Axis Bank had launched the Axis Magnus credit card sometime in 2019 and it remained a mediocre card back then. However, recent changes that Axis has done with the Magnus credit card’s benefits and simultaneous devaluation of the HDFC Infinia and DCB has made Axis Magnus a very good card to hold. In this article, I will list down my views on the Axis Magnus credit card and a comparison with HDFC Infinia and DCB, to see if Magnus is really better than Infinia/DCB.
Axis Magnus Credit Card
Fees and Eligibility:
- Joining fees and annual fees INR10,000 + GST. Fee waived at annual spends of 15lakhs
Rewards and Benefit:
- Joining benefit of 10K Tata Cliq voucher or 10k worth domestic flight ticket.
- This is applicable on renewal too, provided the annual fee is paid.
- BOGO on BMS up to Rs. 500 off on the second ticket for a maximum of 5 movie/non-movie bookings in a month.
- Standard Reward Rate: 12 reward points on every INR200 spent. 1 Reward point = 0.20 paisa (1.2% reward rate).
- Accelerated Reward Rate: 5x reward points (i.e. 60 RPs) on every INR200 spent on travel spending via Travel Edge (6% reward rate).
- Milestone Reward Rate: 25,000 RPs worth INR5,000 on monthly spends of INR1Lakh (i.e. 5% reward rate)
- Domestic: Unlimited complimentary domestic lounge access to primary and add-on card members.
- International: Unlimited complimentary lounge access to the primary cardholder. 8 guest visits are allowed in a year.
- Airport Concierge Service: 8 complimentary end-to-end VIP services at the airports within India.
My views on Axis Magnus credit card
The Axis Magnus credit card has been in existence since 2019. However, given the low reward rate of 1.2%, high annual fee (10K) and very high fee waiver threshold (15Lakhs) the card remained very mediocre. However, Axis Bank has made some changes in the reward program making the card quite interesting. The changes are
- Monthly Milestone Benefits: 25,000 RPs worth INR5,000 on monthly spending of INR1Lakh (i.e. 5% reward rate). This one change alone increases the reward rate on the card from 1.2% to 6.2%. Only wallet spends are excluded in the calculations.
- Accelerated Reward Rate: 5x reward points (i.e. 60 RPs) on every INR200 spent on travel spending via Travel Edge (6% reward rate). Thru its Travel Edge portal, travel bookings will earn a 6% reward rate
- International lounge access: Unlimited international lounge access via Priority Pass for the primary cardholder.
The introduction of a monthly milestone benefit equivalent to INR5K significantly changes the reward rate of the card to 6%+. Further, since all spends are included, except wallet load, one can seriously think of using this card as a primary card as long as monthly spends are above 1lakh. This can be a boon for people running high utility (read electricity) and fuel bills every month.
Another feature on this card, the airport concierge service (a glorified name for porter service) on Indian airports can be useful for people who travel frequently with heavy luggage or in large groups. For normal travel, I don’t think this service makes any difference.
One another feature that is unique to Axis Magnus is BOGO on BMS for up to 500 for a maximum of 5 movie/non-movie bookings in a month. This is saying that you can literally go to movies every week at 50% off. This feature sounds great on paper, but I feel is impractical in practice, as very few cardholders will tend to watch movies/theatre every week religiously.
Axis Magnus vs HDFC Infinia vs HDFC Diners Black
Since the devaluation of HDFC cards and tweaking of benefits on Axis Magnus happened at the same time, it’s quite obvious for everyone to compare these cards.
I also compared these cards, since I own a DCB and the devaluation has been quite sharp on DCB. However, in the comparison calculator below it’s quite clear that Axis Magnus is still a notch below compared to HDFC Infinia/DCB.
For most of the use cases or spend patterns, Infinia/DCB end up giving a better reward rate than Axis Magnus. Nonetheless, there are scenarios where Axis Magnus would end up giving a better rate. These are mainly cases where one ends up spending more than 1lakh on electricity, insurance, rent or fuel bills every month.
The highlight of the Axis Magnus credit card is its clean reward structure. You spend, you get a 1.2% base reward rate and if you spend more than a lakh in a month you get an additional 5% reward rate. The challenge with HDFC cards is that the 5x/10x program has now become 2x/3x/5x/10x, making it difficult to remember the reward rate you will eventually get.
Features where Axis Magnus outscores HDFC Cards
There are a few features that make Axis Magnus stand out in comparison to HDFC twins. Have listed them below
- No 70% rule: HDFC cards has this rule that allows only 70% of the booking amount can be set off against points. Axis Magnus as of now has a clean structure. The entire reward balance can be taken as a statement credit at a 20paise rate.
- Airport concierge service: While this is nothing more than a glorified porter service at airports, the probability that I will use this is higher than the complimentary golf rounds that HDFC cards offer.
- 5×500 BOGO on BMS: This is a useful offer that will be used at least once a month for sure if not more. Especially now given that Covid is nearing an end 🤞. Maybe adding INR 6000 in Magnus’s annual reward rate. DCB does give monthly 500 BMS vouchers on milestone spends but nothing such is available on Infinia.
Should you apply for Axis Magnus?
Will I apply for Axis Magnus? The answer as of now is clear No. The reason is simple, I don’t run a credit card bill of 1lakh every month. Maybe occasionally it happens (travel bookings, big insurance payments etc) but outside of that never. Further, given my spending pattern and my credit card strategy, I can extract a 6-8% reward rate on HDFC DCB. It appears low because it is my primary card and since I don’t travel much I don’t max out the 7500 reward points every month.
Should you apply? Depends on your usage pattern. If you run a cumulative 1lk bill per month on utility, insurance, rent and fuel, then you should apply. A consistent 6% reward rate on these spends is not available on any other credit cards. But again let us face it, how many of us will end up with a bill of 1lakh every month on electricity, fuel, insurance and rent? 😈
Axis Magnus with its revised benefits is a good card for frequent travellers (airport concierge services) who regularly runs a bill of 1lakh and above. It is not a replacement for HDFC Infinia or HDFC Diners Black yet.
Do you see Axis Magnus as a replacement for HDFC Diners Black or Infinia? Have you applied for Axis Magnus? Do share your views and experiences below.