- What does the CRED app do?
- How does CRED reward users?
- Going Beyond Credit Card Payments
- What Offers Does CRED App Provide?
- How Good are Cred Offers?
- How Trustworthy is CRED in handling my transactions?
- Other Uses of the CRED App
- Rent Payment With Cred App
- CRED Stash
- My Issues With CRED
- What can CRED do to Improve The Experience?
- CRED App Review: What’s The Verdict?
In the earlier days, if you wanted to buy something, you’d have to barter.
But the barter system was inconvenient. The invention of the fiat currency solved a lot of problems.
But people often don’t have enough money to cover their expenses.
So what did we do? We invented credit; buy now pay later.
A credit card is a beneficial financial product if used right. And CRED, the new startup from Kunal Shah, is tackling an unusual problem when it comes to credit cards.
Paying off your credit card bills.
In this CRED app review, I’ll dive deep into their offerings, potential security risks, typical CRED offers, and tips to make the most of the app.
What does the CRED app do?
Imagine that you have multiple credit cards across various banks. Each of them has a different billing cycle.
What if there is an app that collects all this information, reminds you to make payments on time, and rewards you for it?
That’s what CRED app offers.
A single app to manage all your credit cards.
Note: CRED targets people with higher credit scores (deemed creditworthy). When I joined CRED, I was wait-listed but got access quickly because my credit score was 800+. Depending upon your credit score, you might have to wait for long, or you might not be eligible at all.
Check your eligibility here.
How does CRED reward users?
There are two reward mechanisms in the CRED app.
- Points: Earned by making credit card payments. One point = One rupee in card payment
- Gems: Earned by referring members to CRED. One referral = 10 gems
There are various rewards you can redeem. Almost always, the gem rewards are more useful than point rewards.
The rewards are often tied to location. Mumbai, Bangalore, and Delhi have the highest offers on the app.
Going Beyond Credit Card Payments
CRED app offers an interesting feature – CRED protect. It offers the following benefits:
- Analysis of your spending patterns
- Alerts on suspicious activities
- Alerts about inaccurate charges or unexpected fees
- Due date alerts
- Auto fetch due amounts
There are two sources from which CRED can pull all this information.
- Your bank account
- Your email
Right now, CRED integrates only with your AMEX account. However, it can integrate with your GMAIL account and pull statements from there.
Linking Your GMAIL Account With CRED
If you have an android phone, linking the app is straightforward. Follow the on-screen prompts, and it can link your account quickly.
What Offers Does CRED App Provide?
There are multiple types of offers in CRED.
#1: Redeem Points For Actual Cash – #Killthebill
It is great that you can redeem your CRED points for actual cash.
However, the offers are limited. The cards to win cash only appear once when you make a card payment.
Usually, the offers are:
|Points Burned||Max Cashback|
After having burned more than 10 lakh points on these, I have a fair idea of the typical cashback that you can get.
|Points Burned||Typical Cashback|
|1,000||Rs 5 – Rs 10|
|5,000||Rs 10 – Rs 20|
|15,000||Rs 10 – Rs 25|
|30,000||Rs 40 to Rs 60|
Of the last five 30,000 burns, I have consistently received cashback between Rs 50 – Rs 53. Strange how this works if the system is truly random.
My biggest cashback was Rs 1,787 once on 5,000 points #Killthebill unlock in Aug 2019.
However, aside from my one-time luck, if you calculate the value of the cashback, it’s often less than Rs 0.002 per point.
Pro Tip: Unless you have no other offers to use the points, I recommend that you skip these cashback. You will get a better reward value on non-cashback offers.
#2: Redeem Points For Various Offers
The most common use case for spending your points on CRED will be to use their array of offers.
While CRED has a lot of categorization for their offers, here’s how I segment them.
The frequent offers can be grouped based on the target segment:
|Target Segment||Typical Offers|
|Foodies||20% discount on total bill on fine dining restaurants|
|Wellness enthusiasts||Fitness memberships, healthy food, discounted health check-ups|
|Beauty enthusiasts||Discounts on new beauty products for men/women|
|Parents with young kids||Activities, toys, and educational products|
|Pub hoppers||20% discount on total bill across pubs and microbreweries|
Some offers are less frequent. I have seen offers for financial planning, foreign trips, and even movie screenings.
How Good are Cred Offers?
After burning 22.5 Lakh points, here’s what I have received:
- Around Rs 2,500 in cashback
- Some fantastic dine out deals like free dining for two at Caperberry
- 20% off (food + alcohol) on some of the famous pubs in Bangalore
- No-Limit 50% off from Swiggy. I saved Rs 1,300 using this coupon
- A few good products for free from companies like Man Company, Coveritup, etc.
Overall, I’d estimate that I received about Rs 15,000 value from using the CRED app over the last year.
