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SBI Prime Credit Card Detailed Review

SBI Prime credit card is a premium credit card offering from SBI Cards. This credit card targets affluent customer segment and offers reward benefits, milestone benefits, annual fee waiver and free lounge access. It also offers complimentary Club Vistara and Trident Privilege memberships. Not to mention that SBI Prime has an amazing design; in fact, I believe this card is probably one of the best-designed credit card in India at the moment.

However, does this card pack enough punch that it should find a place in your wallet? Read on to find out.

About SBI Prime Credit Card

Fees and Eligibility:

  • Joining fee of INR2,999 + GST.
  • Annual fee INR 2,999 + GST. Waived on spending INR300,000 in a year.

Rewards and Benefit:

  • Joining Benefit:
    • Welcome gift voucher of INR3,000 from anyone of the following – Bata/Hush Puppies, Pantaloons, Aditya Birla Fashion, Shoppers Stop or Yatra.com
  • Recurring Benefits:
    • PizzaHut voucher worth INR1,000 on spending 50,000 in a calendar quarter. (Avg monthly spend of INR17,000, not difficult I believe.)
    • INR7,000 voucher from Yatra/Pantaloon on annual spends of INR5lakhs. (Avg monthly spend of 25,000)
    • 20 Reward points per 100 spent on cardholder’s birthday.
  • Reward Points:
    • 2 Reward points on every INR100 spent. 1 Reward point = 0.25 paisa (0.25% reward rate) on statement credit. Up to 30paisa reward rate on selected vouchers for eg: Central and Arrow.
    • Accelerated Reward Points:
      • 20 reward points on every 100 spend via standing instructions (includes insurance premiums too). Cap of 3000 points every month. i.e Monthly spends of 15,000. (5% reward rate)
      • 15 reward points on every 100 spent on BigBasket (3.75% reward rate)
      • 10 reward points on every 100 spent on Dining, Groceries, Departmental Stores and Movies. (2.5% reward rate)
    • 1% fuel surcharge waiver
  • Lounge Access: (Only for primary cardholder)
    • 4 complimentary international lounge access via PP (max. 2/quarter). PP doesn’t come along with the credit card and needs to be applied separately.
    • 8 complimentary visits to Domestic lounges (max. 2/ quarter)
  • Other benefits
    • Complimentary Trident Privilege Red Tier Membership
    • Complimentary Club Vistara Silver membership

SBI Prime Credit Card Details

How to maximise rewards on SBI Prime credit card?

Accelerated Rewards:

Since SBI Prime credit card offers maximum reward points (5%) on standing instructions that too for monthly spends of up to INR15,000; this is something one should target. However, avoid enrolling electricity and other utility bills. As any which ways, one gets around 5% cashback on electricity and phone bills on Payzapp or other wallets (not to forget points stacking benefits on these). Here, try to enrol insurance policies, both life and health, to get maximum benefits from this credit card.

Further, if one uses BigBasket regularly, SBI Prime credit card could be very handy. Once, the Citibank’s Bigbasket offer or any other offer for that matter is utilised. Use this card for the rest of the month for your shopping on BigBasket. It offers a 3.75% reward rate without any cap on spending.

Moreover, SBI Prime credit card could be one’s primary credit card for offline shopping too. It offers 2.5% reward rate on spends on dining places and fast-food restaurants, grocery stores, departmental stores, convenience stores and cinema halls. My guess is these are the only places where one would end up swiping credit card physically. Thus, SBI Prime more or less covers everything in the offline shopping space.

However, remember that spends on Metro Cash & Carry, Walmart & Reliance Market won’t accrue accelerated reward points. Nonetheless, D-Mart and our friendly neighbourhood Kirana store still qualify for a 2.5% reward rate :D.

Birthday Offer

Not to forget the special birthday offer.  20 Reward points per 100 spent on cardholder’s birthday. The fine print says that this offer is valid for 3 days (applicable on your birthday, a day before & after). That’s not all it has no cap whatsoever. Thus, if one does a large expense on his/her birthday – one can easily earn 5% rewards on SBI Prime credit card.

