Are you looking for a rewards credit card that offers a versatile points scheme, a range of insurances, and a number of card benefits, but with no annual fee? Enter the American Express Essential Credit Card.
This popular rewards credit card delivers smartphone screen insurance and a range of other benefits – with a $0 annual fee for the life of the card. Plus, get $200 back when you apply, are approved, and spend $1,500 on your card in your first 3 months of Card Membership (new Card Members only).
Go to the Amex website to apply now (secure, mobile-friendly application form here).
Or, find out more about this popular American Express Credit Card.
Why we love the American Express Essential Credit Card
The American Express Essential Credit Card is a popular choice for those seeking to earn rewards on everyday spend, whilst enjoying no annual card-keeping fees and a low-interest rate.
Read on to discover the key features of this card, or apply directly via the Amex website.
Enjoy $0 annual fee – ongoing
With the American Express Essential Credit Card, you won’t pay an annual fee to hold the card. Unlike some other rewards credit cards offering fee waivers, the $0 annual fee is offered on an ongoing basis, not just for the first year.
Get $200 back
New card members get $200 back.
To receive the $200 Credit, you must apply online, be approved, and spend $1,500 or more on eligible purchases on your new Card in the first 3 months from the Card approval date. American Express will credit the $200 to eligible card accounts 8-10 weeks after the spend criteria have been met.
Earn points on your spend
The American Express Essential Card delivers a solid earn rate on day-to-day spend. For every $1 you spend on purchases, you’ll earn 1.25 Membership Rewards ‘Gateway’ points. This includes spending on utilities, insurance, and telecommunications. The only exception is spending at government bodies in Australia, where you’ll earn 1 point per $1 spent.
And best of all, there’s never a cap on how many points you can earn with the American Express Essential Credit Card – regardless of how much you spend each month or year.
Enjoy the flexibility of the American Express Membership Rewards program
Rather than being locked into one frequent flyer scheme, the versatile Amex Rewards Gateway program allows you to earn points now and decide what to do with them at a later date. Your points transfer at a 2:1 rate to the following airlines:
- Virgin Australia Velocity Frequent Flyer
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- Malaysian Airlines Enrich
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
Tip: While you can’t send your points to Qantas, by transferring them to OneWorld partner airline, Cathay Pacific, you can book Qantas-operated flights at competitive points redemption rates. We’ve previously written about redeeming Cathay Pacific Asia Miles for Qantas flights here.
Plus, American Express Membership Rewards points can also be redeemed online with Webjet, Helloworld Travel, and Amex Travel.
Unlike many loyalty schemes, as long as your account is in good standing, your Membership Rewards points will never expire.
Not into flights or nights? Use your Amex Membership Rewards points in other ways
Not everyone wants to travel. Above and beyond travel-related redemptions, you can use your Amex Membership Rewards points to book a holiday with American Express Travel, redeem for PayPal expenses, or obtain gift vouchers at popular retailers like David Jones or Bunnings.
You can also use your points to pay off the balance on your card, or credit your points to individual transactions on your online statement.
Access handy Smartphone Screen Insurance
Protect your Smartphone Screen from a life-shattering crack. Simply pay your phone bill or monthly contract on your American Express Essential Credit Card and you’re protected when it comes to a busted phone.
With Smartphone Screen Insurance, American Express will reimburse you for the cost of the front screen repair up to $500 with a 10% excess per claim. For more information, refer to the Product Disclosure Statement for the American Express Essential Credit Card Insurances here.
Enjoy wide acceptance of your American Express Essential Credit Card
You can happily swipe your card at hundreds of thousands of Australian merchants that accept Amex. In fact, over 120,000 new merchants have joined Amex since January 2017.
From Bunnings to BP, you’ll be surprised at just how widely your card is welcomed. This includes airlines, supermarkets, petrol stations, restaurants, small retailers, and more.
Access Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay
Unlock exclusive shopping and entertainment benefits
Above and beyond the rich rewards we’ve outlined above, the American Express Essential Credit Card unlocks a range of useful benefits that are even sweeter with a $0 annual fee. These include:
- Amex Offers: Access “Spend and Save” promotions that reward you with a statement credit when you register for offers on your card and hit a minimum spend threshold (e.g. spend $200, get $40 back at David Jones, or spend $500 and get $80 back at Qantas)
- Amex Invites: Experience sought-after events like music, theatre and film, via pre-sale tickets and exclusive seating
- Amex Entertainment Lounges: Enjoy exclusive lounge access before popular shows, with food and drinks available to purchase
Other Amex Essential Credit Card features
The American Express Essential Credit Card delivers a range of other valuable card member benefits. These include:
- A low, 14.99 p.a. interest rate on purchases (T&Cs apply)
- Pay no annual card fee for up to 4 additional cardmembers, and
- Enjoy Purchase and Refund Protection, Online Fraud Protection Guarantee and Emergency Card Replacement.
The American Express Essential Credit Card also unlocks features like the rewarding Local Champion game, where cardmembers can earn additional bonus points per $ spent at retailers they shop frequently at.
You can access the Key Fact Sheet for the AMEX Essential Credit Card here.
American Express Essential Credit Card eligibility
To apply for the American Express Essential Credit Card, you’ll need to report a minimum gross (pre-tax) income of $40,000. You’ll also need to be 18 years or over, an Australian citizen or permanent resident or hold a long term visa. Long term means 12 months or more and does not include a student visa.
The low personal income threshold for this card makes it attractive for those who may not qualify for a premium card with a higher income requirement.
The offer of $200 back is available to new Card Members who apply, are approved, and spend $1,500 in your first 3 months of Card Membership (new Card Members only).
Ready to apply? The secure, mobile-friendly application form should take you less than 10 minutes to complete and Amex may be able to give you a response in 60 seconds.