The Ultimate credit card from Standard Chartered was introduced in September 2017. As of right present, it is the bank’s most expensive card. For people with high incomes who wish to live a luxurious lifestyle without having to make any sacrifices, this should be the card of choice. This credit card directly competes with the ICICI Bank Sapphiro and HDFC Bank Infinia Metal Edition credit cards. The card was once available in two versions: The MasterCard World version and the Visa Infinite version, albeit the former, which has since been discontinued. Because it’s a premium card, Standard Chartered provides some of the most unique privileges to its users, including membership to Dreamfolks, golf services, and 24-hour concierge service.
Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card
Standard Chartered has also kept the foreign exchange rate at 2% (less than the industry average of 3.5%) and offers 5% cash back on duty-free purchases made at airports, taking into account all of its clients’ international travel needs. Being a credit card with reward points, you receive 5 Rewards for every Rs. 150 you spend with it. These Rewards may be exchanged for gift cards to stores or donations to charities through the Standard Chartered 360° rewards program.
Ultimate Credit Card from SC
With the shiny Visa Infinite logo enhancing the golden black background, SC Ultimate looks beautiful. One of the best-looking cards in the business.
Practical Knowledge of SC Ultimate Credit Card
The Standard Chartered Bank’s flagship product, the Ultimate Credit Card, offers outstanding rewards on routine purchases. As soon as the card was released, it immediately entered the Super Premium category. The USP of this card is that there are currently no restrictions on RPs’ capacity to earn on any category of purchases, including EMI purchases.
Since a few years ago, Ultimate has been issued on the Mastercard World platform. The issuance was halted as a result of the Mastercard restriction. Beginning in February 2022, SC will begin issuing its cards under the Infinite version thanks to a partnership with Visa. I think the Ultimate Visa Infinite version is significantly more attractive than the Mastercard World version.
Fees for Joining
- Joining/Renewal Cost: Rs 5000+GST
- Welcome Bonus: 6000 RPs within 60 days of joining fee payment (Value: INR 6000)
Benefits of Renewal:
- 5000 Points in Renewal Benefits (Value: INR 5000)
- Eligibility: ITR 24L per year, with a current SC CC ceiling of INR 4 Lacs.
Note: After 50 days of paying the joining cost, I received a joining incentive of 6000 RPs.
- For every INR 150 spent, you’ll earn 5 reward points (INR 1 = 1 reward point).
- Even better, you receive 1 reward point for every INR 30 spent.
- Reward Rate: 3.3%
The best aspect is that you can redeem RPs as soon as the transaction posts; you do not need to wait for the generation of a statement. The GVs currently offered include alternatives among grocery, fashion, jewelry, 5 Star hotel chains, and travel brands/categories (amazon and Flipkart GVs are not an option though)
As a result, this card is comparable to HDFC Infinia and HDFC Diners Black. It is superior to those two since the SC Ultimate Card allows for face-value redemption of gift cards (1RP = INR 1).
RPs cannot be used to obtain statement credits.
- 1 free round of golf per month
- 5% cashback on duty-free purchases (Maximum cashback INR 1000 pm)
- Every other Visa Infinite Perk (e.g. BookMyShow)
- A 3.5% forex markup fee is charged, and then a 1.5% payback is provided (SC could have made it simpler by charging 2% in place of this, saving the GST portion)
How Can I Get it?
The simplest approach to obtain SC Ultimate is based on your current SC credit card, which has a credit limit of up to 4 lakhs. As you may be aware, I upgraded my SC Smart credit card to SC Ultimate, and the transition went well.
If you’re new to SC, C2C basis other bank cards with a limit of $5 million and older than a year might be useful. If you are considering other bank cards on a C2C basis, contact SC customer service. A few readers have reported that their applications were denied, which negatively impacted their credit scores.
- Spend-based waivers are not available; LTF Ultimate is nearly impossible unless you have SC and are an HNI (you can always ask for a waiver and SC may consider basis high spend sometimes)
- The waiver of the fuel surcharge does not apply (though you earn regular RPs)
- For a card of this level, the PP offer of one visit every day after spending $20,000 the previous month is unattractive. Visa Infinite offers on BookMyShow (quota is seldom available nowadays)
Fewer merchant offers; No membership; No affiliation of any type; No option to redeem Amazon or Flipkart GVs.The Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card has a tone of features and advantages, but it also has some minor disadvantages.
