ICICI has recently made changes to existing reward structure on their gemstone credit cards collection that includes Coral, Rubyx & Sapphiro range of cards. I see the changes to be more positive, though some may be loosing out on the accelerated rewards given on specific merchant category.
The changes will get into effect from Oct 7th, 2017 and here is everything you need to know.
Changes to ICICI Ruby & Sapphiro Credit Cards from Oct 7th 2017
- Milestone Rewards program: Get 3,000 PAYBACK points on spending Rs. 3,00,000 on your card and 1,500 PAYBACK points each time you cross Rs. 1,00,000 spend thereafter in an anniversary year; maximum of 15,000 PAYBACK points per year
- BookMyShow Offer: Buy 1 Get 1 offer every month on movie tickets worth up to Rs. 300 on BookMyShow on first serve first come basis.
- Golf: 2 complimentary rounds/ lessons of golf every calendar month if the total retail spends on your card is equal to or more than Rs. 50,000 in the previous calendar month.
- Introduction of Railway Lounge Access: In addition to the existing Airport Lounge Programme, introduction of 2 complimentary railway lounge visits per quarter and access will be applicable only for primary cardholders.
The USP of this card is now railway lounge access capability. The only card of its kind in India to give access to Railway executive lounges. Its currently located only in Delhi & Jaipur. More on it in a separate article shortly.
Apart from that, on availing milestone rewards, you as good as ~1% Reward rate on Amex variant. If you use the railway lounge access benefit, its sure worth holding one.
Coral credit card also has similar railway lounge access benefit (1/qtr).
- Milestone Rewards program: Get 4,000 PAYBACK points on spending Rs. 4,00,000 on your card and 2,000 PAYBACK points each time you cross Rs. 1,00,000 spend thereafter in an anniversary year; maximum of 20,000 PAYBACK points per year
- Airport lounge: 4 international airport lounge visits and spa sessions at selected airports in India every year, through complimentary DragonPass membership. You will receive the complimentary DragonPass Membership Card only after generating two transactions on the ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card within 45 days of the card set-up date.
- BookMyShow offer: Flat Rs. 500 off twice every month on movie and non-movie tickets on BookMyShow on first come first serve basis and daily stock availability.
- Golf: 4 complimentary rounds/ lessons of golf every calendar month if the total retail spends on your card is equal to or more than Rs. 50,000 in the previous calendar month
Apart from ability to save close to ~1.2% on Amex variant by availing milestone rewards, we’ve two major benefits on ICICI Sapphiro cards now that can pay off your joining fee very well.
#1 Benefit: the Airport Lounge Access through DragonPass, instead of the commonly issued PriorityPass by rest of the credit card issuers. This gives you access to some lounges that are not under Priority pass Programme. You may find it hard to spot such lounges, but they do exist as I noticed it during my trip to Bali.
For ex, Dragon Pass allows you to access T/G lounge in Bali, Indonesia Airport while Priority Pass doesn’t. This lounge is usually reserved for business/first class for some airlines, so you get better atmosphere here.
Also, as you see, they say that you can avail complimentary “spa” sessions as well in India. On contacting ICICI on that, i was given the list of spa locations, but they are still not aware on how it actually works. We may know more about it in coming months.
#2 Benefit: Looks like we can now save Rs.1000 a month on bookmyshow tickets. This benefit is as good as the one offered on SBI Elite. Rs.12,000 in savings a year. Wow! That’s a lot of value if you’re a movie buff.
Coming to reward points, earn rate on both sapphiro/rubyx cards is same as above. Good for domestic spends. You loose a lot on international spends, you can be better off with other credit cards for international transactions.
Finally ICICI decided to give importance to their premium card which was hanging around without any importance for quite a time. I believe these changes should help them hold their #3 position in the market to certain extent. Though, i still wish they have better welcome benefit on rubyx/sapphiro cards apart from headphones/kindle respectively.
I’m planning to have hands on with Sapphiro in coming days. What’s your thought on above changes? Feel free to share your views in comments below.