American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Card Review by Manish

By | September 26, 2016

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.

amex_platinum_reserve_credit_card

American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Card

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

Joining Benefits:

A welcome rewards of 11,000 membership points which partially compensates the first year fee.

Joining Fee: Rs. 5,000 + ST

Lounge access:

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)

Golf benefits:

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.


Recap:
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

Author: Siddharth

A Credit Card freak minting reward points and cashback for years, started adding Airmiles in recent times. Obsessed with aviation, airport lounges and luxury travel at affordable cost.

65 thoughts on “American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Card Review by Manish

  1. Amex Guy

    This card is worth it for Amex lounge and Golf green fee waiver alone. If you even hit the sticks twice a year you cover the cost. Plus, Amex lounges are infinitely better experience than Plaza lounges, which have become no better than a McD environment since every card seems to be offering complimentary access to them these days.

    For the uninitiated, Amex platinum “Do Anything” concierge is unbelievable. If you’ve used Visa Infinite concierge, multiply the efficiency by 100. They found my gf’s phone which she did not even know where she forgot (on flight or in Uber). They did the tracking top to bottom, delivered the phone to our home.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      That’s unbelievably interesting about Do Anything Concierge thing!

      Reply
    2. Prateek

      It’s not available on Platinum Reserve Card. Its for Platinum Card only.

      Reply
      1. TG

        It is available for platinum reserve also. They will take all the same requests as the platinum card, except any travel/booking related requests.

        Reply
  2. puneet venkata

    I wanted to apply for this card and I have been told by Amex Customer Care that I can only hold 1 amex credit card and other credit card has to be co-branded like Jet or MMT. Can anyone confirm if they have both Platinum Reserve as well as Platinum Travel cards.

    Reply
  3. Deep Singh Bawa

    Hi,
    Can you confirm is the card still offers 1 night stay complimentary part of the deal? as i didnt see under the benefits.

    Reply
    1. rohit tandon

      Hi Mr. Bawa,

      yes the platinum reserve is still offering 1 night stay complimentary on booking of 2 nights stay at Oberoi

      BR
      Rohit Tandon

      Reply
  4. Himanshu

    Does this card offer any spending based bonus points or offers?

    Reply
  5. Prashant Gupta

    after a lot of thinking i have applied for this card just for the Taj epicure membership which is 13500+taxes as my membership has expired. although i did a mistake i think of applying through agent where i could have earned refereal credits. The first year fees can be recovered as per the agent through 11000 welcome points and 5000 each for 2 supplementary card which he said is applicable only if i apply from him. so i took the risk. I am planning to close my Platinum travel card in this renewal and transfer its limit to this card.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Ah Man, you should have applied it during March to take advantage of bonus points on add-on cards.

      Reply
      1. Prashant Gupta

        But the RM has told that i will get 5k om suppl now also.

        Reply
      2. Prashant Gupta

        Also is the card worth. This is the only card i am thinking a lot as reward structure is bad. Sorry for multiple posts.

        Reply
        1. Siddharth Post author

          Add-on offer + SPG transfers makes the card work, for now.

          Reply
  6. Mouli

    Prashant,

    Is it worth every year to pay around 15k for Taj Membership ?
    When I went through the card features , there is nothing mentioned regarding Taj Epicure Membership
    I am seeing only the below content
    Enjoy complimentary Silver Tier membership to Taj InnerCircle and get
    Late Check Out*.
    10% discount on room redemption rate.

    Reply
    1. Prashant Gupta

      Click on the details and the links will take you to platinum reserve website which mentions every features in details. There it is mentioned taj epicure membership under dining tab.

      Reply
  7. Prashant Gupta

    Mouli i think the card fees is repaid in terms of 1.if you go just to the bars in taj during happy hours and use 1+1 offer which i have conformed, so in 1 visit u can save around 1k for 1 round of drinks. So in 10 visits u save 10k + 25%back as points. 2. Those who play golf then the payback period can be as short as 2-4 weeks as in metros the green fee is around 2k.

    For second year i may or may not review depending on the offer at that time. There is no other card except yes exclusive that gives the membership.

