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Vitality American Express Credit Card Review

We’ve had one of these Vitality American Express cashback credit cards for a few years so we have definitely road tested it for you. We’ll share our own experiences with practicalities of using this credit card and the amount of cashback that you ‘can’ earn.

A photo of Daniel Sharpe-Szunko, the author

By Daniel Sharpe-Szunko

Published on: 24 June 2024

6 min read

Vitality American Express Credit Card Review

We’ve had one of these Vitality American Express cashback credit cards for a few years so we have definitely road tested it for you. We’ll share our own experiences with practicalities of using this credit card and the amount of cashback that you ‘can’ earn.

Vitality is the third biggest Life & Health insurance company in the UK and it provides insurance protection to millions of Vitality members. They provide life insurance, health insurance, income protection insurance, and serious illness insurance.

Move forward with Vitality | Vitality UK

When you take out a Vitality life or health insurance policy then you will be eligible for an American Express boosted cashback rewards credit card. The key point here is that you ‘MUST’ be a Vitality insurance policyholder to be able to get this credit card.

In this review, we look at our own experience over the past 3 years with using the Vitality American Express Credit Card. We’ll explain how to get your hands on these cards, how they work, what it’s like to use an American Express credit card (not everyone accepts them), and how much you can get back in cashback rewards.

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60-Second Summary – How good is the Vitality American Express credit card?

One of the benefits that you can get when you’re a Vitality life or health insurance customer, is the Vitality American Express cashback credit card. This is part of the Vitality active rewards programme for customers who are active and earn reward points for daily exercise.

WARNING: This is not a traditional American Express credit card and it is only available to Vitality health and life insurance customers. You also need to earn active reward points to unlock the bonus cashback.

  • Vitality introduced the American Express partnership about 3 years ago with the launch of the new Vitality American Express fee free cashback credit card.
  • You can earn up to 3% cashback on most of your regular purchases when you earn 180 active reward points in a month for steps, exercise, and gym visits.
  • The Vitality American Express cashback fee-free credit card is currently the highest rate of cashback that you can earn on any credit card in the UK.
  • Standard rate of cashback on this Vitality Amex credit card is 1% and then you can earn up to 2% bonus cashback through your daily activity.

As we’ve mentioned above, you can only get a Vitality American Express cash back credit card by being a Vitality health or life insurance policy holder. These credit cards are available through the vitality member zone which you get access to with a Vitality health or life insurance policy.

Other eligibility criteria include:

  • Good credit score
  • No bad credit
  • Must be over the age of 18
  • Must have a permanent UK address
  • Must have a UK bank account

You can apply for the Vitality American Express cash back credit card through the Vitality member zone, where it will tell you whether you’re eligible or not.

This is a fee free credit card, which means that there are no costs associated with having this card. Unlike some other cash back credit cards there is no annual fee and no other charges associated with this card.

There are however, other potential standard credit card fees such as paying interest an unpaid balances, or potentially late payment charges if you don’t manage your credit card account properly.

Vitality health and life insurance have a monthly fee with some of their policies, which is called Vitality Optimised. The monthly fee for a Vitality Optimised policy is currently £3.95 which covers all of your Vitality healthy rewards benefits.

Lots of consumers don’t bother with American Express credit cards because they’re not accepted everywhere and they can be difficult to use. It is true that they charge higher fees to retailers and that many smaller retailers don’t accept American Express credit cards for that reason.

There are very few major retailers that don’t accept American Express credit cards in reality, and especially for normal day-to-day purchases. Some of the main things that you can use your Amex for are:

There are lots of smaller retailers that don’t use American Express which is understandable, and one of the latest big brands to stop Amex is eBay.

There are several different levels of cash back with this credit card and you need to engage in Vitality active rewards to get the full 3%, which isn’t easy and it’s not for everyone. We’d definitely recommend this if you’re someone that does regular exercise or you do a daily amount of steps that is more than 12,500 steps (which must be recorded on a compatible wearable device).

We should be clear that this is a complicated point and it’s not easy to figure out how the cashback works, but it’s fine once you’re using it and you get used to it. You’ll also be able to track everything on your Vitality member zone for your card and it will show you how you’re getting on throughout the month.

The tables below show the amount of cash back that you could earn with the vitality American Express credit card.

Vitality American Express credit card basic cashback rates

Credit card spendCashback percentage (basic rate)
Up to £10,000 per year0.5%
Over £10,000 per year1%

Note: You can also claim an extra £100 cashback bonus from American Express if you spend £2,000 in the first 3 months.

Vitality American Express credit card member rewards cashback rates

Active reward pointsCashback BoosterPink Booster
0 to 39 points0%0%
40 to 79 points0.25%0.5%
80 to 119 points0.5%1.0%
120 to 159 points0.75%1.5%
Over 160 points1.0%2.0%

Note: These rates are subject to change and you should check your Vitality member zone for the latest rates that apply to your policy.

Click the links for more information about how to earn your Vitality active rewards and for a full breakdown of the Vitality Life Insurance and Vitality Health Insurance to read our expert reviews.

As with any credit card, you will be charged on any outstanding balances that are not cleared at the end of the month. The best advice is to make sure that you clear any credit card balance at the end of every month.

You can also transfer any outstanding credit card balances that you don’t think are affordable with any of the current 0% balance transfer credit cards. Missed payments on your credit cards will show up on your credit report and can affect your credit score so try to avoid this.

Representative APR example:

The Vitality American Express credit card representative APR is 31.0% variable based on no annual card fee. This is assuming a credit card limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 31% variable.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is variable and can change in line with any change to the Bank of England Base Rate (BBR), subject to the American Express terms & conditions.

As we mentioned earlier, me and Caroline have both been using this credit card and engaging in the Vitality active rewards for several years. Last year we earned just over £400 in cashback over the year which was from an average spend of £2,000 per month (e.g. fuel, shopping, holidays, clothes, sundries, etc.).

We’ve also used other cashback credit cards for a similar level of spending activity and we would normally earn approximately £150 per year. Most cashback credit cards pay a rate of 1% which is the same as the basic rate with the Vitality American Express credit card, so you’re not actually losing out if you don’t get the reward points.

We are Platinum members with Vitality and we must stress that we regularly get the top amount of reward points in a month. We’re not showing off, we have a big dog and she gets walked 3 miles every morning at 6am… it’s not big and it’s not clever but it works!

This short video from Vitality explains more about how the Vitality American Express cashback system works.

How does the Vitality American Express Card work? | Vitality UK

We’re also offering up to £100 cashback when you take out a new qualifying Vitality Life Insurance or Health Insurance policy. Vitality offers some of the best cover options to parents to protect themselves and their family.

As longstanding Vitality customers ourselves we would definitely recommend at least considering Vitality Life and Health Insurance. These are especially good for people who are active and who want to manage their lifestyles to get fit.

For more information about Vitality Life and Health Insurance you can speak to one of our friendly experts on 0800 009 6559 or CLICK HERE for more information.

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