Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers. Last Updated 10th July 2023.
American Express has finally started issuing cards since they were put under an embargo by the RBI. Their most sought entry-level card other than the AMEX Membership Rewards is the AMEX Gold Charge Card. In my opinion, the Gold Charge card is even more rewarding than the MRCC. But wait did I tell you why it’s called a Charge Card and not a Credit Card?
A Charge Card works like a Credit Card, but without offering the option of making part payment. You are required to pay your charge card bill in full by the due date. Charge Cards offer a “no pre-set” spending limit. But this doesn’t mean that you can spend an unlimited amount using a charge card as AMEX does have an internal limit on this card which is not revealed upfront to the customer.
Now that you know what a charge card is then let’s check out how we can maximize rewards on it!
- 1 Charges and Welcome Benefits
- 2 Regular Reward Accrual
- 3 Bonus Reward Accrual
- 4 AMEX Reward Multiplier
- 5 Reward Redemption
- 6 TechnoFino Maximum
- 7 Other Benefits
- 8 Eligibility Criteria
- 9 TechnoFino Recommends
Charges and Welcome Benefits
|Welcome Benefits||6000 MR Points on spending ₹10,000 within 90 days (Referral Cards)|
4000 MR Points on spending ₹10,000 in the first 90 days (Paid Cards)
|Renewal Fees||₹4,500+ GST|
|Renewal Benefits||5000 MR Points after first-year card renewal on the realization of the annual fee.|
Nothing in the subsequent years.
|Renewal Fee Waiver||NA|
|Add on Cards||1 complimentary supplementary card is provided.|
AMEX doesn’t give you a spends-based fee waiver on Gold Charge Cards but you may get a waiver (unofficially over ₹2-₹4Lakh spends annually) or a retention offer to keep you in the loop. Especially if you hold other AMEX cards then AMEX really values the overall relationship. Else you can get an MRCC as a companion card whenever AMEX offers you which makes MRCC free and the fee you pay for Gold Charge becomes shared.
Application through referral is a clear-cut winner due to the extra 2000 bonus points. Since everything else is the same then why lose the extra 2000 MR points? Check out the link for detailed referral benefits information.
Disclaimer: I will receive a referral bonus for anyone who applies for and is approved for the card through the above link.
If you face any problems in the application process you can contact me on Technofino Community.
You can choose to apply for any AMEX card from the link in the banner. To choose and apply a card of your choice simply click on the View All Cards option and select one. All the information for that particular card is readily available on the website.
Regular Reward Accrual
|Spends Area||Reward Rate||Capping|
|All Spends*||1 MR Points/ ₹50 spent||NA|
|Utility Bills||1 MR Points/ ₹50 spent||10,000 MR Points/ Calendar Month|
|Fuel||1 MR Points/ ₹50 spent||5,000 MR Points/ Calendar Month|
- *Spends exclude insurance payments.
- Reward points never expire.
- You get to earn MR points even on wallet loads.
- As you can see base reward rate is really poor and the maximum that you can yield out of it will be less than 1% whether you go for their Gold Collection voucher redemption or transfer them to Marriott Bonvoy/Taj Hotels.
Bonus Reward Accrual
The major value of the AMEX Gold Charge Card lies in completing its monthly target.
- Monthly Target: Spend ₹1000 six times a month and get 1000 Bonus MR Points every month.
- Repeat every month to get up to 12,000 MR Points every year.
AMEX Reward Multiplier
AMEX has a Reward Multiplier portal just like HDFC Smartbuy from where you can purchase gift vouchers or do affiliate shopping and get 5X the usual reward points. Yes, 5X!!! This is simply too good to be true since MRCC offers only 2X on Rewards Multiplier.
|Spends Area||Reward Rate|
|Reward Multiplier||5 MR Points/ ₹50 spent|
Redemption options on MRCC and Gold Charge are almost the same. You can also combine points on both of them for redemptions.
Statement Credit/ Pay with Points
AMEX allows you to take a statement credit on eligible transactions or pay with points on select merchants while entering OTP for your transaction at a value of 25p/point. Most of the new AMEX cardholders use this redemption method but trust me there can’t be a method worst than this to use your MR Points. They are much more valuable than this so kindly ignore these two options.
Travel With Points
Another method to redeem your MR points. With this, you can purchase flights, prepaid hotels, car rentals, and more on AmexTravel. Again this gives you a value of 25p/MR point and is highly not recommended.
Insta Vouchers & Gold Collection
AMEX further offers you a huge variety of instant vouchers against your MR points which have different values for different brands. In this section, there are certain brand vouchers like Amazon, TAJ, BigBasket, Croma, Flipkart etc. which give better value over others and are called Gold Collection vouchers from AMEX. To redeem the gold collection you need to redeem vouchers in multiple of 18,000 or 24,000 MR points.
|Voucher||Value Per Point|
|24K Gold Collection – 9000 Amazon Voucher||37.5p/MR Point|
|18K Gold Collection – 7000 Amazon Voucher||38.8p/MR Point|
|24K Gold Collection – 14000 Taj Hotels Voucher||58.33p/MR Point|
|18K Gold Collection – 9000 Taj Hotels Voucher||50p/MR Point|
Just for an idea, I have presented some values for the Gold Collection as Amazon and Taj give the highest and lowest monetary value per point. Also, keep in mind that AMEX vouchers can only be used to book Taj Properties at non-discounted rates. Amazon voucher option is good for cashback lovers while Taj or Vistara vouchers are good for those who are into travelling.
