By Ankur Mittal
Updated On April 21, 2022

Travel Credit Cards are those credit cards that are tailored for the needs of frequent travelers. These credit cards, by offering benefits like complimentary airport lounge access, 24×7 concierge service and insurance benefits, not only make the cardholder’s travel experience smoother and more comfortable but also, in most cases, offer a higher reward rate on travel-related spends like flight bookings, hotel reservations, etc. Many travel credit cards earn rewards as AirMiles which can be redeemed for air ticket bookings, award flights (free flights), or class upgrades with partner airlines.

Best Travel Credit Cards India

 

How Do Travel Credit Cards Work?

Travel credit cards are usually offered in collaboration with an airline or an online travel portal or a hotel/resorts chain. These co-branded credit cards usually offer a higher reward on spends on partner airline/travel portal. Usually, you also get some exclusive benefits like a complimentary membership of the partner airline’s frequent flyer program or bonus AirMiles on achieving certain spend-based milestones with these co-branded travel credit cards. Some examples of co-branded travel cards are the 4 Ka-Ching Credit Cards by HDFC and Kotak (offered in collaboration with Go IndiGo), Air Vistara co-branded credit cards by Axis Bank, SBI Card and IndusInd Bank and Emirates and Etihad co-branded credit cards by SBI Card.

While most travel rewards credit cards are offered in collaboration with an airline or a travel portal, some travel cards are also generic, i.e. they are suited for travelers in general and do not offer any extra benefits on spends on a particular airline/travel portal. American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card and RBL Bank World Safari Credit Card are two such generic travel credit cards.

List of Best Travel Credit Cards in India 2022

Now that you are aware of how travel cards work, once you are sure that you do need a travel credit card, you can choose one for yourself from our list of the best travel credit cards in India based on your requirements and expectations from a travel credit card. Here are some of the top credit cards for travel according to us currently available in the Indian credit card market space.

Table of Contents

Go IndiGo Co-branded Credit Cards:

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

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

Joining Fees

Rs. 2,500 (plus applicable taxes)

It is a co-branded travel credit card by HDFC Bank in collaboration with Indigo airlines. The card is best suited for frequent domestic flyers. The 6E Rewards XL Credit Card is offered in two variants- the free variant (zero membership fee) and the paid variant (membership fee of Rs. 2,500). The card comes with a plethora of travel benefits, particularly for domestic frequent flyers-

  • The card earns you reward points as IndiGo 6E Rewards which can be redeemed on the IndiGo 6E Rewards portal for 6E Rewards benefits including booking Go IndiGo flights.
  • You get a complimentary IndiGo air ticket and IndiGo Prime Add-on as welcome benefits on making a minimum of 3 transactions within 3 months of card setup. These welcome benefits are applicable for the paid variant of the card only.
  • IndiGo 6E Rewards XL cardholders are also entitled to 8 complimentary lounge access every year (max 2 per quarter) at domestic airports across India

As Go IndiGo is the country’s largest domestic carrier, this credit card can be a really good choice for those who travel frequently within the country.

6E Rewards XL Indigo Kotak Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

Get one complimentary air ticket, a complimentary 6E prime add-on, Accor hotels’ dining and stay vouchers, and Budweiser gift voucher as a welcome gift.

Rewards Rate

6% 6E Rewards on indigo, 3% 6E Rewards on dining, groceries, and entertainment, and 2% 6E Rewards on other spends.

Joining Fees

Rs. 1,500

The 6E Rewards XL Credit Card by Kotak Mahindra is very much similar to the 6E Rewards XL Card by HDFC in terms of the rewards and benefits that it offers. The annual fee of 6E Rewards XL – IngiGo Kotak Mahindra Credit Card is Rs. 2,500, however, the card is currently available for an annual fee of Rs. 1,500 as an introductory offer. Some of the key features of 6E Rewards XL – IndiGo Kotak Mahindra Credit Card are-

  • Free air ticket worth Rs. 3,000, free 6E Prime add-on worth Rs. 899, 30% discount on Accor Stay voucher (worth Rs. 5,000), Accor hotels dining voucher worth Rs. 1,000 and a Budwiser 0.0 voucher worth Rs. 250 as welcome gifts on joining the card membership.
  • 20% value back as IndiGo 6E Rewards at IndiGo featured partners.
  • 6% value back as 6E Rewards on spends on IndiGo.
  • 3% value back as 6E Rewards on spends on dining, grocery and entertainment categories.
  • 2% value back as IndiGo 6E Rewards on all other spends (including fuel) with the card.
  • 8 complimentary lounge access at select domestic lounges across India.
  • 12 golf lessons and 4 rounds of green fees every year at premium golf courses across India.
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

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)

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

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.
Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

Complimentary Club Vistara Gold Membership, complimentary business class ticket, and exclusive gift vouchers worth Rs 25,000.

