Hands on Experience with OLA Money SBI Credit Card

By | November 30, 2019

This is a review by our reader Ankit Malhotra who recently got hands on with the recently launched OLA Money SBI credit card.

The features & benefits of the card are not mentioned in this article as the same has been covered in the launch article. This article focuses more on the day-to-day experience and reality of the product.

OLA plans to use this card to increase Ola Money user base as rewards redemption, and get more demographic and financial data to build pricing models around their operations.

Application Process

I and my colleague, both already holding SBI SimplyClick applied for the card in the gap of 1 month with my colleague doing it in late August and me in late September. Once applied through the Ola App, the card processing and delivery can take a time window of 10 to 30 days.

In the case of my colleague whose existing SimplyClick was limit 3L, the executive collected documents within 2 days of card application and card was delivered within the next 10 days with 2L limit.

In my case with an existing SimplyClick Limit > 5L, there was a lag and the document collection happened only post 2 weeks of application.

SBI Cards called stating that they will be reducing my current Credit card limit and assigning the balance to the Ola Money card, whereby I was given a choice to decide the split amounts and the card was delivered 2 weeks post this process.

The Design

The look and feel of this card is simple with a universal appeal, though it has noticeably higher scratches across the card from POS machine usage in a relatively short duration of time.

Things to Know

The welcome offers for new cards including 3-month DineOut Gourmet Passport, 10 Day Cult.Fit Membership, ClearTrip and TataCliq discounts will be sent across by SMS within 2 weeks of first transaction. They have relatively short validity and should be used promptly.

I used the card to book a ClearTrip domestic hotel booking without applying any coupon as mentioned at PDF on Card Details page at SBI Cards website. Moreover the coupon code mentioned at Ola Website is “ABC“, while the coupon code to be used per the app is “OLACC“. This lack of consistency in different TnC sources indicates a lack of planning. As of now the Ola Money support team has promised me the relevant CashBack credit within 1 week.

Using Ola Money itself for payments on FreshMenu and MagicPin, I noticed a couple of transactions going through without OTP generation post 24 hours of being used at the same merchant despite any indicators of the wallet being linked or authorised for the merchant.

To the credit of Ola, a Senior Product Manager directly called me within the promised time of 1 day and explained that they are simplifying payment authentication for logged in customers on select trusted merchants and will work with these apps to clear the design gaps in the wallet integration experience.

The acceptance of Ola Money is also much lower than PayTM and even the comparatively newer Amazon Pay.

Customer Care

The customer care process of Ola Money is doubtful lacking phone support and following only an EMail process at support [at] olamoney.com or care [at] zipcash.in.

These factors may lead to a loss of confidence in the rewards process and dissuade users from making this their default payment choice across even the sparsely accepted online merchant partners, unless usage is planned for Ola ride spends itself which is also a poor experience considering a high percentage of drivers cancel digital payment based trips and get away without any penalty leading to waste of customer time and effort.

Changes to OLA Money Card

  • Cashback On OLA Rides: 15% (Previously: 7%)
  • Monthly Capping: Rs.1000 (Previously: Rs.500/m)
  • Welcome offer: Nil (Previously: Rs.500)

For customers acquired post Nov 15 & till Nov 15 2020 above changes are applicable (likely only for 1st year). This may further be changed anytime as they wish. The justification of the fact is that the signup amount of 500 is no longer being provided to customer.

Existing users who got the card for Ola spends benefits will now feel highly shortchanged with changes being done in exactly 6 months post launch.

Advanced users holding multiple premium cards with high Ola spends may look at this card now for significant savings up-to Rs.12000 annually at 15% of spends compared to Rs.6000 at 7% earlier if they find that the extra amount saved is worth the trouble of adding a new reward redemption channel with lower acceptance, questionable customer care and diverging spends from higher fees and annual spend criteria cards.

However, the fact that changes have been done so quietly to a 6 month old card, it is highly likely that Ola may surreptitiously price rides differently(on the higher side) for customers holding this card or generally having a tendency to spend high amounts.

Verdict

Mathematically people spending about Rs. 150+(1000-Max Monthly Ola Spend CashBack/0.15/22-monthly working days/2-daily trips) for one-way Home-Office commute stand to now gain Rs. 1000 savings on a monthly basis on this card making it a good beginner card to enter the SBI Cards offers portfolio with the ability to recuperate the Rs. 500 annual fee easily.

It also fairs better than other SBI cards with consistent generic returns of 1% compared to the highly varying returns of other SBI cards from 0.25%-2.5% overall, thus being a simpler product to use as long as the TnC are monitored and understood and rewards redemption merchants are decided.

