Amex Membership Rewards Credit Card Review (2020)

By | January 21, 2020

American Express Credit Cards known for their premium service and support has one of the highly rewarding entry-level credit card in the country for a while and that’s the Membership Rewards Credit Card (MRCC).

Even though its a very basic credit card, when used right, you get return on spend as good as any other super premium credit card. Let’s see how,

Joining Fees

  • Joining Fee: Rs.1000+GST FREE (Limited Period Offer)
  • Annual Fee: Rs.4500+GST (Rs.1500+GST if applied via below link)
  • Renewal Fee Waiver: 50% waiver on 90K spend, 100% waiver on 1.5L spend
  • Welcome Bonus: 4000 Reward points (If fee is levied)
  • Apply Now

The American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card is currently issued as First Year Free – a limited period offer if applied via referral link only.

While renewal fee may look very high, I’ve hardly seen any pay that fee, as spend required for waiver is lot easier to reach and even if not, Amex gives you some offer or other to keep you in the system.

Reward Points

Regular Rewards

  • 1 MR Point for every Rs. 50 spent (except for spend at Fuel, Insurance, Utilities Transactions)
  • Reward Rate: 0.8% – 1% (upto 10% with monthly rewards)

The reward rate is calculated by assuming you redeem points for Gold collection or for Marriott Bonvoy. Here’s everything about maximising your Amex Membership Rewards Points.

Monthly Rewards

  • Spend Rs.1000*4 times a month and get 1000 Bonus points every month
  • Repeat every month to get upto 12,000 points every year.

Monthly Bonus Rewards is the USP of this card that shoots the overall reward rate of the card to the roof, as good as 10%

Supplementary Card offers

If at all there is one credit card company that’s aggressive on issuing Supplementary (Add-on) cards, it would be none other than American Express.

With Supp. card offers, you can not only get a new credit card for your friends and family for FREE, but also get additional points & vouchers. Here’s the latest Amex Supp. Card offer for 2020.

Amex Offers

One of the major advantage of holding an American Express credit card is that you get access to most of the Amex network offers that shows up from time to time.

This could be merchant offers, spend based offers or even points transfer offers. Check out all previous noticeable Amex Offers here.

While Amex merchant offers used to be AMAZING in the past (2018 & before), we didn’t see much in 2019, but they did multiple decent spend based offers worth mentioning.

Amex offers is just one reason for holding an American Express Credit card. Here are 5 Reasons Why You Should Have an American Express Credit Card otherwise.

Insurance Benefits

Apart from the regular offers, American Express also offers you customised Health Insurance & Car Insurance plans among others. I’ve availed both of these and saved a lot in past few years.

However note that this may not work for everyone as there are many factors involved in.

Do check out the Health insurance link above for more in detail. Reg. Car insurance, Amex Car insurance still betters all as long as you don’t have access to Acko.

Maximizing MRCC

Monthly Bonus rewards is what you need to consider to earn points and Gold collection for redemption.

If you spend Rs.4000 every month as mentioned above, you get 1000 points which is equivalent to Rs.410 when you redeem even for statement credit (via gold collection).

This means you get whooping 10% return on your spend!

However, remember that you could spend only about ~50K to get this 10% return, beyond that you need to rely on other offers like spend based offers & more to reach the 1.5L spend to be eligible for the 100% renewal waiver.

Either way, you’ll end up in at-least 5% return on spend which is HUGE for an entry-level credit card that usually gives you 1.5% or under.

Note: If spending 1k*4 is tough for you, you may also load your wallets or simply split your >2K spends into multiples of 1K to get there faster.

How to apply?

You may apply online/offline or at airport outlets, whichever is convenient for you. Sometimes you get good offers at airport and the offers keeps changing.

Currently, the best offer you could get is a First Year Free Limited period offer when you apply using a referral link.

To sweeten this, you can also get another 4K Bonus Points by spending Rs.25K within 90 days of membership. Checkout the link for detailed info.

Bottomline

  • CardExpert Rating: 4/5

If you’re new to American Express, MRCC is the best card to begin your journey with Amex.

If your spends are in the range of 4 Lakhs or above, you must check out the American Express Platinum Travel credit card which is still the best travel credit card in the country.

Personally, except the not so great design, everything else is great with the Membership Rewards Credit Card. 🙂

Do you hold American Express MRCC? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below.

