Compare American Express credit cards with features including bonus points, 0% interest offers, travel vouchers and premium extras.
Depending on the American Express card you choose, you could even save on credit card costs with 0% p.a. balance transfers or purchase rate offers, or get more rewards with a bonus points offer. Use this guide to compare the fees, features and benefits of American Express credit cards and decide if there's one that's right for you.
American Express Credit Cards Comparison
Types of credit cards from American Express
American Express issues credit cards for personal and business use. It also offers a small selection of premium charge cards. Charge cards have similar features and extras but, instead of letting you carry a balance and charging interest, they require you to pay the account balance in full by the statement due date. You can compare the range or American Express cards below based on the type of product you're looking for.
Balance transfer credit cards
If you're struggling to repay an existing debt because of high interest, you could transfer your old balance from another provider to an American Express card with a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 12 months. This means that you'll have the chance to repay your debt faster and without the extra cost of interest while the promotional period is in place. Please note that a one-time balance transfer fee may apply. See our step-by-step guide on how to complete a balance transfer with American Express for further information.
Low rate credit cards
The American Express Low Rate Credit Card is no longer available to new customers in Australia. Instead, you might want to consider the American Express Essential Credit Card which has an ongoing variable purchase rate of 14.99% p.a.
Rewards credit cards
American Express offers a variety of rewards cards linked to the American Express Membership Rewards program. With one of these cards, you'll earn points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. You can then redeem your accumulated points for rewards such as travel, frequent flyer points, gift cards and merchandise. Depending on the card, you could also earn between 10,000 and 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards on signup if you meet the spend requirement after being approved for one of these cards.
Frequent flyer credit cards
American Express offers frequent flyer cards linked to the Qantas Frequent Flyer and Velocity Frequent Flyer programs. These cards earn either Qantas Points or Velocity Points for your eligible spending and may offer offer up to 100,000 bonus points on signup when you meet the spend requirement. While some of these cards have a $0 annual fee, others have annual fees up to $450.
Store credit cards
David Jones American Express credit cards offer exclusive in-store benefits with the department store and also allow you to earn Membership Rewards or Qantas Rewards for purchases at David Jones and elsewhere.
Business credit cards
With additional cardholders to manage employee spending, the opportunity to earn Membership Rewards, Qantas Points or Velocity Points on business spending and tools to track your business expenditure, American Express credit cards offer many features that could benefit your business' finances.
The benefits of banking with American Express
Membership Rewards — frequent flyer transfer partners
American Express Membership Rewards points can be used to book travel directly through Amex. They can also be transferred to Frequent Traveller Partners such as Velocity Frequent Flyer, Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer, Etihad Guest, Emirates Skywards and Air New Zealand. Alternatively, you can redeem Membership Rewards for cash back on your account, gift cards with the likes of iTunes, BP, David Jones and Bunnings (to name a few) or shop with them at David Jones and Ticketmaster.
American Express credit cards come with contactless payment technology so you can "tap-and-go" for purchases under $100. American Express also has a range of cards that are compatible with Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay, allowing you to use your mobile device to make payments at the checkout.
Exclusive access to tickets and events
You can use your Membership Rewards Points at Ticketmaster. The ticketing service also provides special offers and discounts for American Express members, so you could save on big ticket sporting events and concerts. American Express Invites also puts you first in line for selected lifestyle events and experiences.
This complimentary program gives you access to exclusive offers from some of the biggest brands, allowing you to save money on everything from fashion and dining to movie tickets and supermarket shopping.
All American Express credit cards are protected against fraud. So if you're a victim of credit card fraud, you will be covered by a Fraud Protection Guarantee and won't be liable for any unauthorised spending on your account. Intelligent security and secure payment systems are also in place to protect whatever you purchase online or in-store in Australia or overseas.
How to apply for an American Express credit card
If you've compared your options and decided an American Express credit card is for you, you can apply online for a credit card in around 15 minutes. Before you apply, make sure you've met the following eligibility requirements and organised the necessary documents to complete your application and increase improve your chances of approval.
The eligibility criteria varies from card to card, but you can expect the following:
- Age. Applicants must be at least 18 years or older.
- Residential status. Australian citizens, permanent residents or holders of a current Business Long Stay Visa may apply.
- Minimum income. You'll need to meet the minimum annual income requirement to apply.
