Amex MRCC credit card, also known as the Amex Membership Rewards credit card is the most popular credit card in Amex India’s portfolio. Amex is now out of the RBI ban and can issue credit cards in India. Thus it’s an opportune time to revisit the Amex MRCC credit card.
Should you apply for Amex MRCC? How does this card compare with other credit cards? Read on to find out.
Amex MRCC Credit Card
- The first-year fee of 1000+GST. Second year onwards 4500+GST. Welcome gift of 4000 MR points.
- The annual fee is waived on annual spending of 1.5lk. Moreover, if your spending is above 90k but less than 1.5lk, you pay only 50% of the fees.
Reward and Benefits:
- Base Reward Rate: 1MR point for every INR 50 spent. Value of 1RP =40p. i.e. 0.8%. No reward points for spending on fuel, insurance, utilities and cash withdrawal.
- Accelerated Reward Rate: 2MR points for every INR 50 spent on the Amex Reward Multiplier portal (similar to the HDFC Smartbuy portal).
- The USP of the Amex MRCC credit card is monthly milestone points. You get 1000 bonus MR points for simply using your card 4 times on transactions of INR 1,500 or above in a calendar month.
- Further, you get additional 1000 MR points simply by spending INR 20k or more in a calendar month. You need to do a one-time enrolment for the same here.
- No lounge access on this card is one major disappointment.
Thoughts on Amex MRCC Credit Card
Probably the best all-around fuel card
While Amex MRCC does not give reward points for fuel spending. The fuel spends are counted towards milestone spends of 4×1500 and monthly 20k spend target. Thus you end up getting RPs on fuel spending too. The thumb rule is that you get a ~4% reward rate on your fuel spending if you can meet both monthly targets.
In a hypothetical scenario if you were to spend 20k in a month only on fuel using Amex MRCC; you will still end up with 24000 MR points at the end of the year. If you happen to redeem these RPs for Taj vouchers you will get 14000 worth of Taj vouchers; a whooping ~6% reward rate.
Pro-Hack-1: If you are planning to swipe your Amex MRCC credit card, then use HP Petrol pumps. For transactions up to 5k, there is no surcharge applicable.
Pro-Hack-2: If there is a BP petrol pump close to your place. Use your Amex MRCC credit card to buy a BPCL Gift voucher from the Amex Reward Multiplier website. This will give you 33,600 RP at the end of the year (Assuming 20k spent every month). At a 40p value, the reward rate will be 5.6% and at a 60p value, the reward rate will be 8.4%. (Read the T&Cs here carefully before buying). The challenge is BPCL gift vouchers are not easily available on the Amex Reward Multiplier website. Sometimes they are and sometimes they are not.
Reward points don’t expire
American Express is among the very few credit card issuers where RPs don’t expire. Thus, you can accumulate your RPs for multiple years and plan a big redemption in one go as highlighted here.
Versatile in terms of reward points
Amex MRCC credit card is one such credit card, which you can apply for it without thinking much about how and where to redeem your reward points. This credit card is very versatile in terms of redemption options. You can opt for statement credit, though the reward rate is low (25p for 1RP), and I won’t suggest doing this. Further, you can redeem RPs for various vouchers such as Amazon, Flipkart, Taj etc (reward rate of 40-60p for 1RP). Moreover, you can also opt to transfer the RPs to various airlines/hotel loyalty programs. Popular ones are Marriott at a 1:1 ratio and Singapore Airlines at a 2:1 ratio.
Gets you a foreign credit card, if you happen to settle abroad
One lesser-known benefit of Amex credit cards is if you own an Amex here in India for over a year and happen to settle abroad. You can apply for an Amex credit card in that country as soon as you land. Amex considers your repayment record and the credit behaviour of your home country to issue you a new credit card.
No RPs for utilities and insurance spends
One major negative of Amex MRCC is that it does not give RPs for utilities and insurance spending. However, there are workarounds. Such as loading the wallet using an Amex MRCC credit card and then paying the bills. Another workaround is to pay bills on Amazon using an Amex MRCC credit card. Typically Amex gives a base reward rate for these spends.
No rent payment
Rent payment is not possible thru Amex credit cards. Most of the common rent payment platforms such as RedGiraffe, NoBroker, Magicbricks etc don’t accept Amex cards for rent payment. Thus, if you are planning to take Amex MRCC and intend to meet milestone spending targets thru rent payment, you are in for a rude shock.
No lounge access
This is one big sore area of the Amex MRCC credit card. Given that, many LTF credit cards offer lounge access, but Amex MRCC doesn’t.
Amex offers have been reduced drastically
Amex until 2021 used to have many awesome offers on its credit cards. A few popular offers were Shop-Small, spend-based offers around Diwali, insurance payment offer in Jan-Feb etc. These offers use to give double-dip or even triple-dip opportunities to pile up the RPs. However, in 2022, these offers seem to have dried up or they are simply not as lucrative as they use to be.
Comparison of Amex MRCC with SBI Cashback credit card
Nowadays, no credit card review is complete without comparing the same with SBI’s Cashback credit card. While SBI Cashback credit card (Apply Now) is in itself a very solid credit card. Nevertheless, there are a few use cases where Amex MRCC scores above it.
Scenario-1: You spend 20k a month on fuel, utilities and insurance using an Amex MRCC credit card. Though you don’t earn any reward points on individual transactions, you will end up earning 24K RPs worth at least 9k, ~4% reward rate. The same spent on the SBI Cashback card will give you a meagre 0.7% reward rate.
Scenario 2: You spend 20k a month in categories where SBI Cashback gives 5%. Even in this case, the Amex MRCC credit card will give you a 4.8% reward rate.
Scenario-3: You spend 6K per month on fuel on Amex MRCC managing to meet the 4×1500 bonus criterion. You will get a decent 4.2% reward rate on Amex.
The key to maximising RPs on Amex MRCC is to limit the spending to around 2.5lk per annum. That is where you get the max benefits.
However, if you have 3 cards, SBI Cashback(Apply Now), Axis Ace(Apply Now) and Amex MRCC (Apply Now), you can earn ~5% on all nearly all spends. Use the SBI Cashback card for all online spending – straight 5% cashback. Axis Ace credit card for all utility bill payments thru the GPay app – 5% cashback. Amex MRCC at HP petrol pumps and insurance payments. As long as your Amex MRCC spends 20k+ a month on 4+ transactions you will earn 2000 points every month.
Amex MRCC credit card is a highly rewarding credit card if you can use it smartly. For spends of up to 2.4lk per annum, you can easily get a 4%+ reward rate. The best way to apply is using the referral link below since your second-year fee is reduced drastically.
In the interest of full disclosure, Credit Cardz may earn a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the links in this post. However, opinions and views expressed here are of the author's alone and not those of the bank, credit card issuer, or anyone else and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.