SBI Air India Signature Credit Card Review

By | August 23, 2017
SBI Air India Signature Credit Card

Air India SBI Signature Credit Card Review

I’ve been using SBI signature credit card for quite some time and i’ve also earned Rs.18,000 as cashback using the milestone reward points accumulated on the card. I’m done with cashback redemption and stuff and its time to play with Points and Miles and so SBI Air India Signature credit card came into the picture. I’ve been stalking on the card for a while until it recently got devalued.

Even-though the existing benefits are lesser than what it had before, i’m sure even the current benefits are good enough for a high spender and no matter what even this will get devalued very soon.

SBI Air India Signature Credit Card Miles Earn Rate:

  •  4 Reward points for every ₹ 100 spent anywhere
  • 20 Reward points for every ₹ 100 spent on Air India tickets

Bonus Milestone Rewards:

  • 20,000 Reward Points on spending 5 Lakhs in a Year
  • 30,000 Reward Points on spending 10 Lakhs in a Year
  • 50,000 Reward Points on spending 20 Lakhs in a Year

Welcome/Renewal Bonus:

  • Welcome Bonus: 20,000 Reward Points
  • Renewal Bonus: 5,000 Reward Points

If you spend  20 Lakhs on this card, this is what you get:
= 20,000+30,000+50,000+80,000(Regular earn rate)+20,000(Welcome Bonus)
= 2,00,000 Reward points (WOW!!)

Simply put, you get 2L Air India Miles on 20L Spend. That’s 10% value back if you’re expert in redeeming the miles at value of Rs.1/mile or more.

You can possibly do it by redeeming it on International First class award tickets or by redeeming during the offer period where you can redeem miles like 40% lesser than usual requirement. You can expect such offers at-least twice a year.

Redemption Possibilities:

2 Lakh AirIndia Miles is good enough to redeem for 1 First Class ticket (or) 2 Economy Class tickets between India & USA. You can also try out redemption’s at Star Alliance Partner Airlines.

Membership Upgrades on Air India SBI Signature Card:

  • Silver Edge Club on crossing an annual spend of Rs. 5 lacs including a minimum spend of Rs. 2.5 lacs on Air India tickets
  • Golden Edge Club on crossing an annual spend of Rs. 10 lacs including a minimum spend of Rs. 5 lacs on Air India tickets.

Nope, no one gonna spend that much amount on AirIndia tickets and so this benefit goes useless for vast majority of the card holders.

Features of SBI Air India Signature Credit Card:

  • CardExpert Rating: 4/5 [yasr_overall_rating]
  • Reward rate: ~10% as AirIndia Miles
  • Complementary Airport lounge access: Yes, through Visa Signature Lounge Access program. Also you get complimentary membership for Priority Pass, but no free access allowed via Priority Pass card.
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Enjoy 0% surcharge (Minimum transaction of INR 500. Maximum waiver of INR 250 per statement cycle)
  • Foreign Exchange Markup fee: 3.5% + Service Tax
  • Special Features: Milestone Bonus
  • Personal Concierge Service: Global Concierge Assistance for all your travel & other needs. Its kind of virtual assistant service over phone.

SBI Air India Signature credit card is one of the best travel credit card in India at the moment. If you happen to spend a lot on your credit card, this must be in your wallet. There are no other cards in India giving this kind of reward points except the HDFC Diners cards that gives upto whooping 33% value back on selected partners for a limited time.

That being said, i’m trying to grab the card in coming days as it will help me in international travels. While Airmiles are good for International trips, for local travels i prefer American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card which gives good amount of Indigo vouchers and here’s my experience with Amex Plat Travel Card which you might find useful.

Impressed about the potential of Air India SBI Signature Credit Card? Feel free to share your views in comments below 🙂

65 thoughts on “SBI Air India Signature Credit Card Review

  1. Sreeram Ramamoorthy

    I wont be spending 20L on my credit card. My typical spend would be around 6L/annum. My interest is to use the points from my card to fund my travel cost. With this in mind, which card would you suggest? Is it better to go with SBI Air India Signature Credit Card or the AMEX platinum travel card?

