ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card Review

By | April 21, 2024
ICICI Emeralde Credit Card Review

For a very long time ICICI Bank never had a compelling product in super premium credit card segment. While they have gemstone cards, they’re poor when it comes to rewards & benefits. So finally ICICI Bank woke up to reality with a nice super premium credit card offering with ICICI Emeralde Credit Card.

With Emeralde Credit Card the benefits part is sorted but rewards part still needed to get better. And to fix that, the bank has launched the all new Emeralde Private Credit Card which is lot better than the regular Emeralde Card. Here’s a detailed review of the regular Emeralde Credit Card,


TypeSuper Premium Credit Card
Reward Rate1%
Annual Fee12,000 INR + GST
Best forAirport Spa / Lounge & Bookmyshow benefits
USPAirport Spa benefit

ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card is good for its airport benefits with its unlimited access to Airport Spa’s in India and lounges across the world.

Joining Fees

The Emeralde credit card comes in two fee options for you to choose from: Monthly/Annually. Here is the fee structure:

Monthly membership FeeRs. 1,000+GST
Monthly membership Fee WaiverSpend Rs.1L in previous month
Joining / Annual FeeRs.12,000+GST
Annual Fee WaiverSpend Rs. 15L in the card anniversary year

Annual plan is the best in my opinion for most card holders. Yet, monthly plan would still fit in if you intend to do regular spends on the card.

Also, it’s given as first year free for select individuals both as an upgrade and also as a fresh card, based on the profile.

While monthly fee is a nice idea, I would rather expect something like a quarterly fee instead. That will reduce a lot of pressure on our minds.

apply now


ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card variants
ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card Variants
  1. American Express
  2. Mastercard (world)
  3. Visa (Infinite)

You can choose only one variant. If you plan to take this card, you should probably be taking the Amex variant because both the Da Milano & Tata Cliq voucher comes only with the Amex variant.

You can also change the variant to the other just incase if you took the wrong one by mistake. However switching the variant isn’t easy most of the time.

Update: It seems Amex variant is no longe being issued.


ICICI Emeralde Credit Card
ICICI Emeralde Credit Card

The green gemstone design on ICICI Emeralde Credit Card looks absolutely beautiful without a doubt. If you’re taking Mastercard variant, it would be even more beautiful with the Mastercard logo standing out of the green field.


Regular Rewards

  • 4 Points on every ₹100 spent, except fuel (1% Value)
  • 1 Point on every ₹100 spent on utilities and insurance categories (0.25% Value)

This is the most disappointing part of this card – POOR reward Rate on regular spends. So high spenders >15L might need to switch to other cards.

Milestone Benefit

  • Spend 2L to get Rs.5,000 worth of Da Milano voucher. [Amex Variant only]

Decent option. I was able to redeem it at Da Milano outlet at Mumbai Airport T2 – Domestic departures.

Birthday Benefit

  • Tata Cliq voucher worth Rs.5,000. [Amex Variant only]

Nice value again.Glad that they replaced the trident hotels dining voucher with Tata Cliq voucher, but they reduced the voucher value from 7.5K INR to 5K INR.

You get birthday benefit not only for the 1st year but also for the remaining period, as long as you hold the credit card.

Airport Benefits

Lounge Access

Domestic (Primary)Amex / MastercardUnlimited
Domestic (Add-on)Amex / MastercardUnlimited
International (Primary)DreamfolksUnlimited
International (Add-on)

They haven’t mentioned anything about add-on cards but chances are you may be able to access at-least domestic lounges with add-on cards.

Also, now Visa variants are in circulation but I doubt if it would bear unlimited lounge access as Visa usually limits to 4/qtr max for Infinite variants.

Airport Spa

  • Unlimited Spa Access via Dreamfolks

This is the most lucrative benefit of this card. If you’re flying frequently within India, this will get you unbelievable value.

If you fly once every month for an year, that’s 2*12 = 24 Spa visits. Even if you assume cost at just Rs.1k per visit, this alone gives you 24k value.

The surprise is, this is not the first card in India to get unlimited spa benefit. ICICI silently has been already issuing unlimited spa access to Diamant card holders.

But having explored few spas at Indian airports, I would say that they’re no longer worth the hype.

Bookmyshow Benefit

ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card Bookmyshow offer
  • Buy one ticket and get up to Rs.750 off on the second ticket, up to four times every month through BookMyShow

That’s technically 750*4=Rs.3000 value per month. But a typical person living in non-metro can’t get that much value.

Yet, this is an AMAZING benefit as it includes non-movie tickets too. Good to see ICICI (or BMS) being so generous here.

Golf Benefit

  • Complimentary rounds: 4/month (games & lessons)

One complimentary round/lesson of golf can be availed on every 50,000 INR or more spent on the card in the previous calendar month.

All the complimentary rounds earned in a month will be eligible for redemption from 10th of next month and will be available for 2 months (60 days).

I honestly feel ICICI asks too much for golf benefit. Instead of 50K, they could have made it 25K or lesser for a super premium card.

Wifi Access

  • Unlimited complimentary access to Boingo Wi-Fi across the globe. Amex benefit.

This is again a wonderful benefit if you travel often internationally as every airport shows like 10 wifi hotspots around and you never who which is legit one to connect to. Problem solved!

This is first of its kind in India and we must truly appreciate ICICI for bringing this benefit to us.

But well, from my experience it never works anywhere in India or abroad. So consider it as useless.

