Kotak Royale Signature Credit Card Review

By | July 27, 2019

Kotak bank credit cards are not so popular and rewarding in the world of credit cards. Nevertheless being in tier-2 city, it doesn’t harm if one is able to grab a premium credit card from well known bank. That too if your city is not in their card service area. Off late their merchant offers are on the rise.

Here comes the Royal Signature Credit Card, one of the most premium offerings from Kotak bank. This card stands a tad below 2 of their cards viz. Kotak Privy League Signature Card, Kotak Wealth Management Infinite Card but both require quite handsome NRV to be maintained as their eligibility criteria. Rewards & offers available are hardly differentiable between them though.

Card looks really Premium having Leather type texture. Have a look,

Kotak Royale Signature Credit Card

Joining Fees

  • Joining fee: 1499/- (Paid variant), Nil (Free variant)
  • Annual fee: 999/- (Waived on spending 1 lac in a year)
  • Welcome Benefit: Nil for free variant & Rs.2000 air ticket voucher for paid variant
  • Welcome offer: 2 BookMyShow vouchers of 200 each on applying via online mode and making any kind of retail spend within 60 days of card setup (Applicable for free variant also)

Rewards

Regular Rewards

  • 4 reward points on spending 150 under Airline, Travel, Hotels & International category (0.6% Reward Rate)
  • 2 reward points elsewhere, except fuel transactions (0.3% Reward Rate)
  • 1 reward point= 0.25 INR, can be taken as cash credit as well as other options

Milestone Spends

  • Spend 4 lacs within a year- Earn 10K reward points*
  • Spend 8 lacs within a year- Earn 30K reward points*
  • * Customer will be eligible for only one offer

So on 8L spend, you get about 1.2% rewards rate, which is not that bad.

Other Benefits

Pros:

  • Priority attend service on the card where you send an SMS and get call back within 2 hours. Call for complimentary cheque pickup to pay the monthly bill

  • Fee waiver condition is very much doable
  • Domestic airport lounge access 2 per quarter

Cons:

  • Being the topmost credit card from Kotak, Priority Pass for international lounge access has not been offered
  • Reward points earning rate is too low to be of significance
  • Eligibility criteria at 24 lacs per year is very high

Few more things to know:

  • This credit card is protected form unauthorized transactions upto 2,50,000 per year (Transactions within 7 days prior to call are covered)
  • Railway surcharge waived online (www.irctc.co.in) and over the counter upto a limit of 500 per year. Wish the limit has been higher!
  • 6 digit pin to use the card online/ POS making it more secure in place of normal 4 digit in other bank cards (Though this is common with all Kotak bank cards I guess)
  • Option to convert reward points into cash credit or use PayByPoints feature to redeem it at partner merchants like Globus, Archies, O2 spa, Meena Bazaar, Clarks etc (Though earning capability of the card or for that matter any Kotak bank credit cards is too low to be of much benefit)

My Experience

Applied for Royale Signature credit card via Kotak bank website despite my city being shown unserviceable for it. Flow of Card processing is as below,

  • 10.07.2019- Applied for the card and CIBIL enquiry done by the bank same day
  • 11.07.2019- Received SMS confirming my application
  • 15.07.2019- Bank executive visited my house for address verification
  • 17.07.2019- Bank executive called to ask for company landline no. for verification
  • 23.0.2019- Received email that card has been approved
  • 24.07.2019- Card details shown under Kotak 811 app
  • 25.07.2019- Card delivered

Bottomline

  • Cardexpert Rating:Β 3/5

As can be seen, this premium credit card from Kotak bank returns a paltry 1-1.5% even if milestone spends are completed. Also non availability of Priority Pass is surprising considering its eligibility criteria at 24 lacs per year.

Nevertheless low annual fee waiver condition and some other unique features available make it worth a try. Also heard from some of my friends that they are good at providing Credit Limit Enhancement every 6 months in general to the tune of 30-35%.

Have you got Kotak Royale Signature credit card either by Upgrade or on first try? Feel free to share your experiences in comments below.

Author: Satish Kumar Agarwal

An Engineer by profession. Charmed by the world of finance including Credit cards, Mutual Funds, Insurance etc. Helping friends in becoming financial savvy gives joy n pleasure to me.

50 thoughts on “Kotak Royale Signature Credit Card Review

  1. SS

    I have this card. It’s really a good looking and texture is very nice. Kotak always upgrade cards in 6 months, and I I started with urbane and got Royale in 2 years. Another feature is for this card , it’s comes with Visa signature and default domestic lounge access with it. Kotak app have a feature called credit card on/off. You can off the credit card, it is a dead card. So secure.

