Category Archives: Hack

Despite RBI moratorium, pay your full credit card bill

Credit Card bill interest calculation

RBI as part of Covid-19 regulatory package announced a moratorium of 3 months on all term loans, including credit card bills falling due between 1st March and 31st May. Many misinterpretations are floating around this announcement; however, I say that pay your credit card bill in full despite RBI’s moratorium.

What makes me believe that paying the credit card bill in full is a wise thing to do? Read further to understand it.

Forex Cards: Niyo Global vs Other Forex Cards

Forex Cards

Recently, a friend asked me about the best forex cards available in the market. Although I was sure that Niyo Global is the best forex card but just to convince him I did a data comparison on forex cards of major Indian banks.

While the concept of forex cards is simple and straightforward. Their only benefit is the ability to lock the exchange rate. However, banks seem to be making money at every step in this very simple product.

Pay house rent via credit cards- RedGiraffe vs NoBroker

Nowadays one can swipe credit cards for literally everything. However, are you aware that one can pay house rent via credit cards too? Well, there are multiple options available that allows one to make house rent payment via credit cards.

Benefits of paying house rent via credit cards

  • The obvious benefit of using credit cards for house rent payment is reward points. Let’s just assume that the credit card gives 1.5% reward rate and rent payment is 25,000/month. Thus the net reward earned would ~1% on the rent paid (adjusting for charges of service providers), which would be worth 3,000 (25000*12*1%) in one year. In case someone pays higher rent, the value would be higher.
  • Further, not to forget the credit-free period. Assuming saving account interest rate of 4%,  for an average 30 days credit-free period, one earns an extra 0.3% interest.
  • Higher annual spending on credit card helps one to achieve annual spending limit to get an annual fee waiver or additional benefits (as in the case of HDFC’s Dinersclub cards or Amex Platinum Travel Card)
  • Another aspect is that this helps in improving one’s credit score. Higher monthly bills and regular payments are seen positively by credit bureaus.

Best Credit Cards for Lounge access in 2020

Best Credit Cards for Lounge Access

I am usually very excited about air travel, maybe the child in me has not grown up yet :D. Apart from the flight, another exciting part of air travel is the airport lounge, where one can relax and grab something to eat and drink, free of course. :D. Well, to get free airport lounge access one needs to have right credit cards.

Here, I have made a detailed list of most credit cards that provide complimentary lounge access. . The post is divided into 2 parts, part one where I list the credit cards on the basis on free lounge access they provide. The second part is my thoughts on how to select the best credit card for lounge access.

Citibank Premiermiles: How I saved 100,000 last year on it

Easy redemption on MakeMyTripz

I love minting credit card points and I do so by putting my every expense on credit card. Last year, I saved nearly 100,000 on my Citibank Premiermiles card alone. Below are the details on how I did it.

Redeemed Citibank Premiermiles point for flight tickets on MMT

Citibank Premiermiles reward points offer the best value (1 point=45paise) on flights and hotel bookings. Thus, I used my points to book return tickets to Singapore. Two return tickets for Singapore were priced at 46000, but I booked them just 4 bucks!! For rest, I redeemed my Premiermiles reward points. An instant savings of 46,000.

Deal Stacking – Get minimum 10% savings on every spend

Deal stacking/offer stacking/ reward stacking is simply combining multiple offers/coupons or reward points to maximize savings on one’s spend. I believe that despite seemingly tedious at first and low savings, say like ~2%; deal stacking offers combined savings of 10%+, which is a pretty good rate of savings if done on a consistent basis.

General avenues of reward stacking

  • Credit Card reward points
  • Wallet cashback/discount
  • Cashback/discount/ loyalty rewards from respective website/company
  • Reward points on Jet Privilege/ Payback
  • Reward points from Cred (Will be writing a review on Cred App soon)

My experience is with some attention to detail, one can easily achieve 3-4 level stacking for ~10% savings, but beyond that I am yet to figure out a way for consistent stacking. Below are my personal examples where I have achieved both 3-5 level stacking along with calculations.

NiYO Global: Best forex card currently in India

Staying with my recent Singapore visit, another way I saved money was on my forex card. While searching for forex cards I came across this unique offering from NiYO Global.

NiYO promises forex conversion at Visa rates without any mark-up, currency conversion charges or taxes etc. I used NiYO Global card extensively in Singapore and being a Visa card it was accept everywhere without any issues.

NiYO Global Card

Does NiYO Global really charges Visa rates?

Incoming international SMS are free on Indian SIM

Well, this might common knowledge for many out there, but I was pleasantly surprised to know that incoming international SMS are free while traveling abroad from India. Whether on a Postpaid or a Prepaid connection, one just needs to activate international roaming on the phone.

When planning my vacation to Singapore, I was worried about keeping my primary number switched off for a week. Because in the past, I have been a victim of unauthorized transactions on my credit card. In fact it was only the SMS alerts from my bank that saved the day for me. Another option was to buy an international roaming pack, but being a Marwadi, I didn’t want to spend money on roaming pack.

In the hindsight, this turned out to be blessing in disguise as I was using a Niyo Global Card (Will review it soon) and was able to receive OTPs on my registered mobile for online transactions I did in Singapore.
So all the travelers, traveling abroad from India, ensure that you keep your primary mobile number active, the one that is registered with your bank and credit card, to receive SMS alerts while you travel international.

Singapore for 2 @ 94k, courtesy Citi and Yes credit card

While we were planning a week long trip to Singapore this June, we got quotes from websites, vacation planners, tour operators etc. All of them were broadly in the range of 60-70k/person (i.e. 120-140k for a couple) and despite that they neither cover all the places we wanted to visit nor the entire cost. What it meant was our end-to-end trip would easily cost us ~150-170k.

It was then I decided to explore the power of credit card points and voila! Our Singapore trip in the end cost us just 94k i.e 47k/ person all inclusive, including visa and insurance charges.

Here the major items where I saved lots of money:

Flight Tickets: Redeemed my Citibank Premiermiles points on MMT for flight tickets. End result – Return ticket for 2 which would have cost 46k on Singapore Airlines, we ended up paying just 4Rs. (It’s not a typo, just Rs. 4). So straight saving of 46000.

Hotels: We decided to stay in 2 hotels during our stay (Hotel Nostalgia and Yotel Singapore). Here too, I used my Yes Bank credit card points to book Hotel Nostalgia for 2 nights. Typical room cost is ~7400/night, but I paid just 119 for 2 nights (Again its not a typo, 119 for 2 nights for a boutique hotel in Singapore). Savings of ~14500.
For remaining days, I used MMT clubbed with Citibank offer where I saved ~8000 on the other 4 nights.

Thus in all, using my credit card points and offers I straightaway saved ~70000 on flights and hotel bookings.

How do have so much points on cards? Simple! Put all expenses on credit card, be it utility bills, insurance premiums (life + medical), groceries, house rent, payment to dhoodhwala etc, just about everything on credit card.

Again, it’s not that I earned all these points in one year, these points have been accumulated over the last 2-3 years.

Will write more about the credit cards (Citibank Premiermiles and Yes Bank credit card) I use, plus other savings that I did on Singapore vacation in upcoming posts.