American Express is offering $0 Annual Card Fee in the first year (usually $149 p.a.) for new Card Members who apply for the American Express Business Explorer Credit Card by 23 July 2024.

The card is very similar to the personal version of the American Express Explorer but with a few key differences which make the business card a bit more practical to use for business owners.

There is no minimum spend requirement on this offer. Also, offer eligibility criteria states that Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any other Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 18 month period are ineligible for this offer.

Key differences between the personal Explorer and Business Explorer Credit Cards

1. Lower annual fee

The Business Explorer Credit Card has a lower annual fee of $149 p.a. compared to the $395 p.a. on the personal Explorer Credit Card.

2. No $400 travel credit each year or smartphone screen insurance

The Business Explorer Credit Card does not include the complimentary $400 travel credit that’s available on the Personal Explorer Credit Card. This is an understandable strategy with the lower annual fee, and the $400 travel credit could be harder to use by some businesses for business travel purposes.

The smartphone screen insurance policy is also missing from the Business Explorer Credit Card.

Otherwise, the benefits are similar between both versions of the Explorer card

You’ll find that the points earn rates and partners, twice-yearly access to an American Express lounge, Travel Insurance and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases are the same for both cards.

Points earned from ongoing spend are set at a solid 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar, which equates to 1 frequent flyer points per dollar, again for most frequent flyer partners.

Card Details

CardAmerican Express Business Explorer
Loyalty ProgramAmerican Express Membership Rewards Gateway
Points earned from spend2 Membership Rewards Gateway points earned per $1 on all purchases except government bodies where you will earn 1 point per $1 spent
Included InsurancesTravel Insurance
Medical Emergency Expenses Cover (PDS)
Overseas transaction fee3% of the converted amount
Mobile walletApple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay
Interest rate23.99% p.a. on all purchases
Annual fee$149 p.a.

You’ll also receive access to The Centurion® Lounge in Sydney or Melbourne twice per year without charge, a nice perk for international travellers in Economy.

Earning points with the American Express Business Explorer Credit Card

The card belongs to the American Express Membership Rewards program for points earned and redemption. We’ve covered Membership Rewards in-depth in our full guide to the program here.

The points earn rate on spend is 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar equates to 1 frequent flyer point (in Velocity, Asia Miles, Etihad Guest, and most other frequent flyer programs) per dollar spent when transferred.

Effective Frequent Flyer Program Point Earn Rates

Frequent Flyer / Hotel ProgramPoints earned from spend
Velocity Points1 point / $1
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles1 mile / $1
Etihad Guest1 mile / $1
Hilton Honors1 point / $1
Marriott Bonvoy0.67 point / $1
Singapore Airlines Krisflyer miles0.66 mile / $1

You’ll also earn full points on the Business Explorer Credit Card for utilities and bills, unlike some other American Express cards. This means you’ll get full points on ‘telecommunications’ and ‘utilities’ but not on government charges, such as ATO and Australia Post.

American Express Membership Rewards PartnersTransfer Rates
Velocity Frequent Flyer
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
Etihad Guest
Malaysian Airlines Enrich
Qatar Avios Privilege Club
THAI Royal Orchid Plus
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
2 Membership Rewards points = 1 frequent flyer point
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
Emirates Skywards
3 Membership Rewards points = 1 frequent flyer point
Marriott Bonvoy3 Membership Rewards points = 2 Marriott points
Hilton Honors2 Membership Rewards point = 1 Honors point
Air New Zealand Airpoints200 Membership Rewards points = 1 Airpoints Dollar
American Express Travel Online
David Jones Pay with Points
Myer Pay With Points
20,000 Membership Rewards points = $100 travel reward

Get a room upgrade and US$100 hotel credit at high-end hotels

Card Members of this product can get special benefits when staying two or more consecutive nights at a high-end hotel booked through American Express’ The Hotel Collection. You will get:

  • a US$100 hotel credit to spend on dining, spa and resort activities
  • a complimentary room upgrade at check-in (subject to availability)
The Ritz Carlton Tokyo food
Your US$100 credit can be used to eat at restaurants within the hotel

Included Travel Insurance

As usual with the included insurances for credit cards, it’s not really possible to make a solid recommendation – each insurance is usually good for different reasons and different people.

The Travel Insurance included with the Amex Business Explorer Credit Card are the following:

  • Personal Baggage, Valuables, Money and Travel Documents Cover
  • Card Account Balance Waiver Cover
  • Medical Emergency Expenses Cover
  • Business Trip Completion Cover
  • Trip Cancellation and Amendment Cover
  • Travel Inconvenience Cover
  • Public Transport Accident Cover
  • Personal Liability Cover

Just like most other credit card insurances, to activate the Travel Insurance – you’ll need to have paid for your return trip on your card, or with your Membership Rewards points.

You can read the PDS for the insurance benefits of the Business Explorer Credit Card here.

This guide references some of the benefits of insurance policies provided with this card. You should read the PDS and obtain independent professional advice before obtaining this product.

Considering this card for Business-related transactions?

American Express offer a range of both business and consumer charge and credit cards. They do permit business transactions to be made on personal cards, unlike some other banks, but you might find some of the other business-focused benefits of the business cards to be appealing or more appropriate.

So – if you’re a sole trader or a business looking to earn points with your business spend – this card would still work for that purpose.

There’s a full list of business and personal consumer American Express cards which might be suitable for earning points from business-related transactions here.

Unparalleled mobile wallet integration

American Express cards support Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, meaning you can use this card on your smartphone for easier payments.

Read the Point Hacks guide to using Apple Pay or for using Google Pay and Samsung Pay, including instructions on how to add your American Express card to those services.

With this feature set up, it means you could still use your NFC-enabled phone to make purchases with your American Express account, even if your physical card is lost or stolen and pending replacement.

Eligibility criteria for bonus points for existing American Express Card Members

American Express are quite specific about whether existing Card Members will be eligible for bonus points if they apply for a card, are approved, and meet the minimum spend criteria.

Card Members who currently hold or who have previously held any Card product issued by American Express Australia Limited in the preceding 18 month period are ineligible for this offer.

American Express don’t allow existing Card Members, even for different types of American Express cards (e.g. Charge, Credit or Business) to be eligible for bonus points offers for cards in a different family.

How the Business Explorer Credit Card compares with other American Express Business Cards

When looking at the American Express Business card range, the Business Explorer Credit Card now replaces the void left by the Business Accelerator card (no longer available to New Card Members as of early 2019), which had a $160 annual fee, and 2 Membership Rewards Ascent points per $ spent which is also equivalent to 1 frequent flyer point per $1.

It’s then well below the $1750 p.a Business Platinum Card which is on a whole other level in terms of benefits – but also fees. The points earn rate on the Business Platinum Card is also higher across most spend at 2.25 points per $1 except on government spend where they are the same at 1 point per $1.

Our take on the American Express Business Explorer Credit Card

This is a great addition to the American Express Membership Rewards range and helps fill a niche for business owners with substantial spend patterns for a card.

If you don’t meet the criteria for this card, then arguably the personal version of the Explorer card is the more useful option—the $400 travel credit that comes with that card offsets the annual fee and can be quite useful for travels. American Express are also fine with using their personal cards for business purposes and, otherwise, the differences between the cards are relatively minor.

$0 annual fee in the first year with the American Express Business Explorer Credit Card was last modified: April 9th, 2024 by Daniel Sciberras