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Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card: From rewards to eligibility; all you need to know
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American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card: From rewards to eligibility; all you need to know

The American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card offers a diverse range of exclusive advantages for each transaction. Added perks encompass monthly rewards, waiver on fuel surcharges, entertainment benefits, and insurance privileges.

Let's highlight the benefits and advantages provided by the Amex MRCC.Premium
Let's highlight the benefits and advantages provided by the Amex MRCC.

The American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card (MRCC) brings an array of exclusive perks with every purchase. With a joining fee of 1,000 and a renewal fee of 4,500 (waived on annual spending of 1.5 lacs plus), it offers 1 membership reward point for every 50 spent (excluding fuel, utilities, insurance, and cash transactions). 

Enjoy a bonus of 1,000 points on using the card 4 times for transactions above 1,500 each. Additional benefits include monthly rewards, fuel surcharge waiver, entertainment, and insurance perks.

MRCC cards in India may be labelled as entry-level, but their rewards and benefits punch above that classification. When utilised effectively, this card outshines certain premium offerings. Here's an insightful review of the Amex MRCC, shedding light on its perks and advantages.

Fees

In an annual year, a fee of 1000 plus GST applies, followed by 4500 plus GST from the second year onwards. Enjoy a welcome gift of 4000 MR points. The annual fee is exempted upon reaching an annual spending threshold of 1.5 lacs. Additionally, if your expenditure ranges between 90,000 and 1.5 lacs, you'll only be charged 50% of the fees.

Reward and benefits

Earn 1 MR point for every 50 spent, equivalent to a value of 40p for 1RP (0.8%). However, note that spending on fuel, insurance, utilities, and cash withdrawals does not accrue any reward points.

Get an accelerated reward rate of 2 MR points for every 50 spent specifically through the Amex Reward Multiplier portal, like HDFC's Smart Buy portal.

The standout feature of the Amex MRCC credit card lies in its monthly milestone points. By making just 4 transactions of 1,500 or more in a calendar month. You need to do a one-time enrolment for the same here.

Moreover, an extra 1000 MR points are yours by spending 20,000 or more within a calendar month. Simply enrol once to avail of this benefit.

The absence of lounge access with this card stands out as a significant drawback. Notably, earned MR points never expire and extend to include wallet loads, adding to the versatility of earning opportunities.

Reward redemption

Statement credit or pay with points - AMEX offers the option to redeem points for a statement credit or use points directly at certain merchants, valuing each point at 25p during transaction OTP entry. However, this redemption method significantly undervalues your MR Points. These points hold far greater value, so it's advisable to disregard these two redemption options.

Travel with points - Another redemption avenue for your MR points involves purchasing flights, prepaid hotels, car rentals, and more through AmexTravel. However, this method also values your points at 25p per MR point, which is not advisable due to its low-value proposition.

Insta vouchers and gold collection - AMEX provides a wide array of instant vouchers in exchange for your MR points, each offering varying values across different brands. Among these, certain brand vouchers such as Amazon, TAJ, Croma, Flipkart, and others stand out for providing superior value. Termed the Gold Collection vouchers by AMEX, they offer enhanced value compared to others. To redeem these Gold Collection vouchers, you'll need to exchange points in multiples of 18,000 or 24,000 MR points.

Transfer points - This redemption avenue stands out as the most lucrative for MR points. With strategic utilisation, it's possible to derive values exceeding one rupee per point, making it an incredibly rewarding option.

Airlines transfers - AMEX offers the flexibility to transfer points to 8 distinct airline partners, including exclusive options like Asia Miles, not available with other Indian credit cards.

Hotel transfer - This redemption option has become highly sought-after, particularly for Platinum or Gold status holders with Marriott Bonvoy. Transferring points at a 1:1 ratio yields a value exceeding 1 per MR point, offering suite upgrades, complimentary breakfast, and lounge access with drink, an interesting advantage. AMEX stands as the exclusive transfer partner to Marriott Bonvoy, prompting many to use MR points solely for this purpose.

Fuel surcharge waiver

Transactions at HPCL incur a 0% fee for amounts less than 5,000. However, a 1% fee per transaction applies to all HPCL transactions equal to or exceeding 5,000.

A convenience fee of 1% of the transaction value, with a minimum of 10 plus applicable taxes, will be charged at fuel stations operated by BPCL and IOCL.

A convenience fee of 2.5% of the transaction value, with a minimum of 10 plus applicable taxes, will be charged at fuel stations operated by all other Oil Marketing Companies, excluding HPCL, BPCL, and IOCL.

Eligibility criteria

To qualify for the MRCC, a minimum gross income of 6LPA is necessary, regardless of whether you're salaried or self-employed. AMEX doesn't process applications based on Card-to-Card transfers. Additionally, a minimum CIBIL score of 750 is required, along with an address proof from any serviceable area.

In conclusion, the American Express Membership Rewards credit card is an excellent choice for those starting their credit journey or seeking a basic card. With a modest joining fee but a relatively higher renewal fee, it offers a waiver option on annual spends exceeding 1.5 lacs in the previous year. 

Despite this, it remains a highly rewarding card, providing a decent reward rate and an array of enticing benefits and privileges. For passionate shoppers or frequent travellers, exploring American Express's high-end card options might be more beneficial.

Rohit Gyanchandani is Managing Director at Nandi Nivesh Private Limited

 

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Published: 18 Dec 2023, 09:15 AM IST
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