I frequently get questions about credit cards which copy the US feature of being a Zero Forex Fee Credit Card. To this, for most of the last many years, most banks have not moved forward, but instead offered more rewards or a lesser fee for the use of the credit card abroad:
- American Express Platinum Charge Card offers 3X the points on International Spends (online/offline)
- Citi Prestige offers 2X Points on International Spends (online/offline)
- Many HDFC Bank Credit Cards such as Infinia/Diners Club Black are on 1.99% forex charges, ex GST. Additionally, you get the Global Value programme which gets you a 1% cashback on international spends.
- Yes Bank offers 1.75% forex charges, ex GST on Credit Cards such as Yes First Preferred.
Axis Bank is the only one who offers 0% forex charges on their Burgundy Private Banking ONE card so far, which is for private banking customers. In this sort of a market, RBL Bank just came out with a new credit card, where they are offering one for the non-HNI market. The RBL World Safari Credit Card claims to be the first credit card in India to provide a 0% Foreign Exchange Markup fee, but it is the second.
Here are some of the features the credit card offers :
- INR 3,000 MakeMyTrip Voucher on approval: Since the card fees are INR 3,000+GST, you are going to recover the cost of your card with this voucher for the first year only.
- 0% Markup Fee on Foreign Exchange Transactions: On Non-INR transactions not originating in Bhutan or Nepal, you get a 0% Markup fee on the transactions.
Accelerated points earning on Travel Spends but none on International Spends
Just like many Banks, RBL Bank has also chosen to offer points which can be redeemed for travel spends such as for air tickets and hotel stays. The usual points earning rate is 2 points/INR 100 for domestic spend. For travel category spends per the merchant category codes, such as flights and hotels, you get 5 points/INR 100 for domestic spends. However, on its USP, the 0% Forex Charges, RBL makes a compromise and offers no points on international spending. Understandable, since there is no money to be made on those transactions and RBL will perhaps be taking on some cost on their books as well.
The RBL World Safari Credit Card offers the following rewards on reaching various spend milestones:
- Bonus complimentary international lounge visit on spending INR 50K or more per quarter.
- On spending INR 2.5 Lakh in a year, you get 10,000 bonus Travel Points
- On spending INR 5 Lakh in a year (including earlier INR 2.5 Lakh), you get another 15,000 bonus Travel Points
- On spending INR 7.5 Lakh in a year (including earlier INR 5 Lakh), you get INR 10,000 worth Taj Experience Gift Card
Complimentary Lounge Access
The RBL World Safari Credit Card offers international and domestic lounge access as per the following limits:
- Eight domestic lounge visits per annum (2 per quarter) around Indian airports
- Two international lounge visits using the Priority Pass attached to the Card account
- Like mentioned above, bonus lounge visit if you spend more than INR 50K in a quarter with this card
Now, the only reason to get this card is if you are dead sure about not spending extra on Forex fees. The card does not give any transfer partners and meagre reward value. Lounge Access is reduced as well and baselined to MasterCard minimums. For a frequent traveller, they want everything and surely direct their corporate and personal spends on a higher card such as Citi/Amex/HDFC lifestyle cards because of the valuable rewards these cards offer along as well.
What do you make of the RBL World Safari Credit Card? Would you opt for it? Do share your views below.