Ola needs to set up proper customer care, ensure drivers accept digital payments, and increase the acceptance of their wallet making the transaction process more consistent and feature documented for wider customer appeal.

The card rating would be 3/5 due to the questionable product planning and early changes along with a lack of diligent customer care processes for the card and the rewards process in general. It is better to wait and watch before applying unless you can really use the 15% Ola and ClearTrip offers.

Author: Siddharth

A Credit Card addict, minting reward points & air miles for years. Obsessed with aviation, airport lounges and luxury hotels. Helping Indians choose a right credit card and enjoy luxury travel at affordable cost.

27 thoughts on “Hands on Experience with OLA Money SBI Credit Card

  1. Shashank Suresh

    The 15% cashback is for cards issued between 15th November 2019 to 15th November 2020. This is as per the sbicard website. Please update the article accordingly.

    Also, where is the maximum cashback on 15% mentioned as Rs.1000? The TnCs are not updated yet but I doubt they would increase the maximum capping.

    Reply
    1. Ankit Malhotra

      Rs 1000 cap informed by Ola Credit Cards Business Manager through a call back for usage issues.

      Reply
      1. Shashank Suresh

        Oh man! That is definitely a big miss for me as I had applied on 12th November and got my card on 20th November but it has the 7% cashback. When I called customer care, they said my application was approved before 15th November and hence the offer is not applicable. I was pacifying myself thinking anyway the cashback is capped at 500. So it doesn’t matter. But if it is 1000, then I have to pursue it aggressively with cc. Although knowing SBI CC, I am not hopeful of a favourable resolution.

        Reply
  2. Points Addict

    Quick point: The revised cashbackml on ola rides to 15% is only applicable for the first year. It will be back to 7% from next year onwards. It’s a bummer!!

    Reply
  3. RAM

    The benefit provided is not at all worth it. For example when you get Times prime membership which is for 999 ( if you pay via PAYZAPP you can get upto 50 percent cashback) and additional discount via coupon codes comes around 300 to 350. The benefits are numerous. You get 12 month membership with DineOut Gourmet Passport, 100 Rs off for 12 months on purchasing over 1000 (1200 for a year), UBER coupons which helps with 25 percent off for UBER premium ride, 3 months swiggy super membership and so on.

    And more over OLA is pathetic. UBER is always far better than OLA.

    Reply
    1. Ankit Malhotra

      I am no Ola fan and neither would I call Uber pathetic, but I have mostly found Ola Tier-1 prices to be lower than Uber. They potentially earn through Tier-2,3 where Uber does not operate. I have the also noticed the following 3 issues with Uber repeatedly :

      1. Price increased post trip completion.
      2. No call back options and complaints being closed arbitrarily without resolution. I have even noticed complaints being closed mentioning customer unreachable, while I have not missed a single call. There are examples also of call disconnections which seem to be deliberate when I have been called back.
      3. Last but not the least, their billing is not reliable once you get the prices corrected post a complaint. If you need to claim the same for expenses, you are not left with a single authentic document as their system does not regenerate the invoice with the relevant change.

      Reply
    2. Nihar

      @ Ram Is this membership vs card comparison.
      This is a good card to start with but SBI CC is pathetic, can’t live with it . I have it a miss .

      Reply
      1. Ankit Malhotra

        @Nihar, I also felt SBI is bad at CC, but I must say that after 3+ years of having held their credit card, I have got responses on all issues when tracked through their web/app interaction process for logged in customers. Their phone process does have the limitation of being closed post 8PM everyday and full day Sunday, but hey even ICICI and HDFC which are the largest private banks have limited services post those hours for their account holders, credit card holders be damned.

        Also, *ALL* of the offers that I have availed on SBI cards have been fulfilled diligently with the odd follow up required from my side providing the relevant TnC links which remain active post offer expiration. With HDFC, ICICI & Axis even after holding premier tier accounts with each of them in the family, it has been a pain to avail some of the offers, and I have been asked to give the TnC and links of their own offer which I have found later to be missing with the URLs being expired. And I hold a basic savings account in SBI with 10k balance. I could go on about my banking experiences in detail, but suffice to say that I have been myself very highly pleasantly surprised with SBI experiences, and let down more often that not with ICICI and Axis, with HDFC being a mixed experience with more on the positive side.

        I as a citizen paying taxes may always despise SBI for being looted by corporate con artists and then bailed through tax monies. But I must say they are not as bad in Customer Care as I imagined them to be when compared to the private banks.

