Axis Bank Reserve Credit Card Review

Axis Reserve is the Ultra Premium Credit card that stands above Axis Magnus and are issued to affluent customers of Axis Bank.

The Bank revamped the benefits on Reserve sometime during July 2020 by adding unique features like complimentary luxury airport transfers and few other benefits, after which the card does makes sense for some.

If you’re wondering whether this expensive metal credit card has any value for the fee it comes with, you’ll get to know that in next few minutes.

Overview

Type Ultra Premium Credit Card
Reward Rate 1.5% – 3%
Annual Fee 50,000 INR+GST = 59,000 INR
Best for Golf & Airport concierge/transfer benefits
USP Luxury airport transfers

Axis Bank Reserve Credit Card is one of the few cards in India like Amex Platinum, the value of which has to be decided based on the lifestyle benefits it offers and not just by looking at the reward rate.

Fees

Joining Fee 50,000 INR + GST
Welcome Benefit 50,000 points
Renewal Fee 50,000 INR + GST
Renewal Benefit 50,000 points
Renewal Fee waiver On spending >25 lakhs

Those 50,000 reward points is valued at 10,000 INR (at 20ps) and so its obvious that the welcome benefit is nowhere close to the joining fee. Renewal fee waiver condition too is quite steep in my opinion.

Axis Bank does run sign-up offers with additional 50K bonus points once in a while.

Yet, I would rather expect at-least 100K bonus to make it look really “attractive” in terms of instant value analysis.

Anyway, we will analyse the total “value” of the card with all its benefits shortly.

Card Design

Axis Bank Reserve Credit Card Design

The metal card definitely looks premium but it is slightly dull because of the darker tint on that pink ball. If that’s brightened, it would look so beautiful.

You can see that bright image in one of the pics below, as it looks like that in bright sunlight.

That aside, it feels just like the metal Magnus to hold in hand.

Rewards

Spend Type Reward Points Reward Rate
Domestic Spends 15 RP’s on every 200 INR 1.5%
International Spends 30 RP’s on every 200 INR (2X) 3%

The reward rate on regular domestic spends is indeed bit low.

I wish Reserve too comes up with some sort of monthly/quarterly milestone benefit like Magnus to boost the overall reward rate of the card.

That said, it is to be noted that the ultra premium cards are usually meant for giving more experiences over rewards.

Markup Fee

  • Forex Markup Fee: 1.5%+GST = 1.77%
  • Reward rate on Intl. Spends: 3% (2X rewards)
  • Net gain: 1.23%

So, overall its a very good credit card for international transactions as you gain over 1% of the spend.

Airport Lounge Access

Access Type Access Via Access Limit
Domestic (Primary) Visa / Mastercard Unlimited
Domestic (guests) Visa / Mastercard 12/yr
International (Primary) Priority Pass Unlimited
International (guests) Priority Pass 12/yr

Given that Axis is having complications in issuing Add-on cards (unless applied along with primary card), the complimentary guest visits are good to have for family travellers.

Luxury Airport Transfer

luxury airport transfer service india
  • Limit: 4 complimentary rides / year
  • Car Type: Luxury Sedan (or ) Sedan

Luxury Airport transfer service is the Unique benefit of this credit card which is not present in any of the premium credit cards available in India. 

It gives you complimentary airport rides in a luxury sedan (or) regular sedan as per the availability. Here’s the detailed article on Luxury airport transfer service in India.

Airport Meet & Greet

airport meet and greet services in India
  • Limit: 8 complimentary access / yr

The airport meet & greet service – which Axis Bank calls as “airport concierge” service is available with Reserve. It gives VIP Assistance Services for a smooth and hassle-free airport transfers.

The services include assistance across airport processes, such as: express check-in, fast-track security check, immigration assistance, porter & buggy services.

I’ve availed this service at Chennai (MAA), Mumbai (BOM) & Hyderabad (HYD) and its quite useful. Here’s a detailed article on the airport meet & greet services in India.

Golf

  • Complimentary Limit: 50 rounds (games/lessons) / Calendar year

Golf is one of the most important benefit on this card. If you play Golf quite often, like 50 times a year then this is a great card for you.

Also, Axis Golf booking system is superior compared to other banks like HDFC.

