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Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card Review

Pranav Pranav Follow Jan 11, 2020 · 8 mins read · 0 comments
Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card Review

Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card is a super premium offering from Standard Chartered (SC) Bank. This card targets the lifestyle of high net-worth individuals and provides benefits tailored for them. The handsome reward rate of 3.3% puts it in direct competition with HDFC Bank Infinia and Diners Club Black credit cards.

Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card Design

Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card features an all black design with text in golden color. The design of the card is really attractive and the card looks premium. This card is available on MasterCard World platform and is enabled for contactless payments. Earlier this card had a Visa Infinite variant too, which Standard Chartered has stopped issuing now.

Eligibility Criteria

Being a super premium credit card, the income criteria of Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card is on relatively higher side.

  • Age: 21 Years to 65 Years
  • New Customers
    • Salaried: Net monthly salary of Rs. 2 Lakhs
    • Self Employed: ITR > Rs. 24 Lakhs
  • Existing Customers
    • Limit of existing Standard Chartered credit card > Rs. 5 Lakhs

Standard Chartered does accept applications for this card based on credit cards of other banks.

Fees

Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card comes with following fees:

  • Joining fee: Rs. 5,000 + GST
  • Renewal fee: Rs. 5,000 + GST

Standard Chartered generally doesn’t offer this card life time free and hence you compulsorily need to shell out annual fees every year.

Features

Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card, being a super premium card, sports multiple features and benefits to match the lifestyle of HNIs. Let’s look into each of these features and benefits in detail.

Welcome Benefit

  • Rs. 10,000 cashback on first transaction at MakeMyTrip

The cashback is valid only for flight and hotel booking and transaction should be done within 90 days of card issuance. The cashback amount would be credited to the card account within 60 days from the date of travel/stay.

Renewal Benefit

  • 5,000 reward points worth Rs. 5,000

It’s evident that Standard Chartered compensates for the renewal fees by providing reward points of equivalent value. However you end up losing the GST which is around Rs. 900.

Reward Points

  • 1 reward point = Rs. 1
  • 5 reward points per Rs. 150 spent, 3.3% reward rate
  • Reward points can only be redeemed from their reward catalog

Though on paper, 3.3% reward rate appears really lucrative, the ground reality is different. The options to redeem rewards are really limited and options keep on appearing/disappearing frequently. The card members need to keep checking the reward catalog everyday for a meaningful redemption option. This is not only inconvenient, but also really frustrating.

Airport Lounge Access

  • Domestic: 4 complimentary airport lounge access per quarter through MasterCard Lounge program
  • International: 1 airport lounge access per month using Priority Pass
    • Complimentary access on Priority Pass is available only if spend in previous calendar month is more than Rs. 20,000
    • Access is available for both primary and add-on card holders, however you need to spend Rs. 20,000 in previous calendar month on respective cards for complimentary access

Complimentary access to airport lounges using Priority Pass based on monthly spends is something unique from Standard Chartered. Though the idea looks novel, I would have appreciated a quarterly or yearly spend based criteria. This is because, for each trip, one person will need at least 2 airport lounge access: one for onward journey and one for return journey. Having a limit like 3 complimentary access per quarter on spending Rs. 60,000 or more would have been more sensible.

Thanks Sharad for sharing above tip.

Golf Program

  • 2 complimentary Golf games per month
  • 1 complimentary guest game per month
  • 1 complimentary coaching session per month
  • Booking needs to be made 7 days advance through the Ultimate Concierge

The Golf Program looks comprehensive and the ability to bring guests is an added perk.

Travel Benefits

  • 1.5% cashback on international spends
  • 5% cashback on duty free transactions
  • Max cashback of Rs 1.000 per month

Standard Chartered Bank charges a forex markup of 3.5% + GST which is equivalent to 4.13%. With a reward rate of 3.3% and 1.5% cashback, the net reward rate comes out to be 0.67% for international spends. This is a decent value proposition and hence this card features in list of best credit cards for foreign travel and spends. 5% cashback on duty free stores is also a nice addition and can save you some extra bucks while shopping.

Dining Privileges

  • Up to 25% discount at 250+ restaurants in India via DineOut Plus membership

To avail this benefit, you must book the restaurant in advance using the concierge or online portal.

Concierge

24/7 Ultimate Concierge Helpline for following requests

  • Travel Assistance
  • Golfing Services
  • Wine and Dine
  • Arts and Culture
  • Shopping Services
  • Business Services
  • Other Services like event planning, pet care, grocery delivery etc.

Insurance

  • Accidental Death (Air Accidents Only): Rs. 1 Crore
  • Emergency Overseas Medical Expenses: $25,000
  • Baggage Delay on international flight: $10 per 8 hour up to $100
  • International Fight Delay: $10 per hour up to $200
  • Loss of baggage or personal item: $30 per item up to $750

Note that the air accident insurance is available only if ticket was purchased using Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card. For other insurance benefits, card must be swiped for at least Rs. 499 in past 30 days for POS/e-commerce transactions.

Drawbacks

Though Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card is loaded with features and benefits, there are subtle drawbacks too.

  • Limited reward redemption options: A reward program is as good as it’s redemption options. Sadly in case of Standard Chartered Ultimate, the reward redemption options are not that great. The options keep on appearing/disappearing frequently which adds to the frustration of card holders. Standard Chartered should work on improving the options for reward redemption.
  • Monthly spends criteria for complimentary lounge access: The limit of 1 complimentary visit per month on spending more than Rs. 20,000 in previous calendar month is really absurd. For each trip, an individual would require at least 2 access: one for onward and one for return journey. Having a quarterly/yearly spend criteria would have made more sense.

Verdict

Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card is one of the best credit cards in India today. The default reward rate of 3.3% is simply amazing and puts it in the race of best credit cards. Even with its little nuances, the benefits and features on this card are great. I would highly recommend you to go for this card if you’re not able to get hold of HDFC Bank Infinia or Diners Club Black credit card.

Fees 5/5
Rewards 4.5/5
Features 4.5/5
Overall 4.7/5

How has been your experience with Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card? What do you think of the reward catalog and reward redemption options for this card? Let me know your thoughts by leaving a quick comment below.

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Pranav
Written by Pranav Follow
Hi, I am Pranav! I love to acquire, review and earn reward points/cashback from Credit Cards. Guiding people about benefits and optimal utilization of credit cards for years.
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