Amex vs Visa Credit Cards: How to choose

American Express cards tend to earn more points but Visa is more widely accepted. Here's what to compare before you apply.

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If you're deciding between an Amex and a Visa credit card, the actual features are more important than the logo on the card. In general, Amex tends to offer better rewards than many Visa or Mastercard credit cards. However, they aren't accepted in as many places worldwide. Amex offers 22 credit cards in Australia and there are over 175 Visa credit cards.

Things to consider when comparing American Express and VISA Credit Cards

  • Points earning, capping and expiry. If you’re saving to earn big ticket items such as flights then it’s important to ensure that your points don’t expire before you accumulate enough. Similarly, points capping could be a problem if you spend a lot, so could limit your earning potential.
  • Annual fee. Amex cards have an annual fee that run between $50 and $500 per year however, they do run promotions that will waive the annual fee during the first year. Many Visa cards come with no annual fee, but some of their credit cards charge a $500 annual fee.
  • Interest rates. American Express usually offers about eight different cards and generally charges an interest rate between 14% to 20%. Visa cards can come with either a variable or a fixed interest rate and can range anywhere from 6% to 25%. American Express cards usually charge a higher interest rate than Visa cards.
  • Customer service. Both Visa and American Express has a reputation for its customer service, providing a concierge that can help you in any situation, whether its an emergency or not.
  • Complimentary insurance. Both Visa and American Express have credit cards that offer complimentary insurance when you pay for your travel in full for the card. However, it’s important to understand the terms and conditions before you apply.
FeatureAmex CardVisa Card
RewardsHigher earn rate and more bonus pointsLower earn rate
FeesHigher than averageAverage
Interest rateHigher than averageAverage
SurchargesMore common and higher than VisaLower than American Express
Eligibility criteriaStricter than the average VisaVaries widely by bank
AcceptanceLess widely acceptedAccepted pretty much worldwide
OtherOften a status symbolMany card options available

American Express Credit Cards

Name Product Bonus points Rewards program Rewards points per $ spent Purchase rate Annual fee
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
N/A
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.75
20.74% p.a.
$0
Earn 0.75 Qantas Points for your everyday purchases, uncapped, and pay $0 annual fee for the life of the card on this no-frills frequent flyer card.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
N/A
Membership Rewards
1
20.74% p.a.
$195
Get $200 travel credit per year to spend on eligible flights, accommodation, car hire and more. Plus, earn up to 3 points per $1 on eligible spending.

American Express Cashback Credit Card
N/A
N/A
20.74% p.a.
$120
Earn 1% cashback per $1 dollar spent on your everyday purchases. Plus, an additional 5% for the first 3 months (up to $200).
American Express Platinum Card
200,000
Membership Rewards Ascent Premium
2.25
N/A
$1,450
Offer Extended: 150,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Additional 50,000 points in the 2nd year.
American Express Business Card
N/A
Membership Rewards Ascent
1.5
N/A
$109
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Up to 1.5 points/ $1 spent and extended cashflow with up to 51 days interest-free on business purchases.
American Express Velocity Platinum Card
50,000
Velocity Frequent Flyer
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$375
Get 50,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 for the first 3 months. Plus, 100 Status Credits and luxury travel perks.
American Express Velocity Escape Card
N/A
Velocity Frequent Flyer
0.75
20.74% p.a.
$0
Earn 0.75 Velocity Points on your everyday purchases, uncapped, and pay $0 annual fee for the life of the card with this no-frills frequent flyer card.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
30,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
20.74% p.a.
$249
Enjoy 30,000 bonus Qantas Points, 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year and the protection of complimentary insurance covers.
American Express Velocity Business Card
100,000
Velocity Frequent Flyer
1
N/A
$249
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 100,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 within the first 2 months. Ends 30 June 2021.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
150,000
Qantas Business Rewards
1.25
N/A
$450
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. 150,000 bonus Qantas Points and a $450 Qantas Flight Voucher when you spend $3,000 within the first 2 months. Ends 30 June 2021.
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Visa Credit Cards

$
% p.a.
Name Product Balance transfer rate Purchase rate Annual fee Amount saved
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 36 months
19.99% p.a.
$29 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Save money with a 0% balance transfer rate for 36 months (with no BT fee), a first-year annual fee discount and free travel insurance.
ANZ Low Rate
0% p.a. for 30 months
12.49% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 30 months (with no BT fee) and $0 first-year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Latitude Gem Visa
24.99% p.a.
$99
Enjoy 0% p.a. interest on purchases over $250 for 6 months, optional shopper's protection insurance and the convenience of Samsung Pay.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
20.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 17 months, reverts to 20.24% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
Receive a 0% purchase rate offer for 17 months and a $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 26 months
20.74% p.a.
$64 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 26 months, a reduced 1st year annual fee & $129 Virgin Australia Gift Voucher yearly.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$295 annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Earn up to 110,000 bonus Qantas Points (90,000 when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days and 20k after 12 months).
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2% balance transfer fee
12.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
Get a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 26 months (with 2% BT fee). Plus, save with a $0 first-year annual fee.
NAB Low Fee Card
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$30
Receive complimentary insurance covers and 0% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers.
St.George Amplify Platinum
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$99
Receive 80,000 bonus Amplify Points (worth $350 in eGift cards) when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, a 0% balance transfer offer.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$279
Up to 200,000 bonus points (100k in the 1st year & 100k in the 2nd year) - worth $900 in gift cards - when you spend $12k/year for the first 2 years.
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Images: Shutterstock, VISA, and AMEX

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