        Reply
  4. Mohit

    @ Ankit Malhotra Dear Ankit, thanks a lot for your review. Could you please check and let me know if you are getting exactly 1% cashback on your spends, or are you getting 1% on every 100 rupees spent? In other words, if you spend Rs 245, are you getting Rs 2 or Rs 2.45 as cashback? Please check the same and let me know.

    I am having this card, and it seems they are providing only Re 1 for every Rs 100 spent, and not exactly 1% on the transaction amount. I would be eagerly waiting for your reply.

    Reply
    1. Ankit Malhotra

      So to clarify this it is the reward amount rounded to the lowest rupee. So if it is a 100-199 non-Ola transaction, cashback will be Re.1 based on amount ranging from 1.01-1.99. But at the same time say your transaction is Rs. 69 on Ola, cashback would be Rs. 4 as per rate of 7% and Rs. 10 as per rate of 15% of the new cards.

      Reply
  5. Simple Man

    Please note that the 15% cashback is not only for Ola rides. It is applicable for all payments on clearing Ola Postpaid dues. I’ve booked a bus ticket from Abhibus and also paid rent using Ola Postpaid. Then cleared the dues with this credit card and got the cashback.

    Reply
  6. Gagan

    Hi Ankit,

    Thanks for the hands-on usage based review. Appreciate same.

    Quick question: if we clear Ola Postpaid amount with this card, is the same cashback applicable (7% otr15%) ?

    Reply
    1. Ankit Malhotra

      Card reward rate on both Ola Money Top Up and Postpaid is 7% or 15% based on date of issue. Siddharth, Please update the review accordingly.

      Reply
      1. Gagan

        Thanks @Anbu and @Ankit

        My bad – didn’t check SBI website. But when SBI Back office called for confirmation of details, agent informed that Ola Postpaid will get only 1%. Stupid Customer Care!

        And asked me to refer to SBIcard website 🙁

        Reply
  7. Anbu

    One of my friend got this card. So when i read tnc’s in sbicard site. it is mentioned as 500 rewardpoints per statement cycle.
    500rs cap for ola is very less.

    From MITC:

    11.3 Reward Points Accrual
    (a)OLA Money SBI Credit Cardholder shall earn 1% Reward Points on all spends charged to his/her OLA Money SBI Credit Card.- Cardholder shall earn total of 7% Reward Points on OLA spends. – Reward Points earned would be rounded off to the lower whole number applicable. For eg.The Cardholder shall earn 17 Points for Rs. 250 spent on OLA Cabs.- Reward Points on OLA spends will be subject to a capping of 500 Reward Points per statement cycle

    Reply
  8. Amann

    Hi All

    A better option is SC Ultimate card which gives you 20% cashback on all Uber spends including Uber Eats. Though income eligibility and annual fees may not be within everyone’s reach.
    Default spends get you 3.33% points which you can get limit range vouchers including Arrow, Big Bazaar, West side, BMS, etc.

    Reply
  9. Nishith

    I agree with the review that the 1% cashback is quite consistent with the card as compared to other SBI Cards. Also, the cashback gets credited within 3 working days, that’s blazingly fast for a cashback card.. The card, at a fee of 500/- + GST is quite worth it, as you can recover your fees thru using the Gourmet Oassoort Subscription, along with the occasional Ola Rides too. Overall, it is a good starter card to have.

    P. S The card is beautifully designed, which is quite typical of SBI Cards and the unboxing experience is like no other, especially considering that it is a basic card.

    Reply
  10. Rana

    I’m getting 7% cashback for all transactions done through Ola Money using this card. Don’t know whether it is a bug or not.

    Reply
  11. Jaspreet Singh

    @ Rana…Are you getting 7 percent on bill payments for other things ( like phone, gas, electricity) or you mean cab bills??

    Reply
  12. Kishore

    I have 4 credit cards..all are approved on First application itself..but SBI rejected my application 4 times till now..CC Agents are clueless about the reason..my CIBIL is 752..Can anybody have any idea about this..?

    Reply
    1. Bala

      Hi Kishore don’t apply SBI cc frequently. First increase your cibil score and apply SBI cc on card to card basis. Am having more than 14 credit cards from 10 banks. My cibil score always more than 800 for last 10 years.

      Reply
  13. Gagan

    Guys, got SBI Ola Credit Card last week, thanks to detailed review here !!

    Two questions:
    Can we register new card also with existing login account (hold LTF SBI Gold Card)? I don’t see option anywhere
    The Ola Postpaid Cashback limit is monthly for calendar cycle or billing cycle?

    Reply
      1. Gagan

        Thanks @GCA. It was not for some reasons and after using the temp login link on SMS and using existing login details worked out.

        What about cashback limit cycle – calendar month or as per billing cycle?

        Reply

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