Rewards Rate

On every spend of Rs. 200, you get 8 CV Points on the Club Vistara website, 6 CV Points on travel-related spends, 1 CV Point on utilities, insurance & fuel, and 2 CV Points elsewhere.

Joining Fees

Rs. 40,000

Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card is a premium credit card by IndusInd Bank. The card comes with a hefty joining fee of Rs. 40,000 (plus taxes) and an annual membership fee of Rs. 10,000 per annum is applicable second year onwards. The IndusInd Club Vistara Explorer Credit Card is a direct competitor of the Axis Bank Club Vistara Infinite Credit Card. Some of the salient features of the IndusInd Club Vistara Explorer Credit Card are as under-

  • You earn 8 CV (Club Vistara Points) per Rs. 200 spent on Vistara website, 6 CV Points per Rs. 200 on other travel spends, 2 CV Points per Rs. 200 on other spends and 1 CV Point per Rs. 200 on fuel, utility and insurance categories.
  • Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card entitles you to Club Vistara Gold tier membership.
  • You also get 1 complimentary domestic airport lounge access and 4 complimentary international airport lounge access (with Priority Pass membership) evry year.
  • The card also entitles you to 1 complimentary Air Vistara business class ticket for every Rs. 3 lacs spent (up to a maximum of 5 tickets in a year).
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).

Air India Co-branded Credit Cards:

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 RPs per Rs. 100 on tickets booked for others through airindia.com and 10 RPs 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)

SBI Card offers two co-branded credit cards in collaboration with Air India- Air India SBI Signature Credit Card and Air India SBI Platinum Credit Card. The Signature variant is the more premium one of the two.Air India SBI Signature Credit Card comes with a membership fee of Rs. 4,999 and comes packed with multiple travel benefits, particularly for Air India flyers. Some of the salient features of the Air India SBI Signature Credit Card are as under-

  • Complimentary membership of the Air India frequent flyer program, Flying Returns.
  • Accelerated Reward Points on Air India flight bookings.
  • The Reward Points earned are convertible into Air India AirMiles.
  • 8 complimentary lounge access at domestic airports across India every year (max 2 per quarter).

If you’re looking for a 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. Another option worth considering for Air India frequent flyers is the lesser premium 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 RPs per Rs. 100 on Air India ticket bookings for others on airindia.com and 5 RPs 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. It can be considered a toned-down version of the Air India SBI Signature Credit Card.  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.

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

Etihad Airways Co-branded Credit Cards:

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)

Etihad Guest SBI Premier Card is a premium travel credit card by SBI Card in collaboration with the UAE-based Etihad Airways airline. The card comes with a membership fee of Rs. 4,999 and offers a plethora of travel benefits. Some of the salient features of the card are as under-

  • Etihad Gold Tier status and 5,000 Etihad Guest Miles as welcome benefits.
  • You earn Etihad Guest Miles on all categories of transactions with the card (accelerated Etihad Guest Miles on Etihad.com and international spends).
  • You get a discount of 10% on direct Etihad airways bookings and a 10% discount on rewards/miles redemption.
  • You get 8 complimentary domestic lounge access every year (max 2 per quarter) and 4 complimentary international lounge access every year (max 2 per quarter).
  • You are also entitled to a complimentary overseas air accidental insurance cover worth Rs. 50 lakh and a cover worth USD 1,000 against the loss on check-in baggage as a cardmember.
  • You also get 1 Etihad companion voucher per annum on an annual expenditure of a minimum of Rs. 8 lacs with the card.

Considering all the aforementioned travel benefits, it’d be safe to conclude that if you are looking for a premium credit card and are a frequent flyer to middle-east destinations like Dubai, you can not go wrong with the Etihad Guest SBI Premier Card 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.

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.

