Our review of the American Express Nectar credit card

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This is my review of the American Express Nectar credit card.

Head for Points mainly focusses on credit cards which offer airline miles or hotel loyalty points for your spending. However, it is also worth taking a look at the Amex Nectar credit card because of the generous sign-up bonus.

This review was updated on 1st July 2019 and all of the data was correct as of that date.

Link: American Express Nectar credit card

Key facts: No annual fee in year 1, £25 annual fee thereafter

The Nectar credit card has a representative APR of 28.2%, including the fee, based on a notional credit limit of £1,200.

If you want to check your credit record before applying for a new card, click here to get your free Experian Credit Score.

American Express Nectar credit card review

As with all the credit cards I look at, you need to think separately about the sign-up bonus and the on-going bonus. There are actually two separate questions to consider:

“Is it worth getting this card just to benefit from the sign-up bonus?

and

“Is this a card I want to keep in my wallet for the long-term?”

What is the Amex Nectar sign-up bonus?

The Amex Nectar card has the usual generous sign-up bonus. They are currently offering 20,000 Nectar points which is worth £100 when spent with any Nectar partner, including Expedia. This page on our sister site Shopper Points shows the best value Nectar redemptions if you want to maximise the value of the points.

You need to spend £2,000 within three months to receive this – you do not receive it as soon as you are accepted for the card.

The American Express Nectar credit card comes with a £25 annual fee. For the first year, however, the card is free. This gives you 12 months to decide if you can spend enough on the card to justify keeping it long term. If not, you can cancel within the first year and will have paid nothing.

What are the rules for qualifying for the Amex Nectar sign-up bonus?

The bonus is only available to customers who have not held a personal American Express card in the previous 24 months.  Cards issued by MBNA or Lloyds Bank do not count.

You will definitely receive the bonus if you are only a supplementary cardholder on someone else’s American Express card. As far as Amex is concerned, that card belongs to the primarily cardholder and does not make you an ‘existing cardholder’.

If you do not qualify for the bonus, you can still apply. You still receive the other card benefits including the ‘no fee in the first year’.

What is the on-going earning rate?

You earn 2 Nectar points per £1 of general spend. This is effectively 1% cashback.

Be warned – the Amex website for the card is VERY disingenuous. It says: “Collect up to 4 Nectar points for every full £1 spent at Nectar partners”. However, these are weasel words!

You do NOT receive 4 points per £1 spent just on the credit card. What Amex means is that you will receive your USUAL Nectar points for spending at Sainsbury, BP etc PLUS the 2 points per £1 spent on the credit card. You are NOT receiving 4 points per £1 via the credit card plus your usual Nectar points from your shopping.

Amex is being a little naughty in writing its advertising like this, although Tesco does something similar in its advertising for the Tesco Clubcard Mastercard.

What more should I know?

American Express no longer has a minimum income requirement for its cards.

Conclusion

For day-to-day spending, the Amex Nectar card is not a bad deal, effectively giving you 1% cashback. The £25 fee means that – after the first FREE year – this is not a great deal if you are not a high spender. For the first year, though, the 20,000 Nectar points sign-up bonus means that you will certainly come out on top.

(Want to earn more miles and points from credit cards?  Click here to visit our dedicated airline and hotel travel credit cards page or use the ‘Credit Cards Update’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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