    1. Siddharth Post author

      Amex plat travel is a must if you travel in domestic sectors 🙂

    2. Vinod Kannan

      Go for HDFC Diners card. Amex Travel card will get u Rs. 5000 indigo voucher as welcome gift +Rs. 7000 indigo voucher on reaching 1.9 lakh , Rs. 10000 indigo voucher on reaching 4 lakh + taj voucher worth Rs. 10000. But u r locked with indigo and Taj vouchers and u have to redeem them atleast 15 days prior to ur journey. If u want to redeem those points elsewhere, u ll earn only 25-30 praise per membership reward point and thereby d evaluating ur earnings to less than 2%. With Diners card, u ll get atleast 20% value back for sure when u spend with, snapdeal, goibibo, yatra, clear trip, BookMyShow and pothys over and above the existing discounts.

  2. Pradeep kumar

    Can reward points on air india signature card be redeemed against credit card bill or through scbicards app products? Are these points usefull only in air india tickets?

    1. Siddharth Post author

      You can’t reddem for Cash credit, but you can redeem for any products in Rewards catalog.

  3. Atul Ahuja

    Hi does the card give preferred acces at air india checkin counters both domestic and international

  4. Karan

    If i take a supplementary card, will the spend on the supp card be added to the main card spends for calculating the reward points eligibility? My wife and I spend ~5L individually annually so we may be able to hit the 10L annual number if the spends are combined.

  5. Kapil

    I have recently got my Air India Signature Card but I am a member of Air India Flying Returns Programme since a long time. Will my accumulated FF miles be added to the new ones accrued through Signature card ?

    1. Siddharth Post author

      You should be able to merge the accounts as it works with Jet Airways / Jet privilege. Please check with Air India.

  6. Roopaj

    We get a bonus of 20000 miles in SBI Signature card but Air India miles from Hyderabad to delhi is showing to be 10000 in Air india but actually in air miles calculator it is 1000. Isin’t it useless as you can get tickets to Delhi at approx same rate or less or am I missing something here

    1. Mrunal

      @ Roopaj The miles calculator shows you the miles you could earn whereas, the 10k miles you talking about is redeeming for your travel. Miles standalone are useless unless you club them with some co-branded credit cards or equivalent.

  7. Mrunal

    @Siddharth. I am planning to get this card and I have talked with you on phone as well regarding other cards few months back. Currently I have Diners Club Miles and my dad and mom has Regalia first Visa and Master respectively. I couldn’t manage to get the Diners Black for now but should have it by next FY. However, the reward programs have terminated I think only smart buy offers are ongoing. Anyways, my query here is status miles and bonus miles earned through the credit card are same? Like what would you suggest for getting ‘The Maharaja’ membership?

  8. RP

    Hey sid by any chance do you have any idea about how to get annual fees waived off in this card. I hold this card for 3 years and have achieved the 1 mile stone last year but then also upon request they don not entertained for fees waiver. This year also I have crossed their 1st milestone spend. They have even withdrawn the silver /gold membership tier upgrade based on spend 🙁 .

  9. Pradeep Mohanty

    How do you earn Re 1/ mile, as mentioned in your sbicard airindia card review?

  10. Nafis

    I have Air India Signature card and have earned enough reward points, although I am a very high spender, above 5 lacs type, but the visa card does not give me international lounge access which is very disturbing, twice we have been denied access to international lounges like in Dubai as well as Bombay. Please clarify and recommend how can we get the access to international lounges , need to be upgraded further or should we change the card.

    1. LK

      Did you use your priority pass which comes with the card when you were in Dubai? Visa lounge access through swiping the card itself works only in India. And lounges like GVK in Mumbai are only for business class tickets now. Could be that reason for denial.



    1. Shankkey Chakrabortyy

      I have recently got my SBI AirIndia Signature Card but after using 1 month I didn’t got AirIndia FF membership credentials and Joining or Welcome Rewards Points Of 20k , I called AirIndia Call Centre with the membership number printed on the card , they ask me to escalate query with sbi callcentre ultimately they shifting my query to one another , So Anyone here pls guide me how to figure out from all this. Thank You !

