Amex Updates: First Metal Credit Card comes to India & other changes

By | October 6, 2018

As you might know, Platinum Charge Card and Platinum Reserve card are the two Premium cards from American Express that aren’t rewarding good enough to a cardholder unless one knew how to really make use of the benefits linked to Taj Hotels, etc.

Hence American Express has come up with updates to these cards so it holds relevant to vast majority of cardholders and not just limited to those who avail the hotel elite tier benefits. Here is all you need to know,

American Express Platinum Charge Metal Card (Image Credits: Amex USA)

Platinum Charge Card

1. Metal card

Brand new metal card now comes to India with their plat charge card. This is expected to be issued by late October 2018. Apart from Existing benefits, they’ve added some small benefits as below,

2. 3X Points on International Spends

This is nice and doing so you get pretty good value for existing cardholders. But if you’re holding other best credit cards with low markup fee, you may not find it exiting enough.

This move proves that Amex is listening, but I don’t think its enough to stay competitive.

I still remember myself swiping Amex card at Starbucks in Bali, Indonesia despite knowing I’ll lose on markup fee compared to other cards I hold, as it gives me great peace of mind.

3. Supplementary Cards

Now you can get only 4 free supplementary cards instead of 6, as earlier.

4. Dining Benefit

Apart from Eazydiner Prime, looks like some good benefits are being added especially on dining front which might be a game changer for this card. We’ll know more on this by month end.

5. Annual Fee

Annual fee Increased from 50k+GST to 60k+GST

All of these changes to Amex plat charge card are expected to go live by 30th oct 2018.

Thanks to the reader Kiran for sharing this info.

Platinum Reserve Card

Amex recently added a benefit to the plat reserve card that went live from Sep 1st 2018

Now you get Rs.500 worth of BookMyShow (or) Flipkart voucher on spending Rs.25,000 a month. That’s additional ability to get 2% value apart from the regular points you earn.

Its a good deal for those who’re using reserve card as their primary credit card. But for others whose spends are seasonal, this is not a great deal.

I would rather expect Amex to give us Taj/Amex domestic Travel/Amazon vouchers based on yearly spends like their plat travel card. Maybe like 30k Taj vouchers on 6L spend! Wouldn’t it be amazing?!

Centurion Card

As you might know, Amex neither disclose the benefits nor the joining/renewal fees of the Amex centurion credit card in India publicly. But according to rumours they seem to be testing with higher joining fee in the range of 4L (probably with welcome vouchers) while renewal fee is expected to remain in the 2L range.

For most cardholders who are eligible for centurion, the major problem is not spending that 4L/2L but HOW they get value back! Its tough unless you’re a real “busy” millionaire flying revenue business class tickets.

That aside, I also had a quick call with one of the Centurion cardholder and was surprised to hear some cool ways to save some money with new offers that they were running specially for them. I might write a separate article on that shortly.

Amex Everyday Spend Credit Card

Amex is known to serve the high end customers ever since i know. But now, they’ve lowered the eligibility criteria and launched a new credit card for beginners with 5X & 10X categories. Looks like HDFC Diners Club cards inspired them 😉

This has been in pilot phase since past 1 year and i hope its getting good traction. Yet, the caps are so less that it wouldn’t fit the premium cardholders much.

While Amex temporarily using the MRCC card design for it now, we may expect this to be replaced with the actual design of Everyday spend cards as seen in US market.

Amex Lounge in Mumbai

Its been a while since the the Amex lounge in Mumbai was closed. So they’re now coming up with the new lounge in Mumbai T2 that might help you stay away from the crowd in TFS lounge, Mumbai. This is expected to open by 2018 year end.

Bottomline

While the metal card & new Amex lounge are the only good news around, its at-least good to see they’re trying to do something to please their customers. Amex certainly need more fine tuning on their premium cards for Indian market but if you’re availing their spend based offers & merchant offers now and then, you should certainly get good value from Amex cards even now.

