For people who are new to the world of points and the benefits of Amex cards, a common question asked is where can I use American Express cards? Following on from that, a Point Hacks reader has also asked us a more detailed query:
“I see a lot of offers from American Express but I’m not sure that there are that many places I can actually use the card. How easy is it to meet minimum spend requirements with its more limited reach compared to Visa and Mastercard?“
We explore where you can use your American Express card within Australian in 2021, so you can make the most of your rewards.
Where is American Express accepted in Australia?
It is true that Visa and Mastercard are accepted at more merchants both in Australia and overseas. However, American Express has been expanding its footprint, with more than 100,000 participating businesses added over the last few years.
The following list of merchants that accept Amex cards is by no means exhaustive — search the full list for the latest results. Remember that there are also thousands of small businesses that accept American Express.
Where can I use Amex for big purchases?
- Airlines: Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar, Tigerair, Air New Zealand, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, Expedia, Webjet
- Accommodation: Airbnb, Luxury Escapes, Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Four Seasons, Shangri-La, Crown, Accor Hotels, Agoda
- Car hire: Hertz, Avis, Budget, Thrifty, Europcar
- Transport: SkyBus
- Educational institutions: The University of Sydney, UNSW, Griffith University, Macquarie University, UTS, Bond University, University of Southern Queensland, Moriah College
- Household goods: Bing Lee, Freedom, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, Officeworks
- Electronics: Apple, Microsoft, Dell, Kogan
Where can I use American Express for shopping, subscriptions and bills?
- Supermarkets: Woolworths, Coles, Harris Farm Markets
- Bottle shops: Liquorland, Dan Murphy’s, First Choice Liquor, BWS
- Department stores: Myer, David Jones, Big W, Kmart, Target, Bunnings Warehouse
- Clothes retailers: The Iconic, Zara, Best & Less, Cotton On, Country Road, Espirit, Lowes, Rebel, Decathlon, H&M
- Utilities: Australia Post, City of Sydney, City of Perth, Cairns Regional Council, Central Coast Council, Randwick, Council, Whitsunday Regional Council, Lumo Energy
- Insurance: Allianz, Bupa, HCF, nib
- Fuel: BP, Shell Coles Express, and Ampol (being rebranded from Caltex starting late 2020)
- Entertainment: Hoyts, Event Cinemas, Dreamworld, Taronga Zoo, Ticketek, Ticketmaster, Village Cinemas
- Subscription services: Foxtel, Netflix, Stan, Hello Fresh, Spotify, Stan
- Communications: Telstra, Optus
- Charities: Australian Red Cross
- Payment platforms: PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay
Where can I use Amex for day-to-day purchases and miscellaneous items?
- Food & drink: McDonald’s, Starbucks, Nando’s, Grill’d, TheFork, Merivale, Starbucks, Grill’d, Deliveroo, Menulog, Uber Eats
- Miscellaneous: Uber, 7-Eleven, NewsLink, Priceline Pharmacy, Chemist Warehouse
How do I maximise points earn with American Express cards?
Due to restrictive bonus points eligibility rules for American Express-issued cards, you should choose the first one you hold carefully so you can earn a big sign-up bonus.
Then you could always add on another American Express-issued card like the Platinum Edge, on which you will not earn the sign-up bonus but is great for buying groceries and fuel.
Question: Just how widely are American Express cards accepted?
Answer: Probably more than you originally thought! American Express cards can be used for a large chunk of your expenditure on groceries, regular bills, travel, entertainment and clothes.
Given the wide range of merchants that accept Amex as a payment method, you shouldn’t have too much trouble meeting minimum spend requirements and/or maximising your ongoing points-earning potential.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, Woolworths supermarkets in Australia accept American Express cards for payment.
Yes, Bunnings hardware stores in Australia allow American Express cards as a form of payment.
No, Aldi supermarkets in Australia do not accept American Express cards for payment.
Yes, you can certainly pay for your Portuguese grilled chicken with an American Express card.
Yes, your next fix of crispy ‘Hot and Spicy’ chicken from KFC can be paid for with an American Express cad.
This article was originally written by Matt Moffitt.