American Express SmartEarn Credit Card Review

By | January 9, 2023

American Express was testing the waters for about ~2 yrs with their Everyday Spend Gold Credit Card in India as a pilot project but that never came as a full fledged offering.

However, later they’ve polished the product a bit and launched it in a new name called American Express SmartEarn Credit Card. Here’s everything you need to know about this card,


TypeEntry Level Card
Reward Rate1% – 10%
Joining Fee500 INR+GST
Best forAccelerated rewards
USP5X, 10X rewards & milestone benefits

American Express SmartEarn Credit Card is a decent card for it’s accelerated rewards and milestone benefits but as such it’s not a popular credit card in the world of American Express, at-least for now.


Joining Fee495 INR+GST
Welcome BonusRs.500 Cashback (spend Rs.10k in 90 days)
Renewal Fee495 INR+GST
Renewal BenefitNil
Renewal Fee waiverSpend 40,000 INR in the previous year

Basically its an entry-level card designed for the mass market segment. Fee & waiver requirement are quite attractive for an American Express Card.


Regular Rewards

  • 1 MR Point for every Rs.50 spend
  • Reward Rate: 0.5% – 1% (assuming 25ps/MR to 50ps/MR)

Accelerated Rewards

MerchantRewardsReward RateMax. Cap / month
Amazon & Flipkart10X~10%500 points
(Spend: Rs.2500)
Uber10X~10%500 points
(Spend: Rs.2500)
Paytm Wallet, Swiggy, etc5X~5%250 points
(Spend: Rs.2500)
  • 10X merchants: Amazon, Flipkart, Uber
  • 5X merchants: Paytm Wallet, Myntra, BlinkIt, Swiggy, BigBazaar, More, PVR, Reliance Fresh, DMart, BookMyShow
  • Reward rate mentioned above is by assuming 1MR = 50ps (Marriott / Taj)

Note that the current partners for 5X/10X promo may change anytime in the future. If you’re new to American Express Membership Rewards, check out how to Maximize Amex MR Points.

As you may know, the 5X/10X rewards is an inspiration from the most popular HDFC 10X Program, I feel that this is a not so great implementation as HDFC serves it to premium users while this card targets the entry-level customers.

Entry-level customers might rather prefer direct cashback, or at-least that’s how the industry is handling it, with Flipkart, Amazon, Ola & Paytm cards.

Milestone benefit

Spend MilestoneGet Voucher
Rs.1,20,000Rs.500 Amazon Voucher
Rs.1,80,000Rs.500 Amazon Voucher
Rs.2,40,000Rs.500 Amazon Voucher

So you can earn a total of Rs.1500 worth vouchers by spending Rs.2.4 lakhs. Note that only spends done on/after 1st Aug 2021 to upto your card anniversary year is considered for this benefit.

Maximizing Smartearn

Amex SmartEarn Credit Card

One way to make good use of Smartearn credit card is to take it along with Amex MRCC (available as a first year free card). If you’re already holding MRCC you may get it as a companion card (targeted for some) while others may just get it as a paid variant.

So if you hold MRCC & Smartearn, your points would be clubbed and hence you could redeem points for better value using 18K/24K gold collection.

Btw, SmartEarn card looks lot better in hand compared to the almost-ugly MRCC.


  • Cardexpert Rating: 3.9/5

For those who wish to load Paytm Wallet or Amazon Pay, this card is a very good option. Moreover, as the eligibility is in par with Amex MRCC, it makes lot of sense to go with MRCC over SmartEarn Credit Card if you want to pick one.

However, I’m not a fan of this card because it’s of less use as a stand-alone credit card. Combining it with MRCC does make sense to get some decent value out of it.

So for those who would love to hold an Amex card in the wallet, has low spends and yet wish to enjoy the low EMI & Amex Offers, this is indeed a good card to start your relationship with American Express.

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

90 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”.


        My income is 605000 inr per annum.still amex says that I am ineligible. I want to know the reason. I live in lucknow. May be they don’t offer to lucknow people.

  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. Nishant

        Truly impossible if Amex cards are being rejected by merchants and billers. Rejection is so frequent that my wife wants me to use only a Visa card.

    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) ?

    1. amitabh maheshwari

      Yes, provided your smart earn is a companion card of mrcc.

  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. Himanshu

      Hey Roshil,
      Did you receive the Smart Earn Card?
      Did they ask for KYC or Income Documents again?

