Our bottom line
Building up your Nectar point balance is this card’s defining feature. Cardholders can earn 2 points for every £1 spent (except at warehouse retailers), and a minimum of 3 points per £1 spent at Nectar partners when using the credit card and the loyalty card. Add to that a welcome bonus of 20,000 points for eligible new cardholders that spend £2,000 in the first three months, and Nectar scheme users are looking at a decent payout. The card does have a £25 annual fee, but this is waived for the first year of membership.
Credit Rating Requirement: Good/Excellent
Advantages of the American Express Nectar Credit Card
The American Express Nectar Credit Card is generous in terms of the rewards and support it offers.
- Welcome bonus – American Express will reward new cardholders with 20,000 Nectar points when they spend £2,000 on their card in the first three months after account opening. In monetary terms, 20,000 Nectar points is the equivalent of £100 to spend at Nectar partners, so this is a generous offer if you spend at retailers associated with the scheme. However, because the offer has a minimum spend limit, don’t be tempted to spend above your means just to achieve it. There are other ways of earning points.
- Reward points – Alongside the welcome bonus, this card allows users to collect 2 points for nearly every £1 spent (you’ll only get 1 point per £1 at warehouse retailers), and a minimum of 3 points per £1 spent at Nectar partners when using your credit card and loyalty card. Added to that it has a referral scheme where you could earn 5,000 bonus points if a friend is approved for a card, up to 90,000 points a year.
- Protection – Being part of the American Express family definitely has its perks. Refund and purchase protection is one of them. With the card, within 90 days after purchase, items up to the value of £200 can 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. (Note that both of these insurances are subject to enrolment)
- Supplementary cards – If you are looking to maximise the number of points you could potentially earn, American Express offers supplementary cards for family members.
- American Express Experiences Programme – Amex cards the card gives you access to the American Express Experiences programme, which offers early access to tickets for in-demand music, film and theatre events.
Disadvantages of the American Express Nectar Credit Card
An additional cost is always a downside for a card, so the presence of an annual fee definitely diminishes what the card has to offer.
- Annual fee – This card has an annual fee of £25, although for the first year of membership this is waived. For this you do get access to a reward scheme, protection, fraud guarantee and supplementary cards, but you do need to calculate whether this is a cost you can afford and whether you will be getting enough benefit to make it worth it.
- Welcome bonus eligibility – You will not be eligible for the welcome bonus award 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 long.
- Overseas usage – Despite its great travel benefits such as insurance, it has a 2.99% foreign transaction fee attached to it.
- Point specifics — Not all purchases earn you the two points automatically. Retailers considered warehouse retailers (Costco etc.) only earn you one point. Furthermore, you only notice this little detail when you click through to the information button on the actual points section on the Amex site.
You may apply for the Amex Nectar card if you meet the following criteria:
- You have a permanent UK home address
- You’re at least 18 years old
- There’s no history of bad debt on your credit profile
- You hold a UK bank or building society account
How do you earn points on the Amex Nectar card?
Earning points is fairly simple:
- 1 point for purchases at warehouse retailers
- 2 points for purchases at retailers not considered warehouse
- 3 points for purchases at participating partners when using the credit card and loyalty card combined
What are the rules for qualifying for the Amex Nectar sign-up bonus?
Cardholders need to charge at least £2,000 to their credit card within the first three months of account opening. It’s also important to keep your card in good standing during this period as points can only be earned as long as your account is current and up to date.
How does the American Express Nectar Credit Card offer compare to other cards?
Compared to other credit cards on the market that offer Nectar reward points, this card’s welcome bonus is head and shoulders above the rest. Add to that the ability to earn Nectar points on all spending, and it is one of the most attractive Nectar reward offers available. However, this does come at a price. Cardholders must be prepared to spend £2,000 in the first three months to unlock the welcome offer, and are also looking at an ongoing £25 a year fee starting from year two.
If Nectar points are what you are after, then this card is leading the market in terms of what it can offer you. This is a great option if you’re looking at a card that offers Nectar points. It’s important to shop around, however, if you need more travel benefits or a card that offers other benefits such as a 0% APR offer, instead of Nectar points.
What credit score do you need?
American Express requires applicants to have no history of bad debt, be aged 18 or over and be a UK resident. It also requires them to have a UK bank or building society account that they can provide details of.
How to apply for an American Express Nectar credit card
Visit the website
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.
Have your personal details on hand
You will need to provide personal details, including your address and nationality, and financial details such as your income. Your UK bank or building society account number and sort code may sometimes be necessary, so it’s good to have these on hand.
Know your personal financial standing
To have a good chance of being accepted for this card, you’ll need a good credit score. If you know your credit score is top-notch, then you can feel comfortable applying directly. If you’re not so sure, it may be worth using the eligibility checker that American Express provides on its site.
Is the American Express Nectar Credit Card right for you?
If you are already a Nectar reward scheme user and you haven’t held American Express products within the last two years, then the American Express Nectar Credit Card might be one to consider. If you are already a Nectar reward scheme user, then the American Express Nectar Credit Card might be one to consider.
Furthermore, if you’re an eligible new cardholder and you think you can afford to spend £2,000 within the first three months of membership, then you are looking at a 20,000 Nectar point windfall worth a cool £100 when spent with participating partners. The other major positive for this card is that you can earn Nectar points on all your spending, not just spending associated with Nectar partners.
However, if you don’t plan to use the Nectar reward scheme, then there isn’t much on this card that you couldn’t get elsewhere. The protection and service features can be found on other American Express cards, and this card offers nothing in the way of introductory periods on purchases or balance transfers. Also remember, while the first year may be free, you will need to be prepared to pay the £25 annual fee going forwards.
If you’re not sure the American Express Nectar Credit Card is right for you, check out our other top-rated rewards credit cards to find the right fit.
The Motley Fool receives compensation from some advertisers who provide products and services that may be covered by our editorial team. It’s one way we make money. But know that our editorial integrity and transparency matters most and our ratings aren’t influenced by compensation. Also, while we aim to feature some of the best products available, we do not review every product on the market. Learn more here. Any opinions or statements in this article belong to the author, and may be shared by The Motley Fool, however they were not provided or endorsed by our affiliate partners, unless expressly indicated.
The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Lloyds, Tesco and Barclays.