By Ankur Mittal
Updated On September 9, 2021

Credit cards make our shopping experience hassle-free while at the same time earning reward points and/or cashback. Most credit cards, apart from the reward points and cashback benefits, also offer many other privileges like complimentary airport lounge access, insurance cover, or special discounts on certain categories of spends. Some credit cards also come with a spends-based membership fee waiver condition, wherein you can get the card’s membership fee waived off on achieving certain spends-based milestones (on surpassing a certain spends threshold). Card issuers offer credit cards tailored for the needs of the various categories of users with peculiar spending requirements. That is why you’ll find various categories of credit cards like shopping cards, travel cards, fuel cards, cashback cards, etc

Why Travel Credit Cards?

As mentioned above, credit cards are supposed to make our shopping experience hassle-free. Taking forward the same analogy, travel credit cards, by providing us benefits like complimentary airport lounge access and concierge service, not only make our travel experience smoother and more comfortable, also, in most cases, offer a higher reward rate on travel-related spends like flight bookings, hotel reservations, etc. Many travel cards earn rewards as AirMiles which can be redeemed for air ticket bookings, award flights (free flights), or class upgrades with partner airlines.

Card issuers often tie-up with airlines and travel portals (like Yatra, MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip, etc.) to offer co-branded travel credit cards which offer special benefits on spends on partner portals. Other travel credit cards include premium cards that provide best-in-class travel privileges like complimentary vouchers from luxurious hotel chains, travel-related insurance covers, 24×7 concierge service, etc. We’ve picked some of the best travel credit cards under various sub-categories.

Go IndiGo Co-branded Credit Cards:

6E Rewards XL – IndiGo HDFC Bank Credit Card

6E Rewards XL Indigo HDFC Bank Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

1 Complimentary 6E Prime Add-On, 1 complimentary air ticket worth Rs. 3,000, Welcome vouchers from merchants like Nissin Noddles, Budweiser worth Rs. 250 each and Samsonite-or American Tourister worth Rs. 500.

Rewards Rate

5% 6E Rewards on IndiGo, 3% 6E Rewards on dining, grocery and entertainment, and 2% 6E Rewards on all other spends.

Joining Fees

Rs. 2,500 plus applicable taxes (zero fee variant also available as a limited period offer)

As the name suggests, it is a co-branded travel credit card by HDFC bank in partnership with IndiGo. The card comes in two variants – free variant and paid variant (membership fee of Rs. 2,500). The card offers a plethora of travel benefits to domestic travelers which are summarised as under-

  • Reward Points as IndiGo 6E Rewards (accelerated 6E Rewards on Indigo spends) which are redeemable on the IndiGo 6E Rewards portal for 6E Rewards Benefits including IndiGo flights.
  • Complimentary 6E Prime Add-on and an IndiGo air ticket worth Rs. 3,000 as a welcome benefit on making a minimum of 3 transactions in each of the first 3 months of the card set up. These welcome benefits are applicable only for the paid variant of the card.
  • 8 complimentary domestic lounge access per year (max 2 per quarter).

Go IndiGo is the country’s largest airline, therefore, this credit card can be a really good option for domestic frequent flyers.

 

6E Rewards – IndiGo HDFC Bank Credit Card

6E Rewards – IndiGo HDFC Bank Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

You get 1 complimentary 6E Prime add-on, and gift vouchers from American Tourister, Nissin Noddles, and Budweiser, free air ticket worth Rs. 1,500 (Welcome Benefits applicable only for the paid variant)

Rewards Rate

1% 6E Rewards on all your spends. 2% 6E Rewards on dining, groceries, and entertainment, and 2.5% 6E Rewards on IndiGo ticket bookings.

Joining Fees

Rs. 700 plus applicable taxes (free variant also available as a limited period offer)

It is another co-branded travel credit card by HDFC bank launched in collaboration with Go Indigo. It is the less premium variant of the 6E Rewards XL card. It also comes in two variants- the free variant and the paid variant (annual fee of Rs. 700).

The 6E Rewards IndiGo card comes with the following travel benefits-

  • You earn Reward Points as 6E Rewards on all categories of spends (the reward rate is lower than the XL variant though) and accelerated 6E Rewards on IndiGo ticket bookings.
  • 1 complimentary IndiGo Add-on and a complimentary air ticket worth Rs. 1,500 on making a minimum of 3 transactions in the first three months of card issuance (at least 1 transaction per month). The welcome benefits are applicable only for the paid variant.