What’s your take on the new changes coming to Amex cards? Feel free to share your thoughts in comments below.

Author: Siddharth

A Credit Card freak minting reward points and cashback for years, started adding Airmiles in recent times. Obsessed with aviation, airport lounges and luxury travel at affordable cost.

63 thoughts on “Amex Updates: First Metal Credit Card comes to India & other changes

  1. S&S

    No prizes for guessing the name of your centurion card holder contact? 🙂

    S&S

    Reply
  2. Karthik

    In India, cashback cards are more predominantly liked by the customers (sense of saving while spending i guess).
    I think they are in works with more cards like US (Co-branded) now.
    Hope they don’t comprise their customer support when expanding user base.
    Point 2 – Completely agree, I have also done the same.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      No new cards from Amex in near future. We may need to give a push, maybe through our readers 😉

      Reply
      1. SUJIT KUMAR HOTA

        I would love to see a Vistara CoBranded card from Amex.

        Reply
        1. Siddharth Post author

          It may happen as they’ve with Singapore Airlines in Singapore.

          But when is the question! Amex for some reason is bit slow in products front.

          Reply
          1. Amex Guy

            Also, Vistara has replaced Air India (not strictly, but the timing was uncanny) in IAP for Plat/Centurion. Air India went from permanent 25% discount to being no part of program in a matter of weeks.

  3. Ram

    The metal Card is available by 17th Oct for replacements. I’ll definitely cancel the plat charge next year and keep the metal cards as souvenir

    Reply
  4. wah

    hello everyone,
    I’m self employed business holding gross annual income 6.5lac,
    is I’m eligible to apply to amex platinum travel card or gold charge card,
    will they approve my application for self employed business persons.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      But, may i know who said they reject Self-employed?

      Reply
    2. wah

      I read mostly on online they prefer salaried,
      I want to confirm they will consider gross annual income or net profit income for their mentioned eligibility criteria for this is for all banks.

      Reply
    3. Ninad

      I recently got a gold charge card 3 months ago. The cutoff for self employed is 6 lakhs. So I think you should be able to get it

      Reply
  5. C Siddhartha Reddy

    Thanks for the update as I was wondering when they would get this in India as I have seen it abroad! ….the current card starts peeling after some time!

    Reply
  6. Kiran

    Hey Siddharth,

    Thanks for mentioning me, its always been a pleasure to share and receive latest updates here.

    I am eagerly waiting for your review on this card 🙂

    Cheers,
    Kiran

    Reply
  7. Arjun S

    When my wife was working in the US, she got a Chase Sapphire Reserve card which was made of metal (and came with a boatload of points). Through her I got a supplementary card which was also metal. I really like it as it feels a lil heavy and premium compared to regular plastic cards. Also, all the regular plastic cards I have get really bent in my wallet. I wish Citi upgrades the Prestige card to metal as well.

    Reply
    1. Ameya

      Just curious, I generally destroy the plastic card (by cutting it) when it expires or I don’t want to continue with that card.
      What does one do to destroy this!

      Reply
      1. Amex Guy

        They send an envelope with the card. When you need to destroy, you send it back to Amex in that.

        Reply
  8. Amex Guy

    Actually, EasyDiner Prime was recently added benefit, and only worth 2500. Plat in India already had a very strong Taste from Platinum reservations system. I think I’ve scored over 40 bottles of wine this year alone, that pays the card fee twice in itself. The new dining benefit is apparently bringing significantly more places into the blanket.

    The problem with Amex and dining in India is that apart from Taste from Plat locations, they use Dineout partnership for other restaurants, which makes last minute reservations not really any more likely than one directly using the app. If more places come in, Amex can directly get those last minute reservations, which is serious win.

    I may downgrade my Prestige to PremierMilers though, since with 3X here, and airline redemptions getting hampered this coming year, I might not spend on Prestige enough in the coming year.

    Reply
    1. Amex lover

      Hi amexguy,

      Can u put a detail light abt how you scored 40 bottles of wine?
      I am using amex plat and payback card from past 5 years and never knew about it neither heard about it.
      I would really love to score this.