Limited alternatives for redeeming rewards: A reward program’s redemption options determine how effective it is. Sadly, there aren’t many choices for redeeming rewards with Standard Chartered Ultimate. The options continually appear and disappear, which makes cardholders even more frustrated. The alternatives for incentive redemption need to be improved, according to Standard Chartered.
Monthly spending requirements for free lounge access: It’s ludicrous that you may only receive one free visit each month if you spent more than Rs. 20,000 in the preceding month. A person would need at least two access points for each journey: one for the way ahead and one for the way back. A quarterly or annual spending threshold would have been more logical.
- Rs. 10,000 Cashback on MakeMyTrip(MMT) Hotel Purchases
- This offer is only good for your first MMT transaction.
- The lowest transaction amount or Rs 10,000 will be the cashback amount.
- 60 days following the date of the trip or stay; fulfillment.
- Spend at least Rs. 10,000 on hotels or flights on Makemytrip to qualify for the Rs. 10,000 Cashback.
Tip: You can utilize it most effectively while booking high-end hotels in India that cost this much or when you spend on hotels abroad.
Be careful not to conduct any MMT transactions until your first stay is complete and the cashback has been credited to your account. Doing so could get you into trouble.
Access to Airport Lounges
Domestically: 4 visits per quarter with Visa Infinite; internationally: 1 visit per month with Priority Pass (both primary & Add-on Cardholder)
Rs 20,000 must have been spent on the relevant credit card in the previous month to qualify for complimentary PP visits.
It’s a pretty good idea that SC uses the Priority Pass concept of spend-based complimentary visits. However, I would have preferred if they had stated that it was a “yearly” purchase with complimentary trips. On such a premium card, limited to 1 per month doesn’t look good.
Since the Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card is a super-premium credit card, its income requirements are on the stricter side.
- Age range: 21 to 65 years
- New Clients
- Paid a net salary of Rs. 2 lakhs each month.
- ITR > 24 Lakhs for Self-Employed
- Existing customers with a Standard Chartered credit card limit of at least Rs. 5 lakhs
Applications for this card based on credit cards from other banks are accepted by Standard Chartered.
The fees for the Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card are as follows:
- Joining fee: 5,000 rupees plus GST
- Fee for renewal: Rs. 5,000 plus GST
You must pay annual fees every year because Standard Chartered typically does not give this card free for life.
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.
The benefit of Welcome: 6,000 reward points
The membership fee and any relevant GST are covered by the welcome incentive, which is a lovely touch. However, this is a reduction from the last offer, in which Standard Chartered offered a welcome benefit of Rs. 10,000 cashbacks on MakeMyTrip.
Benefit of Renewal
• 5,000 reward points, equivalent to Rs.
Standard Chartered provides reward points with a similar value to make up for the renewal expenses. But ultimately, you forfeit the GST, which is almost Rs 900.
- 5 reward points for every Rs. 150 spent, or 3.3% of rewards, are earned
- Only their reward catalog may be used to redeem reward points.
Although the 3.3% incentive rate appears to be quite attractive on paper, the reality is somewhat different. There are very few alternatives for redeeming awards, and new ones frequently emerge and depart. The reward catalog must be continuously checked by cardholders each day to find a worthwhile redemption choice. Not only is this annoying, but it’s also really infuriating.
Airport Lounge Access
- Domestic: four complimentary airport lounge visits per quarter through the MasterCard Lounge program
- International: one complimentary airport lounge visit per month using Priority Pass o Complimentary access on Priority Pass is only available if spend in the prior calendar month is over Rs. 20,000 o Access is available to both primary and add-on card holders, but you must spend Rs. 20,000 in the prior calendar month on respective cards to qualify for complimentary access.
A special offer from Standard Chartered is free Priority Pass access to airport lounges depending on monthly spending. I would have preferred a spending-based criterion, even though the concept seems new. This is because one person will require at least two airport lounge passes for each trip: one for the outbound trip and one for the return trip. It would have been more practical to set a cap, such as 3 gratis access each quarter on purchases of Rs. 60,000 or more.
