Ultimate credit card is flagship offering from Standard Chartered Bank with top notch reward rate on regular spends. The card catapulted into Super Premium category as soon as it got launched. USP of this card is no exclusions whatsoever (till now) to RPs earning capability on any kind of spends category.

Ultimate was being issued on Mastercard World platform since last few years. Due to Mastercard ban, issuance was on hold. Starting February 2022, SC has tied up with Visa and started its issuance under Infinite variant. Personally Ultimate Visa Infinite variant looks far better than its Mastercard World counterpart.

The Card

SC Ultimate Credit Card
SC Ultimate Credit Card

SC Ultimate looks stunning in reflective Visa Infinite logo complementing the golden black theme. Deserves a place as one of the best looking card in the industry.

Joining Fees

  • Joining/Renewal Fee: Rs 5000+GST
  • Welcome Bonus: 6000 RPs (Value: INR 6000)
  • Renewal Benefits: 5000 Points (Value: INR 5000)
  • Eligibility: ITR 24L p.a / Existing SC CC limit of INR 4 Lacs

Reward Points

  • 5 reward points on every INR 150 spent (1 Reward Point = INR 1)
  • In reality, you get 1 reward point on every INR 30 spent making it even better
  • Reward Rate: 3.3%
  • Reward redemption fee of 99+ GST applicable
  • Best part is- you can redeem RPs as soon as the transaction gets posted, need not wait for statement generation (yet to verify this)
  • GVs currently available include options among Grocery, Fashion, Jewellery, 5 Star Hotel chains, Travel brands/ categories (amazon, flipkart GVs are not an option)

That means this card stands on par with HDFC Infinia & HDFC Diners Black. Infact, its better than those two, considering SC Ultimate card has ability to redeem for gift vouchers at face value (1RP= INR 1)

Airport Lounge Access

  • Domestic: Via Visa Infinite – 4 Visits/Qtr
  • International: Via Priority Pass – 1 Visit/Month (both Primary & Add-on Cardholder)
  • Qualifying criteria for Complimentary PP Visits: Rs 20,000 spend in the previous month on the respective credit card.

Other Benefits

  • 1 complimentary Golf game per month
  • 5% Cashback on duty free spends (Maximum cashback INR 1000 pm)
  • All other Visa Infinite Privileges (e.g. bookmyshow)
  • Forex markup fee of 3.5% levied n 1.5% cashback is given afterwards (SC could have kept it simple by levying 2% instead, thereby saving GST part)

How to Get?

Easiest way to get SC Ultimate is based on your existing SC credit card with a credit limit in the range of 4 Lakhs. As you might know, I upgraded to SC ultimate from SC Smart credit card and it was a smooth experience.

If you are new to SC, C2C basis other bank cards having limit of 5 lacs n older than 12 months may help. Call SC customer support if you are planning C2C basis other bank cards, as few readers have complained of applications being rejected and hurting CIBIL too.

Limitations

  • LTF Ultimate is near impossible unless you are HNI with SC (no point wasting time n energy on this )
  • Spend based waivers not applicable
  • Fuel surcharge waiver is not applicable (though you earn regular RPs)
  • PP offer of 1 visit pm upon spending 20K last month is unattractive for a card of this status
  • Visa Infinite offers on BookMyShow (quota is seldom available now a days)
  • Less merchant offers
  • No membership or tie-up of any kind
  • Amazon, Flipkart GVs as redemptions option is not available

Bottom Line

Devaluations in perks of erstwhile highly rewarding credit cards is the flavor of the season. Now a days almost all card issuers have started limiting RPs earning capability to only select categories. Wallet, Fuel, Insurance spends are few of them.

This card comes on top in the sense that you need not worry where to use it, at the same time giving highest regular reward points benefit available out there.



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