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American Express Essential

American Express Essential

2.1 from 84 reviews

See the Best Low Rate & Zero Interest Credit Cards in 2019 as rated by Australians on ProductReview.com.au.

Details

American Express Essential
CategoryLow Rate & Zero Interest Credit Cards, No Annual Fee Credit Cards, Balance Transfer Credit Cards and Rewards Credit Cards
Card TypeAmerican Express
Minimum Credit Limit $2,000
Maximum Credit Limit $25,000
Minimum Income $40,000
Additional Cardholders 4
Additional Cardholder Fee $0 p.a.
Minimum Repayments2.5%
Rewards ProgramAmerican Express Membership Rewards
Points Earn Rate 1.25 points per $1
Points Conditions
  • 1.25 points per $1 spent on purchases excluding government bodies in Australia

  • 1 point for every $1 spent at government bodies in Australia

Contactless PaymentsApple Pay, Fitbit Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay
Rates & Fees
Purchase Rate14.99% p.a.
Late Payment Fee$30
Annual Fee$0 p.a.
Foreign Transaction Fee 3%
Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee$3
Interest Free Period 55 days
Balance Transfer Rates
Balance Transfer Period 12 months
Balance Transfer Rate 0% p.a.
Balance Transfer Fee 3%
Release dateMay 2007

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Good rewards and good company to deal with

I have used various American Express credit cards for over 20 years, both in business and for private use. Although now retired, I still maintain an Amex card for local purchases because of their reward system. The card I currently use is the American Express Essential card which, although not earning as many points from a purchase as some other Amex cards, doesn't attract any annual fee and the points it earns are not too far behind the other cards anyway, so for me it's a nice balance.

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Card Start DateJanuary 2019
Main Point of ContactPhone
Card / Account Used ForEveryday Expenses

It’s ok!

This card is easy to accumulate points only if places accept it! It’s able to be used approximately one out of every four places which makes it very difficult. I’d rather just use my bank credit card!

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Card Start DateMay 2015
Main Point of ContactOnline
Card / Account Used ForEveryday Expenses and Special Purchases

Great for using overseas

This card was very useful for using overseas. Many stores, hotels, and restaurants accept this card, compared to the acceptance in Australia. Usually attracting much higher credit card fees in Australia over MasterCard and Visa Card.
The rewards are okay, they used to be much better. However we get rewards for lots of other things, so it kind of works out.
Redeeming points is easy when it's available.

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Card / Account Used ForOverseas/Travel

Good for travelling.....use your debit card for everything else....

This is a very convenient card for outside Australia....Never had it refused elsewhere......But here in Oz it still lacks the acceptance of Visa and Mastercard....BUT that is improving....Been an AMEX customer since 1980.....when almost no Australian company wanted to see it....but the rest of the world was happy with it...gradually that has changed...If you travel overseas I strongly recommend AMEX....If you don't - Visa and Mastercard are better, and cheaper options.....

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Card Start DateJune 1980
Main Point of ContactOnline
Card / Account Used ForOnline Shopping and Overseas/Travel

Terrible credit card ever.

I wish I could give it 0 star. worst credit card company ever. They've approved the application first. Got the annual fee and then requesting more documents and cancelled the card in 2 months. No refund for the annual fee. Terrible customer service.

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Card Start DateJune 2019
Main Point of ContactPhone
Card / Account Used ForEveryday Expenses

No annual fee/with Qantas points

After my Westpac Altitude card fee rose to $150, AND after over 30 years loyalty, I decided to go with this card as a backup to a debit card. Could not be happier with the service AND with the surprising number of merchants who now take AMEX. I had a small problem initially when I mistakenly thought I had set up direct debit and when I contacted their customer support, they reversed all of the accrued fees for late payment. They also covered a bill for goods not received from a UK store. I always receive a text every time a large purchase is made to check that I'm aware of the purchase. Couldn't be happier with a card that costs me nothing! Oh, and Qantas points accruing as well.

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Main Point of ContactOnline
Card / Account Used ForEveryday Expenses

Terrible credit card company!

Worst company to deal with! There “24/7 support phone number” isn’t open at night time and their customer service assistants are not helpful! My husband tried to pay my bill (he has a supplementary card for the account) and they said he wasn’t able to. The website is impossible to use and you can’t use a card to pay over the phone! They make it impossible to pay your own bill!! I also asked to put a complaint in and the customer service rep said it wouldn’t make a difference and the outcome would be the samee.

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Card Start DateJanuary 2017
Main Point of ContactPhone
Card / Account Used ForEveryday Expenses, Online Shopping and Special Purchases

Nice base credit card

It is a very basic credit card. Applied it for the occasion Amex offer, the best thing about it is it does not have annual fee, so you can keep it in the drawer when there is no offer.