    Reply
    1. Satish Kumar Agarwal Post author

      @SS
      Got Royale directly as 1st card. I have seen the On/Off feature in Kotak 811 app. Its nice. Some other banks have also started providing this feature now.

      Reply
      1. Mayuresh Gaikwad

        Don’t use Kotak at all

        I have this CC and my 1st month transaction has been1.5Lacs. However they have duped into additional unwanted credit card twice or thrice even after rejection it and on top of it for charged with additional charges on this additional CC even though I had never used the this additional new card ever nor purchased anywhere.

        Earlier I had Royale Card for which they upgraded me to this new card as per my approval. My repayments has been outstanding with them even for old n new cards. I do use 2 other ICICI Credit Cards and its perfectly being paid ontime.

        They charged me with 3K for non usage of CC. Paying 3K isn’t problem at all. Had I been using their service or have made purchases then its my duty to payback, however they have been forcing and blackmailing me instead.

        Have been complaining to their customer care centre since 1yr and they have been providing all nonsense reasons. So I have stopped using their service now. This is 3rd time I have seen their such arrogance and con-acts since last 3 years.

        Never mind, do not fall pray to this promotional content marketing strategy and stop using Kotak is the best solution.

        Reply
        1. Firose

          “They charged me with 3K for non usage of CC”

          Seriously? What nonsense :O

          Reply
        2. Praveen Katiyar

          @Mayuresh
          Escalate the complaint level, go to ombudsman of bank or complaint to RBI.
          Fight for ur hard earned money. Give them a strong fight, start writing emails to these authorities with CC to Kotak.
          Don’t let them go away like this..

          Reply
  2. Abhi

    Compared to Regalia – Default reward rate 1.3% against 0.3%, Milestone reward @ 8L 2.2% against 1.2%, eligibility 12L against 24L. Lounge 12 & 6 against none. Good 5/10x offers.
    So only thing better is looks of card and ability to get cash credit against RP. So I don’t see a reason to go for this and not Regalia when HDFC is so easily giving Regalia to every other person.

    Reply
    1. Satish Kumar Agarwal Post author

      @Abhi
      You are right. I have Regalia already. This one can be used for wallet loading, IRCTC and merchant offers if any.
      Also Regalia domestic lounges have only 5-6 metro airports, whereas this card covers even other airports like Dehradun, Pune, Chandigarh, Nagpur, Cochin, Coimbatore, Guwahati, Vadodara, Cochin and Vijaywada

      Reply
      1. Nipun

        Sir

        I have this card too, but Longue in tier 2 cities are not covered I guess, Please re-check

        Nipun

        Reply
        1. Satish Kumar Agarwal Post author

          @Nipun
          Checked and downloaded the list today itself. List is quite big and I have mentioned almost all airports in above comment. Metros are covered anyways so I haven’t mentioned them.

          Reply
      2. AshishR

        as long i know, this info is wrong
        i’m kotak royale holder since 2016
        kotak visa signature card will be only allowed in visa supported lounges, get latest visa lounge list from visa.co.in
        the list you downloaded from kotak website might be outdated, have u tried entering lounges in below cities by urself?

        “whereas this card covers even other airports like Dehradun, Pune, Chandigarh, Nagpur, Cochin, Coimbatore, Guwahati, Vadodara, Cochin and Vijaywada”

        Reply
        1. Satish Kumar Agarwal Post author

          @AshishR
          I have relied upon downloaded list from Kotak website. If not correct than this is grossly unexpected from bank. As I have received the card just 3 days back, yet to check its accuracy.
          Though I feel now, what you have said might just be correct and Kotak list may be outdated, still they mention it to be valid till 30th September 2019.

          Reply
        2. Abhisek Parija

          Answering to your question here :

          It is possible Kotak, rather any bank for that matter to provide or include lounges apart from the ones listed byt Visa/MasterCard. In such arrangements banks reimburse the lounge directly for accepting the card and allowing access to customers. There are infinite possibilities of lounge tie-ups and not just restricted to Visa/MasterCard list.

          In this case the user will by default get access to Visa/MasterCard listed lounges along with the additional lounges.

          Reply
          1. Satish Kumar Agarwal Post author

            I believe you may be right as some other bank Visa card also has huge list of airport lounges not covered by Visa.

          2. Abhisek Parija

            Please believe me πŸ™‚

            I work in this industry πŸ™‚

            True to your revert, many banks have exhaustive list of lounges which is not flashed in Visa/MasterCard websites. And the above mentioned arrangement is followed.

