It was a great year with SBI Elite card which was issued to me an year back against FD. I was lucky enough to get 3% value back before they devalued the SBI Signature card and finally ended up earning Rs.18,000 in cash back. Not just that, i used their bookmyshow offer quite often and was very happy with it. Their customer service is smooth and overall i had a great time with them.
SBI Elite Credit Card Renewal:
Well, now the renewal month came up and i need to pay a whooping 5k Renewal fee for nothing. Why the hell would i do that while i have 6 other cards in my wallet with even better reward rate?! Though i had the expectation that i can get the renewal fee waived off as i had spent a decent amount, over 5L in the previous year.
- Renewal Fee: Rs.5,000+tax
Its obvious for any credit card company to consider waiving off a well spending customer. But i wasn’t right when it comes to SBI.
Closing Sbi Credit Card Account:
One fine night, i decided to initiate the card account closure and i sent an sms: PROBLEM to 9212500888. It had always been handy many a times. I noticed that they also added a toll free number recently. So i received a callback from a cool guy by early morning (thanks for the speed) and the conversation went something like this:
- SBI Guy: How can i help you sir?
- Me: I would like to close my Card
- SBI Guy: Sure, and may i know the reason sir?
- Me: You’re charging a renewal fee but not giving back anything in return. Its unfair.
- SBI Guy: You get a lot of milestone points sir for that.
- Me: But i paid joining fee to get the benefits. Renewal fee benefit?
- SBI Guy: Sorry sir, that’s what we have for now.
- Me: Ok, please close the account.
- SBI Guy: Are you sure? Shall i close your Card account sir?
- Me: Yes, Please.
- SBI Guy: OK sir, i’ve taken up request and the account will be closed shortly.
- (I was actually in half-sleep and was thinking WTH, no retention team, nothing?!! and i asked calmly..)
- Me: So… Wil i get any callback from some other team to re-confirm?
- SBI Guy: No sir, your card account is already closed. You may cut your card into pieces. Anything else i can assist you with sir?
- Me: No Thanks!
So the card was closed and kudos to SBICARD to make account closure 100X faster than opening a new account. Lol. So, as you can see, I haven’t actually asked about “reversal” in this conversation, but i had that done already few days before and the person was clear that i won’t be getting waiver if i decide to close.
I tried that even by escalating via branch, but nothing actually worked. I wonder why they’re strict on this, typically speaking, if i close it and re-apply, i’ll get the joining benefits but it will hurt my score though. I’ve no idea how it makes sense to them.
A Note to SbiCard Team:
While my overall experience was pretty good, i had a not so good Climax. Wish they knew these basics that other MNC companies like American Express Follows:
- Retention Team: They need to put a hell a lot of advertising budget to get yet another customer like me who can spend to this level. Maybe 1 in 500 or 1000. If i’m not wrong, the acquisition cost for such a premium card with good spend should be over Rs.5,000/customer by any chance. They should at least mind about having an active retention team to negotiate. Its a heavy loss if they can’t retain a premium customer.
- Renewal Benefit: Every single card comes with a renewal benefit when we need to pay something. While they picked up the concept of renewal fee, they badly missed about adding renewal benefit to the card. It doesn’t have any major benefit like Priority Pass Free access to charge this kind of fee. Serious Flaw!
Hope it gets attention of some SBI guys who designed this card. Anyways, let my Sbi Elite card Rest In Peace 😛
Time to shift the Spends to HDFC:
Now i’m planning to shift my spends from SBI Elite to Diners Black and also avail its One on One Movie offer here on for movie spends. Hoping HDFC would consider one day or other for upgrade to the BAAP of all cards – Infinia
Lets see what 2017 holds for me!
How about your experience with SBI card renewals? Were you given waiver? Share your details in comments below.