Whenever I used to pay cash for my purchases, all my friends used to scold me for this. They always suggested me to go for a credit card, they explained me 1000 advantages of having plastic money. My view of paying thru Cash or Debit card was changed when several benefits were cited by them like:- 52 day credit period, No need to carry cash, online shopping, online Bill payment, special offers, free rewards, Etc. etc
So, finally under peer pressure I started my search for the card which best suited me. Search ended with ICICI bank offering me a lifetime free Credit card with my salary account. Within 15 days of my application I was granted my first credit card “ICICI HPCL Solid Gold Card” which I used for six months (June 05 to Feb. 06).
My Prudent Decision!
Later in March 06, as I latched on to AirTel network with a post paid connection I converted my solid gold card into co-branded “ICICI AirTel rewards HPCL Gold Card” (AirTel Rewards Card). This day today (March 10, 2007), I have completed one very rewarding year with the best Co branded Credit Card…….
How I have been benefited!
At first it took me few weeks to understand the Nitti gritty of using a credit card sensibly. But soon I perfected this art and started enjoying all the benefits attached to Plastic Money card.
1) First I got “ Mobile office” activated on my AirTel connection. At that time its subscription charges were Rs. 600/month which I got for free. (So, a cool saving of Rs. 600*3 = Rs. 1800) *
2) Than I got the privilege customer care called “AirTel Care Touch”, which is much superior to normal 121 services *
3) Rewards point redemption against free ISD/ STD/ Local min and free value added services * This was the most enticing offer, as till date I have received credit of almost Rs. 3500/- in my AirTel bills by redeeming rewards points.
4) Also, contrary to the normal rewards structure of ICICI credit cards where reward point is offered for transaction worth Rs. 200, here 2 reward points are credited for every Rs. 100 of AirTel mobile bill if payment is made thru the AirTel Rewards card.
5) Waiver of 2.5% surcharge on fuel purchases at HPCL outlets.
Other than these offers ICICI bank comes up with very innovative loyalty rewards programs like:- Xpresss rewards points, 10 times rewards points, Up to 100% cash back.
ICICI AirTel rewards HPCL Gold Card is the king among all the co-branded cards. Me have found this card much superior to my other cards/Co-Branded cards:- ABN-Amro Adlabs Card, Citibank Shoppers’ Stop Gold Card, HSBC Gold Card, SBI Lifestyle Card. I highly recommend this card to all. But be careful while spending and always pay Total Payment Due and use credit card more like a Charge Card, as revolving credit on credit cards can be HIGHLY EXPENSIVE.
p.s. Now ICICI had withdrawn many exclusive offers for AirTel subscribers, as it seems AirTel was not cooperating with the bank in reward point credit. It would be better if both parties coordinate with each other for their own benefits too.