American Express Credit Cards

Updated 6 May 2019

American Express offers an outstanding range of rewards credit cards. And as one of the largest credit card providers in the world, American Express is sure to offer something that gives you the rewards you want, in a package that suits you.

American Express is one of the world’s most recognised brands, providing payment services to rival that of its biggest competitors, Visa and Mastercard. As of year-end 2018, American Express had an astounding $1.2 trillion in worldwide billed business, with a focus in the consumer banking sector on credit cards and charge cards, but also offering a range of other products and services including personal and business travel services and travel insurance.

Currently, American Express has around 114 million cards being used by customers around the world. Unlike Visa and Mastercard, who have other credit card providers issue their products, American Express issues its cards direct to cardholders, cutting out the middle man. While they are not as common as they once were, American Express companion cards are still offered by some providers for customers to use alongside their Visa or Mastercard.

The Amex vision is to “Provide the world’s best customer experience every day”. This really drives its commitment to customer service, providing exceptional customer support and service to cardholders no matter where they are in the world. In terms of cards, American Express really focuses on rewards, allowing cardholders to earn both Membership Rewards and rewards from other frequent flyer programs.

Cardholders can choose from an array of card options, with something for everyone on the table. For those who want to keep costs low, there are cards with low rates and low annual fees. For those who want their card to pack a punch, they can choose from a range of high-earning, feature-packed options.

American Express Low Rate Credit Card

American Express Low Rate Credit Card

2 reviews
More info
$0 saved over 12 months
Your savings
$ saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

1 review

Apply by 3 Jul 19

More info
points earned over 12 months
2.25 points
16.77% Complete (success)
Amex Membership Rewards
100,000
points
16.77% Complete (success)
Amex Membership Rewards
$1,750
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

1 review
More info
points earned over 12 months
1 point
16.77% Complete (success)
Amex Membership Rewards
N/A
-1% Complete (success)
Amex Membership Rewards
$195
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

1 review
More info
points earned over 12 months
2.25 points
16.77% Complete (success)
Amex Membership Rewards
80,000
points
16.77% Complete (success)
Amex Membership Rewards
$1,450
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

3 reviews
More info
points earned over 12 months
1.25 points
16.77% Complete (success)
Qantas Frequent Flyer
55,000
points
16.77% Complete (success)
Qantas Frequent Flyer
$450
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

1 review
More info
points earned over 12 months
1 point
16.77% Complete (success)
Qantas Frequent Flyer
30,000
points
16.77% Complete (success)
Qantas Frequent Flyer
$249
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

1 review
More info
points earned over 12 months
0.75 points
16.77% Complete (success)
Qantas Frequent Flyer
N/A
-1% Complete (success)
Qantas Frequent Flyer
$0
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

1 review

Apply by 2 Jun 19

More info
points earned over 12 months
0.75 points
16.77% Complete (success)
Qantas Frequent Flyer
120,000
points
16.77% Complete (success)
Qantas Frequent Flyer
$499
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

1 review

Apply by 2 Jun 19

More info
points earned over 12 months
0.5 points
16.77% Complete (success)
Qantas Frequent Flyer
75,000
points
16.77% Complete (success)
Qantas Frequent Flyer
$99
first year
16.77% Complete (success)
then $249 p.a.
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

1 review

Apply by 2 Jun 19

More info
points earned over 12 months
1.25 points
16.77% Complete (success)
Altitude Rewards
120,000
points
16.77% Complete (success)
Altitude Rewards
$449
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

1 review

Apply by 2 Jun 19

More info
points earned over 12 months
1 point
16.77% Complete (success)
Altitude Rewards
75,000
points
16.77% Complete (success)
Altitude Rewards
$49
first year
16.77% Complete (success)
then $199 p.a.
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

1 review

Apply by 3 Jul 19

More info
points earned over 12 months
2 points
16.77% Complete (success)
Amex Membership Rewards
100,000
points
16.77% Complete (success)
Amex Membership Rewards
$0
first year
16.77% Complete (success)
then $395 p.a.
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

1 review
More info
points earned over 12 months
2 points
16.77% Complete (success)
Amex Membership Rewards
50,000
points
16.77% Complete (success)
Amex Membership Rewards
$395
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

1 review
More info
points earned over 12 months
1.5 points
16.77% Complete (success)
Amex Membership Rewards
N/A
-1% Complete (success)
Amex Membership Rewards
$109
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

