New Amex Reserve renewal benefit: Rs.10,000 Taj voucher

By | June 1, 2021
Amex Reserve

American Express recently added a new benefit to the not-so-rewarding credit card in the Amex lineup: Reserve. Here’s what you need to know:

Reserve Renewal Benefit

  • Benefit: Rs.10,000 Taj voucher on renewal
  • Spend Requirement: Rs.5L in previous anniversary year, Renewal fee paid
  • Fulfilment: 120 days post renewal fee payment.

That adds a decent reward rate of 2% (as Taj Voucher) on top of regular rewards & monthly rewards. Looks very nice on a quick look.

Taj Fisherman's Cove Chennai
Image snapped at: Taj Fisherman’s Cove Chennai

But the downside is, this is eligible for only those who pay the renewal fee. Hmm! This makes this benefit less attractive.

This rule is probably in place because most Plat charge cardholders have reserve as free and likely those are the only ones (majority) who hold reserve.

That aside, I did have a quick word with Amex support & others and here are some additional updates:

  1. Above offer not applicable if waiver is taken based on points/spends.
  2. Upgrades/downgrades not allowed with Amex, unlike HDFC.
  3. Seems Amex has done the needful reg. the RBI ban but formalities taking time to put them back to normalcy. (this is not from high level source, so take it light)

Bottom line

While this benefit makes less sense to most of us, it definitely adds value to those who use Reserve (btw, I want to to find them & ask why?!) as a primary card, maybe for Gold/Taj benefit and pay the renewal fee. For those, this benefit makes it close to a “free” card.

That’s a decent benefit added to those “renewal fee paying” cardholders. But wish they also come up with something to add value for everyone, similar to the nice Amex Reserve offer (20% Cashback on select merchants) that they came up with recently.

Author: Siddharth

Helping Indians to choose right credit cards, pick right offers and enjoy luxury vacations for less. Day & night exploring the spiritual reality of our human existence.

28 thoughts on “New Amex Reserve renewal benefit: Rs.10,000 Taj voucher

  1. Anadi

    One issue with amex Taj voucher is that redemption is applicable only on full rate and not on member rates, which is usually 10-20cp cheaper than full raye

    1. Siddharth Post author

      But fortunately it’s not implemented strictly at most properties.

      1. ka

        1. can you advise properties where it is implemented strictly, such that the readers may avoid them for the purposes of redeeming such vouchers.

        2. is it possible to verify this, before staying at a property or can it be known only at the time of payment/checkout?

        3. if one poses such question to the property, will it rather alert them, and adversly affect the redemption value of the voucher?

        1. MT

          when you check in to hotel , just give them the voucher code and pin , they will redeem , its as simple as that…the more popular taj hotels which have high occupancy may take objection , but all Taj i have stayed till date have accepted them irrespective of the rate i booked (directly with Taj)

        2. Siddharth Post author

          Except Taj support, I don’t think its actually active anywhere as billing system is common for all. But properties with frequent voucher usage may try to prevent.

          That said, its better to be prepared for rejection.

          1. Rahil Shah

            Taj support / central reservation desk categorically denied TIC member rates if payment is through Amex vouchers. So called up the property and their billing team also reiterated the same.

            So if booked using member rates, rejection is quite likely.

            Any one availed member rates using Amex vouchers recently?

          2. Nikhil

            There is no need to confirm with Taj reservation that you will be paying via amex vouchers. Just use them at time of checkout, it is highly likely that it will be accepted. Also officially you can’t use them for room rates, but for incidental expenses it can be used without restrictions but it should in one go.

          3. MSJ

            Unfortunately the same thing happened with me.
            The Reservations team asked me if ill be redeeming any vouchers, and i told them Amex. They promptly told me that Std Rates will be applicable 🙁
            At the hotel, they asked for the mails with the vouchers and checked each and every voucher.
            Thankfully i was able to mix Amex vouchers and Taj Exp gift cards (from HDFC Gyftr)
            Im thinking to try not to mention about redeeming vouchers during the booking and get member rates. Will the billing guys call me out on this ?
            PS. the Hotel was Taj Exotica, Goa.

          4. Siddharth Post author

            Should work. Taj Exotica, Goa is one of the very few properties that has a strict rule on this.