      1. Ankur Dhanda

        You’ll get the 20k points after payment of the joining fees. Probably wishing 2 weeks.
        you need to call SBI to activate your frequent flyer account, then call up Air India to send you temporary password for the account, followed by updating your KYC details in the frequent flyer account.

    2. Ankur Dhanda

      I have earned and burnt more than 210K bonus air India miles on domestic and international routes, flying air India and star alliance members as well. Even domestic travel in USA on United airlines at great 5-10K miles redemption. You can use all those bonus points.
      Haven’t transferred the remaining 50k miles from Card as I’m not traveling in the coming months, awaiting whether Air India will shut down now or be sold off.

    3. Ankur dhanda

      I have earned and burnt more than 210K bonus air India miles on domestic and international routes, flying air India and star alliance members as well. Even domestic travel in USA on United airlines at great 5-10K miles redemption. Got more than Rs 1 per mile value out of them. You can use all those bonus points.
      Haven’t transferred the remaining 50k miles from Card as I’m not traveling in the coming months, awaiting whether Air India will shut down now or be sold off.

      1. kashif

        Yes Ankur I don’t how people are considering amex platinum travel better than this card. The points needed for redeeming domestic tickets is too low and can give you more than Rs1/ FR points for many sectors.

  12. Gautam

    Friends, I need your views.

    I have been holding SBI AI Signature and Amex travel platinum for some time now. Recently, I have acquired HDFC DCB (no joining fee) and Axis Vistara Infinia (with joining fee). Thinking of closing both amex and sbi and move all spends (Rs-12-16 lacs p.a) to DCB and Axis. Is it a good idea or should I spends a few lacs on SBI/Amex too? How much CIBIL damage is likely to happen (my score a few months ago was ~ 850)

    By closing these cards I will also save about Rs. 12k on fees too. Not to mention I have the following other cards
    1. Yes First (LTF)
    2.Amex Rewards (free till the time I hold Platinum travel else Rs. 1500 or Rs. 4500; not sure)
    3.ICICI Amazon pay
    4. CITI PM (only recently closed)
    5. RBL Loan pass card

  13. Shradul Goel

    Friends i need your views
    I have been holding axis vistara infinite card witj an annual fees of 10000 + GST. Travelling frequently in domestic sector provides me a good value. But since my spends are on the gigher side(Rs 40-50 lacs per annum) I was planning to maximise the benefits. So please suggest the other card i should use. In the past i also had SBI ELITE CARD.

  14. Raman Mehta

    I want to know that whether the miles which I get due to the use of credit card, would they be used in tier status or would be just bonus miles?

  15. Akshat

    “That’s 10% value back if you’re expert in redeeming the miles at value of Rs.1/mile or more.”

    Does this hold true for FR points?
    Even on partner airlines or international sectors it seems difficult to achieve Rs 1/mile as per their charts..add to it taxes extra and the value would go down even more.
    or am i reading it wrong?

    1. Ankur Dhanda

      @Akshat I made redemptions flying USA domestic sector like Chicago to Cleveland 10k miles return flight plus $18 taxes on United Airlines when the price was around $200, similarly Chicago to San Francisco 20k return flight while getting more than than Rs 1/mile value. USA domestic sector was steal with United Airlines on air India miles.
      Redeemed Copenhagen to Delhi one way Air India flight for two people for 90k miles while cash price was Rs 80k for two people. The worst value I got was flying Air India Paris to Delhi one way 45k miles plus Rs 3500 taxes while cash price was around Rs 25K.

      In India domestically I redeemed Delhi Dharamshala route 14 times for 5.5k miles one way while the cash price varied Rs 6-10k. Doesn’t show up online but had to visit the Safdarjung air India office to get the tickets. They stopped redemption on this sector later.

      So it depends where you fly and how you redeem them.
      Flying returns miles is not good for star alliance partners on long distance flights.

        1. Ankur Dhanda

          Thanks Siddharth.
          Happy to share the experience.

      1. Akshat

        Thanks for sharing Ankur

        US leg seems interesting as per your experience and intra US travel providing good value. Care to share how United service was?
        I have heard about American and Delta being the best in America

        Other than that i would think FR points to be 50p or 60p at best as europe flights are usually 25-30k economy. BTW have you compared I or O award flights?

