Andy’s Amazing Savings #1: American Express

Andy's Amazing Savings #1: American Express

I’ve had credit cards over the years but rarely used them. Now thanks to some great deals, I put everything I can on my American Express card. Here’s why it’s one of my amazing savings.

** This is the first in a series where I’ll share some my favourite ways to save. YFAP is completely independent and the brands featured have nothing to do with the posts. These are just the companies or products which I’m a big fan of for saving or making money. **  

I’ve always managed my money well. So when it came to credit cards I only used them for you overseas spending or when I wanted the extra protection you get with big purchases.

That all changed a year ago when I signed up for my first American Express – or Amex – card. In year one the card earned me an extra £350!

Here’s why it’s an amazing saving:

1. Cashback

With the Platinum Cashback credit card I get 1.25%  back to my account for every full £1 I spend. For the first three months it was 5% (up to a total of £125). There’s a £25 annual fee but I’ve worked out it’s worth it.

Last year I earned £200 with the Preferred Rewards Gold card. The second year had a £125 fee so I cancelled it and applied for the Platinum card.

I spend as much as I can on this card, then have a direct debit to pay it off in full each month. That means I can earn an extra month’s interest on my savings in a high interest account and max the cashback.

The only downside is that there are still places that won’t take it, but that number is getting smaller and smaller. Other cards also give you money back on purchases, but American Express is my top pick.

2. Statement credits

The idea is you register your card for specific offers. When you spend the required amount you’ll get a credit to your statement. Some are open to all, others tailored to you and your spending. I’ve never had a product that offers so many deals.

In the last year some I’ve used have included:

  • Free £5 for writing a TripAdvisor review
  • £15 when you spend £50 at Gap
  • £5 when you spend £10 at Tesco
  • £25 when you spend two lots of £25 at the London Restaurant Festival
  • £25 when you spend two lots of £25 at selected shops (including Space NK and Argos)
  • £10 when you spend £50 at House of Fraser
  • £20 when you spend £100 at Westfield
  • £10 when you buy a month’s Spotify (at £9.99)
  • £10 when you spend £30 at Gourmet Burger Kitchen
  • £5 when you spend £10 at a selected small business.

There are dozens more throughout the year, including shops such as Top Shop, Selfridges, Curry’s and much more.

You can get a card for your partner, or have more than one card yourself, and the statement credits offers are usually per card rather than card holder, so you can increase your benefits.

3. Great member perks

American Express sponsor plenty of events, which means members can get discounts and special access on tickets. I’ve picked up tickets for otherwise sold out shows, had early bird access to booking the recent Mastercard pop-up and recently picked up a free behind the scenes tour of the National Theatre.

There have also been around a dozen free apps given away this year, with more to come.

4. Amazing customer service

It’s rare that something goes wrong, but when cashback or a statement credit haven’t gone through correctly, I’ve been massively impressed by the service. Based in Brighton, they’ll sort your problem quickly, politely and without a queue. I’ve also heard some great stories of the help they’ve provided people with card issues overseas.

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