Amex MRCC and Gold Charge cards offer bonus MR points on making Rs 1500 X 4 or Rs 1000 X 6 transactions every month. But, if you are making bigger payments then these cards may not be too useful. This is where American Express Platinum Travel comes in. If you have an existing credit line from Amex, getting a second credit card is easy. Here is my hands-on American Express (Amex) Platinum Travel credit card review.
If there is one thing that has not changed with Amex over the years, it is the card design. It is the standard simple design with the card name on the right side and the ‘American Express’ brand on the top. Eligibility criteria for the Amex Platinum Travel credit card are pretty simple and actually lower than what other credit card companies ask for their premium credit cards.
- A good credit score – preferably 750 plus
- Annual Income of Rs 6 Lakhs or above for both salaried and self-employed
That’s it. If you have both, you can go ahead and apply for the card. If you already have another card from Amex, the approval for Plat Travel is just a formality.
Joining and Annual Fee
|Joining Fee||Rs 3500 plus GST|
|Welcome Benefit||10000 Membership Reward Points|
|Annual Fee||Rs 5000 plus GST|
|Annual Fee Waiver||None|
While the annual fee seems to be on the higher side, the rewards make up for more than the fees.
- All Spends (except fuel, insurance, utilities, and EMI transactions): 1 MR point/Rs 50 ~0.3% to 0.6% return
- Fuel, insurance, utilities and EMI transactions do not get MR points but count for the milestone bonus rewards
As in MRCC and Gold Charge, the real benefit of Platinum Travel lies in the milestone MR points.
Milestone Bonus Membership Rewards
Apart from the regular rewards, the Amex Platinum Travel card provides bonus rewards at spending milestones. There are two spend milestones at 1.9L and 4L.
|BONUS MR POINTS|
|Spend Rs 1.90 Lakhs in a year on Amex Plat Travel Card||3800||15000|
|Spend Rs 4 Lakhs in a year on Amex Plat Travel Card||4200||25000|
|Cumulative MR Points||8000||40000|
Important – Credit of Bonus MR Points
It is important to note here that the credit of bonus MR points is not fully automatic.
For Rs 1.9 Lakhs milestone, we will get 7500 MR points automatically. We need to call/chat with customer support to get another 7500 MR points.
Similarly, for the Rs 4 Lakhs milestone, we will get 12500 MR points automatically. We need to call/chat with customer support to get another 12500 MR points.
From the catalog, the best options for redeeming these MR points are either a Flipkart or Taj gift voucher. The Platinum Travel MR points get pooled into a separate MR points account and DO NOT get access to the 18K and 24K Gold Collection.
- Flipkart or Travel Voucher: 30 paise per MR point
- Taj Voucher: 50 paise per MR point
- Welcome Gift of 10000 Milestone Bonus Membership Rewards Points redeemable for Travel Vouchers worth Rs 3000 if you pay the joining fee
- On spending Rs. 1.90 Lakhs in a year: Earn 15000 MR Points redeemable for Flipkart/Travel Vouchers worth up to Rs 4500 or Taj Vouchers worth Rs 7500
- On spending Rs 4 Lakhs in a year: Earn 25000 MR Points redeemable for Flipkart/Travel Vouchers worth Rs. 7500 or Taj Vouchers worth Rs 12500
- We also earn a Taj Experiences E-Gift Card worth Rs 10000 on achieving 4 Lakhs spend in a year. This one is sent as soon as you hit the milestone. There is no need to wait for the card membership year to be completed.
On spends of Rs 4 Lakhs in a year, we also get regular 8000 MR points which are redeemable for Rs 2000 worth of Travel/Flipkart vouchers or Rs 4000 Taj gift vouchers.
Overall Reward Rate of 8.5% with Taj Vouchers
For spends of Rs 4L in a year, we get Taj Experiences gift vouchers worth Rs 34000 including milestone benefits. This makes the reward rate a whopping 8.5% and is enough to cover the stay expenses for a mini-vacation. 🙂
The rewards are aimed toward domestic travelers and hence the name of the Platinum Travel credit card.
Pro-Tip: Use Wallets to increase rewards
American Express is one of the few credit card issuers which still gives reward points for topping up mobile wallets like Paytm or Mobikwik. So, you can load the mobile wallet using the Platinum Travel card and use it for all your small spending as well. Even for excluded categories like fuel and insurance spending, I pay through my Paytm/Mobikwik wallet which lets me earn reward points.
This helps in reaching the milestone spend of Rs 4 Lakhs really fast.
Transfer to Airlines/Hotel Loyalty Programs
Amex MR points are also one of the most versatile ones when it comes to using them for airline and hotel loyalty programs. We get multiple transfer partners. If planned well, points transfer can give you a better value for your MR points.
|Asia Miles||800 Points = 400 Asia Miles|
|Club Vistara||900 Points = 300 Club Vistara Points|
|Emirates Skywards||800 Points = 400 Emirates Skywards Miles|
|Etihad Guest||1600 Points = 800 Etihad Guest Miles|
|Hilton Honors||1000 Points = 900 Hilton Honors Points|
|Marriott Bonvoy||100 Points = 100 Marriott Bonvoy Points|
|PAYBACK||1 Point = 1 PAYBACK Point|
|Qatar Privilege Club||500 Points = 250 Avios|
|Singapore KrisFlyer||800 Points = 400 KrisFlyer Miles|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||800 Points = 400 Virgin Points|
The rewards above are not all the Amex Platinum Travel credit card offers. Around the year, Amex also runs multiple promotional offers which end up giving a reward rate far more than the 8.5% mentioned above. For example, I got a Flipkart shopping offer that gave me 10% cashback up to Rs 2500, and an Amazon shopping offer that gave me 10% cashback up to Rs 2000. These offers also help in meeting the annual spending required for this card.
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.
Annual Fee Waiver
Amex does not have an official annual fee waiver criteria for the Platinum Travel credit card. However, it does offer some waiver or reduced annual fee options for reaching out to customer care. I reached out to CC after the annual fees were charged to my card at the end of the first year and got the below options for an annual fee waiver:
- Spend 2L in 60 days and get an annual fee waiver
- Get an annual fee waiver in lieu of 10K MR points
- Pay an annual fee and get 15K MR points