Why is ICICI bank charging redemption fees on Payback points usage?

POSTED BY manish ON January 10, 2016 COMMENTS (106)

This is a guest post by a reader Prithvi, who wanted to share his views on the redemption charges by ICICI bank on the payback points. Here goes the article which was sent by Prithvi to me over email. We would like to have discussion on this topic and see what every one else has to say about this.


Hi Fellow Investor

This is Prithvi. I wanted to share few thoughts I have about the ICICI bank and its redemption charges on usage of Payback points.

ICICI Bank is probably the best private sector bank in this country, it is because of them that the banking scene in this country has progressed so much.

PAYBACK is probably the best loyalty program in India, before PAYBACK, people never even thought that reward points meant anything and PAYBACK was the reason that this changed in India.

Now, there is one thing that this bank is doing that is not ethical. ICICI Bank is looting their account holders with the name of PAYBACK.

PAYBACK is a loyalty reward program with ties to several major brands in the country. You can earn PAYBACK points when you shop online or offline with many outlets, Future group outlets are one of them, Brand Factory, Pantaloons, Home Town, Central. Online you can earn and spend PAYBACK points at eBay.in, MakeMyTrip.com etc, to name a few. You can also earn PAYBACK points with your ICICI Bank Debit/Credit Cards and also ICICI Internet Banking. Note that PAYBACK and ICICI Bank are different entities

American Express also offers a card with which you can earn PAYBACK points.

Now, what’s unethical here? Let’s look at the how you can earn and spend points.

Ways to earn PAYBACK points

  • Swipe your PAYBACK card at partner outlets
  • Enter your PAYBACK number at partner websites
  • Use ICICI Bank Credit/Debit Cards/Internet Banking for Purchases
  • Use American Express Cards for Purchases

Ways to spend PAYBACK points

  • Swipe your PAYBACK card at partner outlets
  • Enter your PAYBACK number at partner websites and confirm spending with PIN.

Now, there are 2 categories here

  • Non ICICI Bank Account Holders
  • ICICI Bank Account Holders

Steps For Non-ICICI Bank Account Holders

  1. Enter your PAYBACK number/Mobile Number on the website(e.g eBay).
  2. Enter your PAYBACK PIN to confirm. (4 PAYBACK points = INR 1)
  3. If you are purchasing an item that costs INR 1000, you have 2000 PAYBACK points, you will get INR 500 discount and you have to pay only the remaining 500.
  4. Transaction completes for free

Steps For ICICI Bank Account Holders

  1. Enter your PAYBACK number/Mobile Number on the website(e.g eBay).
  2. Enter your PAYBACK PIN to confirm. (4 PAYBACK points = INR 1)
  3. If you are purchasing an item that costs INR 1000, you have 2000 PAYBACK points, you will get INR 500 discount and you have to pay only the remaining 500.
  4. Transaction completes, but you are charged a redemption fee in your ICICI account.

Here is the problem.

PAYBACK confirms that its redemptions are free of charge and also confirms that PAYBACK does not charge for redemptions.

ICICI says that they have a right to charge for redemptions because they have a tie up with PAYBACK.

ICICI PAYBACK potential Scam

Now let’s look at a scenario where it gets a little complicated, if you have a PAYBACK card from Brand Factory and you also have an ICICI Bank account and both of them are linked, this is when ICICI begins to loot you.

If you earn points at Brand Factory, the points get credited to your PAYBACK account and now when you spend those PAYBACK points, ICICI charges you a redemption fee.

ICICI PAYBACK scam points

This is blatant robbery. ICICI has no right to charge PAYBACK users for redemptions. Please listen to this audio which was created by me to explain my views on this topic.

ICICI Bank says that it has the right to charge users for PAYBACK redemptions when contacted by email.

PAYBACK confirms that it DOES NOT charge its users for redemption.

Please share what are your views about this?

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106 replies on this article “Why is ICICI bank charging redemption fees on Payback points usage?”

  1. Prithvi Raj says:

    Hi,

    I’m Prithvi, the author of this article.

    ICICI has still not changed it’s business practices even after years of this article going live.

    I have lost hope, a bank that was once stellar at customer support now is absolutely pathetic.

    I’m slowly moving my business away, hope ICICI resolves this issue for their customers.

    1. Jagoinvestor says:

      Thanks for updating the status with us !

