The Basic Card by American Express: Should Anyone Get this Card?

The Basic Card by American Express: Should Anyone Get this Card?

A charge card with virtually no features or rewards.

Good for

  • American Express Experiences

Bad for

  • Must pay full balance each month
  • No rewards

Editor's Rating

2.5/5.0

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

The American Express Basic Card offers no rewards and the only American Express "perk" is access to American Express Invites, which is also available on a number of other American Express cards. As a charge card you must pay off the full balance every month.

Basic Card by American Express Features

While the Basic Card is one of American Express’s charge cards, it does not participate in the Membership Rewards program like the other charge cards. The Basic Card offers no rewards or benefits to speak of, other than access to American Express Experiences. As a charge card, you are required you to pay off the full balance every month.

American Express Experiences

American Express Experiences gives you access to advance tickets and specially reserved seating, providing the chance to get tickets before they go on general sale.

Basic Card by American Express Review

The Basic Card by American Express is definitely… basic. As a charge card you have to pay off your balance in full every month and it offers no rewards or perks, beyond access to American Express Experiences. While we agree that American Express Experiences can provide potential value—you may get access to "impossible-to-find" tickets, for instance—you can find this same perk on many of American Express’s other free and paid cards.

For example, the Amex Platinum Everday cashback card charges no fee and

How Does the Basic Card Compare to Other Amex Cards?

To better understand the value of the Basic credit card you need to compare it to other available options. We’ve compared this card to other free rewards cards so you can see which has better features for you.

Amex Basic Card vs Platinum Cashback Everyday Card

The Platinum Cashback Everyday Credit Card by American Express is a solid no-fee cashback credit card for everyday shopping, which returns 0.5% or 1% on regular spending, plus an initial 5% cashback welcome bonus. This card also provides access to American Express Experiences, plus Purchase and Refund Protection, Global Assist and Travel Accident Insurance. You must spend at least £3,000 on your card each year to receive any cashback rewards.

Quick Takeaway: Generally speaking, the free Platinum Cashback Everyday card is a solid bet if you can pay off your balance every month.

Amex Basic Card vs Partnership Card

The Partnership Card is one of the highest-earning Mastercards in the UK, especially for those who shop at John Lewis and Waitrose. Expect to earn 1% on John Lewis/Waitrose shopping and 0.5% elsewhere. Rewards are distributed three times a year as vouchers to use in store at John Lewis or Waitrose, as you see fit.

Quick Takeaway: The Partnership Card has the benefit that it earns rewards and it's a Mastercard, which is accepted nearly everywhere. Plus it's a free card.

Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the CEO, Co-founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team. Read more on LinkedIn.

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The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.