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How to Earn 15% Return on Investment (ROI) Using American Express Credit Cards

American Express’ (AMEX) credit cards are known for their benefits. Compared to standard bank credit cards, the reward system that AMEX offers is much more prestigious.

***However, such benefits always come at a cost. If you ever miss any credit card payments, the interest rate on your AMEX card is significantly higher. (~37% Annual percentage rate or APR)

*This blog post is applicable for Macau users as I walk through step-by-step how to get your own AMEX Explorer Card.

Major Benefits of AMEX Explorer:

  1. Reward Points doesn’t have an expiry date.

  2. Reward Points can redeem flight, hotel, and other travelling discounts.

  3. Reward Points can be used to pay off any purchases made with the card (aka cash-back).

  4. Global free-access to airport executive lounges.

I use the AMEX Explorer for all my large purchases, I’ve earned more than 15% ROI from my accumulated reward points.


How I Take Advantage of My Card

I maximise my return by converting my AMEX Points into Asia Miles.

The miles per dollar rate is HK$1 = 5 Miles. (This miles per dollar rate is comparatively higher than other credit card providers in HK & Macau!

Comparative Choice Examples:

BNU’s (MAC) Asia Miles VISA Platinum Card offers ~HK$40 = 5 Miles. (Ref)

Bank of China (HK) Travel Credit Card offers ~HK$75 = 5 Miles. (Ref)

I can redeem an upgrade of business class tickets using 20,000 mileage points.

To earn 20,000 miles, it is equivalent of spending (20000*$5) HK$100,000 on the Explorer Card.

On average, depending on the flight season, an upgrade from premium economy to business class costs ~ HK$18,000 to HK$25,000.

However, due to COVID, the value of an upgrade to business class may be diminished with less people travelling.

With a conservative estimate, the upgrade cost would still be worth at least HK$15,000.

In essence, every HK$100,000 spent on the Explorer Card, I get an approximate return of HK$15,000 or 15%.

Other than flight benefits, this card offers much more:


Cash Back Benefits

The cash back feature is eligible for any type of purchases. One thing to note is that the return for cash back is not as high but, it is still definitely worth using it.

You can directly use your points to pay off bills charged onto your card (cash back).

Note that not every card provider offers a cash back feature.

Using a conservative estimate (HK$1 = 3 Points), you’re eligible for HK$1 cash back for every 200 points.

Assuming you spend HK$200, you will receive 600 Points, which means you can get HK$3 as cash back: (3/200 or 1.5%).

Formula used (ROI) = Return/Investment

AKA every purchase you make via the Explorer card, you get a 1.5% discount on it. That’s still a pretty sweet deal if you ask me.


How to Get Yourself an Explorer Card?

Applying for the Explorer Card is extremely straightforward.

Follow this link to the official American Express website to fill out the application form:

You will be asked to upload a few documents related to proof of address, your passport, and your bank statements.

Make sure to prepare them beforehand if you want to complete the application form in one sitting.

It takes around 2-3 working days for the bank to process your application and around 10 to 15 working days to receive your card if your application is approved.

**Estimation is based on my experience with the process, it is not an official declaration by AMEX**

If you need any help related to the registration process, feel free to schedule a free 1-1 workshop call with me.

Get your card now and start earning 15% return with your credit card!

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