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American Express Credit Cards in Australia

The American Express Company was formed in 1850 in New York and has since then established itself worldwide as a powerful and influential issuer of credit and charge cards.

Updated

American Express credit cards are in essence prestige reward credit cards. The interest rates are high, application approval is relatively tough and fees are potentially high.

On the other hand, the reward programs are highly flexible and generous. American Express cards offer complimentary enrolment into their reward program 'Membership Rewards'. While they have different reward programs, MR is their staple broad program. 'Membership Rewards' features:

  • No Reward Point Capping - Most reward credit cards have an annual cap on the amount of reward points you can earn, generally ranging from 50,000 for lower-end cards up to 150,000 for gold and platinum cards. Amex offers unlimited point opportunities.
  • No Reward Point Expiry - As long as your account remains open, Membership Reward points will not expire.
  • High Reward Point Conversion - You won't find an American Express credit card that offers less than 1 reward point per $1 spent. Some credit cards along with introductory promotions can raise the conversion rate to 2 points earned per dollar.

See a range of Australia's American Express credit cards here

Why is American Express not as popular as Visa or Mastercard in Australia?

The key reason is acceptance. Visa and Mastercard have practically worldwide acceptance anywhere where credit cards are accepted, while Amex access is more limited.

User feedback on Credit Card Finder frequently points out the frustration of Amex's limited acceptance in Australia.

This is due to the fact that American Express charges more to the retailer per transaction than Visa or Mastercard. This extra cost is not paid for by consumers*, which gives Amex the opportunity to compensate for their customers instead with more rewards.

*Retailers can incur surcharges on credit card purchases, and if American Express is accepted at all, it will likely be at a higher surcharge than Visa or Mastercard.

What type of people would American Express credit cards be suited for?

Like any reward program credit card, you need to ensure you hardly ever, if ever pay interest on your balance and spend enough on your card per year to offset the fees on your card.

If you currently aren't or won't be doing both of these, you will be paying more in interest and fees than you'll be receiving in redeemed rewards. American Express credit cards are most suited for those who:

  • Have Good Credit and Annual Income
    American Express state themselves in the application prerequisites that 'Good credit' and a 'Minimum annual earnings of $40,000+' apply. $40,000 is on the lower end of the range.
  • Spend a lot
    Whether you're a high income earner or go out of your way to maximise the amount of times you use your Amex for a purchase or payment, the value of rewards can be significantly appealing.
  • Travel a lot
    One of the key features of Membership Rewards are the discounted and free flight opportunities. Not only this, card holders have access to concierge service, travel insurance and purchase security whilst overseas.
  • Business Owners
    Purchasing capital and equipment on credit is a popular method for business owners to hike up reward points, though as mentioned previously acceptance of American Express in Australia can be a frustrating issue.

For prestigious and generous reward programs which aren't licensed under Amex, see the Gold and Platinum Visa and Mastercard reward cards.
Learn more and compare Platinum, Gold and Black Credit Cards here

American Express Credit Cards Comparison

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
20.74% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Earn 0.75 Qantas Points for your everyday purchases, uncapped, and pay $0 annual fee for the life of the card on this no-frills frequent flyer card.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
20.74% p.a.
$450 p.a.
Get 55,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $450 Qantas Travel Credit and 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations with this premium card.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
20.74% p.a.
$395 p.a.
Get 50,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, a yearly $400 Travel Credit and 2 entries per year to the Amex Lounge.
David Jones American Express Platinum Card
20.74% p.a.
$295 p.a.
DJ's shoppers and Qantas travellers earn 30,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points or 15,000 Qantas Points on eligible spend.
David Jones American Express Card
20.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Not just for David Jones shoppers, receive 15,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points or 7,500 Qantas Points on eligible spend.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
20.74% p.a.
$195 p.a.
Receive a yearly $200 Travel Credit and complimentary domestic and international travel insurance, plus up to 3 Membership Rewards Points / $1.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
20.74% p.a.
$249 p.a.
Enjoy 30,000 bonus Qantas Points, 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year and the protection of complimentary insurance covers.
American Express Business Card
N/A
$109 p.a.
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Up to 1.5 points/ $1 spent and extended cashflow with up to 51 days interest-free on business purchases.
American Express Gold Business Card
N/A
$169 p.a.
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points and get up to 51 days to pay for purchases.
American Express Platinum Card
N/A
$1,450 p.a.
Receive 80,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points, a $450 annual Platinum Travel Credit, dedicated personal service and luxury travel perks.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
N/A
$450 p.a.
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 140,000 bonus points, 3x points on eligible Qantas flights & 2 lounge passes per year.
American Express Platinum Business Card
N/A
$1,750 p.a.
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 150,000 bonus points and up to 2.25 points/ $1 spent on eligible business purchases.
American Express Business Explorer Credit Card
16.99% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 75,000 bonus points and a $0 first year annual fee. Plus, 2 airport lounge passes. Ends 3 June 2020.
American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle - Qantas
20.24% p.a. (AMEX)

