If you like the bonus MR points milestones on the Amex MRCC, then you should check out the Amex Gold Charge card. The Gold Charge is a premium card with a monthly MR points milestone with lifestyle benefits. The key difference is this is a charge card. So, you cannot carry over balances and need to pay in full every month. Here’s a review of the American Express Gold Charge card to see if it is worth getting this one.
Unlike other credit card issuers, Amex has some of the simplest eligibility criteria for its credit cards. To apply for an Amex Gold Charge card we need:
- A good credit score – preferably 750 and above
- An annual income of Rs 6 Lakhs and above
Fees and Charges
|Joining Fee / First-Year Fee||Rs 1000 plus GST|
|Welcome Benefit||4000 Membership Reward(MR) points|
|Annual Fee||Rs 4500 plus GST|
|Renewal Benefit||5000 MR points on payment of the annual fee|
(Only for the first year)
This is where the Gold Charge is very different from the MRCC. We do not get any defined annual fee waiver condition or a renewal benefit in exchange for the annual fee. But, then this card gets some good lifestyle benefits as well.
- All Spends including fuel and utilities: 1 MR point/Rs 50 ~0.8% to 1% Value
- MR points on utility spends are capped at 10000 per calendar month.
- MR points on fuel purchases are capped at 5000 per calendar month.
While other cards like the MRCC and Platinum Travel don’t get any MR points on fuel and utilities, the Gold Charge gets it. But, would not consider this a great benefit as we have better cards for fuel and utilities-related spending.
The Gold Charge also gets a 5X benefit on American Express Reward Multiplier. This means we earn 5 MR points per Rs 50 on all reward multiplier transactions which are also very rewarding.
Bonus Membership Rewards
The base reward rate might seem low for the Amex Gold Charge card but we have milestone rewards like other Amex cards. These are what we have to target to get a high reward rate.
- 1000 bonus MR points for making 6 transactions of Rs 1000 in a calendar month
This is equivalent to at least Rs 436 to between Rs 560 if we include the regular 1 MR point per Rs 50. So, we get a return of 7.2% to 9.3% on spending Rs 6000.
Key Lifestyle Benefits
The Amex Gold Charge also provides quite a few lifestyle benefits which will be useful to some of us.
- Lakme Salon: Get 100% cashback up to Rs 500 every calendar month
- Tata CLiQ Luxury: Get 10% off up to Rs 5000 every calendar month
- Ajio Luxe: Get 10% off on a minimum purchase of Rs 10000. Maximum discount of Rs 50000 per transaction.
There are many other benefits that you can check out here.
18 and 24 Carat Gold Collection for Amex Gold Charge Card
For the Amex Gold Charge card, the best option is to redeem the 18/24 Carat Gold Collection rewards. These offer the best return on your membership reward points.
18 Carat Gold Collection – For 18000 MR points
|E-Voucher||Value||MR Point Value|
|Amazon||Rs 7000||39 paise|
|Flipkart||Rs 7000||39 paise|
|Croma||Rs 7000||39 paise|
|Myntra||Rs 8000||44 paise|
|Shoppers Stop||Rs 8000||44 paise|
|Big Basket||Rs 8000||44 paise|
|Taj||Rs 9000||50 paise|
24 Carat Gold Collection – For 24000 MR points
|E-Voucher||Value||MR Point Value|
|Amazon||Rs 9000||38 paise|
|Flipkart||Rs 9000||38 paise|
|Croma||Rs 9000||38 paise|
|Tanishq||Rs 10000||41 paise|
|Shoppers Stop||Rs 11000||46 paise|
|Vistara||Rs 11000||46 paise|
|Taj||Rs 14000||58 paise|
Taj and Vistara vouchers – a recent addition to the gold collection provide the best redemption value. However, if you are not into travel then the next best option is either the Tanishq/Shoppers Stop voucher (from the 24 Carat Gold Collection) or the Amazon e-voucher(from the 18 Carat gold collection).
Catalog Redemption Options – Better to Avoid
The Gold Collection is delayed gratification for rewards redemption as it requires accumulating MR points over several months. There are multiple other options for redeeming the MR points on the Amex Gold Charge card on the go. These include electronics, luxury and lifestyle products, fashion accessories, and instant gift vouchers for various brands. We can even pay for transactions using MR points. The MR point value in these options is around 25p per point. But, better to avoid all these options.
Transfer to Airlines/Hotel Loyalty Programs
Amex MR points are also one of the most versatile ones when it comes to using them for airline and hotel loyalty programs. We get multiple transfer partners.
|Asia Miles||800 Points = 400 Asia Miles|
|Club Vistara||900 Points = 300 Club Vistara Points|
|Emirates Skywards||800 Points = 400 Emirates Skywards Miles|
|Etihad Guest||1600 Points = 800 Etihad Guest Miles|
|Hilton Honors||1000 Points = 900 Hilton Honors Points|
|Marriott Bonvoy||100 Points = 100 Marriott Bonvoy Points|
|PAYBACK||1 Point = 1 PAYBACK Point|
|Qatar Privilege Club||500 Points = 250 Avios|
|Singapore KrisFlyer||800 Points = 400 KrisFlyer Miles|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||800 Points = 400 Virgin Points|
Is the Amex Gold Charge card worth it?
The Gold Charge is best utilized with the 1000 MR points milestone and the 5X Reward Multiplier. This will give you 1600 MR points every month (1000 bonus MR points plus 600 from Reward Multiplier). The total MR points per year from this comes to 19200.
The Gold Collection gives a good value for these reward points. But, you will also get a better value if you use these points for one of the transfer partners.
But, there is one problem many of us will see with the Gold Charge card. It is the lack of a defined renewal benefit or annual fee waiver criteria.
American Express Gold Charge Card