Point Hacks Credit Card Guide

10,000 bonus points across the range of American Express’ no annual fee cards

American Express has a range of cards that offer good points-earning potential, but these usually come with higher annual fees. For those not interested in paying a higher annual fee, they also offer a number of $0 fee credit cards that still provide you frequent flyer or American Express Membership Rewards points, and Point Hacks has these available exclusively with a 10,000 point bonus on each card until August 30th 2018.

In this overview we look at quickly at each of these cards and the kind of points-collector they may be suited for.

American Express Essential Card

American Express Essential Card is for those looking for flexibility in the points they can earn and how they are used.

The American Express Essential Card comes with a range of benefits that are appealing to the mainstream consumer beyond rewards.

The card has no annual fee (as an ongoing feature of the card, not just a one-time offer), and also comes with smartphone screen insurance. The Essential Card earns points into American Express Membership Rewards Gateway program, which includes 7 airline and 2 hotel programs.

American Express Essential - 10,000 Membership Rewards Gateway points

The entry-level American Express Essential Card has a Point Hacks exclusive offer of 10,000 bonus Membership Rewards points for new card members. A no annual fee offering that earns Membership Rewards points on spend and offers a range of insurance options for consumers.

  • 10,000 bonus Membership Rewards Gateway points
  • No annual fee
  • Smartphone screen insurance
  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 12 months
  • A range of other purchase protection insurances
  • 1 Membership Rewards Gateway points earned per $, except for utilities/government.
  • Points can be redeemed for transfers to a range of airline points, including Velocity, at 1 point = 0.75 airline points
  • A one-off credit plan establishment fee of up to 3% applies on Balance Transfers
  • 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. Previous and existing bank-issued American Express companion card members are eligible for this offer.
  • $750 minimum spend in 3 months required to earn 10,000 bonus Membership Rewards Gateway points
  • Offer ends: 30 August 2018

Find out more or apply →

Point Hacks receive a maximum of $100 per applicant for this card. More about this →

American Express Velocity Escape Card

Velocity Escape Card is for those keen on the Velocity partner ecosystem, and 1 point per $1 spent with no annual fee.

The American Express Velocity Escape Card is a Velocity point-earning card with no annual fee, and as a result, comes with very few additional benefits outside of earning points – but it does that one thing well.

The Velocity Escape card is a great entry-level offering as a gateway into the world of earning Velocity Points.

American Express Velocity Escape - 10,000 Velocity Points

The American Express Velocity Escape has a Point Hacks exclusive offer of 10,000 bonus Velocity Points for new card members. An entry-level card Velocity Point-earning card with no annual fee. The points earn rate of 1 Velocity Point earned per $ spent for no ongoing fee is aimed at budget-conscious points-hunters.

  • 10,000 bonus Velocity Points
  • No annual fee
  • 2 Velocity Points per dollar earned on spend with Virgin Australia
  • 1 Velocity Point per dollar earned everywhere else except government bodies where you will earn 0.5 points per $1 spent
  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 12 months with 1% establishment fee - maximum balance transfer is $10,000 or 70% of your approved credit limit, whichever is less
  • 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. Previous and existing bank-issued American Express companion card members are eligible for this offer
  • $750 minimum spend in the first 3 months required to receive 10,000 bonus Velocity Points
  • Offer ends: 30 August 2018

Find out more or apply →

Point Hacks receive a maximum of $150 per applicant for this card. More about this →

Qantas American Express Discovery Card

Qantas American Express Discovery Card is for those looking to earn Qantas Points on spend with no annual fee.

The Qantas American Express Discovery card is a value-led product with no annual fee and allows you to earn Qantas Points directly into your Qantas Frequent Flyer account. You’ll also pick up bonus points from any spending with Qantas.

Qantas American Express Discovery - 10,000 Qantas Points

The Qantas American Express Discovery Card has a Point Hacks exclusive offer of 10,000 bonus Qantas points for new card members. A great value entry level Qantas card with no annual fee. It offers an earn rate of 1 Qantas Point per $ with few other benefits, but that's to be expected for a no fee credit card.

  • 10,000 bonus Qantas Points
  • No annual card fee
  • 1 Qantas Point per dollar earned everywhere except Government spend and the ATO, 2 Qantas Points earned with Qantas flights / other travel
  • 0% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 12 months with 1% establishment fee - maximum balance transfer is $10,000 or 70% of your approved credit limit, whichever is less
  • 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. Previous and existing bank-issued American Express companion card members are eligible for this offer
  • $750 minimum spend in the first 3 months required to receive 10,000 bonus Qantas Points
  • Offer ends: 30 August 2018

Find out more or apply →

Point Hacks receive a maximum of $150 per applicant for this card. More about this →

How do these cards compare?

The Qantas Discovery, Velocity Escape and Essential cards all have different linked rewards programs, so that’s the primary choice between them if you are zeroing in on a no annual fee American Express.

American Express Essential and Velocity Escape can both earn Velocity points given the ability to transfer Membership Rewards Gateway points to Velocity – however the Velocity Escape Card banks 33% more points than the Essential on your spend – but with a trade-off of Velocity as the only frequent flyer partner.

You can also move those Velocity points over to KrisFlyer through a Velocity to KrisFlyer transfer, giving you an effective earn rate for KrisFlyer miles on the Velocity Escape Card of 0.74 KrisFlyer miles per $1 – which is pretty much the same effective earn rate as on the Essential Card. We love KrisFlyer for the program’s ability to redeem for Singapore Airlines flights with lower taxes and good points availability.

Given that, the choice between American Express Essential Card and Velocity Escape Card comes down to how much you’d like to use Essentials additional features of a wider range of transfer partners through Membership Rewards Gateway, plus the additional screen insurance.

In the Velocity Escape Card’s favour, there’s an increased earn rate of 1 Velocity point per $1 plus 2 points per $1 with Virgin Australia.

With Qantas Discovery Card, this will appeal mostly to people only interested in Qantas Points from their day to day spend with no annual fee.

Summing up

These cards are well suited for those looking for a no-fee way to earn rewards points, with many other no-fee cards in the market generally excluding the ability to earn points, or at least offer a lower earn rate than these cards from American Express.

That said, you’ll need to remember that existing or previous card members of American Express cards are not eligible for new card members bonuses until after an 18 month waiting period since closing an account – so you won’t be able to earn more bonus points by applying for a no annual fee card and then moving to a higher points bonus / points-earning American Express in future. If you suspect you’d like to be more aggressive about collecting points then we’d suggest looking across the American Express range at other options too.

If you know you’re keen on a card with no ongoing annual fee, plus decent points earn rates on your spend, and/or would meet the minimum income requirement for each of these cards but not the income requirements for other cards in the American Express range, then these cards could work well for you.

10,000 bonus points across the range of American Express’ no annual fee cards was last modified: August 14th, 2018 by Keith

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Point Hacks Credit Card Information

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Comments Expand Comments

  1. Tammie

    I currently have the Discovery card. When I signed up there was no bonus whatsoever. What can I do to take advantage of these bonus offers? Even if I cancel my discovery card now I still wont be eligible for another 18 months 🙁

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