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American Express Explorer

American Express Explorer

4.0 from 6 reviews

See the Best Frequent Flyer & Travel Credit Cards in 2019 as rated by Australians on ProductReview.com.au.

Details

American Express Explorer
CategoryFrequent Flyer & Travel Credit Cards, Balance Transfer Credit Cards and Rewards Credit Cards
Card TypeAmerican Express
BenefitsComplimentary Travel Insurance, Sign-Up Bonus Points Offer and Travel Credit
Minimum Credit Limit $3,000
Minimum Income $65,000
Additional Cardholders 4
Additional Cardholder Fee $0 p.a.
Minimum Repayments2.5%
Rewards ProgramAmerican Express Membership Rewards
Points Earn Rate 2 points per $1
Points Conditions
  • 2 points per $1 spent on purchases excluding government bodies in Australia

  • 1 point per $1 spent at government bodies in Australia

There is no cap on earn rate.

Contactless PaymentsApple Pay, Fitbit Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay
Rates & Fees
Purchase Rate20.74% p.a.
Cash Advance Fee2%
Late Payment Fee$30
Annual Fee$395 p.a.
Foreign Transaction Fee 3%
Interest Free Period 55 days
Introductory Offers
Sign-Up Bonus Receive 50,000 Bonus Points when you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months of card approval.
Balance Transfer Rates
Balance Transfer Period 12 months
Balance Transfer Rate 0% p.a.
Balance Transfer Fee 1%

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Great rewards earning rate, good all round card

It's a good all round card, with a decent earning rate of 2x points/$1 on almost everything (0.5/$1 on Government).
Points can now be redeemed at the same rate as more premium Amex cards (like Platinum Charge) since the realignment of the programme a few months ago. I personally use them for airmiles, 0.5 miles per 1 point (1 mile/$1, which is pretty good).
Usual rip off 3% foreign exchange charge, with no additional reward for overseas use, so I don't use it outside Aus.
$395 annual fee is offset by the $400 travel credit, but that's only a benefit if you'll use it. Amex travel aren't always the cheapest option either, so you might not get a true $400 value from it (if the $400 room is available for $350 elsewhere, for example).
Overall I would recommend, I've held the card for several years now. I'd recommend holding out for a 100k points signup bonus, rather than the 50k Amex usually offer on this product, though.
Amex customer service is very good, they're one of the better companies to deal with, if you do need to, and I'd be confident that, in the unlikely event your card was compromised due to fraud, etc., you wouldn't be left high and dry.

Transparency
Customer Service
Rates and Fees
Rewards
Online Experience
Application Process
Card Start DateMarch 2017
Main Point of ContactOnline
Card / Account Used ForEveryday Expenses, Online Shopping and Special Purchases

The only credit card I need

I have been using the Amex Explorer Card since it's launch in 2016 and have been extremely happy with it. Being an Amex customer for 9 years, I have used a few other cards in the past but Explorer Card is the best so far in terms of offers and features.
- The easy and fast earning Reward Points are the best feature as I have managed to used a lot of my points for travel bookings with Amex Travel and ended up paying very less for tickets and accommodation. It's true savings rather than losing your points in transfer to airlines and follow T&Cs. With Amex Travel website you have an option to use them on any airline.
- Travel Credit of $400. This is by far the best refund of my Credit Card fee as I have managed to use this credit every year either on flights or hotel. The good part is that it can be used for your family and friends as well.
- Travel Insurance - The travel insurance service is amazing. I have used it once where my baggage got lost in transit and was located after 3 days. I didn't have all the payment slips and documents plus didn't use Amex for some of the transactions overseas. I started my claim but didn't submit it. The Chubb Insurance supported followed up and asked me to provide whatever documentation I had and processed my claim.
- Smartphone Screen Insurance - I have used this once and was seemless. I dropped my iPhone and smashed the screen. Took it to Apple and got the screen repaired. Submitted the claim online and got the 90% refund as mentioned. No hassles.

The customer service has always been great with Amex and that is the only reason that I just use 1 credit card for last 5 years.

