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A few months ago, a friend introduced me to the CRED Mobile app which is a credit card payment application. To give a brief introduction, the CRED app is basically an interface through which you can pay your credit card bills. Just like you use PhonePe or PayTm as an intermediary app through which you recharge your mobile phone (Mobile phone bill >> Phone Pe >> Bank Account money), you use CRED app to pay your credit card bill (Credit card Bill >> CRED App >> Bank account money) instead of directly paying your credit card bill from your internet banking account.
Why use CRED when you can directly pay the bill?
The USP of CRED App is that you get points (called as CRED coins) equivalent to the amount of bill paid. So, if you are paying a bill of 8000 INR, you will get 8000 coins, if you pay a bill of 1 lakh, you get 1 lakh coins. These coins can later be redeemed to purchase different offers on the app like discount coupons, free movie tickets, membership plans and hundreds of such different offers. For example, you can get a free 1-month membership to Cult Fit gym by redeeming 15,000 coins or get 1-month FreshMenu FreshClub membership for 3000 coins. There are hundreds of such offers from a variety of brands including well-known ones like Jockey, Levis, Raymond, Swiggy, Flipkart, Amazon, Uber, Myntra as well as lesser-known yet premium brands. The coin value of each offer varies from offer to offer and few may require under 5000 coins. but there are offers that require 100000 coins as well (Like a candle night dinner at a 5-star restaurant for two)! Also, for each credit card bill payment (for value > 1000), you get a scratch card which gives you cashback directly credited to your card. The number of scratch cards increases with the higher amount you pay and the scratch card value also varies. However, you need to redeem coins to get the scratch card.
IS CRED app free to use?
Yes. You will be able to download and use the CRED app if you have a valid credit card which is in use for more than 3 months and have a reasonably good CIBIL credit score. The app checks your CIBIL score while you register and you will be able to complete the registration only if the conditions are met. Feel free to try the CRED app without even paying the bill. If you use the link below in joining you will also get a free welcome coupon. You DO NOT need to pay credit card bill to set up the app and get free rewards, you just need to install and activate it by filling the details. Whether to pay the bill or not can be decided later.
Is this a Scam by any chance?
I have been using CRD for almost 4 months now and I have not had a single issue so far. Also, I have got coupons and gift cards worth about 10,000 INR in the last 3 months. If you go through the reviews of this app on Playstore, you would see about 10 % negative reviews. However, if you go in detail, you will realize that most of those negative reviews are mainly from users who either did not get accepted to CRED (due to bad CIBIL score) or by users who have invited someone and they haven’t received the free coupons promised (You get coupons if you invite your friends. So, first install the app from the link below, set up the app and then invite your friends for free Flipkart vouchers! ). There are also valid negative reviews from users who had their money deducted from the bank but not yet credited to the card on time. Personally, I have been using CRED for 4 months now and I never had a failed payment on their system. Even CRED asks you to make the payment 3-4 days in advance of the last day of bill payment to prevent delay in credit to the bank account.
How does CRED make money?
- They usually take 1-2 working days before the money is deposited into the bank account. So, across tens and thousands of users, who will have their bill payment date spread across every day of the month, they will always have a revolving balance of millions of rupees and I am assuming they will be getting interest from the bank for that revolving balance.
- They may be selling our contact information. You are entering your phone number and email while registering and there is nothing that stops CRED from passing the data to other vendors. Though I cannot scientifically prove it, I have seen an increase in spam messages from loan/credit card/banks after I have started using CRED. Same goes with email Ads.
- The third party brands that give coupons and offer gives a commission to CRED. Very rarely you get a coupon where there is a flat discount with no terms and conditions. Most of the discount coupons require a minimum purchase amount and hence you end up purchasing something and the brands thus get more business. We all know that the cost of production for big brands are usually just 10 to 20 % percent of the actual price and hence they get profit even if they give you flat 500 or 1000 off!
- CRED is just beginning their operations and they may be building a user base for their future products. They may start selling mutual funds or even new credit cards through the app.
How to set up CRED app?
Installing and setting up the CRED app is a fairly straight forward.
- Download the app from the link below
- Register using email and mobile number linked to your bank. Make sure to accept T&C and referral checkbox
- The CRED app will automatically check your eligibility
- Add your cards now or later
- Get your free reward
Note: I do not take any responsibility for your experience with the app. I am reviewing the app based on my experience alone.