American Express Rewards Purchases Card

By: Kate Anderson | Updated: 13th September, 2019.

The American Express Rewards Purchases Card does exactly what the name suggests. For starters, it offers new cardmembers an introductory offer of 0% on purchases for 18 months. Add to that 1 Membership Rewards point for every full £1 spent. Top that with American Express-level service. All of this and no annual fee attached to the card make it an attractive proposition.

Great for: 0% Purchases and Rewards
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While it may not have the longest interest-free period available, this card does offer 18 months at 0% on purchases for new cardmembers (subject to eligibility). This is in addition to American Express perks such as the Membership Rewards scheme and fraud protection. All this with the bonus of no annual fee and no qualifying spend, meaning you can really make your money work for you with this card.

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CREDIT RATING req:

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

HIGHLIGHTS

  • One Membership Rewards point per £1 spent
  • 0% on purchases for 18 months (subject to eligibility)
  • No annual fee
  • Travel accident insurance up to £150,000 (subject to enrolment)
  • Purchase protection for up to £2,500 on items purchased on the card and stolen or damaged within 90 days, plus refund protection up to £200

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative 22.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 22.9% p.a. (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Annual fee £0

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn more about why and how we work with partners.

what we like

  • One Membership Rewards point per £1 spent
  • 0% on purchases for 18 months (subject to eligibility)
  • No annual fee
  • ANNUAL FEE:

    £0
  • REPRESENTATIVE APR:

    22.9%
  • INTRO OFFER:

    0% on purchases for 18 months (subject to eligibility)

KEY SCORES:

  • 4/5 Perks
  • 3/5Fees
  • 2/5APR

HIGHLIGHTS

  • One Membership Rewards point per £1 spent
  • 0% on purchases for 18 months (subject to eligibility)
  • No annual fee
  • Travel accident insurance up to £150,000 (subject to enrolment)
  • Purchase protection for up to £2,500 on items purchased on the card and stolen or damaged within 90 days, plus refund protection up to £200

REPRESENTATIVE EXAMPLE

Representative 22.9% APR (variable)
Purchase rate 22.9% p.a. (variable)
Assumed credit limit £1,200
Annual fee £0

* This is an offer from one of our affiliate partners. Click here to learn more about why and how we work with partners.

The American Express Rewards Purchases Card bottom line

While it may not have the longest interest-free period available, this card does offer 18 months at 0% on purchases for new cardmembers (subject to eligibility). This is in addition to American Express perks such as the Membership Rewards scheme and fraud protection. All this with the bonus of no annual fee and no qualifying spend, meaning you can really make your money work for you with this card.

Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent

What I like about the American Express Rewards Purchases Card

It is rare to find a card which will give you both an interest-free offer and a decent rewards scheme, but this card does just that.

  • Introductory offer – New cardmembers will receive 18 months interest-free on purchases. This means that anything you put on your card in the first 18 months (provided you make the minimum payment) will not incur interest charges. So you can pay your balance off over a period of time, giving yourself a bit of breathing room.
  • Reward points – If interest-free spending wasn’t enough, the American Express Rewards Purchases Card also allows you to earn one membership point for every full £1 spent, meaning that the money you spend on your card can help you earn rewards. Points can be redeemed with the provider’s partners, including major brands such as Amazon, Currys PC World and Boots. If you earn as many as 40,000 points, you could even redeem your points against a return economy flight to Dubai with Virgin Atlantic.
  • 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 or repair it or refund you up to £2,500 per eligible item, giving you peace of mind when spending your money and using your card. Notably, these protections are subject to enrolment.
  • 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 introductory 0% offer if you have held a personal American Express card in the past 24 months (or 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?

Interest-free purchases and reward points makes for an inviting proposition, but it’s always worth looking beyond the headline offers to see what you will actually get.

  • Introductory offer eligibility – As I mentioned above, you will not be eligible for the interest-free introductory offer if you have had a personal American Express card within the last 24 months, or still hold one. Some sort of exclusion for existing customers is typical, but a period of two years seems high.
  • Careful redemption required – Any sort of reward scheme is definitely positive! However, it’s important to remember that redeeming rewards is not a simple as earning cashback, and how you redeem those rewards can make a difference in how much benefit you’re getting from your rewards. For example, you can use your Membership Rewards points similarly to cashback by using the points towards purchases on your card. But, you’ll use up 1,000 points for £4.50 of spend, which equates to a 0.45% yield. Not all that great. You get a slightly better, but still not fantastic 0.5% when you use points for gift cards at partners like iTunes and Curry’s PC World. However, if you instead use those points for travel with Amex partners or through American Express Travel, you should be able to get your points yield to at least double the above levels. There’s an advantage here in that you can potentially get more benefit from the points you’re earning versus just earning straight cashback. But the drawback is that it takes a bit of work on your end to get the most out of those points.
  • Overseas usage – One to bear in mind if you are planning to use this card abroad is that it has a 2.99% foreign transaction fee attached to it.

How does the American Express Rewards Purchases Card offer stack up?

The introductory offer for this card is not in the same league as the best buys on the market, but it is still 18 months interest-free on purchases, which is not to be sniffed at. When you combine the introductory offer with the ability to earn Membership Reward points, the card suddenly becomes a lot more attractive.

It is rare to find 0% purchases cards which also offer a decent reward scheme that is not solely tied to one retailer. Also bear in mind that other American Express cards charge some sort of annual fee, but this one gives you all the benefits of an American Express card without the price tag attached.

The American Express Rewards Purchases Card credit score

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

As with most American Express cards, you’ll need to already have a solid credit score to qualify for this card. So if your score isn’t quite there, this is probably not the right match for you.

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 Purchases Card right for you?

If you are looking for the best of both worlds, interest-free purchases and rewards, then the American Express Rewards Purchases Card fulfils the brief. While the 0% purchases offer may not be the longest available, and the rewards scheme may not be the most lucrative, the combination of both in the same card make it an interesting overall offer. If you have a good credit score, then American Express is a provider that promises to deliver good service and an extra layer of protection in the form of refund and purchase protection to put your mind at ease.

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