    Reply
    1. Mouli

      I have purchased the Epicure membership, Thanks Prashant for the inout

      Is there any restriction for 1+1 during the happy hours ?
      Shall I take my friend and still avail the 1+1 ?
      Should the billing be done by 8 or the last order should be by 8 and still we can be in the bar after that?
      Is it applicable only for beverages or for food that we order in the bar too?
      Sorry for putting lot of questions

      Thanks,
      Mouli

      Reply
      1. Prashant Gupta

        Hi.
        1+1 is irrespective of number of persons and any number of rounds of drinks ordered. Its only on alcohol and not food. Billing has to be closed by 8. We generally order and close bill by 8 and sit till late and enjoy the drinks 😀.
        Cheers

        Reply
        1. Mouli

          Thanks Prashant for your valuable input , shortly I am going to use 1+1
          Really 1+1 alone justifies paying 15k for Epicure Membership !!

          Reply
  8. Jay

    @Prashant Gupta,

    Very good choice, go ahead with the Platinum Reserve Card. I was initially taken back after I got the card that was it worth 10k every year but now i feel it was a very good decision. AMEX keeps running special discounts sales, offers only on Platinum Charge, Centurion and Reserve Cards every now and then. Currently they are running a 25% flat discount on Taj Hotel Bookings over the lowest market available rates.

    AMEX considers Reserve Card with the same tier as Platinum Charge & Centurion Cards. I feel this is one of their Premium Cards.

    @Mouli

    They also offer you two room upgrade vouchers and discounts on F&B on their Silver Membership.

    Reply
    1. Prashant Gupta

      Thanks Jay for sharing your inputs. Also i think 1 night free stay voucher which is part of the epicure membership will not be given with this card as this is not a directly paid membership.

      Reply
    2. Kiran

      Hi Jay,

      Can you confirm if the offer is still valid ??

      25% discount.

      Cheers,
      Kiran

      Reply
    3. Gkcards

      I checked the Taj 25% rate. Its room only rate. Most other websites have rates with free breakfast. I think the most honest hotel rates credit card offers are prestige one night free and smart buy (33% with black)

      Reply
  9. Jay

    Nope, they don’t offer a free night voucher with Amex Based silver membership

    Reply
  10. Kiran

    Hi,

    What’s the maximum limit available on the Reserve card??

    Any have this info?

    Cheers,
    Kiran

    Reply
    1. Nikhil Das

      Max limit that can be approved by Amex is only Rs. 8 lakhs but, the Reserve card has another secret benefit where depending on your usage and payment patterns, the system will allow you to use over the limit. My card has a limit of Rs. 2.4 lakhs but I can use it for approx Rs. 5.5 – 6 lakhs.

      Reply
  11. Prashant Gupta

    Received this today, some nice add on and changes:

    Important information about your American Express® Platinum ReserveSM Credit Card.

    Dear Cardmember,
    We are pleased to let you know that we have added new benefits to your American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Cardmembership to complement your discerning tastes and make your journey more enjoyable.
    WHAT’S NEW
    Enjoy movie vouchers or online shopping vouchers worth Rs.6,000 per year*
    Beginning 1st September, 2018, enroll and get monthly vouchers worth Rs.500 per month from either BookMyShow or Flipkart when you spend Rs.25,000 or more in a calendar month. You can choose either partner (BookMyShow or Flipkart) at the time of enrollment* to enjoy this privilege.
    To enroll for vouchers from BookMyShow#, please click here
    or
    To enroll for vouchers from Flipkart#, please click here
    Experience dining with EazyDiner Prime
    Enjoy complimentary membership to one of the most premium dining programmes in the country. Enjoy up to 50% off at over 450 premium restaurants along with a 24-hour VIP line and more. You can also enjoy a complimentary drink with every booking at over 100+ restaurants and more. To enroll for EazyDiner Prime membership, please click here
    Receive hotel credit worth up to Rs.5,0001 (USD 75) with The Hotel Collection
    The Hotel Collection includes curated properties from premium hotel chains such as Hyatt and Hilton Hotels, available through the American Express® International Travel website. Get hotel credit worth up to Rs.5,0001 (USD 75) to spend on qualifying dining, spa and resort activities, and a room upgrade (if available), when you book a stay of 2 or more nights at over 500 hotels through American Express International Travel website.
    WHAT’S CHANGING
    We also wanted to let you know about a revision to the lounge access programme available on your Card. Beginning 23rd September, 2018, you will enjoy 12 complimentary lounge visits to 33 domestic airport lounges in India, limited to 3 times per quarter**. To view the list of lounges you can access, please click here
    You will continue to enjoy complimentary Priority Pass membership worth $99 every year.
    We hope you enjoy the value and convenience these changes bring along with them.
    Sincerely,

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Cool. Certainly helps to increase the reward rate. Thanks for sharing!

