American Express launches new Essential credit card for Millennials

Information verified correct on October 22nd, 2016

With the introduction of insurance for your smartphone screen, the new AMEX Essential credit card has modern-day spenders in mind.

Technology and smartphones have become essential in our day-to-day lives. Our phones and devices are now instrumental to money management, and banks know it. As a result, more and more providers are offering tech-savvy add-ons to the credit card experience, such as apps and contactless payment.

The new Essential credit card from American Express comes with complimentary smartphone screen insurance and Apple Pay technology. These are just some examples of how technology is intrinsically linked to our credit card use.

American Express Essential Credit Card

New American Express Essential Credit Card

The American Express Essential credit card offers a 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers, smartphone insurance with no annual fee.

  • $0 annual fee.
  • Enjoy 0% p.a. for 12 months on balances transferred to the American Express Essential Credit Card, if you apply by and are approved (new applicants only).
  • Enjoy a unique to market complimentary smartphone screen insurance.
  • Receive up to 55 interest-free days on purchases when you repay your balance in full by the due date each month.
  • Purchase rate of 14.99% p.a.

    Let’s take a look at the new Essential credit card and how these features cater to contemporary cardholders.

    Available as of 16 November 2015, American Express is tapping into the emerging Millennial market with the launch of the new Essential credit card. Although it’s hardly the first provider catering to the tech-inclined generation, the inclusion of insurance for your smartphone screen is the first of its kind. Most Millennials know the heart-wrenching reality that is cracking your smartphone screen, so the new card covers a problem that is exclusive to modern-day cardholders.

    • How does the smartphone insurance work?

    If you use your Essential card to pay for your phone (outright or on contract) and accidentally crack your phone screen, you’ll be covered for up to $500 worth of smartphone screen repairs. Cardholders can take advantage of this complimentary insurance up to two times in a 12-month period. Keep in mind that there is an excess of 10% per claim.

    Read the terms and conditions to understand what you’re eligible for and how you can make the most of the insurance.

    • How can I use Apple Pay? 

    American Express launched their Apple Pay technology in November 2015 and it is now available for all AMEX cardholders to use – including Essential credit card customers. Apple Pay uses the NFC chip stored in the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and paired Apple Watch to transfer banking information in the same secure way that existing contactless payment cards already work.

    Apple Pay doesn’t store the card number on your device but uses a unique identifying code specific to the handset and a one-time code for each transaction. This will reduce the need to reissue cards if a security breach occurs, as both codes need to be verified for each unique transaction. This technology will reduce your time at the register and goes hand-in-hand with Millennial’s fast-paced lifestyle.

    Discover how you can use Apple Pay for everyday purchases

    While low fees, a rewards program and retail insurance are all standard perks you would expect on a credit card, it’s the smartphone screen insurance and Apple Pay technology that sets the Essential card apart. As smartphones continue to expand into almost every element of our lives, this feature  will be the first of many to cater to the needs of the contemporary cardholder.

    American Express Essential Credit Card review


    Sally McMullen

    Sally McMullen is a journalist at who is a credit cards and travel money expert by day and music maven by night.

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