Axis Bank Credit Cards puts caps on mileage conversion and changes transfer ratios effective September 1, 2023

When it comes to mileage transfer, credit card issuers in India have been pretty saucy about how they go about the changes. About a decade ago, Citibank overnight killed their golden goose, the Jet Airways co-brand card, and then a few months later, devalued the PremierMiles Card. A few years later, HDFC Bank pulled the transfer options on the then-fledgling Diners Club Black card programme overnight. They’ve tweaked their card programme a lot over the years since.

There is a new sheriff in town every few years, trying to woo the small subset of credit card users in India who are interested in miles transfers. They lure them like the pied piper, and then somewhere down the road, they realise the expense account they are walking into.

Axis Bank Credit Cards, the newest sheriff in town, added mileage transfer partners in August 2022 and added more partners in 2023, making the list of partners 19 in total.

Big changes are coming to Axis Bank’s policy for miles transfers.

As we hit the one-year mark of Axis Bank introducing mileage transfer partners, they’ve had a hero product in Axis Magnus, which offered the ability to get 25,000 bonus points per month on the spends of INR 1 Lakh. Coupled with the generous ratio (5 EDGE Rewards to 4 miles for the HNI Credit Cards) and unlimited transfer of points out, clearly, Axis Bank was sitting on a mammoth pool of points transfer requests over the past year. So, on the first anniversary of the introduced mileage transfer feature, Axis Bank will institute new limits on the transfers and change the ratio as well.

Axis Bank has now put out a document which outlines major changes to their Mileage Transfer Programme on an overall basis.  These changes go live on September 1, 2023, so there is a full 40 days or so to get your money’s worth if any action needs to be taken at your end.

Capping introduced on Axis EDGE Rewards conversion to miles transfer

Axis Bank has introduced a cap, which was previously not there, on converting EDGE Rewards into miles/points in any of their 19 partner programmes. Effective September 1, 2023, the limit of total EDGE Rewards points (Across all your credit cards that accrue EDGE Rewards with Axis Bank) that can be converted into miles/points will be 500K per calendar year. As of 2023, September 1 to December 31, 2023, will count for the 500K limit. This will include points across your debit cards and your credit cards with Axis Bank.

  • Customer Impact: Honestly, the customer impact here will depend on the customer’s size. Assuming an honest customer using the card as intended, 500K would perhaps be high north of how many points they’d earn in any given year. Let us not include the bad actors and churners in this mix who might have caused a deep dive in the first place.
  • Bank Impact: Miles cost $$, and from an Indian perspective, they are expensive. Axis Bank is no Chase or Amex to get the absolute best price by putting up a billion dollars to support an airline during the crisis and buying miles on the cheap against the money. Axis Bank has put an upper cap on how much they’d get exposed.

Axis Bank introduces caps on loyalty IDs that can be linked.

For each airline/hotel transfer partner, customers can only link one partner program loyalty ID for each partner at a given time. If you intend to link another ID, the earlier linked ID will get delinked by default. A cooling period of 60 days has been introduced before you can change the linked partner ID on any programme once you’ve inserted one there.

  • Customer Impact: Yet again, this is more to do with keeping the bad actors in check. Most customers would individually have only one account with a mileage programme/hotel loyalty programme anyway. This would help keep a tab and isolate those selling their EDGE Rewards to brokers or some such folks by identifying loopholes in the Axis Bank Mileage Transfer process. For the normal folk, this should not matter.
  • Bank Impact: The bank is, yet again, protecting itself from all the misuse of its platform. Somewhere, an auditor or corporate security sounded the alarm for Axis Bank to have invested in fixing their IT solution and making this work.

Transfer Ratios will change in September 2023

The sweet spot of being an Axis Bank HNI credit card holder was that the bank offered 5 ER points to 4 Points in the receiving programme. Effective September 1, 2023, this will change as follows:

  • Burgundy Private Credit Card will continue to get a 5 ER:4 Miles/Points Transfer Ratio across all 19 partners
  • Magnus and Reserve EDGE Rewards will convert as a 5 ER:2 Miles/Points Transfer Ratio across all 19 partners
  • Select and Privilege EDGE Rewards will convert as under:
    • Vistara, ITC, Spicejet, AirAsia will convert as 5 ER: 1 Mile/Point Transfer Ratio
    • All over transfer partners will convert as 10 ER: 1 Mile/Point Transfer Ratio
  • Other Eligible Cards apart from the ones listed above (which earn EDGE Rewards) will convert
    • Vistara, ITC, Spicejet, AirAsia will convert as 10 ER: 1 Mile/Point Transfer Ratio
    • All over transfer partners will convert as 20 ER: 1 Mile/Point Transfer Ratio
  • Customer Impact: The Reserve was a high-end credit card focused on Golf Benefits. However, the EDGE Rewards product construct was not bad either, offering 15 ER/INR 200 spent domestically and 30 ER/INR 200 spent abroad. Many Axis Bank Credit Card enthusiasts took the card because multiple cards were allowed on the Axis Bank platform, and once you got in the system via another card, the screening was not too high. I imagine many customers would no longer have a use case for the card.
  • Bank Impact: The bank got tired of the virality of its attractive credit card ratio and decided to pull the plug on its generosity. In this, they are at the same place as the others before them, once bitten, twice shy. They figured it would be great to cut this up to size before this further goes out of hand.

What to do?

