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:
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.
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.
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.
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
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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