Kotak White credit card is the latest credit card from Kotak Bank. The card’s plain white design looks amazing and it is targeted at the HNI segment with its high eligibility criteria and high spends target to get maximum benefits. However, whether this credit card is worthy of sitting in your wallet? Read on to find out.
Kotak White credit card
Fees and Eligibility
- Joining and annual fee INR3,000 + GST. No fee waiver whatsoever.
- An annual income of 25lakhs and above.
Rewards and Benefit:
- Joining Benefit:
- INR1500 voucher on spending 30000 in first 60 days
- Reward Points:
- Rewards are in form of White Pass.
- The value will vary between 0%- 2.25% depending on annual spends.
- Milestone benefits:
- Lounge Access:
- Complimentary 4 lounge visits (via Priority Pass)
- 8 domestic lounge access (2 per quarter) via Visa
What is White Pass? A convoluted reward system in short
Kotak White credit card doesn’t offer reward points on every spend like other credit cards. Instead, on achieving spend milestones; you receive rewards in form of White Pass value. The way it works is once you reach INR2 lakh spends, you get INR2,000 in form of White Pass value, so on and so forth. Milestone spends and the value associated is shown below.
So, as per the table above, one can get rewards anywhere between 0% and 2.25% depending on annual spends. The maximum reward rate on the card is 2.25% before fees (1.95% post fees). The reward rate is below par according to me, considering the fees they are charging and the segment of customers Kotak White credit card intends to target.
However, a big drawback of Kotak White credit card is its convoluted redemption method. The rewards are not available to the cardholder on achieving the spend milestones. Instead, they are available only on the next anniversary of one’s card and one has to redeem them within the next 3 months. For example, if your card is booked on 21st May 2020, the vouchers, as per the eligibility, can be claimed from 21st May 2021 till 31st August 2021.
If that wasn’t enough; maximum rewards for the year is capped at INR27,000, that is beyond INR12lakh spends no rewards will accrue. That’s not all, every year on card anniversary date the reward counter is reset to zero. Thus, one cannot accumulate reward points over a couple of years to use them in one go.
Further, the Kotak White credit card’s webpage is not very clear about what voucher options does one have. The website just mentions that White Pass value can be redeemed against vouchers from luxury brands across multiple categories such as apparel, hotels & dining, beauty, self-grooming services, etc. The redemption website www.kotakbankwhite.com is accessible only to cardholders.
Who should apply for Kotak White credit card?
While the Kotak White credit card has a convoluted reward system; one thing good about the card is that it appears there are no restricted categories for spends. Thus, one can use the card only for insurance or fuel spends and still end up with 2.25% reward rate. This sort of use cases may work for a handful of users. Beyond these specific use cases, I don’t find the Kotak White credit card to be an interesting proposition.
For Kotak White credit card, the reward rate of under 2% after fees, combined with a strange redemption structure doesn’t make it an interesting proposition for everyday use. This is primarily because there are many other credit cards in the similar fee range or even cheaper (Amex Platinum Travel, SBI Prime, BoB Eterna, HDFC Diners etc), but provide much better reward rate and other benefits. As discussed earlier, there could be a few specific use cases where owning this card may make sense, but unlikely that it will be the primary card for anyone.