ICICI Bank’s Gemstone collection has five credit cards – Coral, Rubyx, Sapphiro, Emeralde and Diamant. Coral is the entry-level card with Diamant(invite only) being the highest in the order. In this post, we will review the ICICI Bank Sapphiro credit card.
Like the other Gemstone cards, Sapphiro is also issued on both Amex and Visa/Mastercard. This is a review of the Visa/Mastercard variant as that is the one that gets issued in most cases.
Fees and Charges
In some cases, ICICI Bank issues the card LTF for ‘Wealth’ savings account customers.
While the welcome benefit is decent enough, Amazon vouchers would have been better. It gives more flexibility on the spend instead of moving around different merchants.
|Joining Fee||Rs 6500 plus GST|
|Welcome Benefit||Rs 3000 Tata CLiQ GV, 4 X Rs 1000 EasyMyTrip GV, 4 X Rs 250 Uber GV, Rs 1000 Croma GV, 12 months Zomato Pro|
|Annual Fee||Rs 3500 plus GST|
|Annual Fee Waiver||Rs 6 Lakhs spend in a membership year|
We are now in 2022 with awesome credit cards but ICICI Bank still uses the PAYBACK rewards. Hope this changes soon. Till then, we get:
- 2 PAYBACK points per Rs 100 of Domestic Spends ~ 50 paise value
- 4 PAYBACK points per Rs 100 of International Spends ~ Rs 1 value
- 1 PAYBACK point per Rs 100 of Utilities and Insurance Spends ~ 25 paise value
The reward rate is quite low for a card that charges a fee. Even LTF cards offer better rewards now. Each PAYBACK point is worth 25 paise.
Excluded Transactions for Rewards
Below transactions will not get any cashback on the ICICI Bank Sapphiro credit card:
× Fuel Spends
- 4000 PAYBACK points on spending Rs 4 Lakhs in a membership year
- 2000 PAYBACK points on every Rs 1 lakh spend after crossing Rs 4 lakhs milestone above
- Max 20000 PAYBACK points in a year
Airport Lounge Access
- In India – 4 complimentary access per quarter to select airport lounges. Only if a minimum spend of Rs 5000 is completed in previous calendar quarter.
- Outside India – 2 complimentary visits to airport lounge and airport spa per calendar year with Dreamfolks membership.
- BookMyShow: Buy one ticket and get up to Rs. 500 off on the second ticket, twice every month.
- Fuel Surcharge Waiver: 1% fuel surcharge waived off on fuel transactions at any fuel outlet.
I usually evaluate the Pros and Cons of a credit card in a review. Considering the card features in this case, I will focus more on the drawbacks.
- High Annual Fee Waiver – The fee waiver is set too high at Rs 6 Lakhs for this card.
- Rewards System – The low earning rate of rewards along with PAYBACK does not make this card lucrative at all. The benefits are decent but ICICI Bank needs to have better rewards on its credit cards.
- Conditional Airport Lounge Access – Even entry-level credit cards have started offering complimentary airport lounge access now.
ICICI Bank has some great card designs on its Gemstone collection. Unfortunately, the rewards are not up to the mark.
Benefits like the BookMyShow offer are good but they are not worth paying the annual fee. The reward rate is around 0.75% with milestone spends for Rs 4 Lakhs spend.
If you are planning to get the Sapphiro card by paying a fee, avoid it. We have far better cards in the market.