Emirates Skywards and ICICI Bank announce new co-branded card partnership in India

A few days ago, we wrote about Standard Chartered Bank and Emirates parting ways in India. However, Emirates had hinted then that a new partner is on its way, soon. And it indeed is. While it seems HDFC Bank was initially working with Emirates for a card on the Diners Club platform, eventually, Emirates has chosen to go with ICICI Bank to launch their new co-branded card portfolio in India. At the moment, I am trying to establish if this is an exclusive partnership or not, but the product is going to be live shortly.

ICICI Bank Emirates co-brand credit cards launched

ICICI Bank and Emirates have partnered to launch co-branded credit cards which allow you to earn Emirates Skywards miles in India. ICICI Bank has gone with the Gemstone range to launch these cards in India. There are going to be three variants, and all of them will be issued on the Visa platform:

  • Emirates Skywards ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card
  • Emirates Skywards ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card
  • Emirates Skywards ICICI Bank Rubyx Credit Card

On all three cards, cardholders will earn 1 Skywards Mile for every INR 100 spent on insurance and utility transactions. Cardholders will not earn Skywards Miles on fuel transactions, cash advances, ATM withdrawals, expenditure in form of EMI, balance transfer, etc. Having said that, let us take a look at the three variants.

Emirates Skywards ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card

The Emirates Skywards ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card is the top-end of the card range offering Skywards Miles, and comes with the following features:

  • 10,000 bonus Skywards Miles annually on card joining and renewal
  • Up to 2.5 Skywards Miles for every INR 100 spent
  • Emirates Skywards Silver tier membership as long as the card is active
  • Emirates Skywards Gold tier membership from second year onwards upon achieving the spend milestone of INR 15 Lakhs within the first year. Out of this, at least INR 50,000 should be spent on Emirates.
  • Unlimited lounge access worldwide via Dreamfolks Pass
  • Unlimited spa access via Dreamfolks Pass
  • Costs INR 10,000 plus GST annually

Emirates Skywards ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card

The Emirates Skywards ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card is the mid-end of the card range offering Skywards Miles, and comes with the following features:

  • 5,000 bonus Skywards Miles annually on card joining and renewal
  • Up to 2 Skywards Miles for every INR 100 spent
  • Emirates Skywards Silver tier membership for the first year, renewable upon achieving the spend milestone of INR 5 Lakhs in the first year.
  • 2 lounge access worldwide per quarter via Dreamfolks Pass
  • 2 spa access per quarter via Dreamfolks Pass
  • Costs INR 5,000 plus GST annually

Emirates Skywards ICICI Bank Rubyx Credit Card

The Emirates Skywards ICICI Bank Rubyx Credit Card is the lowest-end of the card range offering Skywards Miles, and comes with the following features:

  • Up 1.5 Skywards Miles for every INR 100 spent
  • 1 domestic lounge access per quarter via Dreamfolks Pass
  • Costs INR 1,000 plus GST annually

On all the cards, Skywards Miles will be credited to the primary cardholder’s Emirates Skywards account within 48 hours of the statement generation date by the bank.

The cards were launched at EXPO 2020, which is in its last month right now. In presence were Dr Nejib Ben Khedher, Divisional Senior Vice President Skywards and Mr Sudipta Roy, Head – Unsecured Assets, ICICI Bank.

Dr Nejib Ben Khedher, Divisional Senior Vice President Skywards said,

We’re very excited to be announcing our new partnership with ICICI Bank in India, offering members more ways to earn Skywards Miles on travel and lifestyle purchases. The Emirates Skywards ICICI Bank Credit Card offers our Indian customers a fantastic opportunity to rack up Miles for future flight rewards, flight upgrades and many more privileges. India is home to our fifth-largest membership base, and we look forward to continue offering our more than 2 million members unique opportunities to earn and redeem Miles on unmatched rewards.

Mr Sudipta Roy, Head – Unsecured Assets, ICICI Bank said,

We, at ICICI Bank, constantly strive to offer innovative propositions that address the growing and changing needs of customers. We are delighted to be the first Indian bank to partner with Emirates Skywards to co-create the ‘Emirates Skywards ICICI Bank Credit Card’ and offer world-class propositions to our affluent customers. Typically, credit cards offer similar benefits across all categories and do not cater to a specific customer type or need. The proposed range of cards will be part of the select ones, which enable customers to earn in the form of the coveted Skywards Miles across all relevant spends. We believe that these cards will elevate the rewards experience of avid travellers, giving them access to unmatched luxury and comfort.

Is this the better Emirates card?

Emirates’ Standard Chartered co-brand card, which used to be issued on the MasterCard platform (also one of the reasons the card is going away!) used to earn 4 Skywards miles per INR 100 spent on Emirates spends and 2 Skywards miles per INR 100 spent on other transactions. With this move, the top-end transactions earn 2.5 points on the Emeralde card. As of now, the whole break up is not available as ICICI Bank has not fully updated the card features, but from the looks of it, the card will at best match the earlier cards from Standard Chartered.

You can express your interest in the card on the ICICI Bank website, although a full link to process any applications are not online at the moment.

Bottomline

ICICI Bank will now issue Emirates co-branded credit cards in India, and these cards will be offered shortly. Emirates is one of the biggest international airlines operating out of India, and the Skywards miles are good for long-haul travel. The Emirates co-brand cards will come in three variants: Emeralde, Sapphiro and Rubyx.

What do you think of the new range of Emirates co-brand cards, which will be launched by ICICI Bank shortly?


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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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Comments

  1. Thanks @Ajay, great this with international travel opening up.. only wish they would offer Emirates Gold from the 1st year onwards, that would be really attractive for trying to get upgrades and other benefits.

  2. 2.5 miles on the highest variant is too low. ICICI is no more concentrating on Premium categories they are happy with Amazonpay card I guess.

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