      Will write a separate article on it shortly.

      Reply
  12. ANISH GUPTA

    Hi,

    I wanted to know what is the INR value of 1 reward point earned on the AMEX platinum CHARGE card?
    incase 1 goes for redemption / cash back.

    Reply
  13. Gkcards

    Hi Siddharth,

    Can you review Amex platinum card in India? I wonder why fees is 50k in India whereas it’s 400$ or so abroad?

    Reply
  14. Nayana

    When you Visit International lounge through priority pass, how much are you charged on the card?
    Is Amex lounges available in all airports? Is it only international ?

    Reply
    1. Prashant Gupta

      Lounge access charges are i think USD27 or 31. There are only 2 amamezez lounges in india which can be accessed.

      Reply
  15. Paavan

    Hi Siddharth, I have been following cardexpert for some time now, Great work. I have read almost all of your posts. I came across an american express kiosk at bengaluru airport (domestic departures) and they are offering the platinum reserve credit card at zero annual fee for the first year, and free thereafter if we spend over 5 lac annually (only if applied through airport kiosks).

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Yes, this airport offer is for new customers & not existing Amex Cardholders.

      Reply
      1. Ramesh Kumar

        Airport offer also applicable for existing customers, yesterday I applied for platinum reverse and got also got email confirmation regarding offer. Sales person told there won’t be credit check, if existing Amex holder is still working in same MNC and resident address also same as existing card.

        Reply
  16. Gkcards

    I checked there concierge. For domestic travel (+hotels), they say book on mmt. For international travel , book directly on amex.co.in/travel They don’t take requests for transfers from airport to hotel etc, but can book self drive car on there website. I asked them a week back to suggest an itinerary for upcoming travel like places to see/eat etc and they said today that they are still working on it.

    Reply
    1. Amex Guy

      That is hard for me to digest, honestly. I thought Reserve shares at least travel line with Amex Plat. The travel line with Plat is great. Just a few weeks back I lost my key to apartment, as my spare key is with my relative 40 kms out, I called Plat travel line while actually driving. I asked them to find me a place to crash, they suggested a Hilton nearby. I said cheaper, I just need a bed to crash. He found me a FabHotel but said he cannot book. As soon as I said I’m driving, he said hold on, called the hotel (or maybe Fab customer support), got me a booking and got back to me that he has booked it for me and I should just go to hotel and pay, and that I should get an email from Fab. I mean, this isn’t even a hotel that is on the Amex system. It took me under 5 minutes. At 2 AM. Talk about “having your back.”

      Yes, for domestic economy booking they do suggest to book directly through Amex Travel online but that’s because concierge booking takes back and forth and economy pricing fluctuates in that while.

      There is a reason why Reserve is being given out for free. In all possibility it is a watered down offering now.

      Reply
      1. Gkcards

        For this lack of proper concierge, I was thinking Citi Prestige is a better card from second year. Even though fees is double, they kind of cover the fees through Taj/ITC vouchers and 10K miles whereas Amex reserve doesn’t give anything and I don’t play golf either. Amex travel portal also has very few options of hotels. Citi also gives 100% cash back on eazy diner, along with PP for addons also, limo etc, whereas Amex reserve doesnt seem much useful. There 25%off on Taj was useful I think for business travelers maybe but not for holidays as it was without breakfast and not much difference in rates.

        As people have said, Citi Prestige concierge is great. Any thoughts on this, just from concierge point of view (without bringing in real Amex platinum here in comparison :)?

        Reply
        1. Amex Guy

          Citi Prestige concierge is great. Not Amex Plat great, but not by much, and you won’t find the difference unless you’re asking something really out of the way. They have successfully got me into fully booked clubs within minutes while I stood outside and called them, they can pretty much book anything for you just like Amex. One good thing about Citi’s offering is that if you use the concierge enough, you seem to be getting the same guy every time you call (for the most part), and that makes life easy.