        1. Ankur Dhanda

          Delta has an overall more consistent onboard experience as compared to AA or United. Since I was based in Chicago for a month, it being United hub, it’s service was decent. I wouldn’t mind flying on it again. Much better than Air India though.

          Yeah mostly India- Europe flights would get 50-60p value, I was lucky with the Copenhagen redemption.

          I haven’t redeemed First or business class on Air India, it’s just not competitive on board product with other business class plus the amount of miles required varies from 90-200k but it would definitely give you more than Rs 1/mile value on redemption.
          I had once upgraded to business at check in with cash but I will never repeat that mistake again.

          You can even redeem London to Frankfurt and intra Europe on Lufthansa for 10k miles one way but the taxes would be around 60 euro.

          1. Akshat

            Cheers mate
            Thanks for the share..

            Been looking at one world and Etihad charts.. do look them over if you haven’t already, seems like a good value

      2. Wannabe Frequent Flyer

        Thanks for the bit about the Delhi-Dharamshala route. No Alliance Air flight shows up for redemption. If one is outside Delhi, can one go to the local Air India office/counder, and is it possible to redeem miles via their call centre?

      3. Wannabe Frequent Flyer

        I visited the Air India office at Nehru Place, Jaipur, for redeeming on a flight from Delhi to Kullu. I was told that since it is a codeshare flight, I am not able to redeem my miles on the flight. This seems to directly contradict your experience.

        So were the folks at the Delhi office just generous, or the ones in Jaipur are unhelpful, or Flying Returns has changed its policy?

        I called up their call centre, they had no idea about it; they said they’d give me a callback, but they never did.

        I have emailed flying returns with this query, let me see what happens; I will update the results here.

        1. Ankur Dhanda

          Codeshare flights can’t be redeemed on points as per air India flying returns. It’s mentioned in their redemption terms.
          But the people in the Air India Office in Safdarjung Delhi were more than generous towards me.
          Delhi to Dharamshala is also codeshare flight. And redemption is not available in their systems as well.
          To help me, the person at the booking desk used to generate just the PNR for this flight for me. Then at a separate redemption desk, they used forward the mail with the PNR of the ticket and place a request for the approval of the redemption. Within 10-15 min the approval mail used come to them and then just by paying around 100 odd as taxes the ticket used to be issued.
          It was their good will they helped in the process. But eventually after 2 yrs it was also stopped.
          Just build a rapport with them if they can make some exceptions and send in an approval mail to flying returns team with just the PNR generated for you for the flight.

  16. Ankur Dhanda

    Yeah in one world American Airlines miles are great for Etihad redemption. My wife flew Chicago to Delhi in Etihad, 70k AA miles plus $ 7 taxes in business. Pretty sweet deal.
    It’s always good to share. Lots more in store.
    Thanks Akshat.
    Travel safe whenever you do. Have a good one.

    1. Akshat

      Apologies for the back and forth

      Can i ask you how do you transfer to AA, i believe none of the cards in India allow that and Mariott 3:1 ratio doesnt seem to enticing

  17. Ankur Dhanda

    No issues at all.
    Unfortunately for us in India, only Marriott is the way for AA.
    I have both MRCC and Gold, so 2K points come every month plus made 8 referrals all in family. So got 96k MR points only from referral then transferred them to Marriott when the 1.5X transfer bonus came from Amex last year and had some Marriott points as well based on stays.
    Although it’s not the best way but still one can save decent money. 180,000 bonvoy points are worth minimum $1600 converted to 75K AA miles. One way business is easily around $3K.
    We didn’t have any upcoming stay so decided to just burn the bonvoy points this way and save cash.

  18. Ishaan Aggarwal


    Im looking to buy a card but since I majorly prefer to pay cash, my card is used on lesser occasions mainly online. Im interested in this SBI Air India Signature card since I am an Air India frequent flyer and each year I fly it to the US and back so im expecting some returns and also availing lounge access.

    Kindly give me a thumbs up if thus suits me or it’d be amazing if you could suggest me another one.