  2. Saurav Kataruka says:

    I have been following this post for months. Still ICICI Bank is blatantly looting customers and nothing has changed !! Anything we can do to permanently stop this? One of my friends redeemed 300 odd payback points and ICICI charged him Approx Rs 114 which is equivalent to 460 payback points !!!!! Shocking robbery by ICICI Bank. Shame!!

    1. Saurav says:

      Least rewarding credit / debit card in India.

    2. Thanks for your comment Saurav Kataruka

  3. damodar says:

    Hi ,
    On 15 June, 2016 statement ICICI bank charged me an amount of INR 28.09 for redemption of payback points with Mobiqwik on 20 April 2016.
    This means if you redeem 100 points for Rs. 20 you will be charged with Rs. 28.09 .
    Shame on Icici Bank. looting customes in name of Rewards .what a Pity!!!
    I had lodged complaint with seriesl No. SR418533133.
    Thay called me once which i could not receive.And they closed the case sending e-mail “We are unable to process your request and are unable to contact you at the phone number as in our records. Please contact us at Customer Care”

    1. Yea, thats the issue with ICICI bank

  4. George says:

    Now this is something which is very interesting. ICICI bank thinks that their customers are fools. You spend money, they give you these so called ‘reward’ points and then when you redeem them, charge your customers. After reading this article I checked my account statement and realized that even I have been charged multiple times for the same. The worst part is that you get no intimation about the same only on close scrutinizing do you find out these charges.

    Good info by Prithvi. Thanks for posting this Manish.

    1. Thanks for your comment George

  5. Bhavesh says:

    Hi Manish,

    Very well written article. I completely agree with your views. ICICI bank does not have a right to charge its customers because PAYBACK points can be independently earned through other websites directly as well.

    I paid a small mobile bill of Rs. 50 through PAYBACK points and had to pay approx Rs. 30 to ICICI. Post that, I stopped using my ICICI credit card for accumulating points and shifted to other bank’s credit cards.

    It has been around 2 years now that ICICI is charging unethically for PAYBACK redemption. I hope ICICI changes its policy after realizing the defect.

    1. Thanks for sharing that Bhavesh

  6. vipul says:

    ICICI is not limited to this only. I got a call from ICICI customer care regarding their coral credit card.
    I told him that i’m already having a coral debit card, so how is different from a credit card apart from usual difference between two.
    Spoke person explained me that even though both have similar benefits i should go for coral credit card as they are giving it for me free i.e. no joining fees and no annual charges, while i would have to pay both joining and annual fees coming around Rs 550 plus on coral debit card.
    Was surprised and asked what would be my credit limit, he replied that it would be more than Rs 1 lakh as i had long relation with their bank.
    If you know how to use credit card wisely then why to go for a premium debit card, instead go for a normal debit card and use free wala credit card to enjoy same benefits.
    Sometimes it feels that you became a big fool by showing faith in their representatives

    1. Its not always the case that all credit cards are same. I have rubyx credit card and I pay Rs 899 per year for that, However I get benefits of more than Rs 4000-5000 using that card (1+1 free movies) . I wont get that on a free basic card. SO its not that always basic cards are better than higher premium cards. I suggest you see once again if you want that coral card or not !

      1. Saurav says:

        @Manish – If you compare the benefits paid credit cards of other banks are giving, I am sure you will reconsider your decision to continue with ICICI credit card. I use Citi Rewards card – Lifetime free and get lot of benefits. Standard Chartered, HSBC, Amex, RBL Bank credit cards are also highly rewarding. I somehow feel ICICI bank is not ethical in these matters and avoid using ICICI bank for any high value transactions.

        1. I agree that there are many credit cards which might be giving various kind of benefits. However in my personal case, ICICI card benefits match what I want and I never had any issues with them, so till then I am happy πŸ™‚

          However I take your point that benefits wise there might be other cards better than ICICI . But then at the end of the day, not every one needs the best all the time.

          Manish

  7. Sri says:

    For me Citibank – Indian Oil credit card suits better, each point is worth fuel of Re 1 when I redeem. I get 4 points for every Rs. 150 fuel purchase at IOC and fuel surcharge of 2.5% waived off, 2 points for purchases on groceries, online purchases etc. The reward options offered in payback are just unworthy things(alteast for me) that requires thousands of points to accumulate. After all most of us spend on fuel and better to redeem fuel for the points than these unworthy and substandard products that is of little use. And why should I pay for the points I earned through my expenditures and still they call it as Rewards programme???

