By Ankur Mittal
Updated On January 12, 2024

American Express is one of the most popular financial institutions globally and have a huge credit card consumer base throughout the world. The card issuer has super-premium to mid-range credit cards in their catalog and their Charge Cards come with no preset card limit that fluctuates based on the cardholders’ spending habits.

When it comes to Amex credit cards, most of them offer exclusive travel benefits including exclusive offers with airlines and prestigious hotel chains around the world. However, if you are someone who travels a lot abroad and use your credit card for foreign currency spends, you need to pay forex markup charges for it to your card issuer. All the American Express credit cards in India charge a forex markup fee of 3.5% of the total transaction amount.

3.5% may not sound much but this fee is charged on all international spends with your credit card. For high net-worth individuals and businessmen who cannot skip their international trips, forex markup fees by card issuers play a vital role in their total spends. In this article, we will check out the forex markup charges of American Express credit cards.

American Express Forex Markup Charges

Table of Contents

American Express Credit Cards – Forex Markup Charges

Let’s take a look at the forex markup fees charged by the American Express credit cards –

American Express Platinum Card

(4.8/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 60,000 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 60,000 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

SeleQtions, Taj, and Vivanta Hotels Vouchers Worth Rs. 45,000. 10,000 Referral Bonus Membership Rewards Points

The American Express Platinum credit card is a super-premium card and the flagship offering by the card issuer. The card has a very high joining fee of Rs. 60,000 but is packed with luxury travel benefits including exclusive offers at leading airlines, and hotel chains. Also, it is one of two Charge cards by American Express that do not have a preset card limit. With this premium card, you get upgrade to many premium hotel loyalty program high tiers and can use their 24*7 concierge service. The forex markup fee charged by the Platinum credit card is 3.5%.

  • Rs. 45000 worth welcome gift vouchers
  • 1 MR point per Rs. 40 spent, with a few exclusions
  • Up to 5 MR points per Rs. 100 spent on fuel
  • 3x MR points on foreign spends and 5x MR points on the Amex Reward Multiplier
  • No preset credit card limit
  • 24*7 concierge service
  • Travel insurance benefits including a air accident death insurance
  • Complimentary EazyDiner Prime membership and up to 50% discount at premium restaurants across India
  • Access to more than 1200 airport lounges that include Centurion, American Express, and Priority Pass Lounges
  • Forex markup fee of 3.5% of the transaction amount

American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Card

(4.6/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 5,000 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 10,000 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

11,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points on a minimum expenditure of Rs. 30,000 within 90 days of card issuance.

The American Express Platinum Reserve credit card is another premium offering by the issuer, that is just behind the Platinum credit card. The card has a joining fee of Rs. 5,000 and a renewal fee of Rs. 10,000 second year onwards. The card offers membership to many luxury hotel loyalty programs along with exclusive dining, movie, and golf benefits. Moreover, the card has a decent reward rate and you can redeem your points against a host of products/vouchers. The forex markup fee charged by the Platinum Reserve credit card is 3.5%.

  • Bonus 11,000 MR points as a welcome benefit
  • 1 MR point per Rs. 50 spent, with a few exclusions
  • BookMyShow, Flipkart, and other brand vouchers as a monthly milestone benefit
  • Complimentary Priority Pass membership and domestic airport lounge access
  • Complimentary Taj Epicure InnerCircle membership
  • 2 complimentary golf rounds per month
  • Complimentary EazyDiner Prime membership
  • 24*7 Amex concierge service
  • Travel insurance benefits including air accident insurance cover
  • Forex markup fee of 3.5% of the transaction amount

American Express Gold Charge Card

(4.6/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 1,000 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 4,500 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

4,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points. 2,000 Referral Bonus Membership Rewards Points

The second charge card by American Express offered in India, the Gold credit card also does not have a preset card limit. You can enjoy a flexible credit limit that changes based on your spending habits. The card is packed with a plethora of features including great dining and travel benefits. You can even enjoy the exciting discounts and offers catalog of the Gold credit card. Also, the card has a decent reward rate on almost every spend category and it charges a forex markup fee of 3.5%.

