Airtel Axis Bank Credit Card is a co-brand credit card between Axis Bank and Airtel. I believe this is the first co-brand credit card by a telecom company in India. The USP of the Airtel credit card is that offers 25% cashback on Airtel bill payments and 10% cashback on utility bill payments. Exciting, right? However, does this card deserves a place in your wallet? Read to find out.
Airtel Credit Card
- Joining and Annual fees of 500. Waived off on annual spending of 200000.
- Wallet loads and rental spends don’t count towards the annual spending milestone.
Reward and Benefits:
- Joining Benefits: INR 500 Amazon eVoucher on the first transaction done within the first 30 days.
- Recurring Benefits: None
- Reward Points:
- Standard reward rate: 1% cashback on all spends. No cash back on Fuel, EMI, wallet load, jewellery spends and rent payment
- Accelerated reward rate:
- 25% cashback on Airtel mobile, broadband, wifi, and DTH bill payments via the Airtel Thanks app. Cashback is capped at 300 per month.
- 10% cashback on utility bill payments via the Airtel Thanks app. Cashback is capped at 300 per month.
- 10% cashback on spends on preferred merchants (Swiggy, Zomato and BigBasket). Capped at 500 per month.
Lounge access: 4 domestic lounge access in a year.
Thoughts on Airtel Credit Card
Cashback limits are quite decent
The USP of Airtel credit card is the 25% cashback on Airtel payments. In fact, the cashback limit of 300 per month is sufficient for personal use. A quick glance on Airtel’s website indicates that one can easily get 2 of the following services (broadband, DTH and mobile connection) within 1200 per month. Not getting into the nuance of Airtel products, but likely that one can get all the 3 services depending on personal choice and consumption.
Further, if you pay your utility bills thru the Airtel app, you get an additional 10% cashback (capped at 300 every month). Now, this needs the total utility bill at 3000 to get max benefit. This capping may be insufficient as the electricity and gas combined bill will be more than 3000 for many. However, since you are reading a review of a cashback card, you can also take an Axis Ace credit card (Apply Now), which will give you 5% on the utility bill payment on the GPay app. Thus, you can optimize by paying one bill thru the Airtel app using an Airtel credit card and other utility bills thru the GPay app.
One thing I noticed in the Airtel app is that you can make insurance payments also. I have a hunch that your insurance payment will also give 10% cashback of up to 300. In case someone has tried this, please share your experience.
Preferred merchant cashback on BigBasket thru the Tata Neu app – a cool 15% cashback
In addition to the cashback on Airtel and utilities bill payments, the Airtel credit card also offers 10% cashback up to 500 a month on Swiggy, Zomato and BigBasket. This feature can be used to buy groceries and other household items at a 10% discount. In fact, if one uses the Tata Neu app and orders stuff on Bigbasket using this card, one will get 10% cash back on the card and 5% Neu coins (equivalent to 5% cashback) in the Tata Neu app. A cool 15% discount. 😇
Direct credit to the statement, no redemption fees
Another good thing about the Airtel credit card is that the cashback gets credited directly to your card statement. Thus, effectively reducing your card bill in the next cycle.
This credit card offers 4 domestic lounge access in a year. The access is only on the primary card. However, the downside is that lounge access on this card is now restricted to lounges in the 7 major cities only I.e. Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune.
Refunds not counted towards repayment
This is a minor nuisance. Any payment not made by the cardholder such as refund, cashback, charge reversal etc will not be considered as a payment towards the outstanding of the card. However, such credits will be considered to compute the subsequent month’s dues.
Not many negatives as such. A 1% reward rate is slightly on the lower side.
Airtel credit card as such doesn’t have too many negatives. However, I believe that the base reward rate of 1% is on the lower side. A cashback of 1.5% would have been more appropriate and that would have made this card a blockbuster card.
Comparison with SBI Cashback, Axis Ace, and Amex MRCC
I have created an Excel sheet below to compare Airtel credit card with SBI Cashback (Apply Now), Axis Ace (Apply Now) and Amex MRCC (Apply Now). Honestly, to my surprise, the Airtel credit card gives a better reward rate than the Axis Ace card in many scenarios. The reason is definitely the 25% cashback on Airtel and the 10% cashback on utilities and preferred merchants.
In fact, if you don’t own a vehicle you just need Airtel credit card, Axis Ace and SBI Cashback in your wallet. Drop that Amex MRCC. And you can easily earn more than 5% cash back on every spend.
A broad way to do this is to pay your utilities and Airtel bill using an Airtel credit card. Once you hit the limits switch to Axis Ace for 5% on utilities. For groceries, use Bigbasket/Zomato/Swiggy and pay by Airtel card. For all other online spending use the SBI Cashback card and for offline spending use Axis Ace.
Airtel credit card is a solid credit card for someone who prefers a no-nonsense cashback card and has some exposure towards Airtel. In fact, even if you don’t have Airtel services, 10% cashback on utility bill payments and up to 15% cashback on BigBasket purchases are a steal. Probably, the only disappointment to some extent is the 1% cashback.
One should seriously consider the Airtel credit card in conjunction with Axis Ace, SBI Cashback and Amex MRCC to ensure that you get upwards of 5% cash back on nearly every spend.
Let me know what are your thoughts on the Airtel Axis credit card? Are you using it? How has been your experience so far? Do share your views in the comment section below.
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash
In the interest of full disclosure, Credit Cardz may earn a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the links in this post. However, opinions and views expressed here are of the author's alone and not those of the bank, credit card issuer, or anyone else and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.