American Express Gold Card Review: Earn Points for daily spends


Here is my detailed review on the Amex Gold cards, their benefits, rewards, how to earn bonus points, tips and tricks on using them and a table on how I get Rs.11,322 back for a spend of Rs.2,00,000 (over and above other offers). PLUS- I have something exciting for you at the end. You get this too and by joining as my friend you get Rs.2000 worth points free!

There are very few cards at entry levels in Indian market that offer a great reward/spend. The Gold series from American express does exactly that, giving yoy as much as Rs.0.50 per point. I have had my card for over 2 years now and so far I have earned over Rs.28,000 (and will be getting another Rs.9000 end of April’20). This is one of the most important cards in my stack. Check out my stack of credit cards that make me money.

Review of American Express Gold Cards

There are two cards under the American Express Gold collection, Amex Gold Charge card and the Amex Gold Members Rewards Card. The American Express Gold Charge card is not a Credit Card, it is a Charge Card. I have mentioned the differences between a Charge card and a Credit card below. So getting back to the review:

Membership Criteria and Fees

Joining, Annual Fees, Joining bonus and Annual Fee waiver

Both cards have a joining fee of Rs.1000 and have an annual membership fee of Rs.5,310 (Rs.4,500+tax). This is for each of the cards. However you have an option to link the two and make the Members Credit card a companion card to your Amex Gold Charge card. That way you need not pay the joining fee for the Members card and also will only pay the annual fee for one of them.

If you pay the joining fee of Rs.1000, you get 4000 points complementary, the value of this itself can be between Rs.1500 to Rs.2000 depending on how you redeem the points. Also, by signing up using the links I gave below, you get an additional Rs.2,000 worth of points on a spend of Rs.5000 within the first 3 months of joining.

Annual Fees waiver

American Express entertains a certain % of your fee as waiver depending on your spend with the card. The waiver can be anywhere between 0 to 75%. For 2019-2020, I personally spent about Rs.2,00,000 on my two cards. That is Rs.10,000 monthly, plus an additional Rs.80,000 for insurance and purchases. This got me a 75% waiver on my annual fees. So I paid a yearly fee of Rs.1,327 for both cards together.

Eligiblity criteria for the American Express Gold Cards

  • You need have have salary of Rs.6 lakhs or more
  • You need to have a residential address in India
  • You need to have a decent credit score
  • You need to be older than 18 years
  • Have the usual proofs such as Aadhar, Bank statement, Salary slips etc

Amex Rewards, Offers and Bonus programs

I will tackle this in three main sections, the bonus points for monthly spend of Rs.10,000, the Amex Gold 18K and 24K collections and other offers and point opportunities with the Amex card.

Bonus Points on monthly spend

The two Gold cards by default give you 1 point per Rs.50 spent. There is also 2000 bonus points to be earned every month. Here is how you can earn a total of 2,000 bonus points every month from the two Amex cards

  1. Make 6 spends each of Rs.1000 or more from your American Express Gold Charge card

    This gives you a total of 1,120 points.

  2. Make 4 spends each of Rs.1000 or more from your American Express Gold Charge card

    This gives you a total of 1,080 points.

So monthly you can make 2200 points purely with a spend of Rs.10,000. Now, if you are from a middle class background like me you may not be spending 10K a month, so here are a few tips of how to achieve this:

  • If you are making big purchases, say for Rs.3000, ask the billing guy to split the payment into two or three. This always works for me. For Rs.3000, I can get 3 X Rs.1000 target. Just be nice and smile to the guy.
  • Offer to pay bills for family members and take the cash from them
  • Round up postpaid bills. Eg: If my postpaid phone bill is Rs.850, I pay Rs.1000
  • Stick to paying with cards as much as you can
Note: The minimum payment considered is Rs.1000, so for both cards for being eligible for Bonus points. You need to have Rs.1000+ usage 10 times in the month. Rs.10,000 as one charge will be considered as 1 time, not 10 time. Nor will Rs.500 payment done twice be considered as 1 Rs.1000 payment.

AmEx 24karat and 18 karat Gold Collections

This and the Bonus points make the Amex gold cards worthwhile for us. To be honest, Amex’s reward catalog in India is downright shitty and wothless. The items are over priced and you end up getting about 15 to 25 paisas per point by redeeming something from the catalog.

But the 18Karat and 24Karat Gold collection is totally worth it!

