Review: American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card (2024)

Over the past six years, one of the cards that has had a spot in my card wallet, despite being an entry-level card, has been the American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card. There has been more than one reason to keep this card.  I thought I’d start the year with an update on the American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card Review. India.

The American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card is the Credit Card version of the American Express Gold Charge Card. The Credit Card version has a pre-set spending limit, and the charge card version does not have a published spending limit. However, your payment capability is continuously assessed, and Amex will give you a higher ability to pay on the card when you have some established patterns and history on the card.

American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card Review India

The American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card is an entry-level credit card, currently being offered free for the first year. The Card offers 2 Membership Rewards points per INR 100 spent on the card, which converts into one mile for most partners when transferred to an airline partner. You can also see it as two Marriott Bonvoy points per INR 100 spent.

Here are some features of the card:

  • Membership Rewards earning: American Express Membership Rewards points are very popular as a currency for miles and points earners, given the ability to transfer to eight frequent flyer programmes and two hotel programmes. Like many other base-level cards, American Express offers one MR for every INR 50 spent on the card, excluding spending on Fuel, Insurance, Utilities, Cash Transactions and EMI conversions at the Point of Sale.
  • 1000 Bonus Membership Rewards every month: The card offers you 1,000 bonus Membership Rewards every month, simply for making at least four transactions worth INR 1,500 every month. That makes it 13,440 Membership Rewards in no time, assuming you only spent INR 1,500 x 4 monthly for 12 months.
  • Additional 1000 Bonus Membership Rewards every month: You can earn an extra 1,000 Membership Rewards points simply by spending INR 20,000 or more in a calendar month. This is an enrollment-based benefit, so do sign-up for it after you receive your card.
  • 2 Supplementary Cards at no cost
  • Double points under Reward Multiplier: American Express, in 2020, launched the Reward Multiplier website, where you can buy through this proprietary portal and earn even more Membership Reward Points. Some brands on this Reward Multiplier website include Flipkart, Apple, Tanishq, Mark & Spencers and Croma.

As I mentioned above, these MRs then transfer to 8 partner airlines and two hotel programmes:

  1. Emirates: 2 MR=1 Skywards mile
  2. Etihad: 2 MR = 1 Etihad Guest Mile
  3. Vistara: 3 MR = 1 Club Vistara Point
  4. Virgin Atlantic: 2 MR = 1 Flying Club mile
  5. Cathay Pacific: 2 MR = 1 Asia Miles
  6. British Airways: 2 MR = 1 Avios
  7. Qatar Airways: 2 MR = 1 Privilege Club Mile
  8. Singapore Airlines: 2 MR = 1 KrisFlyer Mile

Apart from this, you can also transfer Membership Rewards points to two hotel programmes:

  1. Marriott: 1 MR = 1 Marriott Bonvoy Point
  2. Hilton: 1 MR = 0.9 Hilton Honors Point

I’ve taken to using this card regularly because of the ease with which I’ve earned Membership Rewards points for very little effort. Using this card monthly, I easily earn 1,000 Membership Rewards points, consolidated in my Membership Rewards account at American Express. I also earn all the other MR from my other cards.

One popular way of using this card has been to use it for fuel. While fuel purchases won’t earn MR, they would count towards the 1500 INR transaction and the month’s INR 20,000 milestone. So, you could get your 1000 MR milestone bonus. If you head to an HP fuel pump, there is no fuel surcharge on using Amex cards as well, up to INR 5,000 per transaction.

You can also use the Membership Rewards for redemptions from the 18-karat and 24-karat Gold Collections. The 24K Gold Collection offers Taj vouchers worth INR 14,000 for redeeming 24,000 points, making it a great value at INR 0.58 per MR redeemed. Here is the complete collection on offer:

  • Redeem 24,000 MR points for an item from the 24-Karat Gold Collection:
    • Taj voucher worth INR 14,000
    • Shoppers Stop voucher worth INR 11,000
    • Tanishq voucher worth INR 10,000
    • Amazon voucher worth INR 9,000
    • Flipkart voucher worth INR 9,000
  • Redeem 18,000 MR points for an item from the 18-Karat Gold Collection:
    • Taj voucher worth Rs. 9,000
    • Shoppers Stop voucher worth Rs. 8,000
    • Myntra voucher worth Rs. 8,000
    • Big Basket voucher worth

The American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card is free of charge when you apply via this link. You also get 2,000 bonus Membership Rewards points for the first INR 5,000 spent within the first 90 days of card membership. So, for a year, if you just swiped INR 1500 four times on this card, you can get 15,440 Membership Rewards (12,000 + 2,000 + 1,400).

a credit card with a picture of a man's head

Even on a standalone basis, these approximately 15,000 Membership Rewards points are good for at least two nights (3 in off-peak season) at many Marriott Hotels in India, in the following cities:

      1. Ahmedabad
      2. Belagavi
      3. Bengaluru
      4. Bhopal
      5. Bilaspur
      6. Chennai
      7. Mahabalipuram
      8. Coimbatore
      9. Hyderabad
      10. Indore
      11. Kochi
      12. Lucknow
      13. Madurai
      14. Pune
      15. Siliguri
      16. Srinagar
      17. Surat
      18. Vadodara
      19. Vishakhapatnam

Just by waiting for the right offers to come by, I was also able to maximise the utilisation of the Membership Rewards, however, transferring them to Marriott when a 30% transfer bonus offer was revealed.

The best part of using our link for the American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card is that the fee offered for the second year is just INR 1,500, which is 66% off the usual annual fee of INR 4,500. If you spend INR 90K in any given year, 50% of the fee is waived, and when you spend INR 1.5 Lakhs on the card, the complete fee is waived for the card for the next year.

Remember, you can add on the American Express Gold Charge Card along and get another 1000 bonus MR every month on spending at least INR 6,000.

What is your take on the American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card?

American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card Review India

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+ Free for the first year
+ 1,000 bonus MR for just INR 6,000 spend every month, including wallet reloads
+ Milestone based spends for INR 20,000 spend per month
+ MR points can be earned in common account with other Amex MR-earning cards


- No Lounge Access Benefits


About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. can you please provide referral link for applying American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card, above link in the article shows expired

  2. Does the “1000 bonus points for 4 spends above Rs. 1500” offer also apply to utilities and insurance spends? Tried checking online but didn’t find anything conclusive.

    Didn’t find anything for fuel either but I suppose if fuel spends are allowed, the others must be too

  3. Hey Ajay..

    In the pros section the following line probably needs a correction:

    “+ 1,000 bonus MR for just INR 4,000 spend every month, including wallet reloads”

    I believe this should be INR 6,000 spend every month when we use it for a minimum of Rs 1.5 K and swiping 4 times every month..

    So 1500 x 4 = 6000 INR

    Thanks and keep up the good work as always !

  4. As an entry level card, this card is quite brilliant..especially for those who spend around 2-2.5 lakh annually..

    Also if one like Taj / Marriott and maybe Hilton as a 3rd alternative, then this is a must have.

    One will be able to earn a lot of MRs that can be put to good use especially for hotels.

    And the price is pretty reasonable IMO

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