Amex Explorer Credit Card Review

Amex Explorer Now Has A Sign-Up Bonus Of 50,000 Points

American express recently launched a new credit card, it’s called Amex Explorer and it’s now my go-to favourite credit card. That’s a big statement… i know.

Here’s why I love the Amex Explorer Credit Card!

amex explorer credit card - Amex Explorer Credit Card ReviewFirst up is the signup bonus. Seriously, who can say no to 50,000 points? I certainly couldn’t! (sign up with this link to get the 50,000 bonus points).
Second up is the generous earn rate, 2 points on (almost) everything including utility bills, telco bills etc. Keep in mind most Amex cards only earn 0.5 points on these categories!
And last but not least is the $400 travel credit you get every year, basically it wipes out the $395 card fee so in any case you’re always $5 up. Travel credit can be spend on flights, hotels, car rental etc. If you can’t use it…give it to a friend! 😉

  • Points program: Membership Rewards Gateway (MRG)
  • MRG points earned per dollar (government providers): 0.5
  • MRG points earned per dollar (everywhere else): 2
  • 2 MRG points = 1.5 frequent flyer points with: Virgin Australia Velocity, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
  • 2 MRG points = $0.015 Air New Zealand Airports Dollars (but seriously, if you convert points to Air NZ we need to have a chat! Don’t do it! Just don’t…)
  • Points capping: Uncapped
  • Supported devices: Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay

The Power Of A Flexible Reward Program

In the world of frequent flyer points, flexibility is power! The Membership Rewards program by American Express is a perfect example of this, why restrict yourself to 1 airline reward program when you can have 6 or more? When it comes to finding business or first class award tickets, it pays to have flexibility and plenty of options to chose from.

Even if you’re an avid Qantas fan, consider this example: Asia Miles which is the reward program run by Cathay Pacific, (A One World airline, just like Qantas) allows you to use their points to book Qantas flights, sometimes for less points than it would cost using Qantas’s own frequent flyer points!

The Kris Flyer program by Singapore Airlines is by far my favourite transfer partner, not only do they have some of the best business and first class seats in the sky, the taxes and points required for flights to Europe or Asia are much better than what you could get with the local airline programs such as Virgin Velocity or Qantas Frequent flyer.

Best of all, Amex Explorer lets you earn 1.5 frequent flyer miles on pretty much everything. This ads up fast throughout the year!

For some inspiration, go check out my review of Cathay Pacific first class & Business Class or Singapore Airlines Suites.

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Official Amex Explorer details:

  • Receive 50,000 Membership Rewards® points when you apply online, are approved and spend $1,500 on your new Card within the first 3 months. This offer is available to new Card Members, as well as Bank-issued American Express companion cardholders.

applyamex - Amex Explorer Credit Card Review

Here are some more details about the fees and charges – basic credit card stuff.

  • Annual fee: $395 (Keep in mind you get $400 travel credit)
  • Supplementary cardholder fee: $0 (Hand them out to family for extra earning power… and for when Shop Small comes around)
  • Interest rate on purchases: 20.74% p.a. (A credit card is NOT a loan so if you’re somewhat in control of your life, it really doesn’t matter how high the percentage goes!)
  • Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 55 (Live one month in advance, keep your money where it earns you more and pay of your bill in time. Those are the golden rules)
  • International transaction fee: 3.0% (This one just sucks… hence you should have a FX free card such as Citi Bank debit card, BW World MasterCard etc.)
  • Minimum income requirement: $65,000 p.a. (Keep in mind Amex assess family income so even if you don’t earn 65k it’s not a big deal).
  • Minimum credit limit: $3,000

American Express Explorer Perks:

Airport lounge access:

If you’re in Sydney or travel through Sydney airport, this one can come in handy. The Amex Explorer gives you 2 access passes per year to the Amex lounge in SYD airport. Passes are valued at $55 so it’s a pretty sweet deal if you end up using them. Amex is also opening a brand new lounge in Melbourne which should be up and running by the end of the year.

Phone Screen Insurance:

Screen Shot 2017 04 01 at 17.01.41 PM 300x155 - Amex Explorer Credit Card ReviewNow this is a killer perk! Who hasn’t dropped their phone and accidentally cracked the screen? Well from now on, even if you’re super careful, you can smash your screen twice per year! The best thing is, excess is limited to 10% of the repair cost so in most cases $20-30 will be all you end up paying.

Now I’m always super careful with my phone but last week… the inevitable happened. My beautiful Samsung S7 Edge VS floor. I’m sure you can guess who won. Luckily I’ve been paying my phone plan with my explorer so if you’ve been doing this for at least 30 days (that’s the waiting period) you can make a claim!
The insurance claims underwriter is Chubb on behalf of American Express. I’ve submitted my claim and all documents required so ones I get it approved I will make sure to update this article to share my experience.

[Update, learn more about my successful insurance claim]

The smartphone screen insurance is activated as soon as you start paying your phone plant with the explorer or if you purchase the phone outright with the card. You are also eligible if you’ve already been paying your contract with another card and simple switch mostly transactions to your Amex Explorer.

Travel Insurance:

Like most premium credit cards Amex Explorer comes with travel insurance, it’s pretty comprehensive and just like the expensive Platinum Charge is includes rental car “loss damage waiver” capped at 100k car value.

$400 Travel Credit:

The travel credit can only be used through the American Express travel booking service, when you’re approved the credit appears in your account and can be used right away for booking travel online through the dedicated portal. It’s worth noting that you need to use it all in one go. For example, you can’t split it up for multiple transactions and most importantly if the total falls under $400 you are forfeiting the difference. The best use for the credit in my opinion is flights and hotels. Both these categories are usually more than $400 so it’s easy to find a great use for your credit. The travel credit resets yearly so this card is definitely worthwhile to keep around. You can find the portal to book your travel here: http://americanexpress.com.au/travel

Amex Explorer Buyer’s Advantage

extends your manufacturer’s warranty by up to 12 months on eligible items purchased with your American Express Explorer Credit Card

Purchase Protection

Stay protected with Purchase Protection providing cover should your new items be stolen or damaged. Refund Protection is also available should a store refuse to accept the return of a recent, unused purchase

Fraud Prevention

Online Fraud Protection Guarantee means you won’t be held responsible for any unauthorised charges made without your knowledge

Am I eligible for the 50,000 points sign up bonus?

Yes! If you’re holding a bank issued Amex such as Westpac, Commbank, ANZ or NAB you are eligible to get the bonus points on cards issued by American Express them self . If you use this 50k sign up link and make the initial spend requirement. You will get the 50,000 MRG points. (Make sure to apply through this link to ensure you get the bonus points: www.amex.com.au/explorer-50k-bonus )

Conclusion:

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Don’t worry this card isn’t real 😉

Is this the best American Express card? Yes! In my humble opinion this is the best all-round credit card and it does deserve a prime position in your wallet. Sure it’s expensive but never forget what perks you’re getting in return and the yearly travel credit makes it totally worth it.

applyamex - Amex Explorer Credit Card Review

 

 

 

You might be left wondering… what to do with all those points? Here’s a great idea for your next trip: Singapore Airlines Business class on the 777-300er:

Last updated: 03/10/2017

Amex Explorer Review
4.9Overall Score
Point Earn Rate
Bonus Points
Card Features & Value