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The Explorer Credit Card is one of the most rewarding cards on the market, letting you earn flexible points that can be transferred to nine airlines, used to pay for purchases, or redeemed for other rewards.
There’s also a strong points earn rate on spend, an annual $400 Travel Credit that fully offsets the card fee, and many other travel and lifestyle benefits.
Right now, new Amex Card Members can also pick up 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you apply online via our Amex partner link , are approved and spend $4,000 on your new card in the first 3 months.
Here’s an overview of all the perks you can enjoy.
1. Receive a strong points earn rate on spend
The card rewards program, Membership Rewards, has a stellar reputation among loyalty program experts and is our favourite for earning and spending points.
Card Members earn a very strong 2 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on purchases (1 point per $1 spent with government bodies), which is uncapped.
Hundreds of thousands of merchants accept Amex in Australia, and that number is growing, so there’s no shortage of places where you can earn points with this card.
2. Redeem your points for flexible rewards
What we especially love about Membership Rewards points is that they are easy to spend on a variety of rewards. You can use them to pay for card purchases, shop with David Jones, buy a range of gift cards, or pay for travel with American Express Travel. With these redemptions, you get $50 of value per 10,000 points redeemed – which is excellent value.
You can also transfer Membership Rewards points to two hotel loyalty programs (Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors) and multiple airline frequent flyer programs. These include:
- Velocity Frequent Flyer
- Cathay Pacific Asia Miles (can be used to book Qantas flights)
- Qatar Airways Privilege Club (can also be used to book Qantas flights)
- Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Emirates Skywards
- Etihad Guest
- Malaysian Airlines Enrich
- Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Air New Zealand Airpoints.
If you like to use points for air travel, the big advantage of earning Membership Rewards points (over Qantas or Velocity Points) is that you’re not locked into any single airline frequent flyer program, rather you accumulate Membership Rewards points until you’re ready to transfer them to a partner airline.
Use your points to fly with top airlines like Singapore Airlines
Having so many airlines to choose from means it can be much easier to find award seats when the time comes to book, especially if you want to fly in a sought-after business or first class cabin.
3. Enjoy a $400 Travel Credit each year
At the start of each card membership year, you’ll receive a $400 Travel Credit that you can redeem for flights, hotels or car hire in Australia or overseas.
It’s very easy to redeem the travel credit online via American Express Travel and you can use it to book something for yourself or anyone you choose.
Since you receive the travel credit every year, it effectively offsets the card’s $395 annual fee.
4. Get up to US$100 in hotel credits and room upgrades
Amex’s Hotel Collection includes more than 600 hotels and resorts in over 30 countries worldwide, including from trusted brands like Hyatt and Hilton.
Every time you book two or more consecutive nights’ stay at one of these properties with your Explorer card, you’ll receive:
- a hotel credit of up to US$100 for qualifying charges – typically dining, spa, golf or other hotel facility-related charges (but not the room rate, taxes or fees)
- a complimentary room upgrade at check-in (subject to availability).
Enjoy benefits at stylish hotels
These complimentary extras can add a lot of value to your stays, and there’s no limit on how many times you can use this benefit.
5. Save money with a range of valuable insurance covers
You’ll receive complimentary travel insurance cover for you, your partner and dependent children up to the age of 25 when you pay for a return trip with your card, the Travel Credit or Membership Rewards points. The cover is comprehensive and includes medical, trip cancellation and amendment, travel delay and baggage-related costs, as well as many other expenses.
You’ll also receive smartphone screen cover when you pay for your phone or monthly contract with your card, with $500 available for repairs up to 2 times every 12 months (with a 10% excess).
And for good measure, you’ll also get refund and purchase cover and extended warranties for eligible purchases made using your card.
The T&Cs for these insurance policies can be viewed here.
6. Earn more points, save money and enjoy other lifestyle benefits
There are so many other perks to enjoy with this card, including:
- up to 4 free additional cards for family members or friends – an easy way to earn points faster
- two entries each year to Amex’s exclusive The Centurion Lounge at Sydney Airport international or Melbourne Airport international (children under the age of 17 get in for free)
- Hilton Honors Silver Status – earn 20% bonus points on stays and receive every 5th night free on Standard Room Reward stays of 5 nights or more (enrol here)
- up to 55 days interest-free on purchases
- ‘buy now, pay later’ with American Express Plan It™ Instalments: pay off your card balance in equal monthly instalments with 0% interest and a fixed monthly fee
- use your card with Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay
- Amex Offers: save money with regular discount offers with top brands
- American Express Experiences: access sought-after events like music, theatre and film, including via pre-sale tickets, and enjoy exclusive lounges at selected events.
Plus 50,000 bonus points
Receive 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points when you apply online via our partner link , are approved and spend $4,000 on your new card within the first 3 months (new Amex Card Members only).
This offer is only available to new American Express Card Members. That means you must not have held a card issued directly by American Express Australia in the last 18 months. However, you are still eligible for this offer if you’ve held an Amex card issued by a bank (i.e. Westpac, ANZ, CBA or NAB) or if you’re an additional Card Member on someone else’s account.
Don’t miss this opportunity to pick up a top-quality card and a swag of bonus points.
Important: This article is not intended to suggest that you should apply for a card. You should seek independent, professional advice and consider your personal circumstances before deciding to apply for a card.
If you apply for a card via a link in this article, we may receive a commission from Amex. This income helps keep our site running, and we thank you for your support.
Read more in our Cards Disclosure.