      Reply
      1. Amex Guy

        Amex has a fine dine program called Taste from Platinum. Basically it has all the diners from Indian 5-star chains like ITC, Taj, Oberoi, Leela, etc. You get either pour of wine + dessert of a bottle of wine, depending on location. I take a lot of meetings at Pan Asian lately, it is quick, not messy, food comes fast, and Amex makes sure I get a bottle of wine every time. 🙂

        Reply
    2. AC

      “I may downgrade my Prestige to PremierMilers though, since with 3X here, and airline redemptions getting hampered this coming year, I might not spend on Prestige enough in the coming year.” – Can you please explain how is the airline redemption getting hampered ?

      Reply
    3. AC

      “…airline redemptions getting hampered this coming year…”” – Can you please let us know what changes are coming up for Citi Prestige next year ?

      Reply
      1. S&S

        Apparently CP in Singapore has undergone some changes wrt domestic and international RPs, plus some.
        I too am wondering if CP India will see any changes.

        S&S

        Reply
        1. Sharathkumar Anbu

          Hi S&S,

          What kind of changes did Citi Prestige card undergo? Are those positive changes or negative changes?

          Could you elaborate please

          Reply
          1. S&S

            This is my reading of a piece on a Singapore based blog… In brief.
            For the Singapore market, from Oct 4th, Citi has increased earn rate on intl transactions by 20% for Citi Prestige (Premier miles earn rate remains same), increased Forex fees by 7% on PM & CP, excluded certain merchant categories for PM, CP and Rewards.
            Hope the changes don’t cross over into India 🙂

            S&S

      2. Amex Guy

        Its not related to Citi per se. I have a pretty standard playbook when it comes to flight redemptions. The key aspects of that playbook are about to fall apart in 2019. Avois are about get massively devalued. Marco is about to raise redemption fee. Global airlines are in distress, so redemptions fees have been slowly creeping up. My one world emerald is about to expire. So 2019 would be about burning points and not earning points for me, before they become much less worthy.

        Above all, I plan to take most of my Citi spends to Amex. Prestige is pointless if you’re either spending on it, or juicing it for 4th night free benefit. Both of which I don’t see milking in 2019. Citi unfortunately does not have a strong enough hotel partner list I can exploit.

        Reply
    4. SH

      Hi Amex Guy,

      One thing that I have observed with the Amex Plat Charge Fine Dining Programe is that they don’t allow you to club it with the hotel / chain’s own programme. For e.g. I cannot get Epicure points (50% on first three transactions and 25% after that) and Amex benefits (like free wine or dessert) in a single sitting. Has that been your experience as well ?

      Also checking to see what benefits you have got at Marriott and Oberio.

      Reply
      1. Amex Guy

        I usually don’t go much to Taj restaurants and haven’t tried that combination. Who told you that you can’t get points when booking through Amex? If it is Amex, I suggest you give your Taj number at time of billing anyway.

        I do get SPG/Marriott points just fine when I dine at ITC via Amex booking. If I overcome my laziness and join Culinary program, I’m sure that would work too. I just hand over my SPG number at the time of billing. They never question credit of points.

        Reply
        1. SH

          Join the ITC programme. Your membership package will come with a bunch of discount vouchers for dinning at ITC hotels. Also when not using the vouchers, you will get 25% discount while dinning at ITC and 20% while dinning at other brands like Fortune.

          Reply
    5. Tarun Agarwal

      40 bottles of wine? Is it free of cost? And how did you do it? I am a big wine lover and would take this Platinum Charge Card any day for this kind of benefit. Please share some more details on this.
      I would also like to know how else do you bring out the value after paying over 50k annual fees for this card.

      Reply
      1. SH

        Typically they provide a complimentary bottle of wine on making reservations through them at ITC, Taj, and Oberoi properties. I have the complete list of restaurants and offers for each of them.

