I received an email newsletter a week back about Bonus Points being awarded on International spends done on American Express Credit/Charge Cards. You get 3 Additional Bonus Points on Every Rs.100 Equivalent amount spent on foreign currency while you continue to earn 2 base points per Rs.100 as usual. Here’s full info of the Offer:
American Express Offer – Bonus Points on International Spends:
Travelling abroad gets even more rewarding with your American Express® Card. Now earn 3 Bonus Membership Rewards® Points for every Rs.100 spent in foreign currency, along with the regular 2 Membership Rewards® Points you would normally earn.
- Enrollment Window: 5th April, 2017 to 18th April, 2017 -> Enroll Now
- Transaction Window: 1st May, 2017 to 30th June, 2017
- Maximum Cap: 5000 Bonus points (~Rs.1,65,000 Equivalent spend)
- Foreign currency means any currency other than Indian Rupees. If you’re using Paypal, make sure it charges you in Foreign currency and not in INR.
- Bonus Points will be credited within 90 days from the offer end date i.e. 30th June, 2017
- Not applicable to Jet card
But don’t get mesmerized by the numbers, its just a tiny value. For example, lets consider you spend Rs.1 Lakh in foreign currency and this is how the numbers looks like:
- Foreign Currency Spend: Rs.1 Lakh
- Markup Fee: 3.5%+ST = 4% = Rs.4000
- Total Points Earned = 5000 Points (Default Points: 2000 + Bonus Points: 3000)
- Value in Gold Credit/Charge Card: 5000 @ 41ps/point = Rs.2050 (2%)
- Value in Plat Travel Card: 5000 @ 50ps/point = Rs.2500 (2.5%)
- Value in Plat Reserve Card: 5000 @ 25ps/point = Rs.1250 (1.25% – You can link gold charge card to increase its value)
Hence, the maximum value you get is 2.5% with Platinum Travel card as Indigo Vouchers. Even that doesn’t help as you can see:
Net Gains = 4%(markup fee)-2.5%(Accelerated Reward rate) = 1.5% LOSS
You may actually earn a little bit more if Amex issues points on Markup fee as well. Whatsoever, this offer doesnt beat the default reward rates of the premium credit cards with low markup fees that i recently listed under Best Credit Cards for International Transactions.
But yes, if you donot have any premium cards, its fine to avail the offer. Make sure to enroll before transacting.
Best Credit Cards for International Transactions:
The key is the “Markup fee” which is pretty high on all Amex cards and they aren’t doing anything about it except shedding out tiny rewards. But days are not so far, Amex already know about the big data (i suppose) and they should come up with some 0% or lower markup fee cards sooner or later to deal with the competition.
FYI, American Express has 0% Markup fee cards already in USA for a long time.
- Cardexpert Offer Rating: 3/5
Whats your take on the Amex Bonus Points offer on International Spends? Are you Planning to avail it? Share your views in comments below.