I love putting all my daily spends on credit cards to get reward points and cashback, however, the most boring part is making credit card bill payments, simply because there are no cash backs or reward points for it. However, this has now changed. By using Cred app, one gets rewards for making credit card payments. Cred app is founded by Kunal Shah, the founder of Freecharge which was eventually sold to Axis Bank.
Well, the basic model of Freecharge, Cred app remains the same; use the app, do some transaction and get rewards for it.
In this post, I will provide a detailed review of Cred app, its pros and cons and ways to maximise returns. Along the way will also give my take on which features to use and which ones to avoid.
How to enroll in Cred app?
Well, Cred app markets itself as member’s only app. When you create your account, it asks for phone number and looks up the credit bureaus (Experian and CRIF) for your credit score.
The first thing that comes to mind, why the Cred app needs my credit score? It’s their business model or the story they have sold to PE/VC firms that we will only enrol individuals with a certain credit score on their platform. So they like to enroll only individuals above a certain threshold, but no one knows what the cut-off is. My gut says, as long as you have credit card you will enroled. 😀
How Cred app works?
Once you register a credit card(s) with the app, one can only make credit card payments through it. So say, the credit card bill was 25000 and once the payment is done, one receives 25000 Cred coins.
How long it takes for payment to reflect on my statement?
Typically, the payment reflects in one’s credit card account on the same day or the next. But to be on the safe side, make the payment 1-2 working days before the due date.
Where to use the Coins?
The coins then can be used in the app to redeem against the reward catalogue present in the app. The redemption value of point is dynamic and depends on the kind of rewards one chooses. As per my experience if one uses “Kill the Bill” (digital scratch card concept) the reward rate is paltry ~0.3%; and even the number of times this can be used is limited.
Deeper analysis on my history of “Kill the Bill” usage reveals that reward rate on burning 1000 coins is highest (@ ~1%) than that for any other denominations. On higher denominations, such as burning 15000 coins has given me a reward rate of 0.17% (baring 2 outlier instances, which improved reward rate to 0.3%). So, it makes sense to burn 1000 coins in Kill the Bill and save the rest for other offers/vouchers.
Another trend that I have noticed is the reward rate on “Kill the Bill” is trending downwards, clearly an impact of more users coming on the platform and burning coins for cashback.
Another option is to skim through rewards catalogue and choose a reward. As per my experience, the reward rate here is much better at ~3.25%. Rewards are dynamic and the guys at Cred keep on changing or adding new redemption options. So the app has done a good thing here to make sure you keep coming back multiple times every month and not just once to pay your bills.
Offers on Cred App
Also, occasionally Cred offers fabulous offers where reward rate very high, example currently they are offering Sunburn Wiz Khalifa ticket for 75000 coins, on BookMyShow the price is 4000/ticket. Thus the reward rate is 5%. In the past too, they have had similar offers on Sunburn events.
Other features of Cred App?
Cred app also offers something known as “Cred Protect”, where it offers features such as due date reminders, hidden charges alert, smart statements, WhatsApp notifications etc.
These sound like awesome add-ons to have, but the downside is this feature needs too many permissions such as access to one’s email-id to scan credit card statements, access to bank account statements to understand one’s spending pattern etc.
This is the feature I don’t use in the app and don’t even plan to explore because the kind of data access it needs is scary (access to one’s email, rights to scan through email, access to one’s credit card statements, and access to one’s bank account statements). Also, with the plan of the founder on how to scale up and monetize Cred, makes it a bit scarier (Gist of the video interview- they plan to offer personal loans on Cred depending on your spending and saving patterns). See the video here
Further, banks either which ways send enough SMSes or app notification to remind one of the due dates; that there is no need for another app to give a reminder on the same thing.
Cred is a cool app, which enhances the reward rates on credit cards by ~3% at present. As per the data, this will likely trend downwards in the times to come. Still, as long as it adds up credit card reward, one can continue using it. Also, do read about Deal Stacking here and learn how one can use Cred App to enhance reward rate on credit cards.
However, I am going to completely stay away from Cred Protect feature in the app. As the kind of data access it wants on my financial spending pattern is scary and I am not willing to share it. Maybe a bit too much intrusion into one’s financial data or maybe I am old school.
- Nice layout, intuitive design
- Reward rate on the catalogue is 3%, could be even higher for others if used smartly.
- Reward catalogue gets refreshed often with new offers/vouchers
- One gets to see the credit score from 2 credit bureau (Experian and Crif)
- Reward rate on Kill the Bill is paltry 0.3%; (Higher for burning 1000 coins, but very low on other higher denominations)
- Reward rate is steadily declining
- Cred Protect feature although good gets access to one’s sensitive financial data
- Shows only the credit score, the detailed credit report is not available
So, go ahead and download the Cred app and enjoy more rewards by paying credit card bills. You can download the Cred app from here: Download Cred
Do let me know your experience of using the app and your views on the same.