24 Karat Gold Collection rewards for 24,000 points

For 24,000 points you can choose one of the following:

  • Statement Credit worth Rs. 9,000 – Value of each point is Rs.0.375/point
  • Tanishq Voucher worth Rs. 10,000 – Value of each point is Rs.0.416/point
  • Taj Voucher worth Rs. 14,000 – Value of each point is Rs.0.583/point

18 Karat Gold Collection rewards for 18,000 points

For 18,000 points you can choose one of the following:

  • Statement Credit worth Rs. 6,000 – Value of each point is Rs.0.333/point
  • Amazon Gift Card worth Rs. 7,000 – Value of each point is Rs.0.388/point
  • American Express Domestic Travel Online Voucher worth Rs. 7,000 – Value of each point is Rs.0.388/point
  • Taj Voucher worth Rs. 9,000 – Value of each point is Rs.0.5/point

Benefits, Offers and Deals for American Express customers

What I like with Amex is they give offers on Insurance and buying Gold, which most other cards don’t. So I always end up using Amex for these (mostly insurance as I avoid buying gold).

  • Once in a year Amex has come up with a campaign that gives 10X times the rewards for paying Insurance with your cards. This works out to Rs.100 getting you 20 points, about Rs.10.4 which is a 10% discount on paying your insurance. Points is capped at 5000 for one account during the offer period
  • Amex has frequent offers with Tanishq, Makemytrip and several other well know merchants who give you 20-30% discounts or 10X reward points that equal 10% discount
  • Dining offers – A number of restaurants give out 10% to 20% discounts for Amex card holders
  • Flexi Pay: This is a great EMI option for select customers where the large purchase on Gold Charge card can be transferred to the Gold Members card and the interest is an unbelievable 0.7% per month for 6 months. Thant is lesser than what I earn as Interest for most investments! This is only for select customers though, meeting certain criteria. I asked them what criteria and they declined to answer.
American express gold charge and members rewards credit card review

My table of how this works out for me. As you can see I make Rs.11,322 on a Rs.2,00,000 spend. That is about 6% returns on my spend. Add to this Cashkaro, CRED, the various other offers on sites and I easily pay just Rs.85 for Rs.100.

Sign up to get your Amex Gold Card, a welcome gift of Rs.4000! Plus Rs.2000 for joining as my friend through the below links

Note: The link for Gold Charge Card takes you to the Platinum card by mistake. Just scroll down and select Gold Charge card. You will still get the 2,000 points for signing up as my friend.

You need to sign up separately for each card. And for each card, you get 4000 points (worth Rs.2000) for signing up and a special referral bonus of another 2000 points (worth Rs.1,000) for signing up as my friend through this link

What is a charge card?

A charge card is a type of credit product that allows you to make a payment with money you don’t have and pay it back at the end of the billing cycle. Eg: Buy something on 1st of the month using the card. Bill is generated on 14th of the month with 30th of the month as last date. Make the payment on 30th of the month.

How is a charge card different from credit cards?

Both allow you to use money you don’t have, but unlike a credit card, charge cards do NOT allow you to carry forward balance that can be paid next month. Eg: If you have an outstanding of Rs.5,000 in this cycle. With a credit card, you can pay minimum or Rs.250 and the rest can be carried forward. Your credit score will not be damaged and you will be able to still use the card. With a charge card, the entire amount needs to paid within the current cycle. Failing to do so will result in penalties, poos credit score and blocking of card for future purchases.

What cards does American Express have under Gold collection in India?

American Express (AmEx) has two cards, namely American Express Gold Charge Card and American Express Members Rewards Card

How many points do I get for normal spends on Amex gold cards?

You get 1 point per Rs.50 spent. This is over and above the 2000 bonus points for making 10 spends of Rs.1000+ in a month.

What is the value of an American Express credit card reward point?

The book value of the point is Rs.25/100 point (25 paisas/point). However, if you can collect 18,000 points or 24,000 you can redeem them for the AmEx gold collection which takes the value of the points up to Rs.5.2/100 points (52 paisas/point).

Does a Charge Card impact CIBIL and credit score

Yes. A charge card will reflect on your CIBIL statements. Being prompt in paying your charge card will positively impact credit score, and missing payments will negatively impact credit score.

How to contact American Express Gold Card customer care

For Amex Gold Members Card: 0124-280 1418 or Toll free on 1800 419 0167
For Amex Gold Charge Card: Toll free on 1800 419 1120 or 0124-2801111
If you have both, call on either number, it does not matter.

How good is American Express credit cards customer care

They are by far one of the best in customer service I have come across. I use a lot of credit cards and finance products and no other Indian company provides customer service that is equal to the help and assistance provided by American Express customer care agents. You feel good after talking to them, they don’t give excuses and genuinely care (or at least are good enough to act like they mean it).

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Abhi
Abhihttps://littlesaves.com
Abhi is a 29 yr old Indian, on FIRE to retire by 40. He has been investing and learning Finance for the past 12 years. After completing Mechanical engineering, he started working in a multi-national Bank and grew to become an AVP. Currently with an IT MNC as a VP. He lives in Bangalore with his wife and their 1 year old daughter. In his free time, Abhi loves to game on the Xbox, watch movies, read and blog.

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