Transparency
Customer Service
Rates and Fees
Rewards
Online Experience
Application Process
Card Start DateSeptember 2016
Main Point of ContactOnline
Card / Account Used ForEveryday Expenses, Online Shopping, Overseas/Travel and Special Purchases

Pros and Cons of the American Express Explorer Card

I've had the American Express Explorer card for about 3 years. Here are the pros and cons:

Pros
1. The card comes with plenty of added benefits including including travel protection, mobile phone screen up to $500, extended product warranty etc.

2. The annual fee is $395 however; you get $400 credit to use through American Express Travel. So as long as you're travelling at least one a year, the annual fee pays for itself.

3. Customer service is pretty good and it's convenient using the web chat service and not having to call.

4. You can use reward points for credit off your account balance.

5. Travel insurance seems pretty reliable. I recently made a claim for USD $4,000 after returning from the US and the claim process was seamless. It was all done online and the claim was paid out in 2 weeks. Very positive experience.

Cons
1. The $400 travel credit can only be used on American Express Travel which is a poorly designed travel site with lots of bugs. It does not make for a good experience. As a global conglomerate, I can;t understand why American Express have failed to invest more in their travel site. Also, the site doesn't offer up all flights. I've noticed they never have the budget fares for Virgin or Qantas and only seem to have the flexi and premium fares. So whilst you get $400 travel credit, you may not be able to use it economically.

2. They've recently lowered the conversion rate for American Express reward points to Velocity reward points.

3. American Express cards are still widely shunned by merchants in Australia. I'd say 80% of merchants won;t accept American Express and the ones who do will normally charge 2% to 3% for the privilege.

4. Interest rate is high but not an issue if you pay your balance by the due date each month.

Transparency
Customer Service
Rates and Fees
Rewards
Online Experience
Application Process
Card Start DateJanuary 2016
Main Point of ContactOnline
Card / Account Used ForEveryday Expenses, Online Shopping, Overseas/Travel and Special Purchases

Ripped off my points !

I have well over 160,000 points and I wanted to transfer to Asiamiles before the 15 April deadline of the massive devaluation.

I transfer twice three and two weeks before the deadline and they have both failed. Right after the devaluation they say now I can transfer, but only under the new rate. This means I would lose at least a one way flight to Asia in points.

Beside after the massive devaluation there is little point keeping the Amex as a lot of merchants still not accept it, or will have a higher surcharge for using it. The $400 Amex travel credit is of little value as they are offer a less range of hotels and flights and are more expensive than other websites such as Expedia and Booking.com anyway. Their foreign currency commission is one of the highest among other credit cards.

Transparency
Customer Service
Rates and Fees
Rewards
Online Experience
Main Point of ContactPhone
Card / Account Used ForEveryday Expenses

Excellent rewards program

Pros: 60,000 AMEX bonus point promo at the time of application. Member points can be used for things like travel, shopping or transferred to partner programs like Velocity (which I do frequently). 2 x Free annual access to the AMEX lounge at Sydney Airport. $400 travel voucher via AMEX travel website each year. Special offers on retail (such as spend $25 and get $15 back). Promotes programs that encourages spending at small businesses. Widely accepted home and abroad (but not as much as Visa and Mastercard). Great online account platform

Cons: Expensive $395 annual fee (offset by the travel voucher)

I use this card a lot and it has enabled me to save a tonne of points that I have used for travel.

Summary: get it if you plan to use it a lot i.e. pay bills on the card and repay in full each month. Then watch your points grow quickly

Transparency
Rates and Fees
Rewards
Online Experience
Application Process
Card Start DateNovember 2017
Main Point of ContactOnline
Card / Account Used ForEveryday Expenses, Online Shopping, Overseas/Travel and Special Purchases

AMEX Explorer 60k point bonus using referral link

Excellent value Card. $395 annual fee offset by $400 in travel credit for use on any flight or hotel booking. Complimentary travel insurances included when you use the card to book your travel. Easy app to keep track of spend. The Card has a Great look with a solid dark colour which makes it seem like a premium Card. Handy backup Card to accumulate frequent flyer points are a better earn rate. Use [referral link removed] to sign up and get a 60,000 point bonus (I also receive 30,000 points).

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