6 reviews
More info
points earned over 12 months
1.25 points
16.77% Complete (success)
Amex Membership Rewards
N/A
-1% Complete (success)
Amex Membership Rewards
$0
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

2 reviews
More info
points earned over 12 months
1 point
16.77% Complete (success)
Amex Membership Rewards
30,000
points
16.77% Complete (success)
Amex Membership Rewards
$295
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

10 reviews
More info
points earned over 12 months
0.75 points
16.77% Complete (success)
Velocity Frequent Flyer
N/A
-1% Complete (success)
Velocity Frequent Flyer
$0
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

2 reviews
More info
points earned over 12 months
1.5 points
16.77% Complete (success)
Amex Membership Rewards
N/A
-1% Complete (success)
Amex Membership Rewards
$169
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

2 reviews
More info
points earned over 12 months
1 point
16.77% Complete (success)
Velocity Frequent Flyer
N/A
-1% Complete (success)
Velocity Frequent Flyer
$249
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

3 reviews

Apply by 3 Jul 19

More info
points earned over 12 months
1.25 points
16.77% Complete (success)
Qantas Frequent Flyer
120,000
points
16.77% Complete (success)
Qantas Frequent Flyer
$450
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

3 reviews

Apply by 19 Jun 19

More info
points earned over 12 months
1.25 points
16.77% Complete (success)
Velocity Frequent Flyer
100,000
points
16.77% Complete (success)
Velocity Frequent Flyer
$375
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

6 reviews
More info
points earned over 12 months
1 point
16.77% Complete (success)
Amex Membership Rewards
15,000
points
16.77% Complete (success)
Amex Membership Rewards
$99
p.a.
16.77% Complete (success)
Your points
$120,000 saved over 12 months
Calculate your savings icon

American Express is one of the leading players of the financial services industry.

Why? Credit cards. Charge cards. Traveller’s cheques. While Amex does have its fingers in other pies, it does these three things very well indeed. How do we know? Well now, who hasn't heard of American Express?

American Express Credit Cards

This is a company that started out life as a small express mail business. Now, it allows its customers to flex their plastic in more than 160 countries around the world. Just how many customers would that be? As of the most recent count, Amex figures show that it has a whopping 117.8 million cards in force.

Hold on. How does that compare with the other card issuers? Well, if we’re talking market share, American Express sits behind both Visa and Mastercard. But, Amex still processes millions of transactions daily – and has a whole heap of credit cards on offer.

What does that mean for you? With such a long history and such a wide range of products, Amex has had plenty of opportunity for fine-tuning. From awesome rewards cards and fantastic frequent flyer deals, to some truly splendid features, American Express does credit cards right.

Want to know what’s on offer? Let’s take a closer look.

What types of cards are on offer?

Low Interest Low Fee Cards

Interested in saving money on fees? Perhaps you want to pay less in interest. You got it, that’s exactly what these cards offer. Yes, American Express does focus mostly on big rewards and big features. And yes, you will usually pay more for that. But, that’s not all there is.

For the thrifty credit cardholder, Amex actually does offer a few low rate and low fee options. One such example is the American Express Essential Credit Card. This card is a double hitter. Not only can you enjoy a pretty decent low purchase rate - you’ll also pay no annual fee.

Any other options? Yes, but you’ll pay a higher purchase rate on these ones. Both the Qantas American Express Discovery Credit Card and the American Express Velocity Escape Credit Card have no annual fee. Just make sure you don’t carry a balance if you want to keep these as money-savers.

Why should you choose these cards?

Who says you can’t get rewards and features and still save money? Not us, anyway. With these American Express cards you can save money on annual fees – and if you pay off the balance in full each month, you could also save on interest. Winner.

Rewards Cards

Love rewards? You will no doubt love Amex. American Express knows how to do rewards right, and has a great range of rewards programs on offer. One of the reasons it can do this is due to its ability to mine its customers’ information.

Like many other successful companies, American Express analyses how its customers use its products. Using info such as how cardholders spend, and how they redeem their points, lets Amex produce products that it knows cardholders will love.

The outcome for you? An awesome set of credit cards with an awesome set of global affiliations. If you love travelling, Amex has a frequent flyer card for you. From Qantas to Virgin Australia, Air Canada to British Airways, Cathay Pacific to Singapore Airlines, Amex partners with them all.

