Credit Card Reviews

Spend Then Fly With SBI’s Air India Signature Card⎢Review

Review of the Air India SBI Signature Card

There are quite a lot of credit cards out there targeting frequent flyers and the Air India SBI Signature card is one to examine a bit closer. Frequent flyers are undoubtedly a premium category because they tend to use their credit card a lot; be it for booking tickets, hotels, dining, and concierge services and so on. And one thing that separate premium users from the rest is that they are very particular about settling their dues and they almost never default on their bills. Therefore, it is only natural that credit card providers offer tailor-made packages for this category. The Air India SBI Signature card is by no measure the last word in the category, but is certainly worth reviewing. So here it goes.

Rewards at a glance

  • 30 points/ 100 spent on Air India tickets
  • 4 points/ 100 spent on others
  • Joining bonus to the tune of 20,000 Points, and Complimentary Membership to Air India Frequent Flyer Program
  • 5,000 Reward Points on annual renewal
Focus on points

Let’s take a closer look at what this means for flyers. For every Rs.100 spent on purchasing Air India tickets, you stand to win a whopping 20 points. To be eligible for this offer, the bookings need to be done from www.airindia.com or Air India mobile app. Keep in mind that one point equals one Air India Air Mile. And for every Rs.100 spent on other things, you win 4 points. The biggest benefit of them all is the 20000 Air India Air Miles you stand to win as a joining bonus. Over time, these air miles can accumulate and result in massive savings. Under the Priority Pass Program, users can get access to over 600 lounges across the world. To make your travel easier, the Air India SBI Signature card offers Global Concierge Assistance for all your travel & other needs.

Other benefits

  • Users can get a 1% surcharge waiver when they use the Air India SBI Signature card to fill fuel at any fuel station across India. To be eligible for this waive off, the purchase amount needs to be between Rs. 500 to Rs. 4,000
  • This card is accepted at over 2,85,000 outlets in India
  • Add-on cards available
  • State-of-the-art technology and security features
  • Easily break down the expenditure into manageable EMIs under the Flexipay feature.
  • Easy bookings at irctc.co.in

Fees and other charges

Almost all premium category credit cards come at a high annual fee and the Air India SBI Signature card is no exception. The Rs.4999 joining fee associated with the card is quite steep and is higher than most other cards available in the segment. Also, there is an Rs.4999 annual renewal charge associated with the card which won’t be waived off, no matter how much you spend on the card. It is worth noting here that other cards in the segment waive off the renewal charges provided the customer’s spends exceed a certain ceiling.

Bottom line

From a customer perspective, is it a reasonable decision to persist with this card despite these high charges? It all depends on how much you are going to spend on the card. To put it into perspective, someone who spends 10 lakhs on the card in a year stand to win 90,000 points. Now, this can easily be used to buy a couple of domestic tickets in India. If the expenditure goes as high as 20 lakhs, the reward miles earned can be redeemed for a to and fro travel to the USA. However, this is purely theoretical. Practically speaking, how many people are going to spend 20 lakhs a year on purchasing Air India tickets? Very few, we would say. So how realistic a chance do you have in recovering the high joining and annual charges? Pretty slim, right?

On the other hand, if you are a die-hard Air India loyalist and always prefer the national carrier for your flying needs, the Air India SBI Signature card is a must-have credit card in your wallet.

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