In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Details
    • Product details
    • Eligibility
    • Rewards
    • Fees
  • How to apply
  • Card benefits
  • Rates & fees
  • Your reviews
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American Express Essential Credit Card

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American Express Essential Credit Card
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Terms and conditions apply
Purchase rate
18.99% p.a.
Reward points per $ spent
Annual fee
$0 p.a.
Interest-free on purchases
Up to 55 days

Our verdict

Offers points for your everyday spending, complimentary smartphone screen insurance and no annual fee, with an 18.99% p.a. interest rate for purchases.

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The American Express Essential Card has the rare combination of rewards and an ongoing $0 annual fee. You can also avoid interest charges on your purchases with the interest-free days on this card, which you’ll get if you pay the full account closing balance by the due date on each statement. This gives you a way to get more value from the Membership Rewards points you earn, which can be redeemed for gift cards, statement credits, shopping with David Jones, frequent flyer point transfers and more.


  • $0 annual fee
  • Point transfers to 8 airline rewards partner programs
  • Complimentary smartphone screen cover and purchase insurance covers


  • 3% foreign currency conversion fee
  • No complimentary travel insurance

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Details
    • Product details
    • Eligibility
    • Rewards
    • Fees
  • How to apply
  • Card benefits
  • Rates & fees
  • Your reviews

The American Express Essential Card gives you a combination of perks and money-saving features. It earns 1.25 Membership Rewards points per $1 on eligible spending, including supermarket shopping, dining, fuel and travel bookings. With government bodies, you’ll earn 1 point per $1 spent.


Product details

Product Name American Express Essential Credit Card
Purchase rate p.a. 18.99%
Interest-free period Up to 55 days on purchases
Min credit limit $2,000
Card type American Express


Available to temporary residents Yes - Conditions apply
Minimum income $40,000
Joint application No


Rewards program Membership Rewards Gateway
Bonus points N/A
Rewards points per $ spent 1.25
Rewards points cap Uncapped


Annual fee $0
Minimum monthly repayment 2.5% of the closing balance or $30, whichever is greater
Late payment fee $30
Foreign currency conversion fee 3%
Additional cardholder fee $0
Number of additional cardholders 4

How to apply

If you've checked out a few credit cards and want to get the Amex Essential, you can apply online in around 10 minutes and may get a response within 60 seconds of completing the application. Get started by making sure you meet the eligibility criteria and that you have all the documents and details needed for the application.

Eligibility criteria

  • Residency. You must be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or hold a current long term visa (12 months or more). Student visas are not eligible.
  • Credit history. You must not have a history of bad debt or payment defaults. If you don't know your credit score or what's on your file, you can get a free copy of your credit report through Finder.

Card benefits

  • Membership Rewards Points. The Amex Essential earns 1.25 Membership Rewards points per $1 on everyday, eligible spending, and 1 point per $1 spent with government bodies in Australia. Points can be redeemed for gift cards, Select + Pay with Points and more through Membership Rewards. You can also transfer points to airline partner programs including Velocity Frequent Flyer and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.
  • Complimentary purchase insurance covers. Use the American Express Essential to pay for eligible purchases and get access to purchase protection insurance, refund protection insurance and extended warranty cover (known as "Buyer's Advantage Cover").

Rates & fees

  • $0 annual fee. There is no annual fee for the American Express Essential.
  • Interest rate. The Amex Essential has an ongoing purchase rate of 18.99% p.a. Note that you cannot make cash advance transactions with the Amex Essential.

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