India Lifts Ban on American Express: See AmEx Credit Cards You Can Expect to Apply Soon!

The Reserve Bank of India has finally lifted the ban on American Express Banking Corp, a global credit card system also called AmEx. After more than a year, RBI has allowed AmEx to onboard new customers in India.

by Vrushali.S Updated: 31 Aug, 2022, 21:53 IST
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RBI lifts the ban on American Express (AmEx), allowing the company to onboard new customers. The Storage of Payments System Data policy which was first announced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 2018 had demanded that fintech companies store the data of their domestic Indian customers in India itself by doing data localization. AmEx has finally complied with the RBI data storage policies and the RBI ban has been finally lifted from the American Express corporation.

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We will be looking at the following:


  1. A short summary of the RBI ban lift on AmEx

  2. Why did RBI ban American Express

  3. List of American Express Credit Cards you can expect to apply and their benefits

  4. We will also look at some interesting discount offers available for AmEx Credit Card users

  5. FAQ on RBI lifting ban on American Express (AmEx) card and AmEx resuming its operations in India


A short summary of the RBI lifting its restrictions on American Express (AmEx) Cards in India

    On 23rd April 2021, RBI announced data localization-related sanctions on American Express and Diners Club from onboarding any new domestic customers in India. As per the reports, American Express lost approx 1.50 lakh customers due to the RBI ban. The multinational payment card services company has now been finally out of the RBI ban as the corporation has now given a “satisfactory compliance” with the RBI circular on data localization and storage policy. Sanjay Khanna, the Interim CEO & COO of American Express India also welcomed the RBI's decision of finally lifting the ban on AmEx and allowing them to "add new customers immediately" he said in a statement.


    Why did the RBI ban American Express?


    RBI had announced the Storage of Payments System Data policy back in 2018 asking all system providers to localize their data storage. However, companies like AmEx, Diners Club, and Mastercard failed to comply with the data localization policies of the RBI, resulting in all the 3 companies being banned in 2021.

    “All system providers shall ensure that the entire data relating to payment systems operated by them are stored in a system only in India. This data should include the full end-to-end transaction details/information collected/carried/processed as part of the message/payment instruction.” - RBI said in an official statement

    Many major corporations such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook decided to comply with the policies and hence were safeguarded by the RBI ban. Mastercard’s ban was lifted in June this year and the Diners Club’s ban was removed in November after both companies decided to adhere to RBI guidelines.

    AmEx still was not compliant with the RBI data localization-related sanctions, a result of which RBI banned American Express from onboarding any new domestic customers in India.

    Now that RBI has lifted the ban on American Express, the company is now allowed to expand its operations and onboard new customers in India. India has been a key strategic market for the global credit card payments company and with the RBI ban lift on AmEx, the company is expected to start onboarding new customers soon.

    Let’s have a look at the AmEx Cards which you can safely apply for now and what are the benefits of these AmEx credit cards.

    Please note that at the time of writing this article, American Express is not currently accepting credit card applications as per the RBI advisory. However, we believe AmEx would soon start accepting the applications as the RBI has lifted the ban.

    List of American Express Credit Cards You Can Expect to Apply Soon as RBI has lifted its ban on AmEx (2022)

    AmEx currently offers 4 credit cards offering some noteworthy benefits such as interesting rewards programs, complimentary access to American Express lounges, privileges to Hotels and resorts, and more on select credit cards.


    1. American Express Smart Earn Credit Card

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    The American Express Smart Earn Credit Card is the lowest priced credit card of American Express which has an annual fee of Rs.495 exclusive of taxes. A fee waiver is also available on select terms and conditions of AmEx. The global cards payment network also provides a welcome bonus of Rs.500 cashback on eligible spends of Rs.10000 within the first 90 days of the card membership.

    Some notable benefits of this credit card are:

    • 10X Membership Reward Points on all your spending on Flipkart, Amazon, Uber

    • 5X Membership Rewards program on Paytm Wallet, Swiggy, BookMyShow, PVR, Myntra, Jabong, Grofers, Big Bazaar, and more

    • Convert purchases in EMI at the point of sale with an interest rate of 14% per annum with no foreclosure charges (Foreclosure charges are extra charges that you have to pay for closing the loan before the tenure)


    To apply for this card, you must have an annual income of Rs.4.5 lakh per annum or be a self-employed with 6 lakhs & above income

    You can also get a flat Rs.200 on paying your American Express credit card bill on minimum bill payment of Rs.5000 (Offer available for Mobikwik users paying their first credit card bill)


    Thanks to @Pablo_Kismibar for sharing this deal in our community 

    2. American Express Membership Reward Credit Card

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      The American Express Membership Reward Credit Card is the 2nd lowest priced credit card of American Express after the previous American Express Smart Earn Credit Card. It comes with a joining fee of Rs.1000 for the first year and Rs.4,500 for the second year, exclusive of taxes. The welcome gift consists of 4000 Bonus membership reward points. A free waiver is also available to select milestones of the spending done in a card membership year.

