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AmEx Explorer: 100K Signup Bonus (Spend $1500 in 3 Months, $395 AF, $400 Travel Credit)

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The Amex Explorer is back on the 100K Member Rewards (Gateway) signup bonus. The last time this ran, referrals earned 110K points, but I don't have a referral code. I'm sure those who do will soon be here to help out.

Referral Links

Business Explorer Card: random (2)

Referrer: 40,000 Reward Points
Referee: 110,000 Rewards Points with $3,000 spend in 3 months

David Jones Card: random (25)

Referrer: 15,000 Reward Points
Referee: 25,000 Reward Points with 3 purchases outside DJ in 1 month

Related Stores

American Express
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closed Comments

  • YES! :)

    • I'm going to hijack this comment to share my experiences with this card (hopefully its helpful to some):

      I received my card in January under the previous 100k points promotion.

      My own notes:

      • I still received the 100k points after $1500 spend despite already having another (active) AMEX issued card (Velocity Escape). This is against the promo T&Cs though so YMMV.
      • 2 points per $1 spend. Standard insurances included. Smartphone screen insurance is also included when you pay for your phone or phone bill with the card.
      • This card uses Membership Rewards Gateway - not to be confused with Membership Rewards Ascent (and other AMEX reward programs). This means there are different redemption ratios for redeeming points. For example, you can convert Gateway points to Velocity FF points at a rate of 4:3, unlike the other programs that have 1:1 ratios. For example, if you were planning to redeem the 100k bonus points with Virgin, they are actually worth 75k Velocity FF points.
      • $400 travel credit can only be redeemed through Amex Travel - so you are at the mercy of their prices.
      • High $395 annual fee may deter some.

      My 2c:

      • This card is great with the 100k points included. For the 1st $395 annual fee, you are getting 100k points and $400 travel credit.
      • This card probably isn't worth the high annual fee to keep longer than the first year. While the $395 annual fee is offset by the $400 trade credit, you are limited to Amex Travel and can usually find cheaper flight and hotel deals elsewhere. Ask yourself if this tradeoff is worth the additional benefits of the card to you (mainly the insurances and 2 point per $1 earn rate - with odd redemption ratio).

      Hope that helps!

      • Hey, how long have you had your Velocity Escape card? Since I think the 100k bonus in the previous deal can be obtained by new customers or existing one (as long as it's been more than 18 months)

        Interesting that they've changed the eligibility for the bonus now:

        Receive 100,000 Membership Rewards Bonus Points when you apply online before 15 May 2017, are approved and spend $1,500 on your new Card within the first 3 months. This offer is available to new Card Members, as well as Bank-issued American Express companion cardholders

        • Interesting point! I've had the Escape card for almost 3 years now.
          Another possible reason could be that the Explorer and Escape cards are under two different reward programs…? Just a thought.

        • @Thundaja: That is most probably the reason. I elaborated on it in my comment ;)

          It was those with Platinum Edge (Membership Rewards Ascent) and Platinum Charge Cards (Membership Rewards Ascent Premium) that needed to faff about to get the bonus points.

          Worth the effort? In my opinion, definitely

        • @illumination: if one already has the Platinum Edge no bonus such a shame :(

      • Here are my notes to add also:

        1K REWARD points = $7.41 (100K REWARD points = $741.00)
        You can use your REWARD points to pay off your AMEX balance

        Screenshot 1

        You can get the 100K REWARD points by paying $36.30 in Paypal fees
        1. Link your AMEX card to Paypal
        2. Send $1,500 to friends or family FROM the card, not your Paypal balance (Paypal charges a 2.4% + 30c CC fee)
        3. Ask your friends or family to EFT the $1,500 back to you and pay off your AMEX balance

        If you're not able to spend the full $1,500 within 3 months, spend as much as you can on bills etc then use the above method for the remainder.
        e.g You've spent $1,000 and need to spend another $500. Use the above method and you'll only pay $12.30 in Paypal fees.

