Posts by "Ishan Vyas"

American Express Travel Credit Card – Your gateway to luxury travel!

Time to spill the beans on my firsthand experience with the American Express (Amex) Platinum Travel credit card.

Joining and Annual Fee

Joining Fee₹ 3500 + GST(free if you use my referral URL)
Welcome Benefit10,000 MR Points – Direct Signup
2,000 MR Points – Referred Signup
Annual Fee (Renewal)₹ 5000 + GST
Annual Fee WaiverNone(negotiable with support)

The Card & It’s Eligibility

When it comes to Amex, one thing that’s stood the test of time is their card design. It’s that classic, no-nonsense style – card name on the right, ‘American Express’ up top.

And guess what? Getting your hands on the Amex Platinum Travel credit card is easier than snagging a prime spot on a crowded train. The eligibility criteria are refreshingly simple, in fact, even more relaxed than what those other credit card big shots demand for their fancy premium plastics.

  • A good credit score – preferably 750 plus.
  • Annual Income of ₹ 6 Lakhs or above for both salaried and self-employed.

Well, here’s the deal. If you’ve got both those boxes checked, you’re pretty much good to go for applying for the card. And if you’re already rocking another Amex card, getting the green light for the Platinum Travel card is basically a slam dunk – just a bit of paperwork to make it official.

Quick Heads Up

  • KYC verification is online and instant.
  • Your adhaar and permanent address should match.
    • If it does not match, give your Aadhaar address only and then collect it from that location (assuming you have access to it)
    • Just to be clear, if your given address and Aadhar address does not match, they will reject the application.
  • Physical PAN will need to be shown on the online verification, ensure that you have that handy while doing the verification.
  • Amex doesn’t hand out approvals across the whole of India. They’ve got a select list of cities where they’re giving the nod for credit cards. If your Aadhar Card address doesn’t match up with one of these cities, well, you might be in for a rejection. Here is the List of Cities:
Delhi/NCRMumbaiBangaloreChennai
PuneHyderabadJaipurIndore
CoimbatoreChandigarhAhmedabadSurat
VadodraLucknowLudhianaNagpur
NasikTrivandrumMysuru

My Experience on Application process

  • Applied on friday night along with completing the KYC.
  • Tuesday afternoon, the card was at my home.

Amex is by far the best in process and experience.

Rewards

Although the annual fee might seem a bit hefty, the rewards more than make up for it.

  • All Spends (except fuel, insurance, utilities, and EMI transactions):
SpendsMR Points
₹ 501
  • MR points for insurance, utilities, and EMI transactions are not applicable. However, they still count toward those sweet milestone bonus rewards.
  • Apart from the regular rewards, the Amex Platinum Travel card provides bonus rewards at spending milestones.
SpendsRegular MR PointsBonus MR Points
₹ 1,90,000380015000
₹ 4,00,000420025000
Cumulative MR Points800040000
Milestone Bonus Membership Rewards.
Important – Credit of Bonus MR Points

Here’s the deal you should remember: Bonus MR points don’t magically appear in your account.

To secure an additional 7,500/12,500 MR points, reaching out to customer support via chat or call is the way to go. However, it’s worth noting that Amex has introduced a minor hurdle in this process. It’s a somewhat unexpected move from them, possibly influenced by the competitive landscape.

MilestoneAutomatic MR PointsManual MR Points
₹ 1,90,00075007500
₹ 4,00,0001250012500

Rewards Multiplier

You can ear Earn 5X reward points on Platinum via Reward Multiplier.

I feel they have a decent suit of your monthly product needs and with a 5x multiplier, you make a good progress on your purchases with amex platinum

You can early 3X rewards points on Gyftr Vouchers.

Hack: I am routing all my petty transaction transactions through amazon pay vouchers to early extra rewards.

Note: All rewards earned through rewards multiplier will be credited to your account after 150 days.

Refer your Friends. Get Rewarded (Members bring Members)

You can stack up a cool 1,50,000 points by referring 20 folks each year. Yep, referring others makes sense as long as it keeps rollin’, and let’s be real, that’s the main reason I’m penning this post. 😉

ReferrerMR PointsReferred MemberMR Points
80002000

You’ll receive the reward as soon as your friend’s card is dispatched. Gathering 20 people within your network isn’t particularly challenging. Just ping your inner circle – Amex’s got that premium allure, and everybody’s got their eyes on it. 😉

Catch: The referral game doesn’t have a limitless timeline – Amex keeps extending it every 15 days. Here’s the deal: If you push too hard, they might tweak the rules. So, keep your foot on the gas easy, but if you are going full throttle make sure you’ve got those 20 members on board within 15 days. Referrals can contribute a hefty 50% of your annual points stash. It’s serious business with a sprinkle of fun. 😉

Rewards Redemption

When you’re flipping through the catalog, the top choices for cashing in those MR points are either a slick Flipkart voucher or a fancy Taj gift card.

Note: The MR points earned through the Platinum Travel card are allocated to a distinct MR points account, and it’s worth noting that they do not grant access to the 18K and 24K Gold Collection.

Flipkart or Travel Voucher30 paise / MR point
Taj Voucher50 paise / MR point

In summary

AchievementBonus Membership Rewards PointsMilestone Redeemable
Welcome Gift10000Travel Vouchers worth Rs 3000. Not for the referral signups.
On spending ₹ 1.90 Lakhs / year15000Flipkart/Travel Vouchers worth up to ₹ 4500 or Taj Vouchers worth ₹ 7500
On spending ₹ 4 Lakhs / year25000Flipkart/Travel Vouchers worth ₹ 7500 or Taj Vouchers worth ₹ 12500
On spending ₹ 4 Lakhs / yearTaj Experiences E-Gift Card worth Rs 10000
On spends of ₹ 4 Lakhs / year8000₹ 2000 worth of Travel/Flipkart vouchers or Rs 4000 Taj gift vouchers

Here’s the lowdown

With Taj Vouchers in the mix, when you hit that Rs 4 lakh spend mark in a year, you’re in for a treat – Taj Experiences gift vouchers worth a cool ₹ 34,000, including those sweet milestone perks. That’s a whopping 8.5% reward rate, enough to foot the bill for a mini-vacay! 😉

These rewards are all about folks who love exploring their own turf, and that’s why they call it the Platinum Travel credit card.