Other Benefits

  • Credit Shield: Rs.50,000 (!)
  • 1.5% Markup Fee on Intl Txns
  • No late payment fee, no overlimit fee
  • Discounts on Gym/salon & health clubs across India
  • American Express Privileges


  • Fresh Application: Salary: Rs. 3L/m (or) Annual Income: Rs. 30L
  • For Upgrade: Existing ICICI Card Limit of 6 Lakhs

Upgrade route is the easiest way as always but you may as well apply via branch for the Emeralde credit card.

apply now

My Experience

ICICI Emeralde Credit Card Hands-on Experience

I was able to extract a value of Rs.15,000 in my first year of membership. This includes benefits such as: Da Milano voucher, Trident dining voucher & Bookmyshow benefit. Check out my Hands on experience with ICICI Emeralde credit card in detail.


  • Cardexpert Rating: 3.5/5

ICICI Bank’s Emeralde Credit Card is decent in 2024 but not so great or aspiring for the current demand.

If you put a value to the benefits like Spa/BMS/Wifi among others, you may find the overall return to be reasonably good but only reasonable for a select few.

Yet, if you’re a very high spender and looking for better rewards, you should probably go for their newly launched Emeralde Private Credit Card that comes with an attractive welcome benefit and pretty good reward rate.

And for that, this regular Emeralde Credit Card would serve as a stepping stone to those who can’t get it directly.

What’s your take on ICICI Bank’s Emeralde Credit Card? Anyone planning to apply anytime soon?

Author: Siddharth

Helping Indians to choose right credit cards, pick right offers and enjoy luxury vacations for less. Day & night exploring the spiritual reality of our human existence.

162 thoughts on “ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card Review

  1. Himanshu

    Hello Siddharth Sir,

    Do you ditch your ICICI jet sapphiro for Emeralde card?
    You are frequent flyer so unlimited spa sessions and lounge access are great value for you.

    Do share your thoughts. Thanks

    1. Siddharth Post author

      I’m waiting for 2X JPMiles to kick in, so i’ll have to hold on to Jet Sapphiro for few months before deciding. I’ll most likely get it at-least for one year. By then, with its current speed i assume ICICI will come up with a new card 😀

  2. Captain Bishuddha Bharatiya

    Its very exciting to see such rapid addition of new contents by you Siddharth. Meanwhile would you like to get your hands on Emeralde card if you get a chance ?

    1. Siddharth Post author

      Hopefully Yes. But there are other aspects as mentioned in other comment.

  3. Priyansh Modi

    That was quick.

    Basis your review, though 4 star, not sure I would ever go for this card (though not yet eligible anyway).

    Not saying it doesn’t seem attractive with spa and BMS, but at the end of the day, many cards give nearly same benefit except spa one.

    And rewards rate too less tbh to make it a worthwhile card to consider.

    At 3L/month salary, eligible for many cards with much better rewards.

    Though if the joining benefits/reward rate was better, might have considered

  4. Amex Guy

    In my books, this is a pretty light swing from ICICI. I’m still unsure which segment they are going after. The only card that’s threatened by this is Plat Reserve. And I don’t understand who that card targets as well. But that card is blessed with Amex retail folks convincing people with their sweet talk.

    For rewards, this is pointless. For other benefits, ICICI needs to realize that the segment they are targeting already have these privileges from other channels. They are clearly not going after super premium segment, so they made a card that’s much more affordable but gives the illusion of super premium. Same old Plat Reserve trick.

    If they really wanted a winner: Throw in a Hilton Diamond and unlimited PP along with existing Amex network perks they are throwing at 20-25K fee and you have differentiated yourself enough. But they want serious card holders. They want gullible customers. But they won’t be getting serious travelers or high spenders on this card.

    1. Siddharth Post author

      Well, provided how BAD ICICI cards were in the past, this is far better in my opinion. Yet, of course this can’t be a primary card for high spenders, but worthwhile to put it as “one of the card” in wallet, as anyway they’re going to get a waiver.

      1. Amex Guy

        They’ll get a waiver if they spend over 1L. The waiver is equal to value lost even if their favourite card gives 2%. So it is still 12K a year in value lost a year in best of situations.

        As for other benefits, I seriously doubt if anyone of 30L a year income doesn’t have them already. Most wealth management/premium-ish banking offerings give equal or better BMS offers. Citigold already gives me better version of this, along with DBS. Which is the very reason Citi/Amex/HDFC don’t bother competing with BMS offers as standard offerings on their cards — because they kind of get their market.

        Also, Dreamfolks line up has very few arrival spas, which is where the actual value is. After their Prime card I certainly expected better. ICICI will find it very hard finding takers for their perks at the income bracket they are targeting. I fully expect this card to be handed out as upgrade to existing customers and then get perks devalued in a year or two. Business as usual with Indian banks.

        1. Siddharth Post author

          Why count only arrival spa’s?
          And its not the card for large set of ppl anyway. So this maynot favour their CC business in big level. They either need to strengthen Sapphiro or launch some other card inbetween to attract masses. Either way they need to get out of Payback, which i believe is the one that’s holding them down on reward rate!

          1. Amex Guy

            “Why count only arrival spa’s?”

            Because that’s the real value. People want massage mostly after a long flight. And I hardly know of anyone who uses shower before boarding. It’s very useful after landing to shower or get a quick massage before heading directly to work.