        Screenshot 2

        You will be charged the $395 annual fee at the end of the first month
        This charge appears on your AMEX balance

        • Does the PayPal method definitely work? I might struggle to hit the $1500 target even after paying all my regular bills/expenses for three months. Shame that VicRoads rego can't be paid by AMEX!

          Thanks

        • With my CBA Diamond Amex card, every 33,333 dollars I spend it equates to a 500 dollar coles voucher. (a 500 dollar coles voucher is 100,000 points)

          (further notes, my annual fee of 399 is waived by them)

          Can you please work who has a better deal? Im thinking of changing.

          Thanks.

        • @Haters.Inc:
          Remember that while you might not be able to pay for many bills directly with Amex, more and more places are accepting PayPal for account/bill payment allowing you to indirectly pay with the card.

          For VicRoads, you could always purchase a prepaid Visa card using Amex and then pay for rego via the prepaid card.

        • @Haters.Inc:
          Yes it definitely works, IF you choose the AMEX card as the payment method (not your Paypal balance). AMEX doesn't know what Paypal is using the funds for, whether it's for a purchase or sending money to friends or family.

          I was struggling to spend the full $1,500 as not many places accept AMEX, so I did a small payment test of $10. The REWARD points will show up in your account a few days later.

        • @Thundaja:

          Ahh yep, I always try to pay with PayPal when available (and use my linked AMEX as the payment source). Unfortunately VicRoads don't have this option yet.

          Good thinking with the prepaid Visa card idea though! I could just buy a $1500 prepaid Visa right? It's essentially cash… I will end up using it over time.

          @SHOXX:

          Thanks for confirming!

        • @Haters.Inc: Max value of a prepaid visa that I've seen is $500, so unless other people know of some other prepaid visas with even more value, I think $500 is the max. Keep in mind these kinds of cards tend to have an activation fee.

        • does anyone think signing up to square would work $19 for the card reader

          1.9% fee for american express, same for visa/MC
          $1,500+1.9% = $1528.50 so cost of $28 plus reader so $47
          does anyone know if you need a ABN to sign up?
          https://squareup.com/au

        • @tess1988: In theory it should work, but I tried liquidating some pre paid visas using this method and my account was suspended and forced to refund the money back onto the pre paid gift cards (Lucky I kept them). You don't need an ABN but you do need to have a valid reason for transferring the money (selling goods). My transactions were pulled up because I'd used 5 cards in quick sucsession.

        • This is an awesome tip - thanks!

        • Another easy way to get the spend is buy woolies egift cards (4x $400 = $1520 through cash rewards)

        • Hi mate, it's been a while since you posted it.Did you ended up getting the full bonus points through paypal method?

      • Yeah the Smartphone screen insurance is the best! Just in time for Galaxy S8 release.

      • Do we have to pay for $395 right away ?

  • tempting

  • No doubt to take advantage of recent changes with certain banks. Maybe even anticipating other banks too.

  • +2 votes

    Referral offer is also 100k but referee bonus is 30k instead of 20k

  • Clicked on random referrals and there appears to be no additional bonus points, but nevertheless will still help out our fellow ozbargainers.

    • You'll receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points for each friend approved for a Card using your referral link.
      They receive 100,000 Membership Rewards points if they are approved for an American Express ExplorerTM Card by 15 May 2017 and spend $1,500 in their first 3 months of Card Membership.

  • +1 vote

    Would apply but have too many cards to my name.

  • Does this have rental car excess cover?

