My first credit card from the Amex stable was the Platinum Travel card. When I was contemplating applying for my second card from American Express two years ago, the obvious choice was the Jet Airways American Express Credit Card. The other alternative, the Gold Charge Card was ruled out as I am basically not a fan of charge cards, as I believe there is nothing like a no limit card. A charge card is basically a card with a dynamic limit based on past usage and payment patterns, where the issuer has already set a limit to what you could charge, but only the card holder is not aware of the same.
The Amex Jet card was looking attractive with an earn rate of 6 JP miles for every Rs. 100 spent. As I was about to apply, came the news of devaluation in October 2014 not only in terms of mileage earnings but also of stripping of reward points on spends on fuel, insurance and utility spends. Since a significant proportion of my expenditure came in these categories, and since I also held a premium Jet (Amex version) card from ICICI (with a much lower annual fee, better renewal benefits & similar reward structure) where I could keep earning JP miles on these categories too, I decided against applying for the Jet AmEx card.
It was then that the AmEx representative suggested to me the Platinum Reserve Card. On initial study, the reward points on this card did not look any different from the Platinum Travel card (without the milestone benefits and with higher annual fees). However, after delving deeply about the other benefits and considering the various perks involved, I decided to apply for this card and use it for a year at least.
However, I am satisfied with the card, reasons include the unrivaled AmEx customer service and periodic offers thrown in like,
which somehow compensates the poor reward structure on the card. It is the topmost credit card in the AmEx hierarchy.
Features of American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Card
A welcome rewards of 11,000 membership points which partially compensates the first year fee.
Joining Fee: Rs. 5,000 + ST
The American Express Platinum Reserve card offers 12 complimentary visits annually to the American Express Lounges at Delhi & Mumbai Airport. The only other cards which allow access to these privileged lounges is the Platinum charge card & the Jet AmEx Card. (At that time when I had applied, there was no complimentary access on the platinum travel card, which has been recently introduced, and that still does not include access to the Amex Lounges)
If you are a golf connoisseur, this card is for you. You not only get complimentary access (green fee waiver) to leading golf courses, but also golf lessons at select courses. Details on the AmEx website.
Taj Inner circle & Epicure Plus membership:
This card gives you complimentary Gold Tier membership to Taj Inner Circle & Epicure Plus, where you get 25% off on all your dining expenses at the Taj group along with discount and upgrade vouchers. The only other cards which provide this complimentary membership are the HDFC Infinia & Regalia, Citi Prestige, AmEx Platinum Charge Card, ICICI Diamant, Kotak Signature Royale (1st year only on the paid version), the Yes First Exclusive and the newly launched Axis Reserve Card.
- The cost of this membership on a standalone basis is Rs. 9,750 + ST.
Other Elite Memberships:
Complimentary gold tier membership of the Trident Privilege & Preferred group of hotels and complimentary additional night stays at the Oberoi group of Hotels.
Other Benefits on Amex Platinum Reserve Credit Card:
- Special offers like Taj Vouchers, spend based, from time to time (not advertised though)
- Special healthcare & discounts from Max healthcare, Fortis Healthcare & Texas group
- Platinum concierge from AmEx
- Priority Pass
- Air accident insurance of Rs. 1 crore
- Apart from 4 supplementary add on cards, 1 additional account card for segregating business expenses.
However, to summarize the annual fee of Rs. 10,000/- may seem on the higher side, though that is also dependent on your spend and payment patterns. This is basically a lifestyle card and not a rewards card.
Pros: Elite lodging & dining memberships, Golf & wellness benefits, AmEx Lounge access, special offers, higher limits.
Cons: High annual fees, poor reward structure & absence of bonus reward points on milestone spends.
CardExpert Rating: 4/5