American Express are offering new cardholders the choice between picking up 40,000 DJ’s Membership Rewards points or 30,000 Qantas Points with the David Jones Platinum 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.
There is also a 20,000 DJ Membership Rewards Points or 15,000 Qantas Point-bonus on offer with the regular David Jones American Express card.
Also worth knowing – existing American Express cardholders are also eligible for this bonus, with the terms outlining that only existing cardholders of the David Jones Amex not being able to receive the bonus.
The biggest benefit is the highest Qantas earn rate of a mainstream card on the market when shopping at David Jones and at supermarkets and for spend on fuel.
|Card||American Express David Jones Platinum|
|Loyalty Program||David Jones Membership Rewards|
|Points earned from spend||4 David Jones MR points or 3 Qantas Points per $ spend at David Jones|
3 David Jones MR points or 2.25 Qantas points per $ at Supermarkets/Fuel
1 David Jones MR points or 0.75 Qantas points per $ spend everywhere else
|Travel benefits||Travel Insurance, Purchase Protection (PDS)|
|Minimum Income||$65,000 p.a.|
|Overseas transaction fee||3% of the converted amount|
|Annual Fee||$295 p.a.|
Effective Frequent Flyer Program Point Earn Rates
|Frequent Flyer Program||Points earned from spend|
|Qantas Points *||0.75 point / $|
|Velocity Points||0.5 point / $|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Miles||0.5 Mile / $|
|Cathay Pacific Asia Miles||0.5 Mile / $|
|Malaysia Airlines Enrich||0.5 Mile / $|
|*Opt-in to Qantas direct-earn to earn Qantas Points on spend|
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 Platinum 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.
Note: as I explain later in this guide, David Jones Membership Rewards points are not the same as regular American Express Membership Rewards in terms of transfer rates to partners.
The key things to know about the David Jones Platinum American Express card:
- 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 ones to use 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 Platinum
The earn rates for the David Jones Platinum card depend on whether you have opted in to earn Qantas points or David Jones Membership Rewards points.
|Qantas Points||Marriott/SPG points|
|David Jones||1.5 points per $||1.33 points per $|
|Supermarkets & Fuel||2.25 points per $||2 points per $|
|Other spend||0.75 points per $||0.67 points per $|
In Qantas Points terms, the American Express David Jones Platinum card offers 3 Qantas points per $ spent at David Jones, 2.25 Qantas points per $ spent at Supermarkets, 2.25 points per $ spent on fuel and 0.75 points per $ elsewhere.
If you can direct some of your household spend over to David Jones, raking in 3 Qantas points per $ on any spend at David Jones in store or online can be very lucrative, especially when combined with shopping through the Qantas Online Mall, which can add at least another 5 Qantas Points per dollar.
A small number of high-end American Express cards offer lounge access to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International and Melbourne International Airport. This is a great perk, especially for families travelling overseas, as cardholders can take in children and family members as guests.
The Platinum card has two entries per year, to be used by the cardholder or an additional card member on the account.
What’s the deal with David Jones Membership Rewards points?
Note: From 19 April 2019, there will be no difference in transfer rates between American Express Rewards and David Jones Rewards with the exception of Hilton Honors, which will move to 2:1 for American Express Rewards and remain at 1:1 in the David Jones Rewards program.
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 David Jones Membership rewards. There’s no additional fee for either option.
The David Jones Membership Rewards scheme earns ‘David Jones Membership Rewards points’, however, the main gotcha for the David Jones cards is the difference between the David Jones Membership Rewards and the regular American Express Membership Rewards flavour.
In the David Jones program, the points have half the value of regular American Express Membership Rewards when comparing transfer rates over to program partners (with the exception of Starwood and Hilton). It is confusing.
This difference in value is hidden – American Express do not, at least as far as I could find, publicly publish its partner program transfer rates for the David Jones flavour of Membership Rewards.
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 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.
David Jones Membership Rewards 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 DJ’s 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 Platinum American Express is not the go-to card for all purchases – just at David Jones, 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 2.67 points per $ at David Jones may be very handy.
So whether the David Jones Platinum 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 Platinum card may make sense even with the $295-a-year annual fee.
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