SBI Prime Reward Working

Downsides of SBI Prime Credit Card

On the downside, SBI Prime’s standard reward rate of 0.5% is very low. This could have been easily set at 1% while taking away the Pizzahut vouchers. Further, I believe, SBI should offer lounge benefit to supplementary cardholder too; they may keep the overall cap the same while doing so.

Additionally, the Club Vistara Silver membership is only for one year. After that, one needs to be eligible as per Vistara’s eligibility norms for the Silver tier membership.

Further, T&C mentions that PP is valid only for 2 years. My assumption here is that PP will be renewed after 2 years on request. If that’s not the case, that’s another reason to not like SBI Prime credit card.

Conclusion

I believe, SBI Prime credit card does pack a lot of punch. If used smartly, one can easily earn a reward rate between 3.5%-4% on annual spends. Overall, this reward rate is pretty good on a credit card which has a low threshold for an annual fee waiver.

Not to forget the other benefits such as international and domestic lounge access, complimentary Club Vistara Silver membership and Trident Privilege Red membership, which may come handy.

So, if anyone asks me whether one should keep SBI Prime credit card in the wallet, the answer is emphatic YES!

Eager to know your thoughts on SBI Prime credit card, do share them in the comment section below.

7 Comments

  1. Naveen Swami

    SBI Prime is a good card but SBI suffers from having a low points to rupee value, even 10x promotion can’t help when the redemption option doesn’t allow you to go beyond 0.25rupee/point.

    I would rather choose a combination of Zomato Edition Card and either of Digi Smart or Ola Money to take care or dining and grocery spends.

    • Comment by post author

      Harshvardhan Agrawal

      Hey Naveen,

      If someone is intending to take this card for dining and grocery benefits that what you say is true that SBI Prime may not the best card around.
      To maximise benefits on SBI Prime one has to figure out how to earn max points on 20x category, which are the standing instructions. Else its just like any other credit card.

      • Naveen Swami

        Yes, thanks Harsh that’s a good one and a unique one also. But I wonder what all we can use it for given insurance payments are once a year.

        • Prathmesh

          The Standing Instruction can also be set for your electricity , piped gas, broadband bills, phone etc. I know there are multiple options which give 5% cash back (eg hdfc) but prime gives a limit upto 3000 points which is rs 750 where as the HDFC Payzap limit is only upto rs 200.

  2. Prathmesh

    Nice review, especially the final calculation.
    What is the definition of departmental store? I had used this card at a medical store, but got only the default 2 points.
    Can you tell me the source of the birthday benefit being a total of three days. Thats quite the good news.
    Thanks.

    • Comment by post author

      Harshvardhan Agrawal

      Hey Prathmesh,

      These departmental stores etc are defined by the Merchant Category Code (MCC) which the businesses get,when they take PoS machines. They are generally given by Visa/Mastercard or the bank who issues the PoS machine.

      For SBI Prime, only the following MCC will get accelerated benefits –
      Departmental Stores: 5311
      Grocery Stores & Supermarkets: 5411
      Misc. Food Stores- Convenience Stores and Specialty Markets: 5499 (Only for SBI Card PRIME)
      Eating Places and Restaurants: 5812
      Drinking Places: 5813
      Fast Food Restaurants: 5814
      Motion Picture Theaters : 7832

      Now, as credit card users, the problem is these MCCs are not mentioned anywhere on the bill or the charge slip. One has to call up the bank to know the MCC where card was swiped.

      Further, to complicate the matter, it is very well possible that one chemist might have MCC of a departmental store and another might not. So it is a sort of trial and error for the card users.

      On the Birthday benefit, its mentioned in the T&C of SBI Prime Card, which is available here:

      Below is a copy paste of the section:
      Cardholder shall earn total of 20 Reward Points for every `100 spent on Birthday for three days (applicable on your birthday, a day before & after) and SI on utility bill transactions ((with effect from 1st Oct ’19, a capping of 3,000 Reward Points per month will be placed on this earning)

  3. Prathmesh

    Thanks.

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