    2. 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.

    1. Kailas

      Yes,you can send your income document to Chennai address but subject to approval. But Regalia definatly you get.

  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 ?

    1. RJ

      Amex SmartEarn there is cap on 10x and 5x reward points.

      HDFC regalia first there are no 10x and 5x category.

      If You Looking card for online spend then go for SBI simplyclick card
      there are no cap on 10x and 5x rewards points and also if spend 2L on online you will get 2k Voucher of Cleartrip.
      and you can redeem reward points for Amazon and Cleartrip vouchers.

    2. Kailas

      For amex smartearn card you should have 4.5L Annual Income.
      You can upgrade your TIMES CARD TO REGALIA FIRST .

  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

      1. Tejas Ghongadi

        There is no fixed Credit Limit capping for a particular card from Amex. I have the MRCC since 2017 and from day 1, the limit has been 3.65 Lacs. Never increased by Amex and even I did not bother as I use it only for the 4 x 1000 Rs. transactions as my card is LTF.

        1. Kiran


          There are capping in almost all Amex credit cards.

          1. MRCC – 4 lac maximum limit

          2. RESERVE Card – 8 lac maximum limit


        2. Ajay

          There are limits. Usually when you have multiple credit cards from AMEX and you give request to close any of them, limit is transferred to other cards. I was holding two cards MRCC with 3.5 Lac Limit and travel platinum with apporx 3 Lac limit. I gave request to close my travels platinum card and the executive over phone told me that he can not transfer complete limit to MRCC as MRCC can have maximum 4 lac as its limit.

        3. FrequentFlyer15

          Do you have another Amex card? I have MRCC and Plat Travel and I requested them to move all the credit limit from MRCC to Plat Travel and since Amex minimum CL is 50k they kept that there am moved the remaining to my Plat Travel which is so cool!!

    3. Manu

      No thats not the case if you have an existing credit card with higher limit like 2 lakhs then they will give you a limit above 1 lakh.
      But if u have pre existing limit on other credit card below 1 lakh then the limit provided is apt.

    4. Kailas

      When you was apply for this card ,what is your Cibil (Credit) score ?

    5. John

      The maximum limit for the Smart Earn Amex Card is 4L. That’s not too bad for normal use. I have hit that limit and they have asked me to upgrade to a different product if I wanted a higher limit than 4L. But I declined that. I am at 9L on my HDFC Regalia Mastercard World and I’m sure it can go higher if requested. Such high limits are practically needed only when tripping abroad, otherwise not.

  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.

  18. K JIjo

    Greetings to All,

    I have received my Amex Smart Earn yesterday they are much faster in my case just took 8 days. Limit is quite good 400000 Lac. I already facing issue while using at local shops many dont have Amex machine :-(, but after taking to there Customer care they said it will work with SBI or ICICI machine.

    One question can paying online bills Utility Bills will get any rewards? Any advice ? Suggestion?

    I hope to here from you 🙂

    1. FrequentFlyer15

      400000 lac Wow!! That’s Ambani’s networth!! 😂

      Jokes apart. You can use the card to fill Paytm wallet or Amazon Pay and then pay the bills. Paying bills directly doesn’t give you rewards.

      1. K Jijo

        🙂 thank you for your suggestion FrequentFlyer15. So it means i will get reward points when i fill Paytm and Amazon wallet? Is it same 1 point for each 50 Rs. Is there any Cap?

        1. FrequentFlyer15

          No cap, no limit. Fill to your heart’s content. Monthly, I do 10k Paytm wallet recharge a month. But for Amazon, I use the Smartbuy website to buy Amazon Vouchers of 5k to earn the 10x.

  19. Shodh

    Do we get 5X points on Amazon pay gift card by using SmartEarn credit card?

    1. Shodh

      Personally verified this. Users get 5X points on Gift Cards purchased on Amazon.

  20. JAY

    Just a quick info: this is being offered as lifetime free companion card for eligible amex cardmembers.

  21. Tejas

    Amex has offered me this card lifetime-free. I already have Amex MRCC and HDFC DCB. Considering HDFC SmartBuy rewards and options are reducing month by month. Is it good option to go for?

  22. Ray

    This card is being offered to me as a lifetime-free companion card for my MRCC. It seems like a no brainer since it gives great returns on Flipkart, Uber, and DMart without the annual fee and customer service/technical issues of the Flipkart-Axis Card.

