ICICI Bank has long worked as one of India’s top Credit Card issuers. However, with significant P&L comes the great responsibility to protect it. And 2024 is the year when ICICI Bank will work more on increasing the bottom-line contribution of the business. One of the moves towards this was put out without much fanfare.
Existing Lounge Access Benefits on ICICI Bank Credit Cards.
So far, many ICICI Bank Credit Cards in the gemstone collection (excluding the Emeralde and the Emeralde Private) have been used to accrue lounge access against INR 5,000 spent on the card per quarter.
Changes to Lounge Access Benefits on ICICI Bank Credit Cards, effective April 1, 2024.
ICICI Bank has now reshuffled the lounge access benefits. For 22 cards, primarily entry-level cards, ICICI Bank has notified that cardmembers must spend at least INR 35,000 INR in the current quarter to receive one lounge access entry in the next quarter. As I’d explained earlier, lounge access is a costly benefit to offer, and just holding a “free” credit card no longer cuts it with the banks to give it away to customers.
This new change will impact the following credit cards:
- ICICI Bank Coral Credit Card
- ICICI Bank NRI Secured Coral Visa Credit Card
- ICICI Bank Coral American Express Credit Card
- ICICI Bank Secured Coral Credit Card
- ICICI Bank Coral Contactless Credit Card
- ICICI BANK HPCL SUPER SAVER RuPay Credit Card
- ICICI Bank LEADTHENEW Coral Credit Card
- ICICI Bank Coral Rupay Credit Card
- ICICI Bank MasterCard Coral Credit Card
- ICICI Bank Expressions Credit Card
- MINE Credit Card By ICICI Bank Visa Card
- MINE Credit card By ICICI Bank Mastercard
- ICICI Bank HPCL SUPER SAVER Visa Credit Card
- ICICI Bank HPCL SUPER SAVER Master Credit Card
- MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Platinum Credit Card
- ICICI Bank Manchester United Platinum Credit Card
- Chennai Super Kings ICICI Bank Credit Card
- Accelero ICICI Bank Credit Card
- ICICI Bank Parakram Select Credit Card
- ICICI Bank Business Blue Advantage Card
- ICICI Bank MakeMy Trip Mastercard Business Platinum Credit Card
- ICICI Bank Parakram Credit Card
Most of these cards already offered 1 Lounge Access only per quarter (except the ICICI Bank Parakram Select Credit Card and a couple of others, which used to offer two). Now, they need INR 35,000 spent per quarter instead of the INR 5,000 spent per quarter required earlier. Since the change goes live on April 1, 2024, people would have to spend in the Jan/Feb/March Quarter to receive the benefit in April/May/June 2024.
Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) introduced.
Starting February 5, 2024, a DCC fee of 1% plus GST will be applied to each international transaction carried out in Indian currency at an international location or transactions carried out in Indian currency with merchants located in India but registered in a foreign nation. This change will apply to all ICICI Bank credit cards. Some examples of foreign merchants in India include Twitter (X).
Rewards on Rent Payment and E-Wallet Loading
From February 5, 2024, rent pay and e-wallet loading transactions will not accrue reward points across ICICI Bank Credit Cards. This brings ICICI Bank Credit Cards at par with the other market players, such as Axis Bank. This change, however, will not apply to the Amazon Pay ICICI Bank Credit Card.
Rewards on Utility Payments will include Government Transactions.
An interesting change is that starting February 5, 2024, government transactions will be included under utility payment transactions for ICICI Bank’s purposes. This change will apply to all ICICI Bank credit cards. ICICI Bank will continue offering appropriate rewards on these transactions (such as Tax payments).
ICICI Bank has notified new lounge access policies on 22 credit cards effective April 1, 2024 (read here). The lounge access on some of their entry-level cards has been rationalised. Other charges, such as DCC, have been introduced, and rewards on rent payments and E-Wallet loading have been taken away.
What do you make of the move from ICICI Bank Credit Cards to rationalise Lounge Access?
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