American Express SmartEarn Credit Card Review

By | September 19, 2019

American Express has been testing the waters since couple of years with their Everyday Spend Gold Credit Card as a pilot project but that never came as a full fledged offering. However, now they’ve polished the product a bit and launched it just like any other Amex card with a new name called SmartEarn Credit Card. Here’s everything you need to know,

Joining Fees

  • Joining Fee: Rs.495+GST
  • Welcome Bonus: Rs.500 on spending Rs.10k within 90 days
  • Renewal Fee Waiver: On spends of Rs.40K in the previous year

Basically its an entry-level card designed for masses. Fees & waiver requirement is quite attractive indeed.


Regular Rewards

  • 1 MR Point for every Rs.50 spend
  • Reward Rate: 0.5% – 1%

Accelerated Rewards

  • 10X Rewards (Reward Rate: 5% to 10%)
  • 5X Rewards (Reward Rate: 2.5% to 5%)
  • Max Cap for 10X (500 Points / merchant / month)
  • Max Cap for 5X (250 Points / month)

If you’re new to American Express Membership Rewards, check out how to Maximize Amex MR Points. Here’s a quick look into the current partners for 5X/10X promo. This may change anytime in the future.

As you may know, the 5X/10X rewards is an inspiration from the most popular HDFC 10X Program, but I feel this is a wrong implementation by Amex as HDFC serves it to premium users while this card targets the entry-level customers.

Entry-level customers rather love direct cashback, or at-least that’s how the industry made it look like with Flipkart, Amazon, Ola & Paytm cards.


  • Cardexpert Rating: 3.7/5

For most of us reading Cardexpert, this maynot be of a wise choice due to its low regular reward rate & too low caps on accelerated rewards. Moreover, as the eligibility is in par with Amex MRCC, it makes lot of sense to go with MRCC over SmartEarn Credit Card.

But remember this is designed for the entry-level cardholders who can’t meet the spend requirement that MRCC demands for waiver.

So for those who love to hold an Amex card in the wallet, with low spends and yet enjoy the low EMI & Amex Offers, this is indeed a good card to start your relationship with American Express. And yes, you may also hope to get a good companion card offer in the future.

What’s your take on Amex SmartEarn Credit Card? Do let us know in the comments if any of you plan to get one.

Author: Siddharth

A Credit Card addict, minting reward points & air miles for years. Obsessed with aviation, airport lounges and luxury hotels. Helping Indians choose a right credit card and enjoy luxury travel at affordable cost.

35 thoughts on “American Express SmartEarn Credit Card Review

  1. BhavyeG

    Why is the reward mentioned in ranges? Reward Rate: 5% to 10%. When will we get 5% and when 10%?

    1. Siddharth Post author

      It depends on how you redeem, and so the range. Check out the linked article on how to “Maximize Amex MR Points”.

  2. Ratnesh kumar

    Seems good….10x rewards points are good for entry level card with lots of partner …..
    Still Amex lag’s…till they expand their business to tier 2 and 3 cities..they will not going to attract customers…because those want premium card ,they will take it even by paying cost…

  3. Nishith

    In my opinion, this would possibly lead to AMEX to the No 1 or at least one of the Top 3 spots in terms of credit carx providers and hopefully, more and more places would begin accepting AMEX. Also, cashback cards are quite the rage right now and this would probably help people to move towards accumulating rewards points, a defining feature of the credit card. Overall, even though there’s a cap on the 10X/5X points system, people who would use and repay their bills regularly would mean a possible upgrade to MRCC and subsequent Pt Travel.

    Overall, A good strategic move by AMEX.

    1. Siddharth Post author

      Top 3 spots by numbers – Impossible in near future!

      1. Kishore

        Hi Sid…

        OFFTOPIC : Can I apply Hdfc Regalia with 705 cibil..? They told me it’s pre approved.

    2. Vijay

      Hi is this 5x and 10x points offer applicable for all amex cards or for only this card?

  4. Captain Bishuddha Bharatiya

    Gold Everyday spends credit card’s eligibility criteria was Rs. 4.50 lakhs annual income from salary but for businessman they needed Rs. 6 lakhs ITR. I just pray that the same rule does not apply to Smartearn credit card. Personally I would love to apply for this card next year when my ITR will meet their eligibilitie criteria. Is it necessary to provide address proof of the same city which is under Amex card issuing list even if I can show my shop and apartment of their listed city?

  5. Atal Gill

    Added this card to my arsenal yesterday. Construction seems directly proportional to the fees.
    I liked – Payment to Bharat QR code & AMEX Pay.
    All in all, a good card for the price, especially for those who want the safety and security of AMEX while transacting in dubious places domestically or internationally.

    1. Amex Guy

      Just FYI — I live in Gurgaon and Amex works practically everywhere including tiny shops. I have yet to find a Bharat QR that’s enabled to work with Amex. The procedure is so mind numbing that no merchant goes through with it. Only Bharat QR of Amex accepting merchant can be enabled AFAIK, then why not just tap and pay?

