In my earlier article, I had written about how Vistara airlines has tied-up with Axis Bank and SBI to launch co-branded credit cards. I had also reviewed the cards being offered, their benefits and recommendation on which card to opt for. In case you missed reading that article, you may read it via the below link.
Comparison of Vistara Credit Cards – How to get free Vistara flight tickets
I had myself obtained an SBI Vistara Credit card a year back and have been able to achieve all the milestones including redeeming one complimentary flight voucher. This article details my experience of using the SBI Vistara card, booking flight using voucher and other things.
I had applied for this card via SBI Cards website in Jan 2020. The bank representative came and verified/collected my documents on the same day and I was able to get the card within 15 – 20 days.
Linking with Vistara ID
To enjoy the benefits of Vistara card, you have to link it with Vistara ID.
For SBI Vistara cards, login to SBI Card website (www.sbicard.com) / call their customer care [39020202 (Prefix Local STD code) or 1860 180 1290].
If you have an existing Club Vistara ID, share those details and your credit card will be linked to it. If not, a new Club Vistara (CV) ID will be created for you.
Since I already had a CV ID, I just linked it without much hassle.
Use of Card and Points accrual
Being Mastercard, I did not have any problems with card acceptance (unlike Diner or Amex which sometimes are not accepted).
Once I started using the card, I could see that the points are being credited to my CV account within 3 days of monthly bill generation.
CV points are obtained on every spend and can be redeemed for flight booking/upgrades. The CV points have 3 years of validity.
Getting Complimentary Vouchers
As soon as I crossed a milestone, I used to get a mail with voucher details. Same were also updated in my CV account for easy reference and redemption. The complimentary vouchers given on achieving milestones have 6 months validity.
Voucher Redemption Process
Unfortunately, I got my welcome voucher in March with an expiry of September 2020. Due to Covid related lockdown and travel restrictions, I could not use the voucher. I spoke with customer care and requested them to extend the validity but they refused. That was the only unpleasant experience so far.
I received my next voucher in June and was able to use it for booking a Pune-Delhi flight.
To redeem the voucher, you have to call helpline number +91-9289228888. After security verification, they will ask you for the travel details and inform you of the tax amount which has to be paid.
In my case, I was asked to pay 800/- towards taxes to redeem the voucher. An email and SMS with payment link was sent via which I could do the payment. Once the payment was done, my ticket was confirmed within 1 hour.
Is there a difference between flights booked via voucher and other travel portals
I had also booked another ticket on same flight for my wife but via Yatra.
A day before travel, when I tried to do web check-in, I could see the difference. On my booking, I was able to select a seat in almost all rows. However, for the Yatra booking, I was being shown seat availability only in the last 3 rows. I spoke to Vistara customer care on this and they explained that voucher booking being given higher preference over partner bookings is the reason for this.
Experience at the airport
At the airport, while the check-in process was the same, I noticed a difference in the boarding pass. On my boarding pass, it was mentioned that meal is included. However, on wife’s pass, ‘No Meal’ was written.
The desk agent informed me that I had booked an economy class fare via Yatra and that does not include meal.
However, to our surprise, everyone was given meal (a yummy sandwich) on the flight. I think that was because of some Covid related protocols given by the government to airlines.
I will not write much about the flight as it was a standard plane with decent leg space. Good part was that the flight was on time during both departure from Pune and arrival at Delhi T3.
Since I was flying from Pune which does not have a lounge as of now, I could not utilize the lounge access feature of SBI Vistara card. But passengers from cities having lounge facility can certainly avail the benefit.
Other things to note
- Vouchers are added automatically on achieving milestones. Finally, on reaching 4L milestone, you also receive a 5K hotel voucher from Yatra (via SMS). It also has a validity of 6 months. I have not yet redeemed it. Will update this section once I use it in the coming months.
- Since Yatra voucher (on 5L limit) is given by SBI instead of Vistara, you will not see its details on Vistara portal. You will get the Yatra voucher via SMS from SBI card.
- You can also use the complimentary flight vouchers to book flights for your family members. To do this, you will have to add them as Nominees on CV website and then go through the normal voucher redemption process.
- You can also use the CV points earned to book flights / get upgrades
- You will not get any CV points / Tier points / Tier Upgrades on flights booked via vouchers
- Booking has to be done at least 7 days prior to the travel date.
- Vouchers cannot be redeemed for infants.
So far, I am satisfied with SBI Vistara card. The free flight and hotel vouchers make it a useful card for people who prefer to fly.
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