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What are Credit Card Reward Points?

Banks offer reward points on credit cards to make your transactions exciting and rewarding. You can earn reward points when you shop for eligible items with a credit card or simply make transactions up to a certain amount. Once you accumulate a considerable number of reward points, you can redeem them as vouchers, gift items, air miles, etc.

 

Customers often choose their credit card based on the type of rewards they can earn. Most banks offer various credit cards for different lifestyle needs. For instance, there are credit cards geared towards travellers that help you to earn miles and rewards on travel and hotel stays. Similarly, rewards points are also targeted towards daily essentials like grocery shopping.

Reward Points on Top Credit Cards in India

Credit Card

Reward Points Benefits

Axis Bank Magnus credit card

  • Tata Cliq voucher or free domestic flight ticket worth ₹10,000 as welcome benefit

  • 12 Axis EDGE REWARDS points r every ₹200 spent 

  • 5X EDGE REWARD points on travel spends through TRAVEL EDGE

Standard Chartered Ultimate credit card

  • 6000 reward points redeemable on shopping vouchers or charity spends within the Standard Chartered 360° rewards programme as welcome benefits

  • 5 reward points on every retail transaction of ₹150

American Express Platinum Card

  • Vivanta, Taj, and SeleQtions hotel vouchers worth ₹45,000

  • 3X rewards on all international spends

  • 5X rewards on transactions via the AmEx rewards multiplier portal

HDFC Bank Diners Club credit card 

  • Complimentary year-long memberships to  Zomato Gold, MMTDOUBLEBLACK, Times Prime, Club Marriott and Amazon Prime as welcome benefit

  • 5 rewards points for every ₹150 spent 

  • Accelerated rewards points on spends through SmartBuy

Credit Card Reward Points by Other Banks

Credit Card

Reward Points Benefits

SBI SimplyCLICK credit card

  • Amazon e-voucher worth ₹500 as welcome benefit

  • Earn 1 point for every ₹100 spent offline 

  • Earn 10X rewards points on online spends at partner merchants like BookMyShow, Apollo 24x7 

  • Earn 5X reward points on other online spends

American Express SmartEarn credit card 

  • Cashback of ₹500 on ₹10,000 spent within 90 days of card issuance 

  • Earn 1 membership point ₹50 spent 

  • 10X accelerated points on Amazon, Flipkart and Uber

  • 5% on other merchants like Swiggy, Paytm and PVR

IDFC FIRST Select credit card 

  • Welcome gifts vouchers worth ₹500 on spends within 90 days of card issuance 

  • 5% cashback on EMI transactions within 90 days of card issuance 

RBL Bank ShopRite credit card

  • 2000 bonus reward points as welcome benefits

  • 1 reward point on every ₹100 spent 10 reward points on fuel

  • 20 reward points on grocery shopping

HSBC Smart Value credit card

Welcome benefits:

  • 3 complimentary accesses to airport lounges

  • Amazon gift voucher of ₹500

  • 10% cashback up to ₹1,000

  • 50% discount on Google Pay 

Rewards Rate

  • 1 reward point for every ₹100 spent on retail transactions 

  • 3x reward points on dining, telecom, and all online spends

How to Earn Reward Points on Credit Cards?

Reward points can be earned by using your credit card for different types of transactions. It also depends on the type of card you chose - whether it is a basic or a high priority credit card. Some of the rewards offered by credit card providers are as follows:

  • Welcome Rewards: When you avail of a new credit card, you can end up earning some welcome reward points. In this way, you could end up saving money right from the start! In addition, you can earn additional points by reaching a spending threshold within a set time.

  • Regular Rewards: This type of reward point usually remains fixed and can be achieved by reaching a spending threshold under any rewards program. It is to be noted that such kind of reward programs completely depend on the credit card provider.

  • Accelerated Rewards: Accelerated reward points can be earned when one spends on particular categories like travel, online shopping, etc. For eg, if you earn 10 reward points for every ₹100 spent as regular rewards, then you can earn 2X accelerated rewards on travel-related transactions with your travel credit card. That's the benefit of Accelerated reward points.

  • Loyalty Points: As the name suggests, you can earn a significant amount of points for showing your loyalty towards a specific card. Loyalty points are generally earned upon renewal of the credit card.

  • Bonus Points: If you use the credit card for a certain sum of money that is over and above the required limit, you become eligible for bonus points. For eg, you can earn a reward point on every ₹100 spent. Any more spending in the same month will allow you to earn twice the number of reward points on every ₹ 100 spent.

  • High-value Purchases: There are certain products that fall under the high-value purchase category. Hence, when you spend on products such as jewellery, travel bookings, and holidays, they can help you earn more reward points.

  • International Rewards: If you end up using your card outside the country or make high-value purchases abroad, certain card-holding companies offer international rewards on the transactions.

  • Supplementary Cards: Such kinds of cards can be availed for any of the members of your family who are of at least 18 years of age. Points earned will be deposited into your rewards account.

Type of Reward-Points

How to Earn Points

When Will it be Credited

Welcome Reward Points

Becoming a cardholder

Paying annual or joining fees

Regular Reward Points

Using the card

Once the purchasing is done

Accelerated Reward Points

Special category spends like travel, shopping, etc.

Once the purchasing is done

High-value Purchase Points

Spending on costly products

Once the purchasing is done

International Reward Points

Spending abroad

Once the purchasing is done

Bonus Reward Points

Spending above the specified limit

Once the purchasing is done

Loyalty Reward Points

On renewal of the credit card

Once the renewal charges are paid 

Supplementary Cards

Using the add-on card

Once the purchasing is done

What Can You Get in Exchange for Your Reward Points?

