RBL World Safari Credit Card Review

By | January 23, 2024
RBL World Safari Credit Card

RBL Bank has about 10+ Credit card variants in their portfolio most of which are co-brand cards with not so amazing brands and hardly any of them make sense to hold for a premium credit card holder.

Even though they do have cards with a decent ~2% reward rate, that’s ain’t enough as their merchant offers aren’t in par with the top players and most importantly they don’t have a compelling USP.

But with this new card it’s finally changing the way we look at RBL Credit Cards. Here’s the detailed review of the same.

Overview

TypeTravel Credit Card
Reward Rate0.5% – 2.5%
Annual Fee3,000 INR+GST
Best forInternational & travel spends
USP0% forex markup & International travel insurance

RBL has launched a new travel credit card named World Safari Credit Card and they say its the India’s first travel card with 0% markup fees.

That’s not really 100% right as Axis Burgundy Private credit card is the first one with that benefit, but its an invite only card.

So as a mass offering, it is indeed the 1st credit card with 0% markup fee.

Fees

Joining Fee3,000 INR + GST
Welcome Benefit3000 INR worth MMT Voucher
Renewal Fee3,000 INR + GST
Renewal BenefitNil
Renewal Fee waiverNil
  • MMT Voucher that can be used on Flights/Hotels (online) & Holidays (Offline)

The joining fee is Offset by the MMT voucher but we get nothing for the renewal unless we go for the cancellation which might trigger some retention benefit, depending on when you ask for.

0% Markup Fee

  • 0% Forex Markup Charges (but No Reward Points on International txns)

The USP of this card is its 0% markup fee on international transactions and that is great esp. because they’re using Mastercard platform which usually has better conversion rates.

But note that you will not get reward points on international spends, though you may continue to get the milestone benefits just like most other credit cards.

Rewards

Regular Rewards

  • Travel Spends: 5 RP’s for every Rs. 100 spent (~1.25% return)
  • Non-Travel Spends: 2 RP’s for every Rs. 100 spent (~0.50% return)
  • 1 RP = ~0.25Ps
  • Validity: 2 years

The reward rate on regular spends is quite low without a doubt but the milestone benefit makes up for that pretty well.

Milestone Rewards

SPEND REQUIREMENTMILESTONE BENEFITCumulative Reward rate
2.5 Lakhs10,000 Points1%
5 Lakhs15,000 Points1.2%
7.5 Lakhs10,000 eVocuher2%
  • Gift Voucher Options: Taj experiences, Amazon, Croma, Myntra & Makemytrip

So on 7.5L spend, you get a nice 2% reward rate via milestone spends alone, which is decent for a card with 0% markup fee and affordable joining fee.

Overall reward rate could be as good as 3.25% if you use the card only for Travel but of-course that’s rare so you can get little over 2% even on non-travel spends, which is pretty decent especially on Forex spends.

Airport Lounge Access

ACCESS TYPEACCESS VIAACCESS LIMIT
Domestic (Primary)Visa / Mastercard2/Qtr
International (Primary)Priority Pass2/Yr
  • Get 1 additional complimentary lounge visit via Priority Pass on spends of Rs. 50,000/- or more in a calendar quarter.

But that’s too low to make any difference, yet we can’t ask too much on a 3K fee card anyway.

Golf benefit

  • Complimentary Golf Games: 4/Year
  • Complimentary Golf Lessons: 12/Year (1/month)

This is a Mastercard World privilege and not the feature of the product per se. Still good enough.

International Travel insurance

RBL World Safari Credit Card Review

The complimentary International/Overseas Travel Insurance is one of the most useful benefit of the card as it’s accepted by almost all embassy’s across the world to procure the Visa.

Policy Period1 Year
No. Of tripsMulti-trip
CoverageWorldwide (except country of residence)
Max trip duration30 days (per trip)
RecognitionAccepted by almost all embassies

Typical Coverage that you can expect:

  • Personal Liability coverage
  • Trip Delay
  • Baggage Loss 
  • Loss of Passport 
  • Dental Treatment & more

Policy is issued by Care Insurance, formerly Religare Health Insurance Company Limited. It’s a group policy with Individual coverage and they issue the individual insurance copy, which can be used for Visa procurement purposes as mentioned earlier.

