All details about Vistara and its Frequent Flyer Programme (FFP) under one roof (or at least an attempt towards that). All points mentioned are either from personal experience or as per available T&C on Vistara/respective partner website.
Only decent FFP for domestic India travel which provides regular rewards and perks on maintaining status. Others like Air India’s Flying Returns and SpiceJet’s Spice Club aren’t lucrative or useful as such.
I know its not relevant for everyone due to limited routes, but its a boon for someone living in Mumbai/Delhi as most of the popular tier ½ cities are covered from either BOM or DEL.
What are the Tiers and benefits?
Refer this [Login to see the link]for tier benefits and details.
In Summary, CV Silver gives you +1 pc of check-in baggage with +5 kg of baggage allowance over and above your allowance as per your ticket. You also get priority check-in through separate counter (not available at many but there at BOM and DEL). On revenue tickets, you also get 9% CV points back on base fare.
CV Gold gives Silver + everything with priority (check-in at business class counter, priority boarding, priority baggage handling) + 10 kg of allowance instead of the 5 kg with Silver + 10% CV points return on revenue fares instead of 9%.
CV Platinum is out of league for most and is only obtained organically (through accrual of tier points and revenue fights). No card gives Platinum status and upgrade requirements from Gold are difficult (at least >3L spends on Vistara in a year).
Are award seat requirements worth it?
Check this [Login to see the link] for the route you intend to fly and it shows the one-way points requirement across the 3 cabins:
Some sweet spots with almost Re 1 value per CV point (from now till May ’24):
From Mumbai - Kolkata, Varanasi, Dehradun, Kochi, Coimbatore, Udaipur, Jaipur, Srinagar, Jammu, etc.
From Delhi - Pune, Coimbatore, Guwahati, Kochi, Dibrugarh
Flights to other major cities are also available and worth it, but may not extract the best value of CV points hence limited the list to these.
Are co-branded cards worth it?
If you are residing out of either BOM or DEL, then yes. In my opinion, it serves value even with purely obtaining and not spending anything. Free ticket as welcome/renewal benefit and CV SIlver/Gold membership. More than covers the card cost tbh and it’s totally worth it.
Which card to use?
If rent payments are the main spends, use either SBI/IDFC Vistara cards (they come with CV Silver).
If other spends or just for keeping - use Axis CV Signature (Silver) / Infinite (Gold) variant. I personally have used all of them and best overall experience has been with Axis, next best with IDFC, and SBI has been the worst.
Other transfer partners are plenty - HDFC, Axis, Amex, HSBC, etc.
Award seat availability is an issue?
Lots of ifs and buts here, and it’s not the easiest to put it simply. Dates need to be flexible and planned in advance (2 months I’d recommend) to have a convenient option available. That said, I have had instances of last minute bookings utilising the PE ticket voucher as well (economy awards were sold out) so it does come in handy every now and then.
I have been using CV cards and associated benefits for a short while and have totally loved the experience as I am based out of Mumbai with frequent travel of self and family members between BOM-CCU. Thanks to VIstara (and Magnus ofc!) I have saved aplenty. Please feel free to comment and let me know if you wish to know anything else!