The aforementioned travel benefits make this credit card a decent credit card in the travel category. You must compare the benefits of this card with those of the more premium XL variant before making the final decision.

Air Vistara Co-branded Credit Cards:

Axis Bank Vistara Infinite Credit Card

Axis Bank Vistara Infinite Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

1 Complimentary Business Class ticket voucher

Rewards Rate

6 CV (Club Vistara) Points for every Rs. 200 spent

Joining Fees

Rs. 10,000 (plus applicable taxes)

It is the most premium travel credit card by Axis Bank in collaboration with Air Vistara. You earn Club Vistara Points on all spends via the Vistara Infinite credit card which can be redeemed on the Air Vistara portal for booking Vistara air tickets, class upgrades, award flights, etc. Apart from the CV Points, you also get the following travel benefits with the Vistara Infinite credit card-

  • Club Vistara Gold Membership and one complimentary business class ticket voucher as a welcome benefit (business class ticket voucher every year the card membership is renewed).
  • Bonus CV Points or complimentary business class tickets on achieving the stipulated spends based milestones.
  • Travel related insurance benefits including a personal air accident cover worth Rs. 2.5 crore (applicable in case of loss of life), purchase cover worth Rs. 1 lakh, USD 300 cover against loss of travel documents or delay in check-in luggage and USD 500 cover in case of loss of check-in luggage.
  • 2 complimentary lounge access per quarter at select domestic airports across India.

 

Axis Bank Vistara Signature Credit Card

Axis Bank Vistara Signature Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

1 complimentary Premium Economy Class air ticket and complimentary Club Vistara Silver Membership

Rewards Rate

4 CV (Club Vistara) Points per Rs. 200 spent

Joining Fees

Rs. 3,000 (plus applicable taxes)

The Vistara Signature credit card is a mid-level co-branded travel credit card by Axis Bank in collaboration with Air Vistara. This card offers the following travel benefits-

  • You earn Reward Points as Club Vistara Points which can be redeemed on the Air Vistara portal for booking flight tickets, class upgrades, award flights, etc.
  • Bonus CV Points or Economy class tickets on achieving the stipulated spends based milestones.
  • Personal air accident cover worth Rs. 2.5 crore (applicable in case of loss of life) and other travel-related insurance covers including insurance against loss/delay of check-in baggage and loss of travel documents.
  • 2 complimentary lounge access at select domestic airports across India.

 

Axis Bank Vistara Credit Card

Axis Bank Vistara Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

1 complimentary economy class ticket voucher

Rewards Rate

2 CV (Club Vistara) Points per Rs. 200 spent

Joining Fees

Rs. 1,500 (plus applicable taxes)

With a membership fee of Rs. 1,500 per annum, the Vistara credit card by Axis Bank is an entry-level travel credit card. Like other Vistara cards, this card also earns you Club Vistara Points on all spends made with the card. Apart from CV Points, you get the following travel benefits with the Axis Bank Vistara credit card-

  • Complimentary Air Vistara base membership.
  • Bonus CV Points and complimentary economy class Air Vistara tickets on achieving the stipulated spends based milestones.
  • 2 complimentary domestic airport lounge access every quarter.
  • Travel insurance benefits including a personal air accident cover worth Rs. 1 crore, lost/delayed baggage cover worth USD 300, insurance cover against loss of travel documents worth USD 300, purchase cover worth Rs. 1 lakh.

 

Club Vistara SBI Card PRIME

Club Vistara SBI Card Prime

Welcome Benefits

1 complimentary Premium Economy class ticket as a gift voucher on payment of the joining/renewal fee.

