American Express Explorer Credit Card

American Express Explorer

Receive 50,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you apply online, are approved, and spend $3,000 on your new card in the first 3 months from the Card approval date.

Rewards program

Membership Rewards Premium

Earn rate

Up to 2 MRG points

per $1 spent uncapped

Bonus Points

50,000 MRG Points

points after spend criteria

Annual fee

$395

ongoing

$400 Travel Credit

Receive a $400 travel credit each membership year  to be used on hotels, flights, car rentals and more.

50,000 bonus points

Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 within 3 months of your card activation.

Earn Up to 2 Membership Rewards Per Dollar

The Explorer Card lets you earn up to 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar.

Receive 50,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you apply online, are approved and spend $3,000 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.

>> Learn more or apply online via American Express

Here’s why I love the Amex Explorer Credit Card

First up is the signup bonus, right now you can get 50,000 Membership Rewards which translates into 25,000 frequent flyer points when you transfer to the most important programs such as KrisFlyer, Asia Miles, Velocity, Etihad Guest or Emirates Skywards.

Second up is the generous earn rate, 2 points on (almost) everything including utility bills, telco bills etc.
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 spent on flights, hotels, car rental etc. If you can’t use it…give it to a friend!?

Rewards Details

Points program: Membership Rewards Gateway (MRG)
MRG points earned per dollar (government providers): 1
MRG points earned per dollar (everywhere else): 2
Points capping: Uncapped
Supported devices: Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay

Airline Transfer Rates:

  • 2 Membership Rewards points = 1 Asia Mile
  • 2 Membership Rewards points = 1 Skyward Mile
  • 2 Membership Rewards points = 1 Etihad Guest Mile
  • 2 Membership Rewards points = 1 Enrich Mile
  • 2 Membership Rewards points = 1 Kris Flyer Mile
  • 2 Membership Rewards points = 1 Royal Orchid Plus Mile
  • 2 Membership Rewards points = 1 Velocity Point
  • 2 Membership Rewards points = 1 Flying Club Mile
  • 200 Membership Rewards points = 1 Airpoint Dollar

Hotel Transfer Rates:

  • 2 Membership Rewards points = 1 Hilton Honors point
  • 3 Membership Rewards points = 2 Marriott Bonvoy points

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 fewer 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 cheaper than what you could get with the local airline programs such as Virgin Australia Velocity or Qantas Frequent Flyer.

Amex Explorer lets you earn 1 frequent flyer mile 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.

>> Learn more or apply online via American Express

Amex Explorer Offer Details

Amex Explorer Credit Card picture

Receive 50,000 Membership Rewards points when you apply online, are approved and spend $3,000 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.

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.
  • Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 55
  • International transaction fee: 3.0%
  • Minimum income requirement: $65,000 p.a.
  • 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 and the new Melbourne lounge. Passes are valued at $55 so it’s a pretty sweet deal if you end up using them.

The Hotel Collection

The Amex Explorer now has access to The Hotel Collection, it’s similar to Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts where you get extra perks by booking through the site. For most properties participating this is a US$75 hotel credit which you can then use on food, drinks or even a spa treatment. In addition, some properties also offer upgrades as part of the deal.

Explorer Card Members can get extra perks at participating Hotels Collection properties every time they book two consecutive nights stay using their American Express Explorer Card.
To see all the participating hotels, you can check out the official directory here: https://hcdigitaldirectory.com
To book your hotel through The Hotel Collection website click here. Or simply log-in to your Amex account and book through American Express Online Travel.

Phone Screen Insurance

Now, this is a killer perk! Who hasn’t dropped their phone and accidentally cracked the screen? With the Amex Explorer, 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.

I’m always super careful with my phone but… the inevitable happened. Luckily I had 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 written about my Amex Explorer screen insurance claim in a seperate post (hint: it was very easy, painless and straightforward. Some words we generally don’t associate with insurance companies) Read all about it here: learn more about my successful insurance claim

The smartphone screen insurance is activated as soon as you start paying your phone plan with the Explorer or if you purchase the phone outright with the card. Card Members can still access the cover if they switch their monthly payment method to their Amex Explorer Card, however there is a 30 day waiting period which commences after the date of the first monthly payment made by the 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

A great benefit of the Explorer it the $400 travel credit (which completely offsets the annual fee). It’s available in your account and can be used for all travel related services offered via the Amex Travel Portal within your online account.Best of all, when booking flights through Amex travel, you won’t be paying any card surcharges typically added on by the majority of airlines when booking direct.

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?

If you were holding a bank issued Amex such as Westpac, Commbank, ANZ or NAB in the past, 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 of $3,000 in 3 months. 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 )
Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any Card product issued byAmerican Express in the preceding 18 month period are ineligible for this offer.

Conclusion:

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.

>> Learn more or apply online via American Express

 

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