Railways join hands with SBI to launch co-branded credit card

New Delhi, Feb 20 | Updated: Feb 21 2006, 05:30am hrs
Indian railways on Monday announced a tie up with State Bank of India (SBI) to launch a co-branded credit card and traveller loyalty card to tap the railway passengers market. This will be done by offering sops to customers each time they log on to Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) website to buy tickets. The membership fee for the co-branded card SBI railway card is Rs 500 for the first year and the customer gets 250 free bonus railway points and a complimentary free membership to the loyal customer programme called shubh yatra.

The charges on the SBI railway card will vary from Rs 300 to Rs 500 in the subsequent years, said SBI card division CEO Roopam Asthana.

Asthana said that there were several benefits under the card, as there would be no surcharge on buying tickets online that normally other credit cards charge, besides it could be used as a normal credit card and earn railway points.

The travellers who do not want credit card, can opt for Shubh Yatra scheme with a membership fee Rs 500 in the first year and Rs 300 in the subsequent years.

Shubh Yatra is applicable only for tickets booked online at www.irctc.co.in. The members get 10% of their ticket fare as railway points on all AC class travel (excluding 3AC), which can be used to buy a free rail ticket after earning the required number of points.

However, the offer is riddled with conditions as the customers will get 10% as points, if the ticket is bought during slack season from January 15 to March 31 or from July 15 to September 15 and for the remainder of the year, they would get 4% of fare as rail points.

There are about 15 lakh regular users who book tickets through our website, so the potential is very high for us as e-commerce is booming in India, he said.