          And yes, Reserve is a pretty useless card when compared to Prestige. Prestige is fully comparable to Amex Plat actually. It costs less because it comes with fewer sticker perks. But the service is actually better than Plat for card related stuff — for example, Citi has a proper Prestige line, a group of customer service folks specifically for Prestige. Plat does not have Platinum line in India till now, and I regularly get BS information from Amex customer reps about the card.

          Go for Prestige. You will love it.

          Reply
      2. Sreehari

        Is there a separate Plat Travel line? Isn’t it the same Amex customer care for all cards except the top end?

        Reply
  17. TG

    Gkcards, I’ve been contemplating the exact same thing. I do use golf on plat reserve, but citi prestige has that too.
    I’ve used the reserve concierge a few times with varying degrees of success.
    * They were unable to get me a last minute table at courtyard marriott BLR. When pressed, they said they don’t have tie ups with any restaurants in India except taj. This was a shocker for me.
    * they took more than a week to get back to me on advice/research on booking elephant safari in the NE.
    * I had an unusual last minute request, but they politely declined saying they need 24 hours to work on it.

    While the concierge of plat reserve is much better than that of diners black, I think it might be inferior to that of the plat charge card. Amex says its the same concierge service and same company, but I’m not sure how sincere they are when handling requests from reserve customers as opposed to the platinum customers.

    Can someone comment on quality of usual and unconventional concierge requests with plat charge card (Amex guy?) or the citi prestige concierge.

    Reply
    1. Gkcards

      They haven’t yet got back on my itinerary request yet, and its been almost 10 days. I would say one part of DCB concierge is great, which is booking assistance for flights and hotels. Of course its same as what’s available on site, it helps sometimes when the site doesnt work. Amex reserve simply says do it online, which has far far less options than DCB.

      Will use reserve or should I say keep it for a year and cancel it. Maybe go for Prestige as AmexGuy said. But I love DCB for points.

      Reply
  18. Amex Guy

    > “Amex says its the same concierge service and same company”

    Nope. They seem to have lied to you to sell the card. While the concierge comes from Aspire Lifestyle, it is very different. Aspire provides a range of different service levels — the appalling Diners and Yes Bank concierge is Aspire too.

    Plat/Cent actually share the same concierge, with Cent getting an additional RM. I regularly get emails from them with Centurion branding. 😀 But this version of concierge is trained to provide services like Platinum Emergency line, there is no way Reserve shares this. I used to think maybe travel line is same among all 3 cards. Apparently not.

    > “I do use golf on plat reserve, but citi prestige has that too.”

    Nope, it does not. Citi Prestige local golf has obscene (sometimes 3) minimum flight requirements. If you already know 2 club members, great. But you don’t get that minimum flight of 1 on weekdays and 2 on weekends that you get with Amex. I’d save the Prestige golf slots to use them internationally. For local clubs, Amex is the king. You only get 3 free/ year on Prestige, and then 1 for every 50K spend.

    > “Can someone comment on quality of usual and unconventional concierge requests”

    For Citi — I mostly call them to get into clubs on Fridays and Saturdays, regardless of their stag policy. More often than not, they get me in. Apart from that, I call them for hotels, due to 4th night free benefit. They are as efficient as Plat. I book 2 free limo rides every year. Very efficient there too. I once booked on short notice which is technically against terms, but the guy was still able to check and book as it was still available.

    For Plat — I don’t even know where to start. They are great assisstance while travelling, arranged liquor on short notice at house parties, medicine delivery when I was sick, I sometimes make them sit and find the cheapest beer deal I can get after work. Then there are courier pick ups, last mile assistance, document delivery that they can arrange. Visa assistance is right on the money, but that is more travel desk’s doing. They once got me a bottle of Yamazaki at like 8K lesser price than market, and delivered it next day to my home. I don’t use them for restaurant booking unless its for free wine because I’m a sucker for offers, but apparently they are good in that area. You might wanna read how they got out a Plat cardmember and his friends during Nepal earthquake. There is also medical assistance where you simply call Amex and they arrange for just about everything to get you into hospital.

    That said, I know people who claim to have terrible experiences with both Prestige and Plat in this regard. So I guess it depends on your requests too. Most people start out by asking them to book economy fares and lash out when they fail to do so. The best way to know is to get and use the card and see if they can provide what you’re looking for. 🙂 Amex will remind you full money, and Citi will refund pro-rata if you decide to give up the card.

    What Plat misses out is on is that there is no dedicated customer care team for it. Prestige, on the other hand, has a separate Prestige line.