    1. Thanks for your comment Sri

  8. GopalMahajan says:

    Bhai log, aaj ek chij notice ki maine, when you logged in to ICICI and specifically go to your Last satement option, you wont believe, ICICI include Payback card amount to your total amount due, do this. copy your statement rows and xls it and do a summation, the summation wont equals with what we see in caption “Total Amount Due”. e.g. In my case it was 20,303 shown there but when i do the baniya way, it comes around 18930 then was figuring out why i charged 1373 more, i found that specifically ICICI showing an additional card (it is the payback card) where it add INTEREST CHARGES (it is not the redemption fee) and there i have this two row.

    15/12/2015 Interest Charges 1,182.71
    15/12/2015 Service Tax 149.74

    When talking to ICICI Bank, they said they notice the concern and reverting my money. So they knew it but doing a case by case, to only those who knock there door. Seriously… c’mon

    I downloaded the statements of mine from last 2 years and it comes around 10K of money, which they now suppose to revert or I get them to the grahak court.

    Janhit me jari

    1. ICICIBankCare says:

      Dear Mr. Mahajan,

      We regret the inconvenience caused. We request you to email us your concern with your contact details on care@icicibank.com. Please mention the UID (a32ckq_aacz) in the subject line of your email. Our official will assist you.

      Regards,
      ICICI Bank Customer Service Team

    2. Thanks for your comment GopalMahajan

  9. Mohit says:

    ICICI Bank is making a fool of customers by charging customers. I had redeemed 400 points for a Pizza Hut voucher worth Rs. 100. And can you believe it, ICICI charged me Rs. 113 as reward Redemption Charges. I had to pay Rs. 113 for a voucher of Rs. 100. So who got rewarded- the Customer or the BANK?? Effectively, for a customer, a voucher worth Rs. 100 = Earning 400 REWARD points + paying the Bank Rs. 113.36. On escalating my complaint, after 5-6 emails and numerous phone calls, the charges were reversed. But now I am thinking of filing a case in consumer court so that such unfair business practices can be stopped.

    WOULDN’T IT HAVE BEEN BETTER FOR ME TO SPEND RS. 100 IN CASH OUT OF MY POCKET at Pizza Hut THAN GET A VOUCHER FROM PAYBACK/ICICI BY PAYING RS. 113 AND GOING THROUGH ALL THIS TROUBLE ??

    1. ICICIBankCare says:

      Dear Mohit

      We are sorry to hear about your concern. Please write to care@icicibank.com with your contact details. Kindly mention the UID a32ckq_aacx in the subject line of your email. Our official will assist you.

      Regards,
      ICICI Bank Customer Service Team

      1. Saurav says:

        @ICICIBankCare

        Stop making these copy paste responses. Charging for payback points redemption is blatant robbery and 100% illegal and even after getting so many complains and so many angry customers, I really wonder how you guys are still continuing this !! Shocking really.
        I am not sure but this issue needs to be taken to the court by someone sooner rather than later.
        ICICI Bank should issue a clarification on this.
        And I guess it costs a lot to ICICI in form of handling complaints and customer care facilities on this issue related complaints. Very Very irresponsible and Unethical.

  10. Rohit says:

    Ha..I also had the same issue..When I complained..they reversed the charges..However, they are continuing to charge other customer…This is seriously an unethical behaviour and a fraud run by ICICI…If they want to charge..they should run their own reward scheme and charge customer on redemption of those reward points..!!

    May be we should take them to Consumer forum for running their fraud scheme !!

    1. Hey Rohit

      Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us. It was a great learning.

      Manish

  11. Vikrant says:

    Same happened with me a year ago. I called up ICICI to revert the fee transaction but they denied to do so as the charge fee is mandatory. I told them to open a dispute on the fee transaction because it was not made with my consent. They denied to open the dispute. I threatened them if they will not open dispute then I’ll open dispute with VISA who are the backing partner of the credit card (which I could’ve if they haven’t opened the ticket or dispute). Then customer care officer opened a ticket and sent mail to their concerning officer and after two days i got a call about the free transaction reversal.

    Please fight for your rights and don’t let companies make money from wrong doings. It’s your hard earned money.

