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American Express launches a new co-brand cashback credit card with Vitality

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American Express has just launched a new co-brand credit card – with life and health insurer Vitality.

This is interesting on a number of levels:

The cashback rewards on offer seem surprisingly generous given that, as a co-brand card, this product should be impacted by the EU caps on fees charged to retailers by card companies

It shows that American Express is still keen to play in the co-brand market, which is a positive sign for anyone hoping that travel firms like Hilton may launch new cards

Vitality American Express credit card

How will the Vitality American Express Card work?

Here are the key facts:

It is a credit card, not a charge card

You can only apply if you have a qualifying Vitality product.  If you and your partner have a joint plan, only one of you can apply for the card.  If you have individual plans, you are both eligible to apply for your own cards.

There is no annual fee

The interest rate is 22.9% APR variable

There is no sign-up offer although there are a couple of exclusive cashback offers, eg £99 back if you buy an Apple Watch and pay with the card

You will earn up to 1% cashback on your annual spending from American Express – 0.5% for the first £5,000 of purchases and 1% on purchases over £5,000 

You need to spend at least £3,000 per year on your Amex card to receive cashback

But here is the key … Vitality will pay you up to an additional 2% cashback on your spending, assuming you hit health and lifestyle targets

This is a limit of £20 per month on the cashback paid by Vitality (£1,000 per month purchase cap at up to 2% cashback)

Cashback, from both Amex and Vitality, is dropped onto your statement in a lump sum one month after the end of your card year

Accrued cashback is lost if you cancel your card

Vitality American Express Credit Card

What are ‘targets’?

If you’re not familiar with Vitality, it takes a carrot-and-not-a-stick approach to your welfare.  You track all of your exercise and ‘healthy living’ activity and receive rewards on the back of that.

For example, if you currently pay for Amazon Prime, you would get it for free with Vitality if you were active enough:

  • Take out an eligible Health, Life or Invest plan
  • Complete your online Health Review
  • Link a compatible activity tracker to your Vitality account
  • Earn 160 Vitality activity points a month to get the next month’s Prime membership on us

The current list of Vitality partners is here.  British Airways was a partner but is currently in the process of withdrawing.  There is a new Virgin Atlantic deal coming which we will cover separately.

This is how the American Express deal works

Take a look at the chart below (click to enlarge):

Vitality American Express card

If you hit ‘160 Activity Points’ in a month (the same level required to trigger free Amazon Prime membership in the earlier example), Vitality will pay you an ADDITIONAL 1% cashback on your American Express spend.

If you have two eligible Vitality plans – it is not clear if that means two across a household or if you hold two different plans of your own (eg health and life insurance) – then you would receive up to 2% ADDITIONAL cashback.

The additional Vitality cashback will be paid on all card spend, including supplementary cards.

The Vitality ‘top-up’ cashback is limited to £1,000 of purchases per month.  This means that the maximum you can earn is £10 per month if you hold one qualifying Vitality plan and £20 per month if you hold two qualifying plans.  You would also need to hit 160 Activity Points to earn this rate.

The cashback runs in arrears.  If you hit 160 Activity Points in January, for example, you would receive 1% or 2% cashback on your Amex spend incurred in March.  If you dropped to 120 points in February, you would receive 0.75% or 1.5% on your spend in April.

When is cashback paid?

Cashback follows the same model as the existing American Express cashback cards.

It is paid one month after your card anniversary date.  If you cancel your card, accrued cashback is lost.

A minimum annual spend of £3,000 on the card is required to earn cashback.

The additional ‘up to 2%’ paid by Vitality is dropped onto your American Express card as a credit at the same time.  It is not paid directly to you by Vitality or used to reduce your monthly premiums.

How does the Vitality American Express Credit Card compare to the American Express Platinum cashback cards?

American Express already has two cashback credit cards.  We reviewed the Amex Platinum Cashback cards here.

The American Express Platinum Cashback card (pictured above) has a £25 fee and pays you cashback at the following rate:

  • 5% cashback on all your spending in the first three months, up to £2,500 of purchases
  • 1% back if you spend under £10,000 from month 4 to month 12 (and annually thereafter)
  • 1.25% back on your spend over £10,000 from month 4 to month 12 (and annually thereafter)

The American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday card has a tiered system:

  • 5% cashback on all your spending in the first three months, up to £2,000 of purchases

After the first three months, you will earn:

  • 0.5% on the first £5,000 of spend (but you get nothing if you spend under £3,000)
  • 1% back on your spend over £5,000

As with the Vitality card, cashback is paid in a lump sum at the end of each card year.

