American Express has announced the upcoming changes to their redemption options on American express Platinum travel card on May 9th 2017 and now their new redemption options are ready to go live from June 9th 2017 onwards. In meantime, some of the card members were offered 2:1 redemption as direct cash credit to the statement, however, such deviations seems to be out by now. Here are the changes happening and my views on it.
New Redemption Options on American Express Travel Card:
#1 Spice Jet Vouchers:
As per my conversation with one of Amex exec, it seems that Indigo has stopped its voucher business and so Amex is forced to go for a new partner which is SpiceJet. No idea how far its true but its good to hear that redemption value holds same in this case. But hey, who wants to fly on Spicejet?! Amex cardholders are mostly elite and are in Metro cities which means, if you fly Spicejet, you have to sacrifice your travel experience by taking old terminals in Mumbai/Delhi.
I’m an investor in Spicejet (few shares) and its not a bad airline to ignore, infact their connectivity is expected to increase post PM’s UDAN Scheme but its just that its not in par with Amex card holder standards.
- Effective reward rate on 4L spend: 7.5% (joining fee not included)
#2 American Express Domestic Travel
Amex has come up with a new Travel website for India and it is – www.amexindiatravel.com (cleartrip clone)
Its a typical clone site of the original Cleartrip with only Hotels and flight bookings enabled. I even see its allowing to enter coupon code, but unsure if it would really work. Cleartrip is running the back-end operations for many such loyalty based partner redemption sites. Even HDFC is using cleartrip system for bookings on Regalia/Diners portals as i mentioned in this article.
Well, this redemption option is really a good move which now gives flexibility for you to fly on any airline and you’re no longer limited to single airline as before. But this comes at 1% loss in reward rate, however, these are revenue tickets which will get you JPMiles if you choose to redeem with Jet Airways. This may compensate the 1% loss in reward rate to certain extent.
Also, for hotel booking, its wise to redeem it only on hotel chains which doesn’t accept coupons on most sites (or) when the rates are in par with other OTA’s.
- Effective reward rate on 4L spend: 6.5% (joining fee not included)
So if you were very happy with redeeming your points on Indigo airlines and got used to it, you may still continue to do so by redeeming your points on Amex travel portal. Hence, there is no reason to panic. With the reward rate we get on this card, its still one of the best travel credit card you can have in India.
So what’s your view on the new redemption options – Happy or Unhappy? Do share your thoughts in comments below.
do you have to redeem the bonus miles for the vouchers or do you have the option to redeem them for airline miles as well?
You can redeem both as per your preference. The redemption chart is there in the article as well.
The earlier Indigo option did not have a classification pf domestic or international air travel voucher. The new options have clearly mentioned domestic travel. M i right
Yes, you are right.
This is actually a degrade. Earlier i used to book international flights with indigo using amex mr points. Now in this spicejet case this will not be possible. Bad move by amex
True that if you were using it for Intl purpose.
Amex has also made changes to the bonus points earning criteria of Gold Charge card.
From 1 July onwards we have to do 6 transactions of Rs.1000 or more to earn 1000 monthly bonus points.
Yes, that’s the sad part for Gold card members.
Thanks for the earlier reply. Are there any MR points awarded on card renewal after paying the entire fees?
Not usually, the card doesn’t have any renewal bonus/benefit.
Is the increase in minimum transaction from 4 to 6 only restricted for the gold card or for the membership rewards card as well to earn the 1000 points every month?
I met exec from Amex and convinced me for Amex Platinum Reserve by saying that it is most premium credit card of Amex just a notch below their Platinum Charge Card. My real needs are 1) Point Accumulation 2) Easy and real simple redemption and even better if that can be used to pay my spend on card 3) Priority Pass access (ideally for family) 4) Easy Silver or Gold membership of airline
I am not one of those who can carry many credit cards, so can you suggest one which in your view would serve best?
I recently got this card as first year free, really happy with the offers and services till now 🙂
I got 10K Taj vouchers. Can you please suggest any Taj hotels in South India where we can afford with this 10K voucher.
If you are planning for a vacation Taj Kumarakomin Kerala is good.
Can anyone holding AMEX Platinum Travel Card can confirm me whether we can get the Annual fees waived off for certain amount of spends? Just like on AMEX Gold Card approx 6-7L waive off the annual fees.
Its 15L for now. It may change.
Any idea for annual fees wavier on Amex platinum Charge Card ??
Wat would b the approx spend for annual fees wavier ?
Never heard of anyone getting waiver on it.
Reading your blogs for last 1 year and found them very useful. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with others.
I am currently leaving in panchkula which comes under chandigarh tricity but i m not sure whether amex service is available in my area. Using your referral link for amex platinum travel card it shows First Year Free (Got interested seeing this) and 2000 more reward points for both me and you 🙂 . Is there any way to confirm that they will deliver in my city.
You might need an address at your nearby serviceable city.
Can u help with best option to redeem 14000+ MR points on Amex Plat Travel card?
The cust care gave me 2 best option
1. redeem it for SpiceJet vouchers.
2. continue to use the card by debiting 10000 MR points for the annual fees
I was thinking of closing the card .