The American Express Essential® Credit Card

What do you want this card for?
Save money
Earn points
My rate: 
17%
 
My annual fee: 
$90
 
Transfer: 
$5,000
 
From: 
All banks
Offer
Card features
balance transfer
purchase rate
annual fee
Money saved
The American Express Essential® Credit Card
Apply by 21 jan 19
5 reviews
The American Express Essential® Credit Card
CREDIT CARD COMPARE EXCLUSIVE OFFER
Get 10,000 Membership Rewards Points when you apply online by 21st January 2019, are approved and spend $750 in the first three months.
$0 p.a. annual fee.
Smartphone Screen Insurance for up to $500 for screen repairs to your Smartphone. (Conditions apply)
Add to comparison
12 months
0% p.a.
then 14.99%
with a 3% fee
14.99% p.a.
ongoing
$0
ongoing

Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

Get 10,000 Membership Rewards Points when you apply online by 21st January 2019, are approved and spend $750 in the first three months.
$0 p.a. annual fee.
Smartphone Screen Insurance for up to $500 for screen repairs to your Smartphone when you pay for your phone or contract with your Essential Credit Card.
Eligible for use with Google Pay™, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
Earn up to 1 Membership Rewards Gateway® point for every $1 spent.
Transfer your points to a choice of 8 airline rewards partner programs.
0% p.a. for 12 months for balance transfers and a one-off credit plan establishment fee of 3%.
Enjoy a low interest rate of 14.99% p.a. on purchases.
Complimentary insurances to cover shopping purchases.
Some businesses make you pay a surcharge for using your Amex card.

Point redemption rates will change as of 15 April 2019. Please go to bit.ly/rwd415 for more details.

User reviews

4.5 out of 5.0 based on 5 reviews100% of reviewers would recommend this card

Rates and fees
Rewards
Customer service
Convenience
Trust

Reviews from users

Classy customer service, great value

Reviewed and recommended by Jack on 30 Apr 2017

The card is always reliable and great value. It has the simplicity of AmEx, with great rewards and a comparatively low interest rate.

Security and transparency of money are always paramount, and this makes the experience with American Express hands down better than any other competition. I have never had a problem with charges, interest payments or false purchases.

Customer service is always classy and very helpful. With every call I feel welcome and accepted by staff, who are able to understand each personal situation. I would definitely recommend it to anyone.

Pretty good basic card with no annual fee

Reviewed and recommended by Sreenath on 16 Jan 2017

AmEx Essential is a basic card with a $0 joining fee. Good offers are there in the card. It would be better if they could increase the value of the reward points.

There’s an easy-to-use AmEx app and good deals on balance transfers. The 55 interest-free days are very attractive and I am using it for my daily purchases, groceries, etc.

Great rewards, no fees!!

Reviewed and recommended by Jarrad on 21 Sep 2016

I was a little skeptical about signing up for an American Express card. Because I had heard of the surcharges that applied to American Express purchases, there was no way to see if this card would be advantages to my position. After doing my research I decided to sign up. I have found in most of my purchases, it was very rare to have been charged a surcharge, with the great membership program, I get 7 dollars back for every thousand dollars I spend, include no annual fee to the savings, and I am most definitely saving money from this card. Not to mention the great bonus offers that come by every now and again. Cannot recommend this card highly enough!

Pretty good card especially for travel

Reviewed and recommended by Bradley on 08 Jun 2016

Got this one to go to Hawaii—they love AmEx there! No surcharges, no funny looks.. just yes sir, of course sir. Instant updates on purchases made via the app; earned points quick enough to cover currency charges in credits; has phone screen insurance; and a low interest rate. They also increased the credit limit instantly when needed after a mini holiday emergency.

This card really floats my boat

Reviewed and recommended by Nelson Chan on 25 Jan 2016

I have never ever had a credit card before, but as a young individual getting amongst it has never been easier.

I’m all about the Apple Pay function. I’ve been tapping my phone everywhere I can with this! Also having the screen insurance means I drop my phone like it’s hot now that I’ve got protection.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed about credit cards are the reviewer's alone, and do not reflect the views of Credit Card Compare or the credit card issuer. Reviews have not been approved or otherwise endorsed by Credit Card Compare.

The basics

About this card

Card setup
Single
Card tier
Gold
Card type
American Express
Card use
Personal
Credit rating
No history of bad credit
Gambling transactions allowed
No
Joint application
N/A
Minimum age
18 years old
Minimum income
$40,000
Minimum income for pensioners
N/A
Pensioners
N/A
Rewards program
Membership Rewards Gateway
Temporary residents
Business Long Stay Visa (subclass 457)

Cardholders

Additional cardholders
4
Additional card fee
$0 p.a.

Credit limits

Minimum credit limit
$2,000
Maximum credit limit
$25,000

Repayments

Interest charged from
Statement date
Interest free period
Up to 55 days on purchases
Minimum repayment
whichever is greater, $30 or 2.5%

Balance transfers

The offer

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.12 months3%whichever is less, $10,000 or 70% of credit limit14.99% p.a.

Balance transfers to this card

Balance transfer earns rewards
No
Balance transfer fee payment due
First statement
Balance transfer from personal loan
N/A
Balance transfer processing time
10 - 14 days
Interest free days with unpaid balance
0 days
Maximum balance transfer
whichever is less, $10,000 or 70% of credit limit
Available to existing customers
No

Banks you can't balance transfer from

You can't balance transfer to the The American Express Essential® Credit Card at the promotional balance transfer rate from:

  • American Express

Rates & fees

Promotional interest rates

Interest ratePeriodFeeLimitRevert rate
Balance transfers0% p.a.12 months3%whichever is less, $10,000 or 70% of credit limit 14.99% p.a.
PurchasesN/AN/AN/AN/A N/A

Ongoing interest rates

MonthlyAnnually
Cash advances N/A N/A
Purchases 1.25% 14.99% p.a.

Fees

Annual fee
$0 p.a.
Cash advance fee
N/A
Dishonour fee
$6
Duplicate statement fee
$10
Foreign exchange fee
3%
Late payment fee
$30
Over limit fee
$15
Overseas ATM balance fee
N/A
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee
$2.5
Overseas emergency card replacement fee
$0
Transaction verification fee
$7

Rewards & points

Rewards program basics

Reward points expiry
Never
Rewards program
Membership Rewards Gateway
Sign up bonus
10,000 points
Spend required for bonus points
$750 in 3 months

Earning points with this card

Frequent flyer points
1 pt per $1 spent
Overseas earn rate
Same as standard earn rate
Points cap per month
Unlimited
Points cap per year
Unlimited
Points earned on ATO payments
0.5 pts per $1 spent
Reward points
1 pt per $1 spent

Additional benefits

Airport lounge access
No
Complimentary flight voucher
No
Concierge service
No

Minimum criteria for this card

What you need before applying

Be over 18 years old
You are a resident or citizen of Australia
Earn a regular income of more than $40,000 per year
You have your personal details ready to complete the online application
Have not applied for multiple credit cards recently
Disclaimer: The minimum criteria are intended only to be a guide. Your application may still be rejected by the bank even if you can answer 'Yes' to all the minimum criteria. The final decision regarding your application is up to the bank.

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