        Reply
      2. Amex Guy

        What SH said. For a bottle, it is typically an ITC location.

        As for how to get value from card, the best ways for me are — Free booze, Free Golf, Free Business/First class upgrades, Free Hotel memberships/upgrades/executive lounge access, 20-25% seasonal discounts on flights. I can’t get into how much value I usually get, but any one of those categories should pay the card at least twice over.

        Reply
        1. SH

          Amex Guy,

          I am new to the Amex Plat Charge world (~2 months). Have a question on free business class upgrades. When Amex books these tickets do they confirm that it will be upgraded? Or is it more of an operational upgrade depending on availability? Also are these tickets non-restricted type?
          Asking so many questions as I have not used this facility so far.

          I find your responses / posts to be very informative, and would like to thank you for all the info that you share.

          Reply
          1. Ram

            AMEX currently offers upgrade to F in Etihad if you’re booking J or C but you need to consider that full fare business is ~2x of the non-refundable ticket cost(I recently got a quote FOR BLR – LHR). You will need to do your homework to make sure you get the best out of PLAT. For someone like myself who hardly travels internationally twice a year, who doesn’t eat out much, doesn’t have the need to frequent hotels domestically, doesn’t golf.. I don’t juice much out of PLAT. I managed to get the value out of PLAT this year since I was taking a week long vacation with TAJ but doubt about next year. I’m going to stay with Prestige next year.

          2. Amex Guy

            Hi SH!

            It depends on the partner. For permanent partners like Etihad, the upgrade is instant, you get an F ticket in inbox. They keep having offers for others time to time, in most cases it is upgraded after a couple of days if not instantly. Either way, you have an F ticket before heading to airport. Sometimes Amex has deep discounted F tickets which are almost as cheap as flex J. Sometimes they have offers like 2 for 1, that saves you around the same if you took discount on cheap fare, but then gives you flexibility of having a flex fare, so it is a win.

            Now here’s the breakdown — you need to book full flex fare on J to be upgraded. How much you save? Well, if you were to fly first anyway, then yes, you save around 40-50K for each sector on flights to EU and Americas. If you were to fly business but think of upgrade as just nice to have, you’re probably better off trying to book cheaper business fare and have Amex give you a 10-15% discount on it through the same IAP program. This way you save around 15-20K each sector.

            So, depending on which class you originally intended to fly, you are looking at 30K-100K savings for each round trip to EU/Americas, if travelling business or first.

            For economy, the discounts are much lesser, but it is still a non trivial discount so it is always best to check the fare with Amex first.

  9. Varshitha Shah

    You’ll know the complete benefits of the Amex Plat charge card only by 30th October! There are a lot of benefits still being added and are still in the pipeline! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Sounds like that’s coming from Amex.

      Anyway, lets see if the new benefits helps us to get the card & hold it. 🙂

      Reply
  10. DEEP PATEL

    American Express is giving lifetime free offer on MRCC, whose income is more than 15 lac pa. Is it a good deal?

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  11. Gkcards

    Will they increase fees of plat reserve also, thinking of taking that?

    Reply
  12. SH

    Amex Guy and Ram,

    There is no ‘reply’ icon against your responses to my query above. Hence this addendum to thank both of you for your responses.

    Cheers!
    SH

    Reply
  13. Prasenjit

    Regarding the following – “Amex recently added a benefit to the plat reserve card that went live from Sep 1st 2018
    Now you get Rs.500 worth of BookMyShow (or) Flipkart voucher on spending Rs.25,000 a month. “… Is this targeted offer , or is it for all? I have Plat Reserve card, but havent received any email. Also cant find this on their website…Any pointers?

    Reply
    1. SH

      Call them up. New Reserve members are getting it. You have an option to chose between flipkart and BookMyShow.

      Reply
    2. Gkcards

      This is there on there website. Click on Know More under the card details, and then monthly voucher program. So it would be for all.

      Any unlisted/unadvertised benefits from reserve card?