    Could anyone who applied for an AMEX companion card let me know about any of the following?:
    – Does AMEX conduct a hard credit enquiry for issuing a companion card? (It seems they might from the T&C, but they say they don’t do KYC as long as the details provided are similar.)
    – Do they still provide the spend-based waiver (100% annual fee waiver off on reaching ₹1.5L) on the MRCC or would they continue providing the waiver if I can spend ₹1.5L on the MRCC, thus making BOTH the cards FREE as long as I hit the spending targets. (There’s nothing regarding this in the T&C.)
    – How does the companion card offer stand if I decide to upgrade to another card like the Gold/Plat Travel/Reserve in the future?

    I don’t really need a card at this time, but this seems like a good one to add in my wallet.


      1. Ray

        I pay ₹1500. 50% is waived off if I reach ₹90k in spends and 100% off if ₹1.5L spends reached. I can easily cross ₹1.5L, hence I don’t expect to pay any fees.

    1. Shodh

      I talked to amex customer care a couple of months ago and got the following info:
      – There will be a hard enquiry for companion cards also.
      – The spend based waiver on MRCC will remain same as before.

      1. Rayhaan Pirani

        Yes, I signed up anyway in the first week of August. Received my card yesterday and there was a hard enquiry. The card looks really good. 😛

        Useful for Flipkart and DMart spends, but I don’t like the 500/250 caps on monthly points.

  23. Nikunj

    Hi Siddharth,

    Hoping you’re in great health and doing well!

    In the very first place, I really appreciate you as your website helps a lot and lot in credit card area. Thanks a ton for that! I use to access and read about credit cards and the features, functionalities and especially the science behind CIBIL score – how, what, why, when such kind of queries and lots of information! It is really wonderful to have such website and such a great knowledge you have! Spectacular work done by you!

    I gone thru this AmEx Smart Earn Credit Card article since I’m very much interested especially in American Express Credit Card and I believe it will be a great feeling to hold AmEx Card in our wallet; of course their top notch customer service and card protection is best in the whole world!

    It would be great if you can resolve my couple of doubts:

    1. I’m holding two credit cards – ICICI Amazon Pay and HDFC Regalia First Credit Card. Both are LTF. HDFC account is my salary account. Timely full payments that I’m doing always. In order to apply AmEx Smart Earn Credit Card, according to you, how much CIBIL credit score is required?

    2. Is there any benefit/advantage if I apply this card through your refer link? I mean applying thru your refer link, would AmEx do fast processing, or higher chances of approval?

    3. I’m satisfying this card’s criteria, t&c says 499 plus tax, so when exactly they will charge that amount to us? Starting of the year itself or while ending a year since activation?

    4. AmEx t&c says Rs 40,000 eligible spends waive off this Rs 499 annual card charges – so this eligible spends counts anything? For ex buying online stuffs, bill payment, petrol thru paytm wallet loading, offline card swipping etc would count towards in Rs 40000 range or not?

    5. What sort of documents they’d be asking usually?

    I see MRCC is a great card but their annual charges are higher and to waive off one has to spend 1.5 lakhs and that is bit higher for me which is why choosing thia card as it is having annual spend requirement as Rs 40000 only which is quite achievable. Overall, having this card I can be a family member of American Express Credit Card world and in future I can have good chances to get good offers credit cards from them – what’s your opinion about this?

    I’d be really grateful if you can let me know about these queries and or tips tricks. Afterwards I’ll go ahead with this AmEx Card.

  24. Goku

    I dont know if anyone has asked this before, but can someone let me know the value of 1 Reward point? is it 50 paisa?

  25. Captain Bishuddha Bharatiya

    I got this card delivered today. Whole process took only 7 days. Credit limit provided is Rs. 85,000 which is way more than my expectation. I was planning to get Amex credit card from more than one year and finally getting hands on an American Express credit card is a wonderful feeling. Way too excited today. Feeling like a kid who got a toy way out of his league.

    1. Srikkanth

      Congrats captain , Could you narrate more about how the procedure went and what documents they asked and about verification too

  26. Divyesh d mistry

    Can cash back available on jewellary items on axis bank ace credit card

  27. Captain Bishuddha Bharatiya

    I am new to Amex. So wanted to know what things can trigger financial review ?

