Both Etihad and Emirates are our go-to airlines thanks to their international connectivity. Both also have partner credit cards in India that help us in earning miles for their loyalty programs. While Emirates has co-branded cards with ICICI Bank, Etihad has tied up with SBI Card. The Etihad Guest SBI Card is available in two variants – Base and Premier. As expected, both the cards come with good rewards and benefits for Etihad. In this article, we review the rewards and benefits of the higher variant Etihad Guest SBI Premier Card.
Fees and Charges
The Etihad Guest Gold status is only for the first year. The tier will be as per Etihad Guest loyalty program criteria from the second year.
|Joining/Renewal Fee||Rs 4999 plus taxes|
|Welcome/Renewal Benefit||5000 Etihad Guest Miles (EYG miles)|
|Welcome Benefit||Etihad Guest Gold status and 2 Wi-Fi vouchers|
|Renewal Fee Waiver Condition||Rs 5 Lakhs spend in a year|
The Premier variant has a 2X earn rate compared to the base Etihad Guest SBI Card. This is a decent earn rate though I would prefer having 3 Miles/Rs 100 for other spends.
|TYPE OF SPEND||ETIHAD GUEST MILES EARN RATE|
|Etihad.com spends||6 Miles/Rs 100|
|International spends||4 Miles/Rs 100|
|Other Spends||2 Miles/Rs 100|
- 1 companion voucher on annual spends of Rs 8 Lakhs
- 1500 Etihad Guest Miles on Rs 1.5 Lakhs spend in a calendar quarter – This is a good benefit that we can take advantage of.
The companion voucher is valid for 6 months from the date of issuance. The voucher can be used to waive off the base fare component on a one-way or return ticket. The Etihad Guest SBI cardholder has to accompany the guest for the journey.
Instant Discount on Direct Etihad Bookings
We get a 3% discount on Economy class and a 10% discount on business class revenue bookings on the Etihad SBI Link. For miles redemption bookings, the discount is 10%.
Complimentary Airport Lounge Access
The Etihad Guest SBI card gets 2 complimentary domestic airport lounge visits per quarter. The access is through VISA.
There is no complimentary international airport lounge access on the Etihad Guest SBI Premier Card. It is surprising to see the top variant getting no international lounge access!
Etihad Guest Miles Requirements
How much is each Etihad Guest Mile worth and how many miles do we need for travel? I did a quick search on Etihad Guest to check this.
The first search was for a one-way economy booking from Bengaluru (BLR) via Abu Dhabi(AUH) to Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris (CDG). The lowest miles requirement for this was 33937 miles + Rs 13730 in taxes and surcharges. The same revenue ticket costs Rs 34340. This gives us a value of 1 Etihad Guest Mile = 60 paise.
The same route on business is available for 95892 Miles plus Rs 32013 in taxes and surcharges. Revenue cost is Rs 1,54,489. This gives us a value of 1 Etihad Guest Mile = Rs 1.3. This is actually a great value. As with any other miles card, we need to find the sweet spots for redemption. Business class booking will give you a better value in most cases.
If you are looking for Etihad Guest Miles, then the Premier card is much better than the base variant. With a 2X earn rate, milestone benefit, and renewal miles this is a competitive card.
We can also take advantage of the Etihad Guest Gold status and get extra benefits if we have planned travel. The other good benefit is the instant discount for direct Etihad bookings. Considering the annual fees and renewal benefits, this is a good card to have if you plan to fly with Etihad. The one benefit this card lacks is complimentary international airport lounge access.