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Charge card 101: is charge right for you?

What is a charge card?

If you prefer paying your balance in full each month, a charge card makes good sense. Because your statement must be paid in full each month, many people find a charge card helps them control spending. It’s like having the convenience of a debit card, with the premium card benefits – such as access to rewards, travel insurances*, purchase protection and our fraud guarantee.

A charge card allows you to manage and maximise your cash flow, because it has no pre-set spending limit (although spending is not unlimited). This is to ensure that the total of your charges are manageable in the context of your financial resources.

Tip for American Express Business Cardmembers: a simple way for your business to extend cash flow is by setting your American Express statement to be issued before your supplier bills are invoiced. By doing this you can take advantage of up to 51 credit free days on the American Express Business Card.

*Insurances are not available on all charge cards, and are offered on specific American Express Charge Cards only


Purchasing power

With a charge card, you have more purchasing power with no pre-set spending limit. While your spending is not unlimited, your purchases are approved based on a variety of factors, including current spending patterns, your payment history, credit records, and financial resources known to us. Proof of resources and security may be required.

Like many credit products, should you wish to make a purchase that goes beyond your usual spending patterns, please call the customer service number on the back of your Card.

If your spending continues to increase over the subsequent months, and your payments remain in good standing, your spending capacity may change as a result.


Year-end Summary of Charges

As an American Express Charge Cardmember, this Card benefit enables you to easily reconcile your expenses, with an annual record of all charges on your account broken down by month and category*. The summary is invaluable for record-keeping and budgeting - especially at tax time.

Tip for business owners: our Small Business Charge Cards do not receive a summary of year-end charges but instead receive monthly statements that meet ATO requirements for GST reporting. This can be used to assist with your input in tax credit claims and Business Activity Statement (BAS) preparation - saving you both money and time. You can also download your statements directly into a number of software packages including Quicken® and Microsoft® Excel.

* This benefit is not available with the Green Charge Card.
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