American Express credit cards

Apply for an American Express credit card, and you could be earning thousands of points towards free flights, upgrades, hotel stays, and so much more.

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 22nd September 2022

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Comparing American Express credit cards

The Low Rate Credit Card from American Express

On American Express' website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

8.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Enjoy a low 8.99% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
  • $0 annual fee for as long as you have the card.
  • Up to 55 days interest free.

Pros

  • Low 8.99% p.a. interest rate on purchases and $0 annual fee.
  • Comes with Card Purchase Cover and Card Refund Cover.
  • Up to 55 days interest free.

Cons

  • There are no rewards program for this card.
American Express Cashback Credit Card

On American Express' website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

20.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • When you apply online, are approved and pay $0 monthly fee for the first year (saving you $120). New Card Members Only
  • For every $ 1 spent, enjoy 1% cashback on all purchases excluding government bodies in Australia.
  • Enjoy Binge Basic subscription, valued at $10 per month.

Pros

  • $0 monthly fee for the first 12 months.
  • Complimentary Smartphone Screen Cover.
  • Free monthly BINGE subscription valued at $10/month.

Cons

  • Purchase rate is at 20.74% p.a.
American Express Explorer Credit Card

On American Express' website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

20.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$395.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Receive 70,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. New Amex 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).

Pros

  • The 70,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when approved and reach spend requirement within the first 3 months.
  • $400 travel credit every year.
  • Get 2 complimentary airport lounge passes per year.

Cons

  • The $395 p.a. annual fee.
American Express Platinum Card

On American Express' website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

N/A

Annual fee

$1,450.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Receive 150,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points when you apply online, are approved, and spend $5,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. New Amex Card Members only.
  • Receive a $450 Platinum Travel Credit each year, which can be redeemed for flights, hotels, or car hire.
  • Enjoy up to $400 per calendar year when you dine from a curated collection of over 1,400 hand-selected restaurants both locally and abroad. Terms and Conditions apply.

Pros

  • Receive 150,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points when you meet the criteria.
  • Receive a $450 Platinum Travel Credit each year.
  • Enjoy up to $400 Global Dining Credit per calendar year.
  • Access over 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries.

Cons

  • The annual fee of $1,450.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card

On American Express' website

American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

20.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • $0 annual fee in the first year, saving you $195.
  • Earn 3 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at major supermarkets and petrol stations.
  • Enjoy $200 to spend on travel each year that can be used on eligible flights, hotels, or car hire when booked through American Express Travel.

Pros

  • $0 annual fee in the first year, saving you $195.
  • Receive $200 to spend on eligible domestic and international flights, hotels, or car hire with American Express Travel.
  • Smartphone Screen Cover for smartphone screen repairs up to $500.

Cons

  • The standard purchase rate of 20.74%
The Qantas American Express Premium Card

On American Express' website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

20.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$249.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Receive 30,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $3,000 in 3 months. New Amex Card Members only.
  • Relax with 2 complimentary Qantas Club invitations every year (conditions apply).
  • Complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.

Pros

  • 30,000 bonus Qantas points for signing up and hitting the spending target.
  • Earn points on your everyday spend. Also earns points at a reduced rate on government spend.
  • Give up to 4 of your friends and family a card — at no extra cost — to earn more points.
  • $450 Qantas Travel Credit, which is fairly easy to trigger with your first Qantas purchase each year.
  • Comes with complimentary card purchase cover and travel insurance.

Cons

  • There is an annual fee of $249.
  • The purchase rate is quite high, but can be avoided with responsible use.
  • No balance transfer facility.
American Express Qantas Ultimate Credit Card

On American Express' website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

20.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$450.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Receive 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online by 16 October 2022, are approved, and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. New Card Members only.
  • Earn 1.25 Qantas Points for every $1 spent on card purchases, except spend at government bodies in Australia where you will earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent.
  • Get 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations each year.

Pros

  • Earn 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the criteria.
  • Excellent earn rates on everyday spend. Earns points on payments to the ATO.
  • Access to the American Express Lounge Sydney and Melbourne airport after your first card spend on the card for Qantas products and services each anniversary year.
  • 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations each year.
  • $450 Qantas Travel Credit each year (conditions apply).
  • Add cards for up to four family and friends at no cost.