 You can earn and enjoy a host of benefits when you decide to redeem credit card points as listed below:

  •  Merchandise

Each credit card provider will have a collection of a specific list of products along with the number of reward points needed to purchase that product. These items include apparels, beauty products, stationeries, accessories, electronic gadgets, travel merchandise, etc.

  •  Gift Vouchers

You can use the reward points you earn to get e-vouchers from popular restaurants, merchants, or brands.

  •  Air Miles

Some credit cards allow you to earn air miles directly or with some cards, your points can be converted to air miles. You can redeem these miles for purchasing or availing a discount on your air tickets.

  •  Cashback

Credit card cashback reward is a bonus provided to credit card customers when they use their cards to spend on online shopping or make any kind of in-store purchase. The amount can also be utilised to pay out any outstanding balance.

  •  Donations

Redemption of credit card reward points can be done by donating to the charities listed. You can select the charity of your choice and cash equivalents of the reward points will be given.

How to Redeem Credit Card Reward Points?

Reward points can be redeemed in the following ways:

Redeem Credit Card Points Online:

  • Step 1: Visit your credit card net banking portal and log in with your credentials.

  •   Step 2: Select from the available options: vouchers, merchandise, or cash credit (if applicable).

  • Step 3: If you select ‘vouchers’, you will receive a code on your registered mobile number which you can then use to avail of price breaks/discounts while shopping. Alternatively, if you choose ‘merchandise’, you will receive the item at your registered address. Lastly, if eligible for cash credit, the rewards points are converted into cash and added/adjusted against your credit card balance.

Redeem Credit Card Points Offline:

1. By Visiting Bank Branch or Via Post

  • Step 1: Visit the nearest bank branch and obtain a reward redemption form.

  • Step 2: Fill out the form and submit/send it to the bank’s credit card division.

  • Step 3: You will receive your order at your registered address within 15 days.

2. By Calling Customer Care

 

You can easily redeem credit card reward points by calling the customer care team of your credit card provider. The representative will then guide you through the process.

 Apart from these, you can redeem accumulated reward points by shopping at retail and online partner stores. Please note that you have to pay for the remaining balance of the purchase with your credit card.

 

Before you attempt to redeem credit card points, you must consider certain factors:

  • Minimum Reward Points: Make sure that you have the minimum points that can be redeemed as per your lender’s provisions.

  • Validity: Keep an eye on the expiry date of credit card points and make sure to redeem them before they run out.

  • Redemption Fee: Check the fee payable for redeeming the credit card rewards.

Read More

How to Make the Most of Your Credit Card Reward Points?

  • Cash is always preferred over products or services. Check if your lender allows you to cash out your credit card reward points.

  • Keep an eye out for products or services, especially items you have added to the cart for a long time and take advantage of the discounted rates.

  • Use one credit card to maximise the collection of reward points and avail the highest benefits.

  • Keep an eye out for the expiry date so that you have plenty of time to redeem your reward points.

  • Assess the credit cards available in the market based on the reward points they offer before opting for one.

  • In spite of rewards being an added advantage, in order to earn more reward points, you must not overspend on your card.

  • You should periodically check the terms and conditions of the reward points since credit card companies tend to modify the same.

  • And finally, make sure to pay your credit card dues in full and on time to maximise the benefits of the reward points earned.

Ways to Avoid Losing Credit Card Reward Points

The following are some guidelines on how you can prevent losing credit card reward points:

  • It is important that you read and understand the terms and conditions in the fine print of your credit card.

  • You should ensure that the points system matches your lifestyle and spending habits. If you do not play golf, you should refrain from opting for a card that provides golf privileges. 

  • If you are unsure of the points present in your rewards account, you can take the assistance of the customer care representative. This will make aware of the reward points you have at your disposal.

FAQs on Credit Card Reward Points

Can I use my reward points to pay my credit card bills?

You will have to check with your lender if they allow you to pay credit card bills through the reward points you collect.

Can I convert credit card reward points to cash?

Most lenders enable you to convert credit card reward points to cash through their netbanking portals. However, check with the lender about the procedure.

Which credit card is best for reward points?

It is important for you to assess the reward points offered by different credit cards since the kinds of rewards offered by different lenders differ significantly. It is best to choose a credit card based on your requirements and interests.

How can I use my credit card reward points?

Credit card reward points can be used to avail discounts while shopping or for air miles. They can be converted into cash and some credit cards even let cardholders pay their outstanding bills through accumulated reward points.

How to calculate credit card reward points?

You can calculate reward points by evaluating the price of the gift available with respect to the reward points in your account. For instance, a credit card company is offering a ₹2,500 purse against 7,500 reward points. Thus, each reward point is 33 paise.

What are the benefits of credit card reward points?

The primary benefit of credit card reward points is that they can be used to avail discounts during shopping. A rewards program gives customers the opportunity to redeem points for rebates and discounts on their purchases once a certain number of points have been accrued.

Do reward points have an expiry date?

In most cases, the credit card reward points earned have an expiry period of 24 to 36 months from their earned date unless otherwise specified by the bank. In some cases, if you do not use your card for more than 6 months,the collected points will lapse.

 

Can the request to redeem the points be cancelled?

Unfortunately, most financial institutions do not permit you to cancel your request to redeem points if you have raised a request to convert your points into a gift or in any other form.

Are there any charges levied on the redemption of reward points?

Yes, there are charges levied on the redemption of reward points. These charges vary from card to card.

Can your reward points be transferred from one credit card to another?

No, credit card reward points cannot be transferred from one credit card to another.

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