ICICI Bank launches a new Super Premium Credit Card “Emeralde”

By | January 19, 2019

ICICI Bank today (18th jan 2019) has soft launched a new credit card named “Emeralde” for its premium customers. Just like most other ICICI bank credit cards, this one also has been named after a gemstone and comes in two variants – Amex & Mastercard.

ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card

ICICI Emerald Credit Card – Benefit Highlights

Looking at the features and benefits highlighted so far, its safe to call it as a super premium credit card that’s targeted for High Net Worth Individuals of India. Here are the promo videos by ICICI for its Emeralde Credit Card,

Talking about the video, they still can do better on 1st Video, as no one wants to watch a long promo! Coming back to the card, some of the outstanding benefits of the card are, as below,

  1. Unlimited Lounge Access
  2. Unlimited Spa Access (Finally!)
  3. Trident Dining Voucher
  4. Da Milano Voucher
  5. Boingo Airport Wifi Access
  6. Zero Cancellation Charges on Travel/Movie
  7. Annual Fee: 12k

Overall it appears to be a very good value proposition for a 12k annual fee (or 1k/m) card even without considering the regular reward rate on spend. The spa/lounge access benefit itself is good enough to offset the joining fee.

So, irrespective of what reward rate the credit card comes with, it’ll still be a great credit card for frequent travellers – thanks to the unlimited spa benefit, which I was waiting to see for a while.

Apart from that, those new features like Boingo Airport Wifi/ Zero cancellation charges could be a game changer if they come with less terms & conditions.


Its no wonder that ICICI Credit card division is in full swing since past couple of months. From launch of Amazon pay credit card to other card related activities & spend based offers, I could sense that ICICI Bank is finally getting things right in premium credit card segment.

Finally, its good to see that ICICI Bank is taking care of it premium customers too. I hope this will change the way I look at ICICI credit card products, from “made for beginners” to “made for all”. 

Well, that’s too early to conclude as the full features/benefits are yet to be up. Do follow us on Facebook to get an instant update when the detailed review of this card goes live.

Thanks to: Siban for spotting the card.

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.

44 thoughts on “ICICI Bank launches a new Super Premium Credit Card “Emeralde”

  1. Karthik

    Good to see competition in the industry. It will benefit the customers.

    1. Siddharth Post author

      Looks like 2019 is going to be wonderful with many new credit card launches 🙂

      1. Ruhul Laskar

        I am I regular visitor of your blog Siddharth and I want to thank you for starting a one of its kind information source for Indian credit cards. I got an invite for the Etihad Guest SBI credit card over email recently and couldn’t find any information on it. The launch is mentioned as January 24, 2019, it will be nice to hear from you if you have any insider details on it.

        1. Siddharth Post author

          Definitely. Will review the SBI Etihad card once I have some info to talk about 🙂

      2. Murali Krishna

        Got know the eligibility criteria after visiting one of those branches in Chennai.
        Existing Sapphiro card users with the limit of 6L or above are eligible to get this card for free.
        3L net income per month or 50L wealth customers are eligible to get this card for free.
        Rest everyone has to pay 12,000 per month and apply for the card .
        4 pay back points per 100 spent except fuel and 1 point per 100 spent on insurance and bills
        On spending 1L a month, monthly fee of 1000 is waived off
        On spending 15L, you will get 12K waiver
        Interesting benefit: On the month of card holders birthday, 7500 voucher will be given for free with no minimum validity restrictions and this can also be used as a statement credit

        1. Abhi

          Is the birthday benefit still there? I was recently offered Emeralde by RM but 14.16K fees was putting me off. But if 7.5K vouchers/credit are provided I will be inclined to get this card, well RM never mentioned it. Also, if you manage to achieve 15L spend and get fee waiver, do you still get the 7.5K birthday benefit or is it only if you have paid the fee that year?

      3. Sudhakar Akella

        Dear Siddharth,

        My existing ICICI credit card(Ferrari) limit is 3.4 lakhs, and I also have amazon pay ICICI with a limit of 1.90 lakhs. Can you please suggest me the best upgrade card for my Ferrari.
        Thank you.

  2. Sivashankar Jagadeesan

    Any waiver in annual fee for ICICI Emerald Card if we spend it to a certain amount?

        1. Siddharth Post author

          Waiting on 2x bonus JPMiles. So can’t upgrade for next ~2 months.

      1. Abhinav Jain

        Hey Manish, is there a link from where you got this information?