Lufthansa Co-branded Credit Cards:

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. 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 of the two and offers a higher reward rate and more additional benefits. You earn award miles for all spending using the card that are credited to your Miles & More account registered with the bank. Following are some of the key features of Axis Bank Miles & More Credit Card-

  • The miles earned 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 donations for a good cause.
  • You are entitled to an annual bonus of 4,000 and 3,000 Miles respectively on the Miles & More Select and Miles & More World Credit Card respectively.
  • You get 8 complimentary domestic airport lounge per quarter access with Miles & More Select Credit Card and 4 complimentary domestic airport lounge access per quarter with Miles & More World Credit Card.
  • You also get 4 complimentary international airport lounge access per annum with Miles & More Select Credit Card 2 complimentary international airport lounge access per quarter with Miles & More World Credit Card.
  • Miles & More Select Credit Card earns you 6 award Miles per Rs. 200, while Miles & More World Credit Card earns you  4 award Miles per Rs. 200.

IRCTC Co-branded Credit Cards:

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

Unlike most travel credit cards that offer air travel benefits, this IRCTC co-branded credit card by SBI Card comes with railway benefits and is suitable for those frequent travelers who prefer trains over flights for domestic travel. Some of the salient features of the card are as under-

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

MakeMyTrip and Yatra Co-branded Travel Credit Cards:

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.
  • 2 complimentary domestic airport lounge access per quarter if a minimum of Rs. 5,000 were spent in the previous quarter.
  • 1 complimentary international airport lounge access per annum with Dreamfolks lounge access program membership.
  • 1 complimentary IRCTC lounge access every quarter.
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 and 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

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 via Yatra- Rs. 1,000 off on domestic flight bookings (min transaction of Rs. 5,000 required) and Rs. 4,000 off on international flight bookings (min transaction of Rs. 40,000 required).
  • 20% off on domestic hotel bookings via Yatra- min transaction of Rs. 3,000 required and max discount capped at Rs. 2,000.
  • Complimentary air accident cover worth Rs. 50 lacs (applicable in case of loss of life).

InterMiles Co-branded Travel Credit Cards:

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

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.

Emirates Co-branded Travel Credit Cards

emirates skywards icici emeralde credit card

Welcome Benefits

10,000 Skyward Miles and Emirates Skywards Silver Tier membership.

Rewards Rate

2.5 Skyward Miles on every spend of Rs. 100 and 1 Skyward Mile on every Rs. 100 spent on insurance and utilities.

Joining Fees

Rs. 10,000

The Emirates Skywards ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit card is a newly launched card offered by the ICICI Bank in partnership with Emirates Airlines. It rewards its customers in the form of Skyward Miles which can be redeemed against travel bookings and various other options available on the Emirates website. Other travel benefits of the card include:

  • Unlimited complimentary domestic as well as international lounge access.
  • Emirates Skywards gold tier membership on spending Rs 15 lacs in a year.
  • Complimentary Dreamfolks membership.
Emirates Skywards ICICI Sapphiro Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

5,000 bonus Skyward Miles and complimentary Emirates Skywards Silver Tier membership.

Rewards Rate

2 Skyward Miles on every Rs. 100 spend, 1 Skyward Mile on every Rs. 100 spent on utilityand insurance.

Joining Fees

Rs. 5,000

The Emirates Skywards ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card is another card that was launched along with the Emirates ICICI Bank Emeralde Card. It comes with an annual fee of Rs. 5,000 and welcomes its customers with 5,000 bonus miles. Following are some of the most premium benefits of this card:

  • 2 complimentary domestic lounge access and spa sessions every quarter.
  • 2 complimentary international lounge access every year.
  • Complimentary Emirates Skywards Silver Tier membership.

Generic Travel Credit Cards:

Axis Bank Atlas Credit Card

Welcome Benefits

5,000 Edge Miles on completing 3 transactions within 60 days of card set up date

Rewards Rate

5 Edge Miles per Rs. 100 on travel spends, 2 Edge Miles per Rs. 100 on forex transactions, 1 Edge Miles per Rs. 100 on all other transactions

Joining Fees

Rs. 5,000 (plus applicable taxes)

The Axis Bank Atlas Credit Card is a newly launched card that is best suited for people who travel frequently. It comes with an annual fee of Rs. 5,000 and is offered in three tiers: Silver, Gold, and Platinum. It offers various exclusive privileges across different categories along with travel. Following are some of the premium benefits offered with this card:

  • Up to 5 Edge Miles on every spend fo Rs. 100.
  • Up to 18 complimentary domestic lounge access every year.
  • Up to 12 complimentary international lounge access every year.
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)

It is a premium travel credit card by American Express and comes loaded with a plethora of travel benefits. It is definitely one of the best travel credit cards in India in the premium segment. Some of the travel benefits that come bundled with the American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card are as under-

  • 4 complimentary domestic airport lounge access every year (one per quarter) and complimentary membership of the Priority Pass lounge access program.
  • You get vouchers from leading hotel chains like the Taj, SeleQtions, Vivanta hotels on achieving the stipulated spends milestones.
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. No Miles earned on certain spends categories (details below).

