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Kotak 811 #DreamDifferent: Review

Kotak Bank recently launched a new secured credit card 811 #DreamDifferent. Well, this is not a new credit card per se; it’s the re-branded version of Kotak Aqua Gold credit card. However, Kotak 811 #DreamDifferent, is a completely revamped version of the Kotak Aqua, which was a very mediocre product. With this new card, Kotak is trying to attract a slew of customers who are looking for their first credit card.

Typically, when banks launch a revamped version of an existing credit card, they tend to downgrade the existing features and/or the lower reward rates. However, in this case, Kotak has done exactly the opposite, which is just excellent. Read on to find out more about this new card.

Kotak 811 #DreamDifferent

811 #DreamDifferent

Fees and Eligibility:

  • Joining fees and annual fees: Free for life
  • Eligibility – Minimum fixed deposit of INR15,000 with Kotak Bank. No income proof required..
  • Credit Limit: Up to 80% of fixed deposit with the bank

Rewards and Benefit:

  • Joining Benefit:
    • 500 bonus points (worth INR125) on spending 5000 in the first 45 days.
  • Recurring Benefits:
    • Spend 75,000 in a year and get INR750 cashback or 4 PVR tickets free
  • Reward Points:
    • Standard Reward Rate: 2 reward point on every INR100 spent online and 1 reward point on every 100 spent offline. 1 reward point = 25paise (0.5% reward rate for online spends and 0.25% for offline spends).
    • Fuel surcharge waiver of 1%, max. 3500/year. Waiver of 1.8% for transactions on irctc.co.in & 2.5% Indian railway booking counters (max Rs. 500/year)
  • Lounge Access:
    • NA

Kotak Bank has completely revamped the Aqua Gold credit card, right from the card design to the reward structure. With these changes, the new 811 #DreamDifferent is now a very solid card in the secured credit cards space. Compared to the earlier card, Kotak Bank has reduced the minimum FD requirement, lowered the spend threshold for annual recurring benefits and added new benefit of surcharge waiver on railway spends.

Further, the bank has also revamped the rewards point structure and made it more lucrative.  Base reward rate for 811 #DreamDifferent has increased to 25 paise compared to 20 paise earlier. On online spends reward rate increases to 0.50paise (~3.5 times the earlier reward rate). All, these drastically improve the reward rate on the credit card from 0.16% to 1.13% for annual spends of up to INR1lakh and 0.88% for spends up to 1.5akh. Here, I assumed that 50% spends are done online, which is not outlandish given that wallet load, utility bills and insurance payments made via an app/website will be considered as online spends.

The existing holders of Kotak Aqua Gold credit card will get the benefits as per the new reward structure sans the joining benefit with effect from 15th June 2020.

How does 811 #DreamDifferent compare with other secured credit cards

Sometime back, I did a detailed comparison of best credit cards against FD. The best credit cards for spends up to INR1.5lakh were SBI Unnati, Axis Bank Insta and ICICI Bank Coral credit cards. The new Kotak credit card gives the best rewards in this category and is easily the best credit card in terms of features and reward points. For spends of above INR4 lakhs, Yes Bank Prosperity Reward Plus credit card remains the best. Here is the link for calculations done to arrive at aforementioned reward rates (Spend of INR1lakh and INR1.5lakh)

The 811 #DreamDifferent credit card gives the highest reward rate on spends of up to INR1 lakh in a year. Hypothetically, if one spends the entire amount on online spends and takes 4 PVR tickets as annual benefits, the reward rate comes at 1.3% (0.5% on total spends and price of 1 PVR ticket assumed at ~200), which is very good reward rate for a free for life credit card.

Conclusion

Target customers of Kotak 811 #DreamDifferent card are the ones who don’t have a credit card yet or who are looking to build their credit history. The reward structure (~1%) of the card though not very great, but is decent enough for a free for life card.

Photo by Daniele Franchi on Unsplash

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