Honestly, your call. But if you are in the market for a vacation/trip today or in the coming years, you should transfer as many points as you can into programmes of your choice in the coming days. I will be putting out some recommendations in the coming days around it. Transfer points by August 31, 2023, if you can use them in the next couple of years.

My Take

While this is all from the same place of fixing issues concerning mileage transfers and putting the house in order in one go, some changes are purely to weed out bad actors (inability to change the linked transfer partners) and put a cap on transfers. Others are purely a gut punch because someone in Axis Bank was naive enough to think that the 5:4 transfer ratio would not be noticed. It was indeed a major rallying point for sales of their credit cards lately. The change to the transfer ratio is sure a devaluation, but at least it came with a notice period. There will be no death by a thousand paper cuts, just one-time decision-making (which will be implemented this time, not pulled back).

I have a full assessment of Magnus and Reserve posted separately.


Axis Bank has started to roll out many changes to its credit card products. A main one of interest to LFAL readers would be the cap to be introduced on EDGE Rewards conversion to miles/points of 500K points per annum across all EDGE Rewards cards linked to a customer ID (including Reserve, Magnus, etc.). Another one of importance is that Axis Bank will change the reward transfer ratios from 5:4 to 5:2 on the Reserve/Magnus. Other cards have an even worse-off ratio. Everything goes live on September 1, 2023.

What do you think of the changes to Axis Bank’s transfer ratios and restructuring of EDGE Rewards?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Did any one notice? There is no 10x section and Amazon vouchers have only 2x now on Gyftr/edge rewards program?

    • O gosh ! Yes u r right.
      Mmt hotel vouchers were on 10X – straight down to 3X … it’s still good though. I still find it better than infinite considering there are no caps.

      Just today afternoon got word from someone I know personally who is a head sales person of HNI cards – said – NO CHANGES WILL HAPPEN AS OF NOW ATLEAST TO THE HNI CARDS. He said he and his team has an official word. Pbly that’s y they atleast removed the 10x part from gyftr. Guess amex now makes more sense for vouchers in reward multiplier space

  2. Just checked with Axis. They mentioned that the changes are not official and as of now no change in redemption options or other benefits.

  3. @Ajay thanks for all the info. Now waiting to see if Magnus too is devalued; then does it offer better rewards than the Amex Plat. (points wise).

  4. I hope there is no capping or devaluation on Citi Prestige points transfer?

    I got approved for Magnus in Dec 2022 but couldn’t submit the documents due to my travel. And then didn’t like the whole experience on how Axis team kept following up to process the application.

    With Citi Prestige card future in uncertainty and having already spent 12L on Axis Vistara card I am at loss where to book all my domestic expenses going forward. HDFC Infinia, DCB are some options. Any recommendations Ajay?

  5. Well luckily or unluckily my application for the Magnus was rejected. I am a Citi Prestige holder.

    I was always expecting the 25k bonus on spend of 1 Lac to go away sooner or later.

    Also what I had understood was that this card was mainly to accommodate the Citi Prestige customers who would ultimately get converted. But if the transfer is changed to 5:1 from 5:4 then many people with the Prestige would not convert to the Magnus and cancel it.

  6. Hi Ajay

    I just now called up the Burgundy customer care (spoke to 2 diff ppl in an interval of 1 hour) sharing the knowledge the recent news.

    both confirmed the same thing that although the document and news is released, as of right now, the changes are only confirmed for the axis flipkart credit card.

    the rest for select, reserve and other cards is ALL on HOLD.

    they said changes are for sure coming, but what was and is published, is currently on hold.

    i shared with them the pdf from axis banks own website clearly stating the changes for RESERVE card in particular; & both these folks asked me to ignore for now the 13th Aug date. they said changes are coming but other than FlipKart card, rest all are under review and officially will let us know.

    just thought of sharing with you, if you or any other existing reserve card holder can re-confirm with your respective customer care.

    on a recorded line they have ASSURED me that for now there is no 13th august deadline and for now things continue as they were atleast for the reserve, select & magnus card.


  7. Hi Ajay,
    Not knowing This, I just yesterday got an approval for reserve card. I already have a Magnus card.

    Should I cancel my application? Or I can get the welcome bonus of 50k edge rewards, well before the 13 aug deadline and I can trf at 5:4?

  8. I got on the Magnus bus a bit too late. Got this card a month ago as I wanted a Visa card to complement my DCB and because of the better rewards. If they do devalue the transfer ratio to 5:1, closing this card is a better option now right? As DCB is better choice and it’s a LTF card too.

    • @PRanav, you’ve already paid the fee and gotten the 10K voucher. you are good for the year. Wait for the rest of it to play out.

  9. Ajay – I don’t remember such a big fuss about any other credit card (like the one on Magnus on Twitter handles). 20k points being hammered down to 5k is sure to generate noise…. though most understand the reasons and expected a devaluation.

    What’s your take on past points? Is there anything illegal in devaluation of points earned in the past that are held back only because of the 90-day policy? Or is it all covered in the fine print?

      • Thanks, hope you’ll update the article when there’s more clarity.

        And thanks for all that you do Ajay. While you are popular and all that (and rightly so) – I believe what got you started is “knowledge sharing”. And thanks continuing to exactly do this with zero fuss and noise. You post and it gets attention, some call for attention and then post. Not that I’m disrespectful towards them as they may have reasons/ motivation – but I’m more respectful of what you do. Thanks for helping thousands like me make lakhs by playing their ‘cards’ well – literally.

        God bless!

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