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
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.
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.