      1. Vikram K

        With AmEx India being HQ in Gurgaon, they may have been able to concentrate well their for low MDRs, as is the case with wallet Zeta which is has highly concentrated acceptance around its own office in Domlur at Bangalore which serves the interests only of its employees and not its customers. But there are many restaurants and shops in prime Indira Nagar and Koramangala where AmEx (and of course Zeta also :D) is not accepted. Many merchants when enquired have told me AmEx MDR is at 5% and above and customers always carry an alternate card knowing that the same will not be working. A case in point is a Silver Jewellery shop who even has AmEx accepted Logos and machine which does not work and has not bothered to setup/repair the same for over a month.

      2. Atal Gill

        Bharat QR provides a common interface between all networks. So just try swinging the wand.

        Tap&Pay Vs Bharat QR – I think we cant tap on our tele screen or monitor for payments when a big a*# QR code is displayed on the same. But hell yeah! for tap & pay on all other places.

  6. A2Z

    True, way beyond
    Forget Top 3, they won’t be in Top 5 yet
    HDFC rules with huge margin, SBI is 2nd and ICICI & Axis are next in line
    HDFC will do every bit to keep its position out of reach to nearest competition

    1. ashu

      How does AXIS gets such High Credit Card users ?? Its Credit Cards are very poor in terms of rewards or regular offers.
      Or, just that it has high Savings Customers so by default gets higher CC users ?

      SBI , HDFC , ICICI are understood…. but Axis in Top 4 …. phew !!

  7. SS

    After the cobranded credit card like Amazon, Flipkart, ola, paytm and Hdfc and amax join the game with their new cash back entry level cards, now it’s time for Standard Chartered. SCBank launches DigiSmart Credit Card with instant discounts at Myntra, Grofers, Yatra, Zomato, Ola. The game is instance now. .

  8. Kunal Chakravertti

    Using the everyday spend gold card also.. 5X on Uber is probably history.. Never get it

    1. Ankur Maheshwari

      Everyday Spend Gold is now Smart Earn card.

      Since 20 Aug, check 10 Aug E-Mail (Sub: Important notification about your Everyday Spend Credit Card)

      Uber will accrue 10X RP, and I have been getting since 10X since then.

  9. Prannoy Ghosh

    Can Amex Smart Earn Card rewards be linked to Amex MRCC rewards (as they belong to Rewards card category) ?

  10. Naman

    Sidharth, Does amex provide mrcc card with no fees and no requirement for annual transaction for fees wavier ? I clock 7-8L per annum as an self employed individual.

  11. Dev

    Hi Siddharth,
    Used your referral for Amex MRCC. 🙂
    Can you please advise me about which card is better MRCC or Smart Earn Credit card? What are the key points of differences?

    1. Himanshu Kainth


      If you have income of 6L and above go with MRCC. Its a far better card.

  12. Roshil Shah

    Logged into my Amex account today. Got offered the smart earn card lifetime free with my MRCC. Applied for it since it seemed like a no brainer ?

    1. Roshil Shah

      Seems like that the message that popped up was an error as the call center staff were not aware it was a companion card. However, on sharing the relevant screenshots/emails with them they made my smart earn card LTF. Smart Earn (LTF) + MRCC is a great combination to earn 1750 MRs per month (Since i usually spend ~2500 on Uber & BMS/Swiggy in a month)

  13. Md karim

    Can I upgrade my regelia first to dcb if yes how? Annual income 11l.

  14. Nish

    Dear Sir,
    I buy stuff from Amazon and other and do lots of recharge and bill pay.
    My base salary is 30k in small company and 750cibil score. I hold hdfc times card from last 2 years with 50k limit.
    I want credit card which is good for online spend and may give other benefit.
    Easy to maintain like less or 0 annual fee.
    Easy to get and give 1 lack above limit.
    Due you think Amex SmartEarn is good or HDFC regalia first or something else ?
    Please give me your advice ?

  15. Saurav Das

    I got the Amex Smartearn credit card recently, but the credit limit was only Rs 50000. On calling Amex, i was told that the maximum initial credit limit is Rs 50000 only. Is this really the case?

    1. Shivi

      Yes & no. Depends on the card variant, your ITR, sources of income, city of residence, CB report among other factors based on their internal assessment.

    2. Himanshu Kainth


      I was given 1.3L with my first Amex card that was MRCC. Usually, it’s 25 or 50K

  16. Jagadeesh

    I using amex card . Now iam transferred to amex non sourcing location. Is it possible to change address . Else can continue with same address now.

  17. John

    I was approved for Amex Smart Earn card with a starting limit of 3.2L. So they definitely are capable of giving a starting limit well above the lakh on this card. I already have HDFC Regalia 5L; ICICI MMT Signature 3L and SBI Gold Card 3.23L. These cards are visible on my cibil.


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