    1. Ankur Dhanda

      @Ishaan Aggarwal – I wouldn’t recommend SBI Air India Signature anymore. I’ll close my card when it’ll be up for renewal by year end. Firstly we don’t know the future of the airline. If you fly just once a year to the US it doesn’t make sense to get this. Lounge access on it is not free, it gives only priority pass membership but each visit is charged. So lounge access would better be taken care by another card.
      I split my spends between Diners Black, Citi Prestige, Amex Gold/MRCC (loading wallet only for bonus 2K MR points monthly).

  19. Wannabe Frequent Flyer

    SBI has effectively refused to give me 30% miles for self bookings on Air India. They claim that they give 10% miles on booking (this they have given), and 20% 45 days after booking. In my case, nearly 1.5 years have passed in one case, and nearly 1 year has passed in another case. They keep giving bogus excuses like ‘it has been escalated to the concerned team’ and ‘it is being investigated by the backend team’, etc.

    How does one compel them to give release the points that are due to me? There is a total of around 14,000 points pending.

    Even escalating the issue on SBI has not worked. Should i go to consumer court, or take it up with the banking ombudsman? Short of these 2 measures, I don’t think there is any other way to make SBI give me the points I am owed.

    Any help, guidance and pointers will be appreciated.

    1. Ankur Dhanda

      I downgraded my air India signature card to simply click card just to keep the line open for SBI offers.
      Regarding your issue, You must have been provided a service request number for the complaint.
      You need to mail them up higher to the nodal office with your service request number.
      And also you can tweet them with your service request number through direct message explaining the situation. They are quite responsive through this social media as well.

  20. Shivi

    Air India servers hacked, passengers’ credit card info, passport details accessed.

  21. PAVAN

    Hello Siddharth, after the acquisition of Air India by TATAs, what will happen to AIR INDIA miles and SBI AIR INDIA Card? Any thought?

  22. alok

    Companion Scheme Ex-India on all International sectors on IATA Full Fare
    (Except SAARC – Kathmandu / Dhaka / Colombo / Male / Kabul / Yangon)
    Air India offers the following Companion Scheme on IATA full fare (Fare Basis: FIF- First Class, CIF- Business Class, YIF – Economy class) ex India on all International sectors (except SAARC) for sale and travel up to 31st December 2021 .

    Rules & Conditions
    The scheme is not valid for travel ex India to SAARC countries.
    No further incentive will apply on the above mentioned schemes.
    All taxes/fees/surcharges (including fuel surcharge) to be collected on Companion tickets.
    Return travel of companion to be undertaken within the validity of the ticket.
    Passengers availing of the scheme are required to travel on their outbound journey together and may undertake the return travel separately.
    Frequent Flyer mileage will be accrued on the paid ticket only. No mileage accrual will be permissible on the Companion ticket.
    When the paid ticket has an interline sector (Max of 1 interline sector permitted in each direction), the Companion Scheme will apply to the discretion of the airline.
    When travel is originating from Interior Indian Points, the Companion Free Scheme will be applicable only if the paid ticket is on a Through IATA fare. E.g. NAG BOM NYC (RT). The Companion Ticket can also be availed on the entire routing NAG BOM NYC (RT).
    If the travel from Interior Indian Points is on sector (domestic) fares in combination with International IATA fares, the Companion Free Scheme will not apply on the Domestic Sector where the sector fare has been charged
    The Companion travel is permitted only on AI operated sectors
    The Companion scheme is not valid on code-share flights
    Companion Ticket cannot be endorsed/rerouted to any other carrier even when involuntary.
    Only the Paid ticket can be issued by the travel agent and the Companion ticket by the Air India office along with necessary safeguards, verifying original ticket, stamping CFS utilized, etc.
    Ticketing to avail of this scheme cannot be done online through our website/Mobile.
    Definition of Companion – Spouse, Child, Parent.
    Immediate Blood relative – Brother/Sister may be included if the Passenger is Single or Childless. A Self declaration regarding the status has to be submitted by the Passenger availing the Scheme.

