Quite a few exciting credit cards are coming out for the travel-oriented and I am having quite a bit of a job on hand to keep up to speed.
Spicejet, India’s second biggest low-cost airline after Indigo, has had a tie-up for a credit card with SBI for a while. About 10 days back they re-launched the card with a suite of benefits that make it look exciting now, and I am considering applying for one now.
While I have reviewed the Amex Gold Charge Card and Citibank Premier Miles Credit Card in the past, this is the first time I am reviewing an airline co-branded credit card, perhaps the only Indian airline co-branded card on the market right now till Jet Airways decides its new partner.
Sign-up bonus: For your sign-up, which can cost upto Rs. 499 (plus taxes), you will get a Rs. 500 discount voucher redeemable on a SpiceJet ticket, which covers the cost of the first year fee all by itself. Apart from that, you get 5 In-flight Meal Vouchers, which are worth at least Rs. 1,000 by itself. Also, you get 5 vouchers which allow you 5 Kg excess baggage allowance. If you travel heavy, this should be of good use to you. Both these set of vouchers are not transferable and hence the holder of the card needs to be on the booking to be able to make use of these vouchers.
Fee: Like I mentioned above, the fee for the card is Rs. 499 (plus taxes). If you spend over INR 75,000 in one year, the fee will be reversed.
Eligibility: Not publicly disclosed.
Features: You get a 5% off (via cashback) each time you book a ticket directly with SpiceJet (via the website, call centre or ticketing counter). The discount is not just on the base fare, but on the entire ticket value. This cashback is limited to upto Rs. 1,250 per billing cycle, so if you travel on SpiceJet often, you could potentially be saving Rs. 15,000 just on your tickets. Also, every time you spend Rs. 25,000 on SpiceJet, you get a SpiceJet discount voucher worth Rs. 1,000.
Since this is a MasterCard, you also get lounge access to lounges across India under the MasterCard Lounge Access program.
Earning Reward Points: One feature that strikes me as odd for a travel-feature card is that there is no accelerated earning program on booking tickets, not even with SpiceJet. You earn 1 point for every Rs. 100 spent, and 4x on your groceries (4 Points for every Rs. 100 spent at grocery stores).
Spending Reward Points: You can redeem reward points for SpiceJet discount vouchers at the rate of Rs. 0.25/Reward Point when you have accumulated a minimum of 1,000 Reward Points.
Overall assessment: While most of the other travel credit cards I have reviewed or I will review in the coming days require a higher criteria in terms of your financials and are available only in 6-8 cities across India (metro cities, mini metros), this one should be easy to get for everyone, and will be available to most in their cities of residence. So, hats off to SBI Card and SpiceJet for developing a competitive product. The spend limits for higher benefits like fee reversal and fare redemption vouchers are also not very high and easily attainable.
I am tempted to pick this up myself, and may just apply for one soon. I’ll keep you all posted if I do. I last had a credit card from SBI 3-4 years back or more, so I am hoping the customer service got better by now.
- Sunday Plastic: The American Express Gold Charge Card
- Sunday Plastic: Citibank Premier Miles Credit Card (Old)
- Sunday Plastic: The ‘new’ Citibank Premier Miles Credit Card