American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card Review (Updated April 2018)

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American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card

The American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card is a boon for domestic travellers. It offers a joining bonus, excellent milestone rewards, and access to airport lounges. Unlike some of the other travel credit cards, the American Express Platinum Travel Credit card gives you reward points and not miles.

This card is a great package for frequent domestic travellers who anticipate spending INR 4 lakhs on their credit card. One could redeem their rewards points for vouchers from multiple vendors.

FinTown Rating: 4 / 5

Rating by Category: 

Annual Fee                                              3
Rewards Rate  4
Initial Bonus 3.5
APR  2
  • Given the rewards and benefits it offers, the Annual Fee is in consonance. Therefore, a rating of 3 is justified.
  • The rewards rate for this card solely depends on whether you are able to spend either INR 1.9 Lacs or INR 4 Lacs. Spends below 1.9 Lakh will significantly reduce the reward rate.
  • The initial bonus for this card is worth travel vouchers worth INR 4,000. Therefore, a rating of 3.5 is justified.
  • The Annual Percentage Rate (APR), however, is on the higher side at 42% to  45%. Hence, it gets a low rating.

Pros & Cons:

Reasons to Choose American Express Platinum Travel Card Reasons to Avoid American Express Platinum Credit Card
Rewards rate and Milestone Benefits High APR
Travel vouchers  Limited reward below INR1.9 Lacs and beyond INR 4 Lacs.
Domestic Airport Lounge Access No benefits on international travel
Zero Lost Card Liability  High Annual Fee
Dining Discounts

Rewards/Benefits-American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card

With the American Express Platinum Travel card, one can get rewards of up to INR 33, 500 with an annual spend of INR 4 Lacs. Below is a breakdown of the rewards:

Welcome Gift

5,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points which can be redeemed for Indigo Airlines travel vouchers worth INR 4000.

Milestone Rewards

  • Travel voucher worth INR 7700 on INR 1.9 lakhs spend
  • Travel voucher worth INR 11800 on INR 4 lakhs spend
  • Taj Hotels voucher worth INR 10000 on INR 4 lakhs spend

Priority Pass Membership

With a Priority Pass Membership, you will get up to 4 lounge passes per year, with the US$99 annual membership fee waived off exclusively for you.

Rewards

You can earn 1 reward point on every INR 50 spent on any purchase except for spends on Fuel, Insurance, Utilities and Cash Transactions. Additionally, you can earn up to 20 bonus reward points on every spend of INR 100 EXTRA Membership Rewards Program Partners of American Express.

Is the Rewards Rate Good?

Case 1: Points redeemed for travel vouchers

1 Reward point = INR 0.50. On spending INR 100, you earn 2 reward points. In other words, you earn INR 1 on spending INR 100. On spending INR 1, you get INR 0.01. Therefore, the rewards rate for online shopping is 1%. 

Case 2: All other categories

1 reward point gives you INR 0.25 in case of all other spends. Therefore, on spending INR 100, you earn INR 0.50. On spending INR 1, you get 0.005. Therefore, the rewards rate is 0.05%

Although the rewards rate is not promising, the vouchers that you earn upon joining or reaching milestone spend is great. You can earn vouchers up to a maximum of INR 33,500 on reaching milestone spend of INR 4,00,000.

Is this card for you?

This card is perfect for you if:

  • You are a frequent traveller within India.
  • You are not an Air India or Jet Airways frequent flyer. Other co-branded cards such as Air India SBI Signature Card or Jet Privilege HDFC Bank Credit Card, Jet Airways ICICI Bank Sapphiro Card etc. can provide you better offers.
  • You can spend INR 4,00,000 a year with your card. This is important to derive full benefits out of this card.

Payments & Fees

Joining  Fee  INR 3500 + GST
Annual Fee  INR 5,000 + GST
Foreign Transaction mark-up fee  3.5% of the transaction amount
Annual Bonus Worth INR 33,500
Late Payment Fee  30 % of the Minimum Payment Due as shown on the Card statement, subject to a minimum of Rs.500 and a maximum of Rs.1,000 plus service taxes.
Cash Advance Charges  3.5% of the transaction amount

How to get the most out of this card?

To obtain maximum benefits from this card, you must spend INR 4,00,000 to get vouchers worth INR 33,500. Furthermore, you should redeem the points for travel-related benefits. This is because of the reward rate for redeeming points for travel vouchers is 1% whereas the reward rate for redeeming for other categories is 0.05%. Additionally, you can earn up to 20 reward points, for every INR 100 spent at EXTRA partners of American Express.