            Dreamfolks knows this. Which is why there are so few arrival partnerships they could rope in.

            I agree with you Payback has to go. It’s also gotten harder to use since there is no more eBay left to easily redeem.

          2. Siddharth Post author

            If they give lounges/spa’s in arrival then no one will go out of airport. 😀

        2. Raja

          amex guy.
          have you recieved the amex diwali 25k Tanishq GV on spend of 4.75lac from Amex?
          PS. last year they sent the GV on 21 Dec.

          1. Amex Guy

            Can’t help with that. My card was excluded from the promo. 🙁

            You can always call in.

          2. Sarthak

            I haven’t received it either. Customer care told me that I’ll receive it by the end of February month.

    2. jude

      i agree with Amex Guy- they built up lot of expectation and then give this crap offering out. I dont think even 4 stars is deserved. TBH, i am not sure how many people really value SPA access. Unless u book a cheap economy tickets just to get a full body massage.

      Would have been nice to see them atleast given a Hilton Gold, if not diamond, or maybe some status with vistara/etihad.

      Also amex guy, regarding ur earlier post on Citi Ultima, u had mentioned that it is given absed on spends – i think that it is incorrect. the Citi team insist on a minimum ITR of 6 crores irrespective of spend

      1. Siddharth Post author

        Introducing dual rating for the first time. 😀

        If you exclude Spa benefit, rating goes to 3/5 – Updated the article.

        1. jude

          ha ha ha. Thats super cool of you. Kudos Sid!!
          Any clue on the SBI Etihad card?

      2. Amex Guy

        Which Citi team are you talking to? The issue with Citi is that most teams are clueless about both Prestige and Ultima. I got consistently wrong information about Prestige from my Citigold RM, her boss, her boss’ boss and it took one phone call with Prestige folks to get it. Unless you’re talking to Ultima RM, you’re getting information read from sticker documents, all of which is legalese mostly.

        Citi team will insist for ITR of 40L or 25L cash (not NRV) in your Citi account for Prestige as well. I’m sure there’s enough people on this site that will tell you that’s not true.

        From what I know, people with spends over 60-70L a year have got invitation for Ultima.

  5. Anoop E S

    Unlimited domestic lounge access (both MC and Amex lounges), unlimited international lounge access and unlimited Spa access for a fee of Rs.12000. Although we get unlimited lounge access through various other cards, an unlimited spa is something different and as per the dreamfolks website, their platinum package costing Rs.26000 gives us unlimited spa but with 16 lounge access.

    Birthday benefit, milestone benefit, BMS offer, Low forex markup and WiFi access adds a good topping to this card.

    There are no joining benefits or renewal benefits mentioned.

    But somehow I feel like this a lounge/Spa access card rather than a credit card. And it is very good in that aspect.
    The presence of payback points itself shatters the image of this card. Again they have not increased the reward rate.

    Any idea about American Express “Live the World” Privileges?

    And will they allow us to share the credit limit with existing Jet Sapphiro? Few months back, I was planning to get a normal Sapphiro MC version with limit shared with my existing Jet Sapphiro (which they were ready to give), but I dropped that plan.

    Plus any idea about MC version? MC world or some other variants?

    1. Siddharth Post author

      – Check Amex live the world site for more info.
      – ICICI always works on shared limit across cards. So it has to work that way.
      – MC world or other, but not elite. Anyway, why does it matter?

      1. Poornith Ninan

        I am not sure if the shared limits applies to everyone. I personally have 5 cards from ICICI (2 Rubyx + 2 Sapphiro + 1 Amazon Pay). The Amazon Pay has an independent credit limit and the other four cards have shared limit. I have a friend who holds Jet Coral (Visa + Amex cards) where he has two separate limits for each of the two cards.

        1. Siddharth Post author

          They can have different limits each but its in the same pool. The highest limit is the actual limit. ICICI isn’t clear in this part. Their netbanking shows confusing numbers often, like it shows in negative CL often to me even when there is no extra credit.

          P.S. Its surprising to see someone hold Rubhyx+Sapphiro. How was the 2nd card among this applied?

          1. Poornith Ninan

            I requested for an upgrade from Rubyx to Sapphiro through the Customer Care. They denied my first request. I requested a second time and they offered a paid upgrade. I did ask them if they would cancel my Rubyx cards but they said that it’s up to me whether I wish to keep them or cancel them. Since both Rubyx and Sapphiro cards offer lounge access, I decided to keep them as the spend limits on both cards in order to get the renewal fee waivers weren’t too difficult for me to achieve.

  6. Anoop E S

    One more point. For checking eligibility, we need to send SMS EMERALDE to 5676766. Their representative will contact us.

  7. AJ

    “Yet, this is an AMAZING benefit as it includes non-movie tickets too. Good to see ICICI (or BMS) being so generous here. If you’re a movie buff, well, i don’t need to speak any further 😀” This already works for some other cards like ICICI Jet Sapphiro – I have tried that in the past 🙂

  8. A2Z

    Spa isn’t the benefit which can make this card worth 4
    I don’t see much value in this card
    Targeted only at select audience

    1. Siddharth Post author

      4/5 because it gives value for the fee. But yes, it’s only for “the chosen few” as they call it themselves 😀

  9. ravi

    BMS offer has conditions “First come first” unlike other cards ex. SBI Elite. thats a guaranteed BMS offer.

