Booking a ticket at IRCTC means spending a few bucks extra. Well, it does not bother much as it saved my time and petrol. Here is a tip to save some money, but before that, a concern to raise!
IRCTC charges flat Rs 10 on each ticket as their service charge. But why? Cards payment industry has a painful clause that merchants has to bear any fraud. For example, if a fraudster books a ticket with stolen card and later the card owner files a chargeback, IRCTC has to pay the amount back. But the fraudster has finished enjoying travel before owner files a chargeback! So how to does they deal with this? IRCTC decided (like what other merchants do) to take this from consumers as an insurance money. And that’s how an honest poor Indian suffers!
Let’s get back to the business of this post. Apart for typical IRCTC charges, the consumer has to beer additional bank charges too. Refer the list of transaction service fees charged by various banks at IRCTC. All credit card payment gateways charge 1.65-1.8% of transaction amount, Debit cards are charged at flat Rs 10 while net-banking transactions are charged a little more (Rs 10 + Service Tax).
If you want to save a few bucks while booking small tickets (up to Rs 600) use credit cards and debit cards if they are enabled. ICICI has enabled use of Visa debit-cards at credit-card gateways. I typically select Axis PG and use ICICI debit card. As a result I pay Rs 10 + 1.65% additionally.