Cons

  • The annual fee of $450.
  • There is no concierge service, even though it's a high end card.
  • Balance transfers are not possible.
  • Transactions in a foreign currency attract a fee.
Qantas American Express Discovery Credit Card

On American Express' website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

20.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Earn 0.75 Qantas Point for every $1 spent on Card purchases, except spend at government bodies in Australia where you will earn 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent.
  • Pay no annual card fee.
  • Up to 4 Additional Cards for family members or friends with no extra fee.

Pros

  • Ongoing $0 annual fee, a rarity among rewards credit cards.
  • Earn 0.75 Qantas points per $1 spent and 0.5 Qantas points per $1 for government spend.
  • No cap on the number of points you can earn.
  • Add up to 4 additional cards for family members or friends with no extra fee.
  • Complimentary Card Purchase Cover and Card Refund Cover.

Cons

  • There is a 3% foreign transaction fee.
  • Lacks complimentary travel insurance.
  • There is no access to a concierge service.
The American Express Essential Credit Card

On American Express' website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

14.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Get $100 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 Amex 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

  • Get $100 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.

Cons

  • Doesn't come with travel insurance.
  • No access to concierge services.
  • There is no introductory balance transfer offer.
American Express Business Explorer Credit Card

On American Express' website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

6 months at 3.99% p.a.

Annual fee

$0.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • Receive 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you apply by 5 October 2022, are approved and spend $3,000 on your card within the first 3 months. New American Express Card Members only.
  • $0 first-year annual card fee ($149 p.a. thereafter).
  • Enjoy a low interest rate of 3.99% p.a. on new purchases for the first 6 months of Card Membership (reverts to 19.99% p.a. thereafter).

Pros

  • Receive 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you apply by 5 October 2022, are approved and spend $3,000 on your card within the first 3 months. New American Express Card Members only.
  • $0 first-year annual card fee ($149 p.a. thereafter).
  • Enjoy a low interest rate of 3.99% p.a. on new purchases for the first 6 months of Card Membership (reverts to 19.99% p.a. thereafter).

Cons

  • There is no balance transfer offer for this card.
  • Cash advances are blocked, which might be inconvenient for some.
American Express Platinum Business Card

On American Express' website

New offerApply by 2 November 2022

American Express Platinum Business Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

N/A

Annual fee

$1,750.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Exclusive Offer: Receive 250,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you apply by 2 November 2022, are approved, and spend $8,000 on your card within the first 3 months. New American Express Card Members only.
  • Earn up to 2.25 pts per $1 spent.
  • Get exclusive Platinum travel, experience, and dining privileges.

Pros

  • The exclusive offer of 250,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you meet the criteria.
  • Earn up to 2.25 pts per $1 spent and 1 point per $1 spent at the ATO.
  • Access to more than 1,200 lounges globally, including The Centurion® Lounge.
  • Gold status match at Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, and Radisson Hotel Group.
  • 24/7 access to the Platinum Concierge from anywhere in the world.

Cons

  • The annual fee of $1,750 p.a.
  • Since this is a charge card, the balance must be cleared every statement.
  • No balance transfer facility.
American Express Gold Business Card

On American Express' website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

N/A

Annual fee

$169.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Receive 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you apply by 5 October 2022, are approved and spend $1,000 on your card within the first 2 months. New American Express Card Members only.
  • Earn up to 1.5 Membership Rewards point for every $1 spent.
  • No pre-set spending limit means more flexibility.

Pros

  • Receive 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you meet the criteria.
  • Earn up to 1.5 Membership Rewards point for every $1 spent.
  • No cap on how many points you can earn.
  • No pre-set spending limit means more flexibility.
  • Membership Rewards points can be transferred to a number of airlines, giving you options when booking travel.

Cons

  • The $119 fee for every additional card added.
  • Doesn't offer airport lounge access.
  • No access to concierge services.
American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card

On American Express' website

Offer extendedApply by 2 November 2022

American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

N/A

Annual fee

$450.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Receive 120,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply by 2 November 2022, are approved, and spend $3,000 in the first 2 months. Qantas Frequent Flyer number must be provided at the time of application to qualify for the Flight Voucher. Available to new American Express Card Members only.
  • Earn triple Qantas Points for your business when employees fly on eligible Qantas flights and pay using their American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card.
  • Two complimentary passes for the Qantas Club lounge every year.

