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American Express Essential Credit Card
American Express Essential Credit Card

American Express Credit Cards

American Express Essential Credit Card

Updated 27 August 2021

American Express Essential Credit Card provides you money-saving features and complimentary extras with no annual fee. Earn 1.25 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on purchases, except spend at government bodies in Australia where you will earn 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 spent. Take advantage of Smartphone Screen Insurance of up to $500 for screen repairs. Plus, low interest rate on purchases. T&Cs apply.

Points Earn Rate (per $1 spent)

1.25 points

Amex

Rewards Program

Amex Membership Rewards

Bonus Points

N/A

Pros and cons

  • $0 annual fee
  • Smartphone Screen Insurance of up to $500 for screen repairs to your Smartphone when you pay for your phone or contract with your Essential Credit Card
  • Earn 1.25 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent, except for Government purchases where you will earn 1 point per $1 spent.
  • Earn 3 extra points per $1 spent when you save the American Express Shop Small offer to your card and spend at participating businesses – up to 40,000 extra points until 31 March 2022
  • Enjoy a low interest rate of 14.99% p.a. on purchases
  • Add up to 4 Additional Cards at no extra charge
  • Fast check-out with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay

  • No introductory balance transfer offer

Creditcard.com.au review

Editor Review

American Express Essential Credit Card

Roland Bleyer
Credit Card Expert with over 15 years card experience and the founder of Creditcard.com.au. about this card.

The American Express Essential Credit Card

Again and again, when we review American Express cards, we see quality. Whether it’s an awesome rewards program, amazing features, or excellent extras, quite simply, American Express do credit cards right.

The American Express Essential Credit Card is no exception. Let’s start by saying this is a no annual fee credit card. Usually, no annual fee credit cards are pretty low on excitement. They tend to have minimal features, few offers and not much in the way of wow.

Not so with this card. American Express Essential Credit Card, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. You have a well-rounded rewards program. You have an extremely attractive purchase rate. You have a beautiful introductory offer. You have some very lovely features indeed.

Want to find out more? So do we.

What we love…

Let’s get into the rewards program. When you’re approved for the American Express Essential Credit Card, you’ll receive complimentary enrollment into the Membership Rewards Gateway program. As for points-earning-potential, you can earn up to 1.25 points per $1 spent on the card.

American Express lets its card members earn more points through its Shop Small offer. You must save the Shop Small offer to your card and spend at participating Shop Small businesses to receive 3 extra points per $1 spent, up to 40,000 extra points. Offer runs until 31 March 2022.

When you’re ready to redeem your points, simply transfer them to your choice of nine airline rewards partner programs. These include Air New Zealand Airpoints, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, Malaysian Airlines Enrich, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, THAI Royal Orchid Plus and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Alternatively, you can redeem your points online for a gift card from selected top retailers.

Program name Conversion rate
Air New Zeland Airpoints (NZ) 200 MR = 1 Airpoint Dollar
Cathay – Asia Miles 2 MR = 1 Asia Mile
Emirates Skywards 2 MR = 1 Skyward Mile
Etihad Guest 2 MR = 1 Etihad Guest Mile
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer 2 MR = 1 KrisFlyer Mile
Malaysian Airlines Enrich 2 MR = 1 Enrich Mile
THAI Royal Orchid Plus 2 MR = 1 Royal Orchid Plus Mile
Virgin Atlantic 2 MR = 1 Flying Club Mile
Hilton Honors 2 MR = 1 Hilton Honors Point
Marriot Bonvoy 3 MR = 2 Marriot Points

 

Alongside a stack of extras, this rewards card features a fantastic low 14.99% p.a. on purchases. But the feature we love most? It’s got to be its no annual fee!

What’s not so great…

We’ve counted the ways in which we love the American Express Essential Credit Card, now it’s time to look at its not-so-great features. To be fair, these really only relate to its lacking of a balance transfer offer.

Why should you choose this card?

If you want a rewards card but don’t want to pay through the nose for it, this card is definitely worth a closer look. As a no annual fee card it is packed with features. Not only does it have a rewards program and an intro offer, it also has an incredible selection of extras.

If you use the card to cover your phone contract or buy a phone, you can enjoy complimentary Smartphone Screen Insurance for that phone. This provides up to $500 for screen repairs to your smartphone, with a 10% excess per claim.