    Further rewards rate @1% is too basic.

    YFE much much better with 2.5% rewards rate and unlimited PP/MC lounge access for both primary and add on card holders . That too at a lesser fee of Rs10000/-

    1. As

      That FCFS quota is card variant specific, so it will always be available in case of this card.

      1. Amex Guy

        I’m fairly certain FCFS quota is not card specific, only the discount is. They have included this card in existing offer on BMS, and they show whether the quota has expired for the offer before you enter your card number.

        1. manuj

          Yes the quota is card specific, you will get BOGO with ICICI sapphiro card , even though at the same time you might get a decline of BOGO with other gemstone card. I hold both of these cards and can confirm that with certainty.

        2. As

          Rubyx visa quota exhausts before Rubyx Amex. Sapphiro quota rarely exhausts. So I am certain it is card variant and network specific.

  10. Prashant Gupta

    does not appeal much. will have very less takers who have very little knowledge about cards. U only need 2 other cards to match its features with more reward points and less fees.

    1. Priyansh Modi

      True. Except the spa lounge feature, guess every other feature can easily be covered.

  11. Ashwin

    This BMS benefit is not the same BOGO BMS offer available with other channels. Generally BOGO offer limits to movie and a limit of Rs 250/500 discount only. Here we can book standup comedy, theater/plays, sports event, etc apart from movies upto Rs 750 discount. Also this Rs 750 discount is for four times a month rather than once per card per month.

    1. ravi

      Yeah, thats right. But the main condition is first come first.

      It is not guaranteed.

      Most of the times BMS will display today quota is over for ICICI cards

      1. Siddharth Post author

        BMS offer never went out of Quota on my Sapphiro since past 2 yrs. But my friend holding Coral often has the problem.

  12. Pankaj Singhal

    Why would you not pay monthly fees on this? It is a good way to minimize the overall outgo. Even if one spends say 1 lacs each in 6 months, a person can save 6k on fees. This can improve the value proposition of the card.

    However, having both the YFE and the DCB LTF, I don’t see any reason to get this card.

    1. Siddharth Post author

      I never thought of even paying partial fee to this card and so felt Annual plan is best.

  13. Aman Mahajan

    Can you also share your views on MMT ICICCI signature card? Is it worth spending 2500+taxes for the card?

    1. Priyansh Modi

      I personally do feel it’s a decent card to have an ICICI card in wallet which is lifetimefree, has good joining benefits for its fees and decent offers.

  14. Poorna

    Hi Siddharth, what are the cards do you hold and what do you use them for. (so that you get maximum benefit out of them.) I am holding yfp cc and spend is >300000, but don’t get any visible benefits. do share a post on your card utilisation so that we can get insights into how get the best benefits.

    1. Shivi

      Just go through the YFP card review page. More than enough has already been written and discussed. That card is a gem!

  15. Vikram

    Is this 2 cards in one account like Rubyx and Saphiro or separate Amex and Mastercard variants?

    1. Vikram

      Looks like this unlike the Rubyx and Saphiro credit cards is either Amex or Mastercard variant.

  16. Anynomus

    Hi Siddharth,

    Can I have this card, having 31.5 lakhs of yearly salary, (ICICI salary account)? Is there any way to get it free of cost?

  17. Shivi

    Eligibility Criteria – All existing ICICI Bank Global Private Client customers are eligible to apply for the ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card ~ Anybody here who comes under that relationship with ICICI?

  18. Vikram

    Hey Sid, new items like discounted premium gym memberships and salons seems to have been added now in the list of benefits. Please check and update.

  19. Faraaz Kazi

    @Siddharth Considering ICICI is no longer giving Jet cards (Jet Sapphiro) will it be a good idea to go for the plain Sapphiro Amex variant?

    1. Ram

      Hi Arun, can you please guide us to how you went about getting it? What’s the process, how did you convince ICICI bank to grant it, etc.?

  20. abhishek shah

    I just got my emerald card but the benefits listed are vague – for example how to exactly opt for the free spa at airports and which airports? Nowhere can find the details!

    1. Paras

      Hi Abhishek,can you share your experience of the emerald card.And how much is the total yearly fees including gst ? The supplementary card holder doesn’t get the same features right ?

      1. Rampy

        Annual fee is as stated by Sid in the article. I opted for 1K + 18% GST monthly.

        It will be more than worth it when you choose annex variant & avail spa benefits a couple of times.

    2. Rampy

      You can search for Airport O2 Spas on Google Maps. I found them in all major domestic airports like Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, etc.

      Directly go to the counter, tell them that you have Dragon Pass with unlimited spa. They all you to choose spa from the list & off you go. I had a very good experience with the one in Delhi (domestic departure of international T3 terminal) but not so good with their outlet at Bangalore.

  21. Amar

    Hey Sid – how did you get the Da Milano voucher?
    Did it come automatically after you got the 2 Lac milestone or did you raise a request with customer care?
    Asking coz I hit the milestone almost a month ago and haven’t received it yet. The customer care says it will come after 2 months only.

  22. Shiv Kumar Singh

    What is the starting Limit of this card. I have applied for this card and the Branch Manger said to provide credit limit of more than 10 Lac.Is it a good card as the B.M forced me to apply for this card.

    1. PK2

      Hello All,

      Just got call from ICICI
      They are offering only 1 variant either Master or AMEX
      Is this authentic? or fooling around


      Pravin P Kudav

      1. Rampy

        True, only one of the variants – Amex or Master. Amex gives better returns.