    1. Thanks for sharing that Vikrant

  12. Jitendra says:

    Dear Manish Sir,
    I want to avail your paid service. In that case before I apply for call-back I want to know the exact cost for this service.
    I am a 29 years old recently married person working in a Govt PSU with an annual salary of 540000 (in hand). I do have Health Insurance & will be buying a Term Plan in near term. I am invested in Equity MF from last 3 years in SIP mode . I have some specific goals to meet and the way I should act is my requirement. Thank You.

    1. Hi Jitendra

      It can be anywhere from Rs 8,000 to Rs 15,000 depending on your case. I suggest you to at least schedule a free call first and then take the final decision. There is no obligation as such anyways

      http://www.jagoinvestor.com/services/financial-planning

  13. Haroon says:

    Nice article and Nice website!.. How can I find out the total amount charged by ICICI bank on account of all Payback payments/redemptions I have made. Any suggestions how I can check this? Thanks

    1. You will have to manually check each entry and do it !

  14. NN says:

    Simple solution.

    Register yourself at the payback site using the payback # to which icici credits the points. Then redeem the points directly without using ICICI as a go between.

    Been doing it for quite some time. And enjoy the good feeling that comes with beating the bank at its own game.

    1. joy says:

      This is the best method and i am myself doing this method for quite some years now.

    2. Thanks for sharing that NN

    3. Saurabh says:

      NN/Joy,
      Could not understand this.How do you do it without using ICICI as a go between? I have been redeeming directly from payback or while using to procure from Ebay… but they still charge in the credit card statement..

    4. Giboy says:

      I have done the same, but still they have charged the money from me. I have raised a banking odumsman complaint. Let us see what happens.

  15. B says:

    I have read on payback that writing a review on tripadvisor.in will earn pay back points (max 1525 per month). I have linked my payback number on the website and am regularly writing reviews. however no payback points are credit in my payback account. any idea y?

    1. Dr.Sachin says:

      Have you enrolled for JP Miles camlaign program by trip advisor ?

      1. B says:

        No..whats that? is it a pre-requisite for earning pay back points?

        1. Dr.Sachin says:

          That’s another campaign by trip advisor. As per terms and conditions of trip advisor, one can enrol for only one campaign at a time. If u have enrolled for one campaign then u might not be eligible for the other

          1. B says:

            No… I have not enrolled for any such campaign…..but u have linked my payback number with TA…but still no points are credited..

          2. B says:

            the points have now been credited,,,after about one and a half months…

  16. Dr.Sachin says:

    Ok. Here the author says Payback is probably one of the best loyalty rewarding system. Is it? I dont think so.
    Have a small collection.
    Usually 2 payback points are earned for every 100rs spend. And on redemption, 4 payback points equals 1rupee. Or in other words 2 points equals 0.5paise. That means only 0.5% is the cash back offered. Its just peanuts.
    —————–
    Even the PSU State bank is offering 1% minimum as cashback via their loyalty system known SBI Rewardz.
    —————-

    And if you are particularly looking for cash backs for every spends on your debit cards, opt for KOTAK MAHINDRA’S Silk Account. Based on the type of card you choose, they offer a monthly cash back for minimum spends on debit cards. Such as 100rs/month cashback for spend of 2500/month (ie. 4% cashback). 150rs/month for spend of 5000/month and 375 for 15000. If you have got large expenses via ur debit card you can earn up to 4500/year.
    ————–
    When such good offers are there in market, why to fall for peanuts of ICICI.
    ————-
    And as other readers sited if you are looking at the prices they put for each item in Payback site I have no words to say further. Even if you are opting to redeem Payback points in other sites such ebay.in its not gonna help you lot

    1. Prithvi says:

      PAYBACK was the pioneer. Before PAYBACK there were not many loyalty programs and it was so difficult to ever get anything redeemed.

      PAYBACK started the trend and others followed it.

      Coming to how much one can earn, you can earn in many ways.
      You can swipe PAYBACK cards, you can swipe ICICI Bank Credit cards, ICICI Bank debit cards, ICICI Internet Banking, American Express Cards and many more.

      Again, you can get more points if you have a higher card. If you are using a silver card, you will get 2 points for every 100 spent, if you have a Rubyx card, you will get 6.

      So it depends.