Joining Fees

Rs. 3,000 plus applicable taxes (complimentary for Citi Gold account holders)

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 15 airlines and hotels loyalty programs. 1 Citi bank Miles earned on the Premier Miles Credit Card is equivalent to Rs. 0.5 when transferred to InterMiles, Air India, Etihad, Thai Airways, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Eva Air, British Airways, Singapore Airways, Qatar Airways, Flying Blue (Air France and KLM), Virgin Atlantic, Qantas, Turkish Airlines, and Re. 1 when transferred to Taj InnerCircle and InterContinental Hotel Group membership.
  • 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

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 Credit Card

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.

Features and Benefits of Travel Credit Cards

Travel credit cards can be either generic or co-branded (launched in partnership with an airline, or in some cases, IRCTC or even travel portals like MakeMyTrip, Yatra, etc.). Co-branded travel cards, as you can guess, offer special benefits on spends on the partner airline and/or earn rewards as the partner airline’s AirMiles which are credited to the airline’s frequent flyer program.

Generic travel credit cards, on the other hand, either earn Reward Points at an accelerated on travel-related spends or offer travel-related value-added privileges like complimentary hotel loyalty program membership or a complimentary night stay at partner hotels, etc.

Both co-branded, as well as generic travel credit cards, usually offer complimentary airport/IRCTC lounge access and comprehensive insurance plan with multiple travel-related insurance covers. Some of the features and benefits that one expects from a travel credit card are-

Complimentary Lounge Access: Almost all travel credit cards offer complimentary airport or IRCTC lounge access. Entry-level and mid-level travel credit cards offer only domestic airport lounge access and/or IRTC lounge access, while premium travel cards usually also offer complimentary international airport lounge access or at least a complimentary membership of the Priority Pass lounge access program.

AirMiles: This is applicable only for co-branded travel credit cards. Co-branded travel credit cards, launched in collaboration with an airline many times earn Reward Points as partner airline’s AirMiles. For example, Air Vistara co-branded credit cards by Axis Bank (Axis Bank Vistara Infinite Credit Card, Axis Bank Vistara Credit Card and Axis Bank Vistara Signature Credit Card), SBI Card (Club Vistara SBI Card and Club Vistara SBI Card Prime) and IndusInd Bank (Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card) earn Reward Points as Club Vistara (CV) Points and GoIndiGo co-branded credit cards by HDFC and Kotak Mahindra (the four Ka-Ching Credit Cards) earn Reward Points as IndiGo 6E Rewards.

Hotel Loyalty Program Membership/Stay Vouchers: Some of the premium travel credit cards also offer complimentary membership of certain hotel loyalty programs or complimentary stay vouchers at partner hotels. For example, you get complimentary Taj stay vouchers/gift cards with American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card and RBL World Safari Credit Card.

Welcome/Milestone Benefits: Many travel credit cards offer travel vouchers (like hotel stay vouchers/gift cards) as a welcome benefit on joining the card membership or as a milestone benefit on achieving the stipulated spend milestone. Some travel cards also offer complimentary flight ticket(s) as a welcome benefit or as a milestone benefit.

Accelerated Reward Rate on Travel Spends: Some travel credit cards earn Reward Points/Miles at an accelerated rate on travel-related spends. For example, Citibank PremierMiles Credit Card earns Citibank Miles at an accelerated rate (10 Miles/Rs. 100) on airline spends with the card, while the usual reward rate of the card is just 4 Miles per Rs. 100 spent.

How to Compare Travel Credit Cards?

Travel Credit Cards, as you know offer special travel benefits to the card bearer. These benefits may come in a number of different forms including complimentary airport/IRCTC lounge access, complimentary hotel stay vouchers/hotel loyalty program memberships, Reward Points as AirMiles, bonus Reward Points/Miles on travel spends, etc. Now since different travel cards come with different types of travel benefits, it is many times difficult to objectively compare two credit cards. For example, how would you compare a travel credit card like American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card that earns offers complimentary domestic airport lounge access and Taj Stay vouchers (on achieving the stipulated spend milestones) with a card like Axis Bank Vistara Infinite Credit Card that earns Reward Points as Club Vistara (CV) Points?