  23. PK2

    HI All,
    Good Evening
    Anyone got this card? What is review?

    1. Paras

      Hi PK2,
      Even I am waiting for someone’s review of the card 😊
      Maybe Siddharth can share his experience on this with us.

      1. Shiv Kumar Singh

        I got this card with 12 Lac Limit. The only point I got this because the Branch manger forced me to apply for it, rather he visited my home with his team filled the form and I got the card in somehow 5 to 6 days.
        But coming on reward rate it’s poor 1 % , so if you use vlcc, airport lounge and spa sessions, then it’s worth otherwise it’s a mere a fashion piece in your wallet.
        Also if you want this go for Amex variant, it’s better than master card variant but acceptability is not good in non-metro cities.
        If you care for just rewards go for other super premium card.

      2. Rampy

        My experience has been good.

        I use bookmyshow extensively. Having an option to get BOGO even on love entertainment like events, plays, etc makes it resourceful.

        I was able to utilize free spas at airports. Clubbing these with existing benefits of Amex variant, gives me more returns than the annual fee.

        This card is definitely not for your regular or daily spends (very very low reward rate). It’s usage is limited to specific services only. If they happen fall in your usage zone, then this card will work out very well for you.

  24. Naveen Kumar

    I received the card this month. I am receiving JP miles instead of payback points, maybe because i had saphirro previously. Needs suggestion whether to ask for payback points or remain with JP miles.

  25. Sanjay

    There is no discounts offered on kaya as claimed by icici. Would suggest to call kaya and others before someone takes a call to take this card. Icici has launched the card without informing its partners and customer has to pursue and sort all this with partners, waste of money on this card.

    1. Rampy

      You can avail the Kaya benefit using HealthPass, their partner.

      True, partners (like Kaya) are not aware of this offer. Even ICICI Customer Care executives may not be aware of this offer. But if you book from the HealthPass app, it is HealthPass’s responsibility to get you this benefit.

      I haven’t availed this benefit yet, but had confirmed with HealthPass guys the day I received this card. They confirmed the offer & its procedure.

      1. Siddharth Post author

        The interface they use to provide these benefits is one of the worst.



  27. Puneet N

    Does taking the Emeralde card upgrade you to wealth banking ? Can someone share their experience?

    1. DD

      My banking relationship was elevated to ‘Wealth Management’ with Sapphiro Card. I’m positive that Emeralde card will upgrade the relationship to ‘wealth management’ as Emeralde > Sapphiro.

      1. Kiran


        No more they are giving that option. I took sapphiro about 6 months back but when I asked for the wealth management upgrade they rejected it.

        You need 25 lac NRV with them to have the wealth management upgrade.

        If anyone who has got it done can guide us though.


    2. PK

      If you upgrade to Sapphire card. It will take you to wealth management banking 👍🏼

  28. Puneet N

    I got my Emeralde card in Amex variant. I was assigned a credit limit of 15L. However, the experience post that was a disaster. The card got registered in my iMobile application as a coral card and in my internet banking, this card was visible in the dashboard and not under the credit cards tab. I am taking phone and email follow-ups every day to have this sorted. The customer care says there was an issue in the technical onboarding on the card due to which it is registered as a coral card. For now, they need 9 days to look into this. The card is good and stunning and comes in a lavish box with a lot of papers and booklets. DragonPass comes separately. Will keep posted on how this gets resolved.


    Finally I’m receiving my Emralde Amex card with annual membership. Sidharth, do you recommend to close down my existing sapphiro cards or continue with them for the mastercard lounge access ??? I have got diners clubmiles and RBL platinum maxima too for other lounge. But since ICICI is my primary card, what do you recommend ?

      1. Siddharth Post author

        # Hold if its LTF, else close.

        # ICICI cards are usually not primary cards for most as they’re low rewarding.

        1. Arnab Chaudhuri

          Beg to disagree but american express owned payback is the best in the country if you know how to use it. Every month i get 2x points on bigbasket via their app..additionally in amazon or flipkart… also shopping in any future group outlet gives me additional points…also with emralde card i can get free ticket cancellation now upto 12k and free boingo wifi. You just need to be able to know how to earn max payback. Anyways perception differs..for me icici is always the best as their imobile app and website is top of the line if you compare it to the crappy hdfc website and no app for credit card only users like me.

          1. Siddharth Post author

            # Why settle with 2X while you can get 10X?

            # Boingo Wifi never works. I wasn’t able to use it in India so far.

    1. Shreyas Singh

      Do they provide unlimited SPA for add-on cards as well ??
      If yes, this card makes sense and i will go for it.
      Any leads would be appreciated

  30. Arnab Chaudhuri

    I visited amex.boingo.com and it says from jan 1st 2020..they would no longer accept amex preferred customer signups 🙁

    HDFC bank told me even with the eligible itr of 18 to 20 lakh…they won’t issue me diners black or even diners privilege since i don’t have a hdfc account. They also stopped sourcing credit card applications for non-hdfc bank customers in nagpur. I even asked them to upgrade my card to privilege and then il open a account but they refused.

    So i will now use my ltf diners clubmiles in conjunction with amex emralde but after this snub i decided never i will open any account in hdfc this lifetime. Anyways since my clubmiles is ltf il stick with it with 3 lakh credit limit as of today. Thanks Siddharth.