The policy is issued within a week of card issuance post a quick verification on the insurance portal. Here’s a quick look at the details of my policy which I got recently:

Just incase if you’re wondering, ideally it’s valued at 7,000 INR or more.

Do note that this policy is better than the one issued by American Express Platinum Charge Card as it comes with meagre limits.

So if you’re an international traveller doing multiple trips in a year, you can get the RBL World Safari Credit Card with eyes closed just for this benefit .

Should you get this card?

If you’re an international traveller who does at-least 2-3 trips a year and does about 7.5L spend a year, I see no reason to not get this card. That’s because you get:

  • Decent Rewards
  • 0% Forex markup Fee
  • Lounge Access
  • International Travel Insurance (Worldwide for 1 Year)

That’s more than sufficient list of benefits for a credit card with 3K annual fee. So I would say it’s totally worth it.

Tip: If you’ve got other RBL Bank Credit Cards with good spends, initiate card closure request and on retention call you can get the RBL World Safari Card as a First Year Free Card. You can thank me later. πŸ™‚

Bottomline

  • CardExpert Rating: 4.5/5

It takes lot of guts to come up with a credit card at 0% markup fee because markup fees are one of the major revenue stream for the issuers. But given that RBL doesn’t usually have that type of customers, this may-not affect them much, at-least initially.

And apart from that, the international travel insurance carries a real value for those taking multiple foreign trips a year.

That aside, it’s an amazing card for those who don’t have super premium credit cards like HDFC Infinia for international travel.

It’s also good to see the Taj voucher as a part of the offering. I hope they come up with more new cards with good USP’s like this.

What’s your take on the RBL Bank World Safari Credit Card? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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.

51 thoughts on “RBL World Safari Credit Card Review

  1. Rampy

    For spending existing money from my account, I would choose NiYO Global Card for international transactions (instead of forex cards) as it offers no markup fees & conversion rates are that of Visa international exchange rate. Lowest.

    It is free for first 5 years & works in over 150 countries. Basically, in any country where Visa is accepted. Doesn’t charge for ATM withdrawals (any charges maybe of the ATM’s bank, which they say doesn’t exist for global banks). Beats forex cards hands-down. They are even giving 500β‚Ή on referral.

    For credit card transactions, as you rightly said, HDFC super premium cards (with GVP) would work best.

    Reply
  2. sahil

    does this make sense for someone that has infinia? Although Infinia has 1.99% forex mark up it also has 3.3% rewards on all spends so essentially you yet get 1.3% after deducting the forex fee.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Nope, as you get 3.3% + 1% with global value program.

      Reply
      1. Abdul

        RBL Safari Credit card , though they said no forex charges on international transactions but they are making hidden charges like 1% on over all swiped amount. Since the forex conversion rate is extra 20piase they charged on my recent transactions. Customer don’t have answers to it and they are disconnected the call during the conversation more than twice. I am not sure why RBL banking system is like that

        Reply
        1. Anil

          Hi Abdul,

          I am apply for World Safari Card.. But you are confirming that u have been charged extra 1% .. Plz confirm if u got refund of 1% charged from the RBl bank.

          Reply
          1. Ayaan

            Hi,
            Did you get clarity if we get charged some fee as opposed to what is being claimed by RBL on world safari?

        2. Ayaan

          Hi Abdul,
          Are you sure they charge some fee on international transaction contrary to 0% that they claim?

          Reply
    2. Shivi

      Nah. You get more than 2 percent after Global Value Program and reward points adjustment on Infinia (if you add Yatra voucher and welcome RPs) and exactly 1.97 percent without these two (with GVP though).

      There is GST on fx markup which u forgot to consider.

      Reply
  3. Rahul M

    I think, Niyo – in collaboration with DCB Bank was FIRST to offer FREE travel card with 0% markup. It’s already in production and takes 1 day to get the card.