  23. alok

    Received email stating flying returns
    Further Extension of Validity of FR Points Tier, and Account Status

    Validity of FR Points which was previously extended till31 Dec 2021has now been further extended til 31st March 2022.
    Tiers – Our privilaged Tier members Viz – Maharaj Club(TMC) Gold Edge Club (GEC) and Silver Edge Club (SEC) shall retain their tier status and continue to avail the benefits and privilages (*Including Domestic Upgrade Vouchers) associated with these exclusive clubs till 31st March 2022

    Even if their is no flight activity in your FR account, existing accountwil be maintained till 31 March 2022
    *T&C apply Extra Baggage allowance and lounge access subject to change as per per Government directive.

  24. nish

    ANy update on this card after Tata takeover ?
    Also does insurance spends earn miles here ? Is there any limit or cap on it ?

  25. PK

    Has anyone faced an issue with conversion of reward points to Air India miles?
    I converted 40,000 points on 10th June 2022, and have followed up multiple times with SBI and its still not done. I was finally told by SBI that they have processed it and that I should contact Air India. When I contacted Air India, they said to contact SBI (of course they did).
    Does anyone have any experience on how to resolve this?

    1. Varun Arya

      Hi PK,
      I have faced the same issue with both SBI and Air India. I had requested them to transfer 100000 points to air india miles on the 4th of july, and now after 10 days of even escalating the issue, both the concerned parties are putting the blame on each other and not owning to the responsibility of solving the issue. i dont know whom to get in touch with to resolve the issue

    2. Bhavin Shah

      There is no resolution, both blame each other. I had same issue and had over 2 Lac+ points. Struggled for more than 9 months. Finally i had no option but to take statement credit @ 0.25 per point and surrender card as no point in paying 5000+ GST renewal charges

  26. PK

    Well the latest is I am told by the Nodal officer that there will be no conversions from 12th July to 15th August.
    I wrote a stong email back stating that its pending since 12th June so these dates have no meaning to me. Now they have asked for time till 28th July to get back.

  27. Varun Arya

    Hi Friends.
    I wrote a mail to Nodal Office and got a response stating that since Air India’s portal in going through an internal migration, so these points would be reflecting in the account somewhere around 15th of August.
    So till that time, none of them (Sbi/Airindia) will be able help us on this.
    So it is a personal advise, we should not transfer any points to our Air India account till the complete migration process in Over.

    1. Siddharth Post author

      Thanks for sharing an update on this Varun.

  28. PK

    Just as an update, my points were credited to Air India on 2nd August.
    I tried to transfer more points from the card to Air India today and I was told that it can only be requested for after August 15th.

  29. Wannabe Frequent Flyer

    Friends, have a slightly unrelated question. Has anybody used Flying Returns points to travel/upgrade on a start alliance flight, e.g. Thai Airways? What’s the procedure, and what’s the experience been like?

  30. Arun

    Is the 30X reward applicable for the Add on member also? Can my wife’s ticket be booked with the my card (if she is the add on card member) or she should take a separate card?

  31. Prof. Koustubh Panda

    This card is a scam. They have stopped giving you the promised reward points against your Air India ticket purchases. They recently awarded me 10 reward miles for every Rs.100 spent instead of the promised 30 reward points on two AIR INDIA tickets bought directly from the AIR INDIA website for my travel.

    I have contacted their customer care as well as nodal officer for redressal but they are not responding. Moreover, this card has stopped giving you tier promotions like Silver Club, Gold Club memberships based on your spending.

    Also several domestic lounges don’t accept this card for free lounge access while they accept cards without annual fees (free cards). Overall this card is not worth retaining with a Rs.5000 annual fee.

  32. Wannabe Frequent Flyer

    My experience was that the 30% rewards was a hit & miss – sometimes it would come automatically, and sometimes it wouldn’t. My biggest case was a return ticket to London. I chased it, but eventually cancelled the ticket (flight cancelled because of covid).

    Keep chasing up; you can take both Air India & SBI cards to consumer court.

    Remember though that the miles are credited after 45 days.

  33. Utkarsh Gupta

    Hi Everyone, I need suggestions here on the SBI AI Signature Credit Card and HDFC Indigo XL Credit Card. My spending is around 3L-5L per annum. I usually travel 6 round trips which makes 12 flights. Which one do you suggest would be good for me? I’m specifically avoiding HDFC Vistara because Vistara is not available in all parts of India.


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