    I closed my sbi elite since for 5 years they never increased my limit beyond 98k..currently i have rbl platinum maxima and kotak royale signature. Amex is not sourced in nagpur..Icici keeps on increasing my limit from time to time and so emralde is my primary card now with clubmiles as backup.

    Thanks Siddharth.

    1. PK

      Whats your current Credit limit of ICICI Emralde and what was your ICICI Sapphiro Credit Card limit? If that’s okay to tell us?

      1. Arnab Chaudhuri

        5lakh for icici emeralde, 2,16000 was for icici sapphiro

          1. Rahul

            I had 5 cards from icici, closed 3 this year.

  31. Arun

    Hi sid
    Is their amex 3% cashback on fuel station offer is running or not?

  32. ARR

    Hi all,
    I received the Emerald Amex variant last week. I asked for the dual variants. But, they rejected my request and said, “ you can hold either Amex or Master at a time; not both”. I went with the Amex with annual fee. My limit with the other cards is Rs.5,10,000/-
    The design of the card is good and it came in a beautiful box.
    But, I’m not happy with the reward system. The card fee and GST were levied in the first month Itself. I may use this card for one year and close.


      Why dont u use the payback app for 2x rewards in amazon bigbasket swiggy and many other partners. U will earn additional points on credit card too. In this way u earn rewards from 2 sources in one transaction. I seriously cant understand the card which gives u 12k ticlet cancellation in flight and hotel..1.5% forex markup..trident vouchers.. 36k worth movie ticket in a year…unlimited spa n lounge…n people say icici sucks…i save so much money in a year…u have to use a super premium card in all spheres. If u just want for rewards…then get some other…last time in checked neither infinia nor dcb gives movie tickets except the 15% off. And ticket cancellation..emeralde has 1.5 forex…this type of card saves ur money from different sources of expenditure.

  33. Sudheer

    Anyone has this card please confirm how Boingo WiFi works in India? Does it work in all airports and inflight? Does it work in other public areas like malls & restaurants and what are the covered cities in India?

    1. Arnab Chaudhuri

      Visit amex.boingo.com There you will find that boingo no longer onboards preferred plan for customers with amex cards from jan 1st 2020. So no ..as it stands today…that offer is withdrawn. Siddharth should update the thread too.

      1. Shivi

        This thread is not about AmEx tie-up with Boingo but ICICI Emeralde card and its offers.

  34. Sudheer

    Hi, I am planning to apply Emerald card. Please someone confirm if Boingo WiFi still applicable and appreciate if someone shares their experience on this card? Is it worth to opt monthly fee?

    1. Shivi

      Call up ICICI customer care and ask about Boingo WiFi. I don’t see any benefit of opting for monthly fee till you are sure to cancel it mid year.

  35. Mrigankh Saluja

    Recently my Dad was offered emeralde as an upgrade to his existing card. All the income documents were provided and we received the card today.
    Now emeralde is a super premium card and the monthly fees of ₹1000 is waived off only if you spend ₹1,00,000 in a month. But the funny part is the limit provided on this super premium card is ₹63,000.

    1. Sumit

      Dad was offered the same LTF at limit ” per-approved 25 lakh” on the basis of his long standing relationship with ICICI. Received the card with actual limit of 28,000. ICICI with it’s after-thought internal policy regarding credit limit is laughing stock of credit card issuers in India.

    2. PK

      OMG!! Seriously? ICICI emeralde card limit of 63,000. I am really sorry for you, it hurts. My experience I had coral card at first limit of 70k later upgraded to Sapphiro with the same limit. I wrote them email asking to increase the limit, few days later found per-approved to increase the limit.

  36. PK

    Update : Such a shame that they have removed Delhi airports from Complimentary Spa Programme.

  37. Arnab Chaudhuri


    Dude. In the other thread also u commented about my clubmiles card upgrade issue. HDFC told me I need to have auto-debit active for limit increase and card upgrade. That means without account, its not possible. If you want send me your whatsapp no. ‘N’ i’l forward the screenshots of the letter.

    Goto emeralde page, under ‘Complimentary Airport & In-flight Wi-Fi Access’ click here on ‘For How to Avail and Terms & Conditions, please click here’. That here used to have an instruction guide…but after jan 1st,2020 it no longer works. Similarly visit ‘mastercard.boingo.com’ and see there that there is a option to check the card eligibility. amex.boingo.com had the same option. But it no longer works.
    Now, visit this site :-


    Under ‘SME exclusive benefits’ amex boingo preferred plan is mentioned. The same thing was there under emeralde webpage. But since its closure that particular pdf guide was taken down. Boingo needs to have a plan to work.

    Lastly I didn’t want to personally address you but now I have to. First of all, do a little bit of research before posting wild comments ok. I have been using credit cards for almost 10 years and definitely I ain’t stupid. So kindly do a bit of RnD before posting your comments.

    PS:- Siddharth, kindly plz don’t moderate my comments. Thats my request.

    1. Paras Dutta

      Just for information for people who think the Boingo offer doesn’t work,it does.They send you the voucher with the weblink where you need to put the voucher details and done.
      The weblink is of Boingo itself(redeem.boingo.com or something)I entered my voucher details and it showed me that now i am a Amex Preferred plan member and then created my login credentials and done.