      Reply
  14. Amex Guy

    Got the metal card today. Came from Singapore so they aren’t making these cards locally. It is contactless, which means the back plate is not transparent but opaque. The card is 18g.

    There was an issue with import duty (Rs. 995), which DHL guy claimed I should pay. This was a communication mess up between DHL and Amex and they sorted it out swiftly.

    Reply
      1. Amex Guy

        Amex did, obviously. It was a misunderstanding on part of DHL, which got sorted in almost realtime by Amex.

        Reply
    1. Kiran

      HI Amex Guy,

      You should have got an A/C card along with you plat charge card, could you please give some info about it.

      How is it useful ?

      Cheers,
      Kiran

      Reply
      1. Amex Guy

        Yup, I applied for an A/C card. It’s useful if you claim expenses to your company. In which case, giving CA just the A/C card portion of the statement is enough. It’s just an add-on card with no extra privileges except than segmenting your spend. You can use it any way to you like. I know some people who put all travel spends on it so they know how much they are spending on travel every month.

        It’s also another physical card so if you have someone spending for you, they can have it — such as your PA.

        Reply
    1. Amex Guy

      I got metal cards for all my add-ons. You have to specifically ask to replace supplementary cards too.

      Reply
      1. Ram

        Huh that’s weird, I specifically asked and the cc guy told it ain’t feasible. Let me call them back, Thanks for sharing mate

        Reply
      2. SH

        I have got it for me as of now. Asked on 17-Oct, and got it by 22-Oct. Would have got it on 20-oct (it had reached local DHL office by then), if they had not left early due to Durga pooja.

        Looks cool.

        Reply
    2. sahil

      hi @Amexguy and @Ram how long did it took you to receive the card after requesting it?

      Reply
      1. Amex Guy

        T+2. BTW, if you requested online, that doesn’t work. I placed a request on 17th, but called on 21st and they had no idea about it. They took manual request on 21st, which was a Sunday. So it basically went through on 22nd, card got delivered 24th.

        Reply
  15. Gaurav Malik

    What are the new benefits on this card. Does the 10K increase in fees justify the added benefits or is it the cost of the Metal card coming from Singapore which is built into this fees. :). I now have 2 Amex Cards ( Plat Travel and Amex Jet)…I had read that one can have 3 AMEX cards so keeping my options open…

    Reply
    1. Amex Guy

      The way I see it — if you average over $1500 in monthly overseas spend, then the extra MR points earned itself pay the fee + GST over and above any other Amex card. So, if you are spending that much, then 3X multiplier will pay for the card fee, regardless of any other benefit. And I can go all day on how much one can earn on this card, but that differs widely for different people.

      Only get a card if you are getting net positive out of it.

      Reply
      1. Gaurav Malik

        Thanks a lot @ Amex Guy…I keep reading about your insights and find them very useful. It took me almost 10 years to get a Credit Card after burning my fingers with loads of them and not realising the potential. I am back to having 5 cards now but ultra careful now and keep doing Need and Analysis of requirement. Do not want history to repeat as it takes almost an entire decade and loads of hard work to get CIBIL score back on track.

        Reply
      2. SH

        Hi Amex Guy,

        It would be great to get a lesson from you on how you are using various features to wilt away the hazardous effects of the fees. Some of these (fine dinning, pay J and travel F, golf, all the status for primary and add on) we already know through the comments that you have posted. If there are others, then will be good to know them as well.

        Also remember that golf comes with Citi Prestige, Infinia, Diners Black as well (though to varying degrees of benefits). As it does with Amex Plat Reserve. So then it depends on the opportunity cost of having Amex Plat vs other cards that on their own, or as a combination provide some or all of the features of Amex Plat. Golf is just an example. Other might be forex, where Citi Prestige provides 2X, and until recently Diners Black provided 10X (now limited to oversees PoS transactions).

        So it would be great to get some discussion on this. I love the Amex Plat, just playing devil’s advocate so that I can answer to my wife about the fees.

        Reply

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