If you have to choose a travel credit card for yourself, our suggestion would be that you must be very clear about your requirements- for example, you must decide whether the majority of your trips are going to be only within India or will you be frequently traveling to foreign destinations as well. Listed below are some of the pointers, rather some of the parameters, that one must keep in mind to compare travel credit cards and before making a call on which travel credit card will suit you the best-

Co-branded vs Generic Travel Credit Cards

Many credit card issuers often tie-up with airlines, IRCTC or holiday booking portals (like MMT or Yatra) to launch co-branded credit cards. These co-branded cards offer extra benefits on spends at partner merchants. A co-branded credit card may be a good pick for you if you prefer a particular airline over others, or if you prefer railways over airways as a mode of transportation.

For example, an IndiGo or a Vistara co-branded credit card may be a good pick for someone who is a frequent domestic flyer, while an Etihad or Emirates co-branded card might be the best fit for someone who travels frequently to gulf destinations like Dubai.

On the other hand, a generic travel credit card may be the best-suited one for you if you have no specific preference for a particular airline or travel portal. A generic travel credit card like American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card or RBL World Safari Card will almost always offers complimentary domestic/international airport lounge access and a higher reward rate on travel spends or on international transactions made with the card.

Airport/Railway Lounge Access

Almost all travel credit cards offer complimentary airport/IRCTC lounge access. While entry-level and mid-level travel cards usually offer lounge access only at domestic airports or at railway stations, premium travel credit cards also offer complimentary lounge access at international airports or at least complimentary membership of a lounge access program like Priority Pass or DreamFolks.

If travel experience matters to you a lot, complimentary lounge access is definitely one of the important matrices that you must consider while choosing a travel credit card. If you travel to nearby places within India, an IRCTC co-branded travel credit card that offers complimentary railway lounge access can be a great pick for you. On the other hand, if you frequently travel by air within the country, you may consider a travel credit card that offers complimentary domestic airport lounge access, while you might ignore the international lounge benefit. However, if you are a frequent international flyer, you must make sure that the travel credit card you choose does offer a certain number of complimentary airport lounge access at international airports as well.

Another point worth keeping in mind is, if you are looking for a credit card just for the lounge access benefit, sometimes generic credit cards (which are not particularly travel-centric cards) offer more number of (sometimes even unlimited) lounge access at airports/railway stations. For example, if you are looking for a credit card just for railway lounge benefit, IDFC FIRST Credit Cards offer 4 complimentary IRCTC lounge access every quarter at select railway stations across the country which is more than what any of the IRCTC co-branded credit cards offer. Similarly, HDFC Infinia and Diners Club Black Credit Cards offer unlimited international airport lounge access to both primary as well as add-on cardmembers- a benefit that you do not get with most premium travel credit cards. The following table summarises the railway/airport lounge access benefit that you get with the aforementioned travel credit cards-

