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
What I like about 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)
- Other benefits – If you are looking to maximise the number of points you could potentially earn, American Express offers supplementary cards for family members. Another bonus is that 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.
- Worth knowing – You are not eligible for the welcome bonus if you have held a personal American Express card in the past 24 months (or currently hold one).
What could be improved?
An additional cost is always a downside for a card, so the presence of an annual fee definitely colours 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 – As I mentioned above, 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 – One to bear in mind if you are planning to use this card abroad: it has a 2.99% foreign transaction fee attached to it.
How does the American Express Nectar Credit Card offer stack up?
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.
If Nectar points are what you are after, then this card is leading the market in terms of what it can offer you. If, however, you want something else in the form of introductory offers (eg. 0% purchases and balance transfers) and no ongoing costs, then there are other cards on the market that offer less in terms of rewards but more in terms of an overall package.
The American Express Nectar Credit Card credit score
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 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 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.
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, then the American Express Nectar Credit Card might be one to consider. 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. 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.
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