Axis Bank and Vistara tied up to launch the Axis Bank Vistara credit card range in July 2016. I applied for the credit card the first day itself, and it has been a few months since I’ve had it in my pocket. I thought it would be a good idea to put out a review of the card for those of you who are planning to pick up an Air Vistara co-branded credit card.
The Axis-Vistara Credit Card comes in three variants, and today we are going to look into the top-end variant called the Infinite. The card is a compelling proposition in case you do spend a lot of time on the road or a lot of time shopping, as it grants you the benefits of Club Vistara Gold. At the time of the launch of the card, Gold was the top-tier in the Club Vistara program, however it is now the second-from-top tier with Platinum taking the top shelf. The Card comes with an EMV chip, which allows you to just waive the card on Visa PayWave enabled terminals. However, not many stores have these in India right now.
The credit card comes with a solid proposition to get you started. You get one business-class ticket coupon code for any sector that Vistara operates on, and all you need to pay is the statutory taxes to redeem the ticket. The ticket is valid for a period of 6 months from the date of issuance.
You also get enrolled into Club Vistara if you are not already enrolled, and you get Gold Tier with Vistara. The Gold Tier usually requires you to take 30 flights in a 12 month period, or earn 25000 CV points. This entitles you to the following benefits:
- 10 Club Vistara Points/INR 100 spent on Vistara flights
- Business-Class check-in
- 10 Kg extra baggage allowance
- 3 upgrade vouchers per annum
- 2 Lounge Access Vouchers
- Lounge Access on all flights
- Priority Boarding & Baggage Handling
Currently one of the most lucrative cards in India. You earn 6 Club Vistara Points per INR 200 spent. These points go over to your Vistara account on a daily basis. Additionally, you get the following spend benefits on reaching various milestones:
- 10,000 Club Vistara Points on spending INR 1 Lakh within 90 days of card institution.
- 1 Business Class ticket on achieving INR 2.5 Lakh spend within the membership year.
- 1 Business Class ticket on achieving INR 5 Lakh Spend within the membership year.
- 1 Business Class ticket on achieving INR 7.5 Lakh Spend within the membership year.
Lounge Access is available when you fly Vistara (since you are a Club Vistara Gold member). For other times, you have access to the Visa Lounge Access benefits (valid only in India). More details of which lounges you can visit are on www.airportlounges.in. You get 4 complimentary visits every quarter to lounges in the list.
Axis Bank also offers you 6 complimentary rounds of Golf per annum on this card. The list of Golf Courses is actually pretty nice, but limited to India and requires you to book 14 days in advance.
You need to be earning INR 600,000 per annum to be eligible for this card.
The fees per annum is INR 10,000 plus applicable taxes.
Foreign Exchange Markup
3.5% plus applicable taxes.
As Vistara grows its network, the value for the free tickets on offer grows as well. Mumbai – Delhi, which is my usual routing and the only routing of value on Vistara to me right now, has business class priced at INR 30,000 most days. Which means the 4 tickets have a notional value of INR 120,000 for me. Additionally, I’d earn 32,500 points for spending on the card as well (including a 10,000 bonus for 90 days INR 1 Lakh Spend). In total, I’d say I will get roughly 20% value on my spend, or even more. 16% on the basis of the tickets I’m going to redeem and the rest on the basis of the points I would use for an upgrade or redemption sometime.
I’d compare the Vistara Axis partnership with the SBI Card at the time of launch. A solid package. The benefits on offer are very good, and if you are a high roller, then this is a good credit card to add to your wallet. The Sales team provided good service, with the sales representative bringing home the credit card for me. I made Shipra apply for this card as well, and she also received her credit card in hand from an Axis Bank representative. However, other aspects can be a hit and miss. For instance, the Axis Bank app does not work on my phone. I do not get any alerts when the bill is generated or the last date of the bill is due. Since I am not an Axis Bank banking customer, not possible to keep a tab on the card for me without a login to the website.
Also, service issues when they happen are bad. For instance, I did not receive my free ticket code in time, so I had to chase up, and eventually I was sent the ticket two months late. However, I was promised service recovery by the Axis Bank representative, but he never called back.
This card is a good diversification from my usual bundle. I’m keeping this in the pocket right now and putting a lot of my domestic spending on this card. It would be great if the card added more points for spending on Vistara itself, since then it makes more sense to have a co-branded partnership and all co-branded cards in India apart from this range offer accelerated earnings on the partner airline.
Have you taken up the Axis Vistara co-branded Infinite Card? What has been your experience with the card?