SBI Cards holders will lose complimentary access to airport lounge from May 1; check details

Starting May 1, SBI Card and Payment Services will revise services on SBI Card Connect. In a notice issued on Thursday, the credit card issuer said the card will not offer cashback on commodities such as jewelry, school & education services, utilities, insurance service cards, gifts, novelty & gift shops, member/quasi-cash financial institutions, and trains. Free domestic airport lounge benefits will also be discontinued.

Moreover, the maximum cashback that can be earned from online and offline spending in the statement cycle will be limited to Rs 5,000.

The SBI card has ties to 42 lounges at 21 airports in the country, according to its website.

In March, the State Bank of India’s Cards & Payments Services revised SBI Credit Card fees and charges. Customers paying rent via credit card will be charged Rs 199 + taxes, up from Rs 99 and applicable taxes.

Last year in November, SBI Card increased the processing fee for rent payments made by credit card to Rs 99 plus GST at a rate of 18 per cent.

Earlier this week, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said that SBI Cards experienced the highest number of new credit card additions of around 300,000 in February. In comparison, HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank added about 60,000 and 80,000 respectively. This brand has a broad base of over 15 million cards valid from Q3 FY23.

According to RBI data, SBI Card grew 2 percent sequentially in the same period, while HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank grew 0.6 percent and 0.4 percent respectively.

But overall, credit card spending fell dramatically, nearly 7 percent month-over-month. Over the past few quarters, the SBI Card revolver rate has decreased from 45 percent in Q1FY21 to 24 percent in Q3FY23. Net interest margin also fell from 19.2 percent to 11.6 percent in the December 2022 quarter, an all-time low.

SBI Card and Payment Services is a separate entity and a non-banking financial company that offers a broad portfolio of credit cards to individual cardholders and corporate clients.

(CORRECTION: This article previously incorrectly stated that all cardholders will lose free access to airport lounges starting May 1. That has since been corrected)

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