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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

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? – February 2024 update

If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.

Virgin Money is offering double points on spending until 14th April (£5,000 cap) to new customers when you apply for the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard. Click here to learn more.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend 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:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

American Express Business Platinum

Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 9th April) and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

Huge 60,000 points sign-up bonus (until 9th April) and free for a year Read our full review

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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

2% cashback on all your business spend for 3 months (1% thereafter) and no annual fee Read our full review

Comments (91)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • RakishDriver says:

    That is just dull.
    I hope they’re gonna put the same effort into pushing a decent Marriott bonvoy card.

  • CC says:

    Presumably this won’t launch until December 13th (when the current FlyVitality scheme ends) as that doesn’t accept AMEX.

  • CC says:

    Quite another interesting benefit they have announced:

    “Expedia
    Vitality members will receive up to 20% off four hotel bookings a year. The discount amount and the number of bookings allowed will start at 10%, increasing to 20% depending on a person’s plan, Vitality status and engagement with the Vitality Programme.”

  • Ian M says:

    Not interested in the card, but I am very interested to see, not only Amex launch a new co-brand card, but with a good earning rate AND encourage high spending! Surely Amex will be losing money?

    • Rob says:

      Something ia going on. I can imagine them agreeing to lose money on a UK Hilton card to preserve their US relationship, for example, but Vitality …..?

  • keith says:

    For awareness, the 160 points a month may not be all that achievable for some. You can get a maximum of 8 points per day, with a cap at 40 points per week. So if for any reason you don’t hit your 12.5k steps 5 times in a week, you won’t hit the maximum amount of cash back. There are exercise targets you could meet instead though if you didn’t hit the steps (a half hour run would give you the same points).

  • Jonathan says:

    A bit OT but Amex related, when the platinum business card had the 27k referral bonus on last month\earlier this month. Was the 90k annual cap temporarily lifted too?

  • Paul says:

    Very niche! I read about half the article and decided this card is just way to involved. Life, even a vitality filled one needs to be so much simpler!😳

    • Shoestring says:

      card itself looks pretty good to me – the dealbreaker is that the Vitality policy you need to sign up for is pretty expensive, OK if you needed it anyway but I don’t

    • Rob says:

      To be fair, if you look at ALL the Vitality benefits (free Amazon Prime etc, plus 15% off Virgin flights soon and money off at Waitrose) you could – financially – do nicely. The level of mental jiggery-pokery required to keep on top of it all is too much for me though.

      • Fromdownwest says:

        I have an existing vitality product, and have the iwatch deal on it. One thing to note is that app that they use to track your points is utterly utterly useless, works 50% of the time.

        So even if you are doing the steps, exercise etc, you are not getting credited for the points, therefore missing out on cinema tickets, coffee, payments towards iwatch. I would not risk having bonus cash back applied with the state of the current app.

        Check out the app store, I am not alone.

        • Angelo says:

          I agree the app is incredibly flaky but what I find is that if regularly go into it and repeatedly update it will do so eventually. If for whatever reason points don’t get credited it is really easy for them to add them all you need to do is take a screen print from your phone proving you did the activity. Yes it’s a pain to have to do but it works and to date I have never had a kick back 😀

        • billythefish says:

          I know what you mean about the app, it’s beyond rubbish. However, I’ve found if steps aren’t counted on the app, you can take a screenshot from your Apple Health app (presumably from whatever other app you may use on a different phone) and mail them, asking for the relevant points be added, they get it done in a couple of days.

  • CardiffJock says:

    Sorry to go O/T
    Considering upgrading from Amex Preferred Rewards Gold to Amex Platinum. Apparently there’s 20,000 MR points if you spend £4k within 3 months. Anyone done this?

    Main query is would I get a pro-rata refund of my PRG annual fee, as I’d assume I’d be paying the full £575 Platinum fee on upgrading?

    Thx

    • Joe says:

      Yes – you will be refunded pro-rata for the Gold. You will probably know that you can only upgrade from the Gold charge card, not the Gold credit card.

      (I’ve done the upgrade previously)

      • CardiffJock says:

        @Joe, I thought all Gold cards were credit cards now? My gold is a credit card so if you’re right I’ll be snookered…

        • Shoestring says:

          correct – can’t upgrade from the Gold credit- try getting the Green charge?

          • CardiffJock says:

            Thanks Joe – Was just wondering about that!

            I wonder if I can downgrade the gold credit to a green charge card rather than have to cancel and reapply?

            Also, do you think if I got the basic (blue) card, which is free the upgrade would still be an option, or you reckon just from green to platinum?

            Thx for your input

          • CardiffJock says:

            @ Shoestring, thanks to you too I’m blind!!

      • Relaxo says:

        You cannot downgrade Gold credit to green charge. Your best option is to (self) refer from Gold to Green, then upgrade green to platinum.

    • Ben says:

      Anyone have the link for the upgrade?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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