20.49% p.a. (Visa/MC)
$249 p.a.
Earn 60,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet T&Cs with Mastercard (issued by Westpac) & Amex (issued by Amex).
American Express Westpac Altitude Black Bundle
20.24% p.a. (AMEX)

20.49% p.a. (Visa/MC)
$449 p.a.
Earn 150,000 bonus Altitude Points when you meet T&Cs with this dual Mastercard (issued by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex).
American Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Bundle
20.24% p.a. (AMEX)

20.49% p.a. (Visa/MC)
$199 p.a.
Collect 80,000 bonus Altitude Points when you meet T&Cs with Mastercard (issued by Westpac) & Amex (issued by Amex).
American Express Westpac Altitude Black Bundle - Qantas
20.24% p.a. (AMEX)

20.49% p.a. (Visa/MC)
$499 p.a.
Up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points with Mastercard (issued by Westpac) & Amex (issued & serviced by Amex). T&Cs apply.
American Express Essential Credit Card
14.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Get Smartphone Screen Insurance of up to $500 when you pay for your phone or contract with this card. Plus, a $0 annual fee for life.
American Express Qantas Corporate Card
N/A
$70 p.a.
Earn triple Qantas Points on eligible business flights, plus, receive complimentary travel accident insurance.
American Express Low Rate Credit Card
8.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Get up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, a $0 annual fee for life and global card support on this low rate, no annual fee credit card.
Qantas American Express Business Credit Card
20.49% p.a.
$160 p.a.
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Earn up to 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases and enjoy up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
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5 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MichelleJune 18, 2013

    Hello, I have recently got myself a david jones american express card – I am going overseas in a few weeks, will I be able to use it overseas? Will I have to call to make arrangements to do so? Also can you do cash advances on this card?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobJune 18, 2013Staff

      Hi Michelle. Thanks for your question. If you’re looking to use your card for a cash advance, you will need to register your card for cash advances before hand with American Express. It’s also a good idea to tell them about your travel plans, they may block your card if you don’t. This card works the same as all other cards overseas when it comes to basic uses (except cash advances). Jacob.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobJune 18, 2013Staff

      Hi Michelle. Thanks for your question. If you’re looking to use your card for a cash advance, you will need to register your card for cash advances before hand with American Express. It’s also a good idea to tell them about your travel plans, they may block your card if you don’t. This card works the same as all other cards overseas when it comes to basic use (except cash advances). Jacob.

  2. Default Gravatar
    NeilMarch 19, 2013

    When I had my Gold Card I could check my credit rating.

    I’ve just watched a TV semi news item and I’m a little concerned that false inform is sometimes added to a card user’s credit history.

    Would you let me know if I can get the same service I used to have also applies to my qantas Amex card?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JacobMarch 20, 2013Staff

      Hi Neil. You can check your credit standing and the status of your account with Amex (not your full credit rating ) through Amex Credit Services. This can be done by calling them, or registering your email address and submitting a request via email. Thanks for your question.

Credit Cards Comparison

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate Annual fee
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months
$129 p.a.
Save with a 22-month balance transfer offer. Plus, lounge passes, travel insurance and an annual fee refund when you spend an eligible $6k/year.
St.George Vertigo Classic
13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$55 p.a.
Get 0% p.a. on balance transfers for up to 18 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a low annual fee and purchase rate. Ends 2 June 2020.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
20.24% p.a.
20.24% p.a.
$425 p.a.
Earn 120,000 bonus Qantas Points & $275 back when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, airport lounge passes. Ends 9 June 2020.
Westpac Low Rate Card
2019 Winner
Westpac Low Rate Card
13.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months
$59 p.a.
A no frills, low rate card offering 0% p.a. interest on balance transfers for the first 16 months, with no balance transfer fee.
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* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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