American Express are offering new cardholders the choice between picking up 20,000 Membership Rewards points or 10,000 Qantas Points with the David Jones card.
The David Jones American Express card range is a sleeper hit for savvy points collectors thanks to their ability to earn bonus Qantas Points for specific spend categories. And with a minimum annual income of $40,000, it is a great option for those on lower incomes.
There is also a 40,000 Membership Rewards or 20,000 Qantas Point-bonus on offer for new Card Members of the David Jones Platinum American Express card.
Note: American Express has reduced the conversion rate between Membership Rewards Points and Qantas Points to 1 Rewards Point: 0.5 Qantas Point (from 0.75 Qantas Point), this comes after the changes on other American Express cards were announced.
David Jones Membership Rewards points can be transferred over to a range of airline and hotel partners. Marriott-Starwood Preferred Guest was the most valuable option prior to the merger between SPG, Marriott Rewards and Ritz-Carlton Rewards programs, but this is no longer the case. This is because the transfer rate from 1 American Express reward point to Marriott points decreased from 1.5 Marriott points to just 2/3 points.
Value of the current sign-up bonuses
The current sign-up bonus can be taken either as Qantas Points or as David Jones Membership Rewards points, with the total number of points available in each program after transfers as follows:
|David Jones American Express|
How you could use the bonus points from this card
All redemption figures shown are examples only and exclude accompanying taxes and fees. Points redemption price data is provided by a third-party, so inaccuracies may be present. Please check with the airline directly for a complete and accurate total redemption cost.
|Card||American Express David Jones|
|Loyalty Program||Membership Rewards|
|Points earned from spend||3 David Jones MR points or 1.5 Qantas points per $ at Supermarkets/Fuel|
2 David Jones MR points or 1 Qantas Point per $ spend at David Jones
1 David Jones MR points or 0.5 Qantas point per $ spend everywhere else
|Minimum Income||$40,000 p.a.|
|Overseas transaction fee||3% of the converted amount|
|Annual Fee||$99 p.a.|
Effective Frequent Flyer Program Point Earn Rates
|Frequent Flyer Program||Points earned from spend|
|Qantas Points||0.5 point / $|
|Velocity Points||0.5 point / $|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles||0.5 Mile / $|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||0.5 Mile / $|
|Malaysia Airlines||0.5 mile / $|
|*Opt-in to Qantas direct-earn to earn Qantas Points on spend|
The key things to know about the David Jones American Express cards:
- The David Jones cards are the highest Qantas Points earners on the market for supermarket and fuel spend
- They are also the highest Starpoint earners in the market (excluding Diners Club cards which have limited acceptance)
- The Platinum card offers a lucrative earn rate on David Jones spend along with other David Jones benefits – if you can direct spend to David Jones, this will pay off
- These cards are for those who spend significantly at David Jones and supermarkets and on fuel
- The points earn rate on all other spend is bettered by other cards out there
Earning points from spend with the David Jones card
The earn rates for the David Jones card depend on whether you have opted in to earn Qantas Points with the card, or Membership Rewards points.
|Qantas Points||Marriott/SPG points|
|David Jones||1 points per $||1.33 points per $|
|Supermarkets & Fuel||1.5 points per $||2 points per $|
|Other spend||0.5 points per $||0.67 points per $|
The David Jones card is less lucrative for points earn with spend at David Jones (1 Qantas point per $) but otherwise offers the same earn rates as the Platinum Card elsewhere.
What’s the deal with David Jones cards?
As a David Jones cardholder you have two options: either opt-in to Qantas direct-earn, where points sweep over to Qantas each month, or opt-in to Membership rewards. There’s no additional fee for either option.
In the Membership Rewards, the points have half the value of American Express Ascent and Ascent Premium Membership Rewards when comparing transfer rates over to program partners (with the exception of Starwood and Hilton). It is confusing.
The rates are available to Card Members once they have a card and are logged in to their account, but it is not possible to research the transfer rates on the David Jones Rewards on the American Express website before you get a card. Even when you do have a card, if you are opted into Qantas Points, you can’t see the rates either, as the Membership Rewards section of your account online is locked off.
