Best Credit Card for Utility/Bill Payment, 2012

Best Credit Card for Utility/Bill Payment, 2012

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Today, every household has a slew of utility bills like Landline (MTNL, BSNL, Tata, Reliance, etc.), Mobile (Vodafone, Airtel, Tata Docomo, Reliance, Idea, etc.), Electricity (BSES, NDPL, BESCOM, etc.), Insurance (Bajaj Allianz, ICICI Prudential, ING Vysya, LIC, Metlife, Aviva, etc.), Gas (Indraprastha Gas, etc.) which are an essential part and parcel of our lives. In this post I compare two credit cards to determine which is the best cashback credit card to pay for these bills, and in the process beat the inflation by up to 5%.

Contenders:-
1. Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Card (Mastercard, Titanium)

Blurb:-
“For the individual who knows his mind and his pocket. The card offers great savings as cashback on Fuel and Telephone bills
5% Cash Back on Fuel across ALL Petrol Pumps You’ll receive 2.5% surcharge reversal + 2.5% cashback on transaction amount, be it BPCL, IOC, HPCL or Reliance.
5% Cash Back on all Telecom Payments Including Phone bills You’ll enjoy cash back across ALL service providers, be it Vodafone, Airtel, MTNL , Reliance, BSNL or TATA Indicomm.
5% Cash Back on All Utility Bill Payments Save more on electricity, gas and water payments.”

Benefits:-
Get 5% cashback on all telecom, and utility bill payments (Conditions: 5% cashback limited to a maximum of Rs. 500 per cycle and Rs. 100 per transaction (i.e. up to a transaction value of Rs. 2,000);  Minimum transaction value has to be Rs. 500)

Fees: No first year fees, Rs. 750 per year for renewal

 

2. Citibank Cash Back Credit Card (Mastercard, Titanium)

Blurb:-
“1. Enjoy easy paybacks at an attractive interest rate of 2% per month (24% p.a.)
2. Enjoy 5% Cash Back on movie ticket purchases^.
3. 5% Cash Back on ALL your telephone and utility bills^.
4. Hassle-free automated Cash Back credit as soon as you accumulate Rs 500 of Cash Back credit.
^ This is subject to a maximum cap of Rs.100 per month. Identification of these transactions are based on MCCs (Merchant Category Codes) allotted by Visa and MasterCard.”

Benefits:-
Get 5% cashback on all telecom, and utility bill payments (Conditions: 5% cashback limited to a maximum of Rs. 100 for each category of movies, telephone bills, and utilities (latter paid through Citi Bill Pay)

Fees: Rs 500 per year (Effective on cards booked on 1st April 2012 onwards)

 

Comparison

While both cards give a healthy 5% cashback on telecom and utility bill payments I personally prefer Standard Chartered’s Super Value over Citi’s Cash Back. The reasons are:-

a) Super Value gives a total cashback of Rs. 500 per cycle (reflected within 2-3 days on the statement) while Cash Back card gives a total cashback of Rs. 200 for these categories and that too after Rs. 500 gets accumulated. Thus depending on the amount of cash back every month, it may take up to 1-4 months to see the credit.

b) With Super Value, we can get Rs 500 cashback across any category of utilities and telecoms i.e. we can get the complete Rs 500 cashback for say our electricity bill or for our telephone bills. However, with Cash Back card we will get a maximum of Rs 100 for electricity, and Rs 100 for telephone bills (Rs 200 only if we pay another of our telephone bills through Citi Bill Pay).

c) Super Value provides cashback even if the payments are made directly at the service provider’s websites (as per the MCC allotted by Visa & MasterCard). Thus, we can split a bill of more than Rs 2,000 to make partial payments and earn the complete 5% cashback but this is not possible for Cash Back card if it does not belong to the telecom category.

The only drawback that I can see with Super Value is that the minimum transaction value has to be Rs 500 to be eligible for cashback.

 

Conclusion
If your utility bills are generally less than Rs. 500 then go for Citibank’s Cash Back Credit Card else Standard Chartered’s Super Value Card to save up to Rs 6,000 an year.

One Comment to “Best Credit Card for Utility/Bill Payment, 2012”

  1. R. S. Ravindra says:

    There’s a BIG problem with Standard Chartered Cashback Card however. . . It’s Utility Bills category doesn’t include insurance premiums.., as i just found this out.. the hard way. .. !!! :(
    It includes just electricity, water and gas bill payments.. .. .!!!

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