Rewards Rate

4 CV (Club Vistara) points/Rs, 200 on all spends, including fuel purchases.

Joining Fees

Rs. 2,999 (plus applicable taxes)

It is a mid-level travel credit card by SBI Cards in partnership with Air Vistara. You have to pay a membership fee of Rs. 1,999 per annum for this credit card. The card comes with a plethora of travel benefits including-

  • An e-gift voucher or 1 premium economy class ticket at the time of joining and every year the card membership is renewed.
  • Reward Points as Club Vistara Points on all categories of spends.
  • Bonus CV Points, complimentary air tickets and hotel vouchers on achieving the stipulated spends based milestones.
  • Air travel insurance cover against air ticket cancellation, air accident, delay of check-in luggage, baggage damage, loss of check-in baggage and loss of travel documents.
  • 8 complimentary domestic airport lounge access every year (max 2 per quarter) and 4 complimentary international airport lounge access every year (max 2 in a quarter).

 

Club Vistara SBI Card

Club Vistara SBI Card

Welcome Benefits

1 complimentary economy class air ticket e-voucher and Club Vistara Base membership

Rewards Rate

3 CV (Club Vistara) Points for Rs 200 spent

Joining Fees

Rs 1,499 (plus applicable taxes)

It is another co-branded travel credit card by SBI Cards in collaboration with Air Vistara. It is the toned-down version of the Club Vistara SBI Card PRIME. It comes with a membership fee of Rs. 1,499 per annum and offers you the following travel benefits-

  • Complimentary Club Vistara base membership and a complimentary economy class ticket voucher as a welcome benefit.
  • You earn Club Vistara Points on all categories of spends.
  • Bonus CV Points, complimentary economy class tickets, and hotel vouchers on achieving the stipulated spends based milestones.
  • 4 complimentary domestic lounge access every year (max 1 per quarter) and complimentary Priority Pass membership.
  • Travel related insurance benefits including a personal air accident cover, insurance against loss or damage of check-in baggage, loss of travel documents and flight cancellation.

Air India Co-branded Credit Cards:

Air India SBI Signature Credit Card

Air India SBI Signature credit card

Welcome Benefits

20,000 reward points worth Rs. 5,000

Rewards Rate

30 reward points per Rs. 100 on tickets booked for self and 10 reward points per Rs. 100 on tickets booked for others through airindia.com and 10 reward points per Rs. 100 on tickets booked for self and others through Air India Booking office or call centers

Joining Fees

Rs. 4,999 (plus applicable taxes)

Air India SBI Signature credit card is the more premium variant of the SBI Platinum card. This travel credit card comes with a membership fee of Rs. 4,999 per annum and offers you the following travel benefits-

  • Complimentary membership of the Air India frequent flyer program.
  • You earn accelerated Reward Points on spends on Air India flight bookings (reward rate much higher in comparison with the Air India SBI Platinum credit card).
  • The Reward Points earned can be converted into Air India AirMiles.
  • 8 complimentary domestic airport lounge access every year (max 2 per quarter).

If you’re looking for a slightly more premium Air India credit card, then this one can be the card of choice for you as it gives you a fairly high reward rate on Air India bookings.

 

Air India SBI Platinum Credit Card

Air India SBI Platinum Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

5,000 reward points on payment of the joining fee

Rewards Rate

15 reward points per Rs. 100 on Air India ticket bookings for self on airindia.com, 5 reward points per Rs. 100 on Air India ticket bookings for others on airindia.com and 5 reward points per Rs. 100 on Air India ticket bookings for self or others via Air India call centers or booking offices.

Joining Fees

Rs. 1,499 (plus applicable taxes)

The Air India SBI Platinum credit card is a co-branded travel credit card by SBI cards launched in collaboration with Air India. The travel benefits that you get with this credit card are summarised below-

  • Complimentary membership of the Air India Frequent Flyer program.
  • Accelerated Reward Points on spends on Air India tickets.
  • The Reward Points earned can be converted into Air India AirMiles.
  • 8 complimentary domestic airport lounge access per year (max 2 per quarter) under the Visa Domestic Lounge program.

Since there are very few Air India credit cards in the market, this one by SBI cards can be a really good pick for someone who considers the state-owned Air India the carrier of choice for their traveling needs.

 

Etihad Airways Co-branded Credit Cards:

Etihad Guest SBI Premier Card

Etihad Guest SBI Premier Card

Welcome Benefits

5,000 Etihad Guest Miles, complimentary Etihad Guest Gold tier status post first card transaction, 2 Free Wifi vouchers on first Etihad Airways booking.