    Reply
    1. Gkcards

      Thanks AmexGuy. Yesterday I asked them for Prestige in morning and it was approved by evening. I have PM for many years now and Citi account over a decade.

      Reply
      1. Amex Guy

        Since you took Prestige in Dec, note an important fine print — the 2 complimentary airport meet and greet are per calendar year not card membership year. Meaning, you got 2 of them to use within December or you’d lose them. You’ll get 2 fresh ones in Jan. So make sure you use them this month if possible. 🙂

        Reply
        1. Gkcards

          Thanks for this info. I am travelling with family, and this is per person. As we are 3 ppl, I will have to pay $100 extra, so didn’t avail. But have booked the airport transfer, is that also per calendar year? I feel meet and greet is more tailored for business travelers who travel solo than family travelers. Any trick which can be used here for meet and greet? Airport transfer again is limited to 40kms, which I feel is less as Bangalore airport is far from city.

          Reply
          1. Amex Guy

            Airport transfer and meet and greet come from same quota. So yes, you have 2 of those as well till Dec. If you don’t want meet and greet service or isn’t available on your airport or terminal, you can still at least use airport transfer component of it.

    2. Gkcards

      As AmexGuy said, concierge of prestige/plat/reserve is managed by Aspire Lifestyles, but the level of service you get depends on card type. I guess usual requests will be what’s listed like table reservations, courier, flowers etc, and that probably all can do. It’s the unusual/unlisted requests where the difference would come – like safari in NE, emergency requests etc

      Reply
      1. rahul bansal

        how much do they charge for all these services, this would be good thing to know as well?

        Reply
  19. TG

    Thanks a ton for the detailed insights, Amex guy.

    Just out of curiosity, which city are you based out of?
    Also when you ask plat concierge to run you errands, which service do they use? I personally use dunzo a lot so I wondered if it is better than that. Dunzo does require a lot of your involvement like directions, instructions, payment etc.

    I got the plat reserve for free for a year thanks to a special offer for my company and I’m reaping the benefits effectively for free.
    For example Green fees at prestige golf shire is 5000+ for weekends and I get that for free. And you can avail this 4 times a month!
    Perhaps I’ll opt for the citi prestige in the following months.

    Reply
    1. Amex Guy

      I’m based out of Gurgaon. Plat uses different service depending on area I guess. Can’t really tell because delivery guys work for multiple companies. Once a guy showed up with my medicines in Amazon Prime Now clothing. Perhaps he works for a company that Amazon contracts with. But I’ve never asked which company sent them, perhaps I will next time.

      Dunzo arrived in Gurgaon a few months back. I’ve heard great things about it from Bangalore folks, but it seems way too much work. I still am yet to get a proper order delivered through them. Got very close once but it took them forever to assign a person that it was easier to just cancel and order from Swiggy. Plat concierge is definitely a better experience than Dunzo. I mean, for a month they could not send login OTP to Jio numbers, so definitely not a company I’ll associate with customer service.

      If you Golf, then giving up Reserve would be unwise, especially if you have a corporate offer. As such, Reserve and Prestige is a great combination of cards to have.

      Reply
      1. Gkcards

        Dunzo is good in Bangalore, have tried twice. Got the stuff in less than an hour, which was great.

        Reply
  20. Jitesh

    Amex guy, are u talking about clubs in India? So they put u on the guest list?

    Reply
    1. Amex Guy

      Depends on the club. For some clubs, they put you on guest list. For others, they get you in but you have to visit and ask to talk to guest relations person who knows to let you in. Either way, you are in.

      If you are a single man, this is a key perk to have.

      Reply
  21. Siddharth Mehta

    Tip for people flying from Bangalore airport: Amex has set up 2 kiosks in the lounges (Above ground floor and plaza premium). They are giving an amazing offer on platinum reserve card and I applied for it. The first year membership is free and waiver of annual fee if the spends are more than 5l from 2nd year onwards. That’s a super offer for this card as per me. These terms and conditions were sent to me in writing over an email.

    They do have some offer running for amex travel platinum too, but since i have that already i did not bother.

    Reply
  22. Ramkumar

    Amex guy
    What kind of clubs are you talking about?
    Yes I’m single

    Reply
    1. Shivi

      Hold your horses Ram. I don’t think they are “Gentlemen Club” :-p

      Reply

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