      I personally got 10000 worth of free diesel at HPCL.
      I got another 10000 worth discounts at MakeMyTrip.com.
      I got another 5000 worth discounts at eBay.in

      So, I feel PAYBACK is the absolute best in India (personal opinion)

      1. Dr.Sachin says:

        Whether PAYBACK card suits you or not, it depends up on how much we spend I guess.
        —–
        And to own a higher card and earn more points from payback I guess we need to spend more.
        ——
        Yes. Yes definitely payback card is worth , but to rate it as the best I think we need to calculate the cashback percentage of payback. As I calculated its only 0.5% (for normal cards on normal spends)

        ——-
        If possible could you pls elaborate on how much was your cashback percentage. I mean to get 10k worth diesel or 5k discount at eBay how much we need to spend.
        ——-
        Ya. This topic is not on which card is best. But I think if we feel that the cashback percentage from payback is less its better just to quit it and opt others in market

        1. Prithvi says:

          Hey,

          I’m happy that we’re having a lively discussion.

          I used to activate the PAYBACK coupons. I used to get a lot of extra points because of that. For example, if you activate a HP Coupon and swipe at a HP pump you will get 50 extra points. Now, the coupon isn’t there all the time, but I used it when it is available. It is easy to keep track of these offers through the PAYBACK app.

          Loyalty programs have only one agenda. They want the customer to spend more and more, that is their single point agenda.

          For someone like me, I already used to spend for household needs, I just started to use the ICICI card sometimes debit and sometimes credit. I got a ton of points through this.

          I have a car loan, ICICI gives me points for every instalment paid through auto debit. These didn’t need any action on my part. They just gave bonus points.

          I didn’t really track all this, they were all just bonuses. I think of every thing I get through PAYBACK as a bonus, and I got a lot of bonuses. πŸ™‚

          The biggest benefit of PAYBACK and the reason they are the market leaders is that in the case of PAYBACK, they have many partners, the reason is that ICICI does not own PAYBACK and neither do any of the other partners. You can make get PAYBACK points from Bookmyshow, from MakemyTrip, from American Express Cards. You can make payback points from so many places. All the other loyalty programs are owned by the respective banks and that’s why they aren’t as great (my opinion).

          1. Dr.Sachin says:

            Yes me too happy about the lively discussion. πŸ™‚
            ——-
            As you said its just a bonus on the normal spend. I had activated my payback card around 4years back. Via futurebazaar. At that time there were not many options for cashback. But now there are more options to receive cashback.
            1. Debit cards like Silk account of Kotak Bank.
            (I’m specifying Kotak because I own Axis, Yes Bank, HDfc, Icici, SBT , SBI cards and among them I feel this one is best for cashback over normal spends, ie. for swiping in ur supermarket or any other local merchants )
            2. For online shopping use www . cashkaro . com for cashbacks.
            ——
            The reason why PAYBACK is popular is as u said it has got many partners. And as you said if you want cashback as an icing over the cake and not the cake itself, payback is a good choice. And if specifically looking for cashbacks there are many options available now.
            ——-
            Also I didn’t get the part on earning cashback on auto debit of loan emi. How do you do it. I mean a spend over debit cards is required for cashback right.

            1. Prithvi says:

              ICICI has a scheme where if you pay any loan through auto debit, you will get points.

              You can pay the loan EMI through many ways but if you pay through auto debit, they give you points. They used to give, I don’t remember if they still do.

            2. Dr.Sachin says:

              Ya. It’s still there. Today I received a mail. But looking at the calculation i still wonder how much points can be earned.

              Dear Customer,

              Every month you can earn a maximum of up to 800 reward points on Home Loans.

              Once you set up the Auto Debit of your loan installments from your ICICI Bank Savings Account, you will earn 10 reward points for every lakh of loan amount disbursed.

              For Example:
              A 80 lakh Home Loan disbursed can earn you 800 reward points in a month.
              Annual: 800×12 = 9600 reward points
              Reward points can also be earned by setting the Auto Debit for your Car and Personal Loan EMIs.

            3. NIRAJ says:

              There are many other ways to redeem your points even now book my show allowes payment through PAYBACK…ITS JUST GR8… U just need to know how to use it and where to use it….

