IDFC First Bank launched its First Wealth debit card on Visa Infinite platform about an year ago. It’s a lifetime free debit card designed specifically for customers who are part of the Bank’s First Wealth Program. Here’s my experience with the IDFC First Wealth banking and it’s debit card product.
Table of Contents
- Expected NRV: 10 lakhs
IDFC First Bank requires you to join its First Wealth Program by maintaining minimum NRV (Savings ac balance/ FD/ Investments etc.) in the range of 10 Lacs in order to be eligible for this card. This may vary a bit with location & time. If opening a new account with Wealth status in mind, its better to always clarify all doubts with the local RM/ BM before proceeding.
Note: It is also learnt that First Wealth Program has been offered to few old n loyal customers of the bank at lower NRV.
The program entitles you to various lifestyle benefits viz. 1 free locker (subject to availability) and some more.
Features & Benefits
There are some industry first features embedded in this debit card. Will try to list out as many as possible here–
- Very high per day ATM withdrawal and Purchase limit of 7 & 12 lacs respectively
- 3 domestic airport lounge access along with a companion (thereby making it 3+3) each quarter, charged INR 2 everytime
- 2 international airport lounge access per quarter (charged 32$ and reversed within 10 days). The access is given directly by swiping the debit card.
- Register your card by creating a LoungeKey account
- Complimentary ID Sentry membership (Protects your cards from ID theft). Select debit card also offers this benefit
- Good insurance cover for cardholder — Air Accident Insurance cover- 2.5 Cr, Personal Accident cover- 1 Cr, Lost Card Liability cover- 12 Lacs, Purchase Protection cover- 1 Lac (Minimum 1 POS transaction >= 500 in each of the previous 3 months immediately preceding the month of incident)
- Complimentary Road Side Assistance (RSA)
- Complimentary Golf access of 1 per month at partner Golf clubs across India
- Upto 10X accelerated reward points program on debit card, delayed too much already (Currently under Beta testing)
- Visa Infinite privileges
Welcome Kit Unboxing
During initial onboarding phase, IDFC First bank Wealth debit card used to come in a good box containing a faux leather folder as well (similar to Yes First kit). Sadly the bank downgraded the welcome kit quite fast, which now comes in a simple envelope. Doesn’t look n feel premium for that NRV level.
By the looks of it, IDFC First bank has a habit of downgrading its cards pretty soon after launch (Similar to their credit cards range).
Card look & feel
The card looks good in plastic Black mixed with bank’s signature Maroon colour. Name is in front whereas card number is at the back.
International eCom or POS transaction markup fee at 2% (thus competes poorly being a new bank). Even Indusind bank Exclusive debit card (requires just 1 or 2 lacs AMB depending upon location) provides with NIL markup fee.
No EazyDiner offers, which has become basic requirement of even Semi-Premium/ Regular cards now a days.
No movie benefits provided except Visa Infinite offer.
In comparison, most premium debit card offerings from Axis, AU, Indusind, Yes bank or for that matter even their semi- premium/ regular debit cards offer B1G1/ 50% off upto varied amounts.
Importantly, the much touted 10X RPs earn feature on Select/ Wealth/ Private debit cards with a lot of delay is now under Beta testing phase, even as more than 1 year passed since the launch.
Once on-boarding criteria was fulfilled by initiating adequate funding, the onboarding process started but took some time.
Remember once savings account is opened, Visa Platinum debit card welcome kit is delivered within a week or so. The relationship banking kit containing Wealth debit card comes later (in approx. 15-30 days) once your Wealth RM elevates the status to Wealth banking.
IDFC First Wealth Program is designed & positioned to take on HDFC Imperia/ Axis Burgundy/ Indusind Pioneer premium banking. Overall program features at best fare on par in comparison with industry peers.
Some of the features like RSA, domestic airport lounge access along with companion and international airport lounge access via card (using LoungeKey) itself standout.
Even though Wealth program customers maintaining NRV should get the Wealth credit card by default (as was advertised during initial launch), in practice this is far from happening smoothly in most cases.
My experience shows lack of co-ordination between IDFC bank & their Credit Card team thereby inordinate delay in getting the Wealth credit card or even rejection (HDFC bank managed its cross-selling business beautifully, the reason they are Leaders at it).
Absence of NIL markup fee, BookMyShow/ Eazydiner offers & too much delay in reward points on spend makes it another offering in market, unable to distinguish, hence missing the WOW factor!
Nonetheless in comparison to its Private Metal debit card, Wealth debit card offers near similar features & benefits at significantly lower NRV.
However post Beta testing phase, if the rewards on spend are as good as those mentioned, this card has the potential to be one of the most rewarding debit card in industry.
Have this card for over 2 years now, earlier had the hope of getting RPs, as that was mentioned in the welcome kit, the website, and also printed on the card itself. Enquired many times when it will go live and whether it will be retrospective and how much are the rewards, etc. Eventually lost hope and stopped using the card. Are there any chances it will still see the light of the day, and how much are the rewards?
Reward rate is good as per current beta structure. Issue is when will the launch be ?
I asked for wealth account at my local IDFC branch,and they told me they need balance of 10L in savings account. FD’s don’t count at all. That felt weird as why would someone keep 10L in bank account when FD’s give out better interest rates. Even their 6.75% interest rate applies to balance greater than 10L.
Debit card rewards I am not sure, await from about a year now. No one including RM is aware when it would start
Under Beta testing since long. Very loose attitude to launch it.
@satish, why is your name hidden in the picture of the card? Is your real name not Satish??
Maybe the card belongs to his spouse :p
Family member’s card.
Hahaha. Enough proof of my other card reviews with original name are here.
This was in my Family members name, as I hold an IDFC Private Metal debit card already. Didn’t want to disclose that.
IDFC have a poor banking system and so are their so called helpful relationship manager .
Those RM gives you fake data, false promises and offer you the products which have their maximum profit and in that process their customer may loose high/heavy amount and Dnt disclose the basic disclosures which are needed and Infact lie boldly on them.
Thus in short- you can’t rely on them and even complaining to the branch manager or regional and zonal head doesn’t lead anything , even if you give them audio recording and SMS WhatsApp chat of RM and branch manager giving you false data and false promises and commitment.
Infact after that RM and branch manager have the guts to tell you to close down the account and say that they have enough Customers who can be fooled and they would be happy fooled on their words ( yes- I have the audio recording of the same ) sic 😡
So I would advise not to go for it. Waste time and money here.
How do we upgrade the current signature debit card to a wealth debit card? Should we just write to the IDFC team?
First you have to get your existing account upgraded to Wealth account via branch. Kit containing Wealth debit card comes automatically then.
What is the criteria to upgrade from wealth debit card to private metal card?
The lounge access on the card is very useful especially for family members and companions. Can open zero balance accounts for family members and thereby everyone will get additional lounge benefits