American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card, or Amex MRCC, is an entry-level offering from Amex India. For referral applications, the first year is free and the annual fee is reduced to Rs 1500. However, don’t let the entry-level tag mislead you. Amex MRCC can be more rewarding than some premium credit cards if used properly. Spending Rs 20000 in a calendar month can earn us 2000 bonus MR points, making it one of the easiest ways to earn MR points. As part of the Amex MRCC, we also get access to the Gold Collection for redemption, where we can get Amazon Pay vouchers and Tanishq gift cards.
Unlike other credit card issuers, Amex has some of the simplest eligibility criteria for its credit cards. To apply for Amex MRCC we need:
- CIBIL Score: 750+
- Annual Income: Rs 6 Lakh+
|Zero (FYF with referral)
|4000 Membership Reward(MR) points
|Rs 1500+GST (with referral)
|Annual Fee Waiver
|Fully waived if annual spending > Rs 1.5 Lakh
50% waived if annual spending > Rs 90K and < Rs 1.5 Lakh
|5000 MR points if annual fee is charged
|1 MR point/Rs 50 ~0.8% to 1.2%
|Fuel, Utilities, Insurance & EMI
Spending in excluded categories like fuel and insurance counts for bonus MR points and annual spend waivers. Amex is one of the last few credit card issuers to provide rewards for digital wallets. We can load Paytm/Mobikwik wallet and use it for fuel, insurance and 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.
|Bonus MR Points
|Rs 1500 X 4 transactions in calendar month
|Spend Rs 20,000 in a calendar month
Amex MRCC gets 2X on Reward Multiplier
- Standard Reward Rate: 1 MR point/Rs 50 ~0.8% to 1.2%
- 2X Reward Rate: 2 MR points/Rs 50 ~1.6% to 2.4%
Maximizing the American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card
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
|Bonus MR Points/Month
|Regular MR Points/Month
|Total MR Points/Year
|Make 4 X Rs 1500 transactions every month
|Spend Rs 14000 every month for 6 months
No Airport Lounge Access
There is no complimentary airport lounge access on the American Express Membership Rewards credit card.
- Domestic Airport Lounge Access: Not Available
- International Airport Lounge Access: Not Available
Fuel Surcharge Waiver
Amex MRCC gets a 0% convenience fee for HPCL fuel pumps. This is valid for all transactions of value less than Rs 5000. So, you can potentially use your Amex MRCC at HPCL fuel pumps to hit the milestone. You will not get regular MR points but you will get the milestone bonus MR points.
Other Benefits & Charges
- Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Not available except at HP fuel pumps
- Foreign Currency Markup: 3.5%+GST ~4.13%
18 and 24 Carat Gold Collection for Amex MRCC
For the American Express Membership Rewards credit card, one of the best options is to redeem for the 18/24 Carat Gold Collection rewards. These offer you a good value for your membership reward points if you do not want to do a points transfer.
American Express Gold Collection: 18K MR points
The 18K Gold collection offers you access to Amazon Pay, Flipkart, Myntra, Shoppers Stop and Taj Hotels stay vouchers. If we go purely by value per MR point, then Taj Hotels is your best bet.
But, you also have multiple options if you do not want to do a travel redemption. Amazon Pay GV would give you a good value in this case. You can use it to pay bills or do any kind of shopping on Amazon.
|MR Point Value
American Express Gold Collection: 24K MR points
The 24K Gold collection offers you access to Amazon Pay, Flipkart, Shoppers Stop, Taj Hotels and Tanishq Diamond Jewellery gift vouchers. If we go purely by value per MR point, then again Taj Hotels is your best bet.
The 24K Gold collection gives you access to few more non-travel redemptions. Tanishq Diamond Jewellery stands out in this with a marginally higher value per MR point.
|MR Point Value
|Tanishq Diamond Jewellery
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.
|800 Points = 400 Asia Miles
|900 Points = 300 Club Vistara Points
|800 Points = 400 Emirates Skywards Miles
|1600 Points = 800 Etihad Guest Miles
|1000 Points = 900 Hilton Honors Points
|100 Points = 100 Marriott Bonvoy Points
|Qatar Privilege Club
|500 Points = 250 Avios
|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