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

Ceyda Erem

15 Apr 2019

redactor/hero-images/745/amex-changes_content.jpg

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

    CUA Low Rate Credit Card

    0% p.a. for 18 months and then 21.74% p.a.

    11.99% p.a.

    $49 $0 in the first year

    0% balance transfer rate for 18 months and up to 55 interest free days. No annual fee for the first year and $49 after.

    • 0% p.a. for 18 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

    Apply By 10 March 2020

    Virgin Money Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Purchase Rate and Balance Transfer Offer

    0% p.a. for 6 months and then 20.99% p.a.

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

    $129 $64 in the first year

    Receive a $129 Virgin Australia gift voucher each year. 0.0% p.a. on purchases for up to 14 months. $64 annual fee in the first year ($129 after).

    • 0% p.a. for 6 months and then 20.99% p.a.

    • $129 $64 in the first year

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

    • 55

    • 20.99% p.a.

    • 2.7%, Min $2.70

    • Points are credited to the Velocity Frequent Flyer program.

    Details Close

  • Promoted

    Hot Deal Receive a boost of 100,000 bonus points

    American Express Qantas Ultimate Card

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

    20.74% p.a.

    $450

    Receive 100,000 bonus Qantas Points when you apply online by 14 April 2020, are approved and spend $3,000 on your new Card within the first 3 months. New Card Members only. Credit Card Provider of the Year in the Mozo Experts Choice Awards 2019.^ T&C’s apply

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

    • $450

    • 20.74% p.a.

    • 44

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

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Qantas Ultimate Card

    Details Close

  • Promoted

    CUA Platinum Credit Card

    0% p.a. for 18 months and then 21.74% p.a.

    19.99% p.a.

    $149 $0 in the first year

    0% p.a. balance transfer, $0 annual fee for the first year and also receive 1 rewards point for every dollar spent. Concierge service and purchase protection insurance.

    • 0% p.a. for 18 months and then 21.74% p.a.

    • $149 $0 in the first year

    • 19.99% p.a.

    • 55

    • 21.74% p.a.

    • 2.00%, Min $3.50

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

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

    Details Close

  • Promoted

    Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard

    0% p.a. for 26 months and then 12.99% p.a. (2.00% balance transfer fee)

    12.99% p.a.

    $99 $49 in the first year

    0% p.a. on balance transfers for 26 months (2% BT fee applies). Streamline your budget with a low ongoing interest rate of 12.99% p.a. Plus, enjoy complimentary overseas travel insurance as well. T&Cs Apply

    • 0% p.a. for 26 months and then 12.99% p.a. (2.00% balance transfer fee)

    • $99 $49 in the first year

    • 12.99% p.a.

    • 55

    • 21.99% p.a.

    • 2%, Min $4.00

    Read our Mozo Review to learn more about the Breeze Platinum Mastercard

    Details Close

Mozo may receive advertising fees from the financial institutions, issuers of financial or credit products and third party advice providers that are shown on this page. These fees are based on a cost per click, cost per acquisition, or a fixed fee.