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American Express cards with free flights

Find out how you can enjoy a return flight in Australia or get credit towards your next travel booking with one of these American Express cards.


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Choosing an Amex card that offers a complimentary flight or travel credit can help offset the annual fees that come with these premium options. For example, the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card has a $450 annual fee and offers a $450 Qantas Travel Credit each year.

Whether you’re interested in getting a new Amex card or already have one that offers a flight or travel credit, use this guide to compare your options and find out how you can get the most out of this premium perk.

Compare American Express cards with complimentary flights or travel credit

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Bonus points Rewards program Rewards points per $ spent Purchase rate Annual fee
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
Velocity Frequent Flyer
20.74% p.a.
Get 50,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 for the first 3 months. Plus, 100 Status Credits and luxury travel perks.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
Qantas Frequent Flyer
20.74% p.a.
Get 55,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $450 Qantas Travel Credit and 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
Membership Rewards
20.74% p.a.
Get 50,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, a yearly $400 Travel Credit and 2 entries per year to the Amex Lounge.
American Express Platinum Card
Membership Rewards Ascent Premium
Receive 80,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points, a $450 annual Platinum Travel Credit, dedicated personal service and luxury travel perks.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Membership Rewards Ascent
20.74% p.a.
Get $150 back when you spend at least $1,500 within the first 3 months. Plus, receive $200 Travel Credit each year. Ends 2 November 2020.

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What is the difference between a complimentary flight and a travel credit?

If you get an Amex card with a complimentary flight, you can only use the benefit for eligible domestic or international flights. In comparison, Amex cards that offer a travel credit allow you to put a fixed amount of money towards travel you book through American Express. As well as flights, this includes hotels, car hire or experiences (ie travel tours), which gives you more flexibility in how you use the benefit. Check out our guide for full details and steps to redeem American Express travel credit.

Where can I travel with an American Express complimentary flight?

With the Qantas American Express Ultimate Card, you’ll get $450 towards either a domestic or international booking with Qantas. Put simply, you can use the credit towards any flight with a QF flight number.

What else do I need to know about American Express free flights and travel credit?

American Express and its partner airlines have a few important conditions that you should be aware of before you redeem your complimentary flight, which we've outlined below. It also reserves the right to change any of these terms and conditions.

  • Yearly redemption. This travel benefit is available 365 days from the start of your membership year, ie the date you first got your Amex card. Your flight must be booked before the end of that year, and cannot be carried over to the next.
  • Account status. You must have an active American Express account and have paid your annual fee before redeeming the flight or travel benefit. You also need to pay at least the minimum amount listed on each statement by the due date.
  • Subject to availability. There is no guarantee that the flight or travel booking you want to make will be available.
  • Bookings of a lower value. If your booking is worth less than the value of the Qantas Credit or Travel Credit offered on your card, you will forfeit the difference. For example, if you used the $450 Qantas Travel Credit to book flights worth $300, you wouldn’t get any value from the remaining $150 Qantas Travel Credit.
  • Cancellations. If you cancel your booking, you won’t get money back from the portion of your booking that’s made with the flight benefit or Travel Credit.
  • Ticket or booking changes. Any changes made after your initial booking will attract the airline or company’s usual fees, fare differences and applicable GST. Read through the terms and conditions of your booking to find out the potential costs involved.
  • Fare class. With the Qantas American Express Ultimate, you can use the $450 flight credit to book in any fare class you like, from economy through to business or first class.
  • Ticket restrictions. You may not sell, transfer, endorse, refund or exchange your ticket for cash, or combine this offer with any other promotion, discount, negotiated or corporate rate. You cannot redeem your ticket with a partner airline or codeshare flight, so make sure the booking has a QF flight number (for Qantas).
  • Conditions of carriage. With the free flight benefit, your travel conditions are subject to the the “Qantas Conditions of Carriage”.

American Express credit cards with complimentary flights or travel credit give you a simple way to balance out the annual fee, while also enjoying premium travel benefits and rewards. Just make sure you keep the terms and conditions in mind, so that you always get as much value as possible from this perk. If you’re still choosing a card, you can also compare these Amex options with other credit cards that offer flights or travel credit to help you find the right one for you.

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34 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    TFMay 25, 2017

    I am seeking clarification on the complimentary flight on offer. Can the first redemption be within the 1st year of owning the card or does this perk kick in after 366 days? The wording on the AMEX Velocity Plat card offering the 100k bonus points is unclear.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeMay 28, 2017Staff

      Hi Tim,

      Thanks for your question.

      The complimentary flight offer on American Express Velocity Platinum Card is available after your first card spend in the first year, and then after your first card spend each year after the anniversary of your Membership.


  2. Default Gravatar
    MargaretAugust 29, 2016

    I have an American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card and wish to use my free flight. Can I fly from Sunshine Coast to Maroochydore and if so, as soon as this weekend, ie Thursday/Friday 1 & 2nd September to Monday or Tuesday 5th & 6th September 2016

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayAugust 29, 2016Staff

      Hi Margaret,

      Thank you for your inquiry. Please note that you’ve come through to we are an Australian financial comparison website and general information service, not actually AMEX.