  17. dhaval says:

    This is not related, still ICICI is charging for neft. If you transfer money to other banks they’ll charge you 5-6 rs.
    Why icici should charge for neft? By using neft, there is no manpower / cheques utilized. This should be free service like other banks.

    1. Hi Dhaval

      As far as I know not all banks give NEFT as free . Even PSU banks charge for NEFT beyond a limit. I dont think bank is at fault here. This way we will keep on saying why bank is charging for XYZ. No bank will survive in that way. Banks are business and they will charge us for various things, if its their service. We can choose them or ignore them if we want.

      In this post, we are talking about a charge which clearly is not related to them and hence unethical !

      1. Joel says:

        Hi Manish ,

        I guess you are missing the point of dhaval . Let me quote an example , when you have computerization and automation , out of the many benefits one of them is certainly cost saving. When banks introduced ATM and were promoting it some 13 to 15 years back . They had somewhere did their homework that keeping staff for handling cash (cashiers) along with their salary , employment benefits , perks , retirement benefits etc was too much of a cost . Computerization was far more cheaper in the long run . In the similar manner many of the services which bank charge actually should be free . Because these very things were free earlier with far high costs to the bank. Today if we again revert back to the old system of doing things like withdrawing cash from bank and not ATM , issuing cheques , DD , pass book update . Can the banks then tell which is cheaper putting a person behind a counter or withdrawing through ATM . Today if we adopt technology the benefit it gives us is making our lives easier but at the same time giving these banking shops a cost advantage. The cost benefit far outweighs and business is not about the top line but the bottom line also. I personally felt very irritated when banks had issued a directive of only 5 free transactions in a months at ATM . Hypothetically If all people for some reason stop using ATMS and walk into bank to get money the bank would be pooping in their pants . We are complacent because since amounts charged are small and we just accept things . That is why these guys are taking advantage . Next I am not sure but by the way charges are being slipped left right and center in the name of service , you never know you may be even get charged for being served food in a plate in a restaurant . After all serving you on a plate is a service .

  18. San says:

    I’ve stopped using Payback points altogether since a few months. Before they redesigned the website. all items were given resonable payback points value. Not take an example of a 16gb micro sdcard. Even such a small item is charged exhorbitant payback points. Why on earth should I spend my valuable time filtering and sorting their ridiculous website ,waste my time and ultimately pay again to buy something which I know is cheaper. This news about ICICI going to charge for redemption had come in paper several months back.

    1. Thanks for your comment San

      1. San says:

        Thank you too for bringing such articles and educating us relentlessly.

        1. Thanks for your comment San

    2. Prithvi says:

      You can just purchase that same item on eBay and pay with PAYBACK points instead.

      1. San says:

        I agree you can pay with payback points. But when I compared the value of the product with payback points charged, I found I had to have such a high payback points in order to buy something like a micro sd card (cost rs.400 to 800). Few months back they were reasonably priced i.e. before they changed the website and at that time I had bought a product too. Keeping that in mind, I was accumulating my points but then the website itself changed and latest shock was about high points being charged for redemption and then about icici charging you for it. So now I ignore all points. Why spend thousands of rupees to buy a 400 Rs item through points?

        1. Prithvi says:

          Buddy, 4 PAYBACK points =INR 1.
          So if an item is 1000 Rs, you need 4000 points. You should never redeem on the PAYBACK catalog, you should go to eBay and if the item is 400, you will need 1600 points.

          Paying with PAYBACK is just like paying through debit card, only thing is that it uses points instead of money.

          I’ve been doing this for a long time. That’s why I love PAYBACK. And ICICI is being a party pooper by charging for redemptions. Such a ripoff.

          Remember, don’t go do the PAYBACK website, go directly to eBay.in.

  19. prassri says:

    Thanks for this article. I too am very frustrated with this action by ICICI. I called them and they quoted they changed the rules in May – June 2014 . Because of this i wanted to utilize and exhaust the Payback points by buying items in ebay. I have tried thrice during past 2 months to purchase items in ebay using payback points and none got cleared. I think there is something fishy going on but cannot put a finger on it. I have some other high priority tasks as of now and so decided to deal with ICICI and payback after 2-3 weeks.

    1. Hi prassri

      Thanks for your sharing your valuable comment on this topic. Please keep sharing your views in future also

      Manish

  20. murali says:

    I had faced this problem long time back. So I have taken another PayBack card from Central.
    So I use one card only for ICICI Debit/Card points and another card for all other points (HPCL, MobiKwik, ebay etc..)