The Vitality American Express Credit Card is a better deal than the American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday card.  It has identical cashback from Amex BUT you will also get your cashback from Vitality as well.

Whether the Vitality American Express Credit Card is better than the £25 Amex Platinum Cashback Card depends on two things:

  • how much you spend on the card each year
  • how many Activity Points you earn per month

The Vitality Amex is likely to outperform for most people.

Is this a card worth getting?

Potentially, yes, if you are a Vitality member.

Someone spending £12,000 per year on this card, holding two Vitality plans and generating 160 Activity Points per month would be getting a very generous 2.8% back.  (£240 from Vitality and £95 from Amex, divided by £12,000.)  This is not bad at all.

Full details are on the ‘Member Zone’ if you log in to the Vitality website.


Want to earn more points from credit cards? – August 2021 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our August 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the other top current deals:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

Earning miles and points from small business cards

If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers.

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

Earn both Avios and BA On Business points with your business spending Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending:

Barclaycard Select Cashback Credit Card

1% cashback and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (91)

  • CC says:

    Looks like the card information has been pulled from the vitality website. Did a website update get accidentally pushed out early?

    • Rob says:

      Odd. Whilst we had the information early via a leak, Vitality had sent us a press release by the time we got the article written.

  • John says:

    What is sign-up bonus interaction with other amex cards?

  • vinz says:

    How does this card affect any sign-up bonus with other Amex please? Thank you!

    • Rob says:

      We don’t know. I would IMAGINE it counts against you if you wanted a Gold / BA in the next 24 months.

      • Simon says:

        Rob, if there’s any way you can use your contacts at Amex to clarify the impact on Gold and BA bonuses I’d be grateful. As an existing Vitality customer this will be the deciding point for me.

        Vitality have also ditched Ocado for Waitrose and Starbucks for Nero so big changes throughout.

      • Jimbob says:

        I thought the only thing stopping you getting the ba Amex sign up bonus was having had the same card in the last 24 months. Other Amex cards don’t count against the sign up, do they?

        • Bonglim says:

          you are thinking about BA Premium Plus ONLY.
          So the regular (blue) BA card is affected by ANY amex card eg. spg or gold. But the black one is only related to having a BA card.

          The same rules apply to the main green gold platinum card range. The platinum card bonus is available if you have not had any of those for 2 years. But the bonus for green or gold IS affected if you have had ANY amex card – e.g. spg or ba card..

          Someone correct me if I have got it completely wrong.

        • Rob says:

          Nope. ALL cards count against the free BA Amex. Only BA cards count against BAPP.

  • @alastairtravel says:

    Looks on the complex side to me, and 160 activity points is big – e.g. 10,000 steps per day 5 days of every week.
    I can see how this would have a place amongst existing active Vitality customers, but seems quite limited

  • Freddy says:

    Extremely niche product, would need a vitality plan, regularly achieve the exercise requirement AND want a amex card with the requisite spend. Think it will drop into the abyss never to be heard about again

  • flyforfun says:

    I’ve just recently joined a new company and Vitality is the private health insurer provider. I’m paying twice what I was paying in P11d deductions than I was at my old company for less cover. At my old company all pre-existing issues were covered. Here I had to fill out a huge form detailing everything that was all excluded, not even a moratorium for a couple of years.

    The fitness trackers are all watcher or Apple products, so nothing I use. There is so much that I can’t use in the way of gym discounts (live in a modern block with in-house gym) movie discounts (I want to enjoy a movie, not get annoyed at everyone around me on their phones!!)

    When it comes time to renew, I will consider withdrawing. The credit card isn’t an incentive to stay.

  • janie says:

    Shame you need a premium of £60+ plus a month to benefit as well!
    Let’s hope the Virgin benefit is at least a better offer. Very disappointed the BA benefit has gone considering the avios and tier point.

  • John says:

    Be careful guys
    I apply for this card as I have a number of American Express card and I was declined a card because the limit to the amount of card you’re allowed to have it for and I have a 999 experience rating so just be careful if you have four more cards you will be potentially declined

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