American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card (MRCC) is an entry level lifestyle credit card from Amex. This card targets the lower segment of credit card users with low income criteria, joining & renewal fees. This credit card is counter part of American Express Gold Charge Card and unlike latter it has a preset credit limit and allows you to convert purchases in to EMI.
- Eligibility Criteria
Amex is very strict about eligibility criteria and hence a good credit (CIBIL) score is mandatory along with other criteria for acquiring this card.
- Age: Minimum 18 Years
- Income: Minimum personal annual income of Rs. 6 Lakhs
- Location: Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Indore, Coimbatore, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Surat & Vadodra
Amex generally doesn’t give life time free cards, however they waive off the charges or compensate for the charges by providing reward points.
- Joining Fee: Nil if applied via referral link, Rs. 1,000 otherwise
- Renewal Fee: They generally waive off the charges if your spend on card is substantial.
- Via referral: Rs. 0 if total spends greater than Rs. 1,50,000, Rs. 750 if total spends greater than Rs. 90,000, Rs. 1,500 otherwise
- Regular: Rs. 0 if total spends greater than Rs. 1,50,000, Rs. 2,250 if total spends greater than Rs. 90,000, Rs. 4,500 otherwise
American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card is an entry level card and hence features of this card are limited.
Welcome & Renewal benefits
On realization of joining and annual fee, card members are provided with following:
- 4,000 Membership Rewards Points as welcome gift, ~ Rs. 1,000
- 5,000 Membership Rewards Points upon paying annual fee, ~ Rs. 1,250
4,000 welcome Membership Rewards Points would be credited only on completing cumulative spend of Rs. 25,000 within the first 90 days of card membership and eligible only if you apply via referral link. It’s quite evident that Amex tries to compensate for joining and renewal fee by providing bonus reward points.
- 1 Membership Rewards Point = Rs. 0.25
- 1 Membership Rewards Point for every Rs. 50 spent except for spend at Fuel, Insurance, Utilities and Cash Transactions
- Reward rate of 0.5% if points are converted to statement credit
- 1000 bonus points on for using Card 4 times on transactions of Rs. 1,000 and above every month
- 18 Karat Gold Collection: 18,000 points can be redeemed for statement credit worth Rs. 6,000, Amazon Gift Card worth Rs. 7,000, Amex Domestic Travel Voucher worth Rs. 7,000 or Taj Voucher worth Rs. 9,000.
- 24 Karat Gold Collection: 24,000 points can be redeemed for statement credit worth Rs. 9,000, Tanishq voucher worth Rs. 10,000 or Taj Voucher worth Rs. 14,000
Though the reward rate looks peltry, this card shines when you redeem the Membership Rewards Points from 18 Karat or 24 Karat Gold collection. Let’s do a sample math to calculate the reward rate when you just do 4 transactions of Rs. 1,000 every month and redeem from 18 Karat Gold Collection.
Bonus Membership Rewards Points earned on spending Rs. 4,000 = 1,000
Total Membership Rewards Points earned on spending Rs. 4,000 = 1,080
Now, 18,000 Membership Rewards Points = Rs. 9,000 (Taj Vouchers)
Hence, value of 1,080 Membership Rewards Points = Rs. 420
Therefore, Reward Rate = 13.5%
So on spending just Rs. 4,000 a month, this card provides a whooping reward rate of 13.5%. Similarly, with 24 Karat Gold collection, the reward rate reaches to 15.75% if you redeem for Taj Vouchers. Impressive, isn’t?
- Fuel Convenience Fee Waiver
- Discounts of up to 20% on participating restaurants
- 24x7 Card Related Assistance
- Zero lost Card liability
- Emergency Card Replacement
- Two Supplementary Membership Rewards Credit Cards at no additional cost
Though acceptability of Amex is increasing day by day in India, still it’s not as good as Visa/MasterCard. Heck, even Diners Club has better acceptance than Amex. You need to keep a backup card handy always. Many merchants still don’t accept Amex due to high merchant discount rate (MDR). Also no access to airport lounges is a bummer. Some recently launched entry level credit cards like Flipkart Axis Bank Credit Card provide domestic airport lounge access. I wish, Amex should catch up with them and at least start providing the domestic airport lounge access.
The 13.5% reward rate on American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card just blows away any competition in this segment. Their world class customer support is a delight to talk to. The network offers run by Amex are way better than competitors.
I got this card as a companion card with my American Express Gold Card. Amex is currently running an offer wherein it’s offering complimentary Amex Membership Rewards Credit Card to existing Amex Gold Card holders.
If you are still contemplating on wether to get this card or not, don’t think much and just go for it.
Signing up using above referral link will give you card free for first year and 2000 extra referral bonus reward points in addition to 2000 bonus reward points which is not available otherwise.
How has been your experience with Amex in general? Let me know in comments below.