Rewards Rate

6 Etihad Guest Miles for every Rs. 100 spent on Etihad.com, 4 Etihad Guest Miles for every Rs. 100 spent for international purchases, and 2 Etihad Guest Miles on all other spends (except fuel purchases). A max cap of 40,000 Miles per year is applicable

Joining Fees

Rs. 4,999 (plus applicable taxes)

It is a premium travel credit card by SBI cards in collaboration with the UAE-based Etihad Airways airline. The card comes with a membership fee of Rs. 4,999 and offers you a plethora of travel benefits, which are summarised as under-

  • Etihad Gold Tier status and complimentary 5,000 Etihad Guest Miles as a welcome benefit.
  • You earn Etihad Guest Miles on all categories of spends (accelerated Etihad Guest Miles on Etihad.com and international spends).
  • 10% discount on direct Etihad airways bookings and 10% discount on rewards/miles redemption.
  • 8 domestic lounge access every year (max 2 per quarter) and 4 international lounge access every year (max 2 per quarter).
  • Overseas air accidental insurance cover worth Rs. 50 lakh and a cover worth USD 1,000 against the loss on check-in baggage.

Considering the aforementioned travel benefits, it’d be safe to conclude that if you’re looking for a premium credit card and you’re a frequent flyer to middle-east destinations like Dubai, you can not go wrong with this one as it offers a fairly high reward rate, particularly on the Etihad Airways portal. On top of that, you also get a discount of 10% on bookings made directly on Etihad.com.

 

Etihad Guest SBI Card

Etihad Guest SBI Card

Welcome Benefits

2,500 Etihad Guest Miles, Etihad Guest Silver tier status, 1 complimentary wifi voucher on first Etihad Airways booking

Rewards Rate

3 Etihad Guest Miles on every Rs. 100 spent on Etihad.com, 2 Etihad Guest Miles on every Rs. 100 spent on International spends, 1 Etihad Guest Mile on every Rs. 100 spent on other spends

Joining Fees

Rs. 1,499 (plus applicable taxes)

It is another co-branded travel credit card by SBI cards in collaboration with Etihad airways. Unlike the Etihad Guest SBI Premier Card, which is a premium card in the travel category, this one is a mid-level offering by SBI cards. You need to pay a membership fee of Rs. 1,499 per annum for this co-branded credit card. The travel benefits that come bundled with this credit are as under-

  • Complimentary Etihad Silver Tier Status, 2,500 Etihad Guest MIles as a welcome gift.
  • The card rewards you as Etihad Guest Miles on all categories of spends, accelerated Etihad Guest Miles on Etihad.com and international spends.
  • Discount on Etihad economy and business class ticket bookings and on Etihad Guest Miles redemption.
  • 8 complimentary domestic airport lounge access per year (max 2 per quarter) and complimentary Priority Pass membership worth USD 99.
  • Travel related insurance benefits including a personal air accident cover worth Rs. 25 lakhs and a baggage cover worth USD 1,000.

Emirates Airline Co-branded Credit Cards:

Standard Chartered Emirates World Credit Card

Standard Chartered Emirates World Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

4,000 bonus miles

Rewards Rate

3 Skywards miles on every Rs. 150 spent, 6 Skywards miles on every Rs. 150 spent on Emirates.com.

Joining Fees

Rs. 3,000

It is a co-branded travel credit card by Standard Chartered Bank in partnership with the UAE-based Emirates airline. The travel benefits that you get with this credit card as under-

  • You earn rewards as Emirates Skywards MIles on all categories of spends with this credit card.
  • Complimentary domestic airport longe access under the MasterCard domestic lounge program and 2 complimentary domestic and international lounge visits with Priority Pass membership on minimum monthly spends of Rs. 10,000.
  • Travel related insurance benefits including an accidental death (in an air accident) cover worth Rs. 1 crore.