      I suggest that you get in touch with AMEX directly to book your complimentary flights.


  3. Default Gravatar
    DavidAugust 24, 2016

    Can I fly from Sydney to Maroochydore on my Platinum free flight?
    Thank you

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeAugust 25, 2016Staff

      Hi David,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you are holding an American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card or American Express Velocity Platinum Card, you may take a free flight from Sydney to Maroochydore on Virgin Australia.

      You can book a flight by directly calling AMEX.


  4. Default Gravatar
    JohnJanuary 4, 2016

    Qantas American Express Card…does my free annual flight be booked only with Qantas Airlines??

    • Default Gravatar
      PeteMarch 5, 2016

      Can I book my free flight? I want to travel from Canberra to Adelaide and return.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      SallyMarch 7, 2016Staff

      Hi Pete,

      Thanks for your question.

      If you have a Platinum Edge and Velocity Platinum American Express card, you can take advantage of a free domestic flight with Virgin Australia.

      You can book return flights between Canberra and Adelaide.

      You’ll just need to book the Saver Fare flight with your American Express card.

      I hope this has helped.



    • Default Gravatar
      PeteMay 5, 2016

      I have ultimate amex card ..can i book my free flight from Canberra to Adelaide return. .thanks

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeMay 5, 2016Staff

      Hi Pete,

      Thanks for your question.

      Unfortunately, if you are flying from Canberra, Adelaide is not on the list of possible destinations for your card’s free flight offer.


    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      AllyJanuary 5, 2016Staff

      Hi John,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      Kindly note that is an online comparison service and does not represent any credit card issuer such as AMEX.

      Nonetheless, their bank page states that it is possible to use earned points for a one way, return or multi-destination Classic Flight Reward on over 50 partner airlines and their affiliates to over 1,000 destinations worldwide, depending on which AMEX Qantas card you use.

      For more information, I have emailed you a link to their Qantas series page where you can find the available AMEX Qantas cards and their detailed features. I have forwarded their customer service team’s contact number to you as well, in case you wish to seek direct assistance.

      I hope this has helped.


  5. Default Gravatar
    MichaelDecember 30, 2015

    Would like to know if I have a complimentary flight outstanding?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      SallyJanuary 4, 2016Staff

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for your question. As you’ve come through to, not American Express, we’re unable to confirm whether you’re eligible for the complimentary flight.

      You might like to contact American Express on 1300 132 639 to confirm this information.

      I hope this has helped.



  6. Default Gravatar
    RobertSeptember 9, 2015

    Can I fly from Melbourne to Coffs Harbour using my Amex complimentary flight?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JonathanSeptember 9, 2015Staff

      Hi Robert, thanks for your inquiry!

      Unfortunately Coffs Harbour is not a listed destination for the AMEX complimentary flight. You may like to consider other frequent flyer cards and offers.



  7. Default Gravatar
    NoeleenAugust 17, 2015

    can I fly out of Cairns?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JonathanAugust 17, 2015Staff

      Hi Noeleen, thanks for your inquiry!

      Unfortunately Cairns is not on the list of eligible destinations.



  8. Default Gravatar
    jamieAugust 13, 2015

    Why is Townsville not on the list?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JonathanAugust 13, 2015Staff

      Hi Jamie, thanks for your question!

      Unfortunately Townsville is not on the list of available destinations that American Express have provided. The list of eligible destinations for your complimentary flight is available on this page.



  9. Default Gravatar
    bobJuly 27, 2015

    How do I transfer my rewards points to my Frequent Flyer account?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JonathanJuly 28, 2015Staff

      Hi Bob,

      Thank you for your question.

      Unfortunately transferring Membership Rewards points to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program is no longer supported by American Express. However rewards points can be used for purchasing flights from AMEX travel agency partners. For a list of other credit cards with frequent flyer program please refer to this page.



  10. Default Gravatar
    chrissyJuly 6, 2015

    Have some of the features changed on the platinum reserve credit card? For example the free night hotel instead of complimentary free flight and also international destination selection? I can not find it on the American express website anymore.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      SallyJuly 7, 2015Staff

      Hello Chrissy,

      Thanks for your question.

      The American Express Platinum Reserve credit card is no longer available for new applications as of 1 October 2014.

      You may need to contact American Express directly to confirm what the updated features are.

      I hope this has helped.



Credit Cards Comparison

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Citi Rewards Card - Exclusive Offer
21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 30 months
$49 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Finder Exclusive
Save on interest with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 30 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a $49 first-year annual fee and Citi Rewards.
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard
0% for 12 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
Save on new and existing interest charges with 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
20.74% p.a.
Enjoy 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 50 bonus Status Credits and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year. Ends 4 November 2020.
Citi Rewards Card - $500 Voucher Offer
21.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$99 annual fee for the first year ($199 p.a. thereafter)
Get a $500 e-voucher to spend at Myer, JB Hi-Fi or Coles when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, earn points with the Citi Rewards Program.

Compare up to 4 providers

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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