    • SECTION (L) LOSS DAMAGE WAIVER COVER Specific Definitions under Loss Damage Waiver Cover Covered Rental Trip means a journey that is in the Geographical Scope and includes the hire of a Rental Vehicle, where the period of hire shown in the Rental Agreement is thirty-one (31) days or less, of which the entire cost has been charged to Your American Express Explorer™ Credit Card (including through redemption of American Express Membership Rewards® points). Deductible means the amount payable by You for each and every claim when You have not purchased the collision insurance proposed by the Rental Company. Geographical Scope means worldwide including country of domicile provided the rental takes place further than one hundred and fifty (150) kilometres from the permanent or temporary place of residence You are currently residing in. Rental Agreement means the contract of hire between the Rental Company and You. Rental Company means a company or agency who is fully licensed with the regulatory authority of the Country, state or local authority where the Rental Vehicle is collected. Rental Vehicle means any sedan, station wagon, hatchback or SUV rented under a Rental Agreement on a daily or weekly basis from a Rental Company within the Geographical Scope and which is also collected from the Rental Company within the Geographical Scope of this cover. Cover We will pay any amounts You are responsible for under the Rental Agreement, including the Deductible if loss is incurred during a Covered Rental Trip, as a result of accidental damage, fire, vandalism, theft or loss of use of the Rental Vehicle. This will apply whether You are responsible or not for the accident. We will pay You up to: 1. $ 100,000; or 2. the value of the Rental Vehicle; or 3. the value of the claim; whichever is the lesser. We will pay the above in respect of any one (1) accident or occurrence and a maximum two (2) claims per three hundred and sixty-five (365) days. Terms and Conditions

      • Amex's insurance is whatever the value o the car. So it's not excess (unlike some other credit cards).

  • anyone know if amex have a professional affliated version of this card with reduced fee?
    I know that platinum edge there is.

    • Haven't seen anyone mention it before. This card is quite new too.

    • Not the explorer. Others do.

      Google "CPA Amex"

      • Now they only have
        CPA Australia American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
        CPA Australia American Express Gold Credit Card
        CPA Australia American Express Platinum Charge Card

        I think they no longer offer Platinum Reserve Credit card which is the one I'm holding at the moment.

  • +2 votes

    Not quite as good as previously, but still my favourite card on the market at the moment.

    Also great to see Amex added to the auto random referral system. Well done ozbargain team!

  • Got approved for my Amex Explorer 2 weeks ago (50k points).
    Any chance I would be able to get the extra points from this promo or tough luck?

  • does this exchange into QFF points? 100k rewards doesnt sound like its a deal compared to ANZ Black 75k

    • Says can transfer to these airlines on the link above:

      Asia Miles™
      Emirates Skywards
      Etihad Guest
      Malaysian Airlines Enrich
      Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
      THAI Royal Orchid Plus
      Velocity Frequent Flyer
      Air New Zealand Airpoints

      So, it seems to be a NO for Qantas.

    • No but pretty much equal value 4:3 conversion into a number of airlines other than qantas

    • As answered by others, no it does not convert to QFF points. However, I think 100k Membership Rewards Gateway points is better than 75k Qantas points.

      The 100k points is a lot more versatile, is not locked into any one program, and as oscarmanutdfan pointed out, can be converted to Asia Miles which can be used on Qantas flights.

      The "cheaper rate" comment is basically that, as an example..

      • Qantas Points on Qantas Aircraft: 28k Qantas points for SYD-HKG Economy Class + ~$200 in tax
      • Qantas Points on Cathay Pacific Aircraft: 35k Qantas points for SYD-HKG Economy Class + ~$200 in tax
      • Asia Miles on Qantas Aircraft: 25k Asia Miles for SYD-HKG Economy Class + ~$200 in tax
      • Asia Miles on Cathay Pacific: 25k Asia Miles for SYD-HKG Economy Class + ~$200 in tax

      Qantas "penalise" you (by charging you extra points) for flying on one of their partner airlines. On the other hand, Asia miles charge you the same regardless of whether you book with themselves (Cathay Pacific) directly or their partner airlines (generally within the oneWorld alliance - includes airlines like Finnair, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, British Airways, Qatar). In addition, Asia Miles "discount" your ticket if you book a return. SYD-HKG return Economy is 45k Asia Miles (even though one-way is 25k), but is 56k (28k * 2) Qantas points.

