AMEX SmartEarn Credit Card Review

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers. Last Updated 1st Jan 2024.

AMEX SmartEarn Credit Card is the entry-level credit card from AMEX in India designed specifically for the mass market. Though the card is not that popular but is very decent due to its accelerated reward rate on day-to-day spending and milestone benefits.

Let’s check out how we can maximize rewards on it!

Charges and Welcome Benefits

Joining Fees₹495 + GST
Welcome Benefits2000 Membership Reward Points on spending ₹5,000 within 90 days (Referral Cards)
+ 500 worth of Amazon Vouchers on Spending ₹10,000 within 90 days
Renewal Fees₹495 + GST
Renewal BenefitsNA
Renewal Fee Waiver100% fee waiver on spending 40,000 in a year.
Add on Cards1 complimentary supplementary card is provided.

Joining via referral gives you an edge as you get the 2000 welcome MR points extra which you won’t get by applying directly.

Check out the link for detailed information.

***Apply now for any AMEX Card by clicking on the banner above and get all the referral benefits***
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 Twitter.

AMEX Membership Rewards

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 AreaReward Rate
All Spends*1 MR Points/ ₹50 spent
  • *Spends exclude Fuel, Insurance, Utilities, Cash Transactions and EMI conversion at the Point of Sale
  • 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 Marriot Bonvoy/Taj Hotels

Bonus Reward Accrual

MerchantMultiplier RateReward RateCapping
Flipkart, Uber, BookMyShow, Ajio, Nykaa, PVR, BlinkIt, Myntra10X~10%500 points
(Spend ₹2500)
Zomato10X~10%500 points
(Spend ₹2500)
Amazon and Paytm Wallet5X~5%250 points
(Spend ₹2500)

The above-mentioned reward rate is considered if you would be transferring your points to Marriott Bonvoy or redeeming them for Taj Vouchers. But if you would like to redeem them for Amazon Pay vouchers then you may get much lesser value.

AMEX Rewards Multiplier

AMEX has a Rewards Multiplier portal just like HDFC SmartBuy from where you can purchase gift vouchers or do affiliate shopping and get 2X the normal reward points.

Spends AreaReward Rate
Rewards Multiplier2 MR Points/ ₹50 spent

Milestone Benefits

Spends MilestoneVoucher Value
₹1,20,000₹500 Amazon Voucher
₹1,80,000₹500 Amazon Voucher
₹2,40,000₹500 Amazon Voucher

Reward Redemption

There are the following redemption options for the AMEX SmartEarn Credit Card.

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 worse 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.

It is always better to hold a gold collection card like AMEX Gold Charge or AMEX MRCC along with the SmartEarn so that you can redeem your MR Points for the gold collection vouchers.

VoucherValue Per Point
24K Gold Collection – 8000 Amazon Voucher33p/MR Point
18K Gold Collection – 6000 Amazon Voucher33p/MR Point
24K Gold Collection – 14000 Taj Hotels Voucher58.33p/MR Point
18K Gold Collection – 9000 Taj Hotels Voucher50p/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 only. 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 need to keep an eye on them.

Transfer Points

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.

Airlines Transfers

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.

Hotel Transfers

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.

Other than this you can transfer to Hilton Honors also but the value is not that great as compared to Marriott. We have curated a complete list of AMEX hotel transfer partners here.

It takes about 3-5 days to transfer Amex MR Points to various loyalty programs so transfer them well in advance to use them.

TechnoFino Maximum

If you spend ₹7,500 a month on all the listed merchants then you can earn 1250 MR points per month on this card. So you can easily earn 15000 MR points in a year on this card just by doing everyday spending and also get a fee waiver.

Spending on the Rewards Multiplier doesn’t make much sense on this card since a 2X multiplier isn’t that exciting.

Other Benefits

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

Eligibility Criteria

  • For SmartEarn income of a minimum ₹4.5LPA is required if you are salaried and an ITR of a minimum ₹6LPA is required for self-employed. AMEX doesn’t process applications on a Card-to-Card basis. (Although an income proof is required to apply sometimes this card gets processed without one so you may try your luck)
  • 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, 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.

***Apply now for any AMEX Card by clicking on the banner above and get all the referral benefits***

Joining via referral gives you an edge as you get the 2000 welcome MR points extra which you won’t get by applying directly.

TechnoFino Recommends

AMEX SmartEarn though decent doesn’t have many takers since the card becomes less meaningful if used alone. Instead of this most people take the AMEX MRCC since the eligibility criteria are almost similar. But its value can be used in your favour by combining it with MRCC or a Gold Charge card. So, if you are not willing to commit 4L spends on an AMEX Card then you can shun the AMEX Platinum Travel and make your own AMEX Trifecta with AMEX Gold Charge, AMEX MRCC and AMEX SmartEarn.

Are you planning to get the American Express SmartEarn and start your credit relationship with them? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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