AU Bank has recently launched a free-for-life credit card – the AU LIT credit card. LIT credit card’s USP is that one can customize its features. That is enable the features that you want and disable the ones you don’t want. This is a unique offering and probably one of its kind product. Read on to find out my views on this card.
AU LIT Credit Card
Fees and Eligibility
- No joining fee. Free for life.
Rewards and Benefits:
- 1 reward point for every 100 spent. 1 reward point = 25p (0.25% reward rate)
- No reward points for cash withdrawal, EMI and fuel transactions.
- AU LIT credit card offers various customizable features. All these features are chargeable for 90 days in one go and are set on auto-renew mode. You need to disable the feature explicitly from the app. Below are the features and the charges associated.
- Cash withdrawal, EMI, rent, fuel and insurance spending are excluded. That is you won’t get additional cash back or 5x/10x reward points for spending on these categories.
Thoughts about AU LIT credit card
Charges appear to be high for AU LIT credit card
Though the features of the AU LIT credit card are customizable, I find the charges to be on the higher side. Most charges are 199 or 299 for 90 days, taxes extra. Thus, if you were to annualise them, it results in 800 or 1200 +taxes. I can probably get 2-3 different credit cards in that.
Features get auto-renewed- Big problem
The feature(s) once activated get auto-renewed every 90 days. What it means is you get charged every 90 days if you forget to disable it. Hypothetically, if you enable all the features for 1 year, you end up paying almost 14k including taxes just as fees for the AU LIT credit card. To put things into perspective, the annual fee for HDFC Infinia and Axis Magnus is lower.
Just too many features to manage
While you may feel that having so many features is good to have. However, to maximise your rewards you will need to switch on multiple features. For example, if I want to maximize my grocery spends. I can maximise it by opting for 5% cash back on grocery, 10x points on say Offline and milestone cashback. Therefore, to maximize the reward rate in one category, I need to buy 3 features. Moreover, what if after the grocery spends I have travel spends; buy another feature? Thus I think, once the novelty wanes, most users will find these features to be too complex to manage.
The reward rate can be hypothetically at 9%
Making my regular dynamic excel sheet for the AU LIT credit card is very complex. Thus, I am trying to present a best-case scenario for this card. In the best-case scenario, I am assuming that 3 features are turned on. These are 1. Milestone cashback: 5% cashback with a cap of 500 per month. i.e. max spends of 10k. 2. 10x points on offline spending – no capping on points. 3. 5% cashback on grocery – max cashback of 1k in a month.
Assuming that you make spend 10k every month on offline grocery for the next 3 months then your reward rate will be at 9% post fees. Just in case you do those spends only for 1 month, your reward rate falls to a meagre 1.9% post fees. For 2 months, the reward rate is 7%.
Unlikely that most of us will be able to spend like clockwork every month on one specific category. Thus fair to assume that the reward rate will only be somewhere between 2-5% on all spending put together.
Lounge access is chargeable but still capped at 4/quarter
Lounge access is one of the chargeable features of the AU LIT credit card. You can buy 1 lounge access at 199+GST or 2 lounge access at 299+GST. Seems fair, but here is a bummer. Visits are capped at 4/quarter. What it means is I cannot buy 2 lounge visits every month (i.e. 24 visits for a year) even if I am willing to pay.
No fuel-surcharge waiver
AU LIT credit card will charge you a fuel surcharge unless you activate this feature for 49/month + taxes. This is very strange. The lamest of the lame credit card out there offers a fuel surcharge waiver. By enabling this feature, you are in a way paying a 1% surcharge for the first ~2,000 spend on fuel. The meagre 1% benefit only accumulates post that.
Feature charges are not available on the website. Only on the app.
Strangely, the feature charges are not available on the website anywhere. They are only available in the app. So, if one has to do the cost-benefit analysis of the AU LIT credit card, one needs to download the app and give a host of permissions to the bank. I got the feature charges list from Mr Hiral Thanawala of Moneycontrol. Thanks, Hiral for sharing the charge sheet. 😊
I don’t find any reason to apply for an AU LIT credit card. Just in case you want an AU Bank credit card, for its offers or any other reason, take AU Altura. It’s available for just 250/year including taxes. Moreover, given that SBI has launched a great credit card SBI Cashback that gives 5% on most online spending, one should seriously consider that. Moreover, not that I am a great fan of IDFC credit cards, but given that they are free for life, have lounge access and free movie tickets, you can consider them too. Further, the current favourite card issuer for everyone, Axis Bank too has some decent entry-level credit cards. The point here is there are many better options than the AU LIT credit card already available.
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.