American Express Explorer Credit Card

20.74% p.a.

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

$395

American Express Explorer Credit Card Review

Rates and fees information correct as at 25 June 2017.

Review published: 26 August 2016

What's hot:

  • 50,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points

  • $400 Travel Credit annually

  • 2 Membership Rewards Points for every $1 spent

What's not:

  • Bonus points only available for new American Express customers

Mozo snapshot:

Looking for a credit card to match your travel aspirations? The newly launched American Express Explorer could be the travel companion you’ve been waiting for. Spend $1500 in the first 3 months and you’ll get 50,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points - which could be enough points for your first rewards escape. You’ll also get $400 travel credit each year to use towards any flight, hotel, experience or car hire, access to the American Express Lounge at Sydney Airport twice a year and for every dollar you spend you’ll earn 2 membership rewards points on eligible purchases.


Key features:

Starting off with the credit card basics, the American Express Explorer card has a standard purchase rate of 20.74% p.a. If you pay your balance off in full each month you’ll get up to 55 days interest free. The card can only be used to make purchases online or in person as there is no option to use the credit available for cash withdrawals or cash advances.

The American Express Explorer card is eligible for use with Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, so you don’t even need to carry the physical card with you, but if you are travelling, we highly recommend you take the card just incase your Smartphone goes on the blink.  

If you want to transfer a balance from another card to the Explorer card, there is a 0% balance transfer rate for the first 12 months but just be aware that there is a one-off upfront credit plan establishment fee of 1% to any balances transferred. The maximum balance transfer that can be approved is $10,000 or 70% of your approved credit limit, whichever is less.

There is no points cap on the Explorer card and to help you accrue rewards faster, you can add supplementary cards for family members at no extra cost, but keep in mind you’ll be liable for all spending and associated charges including interest on your account.

There is an $395 annual fee for the card but the premium benefits more than make up for this cost as long as you take advantage of them each year. They include:

Rewards

 - 50,000 Membership Rewards bonus points are only available to new American Express customers, who apply online, are approved and spend $1500 on the card within the first three months.

 - Transfer your points to a choice of 8 Airline Partner Programs including Velocity, Singapore, Etihad and Emirates.

 - Two Membership Rewards points for every dollar spent on all purchases except Australian Government bodies where you’ll earn 0.5 points per $1 spent.       

Travel

 - $400 annual travel credit through American Express travel. Book travel online for anyone you choose. Credit can go towards flights, hotels, car hire or events.

 - Travel insurance cover including medical emergency, cancellation, baggage and inconvenience insurance for you and your family when you pay for your travel with your card.

Insurance

 - Get up to $500 for screen repairs if you accidentally break your Smartphone screen. 10% excess applies.

 - Extend your manufacturer’s warranty by up to 12 months on items purchased with your American Express Explorer card.

 - Purchase protection cover should your new items purchased with your card be stolen or damaged.

 - Online fraud protection guarantee means you won’t be held responsible for any unauthorised charges made without your knowledge.


Who it's good for:

Like most rewards credit cards, the American Express Explorer is best suited to big spenders that can put the bulk of their expenses on their card but pay the balance off in full each month.

To be eligible for the card you’ll also need to have an annual income of $65,000 or more, be over 18 years of age and have no history or bad debt or payment default. You’ll also need to either be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or hold a current Business Long Stay Visa (457).


Any catches?

While existing American Express customers can transfer to the Explorer card, the 50,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points offer is only available to new Card Members and Bank-issued American Express companion cardholders. Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any Card product issued by American Express Australia in the preceding 18 month period are ineligible for this offer.

The Mozo community has not yet rated American Express for this credit card.

Revealing rewards

How do we do it?

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.

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 Virgin, Air New Zealand, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines and other partners.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 on eligible purchases; except 0.5 points per $1 at utilities, insurance, telecommunications, and government bodies.
  • Receive a $400 Travel Credit each year booked online with American Express. 2 complimentary lounge entries at Sydney International Airport.

Privileges

  • Travel Insurance
  • Extended Warranty
  • Purchase Protection
  • Account alerts by SMS

Special offers

  • Receive 50,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $1,500 on your Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Value of rewards points

  • Need to spend $9,000 ()

  • Need to spend $5,200 ()

  • Need to spend $79,733 ()

  • Uncapped

  • Never

Details behind our 'value of rewards' calculations

  • 2 points per dollar on Amex, uncapped

  • 18000 points buys a Myer $100 Gift Card

  • 1 points buys 0.75 Velocity Points; 7800 Velocity Points buys a Virgin Australia Syd-Mel flight

  • 1 points buys 0.75 Velocity Points; 119600 Velocity Points buys a Sydney-London flight

* How did we do it? Find out...

Rates

  • 20.74% p.a.

  • none

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

  • no

  • none

  • 55

Fees

  • $395.00

  • none

  • none

  • none

  • $30.00

  • none

  • 3.00%

  • $0.00

  • $7.00

  • $0.00

Other financial bits

  • $30.00

  • 2.5

Features

  • unlimited

  • none

  • none

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.

Compare other credit cards