American Express Essential Credit Card

14.99% p.a.

0% p.a. for 12 months and then 14.99% p.a. (3.00% balance transfer fee)

$0

Membership Rewards

American Express Essential Credit Card

14.99% p.a.

0% p.a. for 12 months and then 14.99% p.a. (3.00% balance transfer fee)

$0

Membership Rewards

Mozo Review   American Express Essential Credit Card Review

Last updated: 7 August 2018.

What's hot:
  • $0 annual fee

  • 0% balance transfer offer for 12 months (3% establishment fee)

  • Multiple Mozo Experts Choice Awards 2017

What's not:
  • $30 late payment fee

Mozo snapshot:

There's a lot to love about the American Express Essential Credit Card. You'll earn 1 point per $1 spend and there's no annual fee. It's also a great option for those looking to ditch debt with a 0% balance transfer offer for the first 12 months (keep in mind an establishment fee of 3% applies to balances transferred). With so much great value on offer, it's no surprise that American Express was awarded the 2017 Mozo Experts Choice Credit Card Provider of the Year.

Key features:

One of the biggest draws of the Essential Credit Card is that it's a rewards card with no annual fee. The purchase rate is fairly low too at just 14.99% and you'll have a leisurely 55 interest free days.

With the Essential Credit Card you'll earn 1 point for every $1 spent on AMEX and since the points are uncapped and never expire you can keep piling them up until you have a nice stash of rewards points. The points are redeemable through eight different airlines, which include Virgin, Emirates, Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines. Plus there's an unlimited amount of cardholders, so you can get your family on board to supercharge your rewards points pile faster. 

For those looking to hack away at debt there's also a 0% balance transfer offer for the first 12 months. Balances that can be transferred are capped at $10,000 or 70% of your credit limit (whichever is lower) and a 3% establishment fee applies. The best part of the balance transfer offer is rather than reverting to a high cash advance rate like some BT cards do, with the Essential Credit Card after the balance transfer period comes to an end you'll be charged the low purchase rate of 14.99%. 

The competitive features don't stop there, as the rewards card also comes with complimentary insurances including an extended warranty, purchase protection and refund protection. There's also smart phone screen insurance for those who pay for their phone or phone contract on their credit card. This means if your screen cracks, you'll be able to claim up to $500 in repairs two times a year but you'll have to pay 10% excess per claim.


Who it's good for:

For rewards lovers that want the perks of a rewards credit card without the slap of a high annual fee or those looking to rid themselves of debt with a generous balance transfer offer. 

Any catches?

As this is an AMEX card, be mindful that some merchants may charge extra for accepting American Express transactions. 

Rewards program details

Rates and fees information correct as at 22 August 2018.

What your points get you

Fly Sydney to London

159,467 points

Fly Sydney to Melbourne

10,400 points

$100 Giftcard

13,500 points

$100 Cash

14,500 points

Points earning

1 point per dollar on Amex, uncapped

Rewards scheme

Transfer points to a range of airline programs or redeem your points for travel, gift cards, retail rewards and shopping gift cards.

Flights available with Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, Air New Zealand, Emirates, Virgin, Malaysia Airlines and other partners.

Value of rewards points

Spend $14,500 (AmEx)

Spend $13,500 (AmEx)

Spend $10,400 (AmEx)

Spend $159,467 (AmEx)

Uncapped

Never

How do we calculate the rewards?

To work out the "Rewards value minus fees" in our Rewards Revealer we:

  • calculate how many points you'd get each year,

  • figure out how many flights or gift cards or cashback credits you could get for those points,

  • work out what that's actually worth to you,

  • take off the annual fee you'd pay.

More details:

  • Our calculations are designed to help you compare the value of different rewards schemes. To do this, we've looked at earning a one-way Sydney-Melbourne flight excluding taxes and charges, a return Sydney-London flight excluding taxes and charges, a $100 shopping Gift Card and $100 cashback. Most cards will also offer other rewards, which may be worth more or less than the ones we've shown.

