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ICICI Amazon Credit Card – My thoughts

ICICI Amazon credit card is an entry-level credit card launched last year. It is a no-frill credit card and is free for life (no joining fees and no annual fees). When the card was launched last year, I was in no mood to apply for it. After all, who wants an entry-level credit card with no offers? Nonetheless, I applied for it, just because Amazon gave me INR 750 as joining bonus.

However, I now believe you should own the ICICI Amazon credit card; even if you own the Amex Centurion credit card already :D.  Read on to find out why.

ICICI Amazon Credit Card

ICICI Amazon Credit Card

Fees and Eligibility:

  • Eligibility – It is an invite-only credit card. One can get the card only if one sees the popup/banner in Amazon account
  • Joining fees and annual fees: Free for life

Rewards and Benefit:

  • Joining Benefit:
    • Joining bonus varied between 500-750 cashback in the form of Amazon Pay balance.
  • Recurring Benefits:
    • NA
  • Reward Points:
    • Standard Reward Rate: 1 reward point on every INR100 spent. 1 reward point = INR 1 (1% reward rate).
    • Accelerated Reward Rate: 5 reward points on every INR100 spent on purchases made on Amazon.in (5% reward rate).
    • 2% reward rate on loading Amazon Pay wallet and making payment via Amazon Pay to merchant partners.
    • No reward points on gold purchases and EMI transaction on Amazon.in
    • Fuel surcharge waiver of 1%
  • Lounge Access:
    • NA

ICICI Amazon credit card snapshot

Applying for ICICI Amazon credit card

The card is only available on Amazon.in and is an invite-only credit card. However, one can check the eligibility on this link. For existing ICICI Bank customers, from application to card issuance, the entire process is online and instantaneous.  ICICI Bank customers are approved instantly and a digital version of the credit card along with CVV and PIN is generated immediately, ready to use. Delivery of physical card happens over the next 4-5 days.

For non-ICICI Bank customers, document submission for KYC takes time. The entire process takes around 5-7 days.

What makes ICICI Amazon credit card stand out?

5% cashback

To be honest, I applied for this card only for the joining bonus of 750. However, in the last few months of the lockdown, this is the most used credit card for me. Simply because Amazon has become a friendly neighbourhood grocery store. Where no online grocer, including DMart, BigBasket and Grofers, was able to deliver essential items and groceries, Amazon was doing the same with ease. Therefore, the ICICI Amazon credit card came very handy with its unlimited 5% cashback.

2% reward points on LIC premiums

Additionally, the reward rate of 2% on utility bills payment is always welcome. That’s not all, with the addition of LIC as one of the biller, for me, ICICI Amazon simply became the de-facto credit card for insurance payments. As most other credit cards either don’t give reward points on insurance payments eg. Amex and Citi or  give a very low reward rate. However, here is one credit card,  giving a handsome 2% cashback on every payment made via Amazon Pay.

Discontinuation of 10x program by HDFC Bank

Well, this is not a feature of the ICICI Amazon credit card per se. However, since HDFC has mellowed its famed 10x program; it just doesn’t make sense to use the Smartbuy portal for shopping on Amazon. As 5% cashback on most HDFC credit cards will be given only after months, compared to the 5% cashback at the end of the monthly cycle on the ICICI Amazon credit card.

Why is Amazon giving such great offers on this credit card?

Since Amazon is doing well in India, what is the need for it to offer such a competitive entry-level credit card? Well, the answer lies in T&Cs of this credit card.

Amazon and the Bank may use your information or data (including personal or sensitive personal data or information) in connection with the services associated with the Card. In this regard, you agree and consent for Amazon to share such data or information with the Bank.”

Conclusion

This is a great entry-level credit card given that it gives unlimited 5% cashback on every purchase on Amazon.in and 2% on utility bill payments via Amazon Pay. While the Axis Flipkart credit card has slightly better reward rate, 5% on Flipkart and base reward rate of 1.5%; however, bill payments fall in base reward category, which for most of us is the most used category.

Further, 2% cashback on Amazon wallet load and utility bill payment and more importantly on LIC payments are good enough reasons to keep hold this card.

Also, Amex Smart Earn and SBI’s SimplyClick do offer 5x and 10x reward points respectively on Amazon purchases, but the effective earn rate is just 2.5%.

 

Photo by Daniel Eledut on Unsplash

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