  28. amitabh maheshwari

    Having American Express MRCC with Smart Earn as companion card is great. I have that combo. It helps us to reach the 18k or 24k points a lot faster.

    1. rpal

      How exactly the target achievement process will become faster!! Both are practically same cards from spending perspective. Or I am missing something?

      1. amitabh maheshwari

        Well, you can spend Rs 1000 four times in a month and get 1000 bonus points every month. For other spends MRCC is not so lucrative. But if you spend on smart earn partners like Uber, Flipkart,etc. you get 10 X or 5X reward points. Since both will be companion cards, your points will be merged for 18K and 24K redemption which are available on MRCC. This way you earn points faster.

  29. Mahesh S. Panicker

    Hi Siddharth, I am thinking of applying for an Amex credit card. I already have a few cards to manage spend to get fee waver, so wouldn’t like to go for a high fee option like MRCC. For its low waver limit and low fee, this does seem decent, is there an alternative I can consider? Any chance this card would be provided LTF as a stand alone card and not as a companion?

  30. Urs

    I received my Smart Earn card in Jan 2021 and yes most merchants dont accept most of the time i use online flipkart or amazon and load wallets in paytm amazon . I tried today to load 1000 as a test on paytm after long time they increased their service charge to 4.65% last time i saw was 3.2%. Am the least CL 25K although i have other Cards with limits 2.6L SC Titatnium and Manhattan , Citi 2L and another Citi 105000L limit Axis Flipkart 1L Indusind Aura 50K … Long time customer of Citi and SC since 2005 But i am starting to enjoy AMex card and i will be travelling to Bengaluru trying to see if i can book some 3 or 4 star hotels and planned to stay in oberai for a day or two just to experience what the AMEX point will generate is it with capping or unlimited on regular spends.

  31. Urs

    I am also going to Try booking good hotels through ATO and see what benefits card can generate. Plan is for Goa with flight booking although my original plan was to travel by car and after the fuel surge flight is much cheaper and book uber.

  32. Urs

    Oh this is my first AMEX Card have a long list of dos for travel around india although i mostly travel by bike and car searching for Ancient Temples and their history and places of Bharath. Customer service of AMEX are pretty good compared to my other card care except citi which is better than other cards i hold. Planning to move to MRCC based on my Smart earn and if AMEX things am eligible for a companion card . Although my Sal is just short of 16K for 6L per Annum Gross . Hope for the best to utilize my points on hotels and travels.

  33. Nishant

    Beginning 01 July 2021, you will earn 10X rewards points on Amazon and 5X rewards points on Paytm Wallet with your American Express SmartEarn™ Credit Card.

    — Got this email now

  34. cardexpertfan

    @Sid Do you think American Express will re-evaluate the annual income required for this entry-level card after they are compliant with RBI rules?
    The present annual income requirement is Rs. 4.5 lakhs per annum.
    Maybe change it to Rs. 3 or 4 lakhs per annum and get more customers on board?

  35. Mahesh S. Panicker

    I took an MRCC earlier this year, when it seemed that the first wave was done, and there were hopes of some travel. But things haven’t quite worked out obviously with the 2nd wave…

    I believe with the acceptance issues with Amex, stupid wallet load charges from Paytm and reasonably high spend limits for full fee waver, the MRCC may not make sense for multiple card holders. To keep the Amex card option open for the low EMI and offers as Siddharth mentions, with the enhanced benefits, probably Smart Earn could be a better option, the waver limits shouldn’t be much of an issue.

    Hope Amex would have an option like City, wherein you can load wallets from the card app itself for no additional charges. Will make their product a lot more attractive, and would be a roundabout way of fixing the acceptability issue somewhat.

    1. Chaitanya

      Hi Mahesh,

      You can purchase Amazon vouchers via gift multiplier 4 times a month to get to 1500*4 = Rs. 6000/- to get 1000 bonus points (You can double dip via 2X from the rewards multiplier portal to get additional points). And spending up to Rs. 20000 will get you additional 1000 points. That’s 24K at the very least every year. The 18K and 24K gold collection redemption options are only available for MRCC and gold charge card holders.

      1. Chaitanya

        You would end up meeting the spend criteria for fee waiver too.

  36. Shyam Pandey

    I have used many cards and one thing is clear that the customer service of amex is very good. I also sometimes felt that its reward points are increased very fast. Overall I like amex card more than my hdfc regalia.


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