    2. Shivi

      @ Arnab – If you revisit your boingo post in context to Sudheer’s comment, my reply was directed only towards your “out of context” mention of AmEx link. One can’t link up offers across the board on different cards.

      I have done enough research on cards which i want & own and of-course I don’t need to whine about HDFC not providing me card upgrades and/or limit enhancements. Understand that they have different requirements for everyone. You sure need to revisit your HDFC upgrade issues for someone who has been “using credit cards for almost 10 years”.

      No comments about your self assessment “definitely I ain’t stupid”

      1. Arnab Chaudhuri

        What I stated earlier is confirmed by customer care alright. And if you had bothered to even read the defunct pdf ‘Boingo T&C.pdf’ which was earlier there…you would have known that what I stated and what is there in the business ascent card link is same. That pdf link was there in the main emeralde product page. I emailed this to ‘[email protected]’ and they also confirmed me the same thing. BTW my HDFC card got upgraded and unlike you I stated facts which you called whining. Want proof? Give your email. Lastly I don’t need your kind comments as they mean nothing to me.

    3. PK

      Hi Arnab Chaudhuri, How are you doing in Nagpur? Well I am at Chandrapur. I had gone through some of your messages. About HDFC CC, I have applied for HDFC CC and got it with good limit well my point is I didn’t had HDFC savings account just like you later I couldn’t login by app without customer ID. So, I went to HDFC Bank requested for basic savings account just to have customer id where i can link my credit card. The staff doesn’t want to help as its a zero maintenance. So, I talk to BM he opened BSBDA account.

      1. Arnab Chaudhuri

        Im fine..i too recently opened an account in hdfc with choice based number.

  38. Sudheer

    Hello, I have applied and received Emeralde card 3 months back before lockdown with monthly fee option. With current situation, I couldn’t use the card benefits at least this year. I want to cancel the card to save monthly fee. Please anyone can suggest how to proceed with?

  39. PK

    Hi Siddharth, I see here many of us applied or received Amex variants. It sounds good getting a Birthday voucher of Rs.7,500 and milestone of Rs.5000 by spending of 2L.

    I have questions, can you please answer me or anyone help me to understand.
    1. Can we get Birthday voucher every year?
    2. Can we get milestone spending every 2L or every year or onetime only?
    3. I selected Mastercard variant just because there are number of place Amex card won’t accepted. Is it right choice or I done stupidity applying Mastercard?
    4. What all benefits addon card holders will get?

    *If the coupons for only one time and will not get again. Then it’s good to go for Mastercard is it.
    Please reply me soon. I still have options to change my card variant. Thank you

  40. Chandrasekhar Adusumalli

    This card is one of the best cards. It is because it has the following benefits:

    1. There is unlimited airport spa access. No other card provides this benefit currently
    2. Unlimited domestic and international lounge access
    3. Then there is the best benefit. There will not be any cash withdrawl charges and no overlimit charges. This one benefit ensures that one can meet their emergency cash needs without any hassle. Only few cards like Axis Magnus card offers this benefit
    4. The only drawback is the poor reward rate. However, the above 3 benefits overweigh the deficiencies.
    5. Further, there are bms and card fees waiver on spends ( again a very good benefit).

    1. Rohan

      If you are not a very big fan of free Spa visits at Airports, then Infinia offers all these too + Good rewards ratio on spends


    I got Amex as well as Mastercard. Pretty sweet that I will be able to get benefits of both the cards.

    1. Chandrasekhar Adusumalli

      Hi may I know how did u get both? I have tried but they have offered me only 1 variant and I opted for amex

  42. Chandrasekhar Adusumalli

    Hi, I have got amex variant with a limit of Rs. 4.50 lakhs. They told me that they have discontinued the health assure benefits like vlcc, gold’s gym, kaya etc. Is this true? Can anyone tell me whether its working for them please?

  43. Chandrasekhar Adusumalli

    Hi Siddharth, please downgrade the rating as they have discontinued their partnership with healthassure.in wherein a card holder will get gold’s gym kaya skin clinic vlcc etc benefits
    Further spas are not accepting dragon pass currently
    Further the trident voucher is not being accepted by Trident hotel currently

  44. Smit

    Hi Siddharth,

    I enrolled to Emerald, Sept last year after your blog.

    Chandrasekhar is right. Emerald right now do not provide Healthassure, Dragonpass, Trident Hotel benefits. I did try to contact ICICI. They are not ready to refund the charges. Although I had dropped email in May and they reverted back now giving resolution for 1 month refund of monthly charges.

    Can you please advice how to go with Emerald now. Do you think they will revive their services? Or may be they can refund my monthly charges from May.

  45. dushyant bapna

    Just had a chat with the icici credit card team and they are revamping the entire rewards/benefit system of emeralde credit card so i guess being patient is the best option

    1. Himanshu Kainth

      But the question arises: How much time do they need for revamp ?

      I got this card (visa variant) today only for movies benefit. The reward rate is still the same (poor).

  46. Pawan Rastogi

    Currently I am using HDFC infinia with credit limit of 14 lakh. Plz recommend me best card better than infinia


    1. Shivi

      Depends on what you spend on or what you expect from your card/bank. There is no “one card that fits all”

  47. Vikram

    I really do not find much benefit in emeralde. Diners club black or infinia from hdfc offer much higher returns against spends and benefits than emeralde.

