The American Express Essential Credit Card

On American Express' website

The American Express Essential Credit Card


  • Get $200 back when you apply, are approved and spend $1,500 on your card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. T&Cs apply. New Card Members only.
  • 0% p.a. annual fee.
  • Earn 1.25 Membership Rewards Gateway points for every $1 spent on everyday purchases, utilities, insurance and telecommunications.

Pros and cons


  • Get $200 back when you meet the criteria.
  • $0 p.a. annual fee with the ability to earn points on your everyday spend.
  • Membership Rewards points can be transferred to several airlines for greater choice when redeeming for flights.
  • Comes with up to $500 of Smartphone Screen Cover.
  • Low 14.99% p.a. on purchases and up to 55 days interest-free when you clear the previous balance.


  • Doesn't come with travel insurance.
  • No access to concierge services.
  • There is no introductory balance transfer offer.


The basics

  • Additional cardholders. Get up to 4 additional cards for family and friends to use at no extra cost. The main account holder will be responsible for the management of the card's credit limit, payments, etc.
  • Digital wallets. This card is compatible with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.
  • Gambling transactions. It isn't possible to use this card for transactions classified as gambling.

Rewards and benefits

  • Complimentary travel insurance. There is no complimentary international travel insurance available with this card.
  • Concierge services. The American Express Essential Credit Card does not come with access to a concierge service.
  • Insurances. Comes with Smartphone Screen Cover of up to $500 when you pay for your phone outright or monthly bill with your American Express Essential Credit Card.
  • Rewards points. Cardholders can earn 1.25 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on eligible purchases except on government bodies where you'll earn 1 point per $1 spent. Membership Rewards points can be transferred to a number of airline partners including Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer, Emirates Skywards, and Air New Zealand Airpoints, etc. The benefit of this is flexibility when it comes to redeeming points for travel as opposed to being limited to one airline and its partners.
  • Sign up bonus. There’s no sign up bonus for this card at this time.

Rates and fees

  • Annual fee. This card has no annual fee, making it one of the few cards to earn points with no annual fee.
  • Balance transfers. A balance transfer is not possible with this card. You may be interested in what's available with other credit cards for balance transfers.
  • Cash advances. Cash advances will be charged interest at the cash advance interest rate of 14.99% p.a. A one-off cash advance fee will also apply. Interest on cash advances begins to accrue from the date of the transaction.
  • Foreign exchange fee. All purchases made in a foreign currency will encounter a 3% foreign transaction fee.
  • Interest-free period. This card offers an interest-free period of up to 55 days on purchases except for cash advances if you have paid off your previous balance or made minimum required payments
  • Purchases. The American Express Essential Credit Card does not have an introductory offer on purchases. Purchases made with this card will incur interest at 14.99% p.a. until repaid.