The internet has spent much discussion and energy on the product changes that were supposed to come out on the Axis HNI Credit Cards but never did. Today, Axis Bank moved the goalpost on the Axis Bank Magnus Credit Card as well as on the Axis Bank Reserve Credit Card. For those not in the loop, Axis Reserve is a credit card Axis Bank launched with the intention to focus on Golf Benefits, since their other cards do not have Golf benefits. However, some people got taken in by the fact that it offered 50K ER for card issuance and renewal, and also limousine transfers against the 50K INR ++ fee, apart from 2X points on foreign spends. However, it is all set to change.
Axis Bank to roll out significant changes for Reserve Credit Card.
Axis Bank has just notified the customers of the Reserve Credit Cards about changes being rolled out for their Reserve Credit Card. These changes are effective September 1, 2023. Let’s take a look:
- Fee Waiver condition goes up:
- New users who sign up for the card on or after September 1, 2023, will get a fee waiver for the next year if they spend INR 35 Lakhs on the card in the membership year.
- Existing users who will have their card renewal after September 1, 2023, will get a fee waiver for their card if they spend INR 25 Lakhs on the card in the following membership year. However, for the renewal after September 1, 2024, they will also be subject to a renewal fee waiver only after INR 35 Lakh spend on the card in the membership year.
- Government & Utility Spend is not going to be awarded points or counted for spend threshold: The card will stop awarding points and any sort of spend waivers on Government and Utility Spends:
- Utilities: MCC Codes 4814, 4816, 4899, 4900 (Phone services, Computer Network/Information Services, Cable/Satellite and Other Pay Television and Radio Services, Utilities–Electric, Gas, Heating Oil, Sanitary, Water)
- Government institutions: MCC Codes 9222, 9311, 9399, 9402(Fines, Tax Payments, Government Services Not classified elsewhere)
- Mileage Transfer Ratio to be changed: Effective September 1, 2023, EDGE Rewards transferred from Axis Reserve Credit Card or any credit card which has a Reserve relationship in the customer ID to an air miles or hotel points conversion partner will move from 5:4 to 5:2 conversion. All conversions through August 31, 2023, to the 19 partners will be honoured at the 5:4 ratio. If you open a Burgundy Private Relationship with the bank after September 1, 2023, you can continue with the 5:4 Ratio. More details are yet to be disclosed about this new spin.
- Mileage Transfer to be capped: Effective September 1, 2023, per customer ID (including all sorts of EDGE Rewards points), only conversion of 5 Lakh points per annum will be allowed in a calendar year. For the year 2023, this limit is going to be between the period of September 1 – December 31, 2023. From 2024 onwards, the whole year will count.
- Cool-off period introduced: Axis Bank has also introduced a cool-off period for points transfer. You can only have one membership number linked to an account for a transfer partner. If you change it, you cannot change it again for at least 60 days. This is to curb mileage brokers and people selling their points.
Axis Bank has done what it needed to stop the excess hemming of one of its most popular card products. The fundamental change here is to reward points earning and miles transfer ratios. The card used to offer 7,500 EDGE Rewards points/6,000 Miles for INR 1,00,000 spent, which will now reduce to 3,000 Miles effective September 1, 2023, a devaluation of 50% if you are one of the people who like to use your ER points for airmiles transfer.
Assuming you will go for a Burgundy Private Relationship, which requires you to keep INR 5 Crores in the relationship to avail of the benefits, you will still earn only 6,000 Miles per month on an apple-to-apple comparison for the INR 1 Lakh spend.
For further use, I see the HNIs moving back their spending to HDFC Bank Infinia and American Express in the coming months. Infinia offers a 3.3% Reward rate on an ongoing basis. I do not see too many people carrying on with the card with the new shape of things to come.
Axis Bank has rolled out changes on their Reserve Credit Card, which will go live on September 1, 2023. Key among the changes will be the points transfer ratio will move from 5ER:4 miles/Points to 5ER:2 Miles/Points on September 1.Additionally, a max of 500,000 ER can be transferred from AXIS ER to other miles/points transfer partners.
What do you make of the changes to Axis Bank’s Reserve Credit Card? Where is the silver lining, and what will you do with this card product going forward?
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