One free golf game and one free coaching session per month; reservations must be made seven days in advance through the Ultimate Concierge
The availability of coaching sessions is an extra benefit, and the golf program appears to be extensive.
Benefits of Travel:
Travel Benefits: 1.5% cash back on overseas purchases, 5% cashback on duty-free purchases, and a maximum cashback of Rs. 1.000 each month
The currency markup charged by Standard Chartered Bank is 3.5% + GST, or 4.13%. The net reward rate for foreign purchases is 0.67% with a reward rate of 3.3% and 1.5% cashback. This card is on the list of the best credit cards for international travel and purchases because it offers a respectable value proposition. Additionally, 5% cashback in duty-free shops is a great touch that might help you save money while you shop.
• Up to 25% off at more than 250 restaurants across India with a subscription to DineOut Plus
You must reserve the restaurant in advance using the concierge or an online portal to receive this benefit.
For the following requests, call the 24/7 Ultimate Concierge Helpline
- Assistance with travel
- Travel Assistance
- Golfing Services
- Wine and Dine Services
- Arts and Culture Services
- Shopping Services
- Business Services
- Other Services including Event Planning, Pet Care, Grocery Delivery, etc.
- Accidental Death (Only Air Accidents): Rs. 1 Crore Emergency Overseas Medical Costs: $25,000
- $10 every 8 hours up to $100 for baggage delays on international flights
The following fees apply:
• International Fight Delay: $10 per hour up to $200;
• Loss of Baggage or Personal Item: $30 per item up to $750.
Only those who purchased their tickets using a Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card are eligible for air accident insurance. For POS/e-commerce purchases to qualify for other insurance benefits, the card must have been swiped for at least Rs. 499 in the prior 30 days.
The Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card is among the top credit cards available in India right now. It ranks among the best credit cards thanks to the incredible default reward rate of 3.3%. The advantages and characteristics of this card are excellent.
- A 6,000 reward point welcome bonus.
- 5 RPs for every Rs. 150 you spend on the card.
- A 2% markup on foreign exchange.
- 5% cashback on airport duty-free purchases.
- Free membership to Dreamfolks.
- Access to airport lounges at more than 1,000 airports worldwide.
- 5,000 Rewards each year when a card member renews their membership.
- Rs. 1 crore in air accident insurance provided by HDFC EGRO General Insurance.
- Golflan Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd. offers benefits to the sport.
Contact Standard Chartered customer service at their call center at 66014444 / 39404444 (prefix STD code) if you need any help or assistance or to report a lost card. You may also call their toll-free helpline number at 18003451000. You could also send them an email at email@example.com.
The trend at the moment is the devaluation of once-highly rewarding credit card benefits. The capacity of RPs to earn rewards is now restricted to a small number of categories by practically all card issuers. Some of these include spending on your wallet, gas, rent, government services, and insurance.
This card is the best since you don’t have to worry about where to use it and it offers one of the highest regular reward point benefits available.
The Standard Chartered Ultimate credit card offers benefits like 16 domestic lounge access, free Dream folks membership, cashback on purchases made at duty-free shops in airports, and air accident insurance coverage, making it a good choice for HNIs (High Net-worth Individuals) who travel frequently and want to live a luxurious lifestyle.
How long are the reward points valid?
Three years after they are accumulated, reward points are still valid.
Do all purchase at airports qualify for the 5% cashback?
No. Only purchases made in the duty-free shops at the airport qualify for the 5% cashback.
What is the card’s foreign exchange markup?
A 3.5% foreign exchange markup is required at the time of the transaction; however, 1.5% of that amount is returned as cashback within 60 days after the transaction. Therefore, the actual markup for foreign currency is 2%.
Could reward points be used to pay credit card bills?
No. By the Standard Chartered 360° rewards program, reward points can only be exchanged for gift cards to stores or donations to charities.
Can I apply for this credit card using another credit line as justification?
According to your prior credit card statements, you can apply for this credit card.
Is there a fuel surcharge waiver?
No. At all filling stations in India, there is a 1% fuel premium that you must pay. However, you also receive the standard reward points for fuel purchases (which are not offered by the majority of other credit cards).