Pros

  • Earn up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points when you meet the criteria.
  • Earn triple Qantas Points for your business when employees fly on eligible Qantas flights and pay using their American Express Qantas Business Rewards Card.
  • Earn 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on Qantas products and services, 1.25 Qantas Points per $1 spent on everyday purchases and 0.5 Qantas Points per $1 spent on government charges
  • Earn up to 1.25 Qantas Points on eligible spend (the up to message covers gov spend). Earn 2 Qantas Points per $1 spent on Qantas products and services
  • Two complimentary passes for the Qantas Club lounge every year.
  • Flexible Payment Option available to spread cost over time for a portion of your balance.
  • Spend with Dell Technologies, and get up to $100 credit twice a year.
  • Complimentary 12-month subscription to The Australian Premium.

Cons

  • The $450 p.a. annual fee.
  • Balance must be repaid in full each month.
  • No concierge service.
  • Lounge passes are valid for Qantas Club and not the international business lounges.
American Express Business Card

On American Express' website

New offerApply by 2 November 2022

American Express Business Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

N/A

Annual fee

$95.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Receive a $100 Statement Credit when you apply by 2 November 2022, are approved, and spend $1,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. T&Cs apply. New Amex Card Members only.
  • No pre-set spending limit means more flexibility.
  • Extend your cash flow up to 110 days.

Pros

  • Receive a $100 Statement Credit when you meet the criteria.
  • The annual fee has been reduced to $95 p.a. and comes with 1 complimentary employee card ($79 for each additional card).
  • Complimentary insurance cover business trips.
  • No preset spending limit.

Cons

  • There is no rewards program on this card.
American Express Velocity Escape Card

On American Express' website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

20.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Earn Velocity Points and enjoy $0 annual card fee.
  • Velocity Points earned on your card are transferred directly to your Velocity account each month and can be redeemed for a range of rewards including flights, accommodation, car hire, gift cards and much more.
  • Earn 0.75 Velocity Points per $1 spent, except government bodies in Australia where you will earn 0.5 Velocity Points per $1 spent.

Pros

  • No annual fee, but still earn points.
  • Earn 1.75 Velocity Points per $1 spent on purchases with Virgin Australia.
  • Get 0.5 points per $1 when paying tax to the ATO using the card.
  • 55 days interest-free on purchases when the previous balance has been cleared in full.

Cons

  • Doesn't come with complimentary travel insurance.
  • No complimentary lounge access.
  • No access to the concierge service.
  • There is no balance transfer offer for this card.
American Express Velocity Platinum Credit Card

On American Express' website

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

20.74% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$375.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Receive 75,000 bonus Velocity Points when you apply online, are approved, and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. Available to new Amex Card Members only.
  • Complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight between selected cities each year after your first Card spend each anniversary year.
  • Enjoy 2 complimentary Virgin Australia lounge passes each anniversary year at selected domestic airports.

Pros

  • Receive 75,000 bonus Velocity Points when you meet the criteria.
  • Complimentary Virgin Australia return Economy domestic flight between selected cities each year after your first Card spend each anniversary year.
  • Enjoy 2 complimentary Virgin Australia lounge passes each anniversary year at selected domestic airports.
  • Receive 100 Velocity Frequent Flyer Status Credits, when you spend a minimum of $50,000 within your card membership year.
  • Complimentary domestic and international travel insurance.
  • Add up to 4 additional cardholders for free.

Cons

  • The interest rates applied to balances carried over is on the high end.
  • There is no balance transfer offer on this card.

More about American Express credit cards

Get helpful insight into using American Express credit cards and Membership Rewards.

  • FAQs

Can I use an American Express card for my business expenses?

Yes. American Express business cards are a very popular choice because they provide access to one of the very best reward schemes on the Australian card market, the Membership Rewards program. Businesses that regularly use American Express business credit cards to pay for expenses can quickly build up points to be redeemed for a huge selection of products and services. The program offers a beneficial range of travel rewards and accessories that can be really useful for flights, hotels, rentals and other business trip essentials. American Express offers a selection of different business cards to suit the size of your operation and specific requirements whether you’re a small business or large company.

Can I use an American Express card for personal use?

Yes. Personal American Express cards are designed for individuals who use their cards regularly, covering high volume expenses and keeping on top of monthly repayments. By covering the balance each month American Express cardholders enjoy the benefits of the Membership Rewards program and the company’s world-renowned customer services and support.