Author: Siddharth

I love credit cards, enjoy travelling for free using reward points & airmiles. Obsessed with business class cabins, airport lounges and luxury hotels.

71 thoughts on “Amex Membership Rewards Credit Card Review (2020)

  1. Prashant Gupta

    this with Gold charge card combined if used properly give good rewards.

    Reply
  2. Nisarga

    Are spends on fuel, insurance, and utilities transactions excluded from the spend Rs.1000*4 times a month and get 1000 Bonus points every month offer?

    Reply
      1. modded

        Are MR points applicable on purchases made using supplementary cards?

        Reply
  3. MAA-traveler

    Platinum Travel + MRCC + Gold Charge is a great combo to earn at least 33,000 MR Points + Rs 10000 Taj Voucher + Rs 19500 SpiceJet/Travel Vouchers. This is apart from the 10X insurance spends bonus, other offers like supplementary card, 50% Bonvoy bonus and couple of other spend based bonuses. Without going overboard we could get 40,000 to 50,000 MR points every year.

    Even after paying Rs 5900 annual fee, it is a solid return on spends. 😀

    Reply
    1. ANIMESH SEN

      How we can get this as combo? Can we spend 4 Lac/annum combinedly with 3 cards to get the fees waiver?

      Reply
      1. MAA-traveler

        @ANIMESH SEN,
        Fee waiver may not be possible unless spends are north of a 7 digit figure annually. When we pay for Plat Travel, most people are given MRCC as companion card LTF. For gold charge card better to pay first year fee as you get 4000 MR points. You may apply through some referral for additional 2000 MR points or Rs 1500 Amazon voucher if applied on Amazon site (which I did as Rs 1500 voucher is more valuable than 2000 MR point IMO). Renewal fee is mostly waived off.

        Reply
        1. Dhananjay

          Currently I am holding Amex MRCC card, if I am able to get the Platinum Travel Card now, will the MRCC card become LTF?

          Reply
          1. Shivi

            Doubt it till there is an ongoing offer. Confirm with AmEx customer care!

          2. Rakesh

            you need to call the care and ask for LTF on MRCC, they would agree to it as long as you hold Plat Travel !

          3. Vikcy

            I have an amex travel and LTF gold card. But when i am trying to apply to MRCC online, i get this message ”

            Thank you for your interest!

            Based on the details provided by you, we regret to inform that you are not eligible for The American Express Membership Rewards® Credit Card at this point in time. You will shortly receive an email from us with more details on the same.

            Please advice what to do

  4. Ankur

    Hi Sid,

    Have a query as its not mentioned on product page. Does MRCC allow points transfer to hotel and airlines partners of Amex like Platinum Travel or only gold collection and Bonvoy ?

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Does MRCC allow points transfer to hotel and airlines partners of Amex like Platinum Travel ?
      – Yes

      Reply
  5. Nitesh ladia

    Not worth,Bob select card is much better than this, you should review that card, and you will really find it useful.

    Reply
  6. Niraj

    Hey Sid
    Not directly related to above article but I have a query about Amex.

    I am moving to another country for more than a year. I heard on another website about Amex card transfer when person switch a country. Do you have any idea on how it works!!

    I have Amex MRCC(6 months old). I had option to go for Platinum Reserve but I didn’t go as I had DCB and Yes Exclusive. Should I try for Platinum Reserve and move most of the spends to Amex now!!

    Reply
    1. Amex Guy

      For Global Transfer, your Amex account should be at least a year old with no periods of no card. In your destination country website, there will be an option for Global transfer either via dedicated link or in the form itself. For some countries, Amex has implemented a new system where it uses your Amex India logged in account to pull info, for others you’d have to manually enter. Otherwise you can call customer care. You will need a proper residential address in the destination country.

      They will still follow local requirements of the card. For example, while transferring to India one still needs a PAN Card along with residential address. But your credit line will depend upon your existing history with origin country.

      Reply
  7. Rohit Jha

    Hi,
    What will be a good card for a beginner ? I will prefer a secured card.
    Thanks

    Reply
  8. Joseph

    Unfortunately I live outside any of the cities that is serviced by amex.
    Although have a bank account with parents address in Cochin, No other address proof in any of the other cities.
    Is there any work around to getting an amex card?
    Also not sure about usability/acceptability of amex in the Tier 2 city that I live in currently.
    That means even if I get this card I would probably use it only for online transactions/ wallet loading. So is it worth it?

