Which Visa/Mastercard should I use when American Express isn't accepted?

Hi,

I just got approved for amex platinum (200k bonus), I currently have 60k krisflyer in my account
Amex is not widely accepted, which visa/mastercard should I apply to pair it with?

Main purpose is for traveling
Also, any tips and tricks to make the most of my amex?

Thanks

Hi @joykev

We can’t give personal financial advice here. However, speaking very generally…

  • From your post, you imply that you’re most interested in accumulating KrisFlyer points? Let us know if that’s not the case. When it comes to Visa/Mastercard, Amplify points have the best conversion rate to Krisflyer. Amplify is the rewards programme of St George, Bank of Melbourne and Bank SA. The downside is that these cards have overseas transaction fees.

  • When I’m overseas, I put almost all my spending on the Coles Rewards Mastercard. It has a low annual fee, and no overseas transaction fees. When you convert your points to Velocity and then KrisFlyer, it comes out that you earn 0.645 KrisFlyer points per A$ spent – a pretty good rate.

As for tips/tricks for making the most of your new AmEx Platinum card, there are plenty of articles on this site which go through many of the benefits and perks. Start with this one. I’d also advise that you download and use the American Express app, and check the “Offers” section frequently. And some of the perks (eg. Priority Pass, The Australian subscription) require enrolment so make sure you take the time to do that!

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I quite like using the HSBC debit card that gets the 2% cashback as long as you paywave under $100. Sometimes getting real cash is just more valuable than frequent flyer points. I tend to conservatively value all frequent flyer points at around 1 cent per point and the 2% cash back beats most VISA/Mastercard options in terms of rewards return. It’s a debit card too so you don’t have the impacts on your credit score etc and easier to manage.

In terms of AMEX acceptance, I’ve found it pretty good except at more local shops like the asian supermarkets, farmers markets, and mom-and-pop shops. If you have the chance, you could purchase some VISA giftcards at coles/woolies when they run bonus points promotions for buying them and then use those giftcards to spend. But of course, there’s the opportunity cost with the ‘conversion’ there.

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