 

Lufthansa Co-branded Credit Cards:

Axis Bank Miles & More Credit Card:

Axis Bank Miles & More Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

15,000 miles on Axis Bank Miles & More Select Credit Card and 5,000 miles on Axis Bank Miles & More World Credit Card

Rewards Rate

6 award miles per Rs. 200 spent with Axis Bank Miles & More Select Credit Card and 4 award miles per Rs. 200 spent with Axis Bank Miles & More World Credit Card

Joining Fees

Rs. 10,000 (plus applicable taxes) for Axis Bank Miles & More Select Credit Card and Rs. 3,500 (plus applicable taxes) for Axis Bank Miles & More World Credit Card

The Miles & More Credit Card by Axis Bank is a co-branded card launched by the bank in collaboration with the Germany-based Lufthansa airlines. You earn award miles for all spendings using the card credited to your Miles & More account registered with the bank. These miles can be redeemed for flight bookings and upgrades (on all Star Alliance member carriers including United Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, and Singapore Airlines), hotel reservations, shopping at partner merchants, car rentals or for donations for a good cause. Apart from award miles, you also get many other travel-related benefits with Axis Bank Miles & More Credit Card like complimentary domestic and international airport lounge access, multiple travel insurance benefits and a 24×7 concierge service.

Axis Bank Miles & More Credit Card comes in two variants- Miles & More Select Credit Card and Miles & More World Credit Card. The Select variant is the more premium one and offers a higher reward rate and more additional benefits. Considering the benefits and previlages it comes bundled with, the Miles & More Credit Card by Axis Bank is best suited for international frequent flyers.

IRCTC Co-branded Credit Cards:

IRCTC SBI Card Premier

IRCTC SBI Card Premier

Welcome Benefits

1,500 Reward Points

Rewards Rate

1 Reward Points on every Rs. 125 you spend

Joining Fees

Rs. 1,499

The IRCTC SBI Card Premier is one of the few IRCTC travel credit cards currently available in the market. Since SBI offers this card in collaboration with IRCTC, you get many railway benefits with this credit card. Some of them are listed below-

  • 10% value back on rail ticket bookings via the IRCTC app/website transferred to the cardholder’s IRCTC loyalty account.
  • Transaction charges waived on rail/air tickets booked from IRCTC app/website.
  • Accommodation at 5,000 plus hotels covering 350 cities across India.
  • 8 complimentary railway lounge access every year (max 2 per quarter).
  • Complimentary rail and air accident cover worth Rs. 10 lakh and Rs. 50 lakh respectively.
  • Rewards Points earned on the card are redeemable on IRCTC app/website if the card is linked with your IRCTC account.

 

IRCTC SBI Platinum Credit Card

IRCTC SBI Platinum Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

Earn 350 activation bonus on a single transaction of Rs 500 or more within 45 days of the activation of the credit card. Earn Rs 100 cashback on ATM cash Withdrawal for the first time.

Rewards Rate

Earn up to 10% Value Back as Reward Points while you book Railway Tickets on IRCTC. Earn 1 Reward Point for every Rs 125 spent. 1 Reward Point= Re. 1

Joining Fees

Rs 500 plus applicable taxes

This is another IRCTC credit card by SBI cards. As is obvious from the name itself, it is a slightly toned-down version of the IRCTC SBI Card Prime. This card comes bundled with the following travel benefits-

  • 10% value back on rail ticket bookings on IRCTC app or website transferred to your IRCTC loyalty account.
  • 1% transaction charges are waived off on rail ticket bookings on IRCTC app/website.
  • The Reward Points earned on the card can be redeemed on IRCTC app/website if your card is linked with your IRCTC account.

 

IRCTC Rupay SBI Credit Card

IRCTC Rupay SBI Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

You get 350 reward points on a minimum transaction of Rs. 500 within 45 days after receiving the card. You also get Rs 100 cashback on your first ATM withdrawal within 30 days of card issuance.

Rewards Rate

1 Reward Point on every spend of Rs. 125.

Joining Fees

Rs. 500 (plus applicable taxes)

IRCTC Rupay SBI Credit Card is very much similar to the IRCTC SBI Platinum Credit Card in terms of the benefits that it offers. The travel benefits that this credit card offers are as under-

  • 10% value back on rail ticket bookings on IRCTC app/website transferred to your IRCTC loyalty account.
  • 1% transaction charges are waived off on rail ticket bookings via IRCTC app/website.
  • The Reward Points earned on the card are redeemable on IRCTC app/website if your card is linked with your IRCTC account.

