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
American Express Explorer Credit Card
100,000
Membership Rewards
2
20.74% p.a.
$395
Get 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, a $400 Travel Credit each year.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
50,000
Membership Rewards
1
20.74% p.a.
$195
Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 within the first 3 months. Plus, a $200 statement credit offer. Ends 01 Feb 2022.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card
150,000
Qantas Business Rewards
1.25
0% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($450 p.a. thereafter)
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 150,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 2 months. Plus, save with a $0 annual fee for the first year.
American Express Platinum Card
250,000
Membership Rewards Ascent Premium
2.25
0% p.a.
$1,450
250,000 bonus points and $500 credit when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, a $450 Travel Credit per year.
American Express Cashback Credit Card
N/A
N/A
20.74% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($120 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 1% cashback per $1 dollar spent on your everyday purchases. Plus, an additional 5% for the first 3 months (up to $200) and no monthly fees for the first 12 months.
American Express Business Card
N/A
Membership Rewards Ascent
1.5
0% p.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
100,000
Velocity Frequent Flyer
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$375
Earn 100,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, a complimentary return domestic flight per year.
American Express Velocity Escape Card
N/A
Velocity Frequent Flyer
0.75
20.74% p.a.
$0
Get 0.75 points on your everyday purchases, uncapped, and a $0 annual fee for the life of the 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.
David Jones American Express Card
50,000
Membership Rewards
1
0% p.a. for 12 months, reverts to 20.74% p.a.
$99
Get 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend $1,500 outside DJ in the first 3 months. Plus 0% p.a. on purchases for 12 months. Ends 09 Feb 2022.
David Jones American Express Platinum Card
70,000
Membership Rewards
1
0% p.a. for 12 months, reverts to 20.74% p.a.
$295
Earn 70,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend $1,500 outside DJs in the first 3 months. Plus 0% p.a. on purchases for 12 months. Ends 09 Feb 2022.
American Express Low Rate Credit Card
N/A
N/A
8.99% p.a.
$0
Offers a low ongoing interest rate of 8.99% p.a., up to 55 days interest-free on purchases and global card support. Ongoing $0 annual fee.
Qantas American Express Discovery Card
N/A
Qantas Frequent Flyer
0.75
20.74% p.a.
$0
Save with a $0 annual fee for the life of the card plus uncapped Qantas Points on your purchases.
American Express Gold Business Card
100,000
Membership Rewards Ascent
1.5
0% p.a.
$169
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend $1,000 within the first 2 months.
American Express Business Explorer Credit Card
100,000
Membership Rewards Gateway
2
3.99% p.a. for 6 months, reverts to 19.99% p.a.
$149
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 100,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, 2 airport lounge passes.
American Express Velocity Business Card
100,000
Velocity Frequent Flyer
1
0% p.a.
$249
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Receive 100,000 bonus Velocity Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 2 months.
American Express Essential Credit Card
N/A
Membership Rewards Gateway
1.25
14.99% p.a.
$0
Get a $200 credit when you spend $1,500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, a $0 annual fee for life.
American Express Platinum Business Card
300,000
Membership Rewards Ascent Premium
2.25
0% p.a.
$875 annual fee for the first year ($1,750 p.a. thereafter)
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 300,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you spend $12,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount.
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
100,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1.25
20.74% p.a.
$450
Receive 100,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, a yearly $450 Travel Credit.
American Express Qantas Corporate Card
50,000
Membership Rewards Spirit
1.5
0% p.a.
$70
Earn 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend $10,000 in the first 2 months. Plus, triple Qantas Points on eligible business flights.
Qantas American Express Business Credit Card
N/A
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1
20.49% p.a.
$160
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Earn up to 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases and enjoy up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
American Express Qantas Corporate Platinum Card
300,000
Membership Rewards Spirit
2
0% p.a.
$600 annual fee for the first year ($1,200 p.a. thereafter)
Get 300,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $50,000 in the first 2 months. Plus, 3x Qantas points for eligible business flights and complimentary lounge passes.
American Express Corporate Gold Card
100,000
Membership Rewards Ascent
1.5
0% p.a.
$105
Get 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend $10,000 within the first 2 months.
American Express Qantas Corporate Gold Card
100,000
Qantas Frequent Flyer
1.5
0% p.a.
$105
Get 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend $10,000 in the first 2 months. Plus, triple Qantas Points on eligible business flights.
American Express Corporate Platinum Card
300,000
Membership Rewards Ascent
2
0% p.a.
$400 annual fee for the first year ($800 p.a. thereafter)
Receive 300,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend $50,000 in the first 2 months. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount.
American Express Corporate Card
50,000
Membership Rewards Ascent
1.5
0% p.a.
$70
Earn 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend $10,000 within the first 2 months.
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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)
Now eligible for Cashrewards Max. 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.
St.George Vertigo Card
0% p.a. for 32 months
13.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Get a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 32 months (with no balance transfer fee) and a $0 annual fee for the first year.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
20.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 25 months, reverts to 20.24% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
Now offering Cashrewards Max. Receive a 0% purchase rate offer for 25 months and a $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
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 32 months
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 32 months (with no 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 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
19.49% p.a.
$49 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 130,000 bonus Amplify Points (worth $550 in gift cards) when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount.
BankSA Vertigo
0% p.a. for 32 months
13.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Offers 0% p.a. for 32 months on balance transfers (with no balance transfer fee). Plus, a $0 first-year annual fee.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Card
0% p.a. for 32 months
13.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 32 months (with no balance transfer fee) and a $0 annual fee for the first year.
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Images: Shutterstock, VISA, and AMEX

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