David Jones Platinum American Express credit card

Review: David Jones Platinum American Express credit card

What's Hot

  • Choice of earning points with 10 airlines and 2 hotels
  • Two yearly visits to AMEX's Australian lounges

What's Not

  • Low frequent flyer earn rates on everyday spend
  • Confusing 'David Jones Membership Rewards' scheme

X-Factor

  • Exclusive David Jones perks including free delivery and gift wrapping

Introduction

Fancy free delivery of items purchased in David Jones stores, complimentary clothing alterations, access to the AMEX Sydney Airport lounge and the ability to earn frequent flyer points with 10 airlines and two hotel chains including Qantas, Virgin Australia, Singapore Airlines and Starwood Preferred Guest?

Then take a look at the David Jones Platinum American Express credit card, which serves up extra points on David Jones spend and also at major supermarkets and petrol stations, although fewer points per dollar everywhere else.

Here's what you can earn, along with the perks you can enjoy, what you'll pay, and also which reward program option we'd recommend if this card is right for you.

David Jones Platinum American Express credit card: key facts

  • Grade/tier: Platinum
  • Card type: American Express
  • Loyalty program: Qantas Frequent Flyer or David Jones Membership Rewards (DJMR)
  • Qantas Points earned per dollar (Qantas Frequent Flyer option):
         Purchases at David Jones: 3
         Major supermarkets and petrol stations: 2.25
         Everywhere else: 0.75
  • Or, David Jones Membership Rewards points earned per dollar (DJMR option):
         Purchases at David Jones: 4
         Major supermarkets and petrol stations: 3
         Everywhere else: 1

  • DJMR airline and hotel partners (2:1 conversion): Virgin Australia Velocity, Air New Zealand (2 DJMR = Airpoints $0.01), Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Emirates Skywards, Etihad Guest, Hilton HHonors, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Starwood Preferred Guest, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Actual frequent flyer points earned per dollar spent via DJMR: 2/$1 at David Jones, 1.5/$1 at supermarkets and petrol stations and 0.5/$1 everywhere else
  • Points capping: Uncapped
  • Supported tech: Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay

Fees, charges and interest: 3.5/5

  • Annual fee: $295
  • Supplementary cardholder fee: $0 (up to 4, $99/year thereafter)
  • Interest rate on purchases: 20.74% p.a.
  • Interest-free days on purchases: Up to 44
  • Interest rate on cash advances: N/A
  • International transaction fee: 3.0%
  • Minimum income requirement: $65,000 p.a.
  • Minimum credit limit: $2,000

Earning points for free flights: 2.5/5

Despite being 'David Jones'-branded you can use the card wherever AMEX is accepted, with a bonus deal of 30,000 Qantas Points or 40,000 DJMR points (equal to 20,000 airline frequent flyer points) on offer to new customers who apply, are approved and then use their card three times or more outside of DJs within the first month.

But notice how the earning of Qantas Points and DJMR points differs, both in the sign-up bonus and on your everyday spend. In all cases, you'll earn 50% more frequent flyer points by choosing Qantas over David Jones Membership Rewards.

That's due to the less-generous 2:1 frequent flyer conversion rate used by DJMR, so even though you'll earn three DJMR points per dollar spent at supermarkets, that's halved to equal 1.5 actual frequent flyer points with the likes of Velocity and KrisFlyer. Choose Qantas and you'd instead earn 2.25 frequent flyer points per dollar on the same, or 50% more.

Whichever rewards option you choose, this card is tailored heavily towards those who spend big at David Jones, on groceries and on fuel – because everywhere else, you'll earn less points than you would by using a Qantas Discovery or Velocity Escape AMEX card, which both come sans annual fees.

Shopping benefits with David Jones

Along with earning frequent flyer points, David Jones Platinum cardholders also enjoy the following benefits with DJs:

  • Invitations to events like season launch fashion parades
  • Buy items in-store and have them delivered by courier to your door the following business day at no charge
  • Complimentary alterations on apparel purchases, such as adjusting hem/trouser length and shortening sleeves
  • Priority appointments at 'personal shopping suites' and 'shopping bag concierge'
  • Complimentary gift wrapping for David Jones purchases
  • Defer payment for three months after spending $250 or more on women's or men's apparel, shoes and fashion accessories in-store
  • Up to four years interest-free on homewares, furniture, bedding and electrical purchases of $500 or more in-store
  • Delay your payments for purchases made between 1 November and 24 December until February of the following year

In addition to these published perks, we've also seen David Jones offering complimentary Champagne (Piper Heidsieck NV) in some CBD-located stores after 5pm to David Jones American Express cardholders while they shop.

Airport lounge access: 2/5

Flash the David Jones Platinum AMEX card for access to the American Express Lounges at either Sydney or Melbourne Airport twice each year, with further visits available for purchase at $55.

Complimentary insurance coverage: 2.5/5

Cardholders may be eligible for free travel insurance cover after paying for their return fare using the David Jones Platinum card or by directly redeeming Membership Rewards points – but should you convert your DJMR points to an airline program in order to make that booking or use Qantas Points, you may be left without any cover at all.

But even when you do qualify for the insurance, it's relatively basic and may not prove adequate: there's no cover for flight delays, nor for insolvency of airlines and other travel providers.

It's also important to note that the insurer "will not pay medical costs over $1,500 without prior authorisation", which could leave you liable for some big medical bills in emergency situations where the importance of immediate medical attention trumps a phone call to the insurer.

The card does also include purchase protection, refund protection and extended warranty cover, although extra benefits like car hire excess waivers are absent.

David Jones Platinum American Express credit card: the verdict

This card offers some really solid benefits for frequent David Jones customers: many of which could save you more than the cost of the annual fee over the course of a year in addition to earning up to three Qantas Points per dollar spent in-store and online.

Savvy spenders could also pair that high earning rate with David Jones' ongoing offer of five Qantas Points per dollar spent via the Qantas Points Online Mall – taking your total haul to eight Qantas Points per dollar – while using the card at supermarkets and petrol stations to scoop up some extra points at favourable rates.

But everywhere else, the card proves less impressive: delivering fewer points per dollar spent than other fee-free American Express cards, and with travel insurance that doesn't quite cut the mustard by most Platinum card standards.

Even if you're a David Jones regular and find value in using this card with DJs, you might consider other options for those times you're spending elsewhere.

Chris Chamberlin
Chris Chamberlin is a senior journalist with Australian Business Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!
 

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26 May, 2019 07:21 am

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