  • Bonus 4000 MR points as a welcome benefit
  • Bonus 5000 MR points on first year card renewal
  • Bonus 1000 MR points on 6 transactions of Rs. 1000 or more in a month
  • 1 MR point per Rs. 50 spent with the card
  • 5x MR points on Reward Multiplier purchases
  • Exclusive discounts at premium hotel chains
  • Up to 25% discount on orders at the The Leela, The Oberoi Gurgaon, The Lodhi and up to 20% discount at select restaurants
  • No preset credit card limit
  • Forex markup fee of 3.5% of the transaction amount

American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card

(4.6/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Nil

Renewal Fee

Rs. 5,000 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

10,000 Membership Rewards Points

As the name suggests, the American Express Platinum Travel credit card is a travel-based offering by the card issuer and is a premium card packed with privileges. The card has a joining fee of Rs. 3500 and charges Rs. 5000 for renewal in the second year onwards. You get great welcome benefits with the card and decent reward points which can be redeemed against flight/hotel tickets or against products and vouchers. The forex markup fee charged by this credit card is 3.5%.

  • 10,000 MR points as a welcome benefit
  • 2 MR points per Rs. 100 spent with the card
  • Reward points as milestone benefits on reaching spend milestones of Rs. 1.9 Lakhs and Rs. 4 Lakhs during the card anniversary year
  • Complimentary Taj Hotel Stay voucher on spending Rs. 4 Lakhs or more in the card anniversary year
  • 8 complimentary domestic lounge access every year, maximum 2 per quarter
  • 0% convenience fee at HPCL fuel outlets across the country
  • Forex markup fee of 3.5% of the transaction amount

American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card

(4.4/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Nil

Renewal Fee

Rs 4,500 + GST

Best Suited For

Shopping

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

Welcome benefit of 4,000 Bonus Membership RPs can be availed on settling the joining fee of Rs. 1,000 and spending of Rs 15,000 within the first 90 days of the card issuance.

The American Express Membership Rewards credit card is another great offering by the popular card issuer and provides great privileges and benefits to the cardholders on almost every spend. The joining fee of the card is Rs. 1000 and it charges Rs. 4500 as renewal fee from the second year onwards. The card has a nice reward rate and you can earn bonus MR points on making transactions worth Rs. 1500 or more 4 times. Other privileges of this credit card include monthly milestone benefits, insurance, entertainment benefits, and more. The forex markup fee of this card is 3.5%.

  • Bonus 4000 MR points as a welcome benefit
  • 1 MR point per Rs. 50 spent with the card
  • 2x MR points on spends via the Reward Multiplier portal
  • Bonus 1000 MR points on spending Rs. 20,000 in a month
  • Bonus 5000 MR points on the payment of the Rs. 4500 renewal fee
  • Renewal fee waiver on spending Rs. 1,50,000 in the card anniversary year
  • 1% fuel surcharge waiver at HPCL fuel outlets across the country
  • Exclusive 20% discount on dining at top restaurants
  • Forex markup fee of 3.5% of the transaction amount

American Express SmartEarn Credit Card

(4.5/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 495 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 495 + GST

Best Suited For

Shopping

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

Cashback of Rs. 500 and 2,000 Referral Bonus Membership Rewards Points

One of the most affordable credit cards by American Express, the SmartEarn credit card offers Membership Reward points on almost all retail spends with the card and accelerated MR points on your spends at specific websites. Keeping American Express and its standards in mind, we can consider the SmartEarn a beginner credit card that charges a low joining fee of Rs. 495. If you are new to the credit scene or a young professional early in their career, you can get this credit card and enjoy the brand value of American Express. The forex markup fee charged by this card is 3.5%.

