American Express offers credit cards to suit a range of lifestyles and goals, including frequent flyer and reward points, no annual fees and low interest rates. You can use this guide to compare American Express cards, discover the benefits of Amex and learn how to apply.
American Express Credit Card Offer
Qantas American Express Ultimate Card
Receive 100,000 bonus Qantas Points
Offer ends 14 April 2020
Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply
American Express Credit Card Offer
The Qantas American Express Ultimate Card offers 100,000 bonus Qantas Points, complimentary travel benefits and up to 2.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases.
Get 100,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved by 14 April 2020 and spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months
$450 annual fee and 20.74% p.a. purchase interest rate
Receive a $450 Qantas Travel Credit each year
4 yearly complimentary airport lounge passes: 2 Qantas Club and 2 Amex Lounge
American Express issues credit cards to suit both personal and business needs. Amex is renowned for its platinum products and competitive rewards options, but it offers low rate and low fee options as well. You can compare the different credit cards you can get with American Express below to find the right one for you.
Rewards credit cards
American Express rewards credit cards are linked to its Membership Rewards programs. You can use these cards to earn Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. Some boast big bonus points offers for new Amex customers, which can sometimes be as high as 150,000 points when you meet the spend requirement.
You can use your Membership Rewards to 'pay with points' and shop online at David Jones or Ticketmaster. Membership Rewards can be redeemed for holidays through American Express Travel or redeem them for gift cards with big brands including Coles, Myer, Bunnings and Country Road.
If you prefer frequent flyer points, exchange your Membership Rewards for points or miles with partner airline schemes including Virgin Australia Velocity, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. Check out finder's guide to Amex Membership Rewards for more tips for earning and spending your points.
As well as rewards, these cards often offer extra perks including complimentary travel insurance, American Express Lounge invites to use at Sydney and Melbourne airport and access to Amex Experiences.
These rewards cards typically charge higher annual fees and interest rates than cards with fewer extra features.
Frequent flyer credit cards
American Express offers frequent flyer cards that are linked to the Qantas and Velocity Frequent Flyer programs. These cards regularly have bonus points offers and can be used to earn points per $1 spent on eligible purchases. You can then redeem your points for flights, travel packages and more through your preferred frequent flyer program.
Some of these cards come with extra features including complimentary travel insurance, complimentary flight vouchers and airline lounge passes. These extra features can help justify paying a higher annual fee or purchase interest rate to use one of these cards.
Both rewards and frequent flyer Amex cards often offer new cardholders thousands of bonus points on sign up points. You usually need to apply by an offer end date and meet a spend requirement (such as spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days) to get the points.
Low rate credit cards
If you want to save on credit card costs, you can consider an American Express credit card with a low interest rate. Cards such as the American Express Essential credit card and the American Express Low Rate credit cards both charge competitive purchase interest rates. These cards often sometimes come with low or no annual fees. Some low rate American Express cards are linked with the Membership Rewards program, although they'll usually have less competitive earn rates than platinum products.
Balance transfer credit cards
You can pay off your existing debt with 0% on balance transfers for a promotional period with some American Express credit cards. The interest-free offer may last for up to 12 months and any remaining debt will collect a higher interest rate once this introductory period ends. Some of these cards may charge an annual fee and a balance transfer fee, so it's important to factor these into your comparison.
Store credit cards
The David Jones American Express credit cards offer exclusive benefits with the department store, such as complimentary gift-wrapping and complimentary delivery options through David Jones online. You can use these cards to earn either Membership Rewards or Qantas Rewards for purchases at David Jones and elsewhere.
Business credit cards
American Express offers business credit cards that come with useful features including additional cardholders to manage employee spending and tools to track your business expenditure. Some Amex business credit cards earn Membership Rewards, Qantas Points or Velocity Points on business spending. Business cards generally have higher credit limits than products designed for personal use.
The benefits of banking with American Express
From rewards programs to exclusive perks, here are some of the extra features and benefits you can expect with an American Express credit card.