 

MakeMyTrip and Yatra Co-branded Travel Credit Cards:

MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Platinum Credit Card

MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Platinum Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

Rs. 500 My Cash and MakeMyTrip holiday voucher worth Rs. 3,000

Rewards Rate

Rs. 3 My Cash per Rs. 200 on hotel/holiday bookings on MMT, Rs. 2 My Cash on flight bookings on MMT, Rs. 1.25 My Cash on all international spends outside MMT, Re. 1 My Cash on all domestic spends outside MMT

Joining Fees

Rs. 500 (plus applicable taxes)

It is a co-branded travel credit card by ICICI bank launched in collaboration with the travel portal MakeMyTrip. It is an entry-level card and comes with a very nominal membership fee of Rs. 500 per annum. The travel benefits that you get with this credit card are-

  • You earn Reward Points as MakeMyTrip My Cash (accelerated rate applicable on MakeMyTrip transactions) which can be used to make bookings on MakeMyTrip (1 My Cash = Re. 1).
  • Rs. 500 My Cash and a MakeMyTrip holiday voucher worth Rs. 3,000 as a joining benefit.
  • 1 complimentary domestic airport and railway lounge access every quarter.

 

MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Signature Credit Card

MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Signature Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

Get 1,500 My Cash, MakeMyTrip holiday voucher worth Rs. 2,500, and MMTBLACK enrolment.

Rewards Rate

1.25 My Cash on every domestic spend of Rs. 200. 1.5 My Cash on every international spend of Rs. 200.

Joining Fees

Rs. 2,500 (plus applicable taxes)

This is another co-branded credit card launched by the ICICI bank in collaboration with the travel portal MakeMyTrip. This credit card comes bundled with the following travel benefits-

  • You earn Reward Points as My Cash which is transferred to your MakeMyTrip MyWallet and can be used to make bookings on the MakeMyTrip portal (1 My Cash = Re. 1).
  • Rs. 1,500 My Cash, complimentary MMTBLACK exclusive membership and a MakeMyTrip holiday voucher worth Rs. 2,500 as a joining benefit.
  • Complimentary railway and domestic and international airport lounge access.
  • Complimentary Airtel international roaming pack worth Rs. 3,999.

 

Yatra SBI Credit Card

Yatra SBI Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

Get e-gift vouchers from Yatra.com worth Rs 8250/- on paying the membership fee

Rewards Rate

6 Reward Points on every Rs. 100 spent on groceries, Movies, Entertainment, Departmental Stores, Dining
1 Reward Point on every Rs. 100 spent on all other categories

Joining Fees

Rs 499/- plus applicable taxes

As is obvious from the name, it is a co-branded credit card by SBI cards launched in collaboration with the travel portal Yatra. It is an entry-level travel credit card and comes with the following travel benefits-

  • Gift vouchers worth Rs. 8,250 from Yatra as a joining benefit.
  • Discounts on domestic and international flight bookings and hotel reservations on Yatra.
  • Complimentary air accident cover worth Rs. 50 lakhs (applicable in case of loss of life).

InterMiles Co-branded Travel Credit Cards:

InterMiles HDFC Bank Diners Club Credit Card

InterMiles HDFC Bank Diners Club Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

Get InterMiles Gold membership for the first year and up to 25,000 bonus InterMiles.

Rewards Rate

8 InterMiles on every retail spend of Rs. 150, 16 InterMiles per Rs. 150 spent on flight/hotel bookings on intermiles.com

Joining Fees

Rs. 5,000 (plus applicable taxes)

It is a mid-level travel credit card by HDFC in collaboration with InterMiles. It comes with a membership fee of Rs. 5,000 per annum. You earn Reward Points as InterMiles on this credit card. The card comes with the following travel benefits-

  • Welcome benefit of 25,000 Bonus InterMiles, 10,000 InterMiles on spends of a minimum of Rs. 20,000 within the first 30 days of card setup (benefit applicable every year on realization on the membership fee),15,000 InterMiles on the expenditure of Rs. 1,50,000 within 90 days of card issuance.
  • Renewal benefit of Rs. 1,000 flight discount vouchers and Rs. 2,000 hotel discount vouchers.
  • Etihad Airways benefits including a 10% discount on the business class and 5% discount on the economy class Etihad airways tickets and 2.5X Bonus InterMiles on Etihad Airways tickets booked on the InterMiles portal.

This can be the right pick for you if you’re a frequent flyer to middle-east destinations like Dubai.

