american express logo

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.

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.
Qantas American Express Discovery Card

American Express Credit Card Offer

The Qantas American Express Discovery Card features $0 annual fee. Earn 1 Qantas Frequent Flyer point per $1 spent on all your purchases.

  • $0 p.a.
  • 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 July 25th, 2017
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card - Online Offer
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$450 p.a.
Apply by 31 July 2017 to earn 100,000 bonus Qantas Points and get 2 American Express Airport Lounge entries each calendar year.
American Express Essential®  Credit Card
14.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Get Smartphone Screen Insurance of up to $500 when you pay for your phone or contract with your Essential Credit Card.
American Express Explorer® Credit Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$395 p.a.
Receive a $400 Travel Credit every year and up to two entries per year to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$195 p.a.
Receive a $200 Travel Credit every year and complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$375 p.a.
Receive a complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight each anniversary year and complimentary travel insurance.
American Express Velocity Escape Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Earn uncapped Velocity points on purchases and redeem for a range of rewards including flights, accommodation, car hire and gift cards.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$249 p.a.
Enjoy two complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year, plus the protection of complimentary travel and purchase insurance.
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Earn Qantas points that can be redeemed for a one way, return or multi-destination Classic Flight Reward on over 50 partner airlines.
American Express Platinum Card
$1,200 p.a.
Receive an annual $300 Platinum Travel Credit, membership to an elite tier of partner programs and access to more than 1,000 VIP lounges.
David Jones American Express
20.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Receive benefits through David Jones including complimentary standard delivery, gift wrapping and invites to exclusive fashion events.
David Jones American Express Platinum Card
20.74% p.a.
$295 p.a.
Receive invitations to exclusive Season Launch Parades and fashion events, complimentary priority delivery and personal shopping perks.
American Express Business Card
$109 p.a.
Consolidate your business expenses and extend your cashflow with up to 51 interest-free days on purchases.
American Express Platinum Business Card
$1,500 p.a.
Enjoy a platinum business concierge, complimentary Virgin Lounge access, worldwide travel insurance and luxury hotel benefits.
American Express Velocity Business Card
$249 p.a.
Take advantage of no pre-set spending limit, data that feeds to MYOB accounting software and up to 51 days interest-free on purchases.
American Express Gold Business Card
$169 p.a.
Take advantage of no pre-set spending limit, data that feeds to MYOB accounting software and up to 51 days interest-free on purchases.
American Express Business Explorer® Credit Card
16.99% p.a.
$395 p.a.
Earn 100,000 bonus points when you meet the requirement and 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent.
Qantas American Express Business Card
$299 p.a.
Earn Qantas points and receive domestic and international travel insurance, plus data that feeds directly to MYOB accounting software.
American Express Business Accelerator Credit Card
20.74% p.a.
$160 p.a.
Receive up to 55 interest-free days on purchases, supplementary cards at no cost and data that feeds to MYOB accounting software.
American Express Platinum Rewards Credit Card
20.74% p.a.
$80 p.a.
Receive complimentary enrolment in Membership Rewards, purchase protection and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
American Express Qantas Corporate Green Card
$70 p.a.
Receive a discounted Qantas Club membership, entertainment invites, and insurance coverage for personal trips.
American Express Low Rate Credit Card
11.99% p.a.
$0 p.a.
Get up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, global card support and up to 4 supplementary cardholders.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$450 p.a.
Take advantage of a high Qantas Points earn rate and 2 American Express Airport Lounge entries each calendar year.

Compare up to 4 providers

Back to top
Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

American Express Velocity Platinum Card
American Express Velocity Platinum Card

Interest rate

20.74

Annual fee

375
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer

Interest rate

19.74

Annual fee

87
St.George Vertigo Platinum
St.George Vertigo Platinum

Interest rate

12.74

Annual fee

99

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, read the PDS or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

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?

    • Staff
      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.

    • Staff
      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?

    • Staff
      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.

Ask a question
feedback