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
  • 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 🙂

39 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?

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

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

      Reply
    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 Flipkart.com, snapdeal, goibibo, yatra, clear trip, BookMyShow and pothys over and above the existing discounts.

      Reply
  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?

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

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

      Reply
  3. Atul Ahuja

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

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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 ?

    Reply
    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.

      Reply
  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

    Reply
    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.

      Reply
  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?

    Reply
  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 🙁 .

    Reply
  9. Pradeep Mohanty

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

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
    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.

      Reply
  11. KARTHIK

    I AM PLANNI TO TAKE SBI SIGNATURE AIR INDIA CARD. IT HELPS TO COLLECT 180000 MILES FOR THE SPEND OF 20 LAKHS. I HAVE A DOUBT CAN I USE THIS MILES IN OTHER STAR ALLIANCE FLIGHT FOR UPGRADE AND REDEMPTION OR THEY HAVE ANY RESTRICTION TO USE ONLY WITH AIR INDIA. SOME SAYS MILE STONE POINTS CAN NOT BE USED EVERY WHERE.

    Reply
    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 !

      Reply
      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.

        Reply
    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.

      Reply
    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.

      Reply
  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

    Reply
  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.

    Reply
  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?

    Reply
  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?

    Reply
    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.

      Reply
        1. Ankur Dhanda

          Thanks Siddharth.
          Happy to share the experience.

          Reply
      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?

        Reply
        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.

          Reply
          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

  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.

    Reply
    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

      Reply
  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.

    Reply
  18. Ishaan Aggarwal

    Hi,

    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.

    Thanks,
    Ishaan

    Reply
    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).

      Reply

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