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American Express vs VISA Credit Cards

There are both good and bad things to be said when you look at American Express and Visa cards, but in the end you will have to make a decision based on what features you need from a card.

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If you own a credit card, you’ve probably noticed that there are cards featuring the American Express logo, along with cards that have the Visa logo. In a lot of cases, credit card providers offer these cards with a rewards program. There are Visa cards in the market that earn a decent amount of reward points, but American Express scheme cards tend to earn the most points.

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.

American Express Credit Cards

AMEX logo

Pros:

  • Much higher points earning
  • Indicates your financial status

Cons:

  • Less accepted than Visa
  • Surcharges could apply (according to the RBA, around two-thirds of merchants do not surcharge)
  • The surcharges to use American Express could hinder any rewards value you earn
  • Eligibility criteria is more strict that Visa
  • Generally a higher interest rate

Comparison of American Express Credit Cards

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Qantas American Express Premium Card
20.74% p.a.
$249
Enjoy 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 50 bonus Status Credits and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
N/A
$450
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 120,000 bonus points, 3x points on eligible Qantas flights & 2 lounge passes per year.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
20.74% p.a.
$195
Get $150 back when you spend at least $1,500 within the first 3 months. Plus, receive $200 Travel Credit each year.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
20.74% p.a.
$450
Get 55,000 bonus Qantas Points, a $450 Qantas Travel Credit and 2 yearly complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations.
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
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 Explorer Credit Card
20.74% p.a.
$395
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.
David Jones American Express Platinum Card
20.74% p.a.
$295
DJ's shoppers and Qantas travellers earn 30,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points or 15,000 Qantas Points on eligible spend.
David Jones American Express Card
20.74% p.a.
$99
Not just for David Jones shoppers, receive 45,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points or 22,500 Qantas Points on eligible spend.
American Express Business Card
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 Platinum Card
N/A
$1,450
Receive 80,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points, a $450 annual Platinum Travel Credit, dedicated personal service and luxury travel perks.
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VISA Credit Cards

visa logo

Pros:

  • More accepted than American Express
  • Barely any surcharges
  • Quite flexible eligibility criteria
  • Generally a lower interest rate

Cons:

  • Less points earning

Comparison of VISA Credit Cards

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months
$129
Enjoy a 22-month balance transfer offer, travel insurance and an annual fee refund when you spend an eligible $6k/year.
ANZ Low Rate
12.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 25 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a on balance transfers for 25 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and $0 first year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$295 annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Collect up to 130,000 bonus Qantas Points (100k when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days and 30k after 12 months). Plus, 75 bonus Status Credits.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months
$64 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% p.a. for 22 months on balance transfers and a reduced first-year annual fee. Plus, earn up to 30,000 bonus Velocity Points.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
0% for 17 months, reverts to 20.24% p.a.
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.
St.George Vertigo Classic
0% for 7 months, reverts to 13.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% p.a. promotional purchase and balance transfer rates and save with a first-year annual fee waiver.
Virgin Money No Annual Fee Credit Card
18.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0
Offers 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases, all for a $0 annual fee.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
20.24% p.a.
20.24% p.a.
$425
Collect 120,000 bonus Qantas Points and $200 back when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, complimentary lounge passes.
St.George Vertigo Platinum
0% for 15 months, reverts to 12.99% p.a.
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
$49 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Features an introductory 0% p.a. purchase rate, $49 first year annual fee and complimentary travel insurance covers.
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
12.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$59
Receive an introductory 0% p.a. interest rate for 20 months on balance transfers, Visa Entertainment offers and a competitive $59 ongoing annual fee.
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Images: Shutterstock, VISA, and AMEX

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Credit Cards Comparison

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Purchase rate Balance transfer rate Annual fee
Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard - Exclusive Offer
0% for 12 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months
$0
Finder Exclusive. Ends 29 October 2020
Save on new and existing interest charges with 0% interest on both balance transfers and purchases for the first 12 months.
ANZ Low Rate
12.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 25 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a on balance transfers for 25 months (with a 1.5% BT fee) and $0 first year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
Qantas American Express Premium Card
20.74% p.a.
$249
Enjoy 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, 50 bonus Status Credits and 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year.
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.
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* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards finder.com.au 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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