            Where as for lounges listed in Visa/Mastercard websites, when one accesses those, till the free limit of visits offered on the card, lounges are reimbursed by Visa, which again completely depends upon the arrangement of card issuing bank/company & the network providers

          3. Satish Kumar Agarwal Post author

            Thanks for this invaluable input. It was indeed helpful.

          4. Mickey

            Abhishek – since you work in this industry, can you share what is the criteria for Bank’s to reject perfectly good applications for credit cards?

            If you have any idea..

  3. Jigar

    This card has benefits of 1+1 free for PVR movie every saturday once or twice a month.

    Booking to be direct on PVR App or Website.

    Rewards and offers are not worth considering I hold Regalia & Other cards which offer much worth.

    Only benefit for holding is low usage for fee waiver and PVR Movie Tickets I get.

    Reply
    1. Satish Kumar Agarwal Post author

      @Jigar
      Thanks for the info. PVR benefit is not mentioned in website as well as booklet received.

      Reply
  4. Savio

    I started off with kotak essentia when I applied for a car loan, they upgraded in 2017 to visa signature and since then increase limit every 6 months approx….which never happens with any of my other cards. I haven’t really used the card much over the last 4 years as I don’t find the card rewarding. I prefer the use Regalia or After that yes exclusive…though now I’ve gone back to using only regalia

    Reply
  5. Maj Shetty

    I don’t know Siddharth why do u hold this card when u have so many other previous cards… Not even worth a blog.

    Reply
    1. Satish Kumar Agarwal Post author

      Dear Maj Shetty
      Actually I hold this card and reviewed it. Liked some features and applied for a try. Fee waiver I can easily do. And smaller airport lounge access is what I will be benefitting from.

      The whole idea of reviewing a card is to give a fair idea to prospective card seekers. Whether they see value for them in card and apply or give it a miss.

      Reply
  6. Ajinkya

    Siddharth, the reward ratio is not 1 Reward Points = INR 0.25. It is even lesser. 400 Reward Points = Rs 75/- which comes out to be INR 0.1875 or 0.25% per INR 1 spent ( 2/150 * 75/400).

    I am holding this card for last few years now and have the LTF variant. I don’t use it unless for the PVR offer (which is also very restrictive). Also, somehow Kotak seems to offer cards to its savings bank account holders WITHOUT documentation (may be not to all). I clicked apply from netbanking and the card was delivered to me directly. No phone calls, address verification etc.

    Reply
    1. MT

      They see your account activity for card approval , KYC is already done with savings account

      Reply
    2. Satish Kumar Agarwal Post author

      @Ajinkya
      You are right. But that ratio is only for cash credit. I just checked it. For other rewards its mostly as mentioned.

      Reply
    3. Shashank

      Ajinkya,
      The reward ratio is 1 reward point = INR 0.25 if you redeem the points for BookMyShow vouchers. After hitting the milestone last year, I have never paid for a movie till now. Whenever I need to book, I have redeemed the points for BookMyShow vouchers and the vouchers are provided instantly. I guess this is the best value for the reward points.

      Though I agree the reward structure is nothing compared to regalia and hence, I have shifted my spends to regalia.

      Reply
  7. Gaurav G

    All the cons are not mentioned correctly.
    I have this card as free variant and it got recently renewed for another year. They charge you the annual fees plus gst and then reverse back the annual fee, so you end up paying gst of 180 rs even when you are holding the free variant.
    Plus, I applied for a limit enhancement in the 12th month. I was told no cibil query will be sent. But still a query was sent to my cibil.
    And they still didn’t enhance the limit from 2lakhs. I have a regalia card with 4.68L limit still they didn’t enhance my limit. So now I am just waiting for them to credit my milestone points in August and I will redeem them and cancel this card for good. Already applied for yes preferred ltf and scb ultimate.

    Reply
    1. Satish Kumar Agarwal Post author

      If they are doing like this, it’s really sad. That’s why they are lagging in credit cards.

      Reply
  8. Kapil Shah

    Is the 4x for travel spends valid on any travel/airline website or a particular website like 10x in case of hdfc smartbuy??

    Reply
  9. Satish Kumar Agarwal Post author

    @Kapil Shah
    I suppose its valid on any booking platform as they have not mentioned anything. Still if you are booking high value transaction, I would advise to contact customer care.