    Reply
  9. Dr Pankaj Gupta

    Amex website mentions annual fees as Rs. 4500 (2nd year onwards)

    Reply
  10. M. Upendran

    In Amex website, for MRCC I could find the following rewards. Not sure at each stage all the 3 rewards are given or one of the 3:
    24,000 MR points / 24 Karat Gold Collection:
    American Express Domestic Travel e-voucher worth Rs. 11,000
    Bose Sound Link Color II Bluetooth Speaker
    Statement Credit worth Rs. 10,000

    18,000 MR points / 18 Karat Gold Collection
    Statement Credit worth Rs. 7,500
    Amazon e-gift card worth Rs. 8,000
    Tanishq Voucher worth Rs. 7,500

    Reply
    1. Tejas Ghongadi

      Your understanding is completely wrong.

      Its not stage-wise rewards. These are redemption options on Amex MRCC. If you have 18,000 Points, you could redeem it for any one of the Three rewards under the 18K Gold Collection. If want to wait further till 24K points, then you could redeem is for any one of the three rewards under the 24K Gold Collection.

      Reply
  11. wah

    hello sid,
    i applied for AMEX platinum card before 3 month’s but it got decline,The reason behind that was my home address was in-serviceable.
    Should i try again now,
    which AMEX card has good approval rate,
    I hold ITR 6.5lac self employed.
    Thanks & Regards.

    Reply
  12. Sivakumar

    Hi Siddharth,
    Very nice to hear the insights from you, much appreciated. QQ as cited below:
    Can I use the Amex membership Reward credit card to pay my rent each month online via the approved websites and still be eligible to gain additional membership reward points apart from the monthly rewards cited by above?

    Reply
  13. srikkanth

    Hi, any idea on getting Amex card for freelance consultants , ITR is above 6 lakhs and cibil is 800+, but Amex ppl are asking for company mail id if employed or office set up for self employed …

    Reply
    1. Shimul

      The address verification agent asking for company sign board what i don’t have as freelance so amex rejected my application. My family members applied for MRCC got approved (May be verification agent was lazy that day).

      I applied for another amx card and verification agent came to my door and asking for signboard what i don’t have. Told him about the family member card and show him the approval latter.

      He said i remembered. He took a photo of my working desk and card approved :). Got lucky i gess!

      Applied for another family member. Verification agent didn’t came, got rejected.

      Reply
  14. MAA-traveler

    Devaluation alert!

    24,000 MR points / 24 Karat Gold Collection:
    Statement Credit worth Rs. 9,000 (earlier Rs 10,000)

    18,000 MR points / 18 Karat Gold Collection
    Statement Credit worth Rs. 6,000 (earlier Rs 7,500)
    Amazon e-gift card worth Rs. 7000 (earlier Rs 8,000)

    But Taj Voucher added for Rs 9000 (18K MR Points, Rs 0.5 per point) and Rs 14,000 (24K MR Points; Rs 0.58 per point). Now it make sense to redeem only for Taj Vouchers, transfer to Marriott Bonvoy (about Rs 0.5 per point as how I would value) or any Hot Rewards.

    Reply
  15. Amit kumar

    Currently there is 5x rewards on insurance spends. I have registered for it. Any idea, How we utilise this?
    Last year I paid LIC Policy premium and it didn’t reflect as LIC in the statement but rather as PAyu…

    Reply
  16. A2Z

    @SID
    Looks from 01 FEB 2020 there is another bad news apart from points devaluation
    4 times spends criteria may become 6 times same as Gold Charge card

    Spend Rs.1000*6 times a month and get 1000 Bonus points every month

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      No. On MRCC mailer I still see:
      “It’s easy to reach our Gold Collection!
      • Earn 1,000 Bonus Points every month simply by making
      4 or more transactions each of ₹1,000 or above.”

      Reply
      1. Abhi

        I think A2Z is talking about Gold Charge Card and not MRCC. MRCC has still 4 transactions required of 1000+ and Gold Charge card, well it has been more than a year (or 2?) since the requirement has changed to 6 transactions for Gold Charge card.

        Reply
  17. The Outrigger

    Can you share the sequence and timeline of events once you complete and submit the online application process? Thank you.