  3. Dr. N Sanjay

    To check eligibility one has to send SMS EMERALDE to 5676766 , they will call within 3 days ,still they have not updated on website , only video promo came out , not mentioned details about reward programs, seems better than saphiro card in their gen stone collection

  4. Poornith Ninan

    If this card appears to be appealing enough, I would be more than happy to upgrade from the Rubyx + Sapphiro cards that I currently hold. I hope the reward rate is significantly better than what they offer on the other cards which are a part of the Gemstone Collection.

    1. Siddharth Post author

      Tough to say that before we know the reward rate. But rest of the features gives a good competition in super premium segment.

      1. aka

        i have a LTF sapphiro card but don’t think that they’ll issue the emerald card as LTF anytime soon !!
        Still let’s see the features whether its worth it. The spa thing though good, is present only in certain airports. For ex. it’s not there in Kolkata yet and hence the value decreases considerably for me.

    2. Avinash

      If we factor in the SmartBuy 10x offers for Flights/Flipkart/Amazon then i think its still not better than Infinia. We still get Unlimited International Lounges but not Domestic.

  5. Anish

    I think so they ready your opinion/version of a super premium card to create this Sid. Soon you might become consultant to one of these banks.

  6. Agarwal

    Zero Cancellation Charges on Travel.

    Will be interested to know more about this feature.

  7. Pankaj Singhal

    The following are only on spending 2 lac within two months of joining:
    a) Trident Dining Voucher
    b) Da Milano Voucher

    Boingo Airport Wifi Access is only on Amex cards.

  8. Amex Guy

    Boingo is offered through Amex. It’s a global special plan that’s offered to Amex cards. In India only corporate cards get it. It’s a no strings attached unlimited usage plans. In India will work in Airports, Starbucks and anywhere else you see Tata Docomo WiFi. It’s good as it directly connects you on to premium plan with payment or OTP.

    1. Siddharth Post author

      So its not just an airport restricted wifi? I’m surprised to see their hotspots located even in tier 3 cities.

      1. Amex Guy

        Nope, it works in a lot of places. Also here’s the secret — once you get it you can’t really lose it. You sign up using your card number using a special link. They verify your card against your name and grant you membership based on BIN. But then if you cancel your card Amex has no way yet to let them know. So your membership goes on forever.

  9. Yash Jain

    Hey Sid, thanks for the information on this new card really quickly, i have a collection of 8 credit cards, but none from ICICI yet. If i plan to get a icici card, should this be the one or youd sugegst something better? Also can you tell me any card which gives good rewards for auto billpay for utilities. Awaiting reply, thankyou.

    1. Rajesh

      Hello Yash Jain. Do share which cards you are holding and your journey. It will help other users like me to getting the cards

  10. VK

    Hi Siddharth,
    I am an avid reader of your posts. Really appreciate the effort you put in to educate your readers.

    I got to know from ICICI Bank’s Customer Support representative that Reward Point structure on this Emerald Card is the same as previous iterations of the Gemstone Collection (i.e 4 RP / ₹100 spent) possibly for Mastercard Variant and Fuel Transactions in this case will be included for accrual of RP as well.

    Apart from this particular unattractive RO structure, it is not so super premium as it should’ve been. The only good thing is Unlimited Lounge / Spa access. Good for frequent travellers but there are much better options available from its competitors. JET AIRWAYS co brand card is still the better option because of frequent 2X offers on them.

    One more advantage related to the annual fees of this card is that you can choose to have ₹12,000 paid annually at once waived off if spend in a year is >= 15 lacs otherwise you do have an option to pay ₹1,000 every month (waived off if spend in previous month is > 1 lac) effectively making it 12 lac / year spends then the ₹12,000 will be waived off.

    Eligibility criteria is 3 lacs / month income and sms is to be sent as mentioned earlier.

    You can update your post.
    I am not planning to upgrade to this card. Happy with Jet Airway ICICI credit cards.

    1. Sharathkumar Anbu

      Hi VK,

      Thanks for sharing the details.

      1. Is the Unlimited lounge / Spa access only for Primary card holder or even for add on card holders?

      2. I heard that ICICI gives credit card on Card to Card basis. Any idea about whether this card will also be issued on card to card, if so what would be the limit required on the existing credit card?

    2. Abhinav Jain

      Are they still gonna stick to Payback Reward points? I really wish ICICI didn’t pick that one for this card, given the higher target segment with a 12k joining fee.

