Changes to ICICI Rubyx & Sapphiro Credit Cards from Oct 7th 2017

By | September 17, 2017

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 with the milestone benefits. The changes will get into effect from Oct 7th, 2017 and here is everything you need to know.

Changes to ICICI Coral, Rubyx & Sapphiro Credit Cards from Oct 7th 2017

New ICICI coral, Ruby, Sapphiro Credit Cards

ICICI Rubyx Credit Card:

  • Joining Fee: Rs.3,000+GST
  • Welcome Benefit: Rs.5000 worth of Travel, Shopping & Dining vouchers.
  • Annual Fee: Rs.2,000+GST – waived off if you spend more than Rs.3,00,000 in the previous year.
  • 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 save 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).

ICICI Sapphiro Credit Card:

  • Joining Fee: Rs.6,500+GST
  • Welcome Benefit: Rs.10,000 worth of Travel, Shopping & Dining vouchers.
  • Annual Fee: Rs.3,500+GST – waived off if you spend more than Rs.6,00,000 in the previous year.
  • 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: 2 international airport lounge visits and 2 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: Get up to 2 complimentary tickets worth Rs. 500 twice every month, on any event tickets, in addition to movie tickets under BookMyShow
  • 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 all milestone rewards, we’ve a major differentiating benefit on ICICI Sapphiro cards compared to other cards in industry. It is,

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 Indonesia.

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, here’s what i was said: The complimentary spa session can be availed by displaying the DragonPass – ICICI Bank co-branded Membership Card. We may know more about it in coming months on how it actually works.

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.

ICICI might need to shell out atleast ~15 Payback points to compete with others, considering ICICI charges 3.5%+GST as markup Fee on Intl txns while most other premium cards charges 2% or less. Here’s the whole list of 7 Best Credit Cards for International transactions with low markup fees and better reward rate.

FYI: Yes, Everyone is wondering what the “Travel, Shopping & Dining vouchers” refers to. Will update the article once i have more info on that.

Bottom Line:

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, their premium card – Sapphiro is still nowhere close to the reward rates offered by other bank premium credit cards.

I’m planning to have hands on with Sapphiro in coming days, just for the Dragon Pass membership experience. What’s your thought on above changes? Feel free to share your views in comments below.

Author: Siddharth

I’m a Credit Card freak minting reward points and cashback for years. Obsessed with aviation, airport lounges and luxury travel at affordable cost.

38 thoughts on “Changes to ICICI Rubyx & Sapphiro Credit Cards from Oct 7th 2017

    1. Siddharth Post author

      Its only for Coral. These benefits are not applicable for co-branded cards like HP/Jet.

      Reply
  1. ashu

    Railway Lounge ….. Haven’t tried this out ever..
    Which station do these exists and what are the facilities??

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Delhi/Jaipur for now, as i mentioned in the article. More to come, but will take years!!

      Reply
      1. Sreehari

        It’s there in Agra too I guess. But the facilities are only free wi-fi and unlimited tea/coffee from a Nescafe machine. The food is chargeable and of IRCTC standard. Best part is that literally no one uses this facility (especially in Jaipur) as there is a Rs. 100 entry fee otherwise for 2 hours. So you kinda get the whole space to yourself.

        Reply
  2. Shubham Aggarwal

    Any updates for coral credit card? It also comes in their gemstone collection.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Yes, there is, as i mentioned in the article. But nothing much attractive You can check it on bank’s page.

      Reply
  3. Amex Guy

    Sid, are any of the gemstone collection cards available on secured option (i.e., against FD)? I’ve been reading several mentions but not willing to go with yet another unsecured card this year. Or do ICICI limit secured cards to their insta card?

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      I doubt on that as i haven’t seen any of their gemstone cards on FD linked, maybe because its not worth it, in the past 🙂

      Ideally secured/unsecured doesn’t matter much as i recently noticed most banks still do CIBIL hardpull even on secured cards.

      Reply
      1. Amex Guy

        Hmm, let me ask somebody at the branch so we can know.

        You’re right about the CIBIL hardpull. My cousin got a Prime card on FD, not only there is a hard request on CIBIL by SBI, they did not put the FD as collateral and it’s value in CIBIL. So technically, as far as CIBIL is concerned, it is an unsecured debt with a hardpull.

        Reply
        1. Siddharth Post author

          Yes, that’s how it works with most banks. Its not possible to find whether its secured/unsecured through CIBIL. Most banks don’t disclose the limit to CIBIL as well. Its kind of unregulated system.

          Reply
  4. SaurabhN

    Hi Sid
    Good to hear finally ICICI is waking up to competition.
    And again thanks for ur amazing inputs thru thus blog.

    But can u put light into the VISA variant of Rubyx/Sapphiro card, are there any benefits added to them also? I am holding the Rubyx Visa variant since many years and accumulated good points thru it but have stopped using it after Yes Exclusive and Amex Platinum were issued to me.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Yes, all these are applicable to Visa variants too. Just that Amex variant will get you better rewards.

      Yes, You should never touch Rubyx when you have YES Exclusive. Its in no way near to it 🙂

      Reply
      1. SaurabhN

        Seems ICICI has changed its reward program for VISA variant to:
        2 reward points for every 100 rupees spent domestically.
        4 reward points for every 100 rupees spent internationally.