Note: In credit card terms, CRED offers you an additional reward rate of 0.5% – 1%. My personal reward rate from CRED was around 0.7%.
How Trustworthy is CRED in handling my transactions?
100% of my payments made via CRED has gone through in less than 24 hours. Occasionally, transactions take 48 hours or more to reflect.
Overall, for me, CRED has worked 100% of the time. However, I have seen some people complain about delays in remitting payment.
The reason for the delay could be the mode of payment to CRED and the receiving bank. I often use Net Banking or UPI to make the payment to CRED. My bank is HDFC and ICICI for receiving payments.
However, if you have an account with a PSU bank or a smaller bank, you might occasionally run into issues. I’d suggest the following approach:
|Payment Due Date||Recommended Payment Mode|
|> 5 Working Days||CRED App|
|< 5 Working Days||Direct|
This way, even if there is a delay, you are protected.
Other Uses of the CRED App
Apart from making payments, I also use CRED to keep track of my credit scores.
CIBIL is the most popular credit scoring agency used by banks. If you are looking for a CIBIL score, you are out of luck. CRED provides free credit scores powered by EXPERIAN and CRIF.
I also use CRED to keep track of what offers are available for my credit card.
Rent Payment With Cred App
CRED supports paying your rent through their app. The feature is called Rent Pay.
CRED charges a 1.5% fee for letting you pay rent using credit cards. If you own a premium credit card, the net reward rate, after the CRED fees, will usually be positive.
Warning: I am not sure if credit card companies will consider CRED as a merchant that qualifies for reward points. Check with your bank before using it for reward points arbitrage.
CRED offers personal loans with credit limits up to Rs 5 lakhs for members. The interest rate varies based on the creditworthiness of the borrower. For me, the offer is 12.5% per year which is very competitive considering we are talking about personal loans without any guarantee.
There is also no pre-closure penalty which is an added bonus. However, there is a 1.5% processing fee that is deducted from your loan amount.
CRED Stash is a great tool. While I do not intend to take loans, it is good to know that I have a Rs 5 lakh emergency fund which is accessible in a matter of minutes if I need it for a reasonable interest rate.
My Issues With CRED
#1: Data Privacy
To activate CRED Protect, you need to link your bank account or your email.
For email, take a look at the permission you are giving CRED.
To provide you with all the stated functionality, CRED does require access.
But convenient at what cost?
Yes, CRED is a credible company, and they might not sell your data or do unethical things. However, with hacks being prevalent these days, CRED can get hacked tomorrow.
While your existing data might be encrypted, the access is open. Nothing is stopping the hackers from writing a malicious script to gain access to your email inbox.
Imagine what a hacker can do if they get access to your email inbox that’s tied to your bank account. They can request a password reset, change the linked mobile number, and so on. They have complete read-only access to all your emails.
This might seem far fetched and unlikely. But I’d not want to take chances with my sensitive financial data – at least not with a startup.
Pro Tip: I recommend that you do not link your email or bank account with CRED. Instead, use CRED without the CRED protect feature.
#2: Business Model
I am always wary when companies don’t charge me anything.
After all, every company needs to make a profit. Either they earn money through advertising/affiliate commissions, or they make money by directly charging me.
But CRED does not have any major revenue source today, except potential lead generation through offers. Even with the addition of 1.5% fees for RentPay or the lead gen fees from personal loans, they are not making much revenue. They are mostly running on VC funding.
But someday, VC funding will run out, and they will need to make money. What will they do then?
Will they sell all the data they collect from me? Will they go the affiliate route by recommending new financial products? Will they start charging me money?
I don’t know. That’s the scary part.
Indians are primed not to pay for online services. So it’s highly likely they will go the product recommendations route. They might even launch co-branded credit cards.
Whether I continue to use CRED or not partly depends on how they decide to monetize me as a user.
CRED is supposed to be great at the app design part. Somehow, I find their app very hard to navigate and bloated.
#4: Cannot delete linked cards
There is no option for me to delete my card once I link them. This is scary from a data perspective. Why am I not allowed to remove my linked card accounts?
What can CRED do to Improve The Experience?
Here’s my wishlist for CRED:
- Simplify the design and make it more intuitive
- Introduce more relevant offers
- Let me hide offers and offer types I am not interested in (E.g., I don’t want to see ladies apparel or cosmetic product offers)
- Let me build a custom credit card with offers that I care about. Co-brand with HDFC or ICICI for the added trust!
- Track rewards for each transaction. I am not sure if my card company credits all the points for my transactions
- Allow me to delete my linked cards
- Allow me to mark payments made outside of cred. Currently, if I make payments outside of the app, it keeps showing me payment as overdue.
CRED App Review: What’s The Verdict?
It’s an app that has both PROs and CONs. I recommend that you sign up and pay a few bills to see if it is worthwhile. If you just have one credit card and don’t spend more than 50K per month on your card, I recommend you skip CRED. You are better off paying your bills directly through the card account.
