ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card vs HDFC Infinia Credit CardICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card vs HDFC Infinia Credit Card

ICICI Bank Emeralde vs HDFC Infinia Credit Card

When considering credit cards in the super-premium tier, it’s essential to recognize the prerequisites: a substantial income, an outstanding credit score, and a positive banking relationship. HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank, prominent card issuers in India, present a diverse array of credit cards spanning various categories. Among their premium offerings, HDFC Bank features the Infinia Credit Card, while ICICI Bank boasts the Emeralde Credit Card. Both cards cater to high net-worth individuals, providing enticing rewards and benefits across diverse categories.

The annual fees for these cards are comparable, as are their advantages. It’s noteworthy that HDFC Infinia operates on an invitation-only basis, whereas the Emeralde Credit Card can be applied for online through the ICICI Bank’s website.

Features and Benefits of ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card and HDFC Infinia Credit Card

ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card:

  1. Premium Status: ICICI Emeralde Credit Card is the most prestigious card issued by ICICI Bank, ranking among the top premium cards in the Indian market.
  2. Fee Structure: The card has a joining fee of Rs. 12,000 + GST, and an alternative monthly fee plan of Rs. 1,000. However, this fee can be waived by spending over Rs. 15 lakhs in the previous year.
  3. Reward Program: Receive 4 Reward Points for each Rs. 100 spent, except for fuel purchases. These accumulated points are convertible at a rate of 1 RP equal to Re. 0.25.
  4. Travel and Lifestyle Benefits: Experience the freedom of unrestricted entry to both international and domestic airport lounges. Each month, enjoy the luxury of a complimentary movie ticket through BookMyShow, with a value of up to Rs. 750, available four times. Take advantage of up to four complimentary rounds of golf or lessons every month by meeting a spending threshold of Rs. 50,000 or more in the preceding month.
  5. Insurance and Waivers: Benefit from a Rs. 3 Crore air accident insurance cover and a 1% fuel surcharge waiver on all fuel transactions. The card also carries a low forex markup fee of 1.5%.
  6. No Cash Advance Fee: There is no cash advance fee associated with the Emeralde Credit Card.

HDFC Infinia Credit Card:

  1. Exclusive Status: HDFC Infinia Credit Card is an invite-only card, considered one of the most popular in the premium category in India.
  2. Membership Fee: The card comes with a membership fee of Rs. 12,500, renewable annually. However, this fee can be waived based on your total spends in the previous anniversary year.
  3. Welcome Benefits: Cardholders receive 12,500 bonus Reward Points and a complimentary Club Marriott membership as welcome benefits.
  4. Reward Structure: Earn 5 Reward Points for every Rs. 150 spent on retail purchases. Enjoy 3x Reward points on rail tickets and Flipkart, and 10x Reward Points on selected categories like bus, flight, and hotel bookings.
  5. Redemption Options: Redeem Reward Points for various options, including gift vouchers, shopping, flight/hotel bookings, cashback, and airmiles, where 1 RP can equal up to Re. 1.
  6. Travel Privileges: Avail unlimited complimentary domestic and international airport lounge access, a low forex markup fee of 2%, and unlimited complimentary golf rounds/lessons.
  7. Insurance and Waivers: Benefit from a personal air accident cover worth Rs. 3 crores and a 1% fuel surcharge waiver (capped at Rs. 1,000 per month).
  8. No Cash Advance Fee: Similar to the Emeralde Card, there is no cash advance fee associated with the HDFC Infinia Card.

Comparison between ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card and HDFC Infinia Credit Card

ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card:

  1. Annual Fee: Rs. 12,000
  2. Rewards Rate:
    • For every Rs. 100 spent on retail purchases, you earn 4 Reward Points.
    • 1 RP on every Rs. 100 spent towards utility and insurance transactions.
  3. Reward Redemption: Accumulated reward points redeemable against various products and options at a rate of 1 RP = Re. 0.25.
  4. Travel Benefits:
    • Unlimited complimentary domestic and international airport lounge access.
    • Cancel your flight ticket without any charges, with a waiver of up to Rs. 12,000 for cancellation fees.
  5. Dining/Movie Benefits:
    • BookMyShow offers Buy 1 Get 1 on movie ticket bookings (four times every month).
    • Up to 15% off on dining across participating restaurants.

