Essential Credit Card
Balance Transfer0% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 12 months — A one-off credit plan establishment fee of 1% applies to any balances transferred. If you pay your Balance Transfer over time, an interest-free period will not apply to your purchases. T&Cs apply.
Balance Transfer Rate
for 12 months then 14.99%
Max Free Days
- Balance Transfers Available
- No Annual Fee
- Free supplementary cards
- Purchase protection insurance
- Extended warranty
Number free supplementary
Interest Free Days
Interest Free Days
Maximum credit limit
Late Payment Fee
Minimum credit limit
Over limit fee
Minimum repayment dollars
Duplicate statement fee
Minimum repayment percent
Supplementary card annual fee
Cash advance rate
Balance Transfer Rate
Balance Transfer Rate
for 12 months then 14.99%
of the approved credit limit
Balance Transfer Fee
Foreign Exchange Fee
3% on Amex
Estimated ATM Cost
Amex Membership Rewards Gateway
Gift Card, Cash Back
No history of bad debt or payment default
457 Visa holder
|1.25 points for $1 spent||AMEX||uncapped||all other eligible purchases|
|1 point for $1 spent||AMEX||uncapped||government bodies|
- FREE SUPPLEMENTARY CARDS Supplementary cardholder must be over 18 years of age
- PURCHASE PROTECTION INSURANCE Covers up to $10,000 per year
- EXTENDED WARRANTY Warranty is extended for the same duration as the original warranty up to 1 year.
- Balance Transfer 0% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 12 months — A one-off credit plan establishment fee of 1% applies to any balances transferred. If you pay your Balance Transfer over time, an interest-free period will not apply to your purchases. T&Cs apply.Offer is not available for Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any other Card product offered by American Express in the preceding 60 day period.
Smartphone Screen Insurance of up to $500 if you pay for your Smartphone or contract with your Card
Cash Advance not available
Compare and review credit cards with similar features
American Express, commonly known as AMEX, is a multinational financial services corporation headquartered in New York.
AMEX is the world’s largest credit card issuer by purchase volume. Alongside AMEX credit cards, the company provides personal financial products such as travellers’ cheques, as well as business and corporate financial services.
American Express has a corporate office in Sydney and various currency exchanges around Australia, but no dedicated customer service branches. ATM access is available through AMEX’s network of partner ATMs.
The American Express Essential Credit Card offers cardholders $0 annual fee and rewards points. It also comes with a moderate amount of interest-free days and 12 months balance transfer at 0 per cent (with a 3 per cent establishment fee), all with a moderate interest rate.
The American Express Essential Credit Card offers uncapped rewards, complimentary insurances and plenty of features without the hefty fees usually associated with rewards cards.
Standout features include the ability to add up to four supplementary cardholders at no additional fee, as well as smartphone screen insurance covering $500 of screen repairs. You also get access to pre-sale tickets to events through American Express Invites and a range of complimentary insurances such as purchase protection, refund protection, buyer’s advantage and online fraud protection.
The American Express Essential Card can also be used with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay.
- No annual fee
- Flexible rewards program
- Four free cardholders
- Establishment fee on balance transfers
- High late payment fee
- High overseas spending fees
Who is it good for?
The American Express Essential Credit Card offers value to customers looking to reap the rewards without paying any annual card fees. Those who regularly spend on their credit card and pay off their balance in full each month stand to gain the most from the American Express Essential Credit Card.
Unlike other rewards cards on the market, there is no cap on the number of reward points you can earn in a statement period. Every $1 spent on eligible purchases will earn you 1.25 Membership Rewards points. These can either be transferred to a choice of eight airline partner programs, redeemed online for a retail gift card or used to pay for card charges on your statement. Participating airlines include Air New Zealand Airpoints, Asia Miles, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, Malaysian Airlines Enrich, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, THAI Royal Orchid Plus and Velocity Frequent Flyer.
What RateCity says
The American Express Essential Credit Card may suit frequent spenders looking to make the most of their everyday purchases. Regarding standout features, the lack of annual fee is a bonus, especially for a card that offers rewards, complimentary insurances and four free additional card holders. When it comes to redeeming rewards points, this card offers plenty of flexibility to choose between eight airlines, gift cards or using points to pay card fees.
Unlike other rewards programs, Membership Rewards point don’t expire; however, they may be forfeited for payments later than 40 days.
The 12-month 0 per cent balance transfer option is also appealing to those looking to consolidate debt and earn rewards – the caveat being the 3 per cent establishment fee.
Overseas travellers should note that complimentary travel insurance is not offered with this card and foreign currency conversion fees apply.
To be eligible for the American Express Essential Credit Card, you need to be over 18 and provide proof of identity. You’ll also need to have an annual gross income of over $40,000, be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and have a good credit history. At the time of application, you will need to provide proof of employment and details of any other assets or financial responsibilities like loans or debts. Applications can be made through the American Express website.
About American Express
American Express, also known as Amex, is an American multinational financial services corporation best known for its credit cards. American Express offers a wide range of credit cards including low-rate credit cards, frequent flyer credit cards, rewards credit cards and cards that offer no annual fee. Some American Express cards offer extra rewards like bonus points, introductory balance transfer rates, complimentary travel and purchase insurance, concierge service and access to a range of presale events and concerts.
The credit card market changes all the time, so the credit card with the highest annual percentage rate is also liable to change.
Keep in mind that credit card interest rates are expressed as a yearly rate, or annual percentage rate (APR). A low APR is generally good but also consider:
- There can be different APR's for each feature of the card (e.g. purchases may have an APR of 14 per cent, while cash advances on same card could have an APR of 17 per cent.
- Credit cards with a variable rate can change throughout the year, affecting your APR, so check the full details.
- If you pay your balance in full every month, having the lowest APR is not as important as the other fees associated with the card. However, if you carry a balance from month to month, then you want the lowest APR possible.
CVV stands for ‘card verification value’, and is also sometimes referred to as a CVC or card verification code.
A CVV code is usually needed when the card is used online or over the phone as an anti-fraud measure. Without the cardholder being physically present to sign or verify the purchase, the CVV provides an extra layer of protection.
If you’re using Mastercard or Visa, the CVV is the three digits located on the back of the card. If you’re using an American Express, the CVV is usually four digits and is on the front of the card.
The numbers on your credit card actually follow a universal standard which is used to identify specific functions. Each credit card has a different amount of numbers. Visa and Mastercard have 16, American Express has 15 and Diner’s Club has 14.
The first number on a credit card always identifies what type of credit card it is. Visa cards start with a 4, whereas Mastercard starts with a 5 and American Express with a 3. The remainder of the digits represent the account number, including the last number which is used to verify that your credit card is actually valid.
Credit cards also have additional verification numbers, which are mainly used when the card isn’t present for phone and online purchases. These are the three-digit numbers on the back of Visa and MasterCard or the four-digit numbers on the front of an American Express card.