Just returned to Pune after a great time at Goa, and found a thick envelope from American Express waiting for me.
Opening it presented an invite from them offering a “pre-approved” membership of the American Express Kingfisher First Credit Card, which is basically a Platinum card. This was actually a bit of a surprise, considering I was considering returning both my Amex credit card as well as the charge card.
These are the only cards I have where an annual fee is levied, and though I didn’t mind it initially, it is an issue with me now, especially when all other cards are free, regardless of whether they are Gold, Platinum, Titanium etc !!
My other grouse was that I didn’t see the sense in paying annual fees to keep the card in my wallet. American Express cards probably have the lowest rate of acceptance in India, thanks to the stiff charges they claim from their member establishments. As a result, when I offer my Amex card on making a purchase, the person manning the swipe machine gives a sheepish grin and asks if I have a MasterCard or Visa.
However, I did get a call from their customer care department who assured me that things were going to improve, and they offered to waive off the annual fee for this year. 🙂
To get back to the Amex Kingfisher card, the offer does seem good. On signup, one becomes eligible for one / two free round-trip tickets from Kingfisher Airlines and some vouchers from clothing stores. (depending on the amount you pay to sign up, Rs.5000 per year, or Rs.25,000 lifetime).
There is also an offer to get points by paying your Airtel bills thru this card, however, that option is not there for residents of Pune. 🙁
The other feature is a list of Platinum partners, so a customer earns points and thereby free tickets faster by using this card to shop at these locations. It also comes with membership of the Kingfisher Airlines King Club Gold Tier.
It replaces my existing credit card of course, though the charge card stays.