The rewards are definitely not what they used to be. For credit payments of over 1 lakh per month, I generally get around Rs 60 as cashback. It’s not really worth using it for cashback anymore.
The points are basically useless. Even after applying the points for discounts, the products on CRED can be bought for a similar price from online stores like Amazon.
If you plan to use CRED protect, sign up after understanding the risks. You are giving away your financial data to a third party.
While doing the CRED app review, I tried to cover all angles. However, if I missed out on anything, please let me know.
What’s your take?
Varun arya says
It was great review. I think you covered all the major aspect of CRED app.
First of all, great article buddy. I want to inform you something about CRED. Its not looking to earn money as of now. They are trying to create a community. Kunal Shah said this in an interview and he has planned something big for the long term (if it works out).
GURUPADA CHAKRAVORTY says
MY CREDIT CARD WAS DEBITED WITH RS.5000/- ON 2.10.2020BUT AMOUNT NOT YET REFLECTED IN THE CREDIT OF MY LANDLORD’S ACCOUNT TILL 7TH OCTOBER. REQUEUST A SOLUTION FORTHIS BEFORE I CONCLUDE AND DOUBT ABOUT THE APPLICATION.
Ravinder goyal says
Very bad my account deduct rs 6000 on 1.12.2020 transaction failed but not refund till 7.12.2020
Auram Geer says
Very comprehensive article with calculations and explanations for valuation of points. It does seem lucrative for now. But unfortunately it is a stupidest thing today to give anyone direct access to your bank or even email account. Especially considering how much private information your email account holds in terms of OTP and security. Also I checked there is no way to contact “Cred” through phone line … You have to email them and it is up to them to arrange a call back if you have an issue. That’s a major red flag for me.
I fail to understand what problem is cred attempting to solve. If the target users are only those with a good credit score, it means they already have disciplined financial habits. You are one of the very few reviewers who has given a balanced approach. Most reviews just rave about the benefits and blatantly skip the disadvantages, it looks like those reviews are just sponsored by cred.
Its very simple. Just click on Card tab on the lower side of screen in CRED app and then go to the last tab “manage”. There you’ll find the option to Archive card Click on that option and you’ll see the list of cards you’ve added in CRED. Select the card and click “Archive card” and its done.
Adarsh Thampy says
Acrhiving does not delete the card from their system. It’s a way to hide it from your view if you don’t want to track a card anymore.
There is no one to answer customer queries which is a basic, the auto FAQS will not support. If we are facing any deductions there are no responsible allotment to explain. Very poor understanding.
This is one of the most neutral review I have seen on CRED. All others are just polishing the rewards and the IPL adverts adding to its popularity.
As KV said it does not solve any major problem and subscribers should be disciplined members already to have a good Credit Score.
The main activity CRED seems to do is collect personal and financial data in a legal way in lieu of offering some rewards for credit card payments which would be done anyways by subscribers. This does come at a very high cost to subscribers who are at data risk considering even Facebook & WhatsApp were hacked. Plus the members here are with good Credit score so a big jackpot for them. Till date no Indian company has been penalized for any private or financial data leak.
Thanks to this article it has given me confidence on my decision to prefer to pay my bills directly with the Bank as per the alerts recieved.
S LAKSHMINARAYANAN says
Your review is excellent and informative.
Good to know the details, before downloading the CRED app.
Keep doing well.
Thank you very much for telling all this, there is really a lot of information in this article which is very beneficial, I am very happy to read the article, it was such a good article that I shared it with my friends too, I hope I am that everyone must have enjoyed the way I enjoyed this article, you should make such beneficial and beautiful article for us, it helps us a lot, thank you very much.
V. Correa says
Your elaborate ad for CRED is shocking.
We have enough violence in our daily commute. We don’t need a ‘famous’ cricketer to demonstrate. Let the product speak for itself. Ads influence people to do what they see.
S V Ravindra Babu says
I have already registered with CRED for an year or more, linked all my Credit Cards, Gmail Acount and probably bank details too. Now if I want to get rid of CRED, what is the procedure? Because the facts that you revealed are literally scarifying.
Thanks for the precious update.
PL Subramanian says
This article was a Good eye opener for me. I was confused whether to open a Cred. After reading this article I decided to wait for some more time. Thank you very much sir.
btw I have not signed up even after getting multiple recommendations. Does CRED gives guarantee that once it has received the payment, it would not default on the due date of my credit card ? I would rather sign up for a service which would guarantee the payment and avoid all sorts of missed payment charges on my credit card. And for that I would be even willing to compensate the service for doing so with a small fee.
Amazing review dude! This is the kind of honest, detailed and well designed reviews the consumers need! I’ll keep my eyes on your website from now on.
Such a comprehensive, unbiased, balanced review!