Air India status upgrades via SBI Card are back

A few days ago, I reported that the promised tier upgrades and status matches for Air India, which are available via their co-branded card with SBI were not going through. There was either a technology problem, or there was a snap of relationships between both parties. We don’t know.

However, I’ve been hearing since yesterday days, that people have started to get their upgrade confirmations via email, for status earned via spend on Air India. This looks like it is sorted now. However, for me personally, something seems to be off, as my account is locked out. Which definitely points towards a technology upgrade of some sorts that may have happened at the back end.

For those of you who qualified, I hope you receive your status credentials for Air India Silver or Gold shortly.

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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.. My strategy is to use Citi prestige for International spends and use SBI for Insurance payments , utility etc. ONLY till I touch Rs 10 Lakhs and stop thereafter. BOM- EWR on First class AI may not be that bad after all @130 K miles( hope they offer 25% discount like last year).

    But I will take a dip into this card only if 90K bonus is thrown in every year and not just one time event.

    BTW, I am not finding a worthy card for earning Lufthnsa miles ( Axis card is not worth it). I am eyeing on Korean Air Business class redemption from Seoul to Hawaai which is a too sweet spot to ignore. Any suggestions?

  2. Hi AJ,

    As per my calculation If I sign up for AI SBI card, I can get 150K AI miles on spend of Rs 10 Lakhs (Including 90 K Bonus+ 20K Sign up). If I spend Rs 10 Lakhs on Citiprestige, I get 52K Airmiles ( 40K for spends + 15K for Citigold relationship bonus of 30%). Is my understanding correct?

    Secondly ,whether the 90K bonus on SBI is calculated as per Calender year or If I am issued a card in March 15, then March 15- Feb 16 will be considered as a year?

    If I spend Rs 10 Lakhs again in next year , will I get 90K spend related bonus again or its just a one time bonus in year one?

    I am tempted to go for AI SBI card as it may turn out to be a better value than Citi Prestige due to 90K Bonus.


    • @Krishnakumar, your understanding that you get less number of miles with Citi prestige is correct. having said that if you were to do the same spending abroad, you get 100K miles with citi then 😉

      Now, to the utility of these miles. AI miles will be good only for domestic flights unless you are happy to pay for fuel surcharges on AI international and an inflated award chart to redeem on star alliance. so you decide the value for yourself 🙂

      the year for air india sbi card is the 12 months from date of issuance of the card.

  3. While SBI has not bothered to either correct my memebership number associated with them (due to which I’ve still not used the card as yet), this is good news. My request for Tier upgrade is also pending with them and I hope it materialises soon. Btw AJ, with Amex downgrading the mileage on Jet Plat card, suddenly this SBI card seems to be the best choice for Frequent fliers on Jet / AI. What say?

  4. my reply:
    The reply is not convincing.
    Blr sin blr, both the flights were on the same pnr, While returning I informed my FF no. at counter, so one way points was credited. now you are raising the issue of class in Blr Singapre sector, which is surprising.

    In my experience with the, it do not want to credit the miles.
    This has happened earlier also; due to minor difference in spelling of the name Agarwal & Agarwalla denied crediting the miles.
    The delay in replying and keeping quite for such a long times show your inefficiency.
    You have not replied in the matter my wife Manju agarwal FF 106866370 till now I request you to credit the miles immediately or we will go to consumer court.

    Subhash Agarwal

  5. Is it correct?
    Dear Mr. Agarwal,

    We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to you.

    With reference to your request for flight credits, we wish to inform you that the flight mentioned in your e-mail has been credited to your account.

    SQ502 SIN-BLR 25/07/2014 W-CLASS

    Please find the attached statement for your reference.

    Also, this is with reference to the query regarding accrual of miles for flights taken on Singapore Airlines. On checking your flight details, we find that the ticket was purchased on N class which is not eligible for accrual.

    Hence we are unable to credit miles for this flight.

    SQ503 BLR-SIN 21/07/2014

  6. Hey AJ,
    I received my Gold Tier Upgrade confirmation mail yesterday. Thanks to you for the original tip on tier match. It was your blog where I first read about AirIndia/SBI Card, and applied for it.


  7. Hi AJ,
    I did receive an email yesterday from Air India that I have been upgraded to the silver edge tier but my status still shows as a base member when I logon to my account.

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