American Express is no stranger to rewards-based credit cards, having established successful relationships with the likes of British Airways and Nectar. Its partnership with Vitality has broadened its reach, 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 insurance plan can apply for a Vitality American Express credit card. You will also need to meet the eligibility criteria, including having a good credit score, with no history of bad credit, and having a permanent UK address and bank account.
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.
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 up to an additional 2% 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.
It is worth noting that the standard cashback offered on American Express cards is set to change on 4 August 2021, as follows:
Cashback up until 3 August 2021
- 0.5% on spend up to £5,000
- 1% on spend above £5,000
Cashback from 4 August 2021
- 0.5% on spend up to £10,000
- 1% on spend above £10,000
For more information, read our article "American Express cuts cashback offer: what you need to know".
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).
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 table below we compare the cashback you can potentially earn through the standard American Express cashback reward, the cashback including the boost from achieving maximum activity points and, finally, the maximum cashback you can get if you have Vitality "pink status", which requires you to be both a Vitality Health and Vitality Life member (and have a premium worth at least £90 per month).
Vitality American Express credit card rewards comparison (based on spending £1,000 per month)*
|Card Type||Introductory offer||Reward based on first £5,000||Reward based on spending over £5,000||Total cashback per year based on spending £1,000 per month|
|Vitality American Express credit card (with no activity points)||£100 (if you spend £2,000 during your first 3 months)||£25||£70||£95|
|Vitality American Express credit card (with maximum activity points)||£100 (if you spend £2,000 during your first 3 months)||£75||£140||£215|
|Vitality American Express credit card (with pink status)||£100 (if you spend £2,000 during your first 3 months)||£125||£210||£335|
*These cashback rates are accurate up until 4 August 2021, when the cashback rates are set to change
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 up to £100.
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 2%, 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 you can receive up to an additional 1% (the boosted cashback is effectively 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|
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|
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 32.9% variable. However, this incorporates a monthly fee of £6.50 that Vitality charges to some of its members to access its partner rewards and benefits. For members who do not have to pay this fee (or pay a lower fee) the APR starts at 22.2% variable.
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.
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).
Looking for a financial adviser near you?
Do you need financial advice? An independent financial adviser can show you how to make the most
of your money. Find your nearest qualified and regulated adviser using this VouchedFor search tool.