    In this way, I almost stopped using PayBack which is linked to ICICI Bank account

    1. Hi murali

      Thanks for your sharing your valuable comment on this topic. Please keep sharing your views in future also

      Manish

    2. NIRAJ says:

      But by this way u will not get points when u use ICICI card

  21. David says:

    I have experienced this some-time back. I raised the issue with their customer care. I argued with the executive ; but he kept beating around the bush, claiming it’s ICICI bank’s policy to charge for redemption. Then he asked me to contact with Payback. Since, I didn’t want to take much trouble, I didn’t bother to follow it up. I feel it’s high time somebody takes charge and hold the bank accountable.

    1. Thanks for your comment David

  22. Joel says:

    Hi Manish ,

    Thanks for bringing up this article . This topic really adheres to the foundation of jago investor . There many such corrupt practices going on in society and its become so common that its just slips under our noses . Its become the daily fabric of life . No one notices anything . I dont know whether its me or every one else also feels the same about Swach bharat tax .

    1. Thanks for your comment Joel. I dont think there is any issue with Swach Bharat Tax. What issue you have with that ?

      1. Anjan says:

        Obviously there is an issue with Swach Bharat Tax. Moneylife foundation has already raised this issue. I implore you to dig a little deeper on this issue. You will realize how this Swach Bharat Tax is also a way to loot the common man.

        1. Ok will check it out !

        2. Vikrant says:

          Who knows where Swach Bharat Tax is being utilized?

  23. Rajeev says:

    I think, airline co-brand cards have best loyalty privileges. I have benefited from JP Miles; as few months of routine expenses made me earn a last moment Award ticket (before 2 days). I shelled out 900+ rupees for Taxes.
    I used payback points to accumulate JP Miles.

    1. Glad to know that Rajeev ..

  24. Vishal says:

    Thanks Prithvi for writing this email to Manish & thank you Manish for sharing with all of us.
    I too have fallen victim of this unethical practice from ICICI bank.
    Not only ICICI bank, even HDFC bank is also following the same practice when you redeem the points earned on your HDFC credit card.
    I recently redeemed my points & got charged Rs. 100 πŸ™

    1. Hi Vishal

      Thanks for your sharing your valuable comment on this topic. Please keep sharing your views in future also

      Manish

  25. Deepak says:

    wow, good article, recently i closed ICICI credit account, due to wrongly charged payback redemption fee. though it was Rs 25, but find it unethical.

    1. Thanks for your comment Deepak

  26. Rohit says:

    Very good article, Prithvi.
    I also faced this issue but they did not reverse charges.

    1. Rohit

      You should again talk to them and ask them for explaination on why they have deducted it .

  27. Kiran says:

    Thank God , I never got in the Payback Trap. IMO its tricky trap set for poor middle class (mostly) like me, who is looking for free stuff. I believe in “Save a rupee is like earn a rupee” . Payback schemes lure customers to spend more and earn more payback points. What we don’t understand is its just a trap. For eg. I am purchasing something which I need for my daily needs now If I am purchasing it at a cost of 1800 Rs and when payback says I can get more points If i make a purchase of 2000 Rs I easily walks in the trap. To get 20 payback points I am spending 200 more rupees on a thing which was not necessary for me at the moment.

    Now If a make 10 such transactions in a years I am spending 2000 Rs without a reason and what I am getting is some 100 points which can give me nothing more than a pen drive (Extreme case). This is just a big picture.

    I am spending 2000 Rs more to get a pen drive that adding to many tasks for me i.e. swipe Payback card, call phone banking for redemption etc.

    Simple point is why Should I take a long and tricky route of Payback when I myself can buy it !!! πŸ™‚

    P.S. The moment I got a free payback card I had given that card to my 4 year old Son for playing, Now he uses that card when he fills petrol in his bicycle whilst playing with other kids :). Such a great satisfaction for me.

    1. Hi Kiran

      Thanks for your sharing your valuable comment on this topic. Please keep sharing your views in future also

      Manish

  28. Rahul says:

    I was also concerned on this matter. Thereafter I stopped reddeeming PAYBACK points using ICICI card.