HDFC Infinia Credit Card:

  1. Annual Fee: Rs. 12,500
  2. Rewards Rate:
    • 5 RPs on every Rs. 150 spent on retail purchases.
    • 3x Rewards on Flipkart and railway ticket bookings.
    • Earn ten times the reward points when you book hotels, flights, or buses through EaseMyTrip, Cleartrip, or Redbus.
  3. Reward Redemption: Accumulated RPs redeemable against flight/hotel bookings, products, vouchers, and other options at a rate of 1 RP = up to Re. 1.
  4. Travel Benefits:
    • Unlimited free domestic and international airport lounge access for primary and add-on cardholders.
    • One year complimentary Club Marriott membership.
  5. Dining/Movie Benefits:
    • Up to 20% off on dining spends.
    • 1+1 buffet at over 200 restaurants.
  6. Insurance Cover Against Personal Accident: A personal air accident cover worth Rs. 3 crores.
  7. Spend-Based Waiver: Annual fee waived upon spending more than Rs. 10 lakhs in the previous year.

Which credit card suits you best?

  1. HDFC Infinia and ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card are excellent choices for those seeking super-premium cards.
  2. Comparing the two, there’s no clear superiority of one over the other; the key factor is a strong relationship with the respective banks.
  3. Building a good financial rapport with HDFC or ICICI Bank is crucial for obtaining these cards.
  4. If no prior relationship exists, one must establish it to be eligible for these premium cards.
  5. For Emeralde Card, start with a mid-level ICICI Bank card, use it for a few months, and then request an upgrade or apply directly.
  6. Infinia Credit Card application is not directly available; however, it can be acquired by establishing an excellent credit history and a strong relationship with HDFC Bank.
  7. Evaluate your spending behavior and preferences before deciding which card suits you best.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Which is better, ICICI Bank Emeralde or HDFC Infinia Credit Card?
    • There is no definitive answer as both are excellent super-premium cards. The choice depends on individual preferences and their relationship with the respective banks.
  2. What factors should I consider when choosing between these two credit cards?
    • Key factors include your spending habits, preferences, and the existing relationship with ICICI Bank or HDFC. Evaluate the benefits, rewards, and features that align with your needs.
  3. Can I apply for the ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card directly?
    • Yes, you can apply directly. Alternatively, if you have an existing mid-level ICICI Bank card, you can use it for a few months and request an upgrade to the Emeralde Card.
  4. Is there a direct application option for the HDFC Infinia Credit Card?
    • No, a direct application option is not available. However, building a strong credit history and maintaining a good relationship with HDFC Bank can make you eligible for the Infinia Credit Card.
  5. What role does the relationship with the banks play in obtaining these credit cards?
    • A strong financial relationship with ICICI Bank or HDFC is crucial. Having a good credit history and being a valued customer enhance your chances of getting approved for these premium cards.
  6. Can I have both ICICI Bank Emeralde and HDFC Infinia Credit Cards?
    • Yes, it’s possible to hold both cards if you meet the eligibility criteria for each. However, it’s advisable to assess your credit needs and spending patterns before acquiring multiple premium cards.
  7. What are the key benefits of the ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card?
    • Benefits may include lounge access, exclusive discounts, rewards on specific categories, and personalized services. Check the latest offerings from ICICI Bank for the most up-to-date information.
  8. What are the standout features of the HDFC Infinia Credit Card?
    • Infinia Credit Card offers benefits such as travel privileges, reward points, concierge services, and comprehensive insurance coverage. The specific features may evolve, so check with HDFC for the latest details.
  9. How can I upgrade my existing ICICI credit card to Emeralde?
    • If you have a mid-level ICICI credit card, use it for a few months, and then request an upgrade through the bank’s customer service or online channels.
  10. Do these credit cards come with any yearly charges?
    • Both cards typically have annual fees. It’s crucial to review the terms and conditions, including fees, before applying, as they may be subject to change.

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