SBI Cash Back Credit Card Review

Updated: Oct 28


SBI has upped the game. Axis Magnus is no longer the king of 2022. SBI Cash Back credit card gives 5% cash back. That’s it. No minimum spend requirements. Pure and simple 5% savings on all online purchases. This an unmissable phenomenon, get on the bandwagon before it looses steam.


Fee

It has Nil Joining Fee.

Renewal Fee of Rs. 999 + tax = Rs 1185 is applicable from 2nd year onwards.

Renewal Fee reversed if annual spends for last year >= Rs. 2,00,000.


Application Process

https://www.sbicard.com/en/personal/credit-cards/rewards/cashback-sbi-card.page

SBI has started EKYC. Apply from the above link. At the middle of the application process, it shows error and requests you to contact the customer care. Just wait for a day, and the error will go away.

“Retrieve you application”, upload the relevant documents and hope you will be approved the SBI Cash Back Credit card.

Do use my referral ‘25wSoz7u8UL’.

I am not really sure what it gets the both of us!


Card Cashback

Category

Cash Back

Cap

Online

5%

Rs 10000

Offline & Utility (Electricity, Gas, Water, Phone), Govt & Tax, Balmer Lawrie, IRCTC

1%

Unlimited

Rent Payments, Fuel Spends, Wallet Loads, Insurance, Merchant EMIs, Cash Advances, Balance Transfer, Encash & Flexipay

0%

Excluded

SBI has smartly excluded wallet and Rent Payments.

The 1% cash Back category also includes Balmer Lawrie Merchant (used by Govt. Employees for LTC tickets).

Train tickets via IRCTC website gives 1% cash back. Probably because it is categorised under Govt spends. We may get 5% if we book trains via third party apps like Amazon or Paytm.


To reach the Cap of Rs 10,000 on the accelerated category will require an expense of Rs 2Lacs.


Cash Back is credited in just one month. This is credited as simple statement credit. No need to book flights or buy vouchers to use up those Reward Points.

In comparison Axis Magnus credit card takes 3 months to give you its 25000RP (worth Rs 5000) on reaching its monthly milestone of Rs 1 Lac.


Bank Of Baroda Eterna's 3.75% savings which once seemed so large, won't seem so any longer.


Savings Calculator for SBI Cash Back Credit card

Kindly put in your expected spends and estimate your savings with this card.

In most cases the savings will be more than 3% which is a very high number.


Airport Lounge Access

4 complimentary Domestic Airport Lounge visits in a year (1 visit per quarter).

The list of lounges is HUGE. It even includes multiple tier two cities.

Axis, HDFC may give higher number of complimentary lounge visits but the cities covered are just the 4/5 metro cities.


Best Paired with..

This card does not give accelerated returns on

  • Utilities and all bills

  • Off line shopping including grocery

It is very rarely, that one card will give you all the benefits. However, two properly chosen credit cards can give you almost all the benefits.

Best candidates of credit cards to be paired with SBI Cash Back credit card are:

  • SBI Simply Save credit card: This gives 10X on groceries and departmental stores. It translates to 2.5% savings. If you wish to splurge, then SBI Prime credit card is also gives same benefit and more. However, I find its annual charges are too high.

  • Axis Ace credit Card: This card gives you 2% on all your spends including offline. You get 5% cashback on utility bills via Google Pay. This will be the perfect twin combo of credit cards. Axis Grab Deal is a must nowadays and this card will grant you that too.

  • Axis Freecharge Plus credit card: Axis Ace credit card is not easily approved for everyone. The Axis Freecharge Credit card gives you 5% unlimited cash back on your Freecharge spends which includes utility payments too.

With a SBI and Axis combo of credit cards, you will be savings 5% on all your spends including online, offline, utilities etc while giving you access to both SBI Yono and Axis Grab Deals.

Let me know in the comments, if a better combo of credit card exists.


The Other perspective

While 5% is good deal, how about we have a look at the most common online spends categories. Also a comparison with contemporary alternatives is done.

  • Flipkart/Myntra: you get 5% via HDFC Smartbuy, Axis Grab Deal, Yes Cart, Axis Flipkart credit card. Considering, you have access to any of these, SBI Cash Back Card is not essential.

  • Amazon: Amazon has become delisted from most of the Banks Portals. Only ICICI Amazon Pay Credit (LTF) card gives you 5% (with Prime) or 3% (without Prime). So one up for SBI CashBack credit card.

  • Utilities: SBI cash Back card is little help here. ICICI Amazon Pay gives 2% unlimited cash Back.

  • Zomato/Swiggy: These websites have a plethora of offers much better than 5%. SBI CashBack credit card won't be useful here.

  • Flights/Hotels: Considering you are a CardGyani and have multiple credit cards, you will almost always find flight ticket discounts in the range of 10-12%. I generally book via Makemytrip. Discounts and offers upto 5% are most of the times not even card specific. So SBI CashBack credit card does not seem attractive in this category for me. However, if you book very high value flight tickets & hotel wherein the offers get maxed out, SBI CashBack credit card might be handy.

  • IRCTC Train Tickets: 1% cash back only on train ticket booking. This just seems unfair.

  • Online International Payments: You will get charged approx 3% for international usage while getting 5% cash back. That is 2% profit. Only HDFC Global Value Program (0% profit) is a competitor but its definitely 2nd.

  • Urban Company/ Ola/ Uber/Standalone websites and services: For this case SBI Cash Back Credit Card is un-beatable.

As per above list, if you are already having a LTF ICICI Amazon Pay credit card, SBI Cash Back Credit card will only be giving few additional benefits. And you may skip this card.


Rating

3.5/5


Conclusion

For most users, the maximum spends are online. And taking the SBI Cash Back credit card is a no brainer.

However, if you have more spends in utilities and offline POS, you may need to look elsewhere. And may choose one of the credit cards suggested above as a stand alone.

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