- You need good credit to qualify for this card.
- You'll need an annual income of $65,000 or more to get approval for their rewards points and travel benefits.
- The American Express Explorer Credit Card comes with a high annual fee but also offers perks and benefits, including points, an annual travel credit, airport lounge passes and insurance cover.
The American Express Explorer card comes with the usual high credit card interest rate on purchase balances not completely cleared by the payment due date, as well as a high annual fee.
On American Express' website
20.74% p.a. ongoing
$395.00 p.a. ongoing
- Receive 100,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $4,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. New Card Members only.
- Receive a $400 Travel Credit each year towards any flights, hotels and car hire when you book online with this card.
- Earn 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on purchases except government bodies in Australia where you will earn 1 point per $1 spent (uncapped).
In this guide
Who is the American Express Explorer card for?
The American Express Explorer card is for users with an annual income of $65,000 or more who wish to optimise their rewards points and travel benefits.
What credit score is needed for the American Express Explorer card?
American Express says you need "Good Credit and have not applied for multiple credit cards recently" to qualify for the card. Any credit score that is anywhere from ‘Good’ to ‘Excellent’ may make you eligible for the American Express Explorer credit card.
In Australia, credit scores are allocated by the three credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and illion. Both Experian and Equifax regard a score of around 625 or more as ‘Good’, while for illion it’s 500+. Over 725 is definitely ‘Very good’ at all three bureaus.
You can check your credit score using Finty’s free credit score service.
How hard is it to get the American Express Explorer card?
To be eligible for the card, you need to:
- Be 18 years or older;
- Be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or a long-term visa holder (not student visa);
- Have an income of $65,000 or more;
- Have been in business at least 12 months if self-employed;
- Have a good credit score with no history of bad debt or payment defaults;
- Have not applied for multiple cards recently.
Key features and perks
- Reward points. You get 2 Membership Rewards Points per dollar for most everyday purchases and 1 point for every dollar paid to the ATO and other government organisations.
- Bonus points. New cardholders may be able to benefit from the large number of bonus points regularly on offer.
- Travel benefits include an annual travel credit that more than offsets the annual fee, as well as two airport lounge passes each year and a useful hotel credit.
- Insurance benefits include overseas and domestic travel insurance cover, smartphone screen Insurance, extended warranty, purchase protection and refund cover.
- High interest rate on any purchases balances carried over to the following month instead of being fully repaid by the payment due date.
- High annual fee (offset by annual travel credit).
- High late payment fee.
- Foreign currency conversion fee.
- Up to four additional card holders for free.
Pros and cons
- Rewards points in American Express Membership Rewards program, with no points cap or expiry.
- Large bonus of Membership Rewards Points for meeting a fairly low spending target in the first three months.
- Travel credit each year offsets the annual fee completely.
- Full suite ofcomplimentary insurance policies, including travel insurance.
- Two airport lounge passes each year, to American Express Lounge at Sydney or Melbourne International Airports.
- Free supplementary cardholders (up to four).
- 55 day payment period, better than the 44 offered by some other cards.
- Minimum credit limit of $3,000.
- High annual fee, especially if you are unable to use all the travel credits.
- Travel credits limited to spending with American Express Travel.
- High purchase interest rate, typical for this kind of premium card.
- No introductory balance transfer offer.
- Existing and recent American Express card holders are ineligible for the bonus point offers.
- No cash advances on Amex cards.
How do I apply?
You can apply online. It takes just a few minutes if you have the necessary documents and information ready.
- Full name and contact details;
- Driver’s licence number (if applicable);
- Annual income and monthly living expenses;
- Employment details;
- Details of other credit cards you hold, and any loans you have.
You will receive a 60-second response and a final decision within a few working days.
On American Express' website
If you’re in the market for a credit card with reward points and travel benefits, consider these other options as well.
How does American Express report to credit bureaus?
American Express is known for reporting to credit bureaus once a month. They typically update Experian, Equifax and illion within five days of the end of your card's billing cycle. When you get a new American Express credit card, it may take a couple of billing cycles before your new card appears on your credit report.
What is a 'Good' credit score in Australia?
Different credit reporting agencies use different scoring systems. Some, such as Experian, use a scoring system with the highest score as 1000 and others, like Equifax use a top score of 1200.
Here's how different companies calculate good, very good and excellent scores:
My application for a card was declined. Will this affect my credit score and report?
When creditors review your credit report to evaluate your current application, your previous application will have resulted in a ‘hard inquiry’ by the card issuer you applied to. A hard inquiry appearing in your credit history could hurt your credit score.
Hard inquiries will remain on your credit report for two years, but will only create an impact on the credit score for one year. It is important to remember that as you apply to different cards, these applications can add up to a bigger impact, so don’t apply for lots of cards within a short time frame.
Can I get approved for this credit card if I’m not an Australian citizen?
You may qualify for the American Express Explorer credit card if you are a permanent resident or citizen of Australia or hold a long term visa valid for 12 months or more. Those on student visas are not eligible. Other options for temporary residents are available here.
The American Express Explorer Credit Card offers value for money for those who are able to use their rewards points and can make use of the annual travel credit and other annual travel perks.
Whichever card you choose, you need to do your own research and due diligence and compare card features and benefits against the fees before making your decision.