If you have an American Express Membership Rewards card, you can earn points per $1 you spend on eligible purchases. These cards regularly offer competitive bonus points and earn rates. Plus, you can redeem your points for a variety of rewards from cashback on your account to gift cards and frequent flyer points.
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.
Exclusive perks with Amex Experiences and Amex Offers
You can access presale tickets to concerts and other events with American Express Experiences. When you present your Amex card at the entry, you can relax in style before your next concert at American Express Entertainment lounges at select entertainment venues in Sydney and Brisbane.
Amex cardholders can enjoy exclusive discounts and cashback promotions with partnered brands including THE ICONIC, Woolworths, David Jones and more thanks to Amex Offers. Check out the current offers on the American Express website and register the deal to your card.
Airport lounge passes
A few American Express credit cards come with complimentary lounge entry invitations each year. Depending on the card, you could take advantage of the perks at a Qantas or Virgin Australia Lounge or one of the American Express lounges at Sydney and Melbourne airport. Check out our review of the American Express Lounge at Sydney airport for more details of what you can expect.
Digital wallets and contactless payments
American Express is compatible with all three major digital wallets: Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay. You can add your card details to the relevant digital wallet app and use your smartphone or smart device to make contactless payments at the terminal. The American Express Westpac bundle cards also enable you to use your fitness tracker to make payments with Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay.
How to apply for an American Express credit card
If you've compared American Express credit cards and found one you like, you can apply online in around 10 minutes. Before you apply, make sure you meet the following eligibility requirements and have all the relevant documents and details you need on hand.
The eligibility criteria vary between American Express cards but usually includes the following:
Residential status. Australian citizens, permanent residents and holders of a current long term visa (12 months or more, not including student visas) are eligible to apply.
Minimum income. You'll need to meet the minimum annual income requirement to apply.
Cardholder status. Many American Express credit cards offer bonus points promotions. In order to be eligible for most bonus points offers, you will need to be a new card member, meaning you cannot currently hold or have held an American Express card within the previous 18 months.
Credit history. Applicants must have a good credit rating.
Age. Applicants must be at least 18 years or older.
Make sure you have the following information and documents ready before you apply:
Personal information. You need to share personal details including your name, email address, phone number, residential address and a valid form of ID, such as your driver's licence number.
Income and employment. This includes your current job, your employer’s contact information or your accountant's details if you’re self-employed. You'll also need to provide details of your annual income, including any income generated from assets like property or shares, and whether you have any savings.
Debts and liabilities. You need to provide information about your ongoing expenses, such as rent or mortgage payments, your weekly food budget, loan repayments and any existing credit card debts. If you want to get a balance transfer, you'll need to provide details of your existing card and the debt you want to transfer to your new American Express card.
Bonus point and promotional offers are usually only available when you apply for a card by a specific date. If you apply after this time, you won't be eligible for the promotion. Make sure you check the date of any specific offers you look at before you submit your application.
Frequently asked questions
Do you have a question about American Express credit cards? Check the FAQs below for answers to common questions about Amex credit cards. 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.
You can use your American Express credit card with many major brands in Australia including Telstra, Coles, Woolworths, David Jones and Bunnings. Although American Express is accepted less widely than Visa or Mastercard, the number of brands that accept Amex is growing. Since January 2017, more than 135,000 new places have joined the American Express network in Australia and this number is only increasing.
Before you apply for an American Express credit card, check if the businesses you regularly shop with accept American Express to ensure it will suit your spending behaviour.
You usually can't take advantage of promotional bonus points offers and other introductory offers if you're an existing American Express cardholder. If you've held an Amex credit card in the past, you may have to wait around 18 months until you can qualify for another bonus points offer that's only eligible for new cardholders. If you're unsure, check the terms and conditions or contact American Express directly to confirm if you're eligible to earn the bonus points.
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.
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Updated March 28th, 2020
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