American Express Cashback Credit Card Review

By   |   Verified by Yvonne Taylor   |   Updated 27th June 2021

The American Express Cashback Credit Card Review

Wouldn't it be great if you could spend your money twice? Well, now you can do just that – with some of it at least – when you have an American Express Cashback Credit Card. In a major departure from its business model of points-earning cards, American Express is offering permanent cashback to spend just the way you like, instead of rewards or frequent flyer points with their limited – and often expensive – redemption options.

But you’ll still get the long list of complimentary benefits that Amex cards are known for, plus an easy pay-by-the-month card fee structure.

American Express Cashback Credit Card

On American Express' website

New offer

American Express Cashback Credit Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

20.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

N/A

Highlights

  • Earn up to 6% cashback. That's 1% cashback per $1 dollar spend on purchases (excluding government bodies, which will earn a rate of 0.5% cashback per $1 spend) and 5% bonus cashback per $1 dollar spend on purchases for new Card Members within the first three months, up to $200 cashback.
  • Pay an affordable $10 monthly fee.
  • Enjoy Binge Basic subscription, valued at $10 per month.

Pros

  • Earn up to 6% cashback.
  • Take advantage of the 12-month complimentary access to the Centr fitness app (valued at $119.99).
  • Complimentary Smartphone Screen Insurance.

1% cashback forever, plus 5% bonus cashback for three months

You’ll get 1% cashback for every dollar you spend, which works out at $20 monthly if you spend $2,000 per month on eligible purchases (that is, non cash-related purchases). That’s not difficult to do if you use your card at supermarkets and petrol stations, to pay bills, and to take public transport or pay tolls. You can add up to four supplementary cards on your account so that family members can help you earn cashback, and American Express is working hard to get those pesky merchant surcharges removed.

1% cashback is as good as a supermarket credit card offering 2.0 points per dollar (since the grocery points are worth 0.5 cents), but this Amex card doesn’t limit you to spending your cashback at Coles or Woolies.

Unfortunately, the 1% cashback is reduced to 0.5% when you use the card to pay government bodies (e.g. ATO, vehicle registration and licences, Australia Post). But that's actually are two cashback bonuses to offset that.

The first is that you’ll actually get 6% cashback for the first three months of holding the card – the regular 1%, plus a 5% bonus cashback – with the bonus cashback capped at $200 (which would be earned by spending $4,000 in three months). The bonus cashback is only available to new cardholders who haven’t held any type of Amex card in the previous 18 months.

Shop Small

Amex Shop Small
Amex Shop Small

Secondly, until 22nd March 2022 you’ll earn an extra 1.5% cashback (again capped at $200) by taking part in American Express Shop Small Offers. You should be able to find dozens of local participating businesses, and hundreds more online.

First three months bonus + Shop Small bonus = a potential $400 extra cashback on top of your normal cashback.

No need to spend the cashback on Binge, because it’s free

Movie and TV show fans won’t need to use their cashback for a Binge subscription, because that’s yet another card bonus. Pay for a monthly Binge basic $10 subscription using your card, and you’ll get a $10 per month credit to your card account.

More freebies in the shape of insurance protection

It doesn’t stop there. The card comes with some basic insurance cover built in – not travel insurance, unfortunately, but still good to have. It includes:

  • Purchase Protection. Eligible purchases made with the card, of up to $2,500 per item, are covered against theft or damage for 90 days
  • Smartphone Screen Insurance. Purchase your phone or pay for your monthly plan with the card, and be covered for up to $500 any time you need a screen repair, up to twice a year.
  • Refund Protection. A retailer won’t accept a return of an unused item you bought with the card? That’s not a problem, because Amex will refund the price if you have unsuccessfully attempted to return it within 90 days of purchase.