  48. saurabh dubey

    ICICI Bank charges more interest than any other bank’s credit card.
    For example: – If you have used 20k on an ICICI bank credit card and paid 18k, then they will charge you interest on Rs 20k and not 2k.
    Also, their customer support is very poor.

    1. Shivi

      Not quite. HDFC Bank has the highest charges for balances carried forward at present – ICICI actually has the lowest.

      What you are referring to (interes on 20K and not the balance) is charged by all banks, not only ICICI. It’s a part of the MITC of the credit card & is mentioned there.

  49. Basant Motlani

    As amex and master card are banned by Rbi, do icici stopped issuing emeralde and sapphiro now??

      1. Santosh Kumar

        ICICI has started issuing sapphiro now. Not sure about emeralde though.

  50. Avi Aryan

    On rewards page of that credit card, it is written that —

    “Savings on markup fee and GST on international spends of 4 lakhs annually”.

    Does that mean the special rate of 1.5% foreign transactions markup only applies up to annual international spending of 4 lakh or less?

  51. Anshuman

    I read it somewhere that there are no atm cash withdrawal charges on this card? Just wanted to confirm.

  52. Gaurav Sahi

    Hi Siddharth,

    Can you please tell me how to come to know about upgrade criteria you mentioned in your post, I am asking about below point.

    For Upgrade: Existing ICICI Card Limit of 6 Lakhs

    I am not able to see upgrade details on icici website.


  53. Shivendra

    Hi Siddharth,

    On Bookmyshow they are showing 2 options, 1st is 4 complementary tickets and 2nd is 2 complimentary tickets for ICICI EMERALDE PRIVATE. Though I hold normal Emeralde, it didn’t let me avail 4 free tickets at once. I had to book in 2 transaction . Do u have any idea on this?

  54. Vikram

    The Emerald card web page now shows that it gives ICICI Reward points instead of Payback. When I checked the rewards catalogue I could see that the conversion rate is 2:1 or slightly lesser for some items. That improves the rewards rate of this card from 1% to 2%. Is that correct or am I missing something?

  55. Shalabh Agarwal

    They are not accepting the
    Dreamfolks Cards against the ICICI Emerald at the Mumbai
    Airport T2 Zivame Spas. They say that only valid on O2 Spas and no O2s on T2. This is on 9th Oct 22.

  56. Sivaram

    I am
    Upgrading from Saphhiro to emeralde.
    Still they say the Amex variant is not available.
    Any suggestion on to pick MC or Visa.
    I also applied for Axis Magnus separately and hope to get the visa infinite.
    So going for MC on emeralde is good idea ?

  57. Pranab

    Hi Sid,
    Though I don’t meet any of the 2 criteria (Income, current credit limit), I was offered an ‘Upgrade’ (Paid). The only reason for ICICI’s ‘Generosity’ might be spend of 10L+ in last 3 months.
    But I’m in a real dilemma.
    1. 14k+ First Year fees.
    2. Only Visa, no Amex.
    3. I’m not a frequent traveler. Also my base city (Ranchi) don’t have any lounge.
    4. I have Infinia and 3 Eterna (1 MC & 2 Visa).
    Should I give this upgrade a miss?

    1. Siddharth Post author

      But why this card? No use for it in 2022. (unless you’ve some problem in getting other premium cards).

      1. Pranab

        Hi Sid,
        Thanks for your response. There was no specific reason to get this card, maybe only the looks!!
        Is there any way I can get SC Ultimate on Infinia C2C? I don’t meet other criteria, one major off-course is my location.
        I tried to get Vistara Infinite through Branch as the branch official assured me that I can have 3+ cards, but it was declined on ‘Internal policy’. Now I have applied through your link after closing Privilege.
        I also applied Amex Plat Travel through your link but it was declined (believe due to my city of residence). So I again applied for my wife providing her brother’s Kolkata address, it was provisionally approved and asking for VKYC. Can you provide any insight on what questions she have to face on VKYC?

  58. Akash

    I have a 6.7 Lakh limit on my Coral card. Got an upgrade offer for Emerald Card but seems like it’s not LTF.

    Any suggestions on how to get this as LTF?

  59. Rahul

    Hi Sid,

    Just got the ICICI Emeralde LTF today
    Needed to keep a pretty high balance for that but once approved, this will be LTF.

    I feel it makes sense to keep it along with Yes Private and HDFC Diners black (both life time free as well), so as to ensure unlimited lounge access, Spa access, BMS Movie offers and rewards points or offers where available.

    What is your view?

    1. Siddharth Post author

      LTF is great just for the airport benefit, I was trying for FYF and never given.

      But now Emeralde Private is better.

        1. Siddharth Post author

          Yes, been there since few months, but seems issuance is still on hold.

  60. Sivaram C

    I got the emeralde private metal, an upgrade from the earlier emeralde. The benefits seem to be better at 3% and taj/EazyDiner etc.

  61. Basant

    Do Unlimited spa means i can swipe 2 to 3 times continuously for 2 types of spa?

    1. Siddharth Post author

      In the past they can debit 2 or 3 even at once, not sure how it’s being handled lately though.

  62. Sam

    Traveling to Europe this month. Is the Boingo WiFi offer still there on the AMEX variant? Has anyone used it recently? The documentation is neither available and info on the web is not very reliable. Called WM CS but they say it is still there.

    1. Siddharth Post author

      It just doesn’t work anywhere in the world. Not sure if it’s iPhone app issue or the service itself.


Leave a Reply

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