Partner program transfer rates
Here are the transfer programs and rates confirmed by American Express as an existing cardholder:
|Air New Zealand||0.005|
|Thai Royal Orchid||0.5|
|Malaysia Airlines Enrich||0.5|
Note that you can’t sign up for the card and flip-flop between the Qantas and Membership Rewards options frequently. American Express allows you to change this once per year, which seems restrictive. It can take at least a week to change earn options.
Using this ‘feature’ of the program, you could choose to earn the sign-up bonus in one program, have it transferred to your frequent flyer partner airline of choice, and then swap to the other points currency for ongoing points earn – if that works for you.
Making the most of the David Jones online and in-store benefits
Although it’s not explicitly stated as a card benefit, shopping online at David Jones gives free shipping to holders of both the David Jones American Express cards. Shipping normally costs $9.95 for most orders, and this is an interesting perk of the card which has me using it a lot more.
David Jones online retail experience is pretty usable. It’s no Amazon.com, but it works well on mobiles and tablets too. It has its quirks, but it does have a wide range of product available for purchase, and pricing reflects that in store – so if there’s a large sale on, you can grab some pretty decent deals.
There are also some food and consumable type purchases available online too, which are useful to consider with the free shipping. The ability to get free shipping on any item of any price, plus their relatively usable online store and checkout process, is all fairly frictionless.
For example, I’ve bought several smaller price items such as toys, gifts, kitchenware, coffee beans and a range of other things on sale, and all in separate orders which have arrived in a few days via Australia Post.
Complimentary gift wrapping
Complimentary gift wrapping is available for either online or in-store purchases. This is worth around $10 per item, and I did a quick test on a couple of items to see how they arrived. This was the result:
Two really sturdy boxes which were a little inappropriate for the items sent, but hey, not complaining. It’s free! I imagine at Christmas this could be a real time-saver, as I assume they would offer seasonal wrapping.
Round-up of other David Jones card benefits
|Buyers Advantage (extended warranty)||x|
|Free delivery (instore purchases)||x|
|Free delivery (online purchases)||x||x|
|Free alterations on clothing purchased in store||x|
|Free gift wrapping||x||x|
|Up to 4 years interest free on homewares, furniture, bedding or electrical items purchased in store||x||x|
|3 months interest free on fashion purchases over $250||x||x|
|Christmas deferred payment||x||x|
|Shopping nights, events, etc||x|
The travel insurance, ‘Buyers Advantage’ warranty and the Purchase Protection insurance are all fairly standard Amex premium card offerings. Read the full PDS 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.
You can also get up to 4 years interest-free on David Jones purchases when you spend $500 or more on homewares, furniture, bedding or electrical items in store at David Jones. However, each new interest-free installment incurs a $35 establishment fee and a $2.95 monthly account keeping fee, so ensure you do the sums and make sure this works for your needs.
The other options for free delivery on large items, interest-free periods, etc. are all nice to-haves too.
American Express Apple Pay & Android Pay support
American Express cards support both Apple Pay & Android Pay, meaning you can use this card on your smartphone for easier payments. Find out more in our guides for each of the compatible services.
Summing up: David Jones American Express card
If you have an ‘average’ household spend, i.e. limited ability to pump masses of work or business expenses through cards, and a decent amount spend at supermarkets and on fuel, the bonuses in these areas are a very handy option.
The David Jones American Express is not the go-to card for all purchases – just mainly for supermarkets and fuel purchases, specifically for earning Qantas Points or Marriott Rewards points.
If you are in ‘advanced points earn’ mode, having a card which earns 2 Marriott Rewards points per $ for supermarkets and fuel and 1.33 points per $ at David Jones may be very handy.
So whether the David Jones American Express card make sense to you will depend on your spending habits – if you use David Jones a lot, either online or in store, then the $295-a-year Platinum card may make sense, but for most this regular version gives a great earn rate at supermarkets and on fuel for a very reasonable $99 annual fee.
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