  • We have made no allowance for bonus points for using your card at specific merchants, introductory offers or special offers. We have not assigned any value to instant discounts, insurances, ticketing and concierge services or other such benefits.

  • Rewards value calculations do not take credit card interest into account. If you do not pay off your card each month you may be better off looking for a card based on interest rates than on the value of rewards.

  • In products that have more than one card, a different mix of spend between American Express / Visa / Mastercard will give different results. Mozo's Rewards Revealer lets you choose the mix based on the way you would use such a product, and gives you tailored results.

  • We assume flights purchased with airline points are 'classic' or 'reward' economy seats with restricted seat availability. 'Any seat' rewards will probably cost more.

  • To compare the value of flight rewards, we sample online retail flight prices once a quarter based on the average price on a Wednesday 3 months in advance but outside NSW school holidays. For domestic flights we take the lowest available fare from each flight on that day from Qantas Red e-deal, Virgin Australia Saver including baggage and Jetstar Starter including baggage. We calculate the average price excluding taxes and surcharges for each airline, and also the average across all airlines (which we use when rewards are travel agent vouchers). For international flights, we take the lowest available fares on that same Wednesday from each of Qantas, Emirates, Malaysian, Etihad, Singapore, Cathay Pacific and Thai, assuming a return flight 2 weeks later, calculate the average price before taxes and surcharges and use this as our assumed cost of a flight on any airline.

  • Shopping rewards are based on $100 gift cards from a major national department store.

  • We make every effort to ensure our calculations are correct and up to date but make no guarantees.

Close

Rate and fee details

Rates
  • 14.99% p.a.

  • none

  • 0% p.a. for 12 months and then 14.99% p.a. (3.00% balance transfer fee)

  • no

  • none

  • 55

Fees
  • $0.00

  • none

  • none

  • none

  • $30.00

  • none

  • 3.00%

  • $10.00

  • $7.00

  • $0.00

Features
  • $30.00

  • 2.5

  • unlimited

  • The maximum balance transfer that can be approved is $10,000 or 70% of approved credit limit, whichever is less.

Payment options

Apple Pay
Google Pay
Samsung Pay

Rewards privileges

Extended Warranty,
Purchase Protection,
Account alerts by SMS

Customer Reviews

How are American Express credit cards rated by the Mozo community?

Overall customer rating
7.3/10
Price
6.1/10
Features
7.2/10
Customer service
7.3/10
Convenience
6.7/10
Trust
7.5/10

Latest reviews of American Express Essential Credit Card

  • Overall
    7/10
    can't withdraw cash at ATM

    Good rewards system, no fees. BUT - can't withdraw cash at ATM, and can't use at many places....

    Good rewards system, no fees. BUT - can't withdraw cash at ATM, and can't use at many places. Good for ebay purchases.

    Price
    8/10
    Features
    6/10
    Customer service
    10/10
    Convenience
    4/10
    Trust
    9/10

    Jennifer | VIC

    29 Mar 2016

  • Overall
    7/10
    Great customer is better

    I like this bank. It's very convenient and trustworthy, the bad thing is I lost my credit card...

    I like this bank. It's very convenient and trustworthy, the bad thing is I lost my credit card last time and they forget to send it to me.

    Price
    4/10
    Features
    4/10
    Customer service
    5/10
    Convenience
    7/10
    Trust
    9/10

    Lingyao | VIC

    24 Feb 2016

  • Overall
    10/10
    card interest rates too high?

    Interest too high. Minumum rates too high.

    Interest too high. Minumum rates too high.

    Price
    1/10
    Features
    3/10
    Customer service
    10/10
    Convenience
    10/10
    Trust
    10/10

    Ray | SA

    26 Nov 2015

American Express

About American Express

American Express is a global mega provider of credit cards, including gold cards, platinum cards, charge cards and more. With American Express, you can find a credit card to suit your lifestyle, tastes and aspirations. If you're a rewards points junkie, be sure to check out the hugely popular American Express rewards programs, including Qantas Frequent Flyer points and Qantas Club rewards.

See American Express credit cards