14 min Read
22 Nov 2019

Written by Andy

Vitality American Express Credit Card Review – Up to 3% cashback on a fee-free card

Vitality American Express credit cardAmerican Express is no stranger to a reward-based credit card, having established successful relationships with the likes of British Airways and Nectar. A new credit card, in partnership with Vitality will see American Express broaden its reach by offering a fee-free credit card that offers boosted cashback for millions of Vitality members in the UK.

In this independent review, we take a look at the Vitality American Express credit card and reveal who can get it, how it compares to other cashback credit cards and whether you should consider getting one.

Who can get a Vitality American Express credit card?

Only those that have a qualifying Vitality Health or Vitality Life insurance plan can apply for a Vitality American Express credit card. Vitality Health members must have a plan with a minimum premium of at least £35 per month and Vitality Life members must have a policy with a minimum premium of £45 per month plus a wellness optimiser, which costs an additional £4.50 per month.

Vitality American Express credit card eligibility

Vitality Amex Qualifying Criteria Vitality Health Plan Minimum Qualifying Premium Vitality Life Plan Minimum Qualifying Premium
You must have a Vitality Life or Health plan to qualify £35 per month £45 (+ £4.50 wellness optimiser) per month

 

How much does the Vitality American Express credit card cost?

The Vitality American Express credit card is a fee-free card and so there is no annual fee, however you have to be a Vitality member with a qualifying Vitality Health or Vitality Life insurance policy in order to apply. You would either need a Vitality Health plan with a minimum premium of £35 per month or a Vitality Life plan with a minimum premium of £45 per month (plus wellness optimiser of £4.50 per month).

If you are interested in learning more about Vitality Life and Vitality Health insurance, check out our independent Vitality review.

What are the benefits of the Vitality American Express credit card?

The Vitality American Express credit card rewards Vitality members in the form of cashback. The cashback is accrued monthly and paid as a lump sum, once a year. What is innovative about the Vitality American Express credit card is that the cashback you receive can be boosted each month, based on achieving certain health-related goals. It is in-keeping with Vitality's existing membership model that rewards its 7 million members for living a healthy lifestyle. You can earn between 0.5% and 3% cashback each month depending on how many activity points you accrue, however, the boosted cashback is limited to the first £1,000 spent on the card each month. We summarise the cashback in more detail below.

How much cashback can you earn each year with a Vitality American Express credit card?

The amount of cashback that you can earn with a Vitality American Express credit card will depend on your monthly activity points and member status (explained further below). We have summarised the cashback you will earn per year on a Vitality American Express credit card in the table below. The figures are based on £1,000 per month spend.

How does the Vitality American Express credit card compare to other American Express reward cards?

The Vitality American Express credit card has the potential to pay up to 3% cashback per year, the largest cashback reward for a fee-free card on the market. In the tables below we look at the Vitality American Express credit card and see how it compares to two other leading American Express fee-free reward cards.

American Express fee-free credit card comparison table

Card Type Introductory offer Standard reward up to £5,000 Standard reward over £5,000 Maximum ongoing reward
Vitality American Express credit card N/A 0.5% cashback 1% cashback Up to 3% cashback***
American Express Platinum Everyday credit card 5% on the first £2,000* 0.5% cashback 1% cashback 1% cashback
British Airways American Express credit card 5,000 bonus Avios points** 5,000 Avios points 7,000 Avios points 1 Avios point per £1 spent

*First 3 months only

**Applied if you spend £1,000 in your first 3 months

***The standard cashback rate can be boosted by a further 1% depending on how many Vitality activity points you acquire each month. This is then doubled to 2% if you are are a Vitality Pink member, totalling a maximum of 3% cashback. We explain how Vitality activity points can be earned later in this article.

How much cashback can you earn each year with a Vitality American Express credit card?

We have compared the Vitality American Express credit card with two other leading American Express reward cards so that you can see the maximum potential reward based on spending £1,000 per month.

Based on spending £1,000 per month Introductory offer Reward based on first £5,000 Reward based on spending over £5,000 Total boosted cashback
Vitality American Express credit card N/A £125 £210 £335
American Express Platinum Everyday credit card £100 £15 £70 £185
British Airways American Express credit card 5,000 bonus Avios points 5,000 Avios points 7,000 Avios points Equivalent to one return flight from London to Rome

In order to qualify for the highest cashback rate of 3% you would need to be a Vitality Pink member which requires you to be both a Vitality Health and Vitality Life member (and have a premium worth at least £90 per month). The maximum total cashback you could earn on the best comparable American Express fee-free credit card is £185 per year as shown in the table above. This includes an introductory rate of 5% cashback on the first £2,000.

