Axis Atlas Credit Card Detailed Review – March 2024 Update

By | April 23, 2024
Axis Atlas Credit Card

The Axis Atlas credit card is probably the best airmiles credit card in India. However, Axis Bank is now getting into the habit of changing product features far too frequently and it has devalued the Axis Atlas credit card starting April 2024. Does the change in product features and reward rate change the overall card proposition? Should you still hold this card? Read to find out.

Axis Atlas Credit Card

Axis Atlas Credit Card

Apply Now!

Fees and Eligibility:

  • Joining fees and annual fees INR5000 + GST. No fee waiver based on spends

Rewards and Benefits:

  • Joining Benefit:
    • 5000 EdgeMiles on completing 3 transactions within 60 days.
  • Recurring Benefits:
    • Up to 10000 EdgeMiles depending on tier achieved. Tier is linked to annual spending.
  • Reward Points:
    • Standard Reward Rate: 1 2 EdgeMile on every INR100 spent. 1 EdgeMile= INR 1(2% reward rate). This is the change made recently and has improved the card’s proposition.
    • Update (April 2024): Most common spend categories of utilities, and insurance won’t earn any reward points going forward. Further, rent, wallet, gold jewellery, wallet load and government payments also won’t earn any reward points. The spends won’t be counted for milestone and tier calculations either.
    • Accelerated Reward Rate:
      • 5 EdgeMiles on every INR100 spent on travel (airline/hotel website or TravelEdge Portal). Not applicable on websites such as MMT, GoIbibo etc.
    • Lounge Access:
      • Domestic: 8-18 domestic lounge access depending on Tier.
      • International: 4-12 international lounge access depending on Tier.
      • Update (April 2024): The Airport Meet and Greet and Airport transfer feature stands withdrawn.
    • EdgeMiles can be converted into airmiles of various airlines.
      • Transfer Partners: Long list of transfer partners is shared below. However, the Marriott transfer ratio is odd at 2:1 i.e for 2 EdgeMiles only 1 Marriott point. For Air Vistara it’s at a 1:1 ratio (sad).
    • EdgeMiles can be redeemed at 1 point = INR 1 on the Axis TravelEdge portal for flight and hotel bookings. EdgeMiles can only be redeemed on the TravelEdge portal nowhere else.
    • Update (April 2024): Axis Bank being Axis Bank, has complicated the miles transfer program. They have divided the transfer partners into 2 groups. For partners in group A, there is a yearly transfer cap of 30k. For Group B, yearly cap of 120k.

What is a Tier in Axis Atlas credit card?

Axis Atlas credit card has 3 tiers: Silver (Base level), Gold and Platinum tier. This is similar to many airline and hotel loyalty programs, where the holder in the higher tier gets more benefits. Similarly, in the Axis Atlas credit card, the tier depends on your spending level. Silver Tier is the base tier you start with; whereas on spending 7.5lk in a year, you get into Gold Tier. Similarly, on spending 15lk a year, you get into the top tier- Platinum tier. Below is a snapshot of the tiers and the benefits.

Axis Atlas Tiers

The above table is an old one and Axis has not updated the same with recent changes. However, this still captures the essence of the Axis Atlas credit card. The change is that milestone benefits have been changed. You get 2500 EdgeMiles on an annual spending of 3lk. Another 2500 EdgeMiles on annual spends of 7lks and 5000 EdgeMiles on annual spends of 15lks. Further, thanks to recent devaluation, the milestone and tier calculation for the Axis Atlas will exclude spending on jewellery, rent, wallet load, government payments, insurance, fuel and utilities. Only travel spending, shopping and dining spending will be counted towards the milestones and tier calculations.

Another thing about this tiered structure is; say you applied for the card in Feb-2022 and spend 15lk by September 2022. You will be in Platinum Tier until Feb-2024. This is because in the second year i.e. Feb-2023 your tier will be decided based on your last year’s spend and will continue till Feb-2024.

How does Axis Atlas credit card compares with other cards?

I tried comparing the Axis Atlas credit card with a few other credit cards that offer points transfer to airlines. Below is the calculator for you to play around with the numbers. For Airmiles conversion, assumed the transfer rate of 1:2 for Axis Atlas and 1:1 for all others.

For spends of up to ~2.4lk Amex MRCC(Apply Now) will give the best benefits on conversion to airmiles. Similarly, for spends of up to ~4.8lk Amex Platinum Travel(Apply Now) is the best for airmiles. It’s only for spends of ~7lk and above the Axis Atlas credit card starts becoming a solid credit card for airmiles accumulation. 

Further, do keep in mind that Axis Atlas now doesn’t give any reward points on utilities, rent and fuel spending. Thus, you would need to have some other card in your wallet if you want to earn reward points on these spends.

Reward rate below 7.5lakh annual spend is very mediocre even for airmiles transfer. It improves as you get into the Gold and Platinum tier.

To get the maximum benefit from this card, one has to spend on airline tickets or hotel bookings. So, if you don’t travel frequently but want to convert points into airmiles for a vacation, there are other better cards than Axis Atlas.

USPs of the Axis Atlas credit card; which are largely no more

Base reward rate of 2%

Axis Atlas credit card has a very good base reward rate of 2% applicable on nearly all spends. However, with the recent devaluation, the bank has made a reward rate of 0 on jewellery, rent, wallet load, government payments, insurance, fuel and utilities spending. While a few categories are understandable, but reward rate of 0 on utilities is not done.

Multiple airline/hotel transfer partners with a good conversion ratio

Axis Atlas transfer partners are listed below. This kind of long list of transfer partners is generally seen only with Amex cards. While the transfer partners and transfer ratios are maintained as of now.