Perhaps you prefer to indulge in a little retail therapy? American Express just happens to have its affiliates in the retail sector too. This means rewards programs with David Jones and Harrods, Macy's and Bloomingdales – even Mercedes-Benz.

Why should you choose these cards?

For all you frequent flyers out there, it's hard to go past American Express. Amex has frequent flyer programs upon frequent flyer programs, letting you fly the world, picking up points and redeeming them.

As for all you shoppers, get ready to flex that plastic. Its affiliation with David Jones allows American Express to offer a great range of David Jones branded cards, such as the David Jones American Express Credit Card and the David Jones American Express Platinum Card.

If you regularly shop in David Jones, these could be the perfect spending buddies. Not only can you earn as you spend, you can also indulge in some lovely DJ extras. You can enjoy complimentary Priority Delivery, and complimentary clothes alterations. You can even channel your inner-SJP with exclusive invitations to fashion launches.

Alongside its frequent flyer programs and retail rewards programs, Amex also has a great earn rate. What does this mean? Check out similar frequent flyer programs on Visa and Mastercard – you may find that you can earn more points when spending on your Amex. Bear in mind that prestige cards generally have higher earn rates as well.

Prestige Cards

Talking of prestige cards, here we are. Now, if there’s one thing Amex does well (apart from rewards, that is), it's prestige. According to American Express, its cardholders spend about four times more than Mastercard cardholders and three-and-a-half times more than Visa cardholders.

With its high-spending customers, American Express knows it has to offer more in the way of prestige. What does that mean for you? Lots more lovely features, of course.

American Express has both gold and platinum cards – as well as a black card, if you happen to earn an invitation. These prestige cards range in exclusivity, from the everyday, to those that are truly top-of-the-range. How do you know which one is right for you? Check the annual fee and see if it makes your eyes water.

On the more affordable end of the scale is the American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card, charging a measly $195 in annual fees. Not quite to your taste? If you feel like you need more perks from your platinum, check out the $1200-per-year American Express Platinum Card.

Why should you choose these cards?

There are two main reasons for choosing a prestige card over a standard card. One, is the features it offers. Two, is the potential for earning more in rewards. How is this possible? As we just saw, the annual fees on prestige cards can get pretty expensive.

But, if you’re willing to pay more for your card, you can expect more in return. If you want to make the most of your rewards program, you may find you can earn more on a gold or platinum card. You could also enjoy some amazing bonus point introductory offers too.

As for features, prestige cards are packed with them. Ever wanted a personal assistant? You can get just that (kind of) with your very own Platinum Concierge. Want some travel extras? Many platinum cards offer features such as VIP airport lounge access and complimentary travel insurances.

How do you make these cards work for you? As with any card, you need to make sure you get back more than you put in. Want loads of features? You will pay for them in annual fees. Just make sure you use the features you’ve got, and really make the most of them. Also, don’t tip the balance in Amex’s favour by carrying a balance and paying out over the odds in interest.

A Short History of American Express

American Express started life in 1850 as an express mail business in Buffalo, New York. So, with business booming, the company expanded into financial services towards the end of the century. In 1891, the American Express Traveller's Cheque was born.

Fast forward to 1958. After the introduction of the Diners Club card in 1950, American Express followed suit with its own charge card. Interest was so intense that Amex issued 250,000 cards before it could officially launch the product.

Even then, American Express placed itself within the market as a premium product. With an annual fee of $6, the Amex card was an eye-watering $1 more expensive than the Diners Club card.

After going plastic in 1959, Amex then introduced its Gold Card in 1966, and its exclusive Platinum Card in 1984. Up until this point, Amex had offered plastic in charge card form only. However, in 1987, the company introduced the Optima card – its first ever credit card. Where a charge card had to be paid in full each month, the Optima card allowed cardholders to carry a balance.

Introducing more and more credit cards to its range, American Express then introduced the Centurion card – also known as the black card – in 1999. If the Platinum Card was exclusive back in 1984, the black card took that exclusivity to a whole new level.

Want a black card? You better be paid.

Still not convinced about applying for an Amex? If you’re looking for an incentive, American Express cards have them in spades.

Balance Transfer Offers

Do you have credit card debt? A balance transfer offer could be for you. Transfer the balance from an existing card to a balance transfer card, and you’ll pay a much lower rate of interest on the transferred amount.