Amex will help you to train and eat like Chris Hemsworth

Get shredded with Chris Hemsworth's Centr app

The card keeps on giving, this time with a focus on your health. Amex will give you a free 12-month subscription to Chris Hemsworth’s Centr program, to promote your training, healthy eating and mindfulness goals. You may feel that it’s not going to be of much use if you’re not a health nut, but hey, it’s free (usually $119.99 per year).

If you decide to apply for the card it’s worth taking a look, and it could just possibly be the first step on the road to a new, healthier you.

American Express Cashback Credit Card

On American Express' website

New offer

American Express Cashback Credit Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

20.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

N/A

Highlights

  • Earn up to 6% cashback. That's 1% cashback per $1 dollar spend on purchases (excluding government bodies, which will earn a rate of 0.5% cashback per $1 spend) and 5% bonus cashback per $1 dollar spend on purchases for new Card Members within the first three months, up to $200 cashback.
  • Pay an affordable $10 monthly fee.
  • Enjoy Binge Basic subscription, valued at $10 per month.

Pros

  • Earn up to 6% cashback.
  • Take advantage of the 12-month complimentary access to the Centr fitness app (valued at $119.99).
  • Complimentary Smartphone Screen Insurance.

Constantly changing menu of special cardmember offers

American Express cardmembers qualify for special dining, shopping travel and entertainment offers. These often take the form of spending a target amount with a specified retailer and getting a cashback (e.g. spend $150 at Trenery and get $30 back). The offers change constantly, so you should often find one that suits your spending habits.

Jump the queue with American Express Experiences

Access pre-sale reserved tickets to your favourite events (e.g. Hamilton, Harry Potter) and also enjoy exclusive access to Amex lounges located at many entertainment centres, just for being a cardmember.

Unattractive interest rate can be avoided

There’s no getting away from the unpleasantness of the 20.74% p.a. interest rate on purchases balances carried beyond the monthly payment due date. But why pay interest? The card offers a generous interest-free period of up to 55 days on purchases, provided you pay off your entire balance at the end of each month. Savvy credit card users milk this interest-free period for all it is worth, extracting top value from their card, always clearing their balance promptly, and never paying a cent in interest. It’s like Buy Now Pay Later but without the 25% upfront payment, and just a single payment each month.

But if you must carry a balance, there is still a way to avoid paying interest. You can apply to transfer a minimum of $150 of your balance to a Plan It™ repayment plan, and repay your balance in monthly instalments without interest charges. You will, however, pay a fixed monthly instalment plan fee until you have repaid the balance in full.

Monthly card fee less painful than paying 12 months upfront

Paying an annual card fee can create a hump in your budget. This card makes it easier to manage by charging the card fee monthly. At $10 per month it works out at $120 per year, not an over-steep amount given all the attached benefits.

Are you eligible to apply?

The bar is fairly low for eligibility and most serious applicants are likely to clear it. In order to apply you’ll need to:

  • Aged 18 or over
  • Be an Australian citizen or long-term visa holder
  • have an annual income of at least $40,000 a year,
  • have no bad debts or defaults in your credit history. Check your credit score for free here.

Similar cards to consider

Before making up your mind, why not take a look at similar cards? There are the Coles and Woolies points-for-cashback cards previously mentioned, which are okay if you can earn at least two points per dollar and are satisfied with the restriction of spending your cashback at the same supermarket chain where it was earned. However, they probably won’t come with as many complimentary benefits as the Amex card.

Other cashback credit cards have a time limit (e.g. earn cashback only in the first 90 days of holding the card, such as $250 cashback for spending $3,000), so that puts this Amex card in an exclusive one-member club, at least until the competition catches up.

Why the American Express Cashback Credit Card may suit your lifestyle and spending habits

If you’re a health-conscious movie fan with a tendency to be clumsy with your mobile phone, you may have already decided that this card was designed for you. But it will in fact appeal to anyone who likes the idea of earning rewards in the form of unrestricted cash rather than fettered points, while supporting small businesses and looking forward to varying bonus cashback monthly offers.