No wonder that Axis Bank knows their target customers for this card and so they’ve put the golf image on the card’s front face.

But if you’re playing only once in a month or so, never mind, most premium cards does that work for you.

Accor Plus

  • One Night Complimentary Stay
  • Discount vouchers on dining
  • Silver Tier with Accor ALL

“Stay Plus” is the name of the complimentary night benefit given at select Accor properties. At a quick glance, you might think that this is a wonderful benefit. But if you dig deeper, you would find that the offer is limited to only few countries.

Eligible for redemption at: Australia, Cambodia, China, Fiji, French Polynesia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

There are definitely some sweet spots in SE Asia that could give you 15K+ INR value but most others give you only 5K or 10K value max.

And if you’re planning to redeem it at Fairmont Jaipur, well, I’ve a sad news for you. Because I’m unable to find availability in that property for next 2 months. Maybe they removed it from Stay Plus benefit!

Also, given that most Accor properties are average business hotels, this doesn’t really excite me as much as a typical Marriott (or) Taj.

Bookmyshow Offer

  • Offer: Buy one Get one
  • Valid on: movie/non-movie bookings
  • Max. Cap: Rs.500 off on movie ticket; Rs.1000 off on non-movie ticket
  • Monthly limit: 5 bookings per month

Boomyshow offer is a pretty good one indeed and if you’re in metro cities where the ticket cost is about 500 INR, this makes sense. Else, Visa Infinite offer is sufficient for most.

That said, Visa offers may get maxed out pretty fast compared to the direct BMS offers. So the separate Reserve offer still makes sense.

Is it worth 59,000 INR?

So now we’re coming to the tricky question. To find an answer to this qn, let’s analyse the total value of the card by placing an “average” price on each of the benefit we saw above. Here we go,

  • Airport Transfer in Luxury Sedan: 4*5000 = 20,000 INR
  • Airport Meet & Greet Service: 8*3500 = 28,000 INR
  • Accor Plus Benefit = 7,000 INR
  • 50K Welcome Reward Points: 10,000 INR
  • Total Value: 65,000 INR + Golf

So as you see, if you take Golf out of the equation, then you just get what you paid. But if you play golf, 50 rounds is easily valued at 1L-2L INR which is a massive value.

Note that I’ve calculated only the most tangible benefits with its approx. average cost price. I’ve not calculated the ITC / Marriott benefits, which also carries a decent value, about 5,000 INR – 10,000 INR each if you’re not already into Marriott/ITC Gold.

But in most cases these additional benefits doesn’t matter much, for ex, those 50% dining certificates can only save little in India as we anyway have 25%+extra offers on EazyDiner/Dineout.

So coming back to the question, is it worth 59,000 INR? Well, it depends. Below points should help depending on your profile.

  • No (for most) – If you don’t: play golf (or) travel to metro cities (or) value airport services
  • Yes (for some) – If you play Golf a lot (or) value airport services

But then if it’s available with attractive bonus / signup offer, then it makes sense even to those who don’t play Golf. You’ll basically need to decide based on how you value the benefits, considering all of the above.

My Experience

Axis Bank Reserve in Hand

I was interested in exploring Luxury Airport Transfer Service and so applied for one. It has been a wonderful experience so far!

The complimentary airport rides in BMW & Merc along with the meet & greet benefits were just absolutely amazing.

Here’s my detailed hands-on experience with Axis Reserve Credit Card.

Maximizing Axis

axis premium content

The Year 2022 is an amazing year to explore Axis Bank Credit Cards. However, there are various issues with the bank: from application, credit limit to service and support.

If you prefer to have a smooth ride into a rewarding year with the lucrative Axis Bank credit cards, do check out this premium guide: Maximizing Axis Bank Credit Cards.

Bottomline

The Axis Bank Reserve credit card has the first mover advantage when it comes to introducing the concept of luxury airport transfer services to Indian Credit Card industry. 

However, looking at the fee and the welcome benefits, it doesn’t excite most, unless some lucrative signup offers are thrown.

Having said that, Axis Bank Reserve Credit Card is definitely “reserved for few”, for those who play Golf (or) love to fly in style.

For most others, Axis Magnus is there to give you what you need: rewards, lots of rewards!

What’s your take on the Axis Bank Reserve Credit Card? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.



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