The Axis Bank is making life complex for credit card users. They have divided the transfer partners into 2 groups. For partners in group A, there is a yearly transfer cap of 30k. For Group B, a yearly cap of 120k has been imposed. This would be the weirdest condition that Axis could think of.

The whole idea of owning a credit card with multiple transfer partners is to stack your points with the bank and transfer them in one go when the need arises. This capping of 30k and 120k defeats the whole purpose of that.

Axis Magnus Transfer Partners

Accelerated miles on travel spends

Given the nature of the credit card, it was obvious that it gives accelerated reward points on travel spending. You get 5 EdgeMiles for spending done on the airline’s website and Axis’s TravelEdge portal.  Axis Atlas has now joined the likes of HDFC Infinia and Diners Black by imposing monthly caps on accelerated rewards. You will earn accelerated reward points on monthly spends of up to 2lks, i.e. 10k reward points (4k base reward points and 6k accelerated reward points). For spends beyond, 2lks in a month you only earn a base reward rate of 2%.

Lounge Access is also applicable to guests

The domestic and international lounge access is applicable for the primary cardholder as well as accompanying guests. This is a godsend especially when the other person doesn’t have lounge access. Further, since the number of lounge access is based on your tier, Axis Bank is ensuring people don’t take Axis Atlas credit cards just for lounge access. This is a good thing for genuine users and ensures the product feature remains for a long time.    

Tier achieved this year stays for next year too

As explained above, say you applied for the card in Feb-2022 and spend 15lk by September 2022. You will be in Platinum Tier until Feb-2024. This is because in the second year i.e. Feb-2023 your tier will be decided based on your last year’s spend and will continue till Feb-2024.This is thoughtful of Axis Bank as once you get into a higher tier; you remain in that tier for 12 months, at the least, to enjoy the benefits.

No multiplier of Axis Edge portal

Given that the Axis Atlas credit card gives you EdgeMiles and not EdgeRewards. You don’t get accelerated reward points for spending on Grabdeals and GiftEdge. Nonetheless, you can still opt for cashback in place of accelerated reward points.

No annual fee waiver and even the tier upgrade is made difficult

Axis Atlas credit card as such doesn’t offer any annual fee waiver. Further, with the devaluations the bank has made it difficult to move into the Gold or Platinum tier. For tier upgrades, the spends on jewellery, rent, wallet load, government payments, insurance, fuel and utilities are excluded. Thus one needs to spend 7.5lk in a year on travel, shopping, dining and groceries to achieve the Gold tier, which is difficult in my view.

Conclusion

It hurts to see Axis Bank credit cards fall from being the best cards in the country. Axis Atlas credit card was the go-to credit card for frequent travellers into the airmiles/hotel loyalty game. However, with the recent devaluations one has to seriously rethink the strategy.

I am persisting with the Axis Atlas till my annual renewal. As of now, I have transferred my EdgeMiles to United without any redemption in sight. It seems like, I will eventually move back to my old workhorses i.e. HDFC Diners Black, Amex MRCC (Apply Now) and Amex Platinum Travel(Apply Now) credit card for most of my daily spending.

Further, if you value cashbacks or statement credit more than airmiles then don’t even think about this card when you can apply for an SBI Cashback card (Apply Now). The EdgeMiles can only be redeemed against travel spending on Axis portal nothing else.

What are your thoughts on Axis Atlas credit card? Which transfer partner you find the most exciting one? You think this can be the number 1 travel credit card in India? Do share in the comment section below

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Disclaimer

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.

14 thoughts on “Axis Atlas Credit Card Detailed Review – March 2024 Update

  1. Ajay Kumar Gupta

    Axis Bank worst bank to have card as bank intrested in levying charge and denying card earned benefit

    In the age of imps and ups take there day to give credit

    Worst bank card

    Reply
  2. Nachiketa

    Can you make the embedded Excel editable like other reviews? Cannot customise the monthly spends on this one.

    Reply
  3. Abhishek Gupta

    Why will anyone not have an Axis Ace card (than an expensive and complex Atlas) with a minimum reward rate of 2% (same as base rate of Atlas) with a Fee of Rs. 500 and LTF in many cases? And Reward in form of pure cash than the incalculable miles. Atlas is totally useless for 99.99% people. Please strictly avoid.

    Reply
  4. Antila

    Thanks for the in depth review, it was very helpfull for me. After researching a bunch of cards, i came to the conclusion that atlas credit card is one of the best cards in the market right now, effectively giving cashback worth of 7% (normal spends) and 17.5% (Travel) IF you use the miles smartly.
    Much better than Axis ace & neo.
    I also wanted to know if house rent payment through credit card (via paytm) will give reward points??

    Reply
    1. CreditCardz Post author

      So currently Atlas does not have any exclusion categories. So you should get points on rent payment thru paytm too
      The best way to confirm is to do a small transaction. Generally points gets posted in 10-15 days max. So you know for sure for the next month 😊

      Reply
  5. vivek

    Is the rent payment till 20 Apr 2024 will give 2 RP for every 100 Rs spent ?
    is there any processing charges for rent payment till 20 Apr 2024 ?

    Reply
    1. CreditCardz Post author

      Rent payment till 20th april will give pts.

      Reply
  6. Srikanth Javvadi

    Why there is no fee for diner black metal in the reward % table??

    Reply
    1. CreditCardz Post author

      the spends are more than 8lks per year. Fee waiver condition is met and thus no fee applicable.

      Reply

Leave a Reply