Amex Membership Rewards is an entry-level credit card from Amex India. But don’t let the entry-level tag on this card misguide you. If used the right way, Amex MRCC is more rewarding than some of the premium credit card offerings. Here is a hands-on review of the American Express Membership Rewards credit card.
Unlike other credit card issuers, Amex has some of the simplest eligibility criteria for its credit cards. To apply for Amex MRCC we need:
- A good credit score – preferably 750 and above
- 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|
|Annual Fee Waiver||Fully waived if annual spending > Rs 1.5 Lakhs|
50% waived if annual spending > Rs 90K and < 1.5 Lakhs
|Renewal Benefit||5000 MR points if the annual fee is realized|
- All Spends: 1 MR point/Rs 50 ~1% return
- Spends excluded from rewards: Fuel, insurance, utilities, and EMI transactions
Spending in excluded categories counts for bonus MR points and annual spend waivers. Amex is one of the few credit companies to provide rewards for digital wallets. We can load Paytm/Mobikwik wallet and use it for fuel/insurance/utility transactions. This way we can earn regular rewards for these transactions.
Bonus Membership Rewards
The base reward rate might seem low for Amex MRCC 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 on making 4 transactions of Rs 1500 or more every calendar month
- 1000 Bonus MR points on spending Rs 20000 and above in a calendar month. This offer needs enrollment.
Maximizing the Amex MRCC Credit Card Rewards
The bonus membership rewards are what make the MRCC a good rewarding card. We need to spend Rs 1.5 Lakhs in a year to get the annual fee waiver. Below is how we can plan our spending to get maximum rewards.
- We use the 1000 bonus MR points on 4 X Rs 1500 transactions every month for 12 months
- We use the 1000 Bonus MR points on spending Rs 20000 in a month for 6 months in a year
|Transactions||Bonus MR Points/Month||Regular MR Points/Month||Total Spend/Year||Total MR Points/Year|
|Make 4 X Rs 1500 transactions every month||1000||120||Rs 72000||13440|
|Spend Rs 14000 every month for 6 months||1000||280||Rs 84000||7680|
- Total Spend: Rs 1.56 Lakhs
- Total MR Points: 21120
- If we value each MR point at 40 paise, this is a return of Rs 8448 ~5.4%!
- Spend on Amex Reward Multiplier, use RM offers and you will have an even higher return. How many entry-level cards will give you a return of 5.4% on just Rs 1.56 Lakhs spend
18 and 24 Carat Gold Collection for Amex MRCC
For the Amex MRCC 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||42 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 Amex MRCC 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|
Round-the-Year Annual Offers
The rewards above are not all the American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card offers. Around the year, Amex also runs various promotional offers which end up giving a higher reward rate.
For example, since I got this card I got a Flipkart shopping offer that gave me 10% cashback up to Rs 2500, and an Amazon shopping offer that gave 10% cashback up to Rs 2000. These offers also help in meeting the annual spending required for this card.
American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card