Transfer to Airlines / Hotel Loyalty Programs

When it comes to Amex MR points, they’re like the Swiss Army knife of rewards. You can use them across a bunch of airline and hotel loyalty programs – they’ve got quite the lineup of transfer partners. With some smart planning, transferring your points can really amp up their value. Here is the conversion ratio:

PartnerAmex MR PointsParter Conversion PointsRatio
Asia Miles1000 Points500 Asia Miles2:1
Club Vistara900 Points300 Club Vistara Points3:1
Emirates Skywards1000 Points500 Emirates Skywards Miles2:1
Etihad Guest1000 Points500 Etihad Guest Miles2:1
Hilton Honors1000 Points900 Hilton Honors Points1:0.9
Marriott Bonvoy1000 Points1000 Marriott Bonvoy Points1:1
PAYBACK1000 Point1000 PAYBACK Point1:1
Qatar Privilege Club1000 Points500 Avios2:1
Singapore KrisFlyer1000 Points500 KrisFlyer Miles2:1
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1000 Points500 Virgin Points2:1

Limited time Round-the-Year Offers

Throughout the year, American Express also conducts various promotional offers that can result in a reward rate surpassing the aforementioned 8.5%.

They are running limited window spend offers right now when I am writing this post (September 15, 2023 to November 15, 2023)

Spend TargetOffer
₹ 5,00,000Taj vouchers worth Rs. 25,000
₹ 4,00,000Taj vouchers worth Rs. 20,000
₹ 3,00,000Taj vouchers worth Rs. 15,000
₹ 2,00,000Taj voucher worth Rs. 10,000
₹ 100,000e-voucher worth Rs. 4,000 from – Amazon and Flipkart
₹ 50,000e-voucher worth Rs. 2,000 from – Amazon and Flipkart
₹ 25,000e-voucher worth Rs. 1,000 from – Amazon and Flipkart

Now, these offers, they’re not for everyone in the club. It’s more like a secret handshake deal, and I think it depends on how you’ve been swiping that card of yours.

Here is another list of pages for offers that Amex run

Complimentary Airport Lounge Access

We get 2 complimentary domestic airport lounge visits per quarter with the Platinum Travel card. Here is the list of lounges for complimentary lounge access.

International Movement

This is limited to people moving from one country to another but makes a lot of sense if you are planning to move in near term, because of your credit score and relationship in india, you can get a card in another country, which is a big plus else getting a card in a country where you don’t have a score is tough and moving your gained points is even tougher.

Priority Pass

For globetrotters like us, Priority Pass is like having a golden ticket to some seriously awesome lounges. It’s your go-to gateway for top-notch relaxation.

Annual Fee Waiver

Now, Amex doesn’t exactly shout about an official annual fee waiver for the Platinum Travel credit card. But, here’s the inside scoop: If you give their customer care a holler after that first year’s annual fees hit your card, they might just toss you a few options for either waving that fee or cutting it down a notch.

I found a user stating the below conditions for getting the fees waived off:

  • Spend ₹ 2,00,000 in 60 days and get an annual fee waiver
  • Get an annual fee waiver in lieu of 10,000 MR points
  • Pay an annual fee and get 15,000 MR points

Pro-Tips

Use Wallets to increase rewards

American Express is a bit of a unicorn in the credit card game because they still hand out reward points when you load up mobile wallets like Paytm or Mobikwik. That means you can fuel up your mobile wallet using the Platinum Travel card and tap into it for all those little expenses.

Misc. Unsaid advantage

Amex, it’s that premium card that adds a little extra shine to your reputation.

Amex plays hard to get with their credit policies. But if they’ve given you the green light, chances are others will too.

Future

Who knows you will become an ultra HNI in future and then get an amex black. (The likes of Virat kohli are using amex black, that’s what an amex executive at bangalore airport told me)

Or since you got the card for free in the 1st year, if you don’t like it, maybe just cancel it next year.

What am I Targeting? JW Marriott Masai Mara

HeadMembership Reward Points
Joining Bonus2,000
Referral1,50,000
Milestone Achievements40,000
Regular Spends (₹ 2 Lakhs)4,000
Accelerated Spends (₹ 2 Lakhs)20,000
Total Accumulated Points2,16,000
Multiply * 2 – Khyati took the card as well. 4,32,000

Convert these points to Marriott Bonvoy points in 1:1 Ratio.

The deals available on Marriott Bonvoy

  • JW Marriott Masai Mara: 4 Nights for 298000 coins and 5th night free. All inclusive i.e. All meals, Safari, Alcoholic beverages & more

You know, Marriott keeps throwing these wild point offers on the table, and it’s kind of a no-brainer to snatch ’em up. Even if it’s not a safari in the Masai Mara this time around, who knows what cool rewards they’ll have in a year? The path ahead looks pretty darn clear.

Alright, now that you’ve digested the whole shebang, how about we set our sights on that Masai Mara adventure? Let’s lock it in by signing up on https://bit.ly/AmexIVRef, and we’ll both bag that sweet reward. Don’t wait too long, though – that first-year offer’s not gonna stick around forever!

Note: This post, dated December 29, 2023, is based on information from the Amex website, online sources and personal experience. If you spot any inaccuracies, please comment below.