IDFC First Bank has jumped into the credit card bandwagon by launching 4 credit cards. Although, IDFC First Bank already has a credit card offering through a tie-up with One Card, this the first time they have launched credit cards under their own brand name. Here is everything you need to know about these credit cards
Snapshot of IDFC Credit cards
IDFC Bank launched 4 credit cards at one go. All these credit cards have the same reward structure and earn the same reward points. However, they differ in terms of benefits enjoyed by the cardholder. For eg. IDFC Select credit card offers 4 domestic airport lounge access, IDFC Wealth offers both international and domestic lounge access, whereas IDFC Millennia credit card and IDFC Classic credit card don’t offer lounge access.
A brief snapshot of various benefits and reward structure is shown in the below table.
- Reward rate of 0.75%-2.5%: Considering all credit cards are LTF, the reward rate is pretty good. Never expiring reward points rather takes away the headache of redeeming reward points just because they are expiring.
- Interest rate on revolving balance varies from 9%-36% based on credit history: IDFC Bank is marketing this as USP of the card. The concept is pretty good, that someone with impeccable credit record and credit history should be rewarded with a lower interest rate. However, I have my reservations on actually how many customers will actually get a 9% interest rate.IDFC has offered me an 18% interest rate on the revolving balance. This is nearly half of what my other credit cards charges. Nevertheless, I don’t revolve any balance on my credit card, so for me, this is just a number.
- Interest-free cash withdrawals: Another unique proposition IDFC credit cards offer is interest-free cash withdrawals. I.e. one can withdraw cash up to the cash limit on the card and interest will be applicable only post the due date. This is again a good feature on the card, however, one has to keep in mind that cash withdrawal charges of 295 (250+ GST) will be applicable. Thus, for 20,000 cash withdrawal, one would end up paying 295 as implicit interest charges for 45 days, which is around 11% interest rate. For someone with higher cash withdrawal limit, the interest rate will be lower.
- 4-lounge access per quarter: 4 domestic lounge access per quarter on IDFC Select and IDFC Wealth credit cards is good enough for an average traveller. Even the lounge coverage is pretty decent (link). IDFC Wealth credit card provides international lounges and spa access too (link), which I guess no other LTF credit card provides.
- Free movie tickets: IDFC Select and IDFC Wealth provide Buy 1 Get 1 movie tickets. Limit on IDFC Select credit card (link) is up to 250 off twice a month and on IDFC Wealth (link) is up to 500 off twice a month. The good thing here is, say, I want to utilise my entire 2×500 off on IDFC Wealth in one transaction; I am allowed to do so. This feature alone can save around 3000-12000 per annum depending on usage and card variant.
- No reward points on insurance & EMI: IDFC Bank credit cards don’t offer reward points on fuel, insurance and EMI transaction. While this is the case with many other credit card providers. The drawback with IDFC credit cards is these spends don’t even count towards 10x threshold. What it means is say I spend 50k in a month and 30k of that were towards fuel and insurance. I will only get base rewards (3x or 6x as the case may be) on the remaining 20k spends and not 10x. This is a serious drawback when compared to other card, for e.g. even Amex also doesn’t provide reward points for insurance spends but counts those spends towards milestone spends.
Spending 20k in a month, outside of fuel and insurance expense will be a tough task; unless IDFC credit card is your primary card. Maybe this is the whole idea of giving 10x reward points only above 20k spends that IDFC Bank wants this card to be your primary card.
- Railway lounge access is a non-starter as of now: All the 4 IDFC credit cards offer 4 free railway lounge access every quarter. However, the lounge list is very short with just 6 locations. These are Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, Ahmedabad, Madurai and Kolkata. Therefore, unless, one travels to these locations frequently, this feature will remain just a feature of most cardholders.
Should I apply for IDFC Bank credit cards?
Yes. Since the cards are LTF, have decent reward rate and good benefits one should take it. However, only take if you are getting IDFC Select or IDFC Wealth credit card. Do not take any other variant. I personally feel, only the Select and Wealth variants are compelling enough.
As noted earlier, the default reward rate is decent at 0.75%-1.5%, however, one may find it difficult to regularly touch 20K monthly spends on this card. Thus, the reward rate is not the primary proposition of these credit cards. It’s the other features, i.e. free movie tickets and lounge access, and interest-free cash withdrawal option.
Free movie tickets feature alone can be worth anywhere between 3000 and 12000 per annum depending on the usage pattern. By having this card, one need not keep any other card for movie benefits (for e.g. Paytm credit card).
Further, 4 lounge access per quarter is good enough for an average traveller. Lounge list (link) is pretty good. Thus, this card can work as a backup card for lounge access for your travel companion.
Lastly, I liked the interest free cash withdrawal feature too. Though the cash limit is low (~10% of the total credit limit), it can be something to fall back on in case of emergency.
How do I apply?
At the moment, I am given to understand that IDFC credit cards are offered only to existing bank customers. Therefore, if you are IDFC Bank customer, you can apply through this link. However, have heard that few people who don’t have bank account too, got the card approved, so no harm in trying out. 🙂
I have a zero balance account in IDFC bank through Niyo. I applied using the above link and my card was approved instantly. IDFC didn’t ask for any additional documents to process the application and the card was delivered within a week or so. Here is the unboxing video of the card on Twitter (link).
Have you applied for IDFC credit card? Do let me know your thoughts and experience in the comment section below.
Image Source: IDFC First Bank
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