      There are a handful of benefits of Qantas points, roughly as follows:

      • Points don't really expire (they do, but it's based on inactivity)
      • Points are really easy to earn here, thereby making the official expiry technically irrelevant for most of us here
      • Can be used on Jetstar

      Main negatives:

      • Notoriously bad availability - not to say impossible, just generally worse than some of their competitors - Qantas are also known to not release last minute award seats to "fill up their aircraft", unlike their competitors. This is bad for passengers as we can never get award availability when we want to.
      • This also means for you to reasonably be able to get a seat you want, you'd have to book far in advance, and/or be very flexible with your dates (Wednesday afternoon anyone?), and/or be willing to "pay extra" (in the form of points) to fly on a partner airline
    1. Why are all of the Amex referral links listed instead of just The Amex Explorer referral link. To my knowledge you can't use any other referral link to sign up for The Amex Explorer - can you?
    2. Does anyone know when 100K Signup Bonus started?
    • i think its the Mod's implementing a fairer system. where people add their links into their profiles and then when someone click on the link to apply. it will randomly pick one.

      From what I can see it starts now til 15/05

      Membership Rewards points when you apply by 15 May 2017, are approved and spend $1,500 in the first 3 months of Card Membership.

      • I think they are asking why are other card types shown. I don't have an issue there, although it'd be good if the referral link the deal refers to was the one at the top. The Explorer referral is hidden in the 'show more' section with only David Jones card shown by default initially.

    • Firstly, if you have a question, ask us please by contacting us. Just happened to stumble upon your comment.

      The reason all of them show is because there is no automated way to detect which referral goes to which card. We'll work on ways to improve this in the future but it hopefully should be self explanatory which link to click on the referrals.

      Much better than the old wiki system which required loads of maintaining, removing top posters, characters not to mention maxed out your browser.

      • +3 votes

        Ok. Thanks, that is good to know. I didn't know that it was something that the 'system' had done and so I didn't know that I needed to make it a question to Moderators, as I thought that it was a general question, like many people make.

        • +2 votes

          A lot of us do not understand the systems as well as the experienced memebers do.

  • +1 vote

    Anyone know what "$400 Travel Credit" is worth to an ozb who always buys discount/sale tickets? eg SYD to BNE is $49 atm with jetstar, can I use just $49 of my travel credit to buy that?

    • Credit can only be used for purchases made via amex travel

      • can you make multiple purchases from the site in one transaction? Eg $100 experience + $300 hotel = $400??

    • You have to use the credit all in one transaction and I don't beleive Jetstar flights are available.

    • Sadly, no. The travel credits can only be used on https://travel.americanexpress.com.au/travel/arc.cfm?tab=h. Amex don’t partner with budget airlines.
      Hence why many of the plat edge cardholders like me left when they swapped the free domestic flight to travel credits. You’re essentially exchanging cold hard cash (aka annual fee) into Amex vouchers of the same value that is limited to be spent on their services.
      Sure you get the signup bonus initially and a fairly attractive dollar to points reward programme, but it’s a substantial weaker product from what they used to offer IMO.

      • I see what you're saying but depending on your situation it could arguably be better.

        As an example, if you live nowhere near a major airport, or an airport that was serviced by the cities for the free flights, you're now free to use this credit.

        In addition, it is now more versatile as it can be used on car hire/hotels or an international flight - previously you simply had no option but to pick up a domestic flight on Virgin Australia specifically.

        All of the above is not applicable if you would sell your free flight for $200+ - but that was of course against the official T&Cs of the product.. not that many people followed :D

      • Only of any perceived value/bonus to those looking at Perth to East Coast flights, so of very limited "value" to the majority of cardholders, whereas the travel credit is much more flexible and can be used for flights from anywhere to anywhere, in addition to accommodation…

    • You have to use all $400 in one go unfortunately. I also believe Amex don't sell Jetstar flights (I looked for SYD-MLB a while back and called up about it too)

    • In my experience, booking international flights are a good option for the travel credit. When a full service airline like Cathay, Qantas, etc. have sales, Amex Travel prices are about the same as direct from the airline, although avoids the AMEX booking fees. They are not going to be as good as Online Travel Agents like BYOJet etc., but the slight additional price covers AMEX fee and a bit of security of booking with someone reputable.

