American Express Smart Earn Credit Card Review 2021

Updated: Aug 31, 2021


Amex Smart Earn credit card has been aging like wine. Don’t think that this card is as good as is its big brother Amex MRCC. Smart Earn has enough features and benefits to be intriguing. Read on, try the “Savings Calculator” to see if this card is worth parking in your wallet.


RBI BAN

American Express has been facing a ban from issuing new cards as it presently does not comply with the requirement of keeping the servers domestically. Hope they resolve this soon you are able to apply for this card.


Eligibility

  • Employed and have a Personal Annual Income of INR 4.5 lakhs and above.

  • Self Employed with a Personal Annual Income of INR 6 lakhs and above.

Annual Fees

Annual Fee of Rs. 495 plus applicable taxes which totals to Rs 584.

Renewal fee waiver on eligible spends of Rs.40,000 and above in the previous year of Card membership.

Welcome Offer: Rs. 500 cashback as a Welcome Gift in form of statement credit on spends of Rs. 10,000 in the first 90 days of Card membership.

You will be compensated for the Annual fees and is an easy threshold to meet.


Complimentary to MRCC

If you hold Amex MRCC, you can get Smart Earn as a Life Time Free Credit card as long as you hold MRCC. The double advantage you get here is that you get access to the 24 Karat Gold Collection which drastically improves the reward Point redemption rate.

The normal Reward Point is worth Rs 0.25.

With the 24 Karat Gold Collection access the reward each reward points is worth Rs 0.37. That’s 48% more value out of this card.

If you already have MRCC, you need to get this card!

Smart Earn Benefits

  • You get 2 Membership Reward (MR) Points per Rs 50 spent.

  • You get reward points on wallet reloads

  • You do not get points on utilities and insurance.

  • You do not get points on fuel transaction and are charged with a Heavy Surcharge FEE!

  • The reward points never expire.


ACCELERATED EARN RATE

10X Membership Rewards

Individual spend limit of 500 MR as below:

  • Flipkart, Amazon

  • Uber

This means you can spend Rs 2500 in each of the above sets.

The savings is 5% for these merchants; with MRCC the savings become 7.4%.

The merchants are also quite the pick, only the limits are quite low considering this card also comes with a fee.

5X Membership Rewards

Paytm Wallet, Swiggy, BookMyShow, PVR, Myntra, Jabong, Grofers, Big Bazaar give 5X points with a total limit of 250 MR

This means you can spend Rs 2500 in total for the merchants.

The savings is 2.5% for these merchants; with MRCC the savings become 3.7%.

The merchants here are also of top quality but the limits are quite miniscule.


Membership Reward Point Redemption

You can go for voucher etc, but the best option is to go for “pay with points” which gives the best value.

1 MR=Rs 0.25


Milestone Amazon Vouchers

Earn Amazon vouchers worth ₹500 upon reaching the spend milestones of ₹1.20 lacs, ₹1.80 lacs, and ₹2.40 lacs respectively in a year. This adds a measly 0.625% when you manage to get all the vouchers.

I don’t think this changes that much for this card. I mean with Amex’s non acceptance, they need to add more to woo the Indian entry level card market.


Amex Offers

You need to login here https://www.americanexpress.com/en-in/account/login

For you card to get access to the famous Amex Offers section.

The single reason most people hold Amex card is the offers you get from time to time.

Reward Multiplier

This portal can be used to get directed to ecommerce websites and also to purchase e-voucher.

The link is https://www.americanexpress.com/in/benefits/rewards-program.html

It does say that you get 2X points with Smart Earn, but in actuality it is 2 additional points.

For eg. if you buy from Amazon via Reward Multiplier, you will double dip and get the 10X plus 2 additional points. This makes the savings 8.14% although on maximum Rs2500 monthly spends.

The Savings Calculator for AMEX SMART EARN credit card

Sometimes I think, why I even do I bother about writing this article. You can get that information easily. But the “SAVINGS CALCULATOR” is something which is worth noticing.

You know the drill, add in your expenses and find out your savings.

If the Calculator doesn't run, click here and run again :)

About the table

I have considered that the spends you do in Amazon and Flipkart are double dipped (10X + reward multiplier)

You can also choose if you have access to the gold collection as it dramatically increases the value the Membership rewards.

For the spends I have considered, I get more than 4% savings with the MRCC. Without the 24 Karat Gold Collection access the reward rate goes down to a little less than 3%.


Similar or better cards

This card is not as solid on its own mainly because its targeting the entry level market. In this category, acceptability issues are much higher. In most grocery stores near me, Amex is not accepted. However, in the more posh shops it has greater acceptance. So you see the ambiguity.

However, as an add-on to your Amex MRCC, it makes perfect sense.

At this entry level, you can go with Axis Freecharge Credit card, SBI SimplyCLICK, Amazon pay ICICI credit card, etc.

Conclusion

You can think about holding this card if you are a fan of Amex Offers. I know I am.

Still the rating is

2.2/5


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