    Reply
  10. MT

    Privy league signature card and royale signature card have same features except 1 where in privy league you can choose which categories you want accelerated points (travelling or shopping )

    For the last 1 year , they have been rapidly distributing royale signature cards to all privy league holders and only if you insist , they will move you to privy league signature card

    Kotak wealth management card has golf benefits and visa infinite benefits over and above privy league signature and the PVR tickets … i dont know of anyone holding this card as you have to be associated with their wealth division and NRV > 2cr with kotak bank ( as per my RM)

    Reply
    1. Vinod Kannan

      @MT, @Satish kumar Agarwal What is the Reward rate for Kotak Wealth Management Card? I have loans >3Cr with Kotak. Will i be eligible for that card?

      Reply
      1. MT

        1. You need to be in the wealth management division to be invited for the card
        2. Rewards rate is not defined clearly , they have just defined 1 point = 2 Airmiles , how much for 1 point is not defined

        Reply
        1. SUJIT KUMAR HOTA

          I have a 811 zero balance account and i still hold this card with a 2lac limit πŸ™‚

          One fine morning got a call from the bank who said there was a pre-approved offer with2lac limit. I just had to reply with YES from my official id. No KYC or income docs given. Balance i maintain in my kotak account is ZERO

          Reply
          1. Satish Kumar Agarwal Post author

            No income documents taken from me too. Looks like this is their credit card model. They issue mostly based on savings ac and CIBIL records.

          2. Gaurav G

            Same here but this card is waste. Not much reward return rate. Better go for yes first cards even if proofs are required. Cancelling my Royale card this August after the milestone points are credited and redeemed.
            BTW they will charge you gst rs 180 on renewal fee even if you have ltf.

      2. Satish Kumar Agarwal Post author

        Dear Vinod
        Please enquire Kotak customer care for your eligibility of Kotak Wealth Management. Though I doubt they will consider loan as NRV, but no harm in trying.
        Reward point is not clearly mentioned but 24 PVR movie vouchers per year without any condition is mentioned and minimum limit 10 lacs.
        Worth a try!

        Reply
  11. Rohit

    If you needed movie tickets, pvr platinum is probably the best – 10k spending a month gives you 2 pvr vouchers worth 400 each.

    This card is rubbish. If my itr was 24+ lakhs, i would go for citi prestige which would give unlimited lounge access + amazing reward rate.

    Reply
    1. Satish Kumar Agarwal Post author

      @Rohit
      They offered me PVR Platinum card 2 years back and I declined, bcoz I use BookMyShow 1+1, Yes bank 25% offers. So I found little value in PVR card as PVR is at quite distance from my house.
      But yes if you are regular PVR goer it’s indeed a good card.

      Reply
  12. Shanky

    Is there an article that details the various ways to make the most reward points using credit cards or can we start sharing the best practices in here?

    Reply
  13. Ravi

    VIsa india has only 5 lounges. Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore

    As far as Airport lounge is concerned, Diners is the best followed by MC and then Visa

    Reply
      1. SS

        Earlier it was not there. Where did you get this information?

        Reply
  14. Raghav

    I am holding this card for the last 2 years and I have been thouroughly disappointed with it. There are hardly any benefits. Spend 30k to get Rs 75 cash back – ridiculous. Kotak in general is unable to match the benefits that HDFC, Citi and Yes are offering. Very poor Amazon/Flipkart/TataCliq discounts on sale days too.

    Reply
  15. wah

    Hello everyone,
    I’m using league platinum from 2 year’s,
    first it starts with 30k after 6 months they enhancement to 57k after that I look a loan on card for 12 months,1 year completed loan got closed,till now 6 months over but they didn’t enhancement my limit or upgrade.
    How can i get upgrade to this card.

    Reply
  16. Bhavin Gandhi

    hey, can u tell me which cards offer international lounge access to both primary and add on members?

    Reply
    1. Abhinav

      Unlimited access – Yes first exclusive.. HDFC infinia
      Limited access – standard chartered ultimate , HDFC regalia and regalia first..

      Reply
  17. AJ

    I have been using the card from june 2017 starting 1.83 Lac limit every six months they increased the limit automatically now the present limit is 5.73 lacs. Mine is an LTF variant. I find this card helpful in case of emergency as i had an issue when abroad called the customer care and requested to take a charge for my card over the limit of approx. 3 lac and foreign currency conversion charges they hold me the line for 30 mins and a service manager spoke to me and said i need to clear all my outstanding above the credit limit before statement date i.e 15th of every month and agreed to it within 10 mins my limit was raised to 10 lacs. I have requested on 26th may as it was my bday and i have been informed to clear the over limit charge before 15 june or else i would be charged an interest and overlimit fees. I have cleared the complete outstanding on 13 june when my statement got generated my limit was back to normal i.e. 5.73 lac and no charges have been leived.

    Reply

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