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Card Review, IDFC First Bank

IDFC Bank Credit Cards Detailed Review

IDFC Bank Credit Cards

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.

IDFC Bank Credit Cards Snapshot

Pros:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Cons:

  1. 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.
  1. 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).

[Edit: 20th March 2021]

Tricks to apply for IDFC Bank credit cards

I found this YouTube video from FinTech Vishal, who runs a YouTube channel on credit cards, talks about 5 tricks to get approved for IDFC credit cards. Do let me know if any of these worked for you.

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

13 Comments

  1. Santosh Kumar

    heard that wealth is for high end customers of which I don’t fall under. but hoping to get select if offered 🙂

  2. Sur

    Rejected even though maintain a good amount of relationship

  3. Harish Raj

    Cash Withdrawals in most Non Home Bank ATMs in India is Capped at 10000 Rs per Transaction.
    So, unless using the card for Withdrawal in at IDFC ATM, Withdrawal of 10000 for a one time fee of 250, us straight forward 2.5% service charge.

  4. Prathmesh Pradip Ghag

    Hi,
    For the railway lounge , if i have someone with me will they allow both of us in simultaneously on a single card as complementary access?
    Considering i have not used it before.
    Regards and thanks,
    Prathmesh

  5. karthick

    Guys don’t buy this IDFC cc as they are charging interest on interest on minimum mount due for my total outstanding of 34k multiples of 5 percent is 1700 but they charged 3500 very bad experience pls don’t buy this card and I am going to wind up all my relationship with IDFC bank asap.

  6. kashishyuvrajjain

    Can you do a comparison for the best no annual charges – entry level cards for beginers.

  7. Rohit

    Started application
    variant offered select. No income proof required
    Interest rate 0.75% annual 9%
    Video kyc pending
    Still think to apply or not

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