With features including a $0 annual fee, promotional balance transfer rate, rewards program and smartphone screen insurance, the Amex Essential Credit Card stands out from the pack.
The American Express Essential Credit Card is uniquely designed to suit modern-day lifestyles, with a combination of money-saving features and complimentary extras. This no annual fee credit card offers a 0% p.a. promotional balance transfer rate for the first 12 months (with a one-time 3% balance transfer fee), interest-free days, enrolment into the Membership Rewards Gateway program and complimentary insurance options.
Compare the features and costs to determine whether this card is right for you.
|Product Name||American Express Essential Credit Card|
|Rewards Program||Membership Rewards Gateway|
|Balance transfer rate (p.a.)||0% p.a. for 12 months with 3% balance transfer fee|
|Balance Transfer Revert Rate|
The interest rate after the balance transfer ends.
|Purchase Rate (14.99% p.a.)|
|Balance Transfer Limit||70% of available credit limit|
|Maximum Balance Transfer Amount||$10,000|
|Purchase rate (p.a.)||14.99% p.a.|
|Annual fee||$0 p.a.|
|Interest Free Period|
The interest-free period on purchases is the period or number of days you do not have to pay interest on your card purchases. You will be charged interest either from the day you make a purchase or from the statement date, unless you pay the closing balance in full by the due date (or within the interest-free period) on your statement.
|Up to 55 days on purchases|
|Min credit limit|
This is the lowest credit card limit that you can request. It is possible to apply for a higher credit card limit but not a lower one than this figure.
|Max credit limit|
This credit limit may not be issued to you immediately on application. This is the maximum credit limit for this card which must be applied for or offered to you after you are approved and have already opened the account.
|Card Type||American Express|
|Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (AMEX)|
Foreign currency conversion fees are charged when you make a transaction that is converted by a credit card network, such as MasterCard, Visa or American Express, from Australian dollars to a foreign currency. You’ll also incur a currency conversion fee if you make a purchase or obtain a cash advance in Australian dollars while overseas or shopping online with a foreign merchant or financial institution.
|3% of transaction value|
|Complimentary Travel Insurance||No|
|Minimum Age||18 years of age|
|Available To Temporary Residents||Yes - Conditions apply|
|Annual fee||$0 p.a.|
|Minimum Monthly Repayment||2.5% or $30, whichever is greater|
|Late Payment Fee||$30|
|Cash Advance Fee||$2.50 or 2% of the cash advance amount (whichever is greater)|
|Foreign Currency Conversion Fee|
Foreign currency conversion fees are charged when you make a transaction that is converted by a credit card network, such as MasterCard, Visa or American Express, from Australian dollars to a foreign currency. You'll also incur a currency conversion fee if you make a purchase or obtain a cash advance in Australian dollars while overseas or shopping online with a foreign merchant or financial institution.
|Additional Cardholder Fee||$0|
|Number of Additional Cardholders||4|
- Pay no annual fee for life.
- This card comes with a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for the first 12 months.
- Transfer your points to a choice of 8 airline rewards partner programs.
- Add a supplementary card at no extra cost.
- Enjoy a low purchase rate of 14.99% p.a.
- Smartphone screen insurance of up to $500 per claim and up to two claims per 12-month period will be covered.
- A one-off 3% credit plan establishment fee applies for balance transfers.
|Rewards Program||Membership Rewards Gateway|
|Rewards Points per $ (VISA/MC) Cap||N/A|
|Rewards Points per $ spent (AMEX)||1|
|Rewards Points per $ (AMEX) Cap||Uncapped|
American Express Essential Credit Card review
If you’re looking to keep costs low, consolidate debts and earn rewards, the Essential credit card from American Express could be right for you. With no annual fee for life and a promotional balance transfer rate of 0% p.a. for the first 12 months, you can cut your credit card costs with the Essential card. Plus, you can reduce your interest burdens with a low standard variable purchase rate of 14.99% p.a. and up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.
The Essential credit card also earns 1 point per $1 spent through the Membership Rewards Gateway program. When you earn enough points, you can redeem them for a wide range of rewards including flights, gift cards, a statement credit or transfer to a choice of 8 frequent flyer programs.
Benefits of the American Express Essential Credit Card
Some of the perks you can expect include:
- No annual fee. You can take advantage of a $0 annual fee for the life of the card.
- Rewards. You’ll receive complimentary enrolment to the Membership Rewards Gateway. This program allows cardholders to earn 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent on eligible purchases (and half of a Membership Rewards for every $1 spent on bills, utilities and government payments), uncapped. These points can be redeemed for flights and merchandise.
- Smartphone Screen Insurance. Smartphone users are all too familiar with the heartbreaking reality of a smashed phone screen. If you use your Essential card to pay for your phone (outright or on contract), smartphone screen repairs of up to $500 will be covered. Each cardholder can take advantage of up to two claims per 12-month period.
- Balance transfer. Consolidate your existing debt with a balance transfer rate of 0% p.a. for the first 12 months, with a one-time 3% balance transfer fee which applies to the entire balance transfer amount. The rate will revert to the standard purchase rate of 14.99% p.a. at the end of the promotional period.
- Eligible for Apple Pay. Enjoy fast, secure and convenient payments with one touch to pay using the touch ID feature. Learn more here.
- Eligible for Samsung Pay. Make easy and contactless payments with your qualifying Samsung device through the Samsung Pay application. Learn more here.
- Eligible for Google Pay. American Express Essential Credit Card is eligible to use in Google Pay, allowing its cardholders to make contactless payments by simply tapping their android device on a contactless terminal. Find out more about it here.
Features of the American Express Essential Card
- Purchase interest rate. The Essential card offers an ongoing purchase rate of 14.99% p.a.
- Retail insurance. Cardholders can shop with confidence knowing their purchases are covered by refund protection (up to $500 per claim), purchase protection (up to $2,500 per claim) and extended warranty by up to 12 months.
- Online fraud protection. All online purchases made using your Essential credit card are secured by online fraud protection.
- Up to 55 interest-free days. If you pay your balance in full, you could receive up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.
- Amex offers. American Express cardholders can benefit from exclusive American Express offers on rewards and other perks.
How to apply for the American Express Essential Credit Card
If you’ve compared your options and decided to apply for the American Express Essential Credit Card, you can do so by completing the online application. But first, make sure that you meet the requirements below.
- You must be 18 or older.
- You must make a personal gross (pre-tax) annual income of $40,000 or more.
- You must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident or hold a current Business Long Stay Visa (subclass 457).
- You need a good credit history to apply for this card.
If you meet the criteria for this card, you can start your application. Make sure you have the following documents and information on-hand to speed up the process.
- Personal information. This includes your full name, residential address, email address and contact number. You’ll also be required to provide proof of identification such as your birth certificate and driver’s licence.
- Employment information. You’ll need to provide information about your employment and source of income.
- Financial information. In addition to your employment information, you'll need to provide details about any other sources of income or assets, including property, shares and savings accounts. You also need to provide information about debts, liabilities or other expenses, including existing card debts, mortgages, rental payments and day-to-day expenses.
The American Express Essential credit card is a no annual fee option that also provides a wide range of valuable extras. Now that you know more about the features of this card, you can compare it with other options to help you choose the right card for you.Back to top