Amex cards are suitable for people with solid credit ratings and high incomes, and good for big spenders and frequent flyers. American Express is generally associated with prestige and exclusivity, but some of their cards are accessible to regular Australians who would qualify for gold cards from other providers. Although American Express cards attract surcharges and don’t always get accepted in all stores, they still offer some of the best rewards big spenders can get.

How can I improve my chances of being approved?

To get approved for an American Express card you need to meet the requirements of the deal you have chosen, and there are was you can improve you chances of applying successfully. A good credit rating is very important, so check your credit report and make sure everything is up-to-date and that there are no mistakes. If you do find anything inaccurate on your report, fix it. Choosing a card that meets your income is also a determining factor in getting approval, so make sure you earn enough and that you have the proof to back it up. When you have selected the card that’s right for you, make sure that you have all the relevant and information at hand; the more clear and correct info you can provide the better your chances of approval.

Is it more difficult to get approved for an American Express card?

Generally American Express does have a more demanding application process and more limited acceptance than other card providers simply because Amex cards are designed for people with high incomes, high volumes of spending, disciplined money management and good credit history. Some Amex cards, however, are more accessible, so check out the various deals on our comparison table and you may be pleasantly surprised to discover what you qualify for.

Is there a cap on the number of points that can be earned?

Similarly to point expiry, point capping depends on how you use your Amex card, whether you maintain your enrolment on the program and if you can keep up-to-date with monthly repayments. Carefully read the small print, terms and conditions before you apply for any credit card so that you don’t get an unexpected surprise.

What do you need to qualify?

This depends on the card – they each have their own qualification requirements. All American Express credit cards require that you are over 18 years old, a citizen or resident of Australia, and that you have at least a good, if not excellent, credit rating. Importantly, you will also need to meet a certain income to qualify, and the minimum varies between the different cards. The more prestigious cards are designed for very high earners, but some of the deals are aimed at Australians on more modest incomes.

What is the Membership Rewards program?

Membership Rewards is one of the main reasons for choosing an American Express credit card, giving businesses and individuals the chance to join one of Australia’s most generous and prestigious reward programs. The scheme rewards cardholders who regularly use American Express because the more you spend the more loyalty points you earn. These points can then be used for a huge selection of travel, shopping and entertainment rewards from American Express and Membership Rewards partner companies. Cardholders may also transfer points to other loyalty programs that more closely suit their lifestyle.

What kind of rewards can be earned?

The Membership Rewards scheme offers a massive selection of rewards from the program’s partner companies. Travel rewards allow you to redeem points for flights, hotels, foreign currency and other useful travel related benefits. Shopping rewards allow you to choose technology, gifts, homeware, wines and sporting equipment from top brands, with monthly updates and special deals. Points can also be exchanged for a variety of entertainment, dining, leisure and sports options.

When do points expire?

This depends on how you use your card and whether you keep up with repayments. Points don’t expire as long as you are enrolled on the program as a card member, your credit card account is active and your payments are not overdue. Your points are forfeited if you choose to cancel your subscription to the program, and these points cannot be reinstated if you sign-up again. If your account is 40 days or more overdue for payments your points will also be forfeited, and will expire if you don’t reinstate them within 90 days of your original statement date. As with any credit card, you should always study the small print, terms and conditions for the specific deal before applying.

Who are Amex cards best suited to?

Amex credit cards are suited to people who like to use their card for plenty of spending, have above average incomes and a solid credit history. They have a more demanding application approval than many other card providers, but if you have good earnings and credit you may find a card to suit your finances. As with all credit cards, it’s important that you can meet monthly repayments, especially if you want to enjoy Amex’s renowned customer services and get the most out of their generous rewards scheme.

If you are looking to transfer a balance, American Express are unlikely to have the longest or cheapest deal. It would be worth your time to compare credit card balance transfer deals from other banks before choosing who to go with.

Why should I choose American Express?

American Express offers different kinds of credit cards both for personal and business use. They also issue a range of corporate cards. The most popular personal American Express credit cards appeal to business people, corporate road warriors and travel loving frequent flyers. Amex cards tend to come jam-packed with premium features and perks, and one of Australia’s best rewards schemes, which explain the higher interest rates and annual fees. Use our credit card comparison table to figure out which card will not only look the best in your wallet but also help you do what you want.