This blog is in partnership with creditcardz.in and the views expressed here are purely personal.
The author of this blog has explained about his personal experiences in detail.
A few months back, SBI launched the SBI Pulse credit card targeting fitness enthusiasts in the country. Let's deep dive into the features of the SBI Pulse credit card to understand if you should take up this credit card.
- Joining and annual fee of ₹ 1499+GST.
- There is no spend-based target to get the joining fee waived. However, you get Noise ColorFit Pulse Smart Watch (worth ₹ 4999) as a welcome gift.
- You also get annual FitPass Pro membership which can be renewed as long as the card remains active.
- Annual fee waiver on spending 2 lakh in a year.
Rewards and Benefits:
- Reward Points: 2 reward points for every ₹ 100 spent (0.5% reward rate)
- Accelerated Reward Points: 10 reward points for every ₹100 spent on Chemist/Pharmacy/Dining and Movies.
- Exclusions: Fuel and wallet load transactions.
- Lounge access: 8 domestic lounge visits per year (maximum 2 per quarter).
Should you apply for an SBI Pulse credit card?
This credit card has 3 features that may entice you to apply for this card.
- Free Noise ColorFit Pulse Smart Watch.
- Annual FITPASS PRO Membership.
- 10 Reward points per ₹ 100 spent on Chemist, Pharmacy, Dining, & Movies.
Let’s take a look at each of the features and you can decide if it makes sense.
Free Noise ColorFit Pulse smartwatch:
The smartwatch that SBI Card says is worth ₹ 5,000 is anyways available on the manufacturer's website for ₹2,000. On Amazon, combined with different offers the same watch is available at an even lower price. Therefore, the watch is not worth ₹ 5,000 as claimed by SBI Card and you are anyways paying for it via joining fees. Thus, a free smartwatch cannot be a reason for picking up this card.
10 reward points chemist/pharmacy spends:
At first, 10 reward points on Chemist/ Pharmacy spends may seem exciting. Do remember most chemist shops both offline and online also sell many other household goods apart from medicines. Thus, the 10 reward points would apply to that too. However, 10 reward points in monetary terms result in only 2.5% as 1 reward point is equal to 25 paise which is too less. Many other credit cards simply offer 1.5-2% reward points on every purchase you make.
Further, since the reward rate on other spend categories is very low (only 0.5%) for the SBI Pulse credit card, the overall reward rate is very low at just around 1%. Below is the calculator where you can see the potential reward rate based on your spending. Based on this comparison, it will be more rewarding to opt for the Amazon ICICI credit card, Axis Flipkart card , or Amex MRCC over the SBI Pulse credit card. Your reward rate on the Amazon credit card can be as high as 5% depending on your spending pattern.
FITPASS PRO membership:
This is the only feature that appears to be decent enough to take this card. However, when you dig into T&Cs you realise that there are some constraints in this too. This membership allows you access to a network of gyms, fitness centres, and classes under the FitPass umbrella. But, you can only take 12 sessions per month with a cap of 3 sessions per week.
What this means is: if you go to a gym frequently, you cannot ditch your current gym membership for this FITPASS PRO Membership as it does not allow unlimited sessions. It can be useful if you travel a lot and use the gyms in other cities using this membership. So, overall this membership is good but it doesn’t save any money for you.
In conclusion, SBI Pulse is a very mediocre card with a low reward rate, a joining gift that you pay for in form of joining fees, and a partially useful membership. Thus, I would recommend you not to apply for this credit card. Instead, you can try out Amazon ICICI, Axis Flipkart, or AMEX MRCC (when the applications reopen for AMEX cards).