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American Express Credit Cards in Australia

Information verified correct on December 9th, 2016

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.

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.
American Express Qantas Discovery Card

American Express Credit Card Offer

The Qantas American Express Discovery Card offers a annual fee. Earn 1 Qantas Frequent Flyer point per $1 spent on all your purchases.

  • $0 p.a. annual fee
  • 20.74% p.a. on purchases
  • 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee on balance transfers
  • Up to 44 days interest free
  • Minimum Income Requirement of $35,000 p.a.
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

Rates last updated December 9th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card. Also enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 12 months.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Explorer Credit Card
Receive 100,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points on eligible spend within the first 2 months of Card Membership. Also enjoy a $400 travel voucher and two complimentary airline passes per year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $395 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Receive 10,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement. Enjoy a $200 travel credit every year and get 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $195 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Ultimate Card
Enjoy up to 100,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend, earn up to 3 Qantas Points for every $1 spent and get a free domestic return flight every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $450 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Enjoy up to 50,000 bonus Velocity Points when you meet the minimum required spend and earn up to 3 rewards points per dollar spent. Also receive a complimentary return flight every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $349 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Escape Card
Enjoy 7,500 bonus Velocity Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement and earn up to 2 points for every $1 you spend, together with a $0 annual fee.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Premium Card
Earn as much as 30,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement. Enjoy frequent flyer benefits including uncapped Qantas Points per $1 spent, complimentary travel insurance and Qantas Club lounge invitations.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $249 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Discovery Card
Enjoy up to 7,500 bonus Qantas Frequent Flyer Points and 1 point per $1 spent, plus 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months, all for a $0 annual fee.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Card
Receive 100,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you meet the minimum spend requirement and earn up to 3 points per dollar spent. Gain access to travel insurance, $300 Platinum Travel Credit every year and access to 900 VIP airport lounges.
$1,200 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Gold Business Card
Keep track of your business expenses with a dedicated business credit card. Your account details can be uploaded in to MYOB, Excel or Quicken to help with BAS reporting.
$169 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Business Card
A truly dedicated business rewards credit card. Download all your card expenses in a format readable by Quicken, MYOB, Microsoft Excel and more, helping you simplify your quarterly BAS reporting.
$249 p.a. Go to site More info
David Jones American Express
Receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points and earn up to 3 Rewards points for every dollar spent on everyday item and access exclusive in-store benefits to David Jones cardholders.
20.74% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
David Jones American Express Platinum Card
Receive 40,000 Membership Rewards points or 30,000 Qantas Points. Plus earn up to 4 rewards point per $1 spend.
20.74% p.a. $295 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Business Card
Earn up to 1 Membership Rewards point per dollar spent on eligible purchases.
$109 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Business Card
Provides easy tracking and management of business expenses - reporting meets ATO requirements. Dedicated Platinum Business Concierge to assist you day-to-day.
$1,500 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Business Card
Earn 1 Qantas Point per dollar spent on eligible purchases.
$299 p.a. More info
American Express Business Accelerator Credit Card
This credit card gives you up to 55 days of interest-free purchases
20.74% p.a. $160 p.a. More info
American Express Qantas Corporate Green Card
Earn up to 1 Membership Rewards point per dollar charged on your business spending and enjoy a complimentary business travel insurance of up to 150,000.
$70 p.a. More info
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5 Responses to American Express Credit Cards in Australia

  1. Default Gravatar
    Michelle | June 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?

    • Staff
      Jacob | June 18, 2013

      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.

    • Staff
      Jacob | June 18, 2013

      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
    Neil | March 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?

    • Staff
      Jacob | March 20, 2013

      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.

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