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Yes Bank Credit Cards getting devalued starting July 2020

Pranav Pranav Follow Jun 01, 2020 · 6 mins read · 0 comments
Yes Bank Credit Cards getting devalued starting July 2020

Yes Bank is revising features and devaluing the reward points on their Yes First credit cards starting 1st July 2020. In an email sent to the card holders today, Yes Bank communicated the changes which are going to take effect starting next month. This is the second major devaluation after April 2019 where reward rates on Yes First Credit Cards were reduced significantly. Let’s dive deep to know more about the new changes.

Changes

The revisions starting July 2020 are bucketed into three categories as below:

  • Reward Point Structure
  • Airport Lounge Access Program
  • Reward Points Redemption

Source: Yes First Exclusive, Yes First Preferred

Let’s look into each of them in detail.

Reward Point Structure

Yes Bank is revising the minimum amount to earn reward points from Rs. 100 to Rs. 200. Refer the table below for details:

Credit Card Existing Revised
Yes First Exclusive 12 Reward Points per Rs. 100 spent on
  • Travel Agencies
  • Tour Operators
  • Domestic Airlines
  • Dining
24 Reward Points per Rs. 200 spent on
  • Travel Agencies
  • Tour Operators
  • Domestic Airlines
  • Dining
6 Reward Points per Rs. 100 spent on other categories 12 Reward Points per Rs. 200 spent on other categories
Yes First Preferred 8 Reward Points per Rs. 100 spent on
  • Travel Agencies
  • Tour Operators
  • Domestic Airlines
  • Dining
16 Reward Points per Rs. 200 spent on
  • Travel Agencies
  • Tour Operators
  • Domestic Airlines
  • Dining
4 Reward Points per Rs. 100 spent on other categories 8 Reward Points per Rs. 200 spent on other categories

Though this doesn’t change the reward rate, transactions below Rs. 200 won’t earn any reward point, reducing overall reward rate.

Airport Lounge Access Program

Priority Pass issued with Yes First Credit Cards used to provide complimentary access to Domestic Airport Lounges too. However this is changing starting July 2020 as accessing domestic lounges using Priority Pass will set you back by $27 + GST per visit.

Credit Card Access Via Existing Revised
Domestic International Domestic International
Yes First Exclusive Priority Pass Unlimited Unlimited $27 + GST Unlimited
Credit Card Unlimited N/A Unlimited N/A
Yes First Preferred Priority Pass 4 per year 4 per year $27 + GST 4 per year
Credit Card 3 per quarter N/A 3 per quarter N/A

It’s evident from the table above that Yes Bank has withdrawn the complimentary access to domestic airport lounges via Priority Pass. The limits for complimentary access is intact for now, for both domestic and international airport lounges which is a huge sigh of relief. Note that complimentary access to domestic airport lounges on Yes Bank credit cards is provided by MasterCard Lounge Program.

Reward Points Redemption

The email sent to card holders is really vague in this regard and doesn’t disclose any information.

The value of reward points for redemption against Flight Tickets and Hotel Stay remains unchanged. For catalogue items, please visit www.yesrewardz.com to ascertain the number of Reward Points required for redemption against that particular item.

When I called the YesRewardz concierge, I was told that the value of one reward point is dropping to Rs. 0.15 from Rs. 0.25 for redemptions other than Flight Tickets and Hotel Stay. This is a steep devaluation of 40%.

Below table summarizes the reward rate for Yes First credit card post this change:

Credit Card Spends Category Existing Redemption Revised Redemption
Flight / Hotels Others Flight / Hotels Others
Yes First Exclusive Travel & Dining 3% 3% 3% 1.8%
Others 1.5% 1.5% 1.5% 0.9%
Yes First Preferred Travel & Dining 2% 2% 2% 1.2%
Others 1% 1% 1% 0.6%

With this change, the effective reward rate of Yes First Exclusive Credit Card drops to 0.9% for spends and redemption for non-travel categories which is even less than entry level co-branded credit cards like Amazon Pay ICICI Bank Credit Card, Flipkart Axis Bank Credit Card etc. This is really disappointing and I think will serve as the final nail in the coffin of Yes First Exclusive Credit Card.

FAQs

What should I do now with my Yes First reward points?
You have time till 30 June 2020 to redeem the reward points at older value of Rs. 0.25 per RP. Starting 1 July 2020, the value of these points will plummet to Rs. 0.15 and hence you should redeem reward points now while wider options are still available.
Should I close my Yes Bank Credit Card?
If you are holding Yes First credit cards life time free, then you can continue holding them for complimentary domestic and airport lounge access. However if you are paying annual fees for them, it doesn't make any sense to hold them post this devaluation. Even though the value of the reward point is intact for the travel category, travel is going to be very limited for the next one year or so.
Does redemption of Yes First reward points for gift cards provide physical or online vouchers?
Yes Rewardz portal provides physical gift cards on redeeming reward points. They send the gift card via courier which reaches generally in 5 days to your address.
How long the airport lounge access will be available on Yes First Credit Cards?
Given the weak condition of Yes Bank, I feel the lounge access will not last long. However we have to wait and watch for now.

Bottomline

Seems like the season of devaluation is upon us as this news comes just after the massive devaluation from HDFC Bank on their SmartBuy 10X program. Yes Bank has given a heads-up of one month to their credit card users which is nice. However to maintain fairness, they should have also announced the new value of reward points, instead of keeping it vague in their communication. I would advise you to redeem the reward points as soon as possible to get wider choices.

Finally Yes Bank Credit Cards are no longer that attractive and this devaluation will certainly push them out from my list of Best Credit Cards in India for 2020.

What do you think of this devaluation of Yes First Credit Cards from Yes Bank? How are you planning to maximize the value of your existing reward points? Let me know in comments 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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