Sometimes AMEX brings up Hot Rewards on particular brand voucher redemption which may give a very tempting value. You just need to keep an eye on them.
Now, this is the hottest redemption option for MR points and if you can play well with this you can yield values of even greater than a rupee per point.
AMEX allows you to transfer points to 8 different airline partners and some of them are so unique that none of the Indian credit cards allows you to transfer points to them like Asia Miles. We have a curated list of all AMEX airline transfer partners here. For booking award tickets using points, you can refer to this post on the TechnoFino Community.
Now, this is the most sought redemption option since anyone with a Platinum or Gold status with Marriott Bonvoy can just extract a value of more than 1Re/MR point by transferring a 1:1 ratio with suite upgrades, breakfast and lounge access with complimentary drinks are an added plus. Since AMEX is the sole transfer partner to Marriott Bonvoy so many points miners use MR points only for transfer to Marriott. What remains to be seen is what value it will offer once Marriott Bonvoy goes full dynamic since January 2023.
It takes about 3-5 days to transfer Amex MR Points to various loyalty programs so transfer them well in advance to use them.
Case 1: If you spend ₹1,000*4 (₹6,000) transactions per month then you get to earn 13440 MR points in a year and get a reward rate of 7.1% even if you redeem for Amazon Vouchers. But keep in mind that you need to pay annual fees of ₹4,500 in this case and reward rates decrease to 4.63%.
So anyway you get to earn a good reward rate of a minimum of 4.63% which is huge for an entry-level card.
Since AMEX charges zero fuel surcharge on HPCL pumps so you can fill fuel of 6K every month to complete your monthly milestone bonus points. On Gold Charge unlike MRCC, you get Regular MR points also on this.
Case 2: The real earning potential of AMEX lies in its Reward Multiplier where you get 5X reward points on the Gold Charge and the reward rate increases by an insane 3%. You can buy Flipkart, Amazon Shopping etc. vouchers from here.
Fuel Hack: For the best rewards, you can buy BPCL vouchers using Reward Multipliers and redeem them at your nearest fuel bunk to get an exceptional reward rate of up to 26.66%! (Who Knows)! So it beats all our Best Credit Cards in India For Fuel Spending.
The only problem lies in the annual fees since there is no spend-based waiver on this card. But you have to follow the suggestions which I have shared above in the article to ensure that the reward rate doesn’t drop.
TechnoFino Tip: Always try to split your transactions in multiples of ₹1000 to reach your milestone faster.
Gold Charge is the inferior of the two charge cards AMEX offers in India but it offers quite a good of lifestyle offers which keep on changing. All the ongoing offers can be found here. Do explore them since some of them offer 100% cashback also!!
Fuel Surcharge Waiver
- 0% for HPCL transactions less than ₹5,000,1% fee per transaction is applicable for all HPCL transactions on and above ₹5,000.
- 1% of the transaction value subject to a minimum of ₹10 + applicable taxes, will be charged as a convenience fee at fuel stations operated by the Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies BPCL and IOCL.
- 2.5% of the transaction value subject to a minimum of ₹10 + applicable taxes, will be charged as a convenience fee at fuel stations of all other Oil Marketing Companies (except HPCL, BPCL and IOCL).
Forex Markup Charges
- Forex Markup charges are standard 3.50% + GST.
- For AMEX Gold Charge income proof of a minimum gross ₹6LPA is required whether you are salaried or self-employed. AMEX doesn’t process applications on a Card-to-Card basis.
- Your CIBIL score should be a minimum of 750.
- You must have an address proof of any serviceable area.
- Serviceable City List- Guntur, Hyderabad, Krishna, Medak, Rangareddy, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar, Bardoli, Surat, Vadodara, Ambala, Jhajjar, Panchkula, Bengaluru, Kochi, Bhopal, Indore, Mumbai, Pune, Raigad, Thane, Bhubaneswar, Khurdha, Mohali, Chennai, Coimbatore, Erode, Kanchipuram, Krishnagiri, Salem, Tiruvallur, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Hooghly, Howrah, Kolkata, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Vijayawada, Ernakulam, Secunderabad, Aluva, Ropar, Hosur, Sriperumbudur, Tiruppur, Baramati, Navi Mumbai, Lucknow, Trivandrum, Mysuru, Nasik, Nagpur, and Ludhiana.
AMEX has recently started serving the following Tier 2/3 cities as well
Agra, Ajmer, Allahabad, Ambala, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Chittoor, Dehradun, Goa, Guntur, Guwahati, Jodhpur, Kanpur, Kolhapur, Kozhikode, Kurnool, Madurai, Meerut, Patiala, Raipur, Rajkot, Ranchi, Thrissur, Trichy and Udaipur.
On applying for a Gold Charge card via the link above you get 2000 MR points extra on spending ₹10,000 within 90 days! So why apply directly and lose on this benefit?
AMEX is one of those cards in which one redemption option can’t fit everyone. Some find solace in gold collection vouchers and others in Marriott Bonvoy transfer. Miles enthusiasts can extract value from airline transfers too. So there is something for every AMEX card holder. While redemption opportunities are a lot I wish AMEX would bring 3X and 5X offers from time to time just like in 2020 so that everyone can rack up some points fast!
What are your favourite redemption options for AMEX Gold Charge? Feel free to share your tricks in the comments below.
Chief Editor, TechnoFino.
Personal finance nerd! Physics enthusiast and trainer. When not into Physics, he is minting points and hunting for the next best credit card for himself.