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Card Start DateFebruary 2019
Main Point of ContactOnline
Card / Account Used ForSpecial Purchases

can be handy

no annual fee means you can sign up and have it available for use as backup card or take advantage of one of the offers that come along if you find one that suits your needs.

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Card Start DateNovember 2017
Main Point of ContactOnline
Card / Account Used ForSpecial Purchases

Great card with no annual fees

- Don't use this card overseas so not sure how to rate this
- No balance transfer that I had encountered
- rewards are great as points can then be converted to cash
- interest rate is low and can be negotiated dependable on your circumstance, in terms of financial assistance

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Love this card

This card is amazing, it gives you all the benefits of Amex without the annual fee of the other cards. Amex offers is amazing as every month they have money off certain shops that you can redeem that ranges from $10-$100. The only downside is AMEX isn't accepted everywhere so get use to rejection from shop attendants so its best to have another card handy as well.

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Card Start DateFebruary 2017
Main Point of ContactOnline
Card / Account Used ForEveryday Expenses and Online Shopping

Very limited use

Amex is not accepted everywhere. Not many benefits either. Not an ideal personal CC to have. I would consider all other credit cards before deciding on Amex and most would be better than Amex

Transparency

No annual fees with insurances and points

Have not used it overseas. Have not transferred any balance to it. Satisfied with the rewards considering it has no annual fees. Difficult to accumulate points because a lot of merchants do not accept amex.

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Card Start DateJanuary 2019
Main Point of ContactOnline
Card / Account Used ForEveryday Expenses, Online Shopping and Special Purchases

A great basic credit card

It's a simple no-annual fee card that awards points. Great for those who don't have a huge expenditure (and therefore won't earn enough points to offset an annual fee).
Painless application process.
Great that it works with Apple Pay.
App is easy to use.
Frequent cashback promotions - I take advantage of 1-2 of these per month.
Vendor acceptability of Amex is also increasing (as a corollary, rewards are decreasing, but still there)
Had to call customer service a handful of times - never had a wait time.
As a minor point, the pearlescent card is also quite attractive.

The online banking can be a bit of a mess, with some links leading you to older versions of the site, but it is overall very useable in day to day activities.
Also not the best for overseas purchases.

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Card / Account Used ForEveryday Expenses and Online Shopping

A good budget credit card

This is a good value credit card with no annual fee. It is easy to redeem points for credits. Disadvantage is that it doesn't offer travel insurance, unlike other AMEX cards. I also tried to use this card in NZ but I was mostly rejected

No fees is best

Easy to pay off the bills, no annual fee. Minimal points earned. Some good offers though which I have redeemed. Minimal interest for first year or so. Transferred to velocity points very happy.


A no nonsense credit card - Highly recommended

I have been with AMEX for more than 5 years and I hardly have any complaints. This particular card has no annual fees and comes with a 55 day interest free period. You earn atleast 1 point for every dollar you spent and every 1000 points can be redeemed for a return of around $7. AMEX also ties up with different retailers for promotions every month and offers great discounts while you shop at these brands during the promotional period. Even though I have used the card overseas several times there are still quite a lot of retailers that still does not accept AMEX or gives a surcharge ranging between 1% -2.5%. The customer service has been great. I have had to give the support team a call to resolve a couple of issues and it was done quite efficiently. Highly recommended if you are looking for a no nonsense credit card

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Card Start DateMarch 2014
Main Point of ContactPhone
Card / Account Used ForEveryday Expenses

Love this card but you got to use it right

I got this card for its bonuses. I pay my mobile bill with it and get 2 free screen replacements a year. Which I have used once and saved $280. I also pay my amazon prime account to get 50% off.
I have also gotten a heap of cash back on their flash deals.
I have not found a store that charges the 2.5% surcharge anymore so I quite often use the card at places like Bunnings so I can get points.
This is a great card. A lot of the 1 star reviews seem to be people not utilising the card for the bonuses.

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Card Start DateNovember 2017
Main Point of ContactOnline
Card / Account Used ForOnline Shopping

Essential card is essential but free

Pro:
- Earn points
- long interest free days
- Amex exclusive cash back offers
- No annual free

Con:
- Do not have shop small offer very often now
- I do not like the layout of the monthly statement, not easy to read
- Sometimes the transactions not shown on Amex Mobile App in real time

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Card Start DateMarch 2018
Main Point of ContactOnline
Card / Account Used ForSpecial Purchases

Terrible customer service and call center

Arrogant staff, unclear answer. Call center seems in India and does not have mindset of customer service. The way they talk just like you asking them for money for free service.

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Card Start DateApril 2019
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