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Thursday, December 15, 2016

IRCTC SBI Platinum Card - Everything You Need to Know

The IRCTC SBI Platinum card offers you upto 10% value back as reward points on AC1, AC2, Executive Chair Car and AC Chair Car tickets bought through the IRCTC website (and not through the mobile app). Each reward point equals one rupee.


Value Back on AC Travel

The 'Value Back' benefits shall accrue only on Base Fare, Therefore Reservation Charges, Superfast Charges or any other charges or taxes included in the total fare will not be considered for accrual of the value back benefits.

The reward points are calculated as follows:

1. For Travel dates between 15th January and 31st March - 10% of Base Fare

2. For Travel dates between 1st April and 14th July - 4% of Base Fare

3. For Travel dates between 15th July and 15th September - 10% of Base Fare

4. For Travel dates between 16th September and 14th January - 4% of Base Fare.

Note that AC 3 Tier tickets are outside the scope of the value back scheme (AC Travel) as explained above. However they will be considered as part of value back on Non-Fuel Purchases.

Another important thing to note is the fact that, for accrual of reward points, the Cardholder must be one of the passenger on the ticket and that the value back benefit will accrue only on the card holder's individual fare.

Value back on Non-Fuel retail purchases:

 Apart from the value back on AC tickets booked through IRCTC, the card also offers 1 reward point for every Rs 125 spent on non-fuel purchases. This includes AC 3 tier and Sleeper Class tickets purchased through IRCTC.

Other benefits on the card includes:

1. 350 Bonus reward points on spending Rs 500 or more using the card within 45 days of card issuance.

2. Waiver of the 1.8% transaction charges for booking railway tickets through the IRCTC website.

3. Waiver of the 2.5% fuel surcharge, on transaction of Rs 500 - Rs 3000 (exclusive of taxes) on all petrol pumps across India.

Redemption of Reward Points 

 Note that the cardholder can redeem Reward Points only for Confirmed /RAC tickets on 1st Class
AC,AC 2 Tier, Executive Chair Card and AC Chair Card Travel booked through the IRCTC website. Again, the redemption is not available for AC 3 Tier Travel.

Since the accumulated reward points are transferred by SBI to ITCTC every month, the redemption can only be made against the purchase of railway tickets through itctc,co,in and not otherwise.

The cardholder can start redeeming the Reward Points once he has accrued a minimum of 500 Reward Points earned through travel on tickets purchased at www.irctc.co.in or 500 Reward Points earned through non-fuel retail spends on the card.

[From the language it seems like rewards points earned through tickets purchased on IRCTC and points earned through non-fuel purchases shall be considered separately for the purpose of counting the minimum accrued balance]

For all subsequent redemption/Reward Points purchase, the customer needs to have 300 Reward Points earned through travel on tickets purchased at www.irctc.co.in or 300 Reward Points earned through retail spends on the credit card.

Other important points to note regarding redemption of reward points on the IRCTC SBI Platinum card: 

1. Redemption has to be made against the total fare of all passengers travelling on a ticket.

2. In case the reward point balance is insufficient to cover the total fare, part payment through card/internet banking cannot be made. In case of such a shortfall the customer has to purchase additional reward points at a cost of Rs 1.50 per reward point. This I believe is a major drawback of the card; given the fact that the card holder also has to incur recurring annual fees.

Charges 

The charges on the card include a one-time joining fee of Rs. 500 and a recurring renewal fee of Rs 300 per year.

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