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American Express Credit Cards in Australia

Information verified correct on May 25th, 2017

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. 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 May 25th, 2017
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
Fly faster with up to 2.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent and receive a complimentary Qantas domestic return Economy 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 Essential®  Credit Card
A no annual fee card that collects up to 1 Membership Rewards point for every $1 spent.
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
Earn up to 2 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive a $400 Travel Credit every 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
Earn up to 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive a $200 Travel Credit every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($195 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Take off sooner with up to 2.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent and receive a complimentary Virgin Australia return domestic flight every year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $375 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Escape Card
Take off sooner with up to 2 Velocity Points per $1 spent and pay $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
Qantas American Express Premium Card
Fly faster with up to 2.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $249 p.a. Go to site More info
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
Fly faster with up to 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent and enjoy the convenience of Apply Pay, Samsung Pay or Android Pay.
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
Earn up to 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive complimentary access for you and a guest to over 1,000 VIP Lounges.
$1,200 p.a. Go to site More info
David Jones American Express
Earn up to 3 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive a range of in-store benefits at David Jones.
20.74% p.a. $99 p.a. Go to site More info
David Jones American Express Platinum Card
Earn 4 Reward Points per $1 spent at David Jones and receive invitations to exclusive Season Launch Parades, fashion events and more.
20.74% p.a. $295 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Business Card
Earn up to 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent and extend your cash flow up to 51 days.
$109 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Platinum Business Card
Earn up to 2 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and extend your cash flow up to 51 days.
$1,500 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Velocity Business Card
Take off sooner with up to 2 Velocity Points per $1 spent and take up to 51 days to pay for your purchases.
$249 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Gold Business Card
Earn up to 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent and extend your cash flow up to 51 days.
$169 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Qantas Business Card
Fly faster with up to 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent and save with up to 55 days interest-free.
$299 p.a. More info
American Express Business Accelerator Credit Card
Earn up to 2 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent and receive up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.
20.74% p.a. $160 p.a. More info
American Express Platinum Rewards Credit Card
Earn up to 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent and receive up to 55 days interest-free.
20.74% p.a. $80 p.a. More info
American Express Qantas Corporate Green Card
Fly faster with 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent and receive complimentary business travel accident insurance.
$70 p.a. More info
American Express Low Rate Credit Card
Save with 11.99% p.a. on purchases. Also enjoy $0 annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $0 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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