 

InterMiles ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card

InterMiles ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

1 year InterMiles Silver Tier membership with 10,000 bonus InterMiles, a discount of Rs. 750 on flight bookings and Rs. 1,500 on hotel bookings (AmEx variant), a discount of Rs. 500 on flight bookings and Rs. 1,000 on hotel reservations (Visa variant).

Rewards Rate

5 InterMiles/Rs. 100 on domestic and 7 InterMiles/Rs. 100 on international spends (AmEx variant), 4 InterMiles/Rs. 100 domestic and 5 InterMiles/Rs. 100 on international spends (Visa variant), Accelerated InterMiles on bookings on the InterMiles official website

Joining Fees

Rs. 5,000 (plus applicable taxes)

It is one of the premium credit cards by ICICI Bank in the travel category. The card comes in two variants – the American Express and the Visa variant (the AmEx variant offers a bit higher reward rate.) The following travel benefits come bundled with the ICICI Bank InterMiles Sapphiro credit card-

  • You earn Reward Points as InterMiles on all categories of spends (accelerated InterMiles on Etihad airways ticket bookings on the InterMiles portal).
  • 1 year silver tier membership and 10,000 bonus InterMiles and discounts on flight and hotel bookings as a welcome benefit on achieving the stipulated spends-based milestones.
  • Bonus InterMiles and flight discount vouchers every year the card membership is renewed.
  • 2 complimentary domestic airport lounge access per quarter (on the expenditure of a minimum of Rs. 5,000 in the previous quarter) and 2 complimentary international airport lounge visits per annum with the Dreamfolks lounge access program.

If you fly frequently via Etihad airways, this can be a really good choice for you. It is comparable to InterMiles HDFC Diners Club Credit Card. It is advisable to compare the benefits of the two before making a decision.

Generic Travel Credit Cards:

Axis Bank My Wings Credit Card

Axis Bank My Wings Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

2 complimentary base fare domestic flight tickets via Ezeego1.

Rewards Rate

4 EDGE Points for every Rs. 200 spent with the card

Joining Fees

Rs. 1,200 (plus applicable taxes)

The My Wings Credit Card by Axis Bank is a mid-level travel credit card by Axis Bank. It comes with a membership fee of Rs. 500 per annum (joining fee of Rs. 1,200 applicable for the first year). The card comes bundled with the following travel benefits-

  • Complimentary base fare air tickets.
  • Discount on hotel, flight and holiday package bookings.
  • Complimentary domestic airport lounge access under the MasterCard Domestic Lounge program.
  • Discount on domestic flight tickets and rail tickets booked on IRCTC app/website.

 

American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card

American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

10,000 Membership Rewards Points

Rewards Rate

2 Membership Rewards Points for every Rs. 100 spent.

Joining Fees

Rs. 3,500 (plus applicable taxes)

The Platinum Travel Credit Card is a premium travel credit card by American Express and comes loaded with a plethora of travel benefits. The travel benefits that come bundled with the AmEx Platinum credit card are as under-

  • 4 complimentary domestic airport lounge access annually (one per quarter) and complimentary membership of the Priority Pass lounge access program.
  • Vouchers from leading hotel chains like the Taj, SeleQtions, Vivanta hotels as milestone benefits.

 

Citibank PremierMiles Credit Card

Citibank PremierMiles Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

10,000 Miles on the spends of Rs. 1,000 or more in the first 2 months of card issuance.

Rewards Rate

10 Miles/Rs. 100 spent for airline transactions and 4 Miles/Rs. 100 spent for all other transactions.

Joining Fees

Rs. 3,000 (plus applicable taxes)

The PremierMiles credit card by Citibank is a premium offering by the bank in the travel category. It comes with a membership fee of Rs. 3,000 per annum and offers you the following travel benefits-

  • You earn AirMiles (or just Miles) on all categories of spends which can be redeemed for air ticket bookings or can be transferred to other airlines and hotels loyalty programs.
  • 8 complimentary domestic lounge access with the Visa variant and 6 domestic lounge access with the Mastercard variant of the card.
  • Personal air accident cover worth Rs, 1 crore (applicable only in case of loss of life).

 

RBL World Safari Credit Card

RBL World Safari Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

MakeMyTrip voucher worth Rs. 3,000 as a welcome gift

Rewards Rate

5 travel points on every Rs. 100 spent on travel, 2 travel points on every Rs. 100 spent elsewhere.