    Reply
  18. Nikhil

    You get lounge access(Domestic) at discounted rate of 590 per person if that matters. However with so many cards having free access, its not worth

    Reply
  19. SYED ABDUL RAHIM

    Hi Siddharth,
    I tried to apply amex cc via the provided link, but my application is being rejected by a trailor mail that my CIBIL is not eligible for the card, I have a CIBIL around 795 and I hold multiple cards from other banks including Infinia, is there a way to get into amex ecosystem for me, is my CIBIL of 795 bad enough for getting amex, any way the trailing mail had an option to check my CIBIL, which gave the error message CIR not found. I didn’t understand, I don’t know whom to contact as there is no representative available, I am basically from Chennai, could you give me your valuable inputs
    Dr Rahim

    Reply
    1. Shivi

      Maybe the reason they are rejecting you is not the score but the report. Multiple cards for one are looked down upon, high outstanding balance, multiple credit enquiries, multiple ongoing EMIs, multiple open loans or credit lines etc. etc.

      Score number is irrelevant.

      Reply
      1. SYED ABDUL RAHIM

        Hi, thanks for the reply
        Currently I am having only 3 active credit cards, with no active loans or emi, my outstanding is merely 2% of my credit limit.

        Reply
        1. Shivi

          Are the addresses/cities that you live in/ that are reported in CIBIL serviced by AmEx?

          Reply
        2. Shivi

          Well anyway, you can go to Amex India site and look up the support number on the site n talk to one of the representatives or message them on Facebook and they will let you know the email on which to contact and follow up with them. They do respond quite quickly and to the point.

          Reply
  20. Himanshu

    I had an MRCC for about a year but closed it since I wasn’t able to use it much (maybe I didn’t know how to take advantage). At the time of closing this card, they had mentioned that this card can be reinstated within a year of closing at no additional processing. After reading your review, I was tempted to do that and they did confirm it is

    Then I found a new reward card SmartEarn. It has lower fees (495, waived with spend > 40k). It does not have the 1000*4 rewards though. Does having this card instead of MRCC make sense?

    Reply
    1. Tejas Ghongadi

      Absolutely not. Right now for an average credit card user, MRCC is one the best Amex Cards. I have the MRCC for almost 3 years and have reaped reward like crazy with the 4 x 1000 Rs. Transactions bonus. The card is hardly ever used for anything else considering the other cards in the wallet are DCB, SCB Ultimate, YFE & Citi PM.

      Recently added the Gold Charge Card to the collection.

      Reply
  21. Aman

    Hey Sid,

    Great article. Had a doubt.

    The Amex website mentions:

    Welcome Gift of 4,000 Bonus Membership Rewards® Points

    So if i apply via referral for Amex MRCC, will i get the 2000 points as mentioned in the post (along with first year free)
    or 4000 points as mentioned on Amex website ?

    Reply
    1. MJ

      Aman,
      You will receive 2000 pt and first year free from above link.
      4000 pt is given when you pay 1000+GST as first year fee.

      Reply
  22. hrishikesh

    I have received offer of LTF MRCC on my Amex Plat Travel card.Should i take it. is it worth.To be eligible for 18K collection I have to spend at least 3 lac more.Or Can I combine my Plat travel and MRCC together with this offer.I already have 16000+ point on my Plat Travel.

    Reply
  23. ismail

    Sir,
    is the annual fee of 1500 still valid if pursued from above link? or is it no longer valid?

    Reply
    1. MJ

      ismail,
      1500 annual fee is still valid. I have applied and got it 🙂

      Reply
  24. Peter

    If any one looking to apply, annual fee via referal have came down to 1500 from 4500 now.

    Reply
  25. Mayank

    Does anyone know whether we will get reward points if we do school fees payment through AMEX card?
    or if we do payment through paytm or mobikwik using AMEX card?

    Reply
  26. Sudheep

    tks SID

    Applied via your referral link for MRCC and availed first year free + annual 1500/- , my first card with AMEX.

    Process was pretty fast, approval in 4days, received the card in a weeks time. No physical verification , only telephonic call. Just asked me to drop a mail from my official ID . no other formalities.

    CL of 4L is provided , happy with that too..

    asked them is there any way i could pay the first year fee(1000) so that i will get 4000 reward points, but unfortunately that option was not available. But 2000 bonus for joining via referral plus 2000 for 25k in 90 days is available by default

    Reply
  27. amitabh maheshwari

    Get MRCC with Smart Earn as companion. Helps to reach 18k or 24k points fast.

    Reply

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