  • Up to Rs. 500 cashback on spending Rs. 10,000 or more inside 90 days of getting the card
  • 1 MR point per Rs. 50 spent with the credit card, with a few exceptions
  • 10x MR points on spends at partner merchants like Uber, Amazon, and Flipkart
  • 5x MR points per Rs. 50 spent at partner merchants like Paytm Wallet, Swiggy, BookMyShow, Myntra, PVR Cinemas, Grofers, Big Bazaar, and other merchants
  • 1% fuel surcharge waiver and renewal fee waiver
  • Forex markup fee of 3.5% of the transaction amount

Is it Necessary to Pay the Forex Markup Fee?

If your credit card charges a forex markup fee, then you will have to pay this extra amount whenever you swipe your card at a foreign merchant or spend money online in a foreign currency. The credit card network like Mastercard, Visa, etc. charge a fee and then the card issuer adds extra fees to the total transaction amount which further increases the forex markup fee.

For instance, if your credit card has a forex markup fee of 2% and you spend Rs. 1 Lakhs with your credit card on your international trip, then you will have to pay Rs. 2000 extra. Apart from this, you also need to consider the currency conversion fees on your foreign transactions. The payment processor at the merchant outlet where you swipe your card also charges a 1% currency conversion fee which further adds to the total amount.

Therefore, going for a credit card with low forex markup fees will prove really beneficial for people who regularly use their card for foreign currency spends.

Credit Cards Comparison

Category Amex Platinum Credit Card Amex Gold Credit Card Amex Platinum Reserve Credit Card Amex Membership Rewards Credit Card
Joining/Annual Fee Rs. 60,000 Rs. 1000 Rs. 5000 Rs. 1000
Welcome Benefit Rs. 45000 worth welcome gift vouchers   Bonus 4000 MR points as a welcome benefit   Bonus 11,000 MR points as a welcome benefit   Bonus 4000 MR points as a welcome benefit  
Reward Earning 1 MR point per Rs. 40 spent Up to 5 MR points per Rs. 100 spent on fuel   3x MR points on foreign spends and 5x MR points on the Amex Reward Multiplier   1 MR point per Rs. 50 spent with the card 5x MR points on Reward Multiplier purchases   1 MR point per Rs. 50 spent with the card 1 MR point per Rs. 50 spent with the card 2x MR points on spends via the Reward Multiplier portal  
Reward Redemption Membership Rewards Points can be redeemed against dining, travel, and accessories on Amex’s Membership Rewards Redemption portal. Membership Rewards Points can be redeemed against dining, travel, and accessories on Amex’s Membership Rewards Redemption portal and against Amex 18 and 24 Karat collection Membership Rewards Points can be redeemed against dining, travel, and accessories on Amex’s Membership Rewards Redemption portal, and for transfer to hotel and airline loyalty program points Membership Rewards Points can be redeemed against dining, travel, and accessories on Amex’s Membership Rewards Redemption portal and against Amex 18 and 24 Karat collection
Dining/Movie Benefits Complimentary EazyDiner Prime membership and up to 50% discount at premium restaurants across India   Up to 25% discount on orders at the The Leela, The Oberoi Gurgaon, The Lodhi and up to 20% discount at select restaurants   BookMyShow, vouchers as a monthly milestone benefit. Complimentary Taj Epicure InnerCircle membership and EazyDiner Prime membership     Exclusive 20% discount on dining at top restaurants  
Travel Benefits Access to more than 1200 airport lounges that include Centurion, American Express, and Priority Pass Lounges. 24*7 concierge service Exclusive discounts at premium hotel chains Complimentary Priority Pass membership and domestic airport lounge access   NA
Forex Markup Fee 3.5% 3.5% 3.5% 3.5%

Bottom Line

When it comes to credit cards, American Express is one of the most trusted and sought-after card issuer in the world. All of their cards are packed with exclusive features across all categories like dining, movies, shopping, insurance, and especially travel. You get exclusive privileges across top airlines and hotel chains globally for a comfortable travel experience.

Even though you get lots of travel benefits, the forex markup fee of the all American Express credit cards in India is 3.5% of the total transaction amount. No matter which American Express card you get, super-premium, travel, or mid-range, you cannot avoid paying the forex markup charges. Unlike some credit cards by other issuers that have a lower or even no forex markup fee, Amex credit cards charge a 3.5% forex markup fee.

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