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.

Rewards

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.

Bottomline

  • 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.

63 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%?

    Reply
    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”.

      Reply
  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…

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Top 3 spots by numbers – Impossible in near future!

      Reply
      1. Kishore

        Hi Sid…

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

        Reply
    2. Vijay

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

      Reply
  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?

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
    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?

      Reply
      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.

        Reply
      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.

        Reply
  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

    Reply
    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 !!

      Reply
  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. .

    Reply
  8. Kunal Chakravertti

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

    Reply
    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.

      Reply
  9. Prannoy Ghosh

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

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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?

    Reply
    1. Himanshu Kainth

      Dev,

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

      Reply
  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 ?

    Reply
    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)

      Reply
  13. Md karim

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

    Reply
  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 ?

    Reply
    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.

      Reply
  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?

    Reply
    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.

      Reply
    2. Himanshu Kainth

      Saurav,

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

      Reply
      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.

        Reply
        1. Kiran

          Hi,

          There are capping in almost all Amex credit cards.

          1. MRCC – 4 lac maximum limit

          2. RESERVE Card – 8 lac maximum limit

          Cheers,
          Kiran

          Reply
        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.

          Reply
        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!!

          Reply
    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.

      Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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 🙂

    Reply
    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.

      Reply
      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?

        Reply
        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.

          Reply
  19. Shodh

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

    Reply
    1. Shodh

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

      Reply
  20. JAY

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

    Reply
  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?

    Reply
  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.

    Thanks!

    Reply
      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.

        Reply
    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.

      Reply
      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.

        Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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?

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
    1. Srikkanth

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

      Reply
  26. Divyesh d mistry

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

    Reply

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