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 Annual Fee credit cards that still provide you frequent flyer or American Express Membership Rewards points.

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

American Express Velocity Escape card

Velocity Escape card is for those keen on the Velocity partner ecosystem, and earns 0.75 point per $1 spent with $0 Annual Fee.

The American Express Velocity Escape Card is a Velocity point-earning card with $0 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.

Qantas American Express Discovery card

Qantas American Express Discovery card is for those looking to earn Qantas Points on spend with $0 Annual Fee.

The Qantas American Express Discovery card is a value-led product with $0 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.

How do these cards compare?

The Qantas Discovery and Velocity Escape cards have different linked rewards programs, so that’s the primary choice between them if you are zeroing in on a $0 Annual Fee American Express.

The Velocity Escape earns Velocity points on spend, and it is also possible to move Velocity points over to KrisFlyer through a Velocity to KrisFlyer transfer, giving you an effective earn rate of 0.65 KrisFlyer miles per $1. We love KrisFlyer for the program’s ability to redeem for Singapore Airlines flights with lower taxes and good points availability.

With Qantas Discovery Card, this will appeal mostly to people only interested in Qantas Points from their day-to-day spend with $0 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 $0 annual fee card and then moving to a higher points bonus/points-earning American Express in the 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 $0 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.

A look at American Express $0 Annual Fee card range was last modified: March 15th, 2024 by Daniel Sciberras