        And they have added a milestone program:
        ->3000 points on spending ₹3,00,000
        ->1500 points each time you cross ₹1,00,000
        ->Maximum of 15000 points per year.
        These Handpicked reward points are equivalent to Rs. 1000 for 1250-1500 points (Shoppers Stop voucher for 1250 points & Amazon voucher for 1500 points).

        Also they have changed the Bookmyshow 1+1 value to Rs. 300 for Rubyx variant.

        A little sad to see that before they used to give 4 reward points for every 100 rupees spent on selected categories, now its 2 reward points fo all categories. But now they have added milestone program.

        Reply
        1. Arth

          how is ICICI customer care Service, interested in ICICI Sapphiro card , how good is ICICI bank in increasing in credit limit ?

          Reply
  5. Srikrishna Raajan

    Atlast, some light is being thrown on their premium cards after they had been put to dark by the limelight on other bank cards!!

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      They’re supposed to act, else they’ll loose the position to Yesbank 🙂

      Reply
  6. ND

    Sid, you mentioned “I’m planning to have hands on with Sapphiro in coming days”. I trust you are already holding Jet Sapphiro. Are you planning to give it up or ICICI allows holding multiple variants of top tier cards?

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Yes, i’m thinking to swap Jet Sapphiro for the plain one.

      Reply
      1. Anoop E S

        But siddharth jet miles are better than payback points. Right?

        I really didn’t like the concept of payback points. Although there are many ways to earn it, its conversion rate is peanuts.

        Jet miles got 2 or 3 years validity. So even if you don’t travel often, you can accumulate it for yearly business class travel.

        Reply
        1. Siddharth Post author

          Mostly yes, JPMiles are always better. But if you play in high numbers, diversification is good 🙂

          Reply
  7. Anoop E S

    It seems like ICICI heard your request. Now they have replaced travel and shopping vouchers worth Rs. 10000 as the joining bonus instead of kindle. Please check ICICI website

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Yes Anoop, it seems so. Surprisingly, they even called me a day back requesting to update the article with new features, which i’ll be doing in sometime.

      Glad to see banks being responsive to the blog 🙂

      Reply
      1. Mouli

        Sid,

        Great , this blog reached to a level that you can dictate the features to the Bank.

        Reply
        1. Anoop E S

          Yes. Indeed… They are seeing our discussions. Good for all of us, if they did take all these in a good sense.

          Reply
      2. AS

        Couldnt find any details about the vouchers, useless if these are discount vouchers.

        Plus changes made to BMS offers have still not been activated even though almost 2 weeks have passed since the planned date for change of features.

        Reply
      3. Anoop E S

        But they have not specified which vouchers they are giving. The mastercard variant of Sapphiro now offers 4 lounge visits per quarter. Seems really attractive

        Reply
        1. Siddharth Post author

          I’ve asked them, but it seems they’ll take some time to respond on that.

          Reply
      4. SaurabhN

        Gr8 to see bank following ur posts to know its current market position. It definitely is a feat…congrats !!!

        Reply
  8. ND

    That’s a feat achieved I would say. Congo!

    So we have a medium here to directly reach card issuers (at least ICICI Bank for sure)

    Reply
  9. Siddharth Mehta

    Going to use the Dragon Pass for the first time tomorrow for a complimentary spa session at Bangalore airport. Will post my feedback shortly after.

    I spoke to ICICI helpline and they said that complimentary lounge access and spa session are counted from calendar year, i.e Jan to Dec. Good thing for me that I just received the card at beginning of this month and i will be utilising it right away. it will renewed by Jan again 🙂

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      That’s great. Keep us updated.

      Meanwhile, what kind of 10k vouchers was given as welcome bonus?

      Reply
  10. Siddharth Mehta

    Hey Sid,

    Just used the dragonpass for the complimentary spa access at O2 spa in Bangalore airport. As I had expected, the attendants were clueless about dragonpass as I was probably the first user in that spa 🙂 Anyways, she quickly looked up on her PC, then called her supervisor and finally told me that I could take any of short therapies like back/neck massage or foot massage for 30 mins. I took a foot massage and it was great. This is the best you can get when it’s free. 🙂

    The strange thing was that dragonpass was not accepted at AGL lounge in Bangalore airport even though it is listed on the ICICI website. I will have to report it to the bank. I anyways got the access with my DCB.

    I have ICICI Jet Sapphiro and so the bonus was 10k jpmiles . I guess you were referring 10k vouchers on the normal Sapphiro which I don’t have .

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Great man!
      I tried to apply for Dragonpass on jet Sapphiro but it seems only newly issued cards are eligible fro the same.

      Reply
  11. Shafiq

    Hey sid,

    To get dragonpaas you just have to ask bank for replacement of priority pass for any reason like lost, damaged etc and they will send you new dragonpass without any fees. I recently got dragonpass within a day of calling customer care 🙂
    I have ICICI JET Sapphiro Visa Amex dual card.

    Hope this helps

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      I tried it and was said they’ll revert in 2-3 days.
      Brilliant idea though, coz when i asked dragon pass directly, i was said that it cannot be issued to old cards – comes the answer from their supervisor.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *