SBI Premier Rewards American Express® Card

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Last updated on August 9th, 2021


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At a Glance

The SBI Premier Rewards American Express® Card is a rewards card that provides value that provides impressive points when dining out, gassing up, or planning your next flight abroad. The card is ideal for Californians who want rewards and TSA Pre-Check credits, for a reasonable annual fee (waived for the first year).

Ideal for Those Who:

  • Frequently dine out
  • Plan to use their card to book travel abroad and want to enjoy expedited security at the airport
  • Use their credit card to pay for fill-ups on the daily commute
  • Reside in California

SBI Premier Rewards American Express® Card Review

The SBI Premier Rewards American Express® Card is a versatile rewards card that packs enough punch to justify it’s $99 annual fee (which is waived for the first year). That card earns impressive rewards with every purchase, with no cap on the total number of points earnable and enjoys a respectable introductory bonus points offer.

10,000 Introductory Bonus Points

The Premier Rewards AMEX Card benefits from a decent introductory offer of 10,000 bonus points after making just $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of opening an account. Ten-thousand points isn’t the heftiest of signup bonuses but making $1,000 in purchases in the first three months is a fairly easy task, given that the approximate monthly spending on the card would need to be only $333.

The 10,000-point bonus has a cash back value of $100, as points with the State Bank of India credit cards are part of the Elan Rewards Program, with points having a value of one cent per point ($0.01/pt.). The return rate of 10% with the sign-up bonus is impressive and can be boosted even further by making purchases towards that $1,000 spending goal in select categories.

How to Earn Points

As mentioned, the SBI Premier Rewards American Express® Card earns an impressive haul of points on purchases in select categories. The most lucrative of those categories are restaurants, with the card gaining a huge 4X points for every dollar spent on net purchases.

4X points put the SBI Premier Rewards Card on par with the Capital One Savor Card, one of the most popular dining cards on the market today. That card earns 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, with a similar annual fee as the SBI Premier Rewards ($95, waived for the first year).

The SBI Premier Rewards AMEX also earns 3X points on airline purchases, 3X on gas purchases, and a single point for every other dollar spent on purchases. In comparison, the Savor Card earns just a single point on all of these categories, with the only additional rewards coming from grocery stores (2% cash back) and Vivid Seats ticket purchases (8% back).

The rewards-earning versatility of the SBI Premier Rewards American Express® Card is it’s greatest asset, as the card is useful not only in everyday life but also when traveling. Earning 4X on dining and 2X on gas station purchases means this card works effortlessly on the daily commute – and when enjoying a night on the town on the weekend.

As with other State Bank of India (California) rewards credit cards, there is no cap on the total number of points a cardmember can earn. Unfortunately, points do expire, but this is after five years elapse at the end of the quarter in which the points are earned. Points earned in October 2019, for example, will expire at the end of December 2024.

How to Redeem Points

Reward options with State Bank of India (California) credit cards are the same found with almost any other rewards program. Points are redeemable as travel (airfare, hotels, rental car bookings, and more), merchandise, or gift cards. If cash back is the preferred redemption method, cash back reward options include statement credit or deposits into existing SBI checking or savings accounts.

SBI Premier Rewards Amex Travel Perks

As the premier American Express card from SBI California, the SBI Premier Rewards AMEX offers some helpful travel perks to match the 3X points it earns on airline purchases. Most impressive among these perks is the reimbursement cardholders receive for TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry application fees.

TSA Pre-Check allows members to quickly get through security at airports, while Global Entry expedites the customs and border checks process when returning to the United States. Applying for TSA Pre-Check is the optimal option, as for $100 members receive access to both TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry for four years.

The card also benefits from no foreign transaction fees, making it a powerful international traveling tool that earns rewards across the globe. While no foreign transaction fee charges aren’t uncommon on a card of this caliber (and at this price point), it is a useful feature none the less.

What About the APR?

The SBI Premier Rewards Card doesn’t come with the 0% intro APR periods found on some other competitive cards, like the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred, but the card isn’t really designed to be a balance transfer card anyways.

The APR with the card is competitive, but not exceptional. Those with excellent credit scores can expect rates inline with the national average – around 16% – while those at the other end of the spectrum can anticipate a regular APR rising as high as approximately 25%.

The SBI AMEX Card isn’t designed as something to carry balances, but that isn’t the purpose of rewards cards. Balances incur interest payments, which negates the rewards earned, whether they be as cash back or points.

Should You Apply for the SBI Premier Rewards American Express® Card?

Overall, the SBI Premier Rewards American Express® Card is an extremely enticing rewards credit card for Californians who want to earn rewards on every day – and occasional – spending. The card earns a hefty haul of points on the sort of thing people like to use their card for – 4X on dining and 2X on gas especially. The addition of 3X on airline purchases, however, makes this card extremely versatile, as it also provides great value for traveling.

The traveling credentials of the card are further bolstered by no foreign transaction fees and a statement credit reimbursing the cost of TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry application fees. This fee is $100, so the card effectively repays the annual fee it charges for the second year automatically.

Many people are drawn to credit cards from the big boys (think Chase, Bank of America, or Citibank) because of the name recognition and the belief that they offer the best value. State Bank of India (California), however, is proof that there are exciting offers out there from issuers of all shapes and sizes – and the SBI Premier Rewards American Express® Card is a perfect example.

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