Air India SBI Co-branded credit cards are perhaps the best in the Indian space to earn miles (AI only). I’ve had immense success meeting the INR 10,00,000 target every year and retaining my Air India Gold Status, as well as earning 90,000 bonus points.
Points earned on the AI-SBI card do not auto-sweep into your Air India Flying Returns Account. The card is designed in such a manner, perhaps to take a swipe on the breakage, i.e., people forgetting to transfer their points and hence SBI Cards getting to extinguish them at some point of time.
Now, usually, I would transfer these miles to my Air India account pretty quickly, but I’ve become a little hesitant these days because when I am transferring to AI, the maximum life of my miles is 3 years. SBI Card can keep the points live for 2 years till they lie with them.
A new condition has been introduced (footnote here) by AI-SBI card with effect from September 1, 2015 whereby you need to have at least 10,000 points in your points account if you hold an Air India SBI Signature Card, or 5,000 points if you hold an Air India SBI Platinum Card.Also, conversions will now only happen in multiples of 5,000 points.
I would imagine SBI Card is either trying to get customers to use their cards more often with this announcement.
What’s your best approach? Accumulate your points in your SBI Cards account, and transfer them to your Air India account when you want to make a redemption there.
Readers, do you think there is a better way out, please do comment