American Express Business Explorer Credit Card

My monthly spend: 
$5,000
 
Offer
Card features
Rewards program
Earn rate
Sign up bonus
Points earned
American Express Business Explorer Credit Card
Apply by 30 nov 17
Receive 100,000 points when you apply by 30th Nov 2017, are approved and spend $3,000 on your card within the first 3 months.
Earn 50,000 business loyalty bonus points when you spend $100,000 every 12 months from the card approval date.
Enjoy up to two entries per year to the American Express Lounge.
Add to comparison
Membership Rewards Gateway
Membership Rewards Gateway
2 pts
per $1 spent
100,000
points
after spend criteria

Pros & cons

What's good?

What's not so good?

Receive 100,000 points when you apply by 30th Nov 2017, are approved and spend $3,000 on your card within the first 3 months.
Earn 50,000 business loyalty bonus points when you spend $100,000 every 12 months from the card approval date.
Enjoy up to two entries per year to the American Express Lounge.
Earn up to 2 pts per $1 spent on eligible purchases with the Membership Rewards Gateway program.
You are eligible for the signup bonus points if you have or have held, an Amex companion card from a different bank.
Travel with peace of mind with the complimentary travel insurances.
The $395 p.a. but it is offset with benefits.
To get a credit card like this one, you will need a minimum income of $24,000.

Our review

Our review of the American Express Business Explorer Credit CardReviewed by Yvonne Taylor

Business travel: for some it can be a necessary evil and for others a relatively agreeable and cost-effective extension to their working life. The camp that you fall into can be determined to some extent by the credit card you carry, and there’s absolutely no doubt that the American Express Business Explorer Credit Card is designed to make business travel more rewarding, more enjoyable, easier and less expensive.

First purchase bonus points, the potential for a significant number of further bonus points annually, plus ongoing rewards points at a high rate, compensate cardholders for their business journeys and make them more affordable.

Complimentary lounge passes offer the opportunity to make travel more relaxing, and waiting time more productive.

Built-in business-oriented travel insurance reduces costs even further, saves time otherwise spent in organising separate travel insurance, and gives you peace of mind by ensuring that this vital type of insurance cover is not overlooked.

Finally, supplementary cards with no additional fee make this a true business cards that can be issued to employees without adding to the cost burden.

100,000 points

Spend a mere $3,000 in 3 months and you will receive a gratifying and instantly useful 100,000 points.

You’ll be enrolled in the Membership Rewards Gateway program, which means that you can transfer your points into any of eight airline frequent flyer programs: Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, Malaysian Airlines Enrich, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Thai Royal Orchid Plus, Velocity Frequent Flyer and Air New Zealand Airpoints.

Convert your 100,000 points to Velocity points, for example, and you’ll receive the same number of Velocity points. That’s enough for six economy return flights between Sydney and Melbourne (although you’ll have to pay a total of $253 in taxes for the 12 flight segments, which means that the cost of each return flight is reduced to only $42).

It’s also enough for a return economy flight to Los Angeles (plus $275 in taxes and fees). Business travel becomes more affordable.

If you’ve held an Amex card directly issued by American Express in the last 18 months you won’t be eligible for this bonus offer. However, holders of bank-issued Amex companion cards are entitled to this points windfall.

Potential for a further 50,000 annual bonus points

Your business may well have annual expenses in excess of $100,000. Instead of paying your suppliers by cheque or bank transfer, use your new credit card instead (with the added benefit of up to 55 interest-free days). You will be rewarded with a further 50,000 bonus points (on top of the ongoing points earned by the spending) in every year that you can meet a $100,000 annual card expenditure target (not too difficult if you have also issued supplementary cards to several employees).

High ongoing points earning rate

Setting aside any consideration of first-purchase or annual bonus points, the regular points earning rate is also thoroughly satisfying, and refreshingly uncomplicated:

  • 2 pts per $1 spent on all eligible expenditure, except
  • 0.5 pts per $1 spent on government expenditure (ATO, Australia Post, state taxes, local government rates, &c)

There’s no monthly or annual cap or threshold, and points never expire as long as your card account is current and in good standing. This is a very different situation from that applying to many competing rewards cards, which slow down or stop points earning beyond an often low monthly threshold, and whose points may expire if not used within a certain time period.

If you apply for supplementary cards for employees who travel or have other purchasing authority, they can earn points for your business on its everyday expenditure.

Other ways to spend your points

As well as converting your Membership Rewards Gateway points to frequent flyer points with eight airlines, you can also direct them into the frequent guest programs of two hotel chains: Hilton Honors and Starwood Preferred Guest.

And if you run out of travel options, you can always convert your points into gift cards at national retailers and cinema chains, or use them for online shopping at David Jones. All redemptions come with a Points + Pay option, if you don’t have quite enough points. You can even use points to pay your credit card account balance (1,000 points = $7 credit, making each point worth 0.7 cents, and the 100,000 points worth $700 if used in this way).

Two complimentary Amex lounge entries annually

Everyone who travels for business will be familiar with the frustration of cooling their heels in uncomfortable surroundings in an airport terminal while they wait for their flight to be called, especially if the flight is delayed. If your travel takes you through Sydney International Airport a couple of times a year, you can now turn that delay into time that is either productive or relaxing at the American Express Lounge.