    Reply
  4. Ankur

    I have SBI Elite which has 1.99% markup. Is it still worth taking this one with zero markup?

    Reply
    1. Aditya Trimurty

      Same here. On my second year and will cancel as all benefits expire (Priority Pass as well) and they never waive annual fee unless you hit exactly 10L.

      This card looks helluva lot better

      Reply
  5. Shyam Sunder

    Siddharth, you need to consider the spread on the rupee that these guys charge. It varies from payment network to network. So 0% markup doesn’t mean it is same as swiping a card in local currency

    Reply
      1. Vineet

        Siddharth I really appreciate the work you do. I got hooked onto credit cards thanks to you. Started with regalia first and progressed to Diners Black in less than 26 months. I would really love if you could kindly explain forex card and compare them.

        Reply
  6. Dhaval Thakkar

    Get additional complimentary lounge visit via Priority Pass on spends of Rs. 50,000/- or more in a calendar quarter – please add this to the main review, this increases the quota for most users

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Updated, but wish they had given something like 2 more visits on every 2L spend a year or so.

      Reply
      1. Poornith Ninan

        I spoke to the RBL Customer Care today and the executive who I spoke to confirmed that the card offered up to 12 lounge visits in a year. 8 Domestic Lounge Visits (2 per quarter) and 4 International Lounge Visits (1 per quarter. There will be no renewal bonus or renewal fee waivers. The best way to derive max value on this card is to utilise is for the full 7.5 lakh milestone spend. For those who shop from international websites and travel a lot, this card could make sense. I see the potential of utilising this card to buy flights and hotels in foreign currency especially on merchant websites that don’t offer support for Diners Club payments. Also, if you are an existing RBL Credit Card holder then you can apply for this card and your existing credit limit will be split between both cards.

        Reply
  7. Ankit

    With ~1.2% reward rate isn’t DCB/infinia still same if not better better choice having 3.3%reward-2%forex charge with 1.3% effective return?

    Reply
  8. Shaan

    Hi…
    I had icici, sbi, hdfc cards and good credit score, Can i get this card on card to card basis.?

    Reply
  9. HG

    Just the card have been looking for something similar to 28 Degrees in AU. Even that is on the Mastercard network

    Reply
  10. Boure84

    Hi Sid

    Started my credit card journey with the HDFC Moneyback card with a credit limit of 75 k in 2017 upgraded it Diners club miles after 9 months with the same limit in 2018 . Recently before 2 months my credit limit was increased to 1.5 lcs . Quick question I received my first credit card without any income proof till date since i hold a savings account from the past 6 years. What are my options to upgrade to higher variant card if possible ? I do not have a source income in India because I’m based abroad would that prevent me to upgrade to a higher variant card like DCB ?
    PS : I hardly use my credit card & even when i do it’s usually 5 – 10 % of credit limit & have a CIBIL score of 830 + consistently since 2 years .

    Thanks

    Reply
  11. Priyesh

    They have the worst customer service, I got the card and had taken specifically for the purpose of travel insurance and have been running behind them since 6 months, escalated till their principal nodal officer but still nothing, they tend to not care about the customers complaint or experience, its shocking to see such kind of behaviour from an organization, you can never see this type of things with AMEX or even SBI.

    Reply
    1. Sumedh Phadke

      Did you ever hear back from them?
      It seems like they don’t even know about the travel insurance feature! I am going to escalate it, but I have no hope.

      Reply
  12. Priyesh sharma

    I wasn’t able to figure out if the priority pass is just valid for 1 year or not, I know for SBI it’s just 2 years with prime and elite however not sure about this one, I got the card and the expiry of the priority pass is almost after an year, what would happen after that would they renew or just like sbi nothing?

    Reply
    1. Arman Verma

      I have Insignia relationship, they are offering it to me LTF. I am trying to decide between this card and the Insignia Preferred card.

      Reply
      1. Abhi

        If you have insignia relationship, simply go for the LTF insignia credit card.