- Credit history. Applicants must have a good credit rating.
Make sure you've organised the following information and documents before you apply:
- Details about your income and employment. You’re required to provide your annual income, including any income generated from assets like property or shares, and also whether you have any savings. You will also need to provide your employer’s contact information or your account’s details if you’re self-employed.
- Debts and liabilities. You need to provide information about your ongoing expenses, like child support payments, your weekly food budget, loan repayments and dependent children. If you have other credit cards, you'll need to list the size of the balance you’re carrying on each card and whether you want to transfer the balance.
- Personal information. You will need to list basic personal details like your name, contact information and your address.
Frequently asked questions
Do you have a question about American Express credit cards? Check the FAQs below for an answer. If you can’t find the question and answer you’re looking for, get in touch with us using the form at the bottom of this page.
Can I apply for an American Express credit card?
- You must be 18 years of age or older.
- You must have a good credit history.
- Be a permanent Australian resident or hold a long stay visa.
- Earn more than the minimum income listed for the card you're applying for. Self-employed borrowers must also have been trading for 18 months before they can apply for an American Express credit card.
Are American Express credit cards from other banks different?
Some well-known Australian banks issue companion or dual credit card accounts that come with both an American Express card and a Visa or Mastercard linked to the same account. Usually, the Amex card earns more points per $1 and the Mastercard or Visa offers wider acceptance. This allows you to choose the type of card you want to use so you can earn points in more places.
What's the difference between an Amex credit card and charge card?
Most Amex cards are regular credit card accounts, which allow you to carry a balance on your account as long as you pay at least the minimum amount listed on your statement by the due date. If you do carry a balance, you'll be charged interest on it at the applicable rate.
There is also a small selection of Amex charge cards – such as the American Express Platinum Card and the American Express Velocity Business Card – which require you to pay off your balance in full each month. As you don't carry a balance on these cards, standard interest rates do not apply. However, there can be serious penalties if you don't pay the full balance by the due date on each statement.
How do I transfer a balance to an American Express credit card?
Interview about American Express balance transfer FAQs
What is a credit establishment fee?
A credit establishment fee is a balance transfer fee. It’s charged when you bring your existing credit card debt over to your new American Express credit card when you apply. It’s supposed to be a fee to cover the administrative costs of processing a balance transfer request. The credit establishment fee is expressed as a small percentage of your total balance transfer amount, for example, 1%. The fee is taken from your available credit on your credit card, so it will need to be factored into any calculation of the total balance transfer balance.
Where can I use my American Express credit card?
American Express credit cards are not accepted by all Australian merchants, but this is changing. Every year, more shops and businesses accept American Express credit cards. American Express also has a Business Directory tool on its website that allows you to search for Australian businesses that accept an American Express credit card.
What’s the minimum repayment? How much do I have to pay each month?
The minimum repayment is a small percentage of your balance that you must pay back to stop your account from entering into default. The minimum monthly repayment is listed on our American Express credit card review pages and it is the minimum amount you must pay off your credit card when your statement is issued. The due date is displayed on your credit card statement.
What is American Express Membership Rewards?
How do I become a member of American Express Membership Rewards?
Apply and get approved for an American Express Membership Rewards credit card and you’ll be automatically enrolled in this program. To stay as a member, you need to maintain your credit card account. If you go into default and you don’t pay within 40 days, your points are forfeited and you will no longer be a member of the program.
Do my American Express Membership Rewards points expire?
As long as you keep your account in good standing, your American Express Membership Rewards Points won’t expire. This means you need to make all required payments by the due date on your account statements.
Which airlines can I transfer my Membership Rewards Points to?
The American Express Membership Rewards Program has partnered with some of the most popular frequent flyer and travel rewards programs around the world. The airline programs you'll be able to transfer your points to can vary depending on your Membership Rewards account but could include Velocity, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Asia Miles, Air New Zealand Airpoints, Emirates Skywards and Etihad Guest.
I already have an American Express credit card. Can I still get bonus points if I apply for a different Amex card?
This depends on the type of American Express card you currently hold. If you have a card issued by American Express Australia, you won't be eligible for any bonus point offers on other cards issued by Amex.
But if you have a companion American Express card that's issued by a bank – such as the Amex cards that come with the NAB Qantas Rewards Premium or Westpac Altitude Black – you would be eligible for bonus point offers on cards issued by American Express.