Qantas American Express Credit Card Review — $0 annual fee and up to 80,000 bonus points

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Friends of YouTravel — if you spend a lot of time in the air, earning QANTAS frequent flyer points will be an important part of your life. Even if you don’t spend a great deal of time flying, earning frequent flyer points could be the ticket to your next ‘free’ business class upgrade.

One of the best and easiest ways to earn frequent flyer points is by using a credit card linked to your frequent flyer account. One of the ones I’ve been using for some time now is from American Express and the best part is there is no annual fee!

The QANTAS American Express Discovery Card is an American Express issued credit card with no annual fee and a 1 point per dollar earning ratio — something you’ll rarely ever find with a MasterCard or VISA coupled to no annual fee.

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The blue QANTAS American Express card is fitted with an inbuilt chip, ‘Tap and Go’ functionality and also features Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay, which allows you to pay via your telephone at thousands of outlets around the world.

Arguably though, the best feature is actually Amex Offers. Amex Offers are basically offers that are exclusive to American Express card holders and are activated at the push of a button through the Amex smart phone application or the Amex Offers website. They offer cash back on purchases made using your credit card.

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An example is a recent offer my wife and I took advantage of courtesy of Hilton Hotels. The cardholder needed to spend $300 or more at any Hilton hotel on a room, dining or extra services and in return, would receive $150 back on their credit card — an awesome offer.

There are three types of American Express issued QANTAS rewards cards with varying initial sign up bonus points and annual fees. If you don’t need the benefits of the more premium cards, we’d recommend sticking with the card that has no annual fee to maximise your benefits.

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QANTAS American Express Discovery (blue card):
Annual Fee:
$0 per annum
Balance Transfers: 0% per annum for the first 12 months
Earn Ratio: 1 QANTAS point per dollar spent, plus an additional 1 QANTAS point per dollar spent on QANTAS flights and services
Bonus Points: 15,000 QANTAS points: 12,500 bonus QANTAS points when you apply and are approved and spend $750 within the first three months, plus an additional 2,500 QANTAS points when you spend any money on any QANTAS services

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QANTAS American Express Premium (gold card):
Annual Fee: $249 per annum
Balance Transfers: 0% per annum for the first 12 months
Earn Ratio: 2 QANTAS point per dollar spent (at supermarkets, petrol stations and QANTAS flights and services), or 1 QANTAS point per dollar spent on everything else (except items in the .5 point category) or .5 QANTAS point per dollar spent on telecommunications, government services and utilities
Bonus Points: 50,000 QANTAS points: 47,500 bonus QANTAS points when you spend $1,500 in the first three months after applying and being approved, plus an additional 2,500 QANTAS points when you spend any money on any QANTAS services
Other Extras: Complimentary domestic and international travel insurance; Two free QANTAS Club invitations each year; $0 annual card fee for up to four additional card holders; refund and purchase protection on items purchased using card

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QANTAS American Express Ultimate (black card):
Annual Fee: $450 per annum
Balance Transfers: 0% per annum for the first 12 months
Earn Ratio: 3 QANTAS points per dollar spent (at restaurants and QANTAS flights and services), or 2 QANTAS point per dollar spent (at airlines, accommodation, cruises, tour operators and foreign currency), or 1 QANTAS point per dollar spent on everything else (except items in the .5 point category) or .5 QANTAS point per dollar spent on telecommunications, government services and utilities
Bonus Points: 80,000 QANTAS points: 77,500 QANTAS points when you spend $1,500 in the first three months, plus an additional 2,500 QANTAS points when you spend any money on any QANTAS services
Other Extras: Complimentary domestic and international travel insurance; Two free American Express Sydney lounge invitations each year; complimentary QANTAS return economy flight each year; refund and purchase protection on items purchased using card; additional supplementary card holders at no additional cost

I have been a customer of American Express for around four years now. Over that time, I’ve stuck with the entry level American Express Discovery card because it strikes a perfect balance between no annual fee and a high earn rate.

Our modus operandi with this credit card is to put absolutely everything through it. That’s everything from $3 coffees, all the way through to car registration bills at (now!) over $700. The idea is that every single bit paid through the card helps by adding frequent flyer points.

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Pro tip: When trying to pay a bill, if the vendor doesn’t accept American Express as a payment method, simply add the American Express card to your PayPal account. You can then pay the bill using PayPal and simply select your American Express as the payment method. Also use this method if the vendor tries to impose a higher fee for credit cards or American Express cards.

The positives: One of my favourite aspects of this credit card is the customer service. Each time I’ve called the customer service number, I’ll have my issue resolved. Where it can’t be resolved on the spot, the staff attentively get to it and will return my call within a day updating me on the progress.

There was one time we completely forgot to make a payment on the card and incurred an interest charge. After one phone call the staff member refunded the interest charge based on the fact we had paid on time every other time. It’s this type of thing you don’t normally associate with a credit card company.

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Another upshot is the constant stream of offers that come through Amex Offers. It makes earning points even better with a number of lucrative cash back offers.

The negatives: A LOT of vendors, restaurants and companies charge a higher premium to accept American Express. Some won’t even accept American Express. When this happens, I’ll normally weigh up whether it’s worth paying extra for the points, or will just whip out another card.

Aside from that, there’s really not too much to complain about.

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HOW DO I SIGN UP??!: If you like the sound of the American Express credit card (whether it’s the Discovery, Premium or Ultimate), now’s the time to sign up and start earning frequent flyer points!

Simply visit the American Express website to take advantage of the bonus points on offer above. It’s quite easy to sign up, with the form taking less than 10 minutes and you will get a response within 60 seconds.

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Things to consider: To be considered for an American Express credit card, you need to be an Australian citizen or resident (or hold a current Business Long Stay visa), a pre-tax income of $35,000 and be aged over 18.

9.0 Great Value

The QANTAS American Express card offers a great split between value and rewards. If you're a frequent QANTAS user, using this card for your day-to-day spend will help increase your points.

  • Ease of use 10
  • Point earn ratio 10
  • Store acceptance 7
  • Customer service 9
  • User Ratings (2 Votes) 9.3

About Author

Paul Maric

Paul Maric has been a freelance travel writer for the past seven years.Paul’s mainstay is freelance motoring journalism, where he has contributed content to major Australian and international publications.Travelling all over the world, Paul has had the chance to stay at some of the finest hotels, eat at the finest restaurants and visit some of the most amazing locations.