at the higher end.
  • Overseas usage – Something to always look at with a card if you plan to use it abroad is whether it has a foreign transaction fee. This card carries a 2.99% fee for any purchases made overseas.

How does the American Express Rewards Low Rate Credit Card offer stack up?

The American Express Rewards Low Rate Credit Card has a significantly lower APR than the average credit card, but it is not the lowest available. If that is the one element that you are prioritising, then there are other credit cards available that have an even lower APR than this card.

However, with an American Express card, it is not always about the headline rate. This card also offers access to a potentially lucrative reward programme that rewards cardholders for all spending and is not capped. While there are other low-APR reward cards available, the Membership Rewards points programme is more open than some and does not tie reward points to spending at specific retailers.

The credit score

American Express requires applicants to have no history of bad debt, be aged 18 or over and be UK residents. 

In more general terms, you’re going to need a good or excellent credit score to be approved for this card. If you’re not sure what a ‘good’ credit score is, we explain more about credit scores here. And you can learn more about checking your credit score here.

How do you apply?

You can apply through the American Express website. The application will reportedly take less than 10 minutes, and you will receive a response in 60 seconds.

You will need to provide personal information, including your income and employment details.

Is the American Express Rewards Low Rate Credit Card right for you?

This depends on your priorities. If you are looking for a low rate credit card but want something a little extra, then this card is potentially a good fit. Its APR is significantly lower than that of the average credit card, and there is the added bonus of access to the Membership Rewards programme. With this card you are looking at the potential to earn reward points on all your spending, while having a low APR attached to purchases if you do find yourself leaving something on your balance.

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