American Express and Vitality launch a credit card that helps you earn cashback as you get fit

20 November 2019

The more physical activity you do, the more cashback you earn – but is it any good?

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American Express and insurer Vitality have launched a new cashback card that helps you make cash as you get fit.

The total amount of cashback you earn depends on how physically active you are in any given month.

To earn points, Vitality members track their activity on a compatible device, which then syncs with their Vitality app.

You can earn points for activities such as completing 7,000 steps in a day, visiting the gym or taking part in a run.

The more physical activity you record, the more cashback you can earn.

The credit card offers members 0.5% cashback on the first £5,000 spent and 1% above this.

You can also earn up to 2% cashback if you do enough physical activity and have a health and life plan on the first £1,000 of purchases.

Vitality American Express credit card members can earn up to 3% in cashback per month if they spend over £5,000 on their card in a year.

The card comes with an APR of 36.7%. It has a credit limit of £1,200 and a purchase rate of 22.9%.

Neville Koopowitz, chief executive at Vitality, says: “Health and wellbeing sit at the very core of our business, and time and time again we have seen the power of incentives in driving positive behaviour change around physical activity and making people healthier.”  

Is the card worth it?

While this is a novel way to earn cashback, the card comes with a hefty 36.7% APR charge.

So if you want to avoid this charge make sure you pay off your card each month.

Getting cashback could also prove a chore as to get the full 2% you need to earn 160 exercise points a month.

With 7,000 steps a day equalling three Vitality points, this could prove difficult for some people.

You will also need to spend over £5,000 a year and have the life and health policy Vitality to get the 3% cashback. There is also a fee of £4.50 or £6 if you have a Vitality life insurance policy.

Andrew Hagger, a personal finance expert at Moneycomms, says: “The appeal will be limited as you have to jump through a lot of hoops to qualify for the cashback.

“Cashback and rewards cards can give you something in return for your loyalty to a certain store or brand but only consider one if you know you will repay your card in full each month otherwise the interest costs will wipe out any benefits earned.”

Best credit cards for cashback

The current Moneywise best buy is the American Express Platinum Cashback Everyday credit card which has 22.9% APR variable. It offers 0.5% on spending up to £5,000 and 1% above this amount.

This card has no annual fee and an introductory offer of 5% cashback on spending for the first three months, up to a £100 limit. Bear in mind that American Express is less widely accepted than other types of credit card. You will also need to spend a minimum of £3,000 a year to get any cashback.

The Tandem Cashback credit card offers 0.5% cashback on all spending. You can also use it abroad and it has no limit on how much cashback you can earn.

While you won’t pay cash machine fees for withdrawals or spending around the world, you will be charged interest from the day of the transaction. The Tandem Cashback credit card has an 18.9% APR on spending or cash withdrawals.

An alternative is the Aqua Reward credit card which gives you 0.5% cashback on all spending up to a limit of £100 per year. As this card is designed for those with a poor credit history (although anyone can apply) it comes with a higher APR of 34.9%. Pay this card off in full every month to avoid paying a high rate of interest on your balance.

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