  29. ankitmehta says:

    Hi Prithvi,

    Thanks for a sensible post.
    this ill be prithvi(earth) shattering for icici bank.
    However lets all investor form a group and raise the same issue on customer care mail id and customer care call centre of icici bank.
    and as u said icici is pioneer of many changes in india banking but that does not give them the right to loot is

    1. Thanks for your comment ankitmehta

  30. MANOJ says:

    I fully agree with the points, which is quite unethical and ICICI Bank is just charging ‘PENALTY FOR LOYALTY’.

    Same thing happens when you book a train ticket thru IRCTC. IRCTC charges Rs. 10 plus ICICI Bank also charge Rs.10 for each transaction. It simply means that if the cost of ticket is less than Rs. 4600/- on IRCTC, you are going to earn a NEGATIVE PAYBACK point. (for earning Rs. 10 thru PAYBACK, you should have at least 46 points, which you may earn after purchage of 4600, because 14% service tax is applicable on all charges).

    1. Hi MANOJ

      Thanks for your sharing your valuable comment on this topic. Please keep sharing your views in future also

      Manish

  31. Ankur says:

    I have faced the same situation and successfully reversed the charges of redemption fee. I raised the complaint with ICICIBANK customer care. I told them very categorically that:
    A) if I receive any payback points in lieu of transaction than in no case the redemption / service charge would be in Indian rupees but only in some penalty of some points
    B) ICICIBANK has no rights to debit the savings account, even RBI can’t do that without my permission.
    C) icicibank can only charge any redemption fee for icicibank transaction but if I buy a woodland shoes and that provide some payback points, then at least icicibank can’t penalize me like redemption fee
    So they returned money πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for sharing that Ankur

  32. Anil says:

    Yes ICICI Bank Charges for Payback Redemption, i personally never thought of it much but after reading the post i believe this is wrong practice. And ICICI Bank should clarify why they charge the Redemption amount.

    1. Thanks for sharing that Anil

  33. deepak says:

    I have also been charged to payback redemption but I raised grievance and scold them to put this charge, even you redeem for 40 point(10 rs) you will be charged 28 for online redemption, this is not ethical, I send email and ask their manager to discuss this but no one from ICICI bank was able to convince why some one should be charged for redemption fee if points are not accumulated by swapping icici card. I got my fee refund.

    1. suresh says:

      Thanks Deepak bringing this to public notice.You can contact Banking Ombudsman and complain against ICICI bank .

    2. Thanks for sharing that deepak

  34. Sivakumar says:

    Thank you very much JI. Hats off to you for bring in these kind of issue to limelight. Hope ICICI bank would here the voice of its customers through you.

    1. Thanks for sharing that Sivakumar

  35. Saurav says:

    I have also noticed this and feel this is highly unethical and a clear case of loot from ICICI Bank. Multiple complaints should be made to Banking Ombudsman, Payback, ICICI Grievance Redressal Cell until they stop this. This is a clear case of cheating. Let us all take the pain to make the complains to stop this.

    1. Thanks for sharing that Saurav

  36. AbhijeetKhadikar says:

    Not only this infact charging any kind of redemption charges ogr payback is wrong as customer is already paying charges for credit and debit card and again charging in the name of redemption is unethical especially when payback is not charging

    1. Thanks for sharing that AbhijeetKhadikar

  37. Anjan says:

    As usual, an Indian bank is busy looting its customers. At this point in time, it has becomes so routine that I doubt anyone even notices. So many charges are slipped discreetly under our noses throughout the year that it completely nullifies any kind of interest generated by the savings account itself.

    I have redeemed payback points many times before (all while purchasing something from ebay) and ebay doesn’t charge a dime for it as they should not. If Payback does not charge anything from their end, what right does ICICI have to charge us? This is blatant robbery indeed. But whom do we take this issue up with?

    1. ankitmehta says:

      Banking ombudsman.

      First with icici bank we can riase an issue and then with banking ombudsman

    2. You can pursue this with Banking ombudman if you feel you want to take it further

      1. AbhijeetKhadikar says:

        Hi
        I have already raised this issue with ICICI Bank and yet to get any reply from customer care.

    3. soni says:

      Not only that, If you swipe Rs 500/- or so and the debit which does not have enough balance then also they charge money!

      They are displaying insuffient funds then why they are charging – ICICI bank looting people! with so many hidden cost! if you call them then they will tell all bullshit with reckless answers also sometimes

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