American Express has revamped its Platinum cashback credit card, meaning it may no longer be the most lucrative for the majority of users.

The card giant has today dropped the introductory bonus it used to offer from 5% of spending to 2.5%, and introduced a 25 annual fee.

However, it is the best long-term payer for those who plan to spend over 10,000 a year as it pays 2.5% cashback in every anniversary month. It has also introduced a more lucrative standard cashback reward.

Anyone who has the old Amex Platinum card keeps the same rewards, though you can transfer to the new version without a credit check.

Remember, if you fail to repay a cashback card in full each month the interest will dwarf the rewards.

Amex Platinum old vs new
Reward Old New
1st 3 months cashback 5% (max 100) 2.5% (max 100)
Normal cashback up to 1.25% 1.25%
Anniversary month cashback (i) N/A 2.5% (if spent 10k+ in past yr)
Annual fee N/A 25
Min spend for cashback 3k/year N/A
No use fee 20 N/A
(i) Paid in month 13 after taking card. Then month 25, then month 37, etc

The changes make the Capital One World Mastercard the top payer for many medium and low spenders.

Dan Plant, MoneySavingExpert.com money analyst, says: "With the new Amex card, if you are certain normal spending will be high enough to make the 25 annual fee worth it, it can be lucrative.

"Always remember you pay the charge come rain or shine, so if you spend less than expected, it can be a massive bite out of cashback earnings. The alternative no-fee cards are safer choices, and are worth considering."

The table below shows how the Capital One and two Amex cards compare to help you decide which is best to get if you're a new customer, or whether it's worth switching if you're on the old Amex card.

Top cashback cards compared
Cashback, based on annual spend
Card 3,000 10,002 20,000
Capital One
Year 1
49
145
233
Year 2
15
70
195
Total
64
215
428
Amex Plat (new) Year 1
22
131
275
Year 2
13
110 (i)
246
Total
35
241 (i)
521
Amex Plat (old) Year 1
49
180
304
Year 2
15
89
214
Total
64
279
518
Assumes regular spending every month. Cashback for new Amex Platinum is after 25 fee. (i) You need to spend 10,002 a year to get the anniversary bonus.

To get the Amex Platinum card, you must have a household income of at least 30,000 a year and a good credit rating.

To get Capital One, you need a good credit rating, an individual income of 20,000+ and you must be a homeowner.

Alternatively, MBNA Amex pays 1.5% on all food and petrol spending, and 0.75% on everything else. There's no minimum income requirement, but you need a good credit rating.

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