American Express SmartEarn Credit Card: High Points With Low Fee

American Express SmartEarn Credit Card: High Points With Low Fee

A great low-fee option for frequent shoppers

Good for

  • Frequent Flipkart spenders
  • Frequent Uber riders
  • Individuals seeking a grocery card
  • Frequent shoppers

Bad for

  • Individuals who shop are looking for a credit card for all spending categories
  • High Spenders

Editor's Rating

4.5/5.0

If you are interested in acquiring a credit card primarily to use on shopping, transportation, and entertainment spends, the American ExpressSmart Earn Credit Card is a great fit. The credit card earns 10x rewards on Uber and Flipkart. Additionally, cardholders earn 5x the rewards on Amazon, Myntra, Grofers, BookMyShow, and other retailers. Cardholders are also offered a sign up bonus of Rs. 500 as a welcome gift based on passing a spending threshold.

On the other hand, the card earns a less competitive rewards rate of 1.17% on general spending and no rewards on fuel, utilities, and insurance spends. The American Express SmartEarn credit card also has limits on both 10x and 5x rewards. As a result, this credit card is great for those that are not high spenders (over Rs. 2,500 per month in each category).

The credit card is perfect for individuals who shop at the retailers that are listed below; however, we would recommend consumers that do not shop at the consumers to take a look at our best credit cards review to check out other options in the market.

RetailerRewards
Uber10x rewards
Flipkart10x rewards
Amazon5x rewards
Myntra5x rewards
Grofers5x rewards
Swiggy5x rewards
BigBazaar5x rewards
More5x rewards
PVR5x rewards
Reliance Fresh5x rewards
Dmart5x rewards
BookMyShow5x rewards
ProsCons
  • 10x rewards on Uber and Flipkart—rewards rate of 8.80%
  • 5x rewards on Amazon, Myntra/Jabong, Grofers, Swiggy, BigBazaar, More, PVR, Reliance Fresh, Dmart, and BookMyShow—rewards rate of 4.40%
  • 0.88% rewards on all general spending outside of the elevated rewards retailers (other than fuel, utilities, and insurance spends)
  • Solid promotion
  • Waivable annual fee
  • No rewards on fuel, utilities, and insurance spends
  • 500 point monthly cap on 10x rewards category for each retailer (500 points on Uber and Flipkart separately)
  • 250 point monthly cap on 5x rewards category for each retailer
Card Overview
Pros:
  • 10x rewards on Uber and Flipkart—rewards rate of 8.80%
  • 5x rewards on Amazon, Myntra/Jabong, Grofers, Swiggy, BigBazaar, More, PVR, Reliance Fresh, Dmart, and BookMyShow—rewards rate of 4.40%
  • 0.88% rewards on all general spending outside of the elevated rewards retailers (other than fuel, utilities, and insurance spends)
  • Solid promotion
  • Waivable annual fee
Cons:
  • No rewards on fuel, utilities, and insurance spends
  • 500 point monthly cap on 10x rewards category for each retailer (500 points on Uber and Flipkart separately)
  • 250 point monthly cap on 5x rewards category for each retailer

What Makes the American Express SmartEarn Credit Card Stand Out?

The American Express SmartEarn credit card is a great credit card for consumers interested in shopping, groceries, transportation, and entertainment. Cardholders are offered 10x rewards on Uber and Flipkart with a cap of 500 points (Rs. 2,500), and 5x rewards on certain retailers that are listed below, with a cap of 250 points (Rs. 2,500).

This card is perfect for those that frequently spend at the retailers found below. We have also listed an optimal example of how you can make the most of the elevated rewards offered by the SmartEarn credit card. Furthermore, the card offers a solid welcome bonus.

In regards to general spending, the card offers a lower rewards rate of 0.88% with no rewards offered for spending on fuel, utilities, and insurance. The credit card is perfect for regular spenders, but only if those who make the most of the elevated rewards by spending on eligible retailers.

RetailerRewards
Uber10x rewards
Flipkart10x rewards
Amazon5x rewards
Myntra5x rewards
Grofers5x rewards
Swiggy5x rewards
BigBazaar5x rewards
More5x rewards
PVR5x rewards
Reliance Fresh5x rewards
Dmart5x rewards
BookMyShow5x rewards
Earn 1,250 Membership Rewards Points Every Month By Spending Rs. 7,500
Spend Rs. 2,500 per month on Uber for 10x rewards - earn 500 rewards points
Spend Rs. 2,500 per month on Flipkart for 10x rewards - earn 500 rewards points
Spend Rs. 2,500 per month on any of the merchants that earn 5x - earn 250 rewards points

How Does the American Express SmartEarn Credit Card Rewards Programme Work?

