Air India is now in the hands of the famed Tata Group. It has been through its days of ups and downs. But, one fact remains. To date, it remains the biggest for direct international flights from Indian cities. I have been exploring airline cards that offer miles as rewards for some time now. After the acquisition, Air India’s miles and credit cards might go for a complete overhaul. But for now, the only option we have is the SBI co-branded cards. In this article, we review the base variant Air India SBI Platinum credit card.
Fees & Charges
The welcome gift of 5000 AirMiles is definitely worth more than the joining fee. But, I would prefer a complimentary economy ticket like what the Vistara cards offer now. Wishful thinking but possible once the new management reviews the loyalty program.
|Joining/Annual Fee||Rs 1499 plus taxes|
|Welcome Gift||5000 Reward Points ~5000 Air India AirMiles|
|Renewal Benefit||2000 Reward Points ~2000 Air India AirMiles|
Air India SBI Platinum Card Rewards
- All Spends: 2 RP per Rs 100 ~ 1.2% Return
- Air India Website and Mobile App Spends (for cardholder): 15 RP per Rs 100 ~9% Return
- Air India Website and Mobile App Spends (for others): 5 RP per Rs 100 ~3% Return
- Milestone 1: 5000 Bonus RP on Rs 2 Lakhs annual spend
- Milestone 2: 10000 Bonus RP on Rs 3 Lakhs annual spend
- 1 RP = 1 Air India AirMile
I have valued each RP/AirMile at 60 paise for redemption. But, it is possible to get a Rs 1 or higher value for international flights or sale season bookings. We get a minimum of 21000 Airmiles on Rs 3 Lakhs spend. Even if we value the Airmiles at 60 paise, this is a return of 4.2%. If are able to get a value of 1 Airmile= Rs 1, then it is an even better return of 7%.
If we value 1 Airmiles at 60 paise, the Air India SBI Platinum credit card has a return of 4.2%. If we are able to get a value of 1 Airmile=Rs 1, then it is an even better return of 7%. It all depends on how well we can identify the lucrative sector with the best value.
Complimentary Domestic Airport Lounge Access
The Air India SBI Platinum card gets 8 complimentary visits per year to domestic airport lounges. The access is through Visa and is limited to 2 visits per quarter.
The Air India SBI Platinum credit card is a decent airline card. I would not rate it bad even in its current form though there are quite a few things that can be better. There will soon be a time to rewrite this review as and when the Flying Returns loyalty program is revamped.
Till then, if you are interested in playing the miles game on Air India, this is one of the cards you can explore. Another option is the Axis Atlas card, which has Turkish Airlines as a transfer partner. It is one of the Star Alliance partners and we can book Air India flights through that as well.