The introductory offer on the American Express Platinum everyday credit card and British Airways American Express credit card is only payable in year 1 and so the rewards in year 2 reduce significantly. The boosted cashback payable on the Vitality American Express credit card is ongoing and does not reduce over time (so long as you maintain your Vitality activity and member status).

How does the Vitality American Express credit card cashback work?

You earn 0.5% cashback on the first £5,000 spent per year on your Vitality American Express credit card and 1% on anything above that. Each month you can boost the cashback by up to an additional 1%, based on the activity points that you accrue. If you are a Vitality Pink member (in order to qualify you will need to have a Vitality Health and Vitality Life insurance plan worth a combined premium of at least £90), then the boosted cashback is doubled. See our table below.

Vitality American Express credit card cashback booster explained

Vitality activity points required per month Vitality Cashback Booster Vitality Pink Booster
0-39 0.00% 0.00%
40-79 0.25% 0.50%
80-119 0.50% 1.00%
120-159 0.75% 1.50%
160+ 1.00% 2.00%

We explain how you can earn Vitality activity points in the section below

How do you earn Vitality activity points?

You can earn Vitality points in a variety of ways, including tracking your daily activity, attending a partner gym and completing various health-related assessments and screenings. By tracking your daily activity with a compatible activity tracker you can earn up to 8 points per day as shown in the tables below.

Daily Steps - You can earn between 3 and 8 points per day

Activity 3 points 5 points 8 points
Daily steps 7,000 10,000 12,500

Activity intensity - You can earn between 3 and 8 points per day

Activity 3 points 5 points 8 points
Activity intensity N/A 30-59 minutes at 60% maximum heart rate or 30-59 minutes at 300kcals burned per hour 60 minutes at 60% maximum heart rate or 30 minutes at 600kcals burned per hour or 60 minutes at 300kcals burned per hour

In addition to the activity points shown in the tables above you can earn 5 points every time you visit a Vitality partner gym

Health Assessments - You can earn between 100 and 200 points depending on the assessment

You can earn additional points by completing various health assessments as shown in the table below

Health Assessment How to earn points Points
Online Health Review Take the Online Health Review 100
Online non-smokers declaration Take as part of the online Health Review 100
Pharmacy non-smoker declaration Take a Vitality Healthcheck 200
Body Mass Index (BMI) Take as part of a Vitality Healthcheck, screening, fitness assessment or submit results from a GP 120
Blood pressure Take as part of a Vitality Healthcheck, screening, fitness assessment or submit results from a GP 120
Cholesterol Take as part of a Vitality Healthcheck, screening, fitness assessment or submit results from a GP 120
Random blood glucose Take as part of a Vitality Healthcheck, screening, fitness assessment or submit results from a GP 120
Fitness Take a fitness assessment at participating gyms 120

Mental Wellbeing - Earn up to 312 points per year for undertaking mindful activities

You can also earn points for completing mindful activities as shown below

Activity How to earn points Points per day Max points per week Max points per member per year
Mindfulness activity Use Headspace, Buddhify, Calm or The Mindfulness app 2 6 312

You can also earn activity points for eating well and completing various GP checkups.

What is the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of the Vitality American Express credit card?

The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for purchases is 22.9% variable, based on no annual card fee. The official APR of the Vitality American Express credit card is technically 36.7% as there is a £6 monthly fee for the Vitality programme baked into the cost, however this is not charged to Vitality members.

Can you add additional cards for other members of your family?

Yes, you can apply for a supplementary card when you complete your application. However, once you have completed and submitted your application, you will be unable to add any additional cardholders.

How much interest is payable on a Vitality American Express credit card?

There is a maximum interest-free period of 56 days on new purchases. If you pay your balance in full each month, you will not pay any interest, otherwise, you run the risk of being charged interest at 22.9%.

Is a Vitality American Express credit card worth it?

It really depends. If you are already looking to buy health or life insurance or were considering switching providers, then you may wish to consider it. While the Vitality American Express credit card can boast market-leading cashback rates for a fee-free card, it does come at a cost; the cost being a monthly insurance policy premium of at least £35 per month.

That being said, once you consider all of the rewards that are on offer and then combine those with the generous cashback rates, your monthly insurance premium can quickly pay for itself. Check out our independent Vitality review for more information about how its health and life insurance works, including the cheapest way to buy the cover (and it is not direct with Vitality).

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