  11. Boopathy

    Reward rate is 1%, you get 4 payback points for spending Rs.100, so the value is Rs.1. So the reward rate is very low considering this as a Super Premium Card.

  12. Deepender Mathur

    Very nice credit card congratulations Icici bank 2019 I want this credit card

  13. VK

    Hi Sharath,

    1. Is the Unlimited lounge / Spa access only for Primary card holder or even for add on card holders?

    No, its only for Primary Card holders.

    2. I heard that ICICI gives credit card on Card to Card basis. Any idea about whether this card will also be issued on card to card, if so what would be the limit required on the existing credit card?

    They do provide their credit cards on card-on-card basis but Emeralde card is a new addition and currently they just said that customer has to send an sms for eligibility and a representative will get back with the details.

  14. Anshul

    Can anyone send me the official ICICI link for this card? Unable to find it on their website.

  15. Chetan

    Hey Guys,
    Latest from me using the card since 2 months (March and April). Got it by the ICICI wealth manager. It was based of my Sapphiro card spending that they decided to upgrade. These are the flaws I see, please correct me if I am wrong…

    1. I hate the fact I cannot take my wife into the domestic lounge, Emerald card has only 1 card unlike the Sapphiro which had 2 (master and amex), so yes I MISS IT BIG TIME. I do get away taking out my old SBI platinum card haha.
    2. I have visited about 16 domestic airports in the last 2 months which are on the list of dragon pass, they do not accept dragon pass for lounge nor the free SPA, haha trust me I’m not kidding you. HYD and COK is teh worst of them list, they DO NOT HAVE FREE SPA.
    3. The charges for master card is way too high on some websites for payments, example LIC of India. they charge 15 rs for a transaction fee where as master card is charged 360 for the same. I MISS MY SAPPHIRO AMEX .
    4. I cannot take only amex as my base credit card as it would be a disaster, as many would know they are rarely accepted abroad and even some places do not accept amex, best example would be INOX in my city Vizag.
    5. 12 K annual fee and joining fee. So that’s 24K to deal with if you do not make 15L worth transactions in a year, man that’s insane. I make transactions worth 25-20L which is not a big worry but I HATE CONSTRAINTS, the longevity of the relation dies. Why suffocate your premium customers? especially with stupid constraints? You really think I will remember after a year to take back my 12K JOINING FEE?
    6. Points per transaction is 2 for every 100 (bear in mind 4 point = 1 Rupee)? Seriously? Guys that includes all international / national / online / groceries, dinners, everything (gone those days where you get 10X and 5X). Oh yea utilities comes to 1 point every 100, haha, so frustrated, I used to get 6 on my AMEX Sapphiro credit card.

    Having said the cons let me give a heads up with the pros
    1. People do look up to see who the heck you are when you take this card out, haha slowly that will fade away
    2. Unlimited access in international lounges, hate to say but HDFC Dinner does the same for 5000Rs, oops
    3. Golf sessions which many are not interested in however all card give it
    4. The 12,000 flight refund in case of cancellation comes in handy

    In my honest opinion Sapphiro stands out to be better. Emerald is one more idiosyncrous game ICICI played. Which means an idiot doing thing in a synchronous manner…..!! Watch out guys

    Having said all this PLEASE SUGGEST A CARD FOR ME…. haha I’m serious, I would use this card till I touch 15L take the 12K back and shift. Appreciate any suggestions.

    1. Prashant Gupta

      @chetan: U can go for Sc ultimate, HDFC infinia or diners black, amex platinum travel till Rs.4L spend.

    2. Shail J

      Get might Diners black or Infinia if you can. Both come with unlimited domestic and international lounge access. Diners club black are tied up with 10x partners like Uber, bug basket, Swiggy etc. Both card come with a default reward rate of 3.33% I. E. 3.3 Rs earned every 100 Rs. (its 5 points every 150Rs spent and 1pt=1Re). Also, using these cards on smart buy platform gives a a 10x (for now) reward for flight bookings, shopping on Amazon and flipkart.
      In case of Infinia, no preset limit. Unlimited lounge for add-on cards too. No late fee etc.
      I’m assuming you are eligible for these cards as you already have ICICI emerald.
      My personal opinion, stay away from icici cards… Worthless and additional weight in wallets. Go for aforementioned or Amex or SC intimate. Downside with SC ultimate is that it allows for spend based lounge access – limited to one/per month that too subject to qualification.


Leave a Reply

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