What HNIs must know before opting for a private debit card

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Ever heard of private debit cards? Well, these are different from the regular debit cards issued by banks to the ordinary customer. Banks classify customers into different categories based on their income and assets. High-net-worth individuals (HNIs) fall in the upper most category and so many lenders offer them an array of premium—personalized and customized—banking services, including the use of private debit cards.

Banks issue such cards to rich and privileged patrons based on their membership in exclusive banking programmes. For instance, IDFC First Bank issues the IDFC First Visa private debit card to members of its IDFC First Private Programme. So does Axis Bank: it issues Axis Bank Burgundy Debit Card only to Burgundy Private Members. Yes Bank has its own Yes Private Debit Card. This is issued to ultra HNI members on Mastercard’s premium World Elite platform.

Sachin Vasudeva, director of Paisabazaar.com, said, “The difference between a regular debit card and a private debit card is very similar to how an entry-level credit card differs from a premium credit card. The latter can charge a high joining or annual fee but private debit cards are generally free for lifetime use.”

These cards are associated with exclusive privileges such as higher cash withdrawal limits, complimentary access to airport lounges, insurance benefits, golf access, zero-touch loan products, doorstep banking and 24*7 concierge services. Do note that these services depend on the lender that you are associated with.

Private debit cards have other advantages. For instance, they may charge a lower forex markup fee than regular cards .

Adhil Shetty, CEO of BankBazaar.com, said, “Some banks waive off the convenience and transaction charges for international transactions Debit cards associated with an HNI account may have daily withdrawal limits of 2 lakh and domestic shopping limit of 5 lakh or more. Some private debit cards may provide even higher withdrawal and shopping limits of 10-15 lakh. Often, banks do not impose andy annual charges on these cards. However, the lenders may have very high requirements from clients in terms of investments or holdings.”

Vasudeva said, “HNIs can keep both a regular and a private debit card. Most banks offer premium banking debit cards to those with a high balance in their savings account or based on the Total Relationship Value (TRV) with the bank (including liability & investment relationship). However, some banks may require you to open a premium savings account. For instance, Axis Burgundy Private Debit Card is given to account holders who maintain a minimum TRV of 5 crore by 12 months of account/relationship initiation. The Burgundy Private Savings Account is mandatory for induction into the Burgundy Private Banking Program.”

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