The American Express SmartEarn Card reward programme offers cardholders elevated rewards on all partner merchants. The card earns 10x rewards (a rate of 11.73%) on Uber and Flipkart. The card also earns 5x rewards (a rate of 5.87%) on Amazon, Myntra/Jabong, Grofers, Swiggy, BigBazaar, More, PVR, Reliance Fresh, Dmart, and BookMyShow. The card earns 1.17% on all spending categories, but no rewards on fuel, utilities, or insurance. Unredeemed membership points never expire, which prevents cardholders from unnecessarily redeeming them before they're ready.

  • 10x rewards on Uber and Flipkart—rewards rate of 11.73%
  • 5x rewards on Amazon, Myntra/Jabong, Grofers, Swiggy, BigBazaar, More, PVR, Reliance Fresh, Dmart, and BookMyShow—rewards rate of 5.87%
  • 1.17% rewards on all general spending outside of the elevated rewards retailers (other than fuel, utilities, and insurance spends)
  • The unredeemed membership points never expire

American Express SmartEarn Credit Card Features and Benefits

Card Overview
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 495 (waiver on previous year spends of Rs. 40,000)
  • Income Requirement: None listed by issuer
  • Age Requirement: 18+
Rewards Rate Details
  • 10x rewards on Uber and Flipkart—rewards rate of 8.80%
  • 5x rewards on Amazon, Myntra/Jabong, Grofers, Swiggy, BigBazaar, More, PVR, Reliance Fresh, Dmart, and BookMyShow—rewards rate of 4.40%
  • 0.88% rewards on all general spending outside of the elevated rewards retailers (other than fuel, utilities, and insurance spends)
  • The unredeemed membership points never expire
Benefits & Perks
  • Sign-up bonus of Rs. 500 after spends of Rs. 10,000 in the first 90 days of card issuance
  • Membership rewards points never expire

American Express SmartEarn Credit Card Rewards Exclusions

The following credit card expenditures are ineligible for rewards:

Spending on fuel, utilities, and insurance
EMI payments
Balance Transfer transactions
Fees such as joining fee, annual fee, Add-On Card fee, interest charges, or any other fees or charges.

How Does American Express SmartEarn Card Compare to Other Options?

While this is a great card for shoppers who do most of their spending grocery and shopping, the card is most suitable for consumers that spend on the retailers listed above that are eligible for elevated rewards. We've compared some alternatives to the American Express SmartEarn card so you can understand the differences.

American Express Credit Card Comparisons

Graph showing American Express Earnings

American Express SmartEarn Card vs. Amazon Pay ICICI Card

Consider this if you often spend on Amazon

Age Requirement 21-65
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer

The Amazon Pay ICICI credit card is a great card for Amazon shoppers. This card offers a 5% cashback for Amazon Prime members, 3% cashback for non-Prime members, and 2% cashback on Amazon Pay merchants.

These cashback rates are low compared to the 5.87% rewards rate offered by the American Express SmartEarn credit card for Amazon. Further, the Amex card also offers great rewards in multiple categories and retailers, including 11.73% rewards on Uber and Flipkart.

Although it can be difficult to compare cashback and rewards credit cards, cashback offers great versatility in terms of rewards redemption. The ICICI credit card also earns cash back with no cap. Lastly, the Amazon Pay ICICI credit card offers 1% cashback on all other spending categories, whereas the American Express SmartEarn credit card earns a 0.88% rewards rate.

The Amazon Pay ICICI credit card is recommended for high spenders that are specifically looking for an Amazon card and would reach the monthly cap of Rs. 2,500. But, we would recommend the American Express SmartEarn credit card to consumers who are looking for a credit card to use on all other featured merchants and categories other than fuel and utilities.

Citibank Rewards Card vs. American Express SmartEarn Card

Consider this if you are looking for a shopping card without a costly annual fee

Age Requirement None listed by issuer
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer

The Citibank Rewards Card is a great card for consumers interested in a card that has attractive rewards for general shopping. However, for those who spend most of their shopping expenses on the select retailers that provide elevated rewards for American Express SmartEarn cardholders, the American Express SmartEarn card is the better option.

The Citi Rewards card has no joining fee and the Rs. 1,000 annual fee is easily waivable as long as the cardholder spends Rs. 30,000 annually, effectively making this a "lifetime free" card. Cardholders earn a rewards rate of 2.8% on all retail spending, making it more useful for those who prefer shopping in person.

The card ranks the top tier for this specific category within the market, and provides a great sign-up bonus for high spenders, while the ICICI Amazon Pay card offers a waivable renewal fee and a welcome bonus. For general spending, we recommend the Citibank Rewards credit card, but if you often spend on the featured merchants, the American Express SmartEarn credit card is a stronger option.

Sahmi Chowdhury

Sahmi is a Junior Research Analyst specialising in credit cards and insurance in India. He previously worked in the financial services sector at Brown Brothers Harriman and True Capital Management.