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ICICI Made This Sudden Change To Its Credit Card - Know If You Are Affected




Hold onto your hats, ICICI Bank credit cardholders! Big changes are coming to your favorite plastic friends, with some benefits getting trimmed down and others evolving into new forms. Starting February 1, 2024, ICICI Bank is implementing a series of modifications to reward points, lounge access, and even international transactions. Buckle up, as we delve into the nitty-gritty of these updates, dissecting them like a financial anthropologist!


Farewell, Free Rent Points:


Brace yourselves, tenants, because your rent payments on ICICI Bank credit cards are about to lose their point-earning charm. As of February 1st, rent payments and e-wallet loading transactions will no longer accrue reward points, effectively putting a stop to that easy point accumulation strategy. However, the Amazon Pay ICICI Bank credit card is exempt from this change, so its users can still rack up points on rent payments.


New Lounge Rules, New Game: 


Airport lounge access with ICICI Bank credit cards is getting a makeover. While some cards say goodbye to complimentary lounge visits altogether, others are implementing a "spend-to-get" system. Starting April 1, 2024, cardholders can earn one complimentary lounge access per calendar quarter by spending Rs. 35,000 in the preceding quarter. Think of it as a quarterly airport lounge challenge – spend wisely, lounge proudly!


DCC: Convenience with a Fee: 


Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC), that tempting little button that lets you pay in rupees instead of foreign currency when abroad, is coming with a price tag. Effective February 1st, a 1% DCC fee (plus taxes) will be levied on all international transactions conducted in Indian currency using your ICICI Bank credit card. While convenient, this adds a new layer of cost to consider when swiping abroad.


Utility Points Stay Strong: 


Don't fret, eco-conscious spenders! Reward points on utility bill payments, including government transactions, are still a thing. So, keep paying your water and electricity bills with your ICICI Bank credit card and watch those points roll in.


What It Means for You:


  • Review your cards: Not all cards are created equal in this new landscape. Analyze which benefits matter most to you and adjust your spending habits accordingly.

  • Maximize the Amazon Pay card: The Amazon Pay ICICI Bank credit card remains the sole card earning points on rent payments, making it a potentially valuable asset for frequent renters.

  • Plan your airport lounge access: If lounge access is important, strategize your spending to hit that Rs. 35,000 quarterly threshold and enjoy your airport oasis.

  • Consider DCC cautiously: Weigh the convenience of DCC against the 1% fee before opting for it on international transactions.

The Wrap-Up:


ICICI Bank's credit card benefit revamp is a significant shift, demanding some adaptation from cardholders. But remember, change can be an opportunity! Analyze your spending habits, choose the cards that best suit your needs, and navigate the new reward landscape with savvy and flexibility. And who knows, maybe these changes will even inspire new and innovative ways to earn and utilize your precious credit card points!

Let's keep the conversation going! Share your thoughts on the ICICI Bank credit card benefit changes in the comments below. What questions do you have? What strategies are you considering? Together, we can navigate this financial terrain like seasoned credit card adventurers!


Other Banks


IDFC FIRST Bank did recently revise its lounge visit benefit on some credit cards. The specific changes vary depending on the card, but here's a general overview:


Change in Frequency:


Some cards, like the Select and Wealth, previously offered unlimited domestic lounge visits per quarter. As of July 1, 2023, these cards now provide 4 complimentary visits per quarter. This still allows for good lounge access, but limits those who heavily relied on unlimited visits.


Minimum Spend Requirement:


To activate your lounge access benefit, you now need to fulfill a minimum monthly spend requirement on your card. The exact amount varies by card, typically ranging from INR 5,000 to INR 10,000. This ensures that the benefit is used by active cardholders who spend regularly.


HDFC Bank


DFC Bank recently implemented some changes to the lounge access benefits for two of their popular credit cards: the Regalia Credit Card and the Millennia Credit Card. These changes took effect on December 1, 2023, so let's break them down:


For HDFC Regalia Credit Card:


Lounge access is now based on spending: Previously, Regalia cardholders enjoyed unlimited domestic lounge access per quarter. Now, the access depends on your quarterly spending:

  • Spend Rs. 1 lakh or more in a calendar quarter (Jan-Mar | Apr-Jun | Jul-Sep | Oct-Dec) to get 2 complimentary lounge access vouchers.

  • Vouchers can be accessed through the Regalia SmartBuy page >> Lounge Benefits >> Lounge access voucher.

  • These vouchers are valid at domestic lounges managed by DreamFolks.

  • Priority Pass: You can still get up to 6 complimentary lounge access visits per calendar year outside India using your Priority Pass membership linked to your Regalia card. However, any additional visits beyond the 6 will incur a charge of $27 plus GST.

For HDFC Millennia Credit Card:


Similar spending-based system: Like Regalia, Millennia cardholders now gain access based on quarterly spending:

  • Spend Rs. 1 lakh or more in a calendar quarter to get 2 complimentary lounge access vouchers.

  • Vouchers are accessible through the Millennia Milestone page >> Select lounge access voucher.

  • Valid at domestic lounges managed by DreamFolks.

  • No international lounge access: Unlike Regalia, Millennia doesn't offer any complimentary international lounge access through Priority Pass.


Disclaimer: This is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Please consult with a financial professional for personalized guidance regarding your credit card usage and strategies.


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