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I’m a big fan of Amex credit cards, especially the cashback ones, but which is best?

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It’s easy to rant about a bad customer service experience or call out some dodgy dealings. But it’s a lot rarer that I can unequivocally rave about something positive.

Yet there is one company which I have hardly anything negative to say about – American Express. Or “Amex” as it’s often known. Out of all the financial products I use, none compare for customer service. 

But of course, the main reason I’m a fan is the fact that I earn money back every time I use my card.

There are two American Express credit card which pay you in cashback – money back to your account rather than points to transfer.

They’re the Amex Platinum Cashback Credit Card and the Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card. On the whole they’re very similar. But there are key differences in the fee you pay (one charges, ones doesn’t) and how much cashback you earn.

You can watch my comparison video of the two cards here, or keep reading for a breakdown of which I think is best. First though, a quick rundown of how you earn money from the cards.

Watch the video over on my YouTube channel and hit “like”

How you earn cashback

Cashback is earned in a few different ways, especially in the first year.

Referral bonus

When you first open the card you can either get a referral bonus from a friend who has the card, or sign up via a cashback site. This extra initial cashback is worth between £5 and £25 depending on the card and referral source.

Introductory cashback

When you first open a cashback card you can earn 5% cashback in the first three months. These introductory offers alone are pretty much unbeatable, though they are capped. You can make either £100 to £125 depending on the card.

If you’ve already got an Amex, American Express has been making it harder to earn these sign up bonuses. You have to have not had a reward/cashback Amex in your name for at least two years – though there is a work around to slightly reduce that time.

Ongoing cashback

After your welcome bonus you can keep on earning cashback with every full pound you spend. Right now you can’t beat the cashback offered by American Express.

The rate is between 0.5% up to 1.25% back. The best you’ll get on everday spend on Visa and Mastercard is 0.25%.

Additional offers

Then there are the frequent “statement credit” offers. In the last few years I’ve claimed rewards (ranging from 5% to £20) from places like NOW TV, the restaurant Hawksmoor, Beer52 and hundreds more from the annual Shop Small promotion.

You activate these in the app or online account and they’re paid soon after purchase back into your account.

When American Express cashback is paid

You get the money from the welcome bonus, referral code (except from cashback sites) and ongoing cashback paid on the anniversary of opening the card. So you do have to wait 12 months to get it.

The best American Express credit cards in the UK

I think the two Platinum cashback credit cards are the best options for most, though you might want to checkout the rewards and points cards, more on those here.

Platinum Cashback Credit Card

Cashback rates

  • Tiered cashback for every full £1 spent
    • 1% cashback on spending up to £10,000
    • 1.25% on spending over £10,001

Welcome offer

  • 5% cashback for first three months
    • Max of £125 in this time, which would require a £2,500 spend

Fee / minimum spend

  • £25 fee
  • No minimum spend

Referral bonus

  • £25 if referred by a friend (use my link here)
  • Or Quidco/Topcashback cashback: £20 (Quidco), £10 (TCB)

Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card

Cashback rates

  • Tiered cashback for every full £1 spent
    • 0.5% cashback on spending up to £5,000
    • 1% on spending over £5,001

Welcome offer

  • Intro offer: 5% cashback for first three months
    • Max of £100 this time, which would require a £2,000 spend

Fee / minimum spend

  • No fee
  • Minimum spend of £3,000 in a year to get the cashback

Referral bonus

  • £10 if referred by a friend
  • Or Quidco/Topcashback cashback: £5

Not used cashback sites Quidco or TopCashback before? Get a bonus of up to £17 here.

Which Platinum Cashback card is best?

Both are decent cards, but I think the one with the £25 fee is the best of the two Platinum cards. Despite the fee, you’ll make most of that back from a higher referral bonus, and you’ll earn more in the first year with the increased introductory offer and higher cashback rates.

If you choose to keep it for the second year then you’ll need to spend £5,000 over 12 months for it to break even with the Everyday card. Then if you spend more than £10,000 you jump up to 1.25% cashback, earning you even more.

So as long as you expect to spend at least £5,000 each year – which is £450 a month – it’s the best option as it has the potential to earn more.

Of course if you don’t think you’ll spend that much on the card but still want it for the introductory bonus and those extra offers you could look at the Everyday instead – but don’t forget you need to spend at least £3,000 a year to get any cashback with that card.

For further breakdowns check out these tables:

Year One

Rough spend and cashback figures by card in the first year with introductory offers.

Amex Platinum EverydayReferral bonusBonus 5%
(up to £2k in 3 months)
0.5%
(up to £5k)
1%
(over £5k)
Year 1 cashbackYear 1 cashback
after £0 fee
Monthly spendAnnual spend
£200.00£2,400.00*£10.00£30.00£9.00£0.00£49.00£49.00
£500.00£6,000.00£10.00£75.00£17.50£10.00£112.50£112.50
£833.33£10,000.00£10.00£100.00£15.00£50.00£175.00£175.00
£1,000.00£12,000.00£10.00£100.00£15.00£70.00£195.00£195.00
Scroll right to see full table

* £3,000 minimum annual spend required to get cashback on the Everyday card

Amex Platinum CashbackReferral bonusBonus 5%
(up to £2.5k in 3 months)
1%
(up to £10k)
1.25%
(over £10k)
Year 1 cashbackYear 1 cashback
after £25 fee
Monthly spendAnnual spend
£200.00£2,400.00£25.00£30.00£18.00£0.00£73.00£48.00
£500.00£6,000.00£25.00£75.00£45.00£0.00£145.00£120.00
£833.33£10,000.00£25.00£125.00£75.00£0.00£225.00£200.00
£1,000.00£12,000.00£25.00£125.00£75.00£25.00£250.00£225.00
Scroll right to see full table

Year Two

Rough spend and cashback figures by card for year two (and onwards) when there are no extra bonuses.

Amex Platinum Everyday0.5%
(up to £5k)
1%
(over £5k)
Year 2 cashbackYear 2 cashback
after £0 fee
Monthly spendAnnual spend
£200.00£2,400.00*£12.00£0.00£12.00£12.00
£500.00£6,000.00£25.00£10.00£35.00£35.00
£833.33£10,000.00£25.00£50.00£75.00£75.00
£1,000.00£12,000.00£25.00£70.00£95.00£95.00
Scroll right to see full table

* £3,000 minimum annual spend required to get cashback on the Everyday card

Amex Platinum Cashback1%
(up to £10k)
1.25%
(over £10k)
Year 2 cashbackYear 2 cashback
after £25 fee
Monthly spendAnnual spend
£200.00£2,400.00£24.00£0.00£24.00-£1.00
£500.00£6,000.00£60.00£0.00£60.00£35.00
£833.33£10,000.00£100.00£0.00£100.00£75.00
£1,000.00£12,000.00£100.00£25.00£125.00£100.00
Scroll right to see full table

Wait! Read this before you apply for ANY credit card

Any bonus and cashback you earn is only worth it if you clear the credit card in full every month. If you don’t do this you’ll be charged interest, probably at something like 22%, which will obliterate your cashback savings.

Also, you’ll be credit checked when you apply for a card, so check your credit report before applying. A rejection could damage your credit score further.

You’re given an option to check your eligibility on the Amex website which doesn’t affect your credit report – so it’s well worth doing this before applying. You’ll be given a figure showing the likelihood you’ll get the card – for example I was given a score of 9.5 out of 10 – so very likely.

> Apply for an American Express cashback credit card

Alternative cashback credit cards 

For those occasions when American Express isn’t accepted, I like to have a Mastercard cashback card in my wallet. You can read more about these here.


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