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Amex cuts the payout on its Platinum Cashback credit cards

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American Express has cut the cashback rate on its two Platinum cashback credit cards.

The new rate comes in today for new applications. If you currently hold the Platinum Cashback or Platinum Cashback Everyday card, the new rates will come into effect from 4th August.

Changes are also being made to the invite-only Vitality American Express, although we are not covering that. They will match the new rates on Platinum Cashback Everyday. Details are here.

HFP Amex American Express Platinum Cashback card

There are two different American Express Platinum Cashback credit cards – Platinum Cashback and Platinum Cashback Everyday.

Here is the required interest rate information:

American Express Platinum Cashback

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Cashback paid in a lump sum after 12 months
  • Annual fee: £25

Representative 27.3% APR variable based on an assumed £1,200 credit limit and £25 annual fee. Interest rate on purchases 22.2% APR variable.

See if you qualify for the 5% cashback sign-up bonus +

You will receive 5% cashback on purchases on the American Express Platinum Cashback card within 90 days of signing up.  This is capped at £125.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held a Business American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the American Express Platinum Cashback card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You will receive the standard rate of cashback on your spending.

Learn more about the card benefits +

American Express Platinum Cashback is the most generous cashback credit card in the UK.

After the first three months, during which the special bonus rate applies:

  • Spend £0 to £10,000 and receive 0.75% cashback on purchases
  • Spend over £10,000 and receive 1.25% cashback on purchases

Cashback is paid in a lump sum at the end of each 12 month period.  If you close the card mid-year you will lose any accumulated cashback.

As our review shows, this card is better value if you will spend over £10,000 per year.  If you will spend under £10,000 per year, you should apply for the free American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday credit card instead.  The cashback rate is lower but this is offset by the lack of any annual fee.

American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday

Read our full reviewApply here

Other information:

  • Cashback paid in a lump sum after 12 months
  • Minimum spend of £3,000 per year required to receive cashback
  • Annual fee: Free

Representative 22.2% APR variable

See if you qualify for the 5% cashback sign-up bonus +

You will receive 5% cashback on purchases on the American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday card within 90 days of signing up.  This is capped at £100.

To qualify for the bonus, you must NOT, currently or in the previous 24 months, have held any other personal American Express card.

You are OK if you had a supplementary card on someone else’s American Express account.

You are OK if, currently or in the previous 24 months, you have held a Business American Express card.

For clarity, you can still apply for the American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday card even if you do not qualify for the bonus.  You will receive the standard rate of cashback on your spending.

Learn more about the card benefits +

American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday is the most generous free cashback credit card in the UK.

After the first three months, during which the special bonus rate applies:

  • Spend £0 to £10,000 and receive 0.5% cashback on purchases
  • Spend over £10,000 and receive 1% cashback on purchases

You must spend at least £3,000 per year to receive cashback.

Cashback is paid in a lump sum at the end of each 12 month period.  If you close the card mid-year you will lose any accumulated cashback.

As our review shows, this card is better value if you will spend less than £10,000 per year.  If you will spend over £10,000 per year, you should apply for the £25 American Express Platinum Cashback credit card instead.  The cashback rate is higher and you are better off even after paying the annual fee.

Platinum Cashback has a £25 annual fee but has a higher cashback rate than the Everyday card, which is free.

What are the new American Express cashback rates?

Here are the new cashback rates:

Platinum Cashback

  • PREVIOUS: 1% cashback on spending up to £10000 per year, 1.25% cashback beyond this
  • NEW: 0.75% cashback on spending up to £10000 per year, 1.25% cashback beyond this

Platinum Cashback Everyday

  • PREVIOUS: 0.5% cashback on spending up to £5000 per year, 1% cashback beyond this
  • NEW: 0.5% cashback on spending up to £10000 per year, 1% cashback beyond this

Are the sign-up bonuses changing?

No.

New cardholders who qualify for a sign-up bonus will still receive a higher cashback rate of 5% on their spending for the first 90 days.

This is capped at £125 for the ‘annual fee’ Platinum Cashback card and £100 for the free Platinum Cashback Everyday card.

Do these cuts change our view of which card is best?

Oddly enough, no.

The ‘break-even’ point remains at £10,000. Put another way, if you spend more than £10,000 per year, you should pay the £25 annual fee for Platinum Cashback.

If you spend less than £10,000 per year, it isn’t worth it. Stick with the free Platinum Cashback Everyday card.

Here are three examples:

  • £5,000 spend – Platinum Cashback earns £12.50 net of fee, Platinum Cashback Everyday earns £25
  • £10,000 spend – Platinum Cashback earns £50 net of fee, Platinum Cashback Everday earns £50
  • £20,000 spend – Platinum Cashback earns £175 net of fee, Platinum Cashback Everyday earns £150

Are these still good cards, despite the cut in the cashback rates?

