AI SBI Card having trouble processing tier upgrades on AI

One of the differentiating features of Air India’s co-branded card with SBI Cards is the tier upgrades you get on Air India Flying Returns every time you spent another INR 5,00,000 in the membership year. You get Silver Status for the first INR 5,00,000 and Gold Status for the next INR 5,00,000. This is now equivalent to Star Alliance Gold status, with Air India having joined the Star Alliance.

SBI Cards in fact also launched a status match program for the holders of other airlines status in the meanwhile, I am assuming with Air India’s approval.

Everyone who hits the INR 5,00,000 mark receives a kit automatically, because these were processed straight through back in the day. But recently, a friend who hit the mark did not receive anything after a few weeks as well. So, we queried SBI Cards, who said

Tier Upgrades are on hold till September 15, 2014. We are working with Air India to sort this out at the earliest, however you are requested to contact us after this date to proceed further.

I’ve also been hearing Air India is having rethink on status upgrades now that they are in Star Alliance, and they’d have to extend all Star Alliance benefits to their members as well, however, I am sure they don’t care about these costs like they’ve not in the past.

Any one of my readers face the stalling from SBI Cards on their AI status upgrades as well? Do write in the comments section.

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. @Ajay – have you ever been through the process of redeeming a ticket via Air India?

    As I understand it, the process is:
    (a) contact SBI credit card to transfer miles to Air India
    (b) then contact Air India to redeem the miles for a ticket.

    (a) seems simple enough, but (b) is scaring me already? Does Air India allow online redemption of miles for a ticket or will I have to land up at their office in person with a ton of paper?

    Would appreciate any guidance you have for this?

  2. Please tell me that the miles earned from the credit cards points can help one earn status upgrade at the AI FFP – 75000 points to Maharajah and 50,000 points to Gold or is it only by having spent 10,00,000 pa to achieve the milestone ?

  3. Got Upgraded in September but still i haven’t received my Silver Edge Kit. Every time they give me an excuse that Cards are under process and we don’t know when we will be able to deliver it to you no time frame.

  4. Getting the bonus points shouldn’t be an issue as it would be done on the Credit Card company systems. The tier upgrade is an issue at the level of Air India. Facing the same issue, first the date for upgrade was given as July 31st, then 15th August and now 15th Dept. Lets see. I transferred points from another credit card to my AI FF account and that went without a hitch. Lets hope they resolve this soon .

  5. Hi Ajay
    I have sent my Tier matching twice to SBI in the last 2-3 weeks for Gold Tier matching to Jet but sadly no response.

  6. i am having the same troubles. Hit the Sent in my Jet Silver to get Tier-to-Tier on Air India in the first week of June. No response. When I called, said to wait till 31th Aug, now you guys are saying its delayed till 15th Sep. Hit the 5 Lac mark recently too….

  7. I had the same problem. Tier to Tier matching, I sent in all the documents. I was told that it is on hold till 1st of September.

  8. I hate it when banks/airlines change the terms mid way without warning or notice. Like many above, I hit the 5 lac mark few months back and silver upgrade went automatically. Now recently, I have hit the 10 lacs mark and I read all this. I hope the balance 50,000 bonus miles comes through at least. They should have a warning/notice period and should honour upgrade requests for all spend based upgrades until they send out the notice.

  9. I am too facing similar issues with AI status upgrade. I crossed 5 lac mark couple of month ago. I waited for a month to let it happen automatically then around mid-August i called them and they told that it is on hold and will be processed after 31 Aug. I again e-mailed them to check a few days back and now their lady called to confirm it’s still on hold from AI and any update is expected only after September 15. I am wondering if i should now transfer my non-AI flight and other expenses to Citi PM which seems to much safer option compared to AI.

  10. Yeh.. Same trouble with me too.. I hit the 10 lac mark on 13th June. Struggling to get through the communication for last 2 months. I got two replies saying ” plz elobarate ur query” now I know y…

    Hope it’s done.

  11. I have been having the same issue with SBI Cards. I recently hit the 5 Lakh mark, but when i called SBI for the status upgrade, they asked me to wait till the 15th of September.

  12. Same problem with tier-to-tier matching. They have not processed my request for the same, though I sent in all the documentation. On checking, was told the tier-to-tier matching is also on hold.

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