Joining Fees

Rs 3,000 plus applicable taxes

The World Safari credit card by the RBL bank is a premium travel card by the RBL bank. It is the only credit card in India with a zero foreign currency mark-up fee. The travel benefits of the card are as under-

  • MakeMyTrip voucher worth Rs. 3,000 as a welcome gift.
  • 0% mark-up fee on all foreign currency transactions.
  • You earn Travel Points on all categories of spends which are redeemable for flight/hotel bookings.
  • 2 complimentary domestic airport lounge access per quarter and 2 complimentary international lounge access annually under the Priority Pass membership.

 

HDFC Bank Diners Club Miles

HDFC Bank Diners Club Miles

Welcome Benefits

1,000 Reward Points on paying the annual membership fee.

Rewards Rate

4 Reward Points on spending Rs. 150

Joining Fees

Rs. 1,000 (plus applicable taxes)

It is an entry-level travel credit card by HDFC bank and you have to pay a nominal membership fee of Rs. 1,000 per annum for the Diners Club Miles credit card. The travel benefits you get with the Diners club Miles credit card include-

  • Reward Points redeemable against AirMiles, flight tickets, hotel reservations at the rate of 1 Reward Point = 1 AirMile, 1 Reward Point = Rs. 0.50 (for hotel/flight bookings via SmartBuy).
  • Complimentary 6 airport lounge visits around the world each year.
  • Travel concierge service.
  • Insurance benefits including an air accident cover worth Rs. 1 crore (applicable only in case of loss of life), emergency medical expenses cover worth Rs. 25 lakh, credit liability cover of up to Rs. 9 lakh, insurance cover worth Rs. 50,000 on baggage delay/loss.

With all these travel benefits, we can safely conclude that HDFC Diners Club Miles credit card is one of the best travel cards in the budget segment.

Button Line:

As you can see there are various credit card sub-categories within the travel category, which are targeted towards the specific categories of customers. For example, if you’re a frequent domestic flyer, a co-branded credit card by IndiGo or Vistara would make more sense for you than an Emirates of Etihad credit card. Similarly, if you prefer trains over flights, IRCTC cards will fit your needs the best. Therefore, it becomes important to choose the right travel credit card considering your travel needs.

FAQs:

Travel credit cards usually offer a higher reward rate (be it reward points or cashback) on travel-related spends (flight/hotel bookings). Most travel credit cards also offer additional benefits like complimentary airport lounge access, concierge service, etc. Some of the premium travel credit cards also offer vouchers and coupons from famous hotel and resort chains. Co-branded travel credit cards offer special benefits on partner airline/portal.

If you’re a domestic frequent flyer, you may have a look at the following credit cards-

  • 6E Rewards XL – IndiGo HDFC Bank Credit Card
  • 6E Rewards – IndiGo HDFC Bank Credit Card
  • Axis Bank Vistara Infinite Credit Card
  • MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Signature Credit Card
  • IRCTC Credit Cards by SBI

Most of the premium travel credit cards offer great benefits on international travel-related spends and also provide other benefits like overseas accidental insurance cover and 24×7 concierge service to the cardmembers. Some of the such travel credit cards are-

  • Citibank Premier Miles Credit Card
  • Etihad Guest SBI Premier Card
  • Standard Chartered Emirates World Credit Card
  • American Express Platinum Travel Credit card

Emirates and Etihad cards would be best suited for you if you travel frequently to international destinations.

Currency, SBI Cards is the only card issuer that is offering travel credit in collaboration with IRCTC. There are a total of 3 IRCTC co-branded credit cards currently being offered – IRCTC SBI Card Premier, IRCTC SBI Platinum Credit Card and IRCTC Rupay SBI Credit Card.

Priority Pass is the largest independent airport lounge access program. Many card issuers offer complimentary Priority Pass membership to their card members. In some cases, you also get complimentary lounge visits under the Priority Pass membership (usually with premium travel cards).

Many premium travel credit cards offer complimentary airport concierge service to cardholders. The concierge not only helps you plan your journey and provides travel-related assistance, you also get some additional benefits like priority fastrack check-in, priority handling of the check-in luggage, etc. with the airport concierge service.

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