As an American Express cardholder, you can also enjoy money-saving offers from top brands using the exclusive Amex Offers program. Meanwhile, American Express Experiences provides you access to a wide range of sought-after events, including film, music and theatre, often before tickets go on sale to the public.

On top of that, you can benefit from Purchase Protection, Buyer’s Advantage, Refund Protection, Online Fraud Protection, and Emergency Card replacement. You also get up to 4 additional cardholders at no extra fee, and up to 55 days interest free on purchases.

Overall Rating

This is a no annual fee rewards card that really delivers. It offers rewards, features, extras and a low purchase rate. Wins all round, we say.

User reviews

American Express Essential Credit Card ( based on 7 Creditcard.com.au user reviews )

86% rating based on 7 reviews

Rates
Fees
Rewards
Customer Service
Value
71%

Shoaib

10 June 2020

Great card. Love the no annual fee.

Recommends this card
95%

Creditcard.com.au Visitor

31 May 2016

Good offer from Amex

Recommends this card

Rates and fees

Interest rates



Purchase rate 14.99% p.a.

Cash advance rate N/A

Interest free period on purchases up to 55 days

Credit limits

Minimum credit limit $2,000

Maximum credit limit N/A

Fees & repayments

Annual fee $0 p.a.

Additional cardholder fee Up to 4 at no extra cost

Foreign transaction fee 3%

Minimum repayment $30 or 2.5% (whichever is greater)

Cash advance fee N/A

Late payment fee $30

Rewards and points

Rewards program

Rewards Program Amex Membership Rewards Amex Membership Rewards

Bonus points N/A

Annual points cap uncapped

Bonus points spend criteria N/A

Earning points with this card

Amex Rewards points 1.25 points per $1 spent

Points cap per month N/A

Overseas earn rate same as standard earn rate

Additional features

Complimentary insurance

International Travel Insurance No

Flight Inconvenience Insurance No

Transit Accident Insurance No

Smartphone Screen Insurance Yes

Purchase Protection Insurance Yes

Extended Warranty Insurance No

Rental Vehicle Excess In Australia Insurance No

Extras

Eligible with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay

Overview

American Express Essential Credit Card

The American Express Essential Credit Card lets you earn up to 1.25 points per $1 spent and features a $0 annual fee. Plus, earn extra points up to 40,000 with the Shop Small offer. Enjoy a low 14.99% p.a. on purchases. You can transfer your points to a choice of 8 airline rewards partner programs or redeem online for a gift card. The American Express Essential Credit Card also comes with a Smartphone Screen Insurance for up to $500 for screen repairs to your Smartphone when you pay for your phone or contract with your Card.

Key features

  • No annual fee
  • Low interest rate of 14.99% p.a. on purchases
  • Earn 1.25 Membership Rewards points for every $1 spent, except for Government purchases where you will earn 1 point per $1 spent.
  • Earn 3 extra points per $1 spent when you save the American Express Shop Small offer to your card and spend at participating businesses – up to 40,000 extra points until 31 March 2022
  • Transfer your points to a choice of 8 airline rewards partner programs or redeem online for a gift card from selected top retailers.
  • Smartphone Screen Insurance of up to $500 for screen repairs to your Smartphone when you pay for your phone or contract with your Essential Credit Card

Minimum criteria to apply for this card

  • Be over 18 years old

  • Good Credit and have not applied for multiple credit cards recently

  • Australian citizen or permanent resident or hold a long term visa (at least 12 months; does not include student visas).

  • Minimum income of $40,000 p.a.

  • You have your personal details ready to complete the online application

Roland B Bleyer

Roland B Bleyer founded Creditcard.com.au in 2005 and has extensive knowledge about credit cards. He personally answers all questions and write the editor reviews for each card here. Always keen to share his passion to educate consumers and help you select better suited credit cards.

Recently Asked Questions

Something you need to know about this card? Ask a our credit card expert a question.

101 questions (showing the latest 10 Q&As)

Ayan

Ayan

23 June 2021
Is there am minimum monthly spend amount to get the card ??
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    23 June 2021
    Hi Ayan, thank you for your question. Looking closer at the American Express Essential credit card, there’s no required monthly spend to keep the card.

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