Bank Of Baroda Stops Free Lifetime Credit Cards After Promising Users With Special Offers: Is This Even Ethical?

Bank of Baroda (BOB) had previously announced a lifetime free credit card offer for those who apply in August.

Now, the bank has made a reversal by announcing a devaluation in rewards and benefits on Easy, Swavlamban and Select credit cards.

Abrupt And Surprising

The limited period offer was an effort to acquire new customers in the competitive credit card segment.

Other lenders are trying to lure customers with attractive credit card offers, so this development is an anomaly.

These changes will come into effect from September 15.

Benefit Withdrawal

BOB’s Easy and Swavlamban credit cards have a feature of 0.5% cashback on repayment of credit card dues

The cashback gets credited in the next month’s statement.

Now, this benefit on both credit cards is getting withdrawn by the bank effective from September 15.

Reward Points Devaluation

Presently, the redemption value of 1 reward point is 25 paise.

Now the redemption value of 1 point will reduce to 20 paise, applicable on both Easy and Swavlamban credit cards.

It is advisable for card holders to redeem whatever points they have before September 15.

Bonus Reward Points Withdrawn

BOB’s Select credit card has a feature in which one can earn 1,000 bonus reward points on five transactions of more than Rs 1,000 per month.

From September 15, the benefit will no longer exist.

Cards Dues Increased

Late payment charges in case the minimum amount on the statement is not paid by the due date has now been increased.

At present, if the dues are over Rs 25,000, the bank charges Rs 950.

The rate has now increased to Rs 1,100 for dues amounting between Rs 25,001 and Rs 50,000.

Dues over Rs 50,001 invites late payment penalty of Rs 1,300.

Exception

Currently, premium card BOB Eterna is the only card worth holding as it continues with multiple rewards.

However, only existing card holders benefit from this since new applicants will be rejected.

This is because of a ban on Mastercard from issuing new cards.

Advice To Consumers

Sahil Arora, Senior Director at Paisabazaar.com, suggested that consumers prioritise the “suitability and utility of various benefits offered by the card” over the waiver on annual fees during the card selection process.

Those applying for a new credit card need to do so at the same bank their savings account is in.

It is ultimately up to the customer to decide if they want to opt for ease of bill payments by having both savings and credit account with the same bank.

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