    • +1 vote

      thanks for the link. I did a test booking; syd-bne 25 July. Correct no discount airline, but that link is cheaper…

      EDIT
      NO was in $US. amex is same price as on the Virgin/Qantas sites.

      • AMEX travel should generally be exactly the same price as virgin/qantas sites and all the other major airlines. Comparable on Cathay Pacific etc as well. No credit card surcharge may make it slightly cheaper

        Anyone know if you can do seat selection via AMEX Travel? I can't see the option when doing a dummy booking

    • IMHO if you are a person who wants to book an expensive hotel (which I do not) then $400 travel credit is well worth buying at $300.

    • The travel credit doesn't have to be used on flights if you don't have a trip planned, they can be spent on the 'Experiences' that you can book through the AMEX site as well. E.g. helicopter tours, boat tours, dinner cruises etc.

      Unfortunately you can't combine bookings and if you use less than the $400 credit you forfeit the rest. I guess you could buy more tickets and sell to friends/family?

      I managed to book 2 tickets for a backstage tour of the Opera House which cost around $335 total, and it's something I never would have thought of doing so I'm happy with it!

  • Ive always wanted an american express card. Is there a one with no yearly fee?

    • yes.. there is AMEX Platinum Edge, which is free for 1st year.. too bad cant send my referral link here…

      • Or the Amex Essential which has no annual fee ever

        • Thanks. How does it compare to the Citibank signature? I always drool over thr amex credit bargains posted on ozbargain, but it seems like the citibank card is still better.

        • @Oneiricer: It's complementary. The Amex may have a better earn rate but isn't accepted at all places or maybe surcharged at a higher rate. Where you can't use the Amex, you can try using the Citi Signature - but you do need to be pooling the points into a frequent flyer program or it'll take longer to earn enough points.

        • @Oneiricer:

          I agree with lolcoaster - I have an ANZ Rewards Travel Adventure that I use when Amex is either not accepted or surcharged heavily. The points earn on that card is slow, but at least I'm earning something. My Explorer is the go to card though for most purchases (except Supermarket spend on the Platinum Edge)

        • @Oneiricer:

          How does it compare to the Citibank signature?

          I have written up a comparison between the Signature card and Essential card, from a cash or cash-equivalent rewards perspective, which can be found here.

    • If you hold a consumer credit card with AmEx you can't get the signup bonus on another one until you've closed all your consumer cards and waited 18 months. So I'd seriously consider maximising your signup bonus before moving to a no-AF card. Personally, I think many of their cards have bonuses that make the AF worthwhile.

      • While they say that, in practice I've got it a few times despite already having a card

        • They have upgraded their system and a few people have started reporting that they no longer get credited bonus points. There's a whole thread of it in AFF

    • Yes, there are 3 Amex cards worth getting with no yearly fees - Essential, Qantas Discovery and Velocity Escape. The last two are better if redeeming flights with Qantas and Virgin programs; the Essential, is better to use points as cashback and to get free smartphone screen insurance. For more details of each card :
      - Essential
      - Qantas Discovery
      - Velocity Escape

      • If redeeming for krisflyer miles which of these 3 would be the best? I have the essential currently. If velocity is the best for converting to krisflyer is it possible to request Amex to switch me to the velocity card without applying again?

        • If your ultimate aim is to convert to Krisflyer points, the Essential card can transfer points to Krisflyer program with 1 Point equals 0.75 Krisflyer Point(KP) (Effective Rate: 0.75 KP/$1 spent).

          This is almost the same as Velocity Card, where Velocity points will transfer to Krisflyer at 1.35VP to 1KP (Effective Rate: 0.741 KP/$1 spent).

          Given such a small difference, you may want to
          - stick with the Essential, which has more flexibility (8 airline programs, cashback redemption) and benefits.
          - apply for the Velocity card as well, or
          - speak with Amex whether they can switch you over - I do not know if this is possible without re-applying.

          Hope this helps.

        • @bluesky: thanks it's very helpful. Will just stick with the essential since there's not much difference.

  • When can we cancel this ?