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This article was first published 8 years ago  » Getahead » What are 'lifestyle' credit cards?

What are 'lifestyle' credit cards?

By Ankit Sharma
November 06, 2015 08:35 IST
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Live it up in style with these credit cards

Style is all about setting new trends and creating new milestones. Banks offer a number of lifestyle cards that are aimed at setting new standards in the world of style. Lifestyle cards reflect your personality. These cards lift you up to an advanced level of luxury and convenience. Nowadays, with intense competition among credit card firms, you have a wide variety of lifestyle cards to choose from. These are designed to suit different interests and concerns of individuals.

Increasing income levels and changing lifestyles have made lifestyle credit cards more usable in India. Before the economic slump, the Indian credit card industry was growing at an annual rate of 25-30 per cent but the usage declined amidst the crisis. Taking heed from the crisis most credit card firms have introduced fee based cards and are looking forward to tap the premium segment clients in a bid to enhance their portfolios.

Nearly 80 per cent of the cards issued by Indian and foreign banks fall in the lifestyle category. For instance, Citibank India launched Citibank Platinum Select Credit Card. Most of these cards charge an annual fee.

ICICI Signature Credit Card charges an annual fee of Rs 2,000 from second year onwards.

Some basic features of lifestyle cards include:

Reward points

Like every other credit card, lifestyle credit cards also offer reward points. Reward points are calculated based on the amount you spend on the credit card. Different credit card firms calculate these reward points differently and you can redeem these points later.

The ICICI Platinum credit card earns you 2 reward points for every Rs 200 spent on the card and you can redeem these points for exciting gifts. Similarly, the HDFC bank Titanium Card fetches you 2 reward points on your domestic spend and 5 reward points on your international spends.

Travel/Dining benefits

It is a special world and travel is usually done for recreation or business. The lifestyle cards add luxury and convenience to your travel, and make your travel more rewarding.

For instance, Standard Chartered Platinum Credit Card members can travel around the world and dine at luxurious hotels and restaurants. Similarly, Citibank Select Platinum card offers voucher for buffet lunch, which entitles you to 50 per cent off for up to 6 people at the coffee shops across any of the participating Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces subject to certain conditions.

Apart from these, different cards provide different benefits like insurance cover, shopping discounts, cash back on air or train tickets.

Eligibility criteria

Not every one can apply for lifestyle cards since these have certain eligibility criteria that vary from card to card. You need to fulfill the eligibility criteria of a particular card before applying for it.

For instance if you want to apply for ICICI Bank Platinum card you should have a net salary of 4,80,000 per annum.

For ICICI Bank Signature card you need to have a net salary of Rs 12,00,000 per annum.

Photograph: CarSpotter/Creative Commons

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Ankit Sharma