Amex rewards credit card changes start today - will your plastic be affected?

Ceyda Erem

15 Apr 2019

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It’s official - American Express have today cut their points earn rate across a number of its rewards credit cards.

Announcing the changes in November last year, the card issuer revealed that it would be decreasing its points earn rate by a quarter of a point on cards linked to the Qantas Frequent Flyer or Velocity Frequent Flyer program, which for Aussie rewards lovers, will mean spending more to redeem points and score freebies.

For instance, the number of points required to redeem a $100 gift card has increased by 48% across the Essentials, Platinum Edge and Explorer Card.

Points needed for a free Sydney to Melbourne flight increased by 50% on both the Explorer and Essentials Card and 100% on the Platinum Edge Card.

“American Express are a household name when it comes to rewards programs and these new changes are set to rub many cardholders the wrong way,” said Mozo Director, Kirsty Lamont.

“But one thing to remember is that despite the changes, our analysis proves that Amex still performs better than the big four in terms of value.”

Average net value across rewards credit cards 

*Rewards net value is derived by calculating the number of points earned for an annual domestic spend of $20,000, then calculating how many Syd-Mel one-way flights can be redeemed using these points. The ongoing annual fee was deducted from the value of these flights to arrive at a net rewards value

Other changes American Express have made include simplifying their points tier system, as well as increasing its points earn rate on government spends, which will now see card holders earn $1 point per dollar spent (previously 0.5 points per $1).

But the biggest change Amex customers will benefit from is an improved card acceptance rate.

In the past, paying with an American Express credit card often meant higher surcharges and fewer places where cards were accepted. So to bridge the merchant fee price gap between the card issuer and its competitors, Amex reduced its merchant fees and increased the number of retailers that accepted its cards by 120,000.

“It’s great to see that American Express customers will now have more places than ever to flash their plastic, but it does mean having to say goodbye to previous points earn rates,” said Lamont.

Cards linked to Amex’s rewards point program, like the American Express Explorer Card, Platinum Edge and Essentials Card will keep their points per dollar earn rate.

If you’d like to find more about the changes, check out our detailed guide before heading over to our rewards credit card comparison tool to see how these new rewards changes stack up to others in the market.


Current credit card deals - rates updated daily

  • Promoted

    Apply By 31 October 2019

    Qantas Money Qantas Premier Platinum

    0% p.a. for 18 months and then 21.99% p.a.

    19.99% p.a.

    $299 $199 in the first year

    Receive up to 120,000 points (20,000 points each month for the first 6 months when spending more than $1.5k each month). $50 Wine voucher & 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 18 months.

    • 0% p.a. for 18 months and then 21.99% p.a.

    • $299 $199 in the first year

    • 19.99% p.a.

    • 55

    • 21.99% p.a.

    • 3%, min $3.00

    • Points are automatically credited to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program.

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Qantas Premier Platinum

    Details Close

  • Promoted

    Apply By 30 June 2019

    Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card

    0% p.a. for 14 months and then 21.99% p.a.

    19.99% p.a.

    $49 $0 in the first year

    Perfect for practical spenders, pay no annual fee in the first year and save up to $50 on your Woolies shop each month. Plus new cardholders can score a $50 Woolies eGift Card when you spend $150 a month for the first 3 months. Apple Pay available. Too easy!

    • 0% p.a. for 14 months and then 21.99% p.a.

    • $49 $0 in the first year

    • 19.99% p.a.

    • 55

    • 21.99% p.a.

    • 3%, minimum $5

    • Woolworths Money Shopping Card sent every 4 months if enough points have been accrued.

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Everyday Platinum Credit Card

    Details Close

  • Promoted

    ANZ Low Rate

    0% p.a. for 15 months and then 21.74% p.a.

    12.49% p.a.

    $58

    With a low interest rate on your purchases and 0.0% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 15 months (T&Cs apply), this card makes for easy everyday spending. Apply online in just five minutes, and receive an answer in 60 seconds.

    • 0% p.a. for 15 months and then 21.74% p.a.

    • $58

    • 12.49% p.a.

    • 55

    • 21.74% p.a.

    • 2%

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Low Rate

    Details Close

  • Promoted

    Hot Deal Bonus Points Offer

    American Express Velocity Platinum Card

    0% p.a. for 12 months and then 20.74% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)

    20.74% p.a.

    $375

    Receive up to 100,000 bonus Velocity Points when you apply by 15 July 2019, are approved and meet the minimum spend criteria – that’s 25,000 points for each month you spend $1,000 in the first 4 months. Enjoy a complimentary domestic return flight with Virgin Australia to selected cities, each year after your first card spend. Credit Card Provider of the Year in the Mozo Experts Choice Awards 2018.^

    • 0% p.a. for 12 months and then 20.74% p.a. (1.00% balance transfer fee)

    • $375

    • 20.74% p.a.

    • 55

    • Points automatically transferred to your Velocity account

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Velocity Platinum Card

    Details Close

  • Promoted

    CUA Low Rate Credit Card

    0% p.a. for 13 months and then 21.74% p.a.

    11.99% p.a.

    $49 $0 in the first year

    0% balance transfer rate for 13 months & up to 55 interest free days. No annual fee for the first year and $49 after.

    • 0% p.a. for 13 months and then 21.74% p.a.

    • $49 $0 in the first year

    • 11.99% p.a.

    • 55

    • 21.74% p.a.

    • 2.00%, Min $3.50

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Low Rate Credit Card

    Details Close

  • Promoted

    Suncorp Clear Options Platinum

    0% p.a. for 14 months and then 21.99% p.a.

    0% p.a. for 14 months then 20.74% p.a.

    $129 $49 in the first year

    Save with 0% interest for 14 months on Purchases and 0% p.a. for 14 months on Balance transfers. Plus $49 annual fee for the first year, offer ends 30 September 2019.

    • 0% p.a. for 14 months and then 21.99% p.a.

    • $129 $49 in the first year

    • 0% p.a. for 14 months then 20.74% p.a.

    • 55

    • 21.99% p.a.

    • 3.50%, min $3.50

    • Redeem your points for travel, gift cards, retail rewards and shopping gift cards.

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Clear Options Platinum

    Details Close

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