Entrepreneur Megan Gale and Points Expert Steve Hui urge Aussies to be smarter with their credit cards in light of new research

06-Oct-2016 4:00 AM

While Australians love to be rewarded for spending, findings released today by American Express reveal that many are uninformed about the credit cards they carry, meaning they could be missing out on a flight to Fiji , Bali or four months of gym membership every year.

Featured image

American Express’ Rewards Rethink research[i] found that over a quarter (27%) of credit card holders with rewards and benefits say they haven’t claimed anything in the past two years with the main reason (35%) being a lack of understanding of what they can be used for. This is perhaps unsurprising given almost half (42%) of respondents admit that they didn’t research the rewards on offer before choosing their credit card – a decision one third (32%) of this group say they regret.

Megan Gale, Australian model, fashion designer, entrepreneur and actress has joined American Express in a campaign to encourage more Australians to be savvier in how they choose and use the cards in their wallets.

“As a busy working mum, juggling so many things, it’s easy not to pay attention to the things you’re using every day, such as your credit card,” said Gale. “With some good programs and offers out there, you really need to do your research as you could be missing out on some great benefits.”

“I’m a huge fan of getting a little more from my everyday spend – from groceries, to filling up the car with petrol, it all adds up. You never know, with savvy management of your credit card, your daily coffee fix might just pay for your gym membership or get you to that summer holiday faster!” Gale continued.

Julie Nestor, Vice President Customer Marketing and Experiences for American Express Australia & New Zealand, said: “Australian credit card holders on average have just an estimated 7,500 reward points sitting on their primary credit card. On average, our American Express Card Members are redeeming 80,000 points per year, enough reward points for a Premium Economy flight from Australia to LA, highlighting that with the right credit card, your points can take you further.”

Now is the time for Australians to take a close look at their credit card, according to Steve Hui, CEO of iFLYflat – The Points Whisperer, which educates consumers and business owners how to maximise their credit card rewards and spend them wisely.

Hui said: “Due to new interchange reforms introduced by the Reserve Bank of Australia, the credit card rewards landscape will change and many consumers will start seeing their rewards programs become even less rewarding. Now is the perfect time to reassess what cards you are using.”

“We’re all educated on the idea of earning points, yet where the most value lies is in the items you can purchase or the distance you can travel when you go to use your credit card points. Make sure you understand the overall value of the card, as not all rewards programs are created equal,” Hui added.

Card holders who researched their credit card offering thoroughly earn, on average, 66 per cent more reward points than those who didn’t. Australians with a higher annual household income ($100,000 or more) are more likely to have researched the rewards offered by their primary card, as well as younger Australians (18-39 years) and households with kids under 18 years.

To learn more about how Megan Gale earns and redeems her rewards points, please visit: www.amex.com.au/rewards

To view images and assets, please visit: https://sendto.stwgroup.com.au/message/eqUtLd58Va0QdZP6mLEkYF

Based on the average annual $15,328.00 credit card spend and consumer’s everyday spend habits revealed in the Rewards Rethink research, Aussies could be enjoying more rewards with an American Express Credit Card[1].

Type of spend

$ based on average annual credit card spend

Points earned on The American Express Explorer Credit Card

Points earned on The American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card






30,656 Membership Reward points


A one-way Economy flight from Sydney to Bali on Virgin[2]


A $225 Coles Group & Myer gift card


$227 Select + Pay with Points

24,831 Membership Reward points


A one-way Economy flight from Sydney to Fiji on Virgin[3]


A $175 Coles Group & Myer gift card


$174 Select + Pay with Points

Entertainment/eating out




Travel (leisure)










Notes to Editors:

Top tips to help you maximise your credit card rewards:

1.Use your credit card for everyday purchases: Some people only use their credit card for large purchases when looking for extra security or protection, but using your credit card to pay for your everyday purchases is a savvy way of earning reward points quickly.

2.Pay for group bills: Offer to pay the bill when you’re out with friends – for example at a restaurant – on your own credit card or mobile wallet (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay) and simply ask your fellow guests to pay you their portion. That way, you earn a higher number of reward points without spending more yourself.

3.Frequent flyer points: The most common rewards associated with credit card points are frequent flyer points. With American Express, your points take you further than any other credit card schemes. And if you’re a keen jetsetter, look out for cards that also offer a free flight every year, automatically saving you a few hundred dollars.

4.But it’s not all about jet setting: There are a number of ways you can put your points to use as a form of payment, rather than redeeming them for goods or experiences:

  • Pay With Points: You can pay off eligible purchases with points, for example holidays, shopping sprees and bills, or even your card’s annual fee
  • Shop With Points at selected retailers, or purchase gift cards
  • Or redeem points for a credit on your account

5.Remember, it’s not just about clever points management: Think about the extra benefits that a card can offer you – free travel insurance or mobile phone screen protection could save you hundreds of dollars a year, while VIP access to airport lounges or entertainment venues is pretty hard to put a price on!

For more information or to organise an interview, please contact:

Gemma Higlett                                                     Anastassia Keltchina

Ogilvy Public Relations                                         Ogilvy Public Relations

E: Gemma.Higlett@ogilvy.com.au                         E: Anastassia.Keltchina@ogilvy.com.au

P: 02 8281 3203                                                   P: 02 8281 3879

M: 0474 830 891                                                  M: 0466 916 953

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.  Learn more at americanexpress.com.au and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpressaustralia youtube.com/americanexpressau or by visiting our Media Room. Key links to products and services: charge and credit cardstravel services, foreign exchange, prepaid travel cardsmerchant servicesbusiness travel, and corporate card.

[1] Excluding sign-up offers

[2] Excluding taxes and fees. 30,656 American Express Membership Reward points are equivalent to 22,992 Virgin Velocity Frequent Flyer points on the American Express Explorer Credit Card’s Gateway program. A one-way flight from Sydney to Bali requires 22,300 Velocity Frequent Flyer points.

[3] Excluding taxes and fees. 24,831 American Express Membership Reward points are equivalent to 24,831 Velocity Frequent Flyer points on the American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card’s Ascent program. A one-way flight from Sydney to Fiji requires 17,800 Velocity Frequent Flyer points.

[i] Based on average annual credit card spend of $15,328.00 using American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card

[ii] Based on average annual credit card spend of $15,328.00 using American Express Explorer Credit Card

[iii]Based on average annual credit card spend of $15,328.00 using American Express Explorer Credit Card assuming gym membership is approx. $55 per month

[iv] The research: ‘Rewards Rethink’ was conducted by AMR for American Express, polling 1,000 Australian credit card holders in August 2016

Media contact

American Express
Director Public Affairs & Communications


Tel: +61 2 9152 3601

Download release



About us

Each day, American Express makes it easier, safer and more rewarding for consumers and businesses to purchase the things they need and for merchants to sell their goods and services.

More in American Express Australia