Using a combination of Coles Rewards Mastercard and Amex Explorer to maximise earn rates and card benefits - What do the experts think?

Firstly, awesome site. I’m trying to figure out the best Visa/MC & Amex Combo that gives a good range of benefits with good earn rates, some bonus points, and reasonable annual fees.

Seems to me that the Coles Rewards Mastercard paired with the Amex Explorer is a pretty good combo. Tell me if I’m wrong, but this is my reasoning:


  • No overseas transaction fee
  • Decent flybuys earn rate equivalent to 0.87 Velocity points / 0.8 Etihad miles per $
  • Low annual fee of $89
  • With $6k credit limit some purchase protection and 62 days interest free
  • Works at ATO


  • 50k bonus points
  • $395 annual fee, offset by $400 travel credit
  • Entry to Amex lounge at Sydney (meh)
  • Reasonable earn rate
  • Included insurances
  • Huge range of transfer partners including SPG, Krisflyer, Velocity, Cathay

Benefits of combining these two:

  • Flexibility to use either card depending on fees, acceptance, etc
  • Both cards can potentially earn for Velocity, Krisflyer (either by booking through velocity or transfer from flybuys to Velocity to Krisflyer), Etihad (either from booking through velocity or transfer from Amex to SPG to Etihad), and Delta (either through booking through velocity or points transfer from Amex to SPG to Delta).

So by using these two, you could basically have Asia, Europe and the USA covered for under $500 a year in fees, with a $400 travel credit, 50k bonus points, insurances, no overseas transaction fees, and the ability to get reasonably earns from the ATO?

What do the experts think?

This site is not permitted to give specific individual recommendations.  suggest you read and compare cards that have been reviewed at Find The Best Frequent Flyer Credit Cards | Point Hacks

Understood.  Not seeking a recommendation, just whether the experts think my analysis is correct, or if I’ve made any faulty assumptions.


I did not go through your analysis with a fine tooth comb but it seems to sound logical to me.

The 2 cards that you analysed are very good products. Again as always there is no best credit card or best frequent flyer program. The best one is the one that gives you availability to make a redemption when you want it.

Have you heard of the term “paralysis by analysis”? Best to jump in and start collecting points and adjust as you see fit or when the credit card changes their benefits or when newer cards are launched.

Good luck.