One disadvantage with the travel vouchers is they can be used only once and are valid for six months only. Therefore, if you get a voucher of INR 10,000 and you book a domestic flight for INR 6,000, then you lose the remaining INR 4,000. Therefore, it would be smarter to make use of the vouchers to buy tickets which make full use of the vouchers.

How to Redeem Rewards – American Express Platinum Credit Card

To redeem your points for travel rewards, visit this page (https://travel.americanexpress.com/travel/travel-paywithpoints) and log in to your account.  All you have to do is follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Select your flight, prepaid hotel, vacation package, or cruise through the American Express Travel site.
  2. At checkout, select the option to “Use all or some Membership Rewards points” for your booking.
  3. Choose the number of points you would like to redeem and select Apply.

Please note that the purchase amount will be first charged to your card. However, points will be deducted from your memberships rewards balance and the same amount will be credited to your account.

For all other rewards, visit this page (https://catalogue.membershiprewards.co.in/index.mtw). Log in to your account and follow the steps mentioned above. To sum up, all you need to do is choose the product and then select the option to “Use all or some Membership Rewards points” for your booking.

Terms & Conditions Explained:

  1. MakeMyTrip Offers: Offers cannot be clubbed with another offer while redeeming points.
  2. Taj vouchers: Valid for six months only.
  3. Travel vouchers: When you make partial use of a voucher, you cannot use it again for the balance amount. These vouchers are for one-time only.

Application Requirements/ Eligibility Criteria

  • You should be over 18 years of age.
  • You should have a personal annual income of Rs. 6 Lacs or above (for both Salaried, Self Employed).
  • If self-employed: Your company should have been trading for more than 12 months
  • You should have a good credit history.
  • You must have a savings or current account in an Indian or multinational bank.

Negative Customer Feedback

Based on 202 reviews on mouthshut.com, this card has received a rating of 2.15/5. One of the major complaints against this card is its high unacceptability at several outlets. Some customers also highlight improper customer service and lack of transparency on the bank’s part.

Which other cards should you look at?

Citibank PremierMiles Travel Credit Card

If you are looking at the American Express Platinum Travel credit card, you are probably looking at airline independent travel credit card. A decent alternative is the CitiBank PremierMiles Credit Card.

The CitiBank PremierMiles Credit Card lets you earn points across categories that can be redeemed in travel miles across airlines. One can earn 10 miles for every Rs. 100 spent on any airline across the world. One can also earn 4 miles for all other spend categories. This card also has excellent benefits with airport lounges at 6 passes for Mastercard users per quarter and 8 passes for Visa users per quarter. At an annual fee of INR 3000, the Citi PremierMiles is an excellent alternative.

Air India SBI Signature Credit Card

Another card that you could consider is the Air India SBI Signature Credit Card. This card targets Air India Frequent flyers and offers great rewards and benefits to the target group. Although it comes with a high annual fee of INR 4,999, that gets compensated by the 20,000 reward points that you get upon payment of joining fee. Additionally, you can also enjoy Airport Lounge Access with this SBI Signature Card. One of the disadvantages of this card is the airline restriction to Air India flights. Furthermore, there are no dining discounts or access to golf courses with this card.

Jet Privilege HDFC Bank World Credit Card

The Jet Privilege World Credit Card comes with a lower annual Fee of INR 2,500. Additionally, this card primarily targets Jet Airways Customers. Furthermore, both APR and foreign transaction fee are low for this card. You can also earn up to 7,500 bonus JPMiles per year.

The JetPrivilege card offers a lot of benefits including a 5% discount on Jet Airways base fare rates, international and domestic lounge access, along with an excellent JPMiles program that gives 18 JPMiles for every INR 150 spent on Jet Airways’ office website.

Bottom Line

For those who are confident of spending greater than INR 4 lakhs on their credit card and frequently travel within India, the American Express Platinum Travel card should be a must-have. With an annual bonus of INR 33,500 and other benefits like airport lounge access, this card is one of the best value for money cards.

On the flip side, one’s reward points are best compensated with Indigo Airlines vouchers. So, if you do not like flying Indigo Airlines, you may want to stay away from this card. Additionally, the card is not worth the INR 5000 annual fee for those who do not spend more than INR 2 lakhs per year.

FinTown Advantage:  We provide unbiased personal finance advice to help people make the best possible financial decisions. Our reviews and ratings of financial products are determined by customer financial wellbeing and not profiteering. Whether or not we make a penny, we do what is best for the customer. Our research team is made up of economists and market researchers who spend hundreds of hours researching and comparing products with the same mission in mind.

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