          5. MSJ

            Lucky me !
            BTW has anyone noticed, prices of Taj hotels have skyrocketed post COVID.
            Taj Village Goa used to be like 13K pn dec `19. Its like 21K pn in Apr `22.
            Taj Exotica was appox 19K pn dec`19, and is like 25K pn in Apr`22.
            (cheapest avlbl rooms)
            Crazy much ?

    2. Arun

      Hi Anadi

      Being Taj Gold Member, I booked using my Taj Inner Circle Members rates only (25% Discounted Rates). Then used the VOuchers to Redeem while checking out.

    3. Praveen

      Can you please confirm which Taj hotel(s) you saw this issue? Also the booking has to be done in advance, can be done on member rates on phone and the reservations team takes note that mode of payment is e-GV at the time of checkout. Can you describe your issue so other readers can be aware and manage their travel better.

      1. Bharath Gurram

        When you contact Taj Hotline and say that you’ve Amex vouchers. They will clearly say that member rates are not applicable. I’ve redeemed my vouchers in April 2021 and I had to pay the full price. No member rates are applicable. Also, I didn’t get any TIC points.

        1. MT

          TIC points you only earn when you pay by cash/card/online transfer at hotel, GVs (any type) do not qualify for TIC points , Taj till very recently was selling GVs at 10% upfront discount for VIsa and Amex card holders, TIC accumulation happens at 7% of bill value if you are gold status

        2. Praveen

          I never faced this issue in the past. Have some travel planned after a few months – will update if I am unable to use GV on member rates.

    4. Jay

      If the stay is planned in advance then prior confirmation on mail with regards to the use of the voucher along with membership no helps on the quoted rate helps be it standard rack rates or member special rates.

  2. Ajai Singh

    @Siddharth Just out of curiosity is your reserve a companion for your platinum or a LTF variant in lieu of AMEX JetPrivilege.

      1. Ajai Singh

        @Siddharth odd they offered me reserve LTF in lieu of AMEX JetPrivilege but since I had already cancelled the AMEX JetPrivilege they could not proceed.

        1. Siddharth Post author

          They said same for me as well on welcome call, but somehow it’s not on LTF.

  3. Gkcards

    I think its only Taj booking agents who create issue with vouchers and book at full rates if using vouchers. Just don’t mention about vouchers while booking, and use vouchers when settling bill at hotel.

  4. nitin

    I have used my Taj Gift voucher 5 times till now and didn’t have any problem anywhere..( twice in Bangalore, twice in Chennai and once in Kunnoor)…..I booked member rates through their website and it was a breeze. You didn’t even need to tell at arrival and present your voucher at the time of billing.

    Twice when my billing was less than voucher when i stayed for single night only, they even considered in-room dining bill also in that, but that may be an exception.

    1. Gautam

      @Rahil Shah
      I have used Taj vouchers in 4 different hotels in last 1 year without any problems.
      1. Booked by calling central reservations on member rates.
      2. Did not tell them that I plan to use vouchers.
      3. Did not make advance payment, told reservations that I will pay at the hotel.
      4. Booking agent might ask you to make advance payment and send a payment link but the booking confirmation mail clearly states that you need not make advance payment.
      5. At the time of checkout share voucher details for payment.

  5. Gautam

    I have multiple taj vouchers. Can I use them all in a single bill / stay?

  6. Saahil Desai

    Siddharth, why do you not think the Plat. Reserve. is a good card to have? I have an Infinia LTF as my primary but use plat. reserve as sole secondary, should i be looking for another card instead?

  7. VK

    If anyone can confirm, I have 20k Taj Voucher but the problem is I will not be staying and want my sons to use the vouchers for their stay at Taj MG Road, Bengaluru

    Will they allow the use of the voucher? I already made the reservation by calling Taj worldwide reservation desk and they confirmed as per policy its not possible and the cardholder must be the one staying.

    If anyone did get a chance to have others use it at any Taj property. Please reply. Any help is much appreciated.

    P.S : my son is also an add-on card holder under my card account.

  8. Anirban

    i have one query – if i book a taj property via where the condition is you pay a certain amount online while booking & pay off the remaining at the hotel itself. While paying the remaining amount at hotel, will I be able to use the taj amex vouchers? Please can any one confirm? Thanks!

    PS : rates are much cheaper than taj website rates.


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