SBI PRIME CARD was launched in mid 2017 and ever since it got into the market, it has been one of the best premium credit card in India for various reasons like: easy approval, milestone benefits, lounge access, fee waiver on spend and many more. Its been more than a year since I got this card and I’ve been enjoying it ever since.

Not only for us, even for the bank it has been one of the amazing product that got them a very good share in the country’s premium credit card segment for about 2 years in the row. But there has been few changes to the card recently. So let’s re-visit if the card still holds good in its current form. 

SBI Prime Card

Joining Fees

  • Joining/Renewal Fee: Rs.2,999+GST (Renewal Fee Waived on 3 Lakh spend)
  • Welcome e-gift Voucher: Rs. 3,000 (Bata/Hush Puppies, Pantaloons, Shoppers Stop and Yatra.com)

When it comes to renewal, usually they charge the fee & then refund it back after a week. I wish they rather not charge at all, just to avoid confusion.

Rewards

SBI Card Prime comes with different types of rewards: Regular, Milestone & Accelerated, here’s everything about it below,

Regular rewards

  • All regular spends: 2 RP per Rs.100 (0.50% Value)
  • 1 Reward Point Value: Rs.0.25 (can be adjusted as statement credit)

To redeem points for stmt credit, simply call SBICard customer Care. Redemption fee of Rs.99 per request is applicable.

Milestone rewards

  • Spend Rs.50,000: Get Rs.1,000 Pizza Hut e-Voucher (every calendar quarter)
  • Spend Rs.5 Lakhs: Get Rs.7000 worth Yatra/Pantaloons Voucher.

I used the Pantaloons voucher during 2018 Diwali and got even greater savings on it.

Accelerated rewards

  • Standing instructions of Utility Bills payments: 20 RP per Rs.100 spent: (5% Value, Capped)
  • Birthday Spends: 20 RP per Rs.100 spent (5% Value, capped from 22 Feb 2021)
  • BigBasket: 15 RP per Rs.100 spent (3.75% Value)
  • Dining, Groceries, Departmental stores and Movies: 10 RP per Rs.100 spent (2.5% Value)

Overall, as you see the entire rewards earning capability, its pretty well designed. Now the problem is RedGirraffe is removed from SI payments, but not to forget that other SI payments (LIC,EB, etc) are still eligible for accelerated reward points.

Update: With effect from 1 Oct ’19, a capping of 3,000 Reward Points per month will be placed on the earning of 20 Reward Points per 100 spent on Standing Instructions of Utility Bill Payments.

Update: Cumulative of 20 Reward Points accrued per Rs. 100 spent on your Birthday using SBI Card PRIME/Platinum of Allahabad Bank, City Union Bank, UCO Bank & Central Bank of India will have a capping of 2,000 Reward Points per year w.e.f. 22 Feb’21. T&C.

Pro Tip: The easiest way to speak to SBI Card support is by sending an Sms as PROBLEM to 9212500888 and you’ll get a call back from them within 24 hours.

Lounge access

  • International: 4 complimentary visits per year to International Priority Pass Lounges, outside India (max. 2 visits per quarter)
  • Domestic: 8 complimentary visits per year to Domestic VISA/Mastercard Lounges in India (max. 2 visits per quarter)

Remember, both lounge benefits applies only for Primary Cardholder. Priority Pass expires in 2 Years.

Other Benefits

  • Enjoy Complimentary Club Vistara Silver membership (1 Upgrade Voucher)
  • Bookmyshow benefit
  • Enjoy complimentary Trident Privilege Red Tier Membership & other benefits linked to it.
  • Golf: 4 complimentary rounds on Green Fees

Maximizing Returns

Let’s consider you spend about 5 lakhs a year with Rs.1.5Lakh in accelerated rewards (5%) and remaining as regular purchase, & meet quarterly targets. Let’s see how much rewards you get,

  • Rs. 7,500 -> Accelerated Rewards: 5% on Rs.1.5L spend
  • Rs.4,000 -> Pizza Hut vouchers (quarterly spends benefit)
  • Rs.7,000 ->Yatra/Pantaloons voucher (5L Spend)
  • Total Savings: Rs.20,000 on 5L spend which is ~4% Reward Rate

The major downside for some would be spending 1.5L on accelerated rewards which may reduce the overall reward rate.

But then if you consider fee waiver on 3L spend, lounge access & other benefits, I still see it as an amazing card in 2019 with returns far more than regular premium credit cards of this range.

So if you still have the question in mind: “if it’s still worth it?” – YES totally!

Bottomline

  • Cardexpert Rating: 4/5

Its obvious that SBI Prime makes sense for those who don’t have access to the super premium cards. Redgirraffe used to be an amazing benefit in the past, but remember, anything above 3% reward rate in the world of credit cards will live only for a short while.

So overall, I would say, it’s good to “hold” as long as you can spend 5L, else it’s OKAY to downgrade to SBI Simplyclick, which is also a decent card for online spends.

If your spends are on the higher side, you may also explore SBI Elite which comes with amazing Movie benefit or other bank super premium credit cards altogether.

What’s your take on SBI Prime in its current form? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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