ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card Review

ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card Review

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 Emeralde credit card. Like the other Gemstone cards, Emeralde is also issued on Amex, Visa, and Mastercard platforms. Always try to get the Amex variant as it comes with more benefits courtesy of American Express.

Eligibility

Emeralde is one of the super-premium offerings from ICICI Bank. This also means a higher eligibility criterion to get the card. We need to fulfill one of the below conditions. You can also get the card if you have a high NRV with the bank.

  • Net Monthly Income of Rs 3 Lakhs or more
  • Annual Income Tax Return of Rs 30 Lakhs or above
  • Existing ICICI Bank Global Private Client customer
  • Upgrade of existing ICICI Bank credit card with a limit of at least Rs 6 Lakhs

Fees and Charges

Joining and Annual FeeRs 1000/month or Rs 12000/year
Annual Fee WaiverRs 1 Lakh spend for the monthly plan
Rs 12 Lakhs spend on the yearly plan
ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card Review: Fees and Charges

The card is given First Year Free (FYF) for both upgrades and fresh applications. So, try and negotiate that if you get this card. The annual fee plan will give your more flexibility as our spending tend to vary every month. So, Rs 12 Lakhs spend every year may be easier than Rs 1 Lakh spend every month.

Rewards

  • Retail Transactions: 4 ICICI Rewards Points / Rs 100 ~ 1% Return
  • Utilities and Insurance: 1 ICICI Rewards Points/Rs 100 ~0.25% Return
  • Fuel: No Rewards

The Emeralde disappoints in the rewards department. It is as bad as other ICICI Bank credit cards. ICICI Bank does not seem to have any interest in competing with others when it comes to rewards.

ICICI Rewards Points can be redeemed on ICICI Bank’s portal. Check this article on how to access it and see available redemption options.

Birthday Benefit

  • Rs 5000 Tata CLiQ Voucher (Only on Amex)

This used to be a Trident Hotel dining voucher worth Rs 7500. Wish, they had kept the same value for the Tata CLiQ voucher as well.

Unlimited Complimentary Airport Lounge Access

  • Domestic Airport Lounge Access: Unlimited visits for both primary and add-on cards via Visa/Mastercard/Amex.
  • International Airport Lounge Access: Unlimited visits for primary cards via Dreamfolks.
  • Eligible international airport lounges: Click here
  • Eligible domestic airport lounges: Amex/Visa/Mastercard

This is where the Emeralde shines and is at par with its competition. It is good to see unlimited access to both domestic and international airport lounges.

Unlimited Complimentary Airport Spa Access

  • Domestic Airport Spa Access: Unlimited visits for primary cards via Dreamfolks.
  • Eligible domestic airport spas airport lounges: Click here. Right now, there are 12 airports where we can avail of this benefit.
  • Any one of the services from Foot Reflexology / Head or Shoulder Massage / Upper Back Massage can be availed. Duration will be 30 mins.

Here Emeralde is better than the competition. Right now, many super-premium cards do not offer this benefit. The covered spa services cost around Rs 1500 outside airports. So, even if we use them once a month, this benefit is worth Rs 18000. This is the USP of this card. A good way to relax a bit before the flight. 🙂

BookMyShow Offer

  • Buy one and get one free up to Rs 750 on the second ticket.
  • Valid 4 times/month on all movie and non-movie tickets.

This benefit will come in useful in premium theatres where we have very expensive movie tickets.

Other Benefits

  • Golf: One round/lesson of golf every month if spends are more than Rs 50000 in the previous month. We get up to 4 rounds/lessons for every Rs 50000 spent in the previous month. This is too much and won’t be useful.
  • Foreign transactions mark-up fee: 1.5%
  • Travel Insurance: Get a refund of up to Rs 12000 for up to 2 transactions every year on a flight, hotel, or movie cancellations. The booking should be with Emeralde to avail of this offer.
  • No late payment and over-limit fee

Drawbacks

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.

  • Low Rewards: The low earning rate of rewards does not make this card lucrative at all. The benefits are great but ICICI Bank needs to have better rewards on its credit cards.
  • High Annual Fee Waiver – The fee waiver is set too high at Rs 12 Lakhs for this card. Think about spending Rs 12 Lakhs to get just 1% rewards at max!

My Take

ICICI Bank has some great card designs in its Gemstone collection. Unfortunately, the rewards are not up to the mark even for the super-premium Emeralde.

Get the Emeralde for its unlimited spa, lounge access, and BookMyShow offer. But, I would not suggest spending Rs 12 Lakhs on this card to get a fee waiver. You would be losing much more on the rewards than the annual fee here.

ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card

CardMaven

Joining / Annual Fees
Rewards
Features and Benefits
2.8

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