Rohit

American Express are currently offering great deals on couple of their no annual-fee cards. For the most part, it’s hard to make a case for them as they are pretty plain-Jane relative to some other Amex cards. From time to time though Amex dials up the value proposition making the cards a little more attractive, and whether or not you want to get them, it makes sense to at least be aware of them.

One of the cards has a limited time bonus points offer whereas the other one is offering a chunky cash-back. Let’s dig into the details.

The Qantas American Express Discovery Card

This $0 annual fee card is currently offering a Welcome bonus of 10,000 Qantas points after spending a modest $750 within first 3 months. Now that might not seem like much, but remember, free cards in the Australian market don’t normally offer anything by the way of welcome bonus.


Redeem Qantas Points to fly Qatar Airways Qsuites

This card will appeal to those who prioritise earning Qantas points but do not wish to fork out hundreds of dollars in annual fees for more premium cards. Beyond the initial offering of 10,000 Qantas points, the card earns uncapped:

  • 0.75 Qantas points per $ on regular spends.
  • 1.75 Qantas points per $ on eligible Qantas products and services.
  • 0.5 Qantas point per $ on all Government spends.

Note that while there is no annual fee on this card and you can also order 4 additional cards for family members or friends at no extra fee, the card does have a 3% foreign currency transaction fee for purchases made outside Australia or on non-Australian dollar spends. So, this isn’t a card to use when you travel overseas. There are cards such as Latitude 28degrees Mastercard or Coles Rewards Mastercard that are better suited for those spends.

While the card does not offer a tonne of perks, here are some features that cardmembers may find useful:

Amex Offers : The Qantas American Express Discovery Card is eligible to participate in Amex offers. This is a great feature of American Express cards where different cards are eligible for different offers.

Most offers provide cashback when you make a purchase at a particular business and meet the spend requirement, although sometimes the return is in form of bonus points.

If you are not familiar with Amex Offers, check out one of my earlier posts over here.


Save $$$ with Amex Offers

Refund Protection : The refund protection covers cost of an eligible items where a store refuses a return for items purchased with the card. In this event, you are covered for an amount of up to $2,000 per year and $500 per claim as long as you make the claim within 90 days of purchase. There is no excess payable on the claim.

Purchase Protection : The purchase protection covers cost of an eligible items stolen or damaged for an amount of up to $10,000 per year and $2,500 per claim as long as you lodge the claim within 90 days of purchase. A $50 excess per claim is applicable.

Fraud Protection : This is a great feature for those who value peace of mind and fear someone else getting hold of their card details or hacking into their accounts. The fraud protection cover means that you will not be held liable for any unauthorised charges on the card as long as you do not contribute to it and promptly report any misuse of your account to American Express.

Compatibility with Electronic Wallets : Like all American Express cards, The Qantas American Express Discovery Card is compatible with most major wallets such as Apple Pay, Samsun Pay & Google Pay.

Apply here for the 10,000 Bonus Qantas points on The Qantas American Express Discovery Card

The American Express Essential Credit Card

This no annual fee card is targeted at those who value the versatility of transferrable points currencies such as Membership Rewards points. For a limited time, Amex have sweetened the deal further by throwing in a meaty cash back in the mix.

You can earn $300 back in the form of statement credit when you apply for the card and spend $1,500 within 3 months of your card membership. That is a hefty 20% return on spending. Note that unlike most cashback offers, you are not required to spend the money with a particular merchant or at a particular location. Groceries, fuel, dining out, food delivery, anything and everything counts.

Beyond the initial cashback, the card earns uncapped:

  • 1.25 Membership Rewards Points per $ on regular spends.
  • 1 Membership Rewards Point per $ on all Government spends.

American Express Membership Rewards Points are highly valuable and can be transferred to most of their 9 airline partners in Australia in the ratio of 2:1 (2 Membership Rewards Points = 1 Airline point). Some of the airlines that partner with Membership Rewards are Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia and Emirates.

If you are not familiar with Membership Rewards Program, I strongly recommend you check out my in-depth review over here.


Redeem Membership Rewards Points to fly Virgin Australia Business Class

The card has an ongoing $0 annual fee and you can request up to 4 additional cards for no extra cost. However, like all American Express cards in Australia, there is a 3% foreign currency transaction fee so it’s best not to use the card when you are travelling overseas.

Smartphone Screen Cover

This is an incredibly valuable perk for a no annual fee card as we generally only see this benefit on more premium cards. When you pay for your smartphone outright, or through a monthly payment plan with your Essential credit card, it covers you for any accidental damage to the screen of up to $500 per year. A 10% excess applies to each claim with a maximum of 2 claims per year permitted.


Get free smartphone screen protection with The American Express Essentials Credit Card

A few years ago I dropped and broke the screen of my phone. Thankfully, I had access to this cover through my American Express Explorer Card. The total cost for getting the screen replaced was $140 which was reimbursed by American Express (after deducting a 10% excess). You can read full details on the claims process and how I went about getting Amex to cough up over here.

Here are some other useful features of the card:

Buyer’s Advantage Cover : The easiest way to explain this is that it provides extended warranty on products purchased and paid for by the Essential credit card, over and above the warranty provided by the retailer. Upon successful claim, American Express will, at its discretion, repair, rebuild, or replace the defective or broken-down product, or pay you an amount to do so.
You are covered for up to $7,000 per claim and $7,000 per year on eligible items.

Amex Offers : The American Express Essential Credit Card is eligible to participate in Amex offers. This is a great feature of American Express cards where different cards are eligible for different offers. Most offers provide cashback when you make a purchase at a particular retailer and meet the spend requirement, although sometimes the return is in form of bonus points.

If you are not familiar with Amex Offers, check out one of my earlier posts over here.

Refund Protection : The refund protection covers cost of an eligible items where a store refuses a return for items purchased with the card. In this event, you are covered for an amount of up to $2,000 per year and $500 per claim as long as you make the claim within 90 days of purchase. There is no excess payable on the claim.

Purchase Protection : The purchase protection covers cost of an eligible items stolen or damaged for an amount of up to $10,000 per year and $2,500 per claim as long as you lodge the claim within 90 days of purchase. A $50 excess per claim is applicable.

Fraud Protection : This is a great feature for those who value peace of mind and fear someone else getting hold of their card details or hacking into their accounts. The fraud protection cover means that you will not be held liable for any unauthorised charges on the card as long as you do not contribute to it and promptly report any misuse of your account to American Express.

Compatibility with Electronic Wallets : Like all American Express cards, The Qantas American Express Discovery Card is compatible with most major wallets such as Apple Pay, Samsun Pay & Google Pay.

Apply here for the $300 Cashback on The American Express Essentials Credit Card

In Conclusion

American Express is currently offering great deals on two of their zero-dollar annual fee cards. Some people will gravitate towards the Qantas bonus points option which can potentially provide outsized value if you redeem those points for long haul business or first-class flights. Others may conclude that the $300 in cold hard cashback plus the opportunity to earn Membership Rewards Points offers a better value proposition.

The best part about playing this game is that it is rarely ever a one-size fits all type scenario. Each one of us is different from others and have our own individual lifestyle and needs, so there isn’t a right or a wrong offer here.

Apply here for the 10,000 Bonus Qantas points on The Qantas Amex Discovery Card

Apply here for the $300 Cashback on The American Express Essentials Credit Card

Disclosure : If you apply for the card using links in this post and are approved, pointsHq or it’s related entity may receive some referral points.

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