Ever tried to book railway tickets using a credit card? You would have quickly realized that you need to cough up 2% extra (1.8% + GST) to book your train ticket using a credit card. That’s a lot. For booking train tickets on IRCTC website, UPI and net banking are the cheapest modes.
If you go through the payment gateway, you pay 1% on Visa/Mastercard and 1.8% on American Express cards. GST applicable on these charges. So, if you want to use your credit to book a train ticket, you must pay at least 1.18% extra.
What if I were to tell you that you could book your train ticket on IRCTC website with your credit card without any transaction charges? Yes, there is a way. Bank of Baroda (BOB Financial) has recently launched a co-branded credit card (IRCTC BoB RuPay Credit card) in tie-up with IRCTC. Let us find out more about this card.
IRCTC BoB RuPay Credit Card: Eligibility and Fees
- Indian Resident
- Age: 25 to 50 years for primary card holder, above 18 years for add-on card holder.
- Salaried: Minimum annual income of Rs 3.6 lacs
- Self-Employed: Minimum annual income of Rs 4.8 lacs
- First year fee: Rs 500, Subsequent year fee: Rs 350
IRCTC BoB RuPay Credit Card: Documents Required
- Photograph and PAN Card photocopy
- 3 months bank statement for salaried applicants. Latest ITR for self-employed
- Current residence proof
- Company ID card (if you are salaried)
IRCTC BoB RuPay Credit Card: Benefits
- No transaction charges on train bookings. That is a neat saving, especially if you travel by trains frequently.
- Complimentary access to partner railway lounges. 4 times per year (where are these lounges?)
- 40 reward points per Rs 100 for train bookings on IRCTC app or website. To get those reward points, you must link your credit card with your IRCTC login ID. This document defines the process.
- Fuel surcharge waiver and reward points for whole host of other expenses.
- 4 reward points = 1 IRCTC Travel Point = Re. 1
- Reward points can only be used to book tickets on the IRCTC platform. Such redemption of reward points is only valid on booking 1AC, 2AC, 3AC, CC or EC tickets.
- Reward points can’t be used for any other purpose.
- Maximum 1000 reward points (or 250 IRCTC travel points) per statement
- Up to 3 lifetime free add-on cards for spouse, parents, and children above 18 years of age.
And There Are Caveats
My statement that you do not pay any transaction charges on booking tickets through IRCTC BoB credit card is incorrect. You still pay the transaction charges while booking the ticket. The issuer credits 1% cashback against the transaction to your card statement.
Rewards points (or IRCTC travel points) will be credited 5 days after the completion of the journey. Transaction charges for the cancelled tickets are reversed. Therefore, you will not get any cashback points for a cancelled ticket.
To be eligible for these rewards points on train ticket booking, you (the primary cardholder) must be travelling on the ticket. The reward points are calculated only on the individual fare (and not on the value of the entire ticket). If you are travelling with your family, the reward points will be calculated only on your fare and not the fare for the entire family.
If multiple IRCTC BoB credit card holders are travelling together, all such card holders will be eligible for reward points if they have entered their Loyalty number and the payment is made through a IRCTC BoB credit card. Not sure how this will work.
Should You Apply for This Credit Card?
If you travel frequently by train, this card can result in good savings.
For instance, if you are travelling alone and your ticket costs Rs 2,000, you will get 800 rewards points (or 200 travel points). This is equivalent to Rs 200. 10% of the booking amount. You can use this amount (equivalent reward points on your next booking). Plus, you save on transaction charges (get the cashback of equivalent amount). These are neat savings.
Moreover, the reward point calculation is quite simple. Every reward point is equal to 25 paise.
However, do note that you will get reward points only for your ticket (fare) and not for the rail fare of all the family members. And you can use the reward points only for booking train tickets. Additionally, you can get a maximum of 1000 reward points per statement (irrespective of the amount of train tickets you book or expense you incur on this card). That translates to a maximum of Rs 250 per month. Or a maximum of Rs 3,000 per annum. Any additional savings comes from cashback against transaction charges. And this card has an associated annual fee.
While no other card will give such good benefits on train bookings, I still do not see much merit in this card since the rewards are capped.