Yes.

Spend £10,000 on either card and you will receive exactly £50 (0.5%) back.

Spend more and you receive more.

If you push your annual spending up to £20,000, your return increases to £175 (net of the £25 fee) on Platinum Cashback, which is 0.875%. On the free Platinum Cashback Everyday, £20,000 of spending gets you £150 (0.75%) cashback.

Low spenders have less to get excited about.

Spend £5,000 on the Platinum Cashback card and your return, netting off the £25 fee, is only £12.50 (0.25%). On the free Platinum Cashback Everyday card, you would have received £25 (0.5%).

What is the best Visa or Mastercard to pair with Amex Platinum Cashback?

If you want a cashback Visa or Mastercard to use alongside your Platinum Cashback card, you are going to struggle to get a good return.

The typical return on a free cashback or store rewards card (eg Amazon, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Barclays Rewards) is now around 0.2% to 0.25%. The Santander All In One card pays 0.5% cashback but has a £3 monthly fee.

The free Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard – the most generous Visa or Mastercard on the market – is up there with the American Express cards, albeit you receive Virgin Points and not cash.

This card is free and earns 0.75 Virgin Points per £1 spent.

If you thought you could get 1p per Virgin Point by redeeming for premium cabin flights (and we believe you can) your implied return is 0.75%. Virgin Points are not as flexible as cash, of course.

How does Platinum Cashback compare with the Nectar or free British Airways Amex cards?

We’ll look at this topic again later in the week.

The Platinum Cashback cuts simply reiterate the position of the free British Airways American Express as the best pseudo-cashback credit card in Britain. This assumes that you convert your Avios from the credit card to Nectar points and spend them in Sainsbury’s, Argos or eBay.

As a reminder, the conversion rate from Avios to Nectar points is 1 : 1.6 and a Nectar point is worth 0.5p in most cases.

You would now need to spend £17,000 before the £25 Platinum Cashback card outperforms the 0.8% pseudo-cashback that the free BA Amex pays.

The free Platinum Cashback Everyday card will never outperform the free BA Amex, irrespective of your spending.

Using the free BA Amex as a pseudo-cashback card even has potential upside, because there are occasional promotions which make Nectar points worth more than the usual 0.5p.

More on this later in the week though ….

Remember that, if you currently have a Platinum Cashback credit card, these changes do not apply immediately. They kick in from 4th August.

American Express Platinum Cashback

The UK’s most generous cashback credit card with a fee Read our full review

American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday

The UK’s most generous fee-free cashback credit card Read our full review

Comments (30)

  • Tom says:

    I wonder if this will affect the Vitality cash back card. I’m guessing perhaps not as they’re locked into a contract with Vitality?

  • Jack says:

    What’s the best course of action for someone who holds a platinum everyday card? I am considering the basic rewards card, the nectar card, or the gold credit card from 4th august. I have a low income compared to most on here as I am a student. Any advice would be much appreciated:))

    • DJ says:

      Unless you’re spending more than £5k a year, I don’t see anything needs changing.

    • James says:

      I don’t think much is changing, however the article does say ‘The free Platinum Cashback Everyday card will never outperform the free BA Amex’ and since you can now exchange Avios for Nectar points, it might end up being the better card.

      Otherwise the American Express rewards card is pretty good, however if it’s your first points earning card from Amex in the last 24 months, the best route is to sign up for the Gold Credit (if you can hit the sign up bonus), and downgrade after the first free year to the free rewards card

      • N says:

        Not sure you can downgrade. You have to apply again for the free MR option I believe – not an issue but something to bear in mind.

        • Jack says:

          Thanks for the advice, I’ll keep my current card for now. I will apply for the BAPP card when I graduate as I want to keep the points/companion voucher open to me.

  • Sandgrounder says:

    Isn’t it a sign of how crazy the times are that you can earn more in cashback from spending £20k now than you can in interest from saving it in a market leading easy access account for two years!

    • John says:

      What is crazy is that I have gained more from the credit card bent into ernie than prizes from ernie

  • Neil says:

    Does anyone know whether it is possible to downgrade the annual fee cashback card to the no fee card, as one can with the BA cards?

    • Anttelli says:

      Yes you can, I did this in March by calling up. I was given a pro rata refund of the annual fee:

      • Neil says:

        Great – thanks! Were you able to keep the cashback already earned?

        • Anttelli says:

          Oh yes and as I had spent over 5k purchases still attracted the 1% Cashback. My anniversary date was this week so had credit back on Tuesday.

  • lost+confused says:

    Perhaps I missed it already being mentioned here but I’ve been notified by Lloyds today that the Avios card is becoming a cashback card from 1st June earning 0.25% upto 4k spend and then 0.5%. Also got an email from BAEC confirming the Lloyds relationship is ending

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