Review: Qantas American Express Discovery card

By Chris Chamberlin, April 11 2016
Qantas American Express Discovery card
The Good
  • Earns 1 Qantas Point per $1
  • No points capping
The Bad
  • AMEX card acceptance trails Visa and MasterCard
Added Value
  • No annual fee


Earning one Qantas frequent flyer point per dollar spent with no annual fee and no points cap, the Qantas American Express Discovery Card certainly packs a punch.

You'll also pick up double points when using the card to book flights through Qantas or when taking out or renewing a Qantas Club membership.

It's an ideal card for those focussed solely on their frequent flyer balance, but does serve as a great entry-level card if you're new to the world of American Express – here's how it stacks up.

Qantas American Express Discovery Card: fast facts

  • Grade/tier: Standard, entry-level
  • Card type: American Express
  • Loyalty program: Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qantas Points earned per dollar (Qantas spend): 2.0
  • Qantas Points earned per dollar (government transactions): 0.5
  • Qantas Points earned per dollar (everywhere else): 1.0
  • Points capping/tiering: Uncapped
  • Minimum income requirement: $35,000 p.a.
  • Minimum credit limit: $2,000

Fees, charges, balance transfers and interest:

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Additional/supplementary cardholder fee: $0
  • Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 44
  • Interest rate on purchases: 20.74% p.a.
  • Interest rate on cash advances: Not offered
  • International transaction fee: 3.0%

Earning frequent flyer points for free flights

As AMEX's entry-level Qantas branded card, the American Express Discovery Card no longer any bonus points to new applicants – so if you can swing it, it's worth checking out AMEX's higher-end cards such as the American Express Qantas Ultimate product, which comes with newly-boosted bonuses including up to 75 Qantas status credits

With a Sydney-Melbourne economy hop requiring 8,000 Qantas Points plus a small payment in taxes and fees when booked, you'd naturally have enough points to book this after spending $8,000 on everyday purchases, $4,000 with Qantas or $16,000 with government departments.

At the current earn rate, you'll earn enough points to book a one-way Sydney to Melbourne flight after $8,000 spent on everyday purchases or a lower $4,000 spent with Qantas.

Free refund protection, purchase protection cover

While Gold- and Platinum-grade frills such as free travel insurance are expectedly absent, the Discovery card instead provides customers with both refund and purchase protection.

It's quite the generous offer for a no-fee card, insuring certain goods for 90 days from the purchase date against damage or theft when they were paid for with the Discovery card.

Underwritten by Chubb Insurance Australia Limited, you're covered for up to $2,500 in any one claim and up to $10,000 in any year after paying an excess of $50 per person, per claim.

Additionally, if you're refused a legitimate refund on certain unused items within the same time period, you may be eligible for a credit from the insurer for the same amount.

How it compares to other cards

If you normally spend where American Express is accepted such as with major airlines, hotels, car hire companies and chain stores plus most petrol stations, supermarkets, restaurants and more, there's nothing better than earning points for free!

However, AMEX card acceptance can be a little patchy with smaller 'mum and pop' businesses, in country areas and with certain government bodies, which can make having a backup Visa or MasterCard in your wallet a smart move.


Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

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