      Below are some of the notable benefits offered:

      • 1000 Bonus points on using your card 4 times on each transaction above Rs.1500 every month

      • American Express EMI is available

      • Option to choose between Membership Reward Points and 18 or 24 Karat Gold Collection


      To apply for this card, you need to have an annual income of 6 lakhs and must have a good credit history

      Currently, you can get 5% OFF on Myntra with your AmEx credit card by using Myntra Giftcards and Gift Vouchers provided by AmEx.

      Click here to avail Myntra Gift Cards or Gift Voucher through AmEx

      Once you have availed a Myntra Gift Card or Gift Voucher through AmEx, you can click on “Gift Card” at the time of payment on Myntra and get 5% off

      Suggested deal to shop on Myntra:


      3. American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Card


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      The American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Card is a premium AmEx Credit Card with an annual fee of Rs.5000 for the first year of issuing the card and Rs.10,000 for the second year, exclusive of taxes. It provides a whooping welcome bonus of 11,000 Bonus Membership reward points which you can use to save some money on your online purchases.

      Some of the benefits of the AmEx Platinum Reserve Credit card are as follows:

      • 12 Complimentary Access to American Express Lounges and Domestic Lounges across India a year (Limited to 3 per quarter)

      • Complimentary TajEpicure Membership, Hotel credits, Taj Stay vouchers & more

      • Minimum of 25% OFF on all Prime Restaurants with Complimentary membership to EazyDiner Prime


      To apply for this card, you need to have an annual income of 6 lakhs or above and must have a good credit history

      Currently, you can get 8% OFF on Fabindia with your AmEx credit card by using Fabindia Gift Cards and Gift Vouchers provided by AmEx.

      This offer is only available for listed Fabindia in-store purchases and cannot be used online.

      Click here to avail Fabindia Gift Cards or Gift Vouchers through AmEx

      Once you have availed a Fabindia Gift Card or Gift Voucher through AmEx, you can search or choose a nearby Fabindia store that accepts gift vouchers and get 8% OFF.

      Suggested deal to shop on Fabindia:

      4. American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card 

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        The last one on our list of the American Express credit cards we have is the American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card. As the name suggests, it caters mainly to people who love traveling. Its first year fee is Rs.3,500 and from the second year, the fee becomes Rs.5000. It is probably the only AmEx credit card to give membership reward points on fuel expenses.

        Some of the benefits of the AmEx Platinum Travel Credit Card are as follows:

        • 8 Complimentary Access to Airport Lounges across India a year (Limited to 2 per quarter)

        • Fuel convenience Fee Waiver

        • Up to 20% OFF on dining


        To apply for this card, you need to have an annual income of 6 lakhs or above and must have a good credit history

        Currently, you can get 7% OFF on Bath and Body Works with your AmEx credit card by using Bath and Body Works Gift Cards and Gift Vouchers provided by AmEx.

        This offer is only available for listed Bath and Body Works in-store purchases and cannot be used online.

        Click here to avail Bath & Body Works Gift Cards or Gift Voucher through AmEx

        Once you have availed a Bath & Body Works Gift Card or Gift Voucher through AmEx, you can search or choose a nearby Bath & Body Works store that accepts gift vouchers and get 7% OFF.

        Suggested deal to shop on Bath & Body Works:

        Bath & Body Works Fragrance Mists 38% OFF!
        FAQ on RBI lifting ban on American Express (AmEx) card and AmEx resuming its operations in India

        .

          1. Is AmEx coming back to India?

          24th August 2022, RBI has lifted its restrictions on AmEx and as per an official statement by American Express (AmEx), the corporation is now allowed to onboard new customers in India.

          .

          2. Is AmEx ban lifted in India?

          On "satisfactory compliance" from the American Express Banking Corporation, RBI lifted its long-due ban on AmEx on 24th August 2022 

          .

          3. Why did RBI ban American Express (AmEx)?

          In 2018, RBI announced the Storage of Payments System Data policy which meant all financial system providers localize their data storage and store the data of Indian users in the country itself. However, AmEx and others like Diners Club, and Mastercard failed to comply with the data localization policies of the RBI, resulting in all the 3 companies being banned in 2021.
          .

          4. Is American Express issuing cards in India?

          As of now 31st August 2022, American Express Banking Corporation is not currently accepting new card applications in India. However, the company has also stated that "The deactivation of the link referring to the RBI order dated April 23, 2021 and advising you that we are not accepting new card applications is under process" which may also mean that AmEx would soon start issuing new cards in India. 

           

          So, this was all about RBI lifting its ban on American Express Credit Cards and the AmEx Credit Cards you can hopefully apply soon now. However, as we mentioned above, American Express is currently not accepting credit cards. But, we do hope they would soon start to as RBI has lifted the long-extended ban on American Express Corp.

          You can also keep an eye on our AmEx Credit Card deals page where our active community of users shares interesting offers and deals available on AmEx. As the RBI has lifted its ban on AmEx Credit Cards, we are expecting to see some interesting, upcoming deals and offers.


          Next Recommended Read: Top 5 Lifetime Free (LTF) Credit Cards in 2022

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