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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.

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 Credit Card Offer

Qantas American Express Ultimate Card

Receive 100,000 bonus Qantas Points

Offer ends 9 April 2018

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

American Express Credit Card Offer

The Qantas American Express Ultimate Card offers 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, complimentary travel benefits and up to 2.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.

  • Receive 100,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new card in the first 3 months.
  • Receive a yearly $450 Qantas Travel Credit to spend on eligible international or domestic Qantas flights booked via Amex Travel.
  • Get 4 complimentary airport lounge invitations per year (2 Qantas Club and 2 American Express Airport Lounge passes).
  • Earn 1.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent (0.5 points on government spend) and 1 additional point on Qantas Australia spend.
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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 February 25th, 2018
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
American Express Velocity Escape Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Receive a bonus 12,500 Velocity Points, pay a $0 annual fee for life and take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 12 months balance transfer offer.
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 bonus 50,000 Membership Rewards points, a yearly $200 Travel Credit and complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
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 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $450 Qantas Travel Credit each year and 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations.
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 yearly $400 Travel Credit, 100,000 bonus points and 2 entries per year to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$375 p.a.
Receive 50,000 bonus Velocity Points, a complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight each anniversary year, plus, 2 lounge passes.
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Earn uncapped Qantas Points on purchases, pay $0 annual fee for life and take advantage of a 0% p.a. for 12 months balance transfer offer.
American Express Essential Credit Card
14.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 3% balance transfer fee
$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 Velocity Business Card
$249 p.a.
Take advantage of Velocity Points per $1 spent, no pre-set spending limit, data that feeds into MYOB and up to 51 days interest-free on purchases.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$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 Explorer Credit Card
16.99% p.a.
$395 p.a.
Earn 100,000 bonus points when you meet the spend criteria. Plus, 2 yearly entries to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport.
American Express Business Card
$109 p.a.
Earn up to 1.00 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent and extend your cashflow with up to 51 interest-free days on purchases.
American Express Platinum Card
$1,200 p.a.
Receive an annual $300 Platinum Travel Credit, 80,000 bonus Membership Rewards points and access to more than 1,100 VIP lounges.
David Jones American Express
20.74% p.a.
$99 p.a.
Receive 20,000 bonus points, David Jones benefits 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 40,000 bonus points, invitations to exclusive Season Launch Parades, complimentary priority delivery and personal shopping perks.
American Express Platinum Business Card
$1,500 p.a.
Enjoy 150,000 bonus points, a platinum business concierge, complimentary Virgin Lounge access, worldwide travel insurance and hotel benefits.
American Express Gold Business Card
$169 p.a.
Take advantage of 10,000 bonus points, no pre-set spending limit, data that feeds to MYOB and up to 51 days interest-free on purchases.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
$450 p.a.
Earn up to 100,000 bonus points, 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases and enjoy up to 51 days interest-free on purchases.
American Express Business Accelerator Credit Card
$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 Qantas Corporate Green Card
$70 p.a.
Receive a discounted Qantas Club membership, entertainment invites, Sydney airport services and insurance coverage for personal trips.
American Express Low Rate Credit Card
11.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Get up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, a 0% p.a. for 12 months balance transfer offer, a $0 annual fee for life and global card support.

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Credit Card Offers

Important Information*
American Express Velocity Escape Card
American Express Velocity Escape Card

Interest rate

20.74

Annual fee

0
NAB Premium Card - Exclusive Offer
NAB Premium Card - Exclusive Offer

Interest rate

19.74

Annual fee

90
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer

Interest rate

12.74

Annual fee

99
Westpac Low Rate - Online Offer
Westpac Low Rate - Online Offer

Interest rate

13.49

Annual fee

59

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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?

    • 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.

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