        Reply
        1. Arman Verma

          Indeed, I am leaving towards the Insignia, primarily because of the 6 international lounge access and β‚Ή500 BMS discount. I have lots of travel plans though, so the 0% forex markup and the travel insurance benefits seem enticing over the Insignia. (but only 2 priority pass visits vs 6 on the Insignia).

          Reply
  13. Anoop A V

    I have been using this card for past 1 year and paid annual fee of 3000 + gst to receive 3000 MMT voucher. Once I am back to India, I kept on receiving sms and calls related to pre approved upgrade to Icon credit card. Just now I called the customer care, both World Safari and Icon credit cards get joining bonus or voucher only on first year upon payment of annual fee and no chances of fee waiver from the second year onwards. I am still thinking on what to do as I have 2 options i front of me.

    1) Cancel World Safari before this month bill generation.
    2) Pay 5000 + gst and get 20000 rps (1 rp 20 paise) (1900 rs I will need to pay after reducing rp value)

    I think, I will choose the first option.

    Reply
    1. Siddhartha

      I got world safari fee waived off. I requested cancellation and they waived off.

      Reply
      1. Ayaan

        Hi Siddhartha,
        You got which fee waived off? Also can you confirm exactly how much are you being charged on international transaction (including forex conversion rate etc)

        Reply
  14. Sumit

    This card has got one of the most inefficient customer service. I would highly recommend that you let go of this card unless you are in dire need and they are the only one offering you a credit card

    Reply
  15. Nagarjuna

    Hi Siddharth,

    Do we have international ATM withdrawal charges in World Safari Card?

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      ATM charges are levied by the ATM and the bank has no control over it.

      But this card isn’t suggested for withdrawal anyway, as it would incur finance charges just like any other credit card. You might need the IndusInd Premium Debit cards if you intend to withdraw funds at 0% markup fee.

      Reply
  16. Hiba

    Are the points earned through this card converted to Airmiles?

    Reply
  17. Sudip

    Hi,
    Can anyone confirm the validity of priority pass and travel insurance which comes along RBL Safari credit card? Is it valid only for 1 year or upto the card expiry date?

    Also,
    For people who desires priority pass and 0 forex cards, what are the other alternatives?
    Is AU zenith card good if received LTF? (I assume there are forex charges though hence looking towards RBL Safari card)

    Thanks.

    Reply
  18. Santhosh Kumar KN

    Sir, an important point. Tried in multiple POSs in Dubai, everywhere transaction got declined. This is the same response from this card users in credit card forums.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Did bank or the merchant provide any reason for the decline?

      Reply
      1. Santhosh Kumar KN

        No, merchanta said to activate international transactions but all were active with maximum limit. Checked with RBL social media, they said to send a mail but didn’t have patience to send.

        Reply
  19. Akarsh

    Hope you are well Sid. I was holding a Shoprite card which I had received as a replacement for my Zomato Edition card. It was LTF and just lying there unused. After reading your review I just mailed them saying I would like to close the card as I do not have any use for such a low rewarding card. As a retention offer they offered me World Safari or Icon – both LTF. I didn’t know much about Icon so I just went ahead with World safari as I had read your this review few days back . Hopefully I have made the right decision. It’s just a back up card for me anyway as my primary spends are on HDFC Infinia.

    Other ex-Zomato card holders can give this a try and raise 9 card closure request. I guess for most of us there’s nothing to lose as Shoprite is useless anyway πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      So it seems they’re giving LTF for email request and FYF over call. LTF is a great value as long as they don’t revoke the travel insurance benefit.

      Reply
  20. sameer

    Hi Siddharth,

    For milestone stone benefits – what does it mean by Year? Is it a calendar year or one year from the card issuance date?

    Reply
  21. AT

    A very basic question. Travel Spends: 5 RP’s for every Rs. 100.

    What all consists in travel spends? A normal hotel stay in india and flight booking is travel spend or normal spend.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Yes, domestic spends count as well, as long as the merchant reports MCC properly.

      Reply
  22. powdering

    The insurance seems to be greatly devalued as per rbl website. Also, does the insurance renew?

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      A recent update u mean?

      Supposed to auto renew but sometimes they don’t and we’ve to escalate.

      Reply

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