ICICI Emeralde Credit Card: The ICICI Emeralde Credit Card is a premium offering by ICICI Bank time high-net-worth individuals HNI in India. It offers a host of luxury privileges such as complimentary domestic and international airport lounge access, fine dining offers, and premium concierge services. With a fee of Rs.10,000 per year, it is among the most expensive credit cards in India.
In this detailed review, we will analyze the features and benefits of the ICICI Emeralde Credit Card to help you decide if its high fee is justified for your profile and needs.
Overview of the ICICI Emeralde Credit Card
Here is an overview of the key features and benefits of the ICICI Emeralde Credit Card:
Features and Benefits
- Complimentary access to domestic airport lounges in India 4 times per quarter
- Complimentary international lounge access through Priority PassTM membership
- Personal concierge service for travel bookings, restaurant reservations, ions, etc.
- 10,000 annual fee
- Up to 45 days of interest-free credit period
- 1% fuel surcharge waiver
- Purchase protection of up to Rs. 5 lakh
- Air accident insurance cover of Rs.1 crore
Eligibility and Fees
The ICICI Emeralde Credit Card has an annual fee of Rs.10,000. The eligibility criteria are:
- Minimum annual income of Rs.12 lakh
- Good credit score
- Existing ICICI bank account
There are no additional fees for payments sent or cash withdrawals.
Rewards and Promotions
- 15 reward points per Rs.150 spent
- 2X rewards on international spends
- 5X rewards on dining, entertainment, and airlinspendds
- Redeem rewards against air tickets, hotel bookings, merch, noise, etc.
- Limited period signup bonus of 20,000 reward points
Pros of the ICICI Emeralde Credit Card
Here are some of the advantages of using the ICICI Emeralde Credit Card:
Lucrative Rewards Program
The ICICI Emeralde Credit Card offers 15 reward points per Rs. 150 spent, with additional bonuses on international, dining, entertainment, and airline purchases. The redemption options against air tickets and hotel bookings are very lucrative if you are a frequent traveler.
Premium Lounge Access
The highlight feature of this card is the complimentary access to domestic and international lounges. You get 4 quarterly complimentary visits to domestic lounges in India operated by Plaza Premium.
The international lounge access via Priority PassTM membership allows you to access 1000+ airport lounges globally – a privilege usually offered only by high-end cards like Amex Platinum and Citi Prestige.
Flexible Redemption Options
ICICI offers great flexibility in redeeming reward points against a wide range of products and services including air tickets, hotel bookings, merchandise, and gadgets. There is no restriction to call a certain airline or hotel chain to book using points. This is a key advantage over other cards which limit redemption to specific brands.
Low Foreign Transaction Fee
The foreign transaction fee on international spending is only 3.5% which is lower than most other credit cards in India. So the Emeralde Card can save you a lot of money if you frequently make payments in foreign currency.
Cons of the ICICI Emeralde Credit Card
While the Emeralde Card does come with some very appealing benefits, it also has a few limitations:
High Annual Fee
At Rs.10,000, the annual fee is quite steep and among the highest charged by premium cards in India. Unless you frequently spend on international flights and hotels, it may be hard to recover the fee through rewards and savings.
Low Onboarding Bonus
The one-time welcome bonus offered is only 20,000 points which is lower compared to bonuses of 50,000 or 100,000 points by cards like Amex Membership Rewards and HDFC Diners Black. Many users expect a higher bonus for a card with a Rs.10,000 annual fee.
Limited Acceptance Outside India
Since the ICICI Emeralde Credit Card is designed primarily for the Indian market, its acceptance is limited overseas except in airport port lounges, and POS terminals that accept Mastercard. So it may not be as useful if you reside outside India.
How Does It Compare to Other Premium Cards?
Here is how the ICICI Emeralde Credit Card stacks up against other popular premium cards in India:
- American Express Platinum Card
The Amex Platinum Card has higher lounge access benefits with higher Priority Pass visits and access to exclusive Centurion Lounges globally. It also offers higher welcome bonuses, rewards, rates, and travel privileges. But it carries an even steeper fee of Rs.15,000 per year.
- Citi Prestige Card
The Citi Prestige also provides unlimited international lounge access via Priority Pass. Its best advantages are low forex fees of just 2.5 and an unmatched air ticket redemption scheme where points are worth 1.33 times extra. However, the reward card structure is slightly inferior to the Emeralde.
- HDFC Infinia Card
HDFC Infinia gives comparable lounge access to Emeralde but hind in rewards rate and forex charges. However, it has wider global acceptance and provides golf program privileges which Emeralde lacks. Its annual fee of Rs.10,000 is the same as Emeralde.
Are the isfeesarges on the ICICI Emeralde Credit Card?
The annual fee is Rs.10,000. There are no additional charges for late payment, cash ad, Vance, or balance transfer. Foreign transaction fee is 3.5%.
What is the credit limit on this card?
The minimum credit limit is Rs.5 lakhs. The actual limit can range from Rs.5 lakhs to Rs.50 lakhs based on your eligibility and income declaration.
What documents are required for ICICI Emeralde Credit Card application?
You need to submit identity proof, address proof, latest photo, graph, and bank account statements for the last 6 months showing salary credits.
Can the annual fee be waived on the Emeralde Card?
No, the annual fee cannot be waived as premium lounge access and concierge service are tied to the privilege fee you pay.
Is there a lifetime free credit card from ICICI Bank?
No, but the ICICI Sapphiro Credit Card has a waiver on annual fees for the first year. Afterward, you have to pay a fee of Rs.3,000 per year.
The ICICI Emeralde Credit Card makes the most sense for frequent international travelers who can maximize lounge access and forex savings benefits. With smart redemptions, it is possible to offset the high fee. But it lacks the global privileges of American Express and Citi Prestige Cards.
For domestic spenders and infrequent international travelers, the fee may be hard to justify. The onboarding bonus is also less attractive compared to some other premium cards. But the Emeralde still warrants consideration for its domestic lounge access privileges and good redemption options.
Faizan Ahmad is a financial analyst and writer who specializes in investments, banking, and corporate finance. He has over 7 years of experience working in the finance industry in various roles.
He leverages his strong financial modeling and data analysis skills to provide insightful commentary on business, markets, and economic trends.
At Ventures Money, Faizan covers topics including Credit Card Reviews, Loans, Insurance, and Mutual Funds in the banking sector. He provides in-depth analysis of the latest news and trends to help readers make smart investment decisions.
Outside of writing, Faizan enjoys following the stock market, rooting for his favorite sports teams, and spending time with his family.