Complimentary food and beverages, comfortable seating, free WiFi and dedicated areas for working and relaxing will make your trip less gruelling and allow you to make better use of your time. Accompanying children under 18 years of age are admitted free of charge, and you can pay for extra adult guests.

Lounge entries cost $55 for holders of non-qualifying Amex cards, so this benefit is potentially worth $110 per year.

Complimentary business-oriented travel insurance

Most premium credit cards come with complimentary travel insurance, but this Amex card goes one step further by offering additional free insurance that will be of real value to your business. It includes:

  • Emergency medical expenses for overseas trips
  • Cover for damaged, destroyed, lost or stolen luggage, money and documents (for both international and domestic travel)
  • Card account balance waiver cover (card balance waived in the event of an accident on a business trip)
  • Delayed or missed flight connection cover (international and domestic)
  • Luggage delay cover (international and domestic)
  • Travel disruption cover (recompense for unavoidable cancellation of a trip)

Cover in all cases is activated by paying for your business travel with the card, and it includes cover for your accompanying spouse and dependent children under the age of 22, and all supplementary cardholders. It all adds up to a substantial cost saving for your business.

Tools, apps and benefits to make your business life easier

Time is money, and this card will actually save you time and money when you take advantage of the following card features:

  • Data feed of your card transactions into MYOB accounting software
  • Compatible with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Android Pay mobile wallets: pay with your smartphone after you install the app
  • Card annual fee could be tax deductible if you only use it for business expenses
  • American Express AccessLine payments system lets you pay your suppliers – both domestic and international – with the card, even if they don’t accept credit cards. (A great way to earn extra ongoing points and also help to qualify for the 50,000 annual bonus points.)

Interest rate lower than you would expect

Since this is a credit card (with Up to 55 days on purchases each statement period) and not a charge card, it effectively offers the opportunity for short-term borrowing for your business if you choose not to pay your account balance in full when it falls due. Although this would not be good business practice if used regularly or for a longer term, the 16.99% p.a. interest rate on purchases makes it a more viable option than a card with an interest rate of 20% p.a. or more.

Annual fee quickly recouped

Although you’ll pay an annual fee of $395 p.a. (with no fee for supplementary cards), this outlay will be quickly recovered every year.

The travel insurance (an unavoidable expense for a business with a principal or employees who travel) is worth in excess of $1,000 annually.

The lounge passes, if used, are valued at $110.

In the first year, the 100,000 points are worth $700, even if they are converted into a card account credit (and are potentially worth much more if used for flights or seat upgrades).

Spend $50,000 a year on non-government purchases and earn a further 100,000 points (worth at least $700).

Spend $100,000 a year and earn 250,000 points (200,000 ongoing points + 50,000 bonus points, total value at least $1,750).

A card for the business traveller

This is a card that will suit anyone from a sole trader to a reasonably large business with several employees. In order to extract maximum benefit from points earning, annual business turnover is likely to be in excess of $200,000, and at least one employee will be making several business flights a year. However, the card is still likely to more than pay for itself if the turnover and travel activity are far lower than this.

The basics

About this card

Card setup
Single
Card tier
Platinum
Card type
American Express
Card use
Business
Credit rating
No history of bad credit
Gambling transactions allowed
No
Joint application
No
Minimum age
18 years old
Minimum income
$24,000
Minimum income for pensioners
N/A
Pensioners
N/A
Rewards program
Membership Rewards Gateway
Temporary residents
Business Long Stay Visa (subclass 457)

Cardholders

Additional cardholders
Yes
Additional card fee
$0 p.a.

Credit limits

Minimum credit limit
$3,000
Maximum credit limit
N/A

Repayments

Interest charged from
N/A
Interest free period
Up to 55 days on purchases
Minimum repayment
2.5%

Rates & fees

Ongoing interest rates

MonthlyAnnually
Cash advances N/A N/A
Purchases 1.42% 16.99% p.a.

Fees

Annual fee
$395 p.a.
Cash advance fee
2%
Dishonour fee
$6
Duplicate statement fee
N/A
Foreign exchange fee
N/A
Late payment fee
$30
Over limit fee
N/A
Overseas ATM balance fee
N/A
Overseas ATM withdrawal fee
N/A
Overseas emergency card replacement fee
N/A
Transaction verification fee
N/A

Rewards & points

Rewards program basics

First purchase bonus
100,000 points
Reward points expiry
Never
Rewards program
Membership Rewards Gateway
Spend required for bonus points
$3,000 in 3 months

Earning points with this card

ATO payment earns rewards
0.5 pts per $1 spent
Frequent flyer points
2 pts per $1 spent
Overseas earn rate
Same as standard earn rate
Points cap per month
N/A
Points cap per year
N/A
Reward points
2 pts per $1 spent

Additional benefits

Airport lounge access
Yes
Complimentary flight voucher
No
Concierge service
N/A

Minimum criteria for this card

What you need before applying

Be over 18 years old
You are a resident or citizen of Australia
Earn a regular income of more than $24,000 per year
You have your personal details ready to complete the online application
Have not applied for multiple credit cards recently
Joint applications are not allowed
Disclaimer: The minimum criteria pointers are intended only to be a guide. Your application may still be rejected by the bank even if you can answer 'Yes' to all the minimum criteria. The final decision regarding your application is up to the bank.

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