To make it work, choose the card with the lowest balance transfer rate over the longest period of time. Once you've transferred the balance, work on paying it off before the intro period ends. Yes, you know why. Any balance left unpaid will revert to the card's revert rate and you’ll end up paying interest on it again.

Another handy tip? Try to avoid spending on the card until you've paid off the transferred balance. Spending more just makes it harder to pay it all off. You’ll thank us later.

Rewards Points Offers

We know by now that American Express has some pretty fantastic rewards cards. With that in mind, it makes sense that these cards also offer some pretty fantastic introductory rewards offers. If you're thinking of applying for an American Express rewards card, be on the lookout for bonus points offers to make the deal even sweeter.

Some cards offer bonus points on sign-up, while others offer bonus points on your everyday earn rate. Okay, one last handy tip? Read the small print! You may have to spend a certain amount at a certain retailer within a certain period of time to get those bonus points.

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7 questions (showing the latest 10 Q&As)

elias juanas

elias juanas

20 November 2018
wish to change credit card information
Ron Mitchell

Ron Mitchell

7 March 2018
As we have Westpac issued Mastercard and Amex Black cards, which is finishing soon, we've been offered an Amercan Express Westpac Altitude Platinum Card. We'd prefer an Amex Black Card like we now have. Why have they changed our level of Amex Card and will they change it if we ask? Ron
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    8 March 2018
    Hi Ron, this AMEX card from Westpac is like having a separate credit card. It is issued through American express but they then look to combine it with your Mastercard Black. This is different to the previous dual cards as they were both issued through Westpac. I did think there was a Black version of the new AMEX but I am not sure. I would give Westpac credit card customer service a call to inquire on this. Bottom line you can review all your options now when it comes to AMEX. You can keep your Westpac Black card and then get a separate AMEX card that suits your needs and may even earn more points and have better features. It all depends on how much you will spend annually on the AMEX version of the card to what card would be suitable. Can you give me an idea of spend?
Hendrilus Kabel

Hendrilus Kabel

29 January 2018
Please advice the annual fees I paid on my gold credit card. I have been a member sins 1977. thank you.AC 376040722912...
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    29 January 2018
    Hi Hendrilus, you will need to contact AMEX credit card customer service to find out this information. 1300 132 639
Krishna

Krishna

12 January 2018
Hi, I am a 457 visa holder. I have applied for Essential credit card for which some documents are required to be uploaded. What documents can I upload to process the credit card application?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    12 January 2018
    Hi Krishna, AMEX should have requested what documents they are after for the application. If you are unsure give AMEX credit card customer service a call to check what they need. They should provide you with an email address of where to send any additional information. Best of luck with your application.
Daria

Daria

11 January 2018
Hi Roland, i was applied and I delayed to upload the documents required - the pag is expired and I don't remenber my application number to resume it - What i need to do?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    12 January 2018
    Hi Daria, I assume then that the application was not processed and has been cancelled. You can apply online again for the card that you are after, then provide the information in a timely fashion. Or give AMEX customer service a call to see if they still have the application and then get an email where you can send the information required (i'm leaning to this step first). They may also just tell you to apply again but this may also not be the case. Here are the various contact details for AMEX - https://www.americanexpress.com/au/contact-us/
Helen

Helen

26 November 2017
I'm after a credit card that includes travel insurance covering the card holder and parents. Anything available?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    27 November 2017
    Hi Helen, I am not aware of a card that covers parents, rather the insurance tends to cover the spouse and children of the primary card holder (dependents). If anyone can do it, it would be AMEX, I would speak to AMEX credit card customer service and see if they can assist. Though I feel like you would need to simply pay to cover your parents whilst the primary cardholder would be covered if you meet the eligibility requirements. Let me know if you find something that will cover your parents.
Kirsty

Kirsty

22 March 2017
Hi, I'm looking for a credit card in australia. i currently use my UK ones but would like to have from Australia to not incur international fees. I travel a lot with work so would want one that benefits e with points for hotels/flights. Thanks, Kirsty
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    27 March 2017
    Hi Kirsty, have a look at the ANZ Adventure card. This has no international fees which is great for travelling plus some good features. The rewards program isn't the greatest but the features of the card may suit. Let me know how much a month you will spend on the card and how much of this is overseas (outside AU). Then I can provide some more suggestions.
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