Credit Card Domestic Airport/IRCTC Lounge Access International Airport Lounge Access
6E Rewards XL – IndiGo HDFC Bank Credit Card 8 per annum (max 2 per quarter) N/A
6E Rewards XL – Indigo Kotak Bank Credit Card 8 per annum (max 2 per quarter) N/A
6E Rewards – IndiGo HDFC Bank Credit Card N/A N/A
Axis Bank Vistara Infinite Credit Card 8 per annum (max 2 per quarter) N/A
Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card 4 per annum (max 1 per quarter) 4 per quarter with Priority Pass
Club Vistara SBI Card PRIME 8 per annum (max 2 per quarter) 4 per annum (max 2 per quarter) with Priority Pass
Air India SBI Signature Credit Card 8 per annum (max 2 per quarter) N/A
Air India SBI Platinum Credit Card 8 per annum (max 2 per quarter) N/A
Etihad Guest SBI Premier Card 8 per annum (max 2 per quarter) 4 per annum (max 2 per quarter) with Priority Pass
Etihad Guest SBI Card 8 per annum (max 2 per quarter) Complimentary Priority Pass membership (no complimentary lounge access)
Axis Bank Miles & More Credit Card 8 per quarter with Select variant and 4 per quarter with World variant 4 per quarter with Select variant and 2 per quarter with World variant
IRCTC SBI Card Premier 8 IRCTC lounge access per annum (max 2 per quarter)  N/A
IRCTC Rupay SBI Credit Card 4 IRCTC lounge access per annum (max 1 each quarter) N/A
MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Platinum Credit Card 2 domestic airport lounge access per quarter if Rs. 5,000 were spent in the preceding quarter.
1 IRCTC lounge access per quarter.
1 per annum with Priority Pass
MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Signature Credit Card 2 domestic airport lounge access per quarter if Rs. 5,000 were spent in the preceding quarter.
1 IRCTC lounge access per quarter.
1 per annum with Priority Pass
Yatra SBI Credit Card N/A N/A
InterMiles HDFC Bank Diners Club Credit Card Unlimited Unlimited
InterMiles ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card 2 domestic airport lounge access per quarter if Rs. 5,000 were spent in the preceding quarter. 2 per annum with Priority Pass
American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card 4 per annum (1 per quarter) N/A
Citibank PremierMiles Credit Card 8 per quarter with Visa variant
6 per quarter with MasterCard variant
N/A
RBL World Safari Credit Card 8 per annum (max 2 per quarter) 2 per annum with Priority Pass
HDFC Bank Diners Club Miles Credit Card 6 per annum 6 per annum

Hotel Loyalty Program Membership/Hotel Stay Vouchers

Some of the premium travel credit cards offer complimentary vouchers from premium hotel chains. For example, American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card, which is one of the best travel credit cards in India in the premium segment, offers complimentary Taj Stay vouchers on achieving the stipulated spend milestones. This benefit may be important for you if you want to enjoy a premium travel experience without any comprises.

Foreign Currency Mark-up

The usual foreign currency mark-up fee as applicable for most credit cards is around 3.5% of the transaction amount. Some travel credit cards charge a lower or sometimes even zero mark-up fee on foreign currency transactions. For example, no forex mark-up fee is applicable on foreign currency transactions made with Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card and RBL World Safari Credit Card, while a lower foreign currency mark-up fee of just 2.5% of the transaction amount is applicable on 6E Rewards XL – IndiGo HDFC Bank Credit Card. If you are a frequent flyer to international destinations, you should definitely consider this benefit while choosing a travel credit card for yourself, unless you plan to use a prepaid forex card for all foreign currency transactions.

How to Apply for Travel Credit Cards in India

The application process for a travel credit card, just like any other credit card, is usually very simple. You can apply for travel credit cards through Card Insider-

  • Visit the review page of the credit card you want to apply for on Card Insider.
  • Click/tap on the “Apply Now” option.
  • You will be redirected to the official credit card page on the card issuer’s website.
  • Now proceed with the application on the card issuer’s website by entering the requested details in the designated fields.
  • Upload the required documents on being prompted. You will be required to upload identity proof, address proof, and proof of income unless you already have an existing relationship with the card issuer (like a savings/fixed deposit account or an existing credit card account).
  • Once you have successfully submitted your credit card application it will be evaluated by the card issuer to determine your eligibility for the credit card applied for.
  • If you are eligible for the card, the card issuer will mail the card at our address, usually within 15 days of application submission.

Best Travel Credit Cards for Beginners

While most travel credit cards are either premium or mid-level cards, some card issuers also offer travel cards in the entry-level category. Most entry-level travel credit cards are co-branded cards offered in partnership with an airline or IRCTC. Entry-level travel credit cards do not offer premium benefits like complimentary international airport lounge access or complimentary membership of hotel loyalty programs, while most of them do offer complimentary domestic airport lounge access (or IRCTC lounge access in case of IRCTC co-branded cards) and an accelerated reward rate or a higher Reward Points redemption rate on travel spends. Listed below are some of the best travel credit cards for beginners-

IRCTC SBI Platinum Credit Card

It is an entry-level travel credit card by SBI Card launched in partnership with IRCTC. The card comes with a membership fee of Rs. 300 per annum (joining fee of Rs. 500 applicable in the first year), and being an IRCTC co-branded credit card, you also get special benefits on rail ticket bookings. Some of the salient features of IRCTC SBI Platinum Credit Card are-

  • 10% value back as Reward Points on booking railway tickets via the official IRCTC app/website.
  • 1.8% transaction surcharge waiver on booking rail tickets via IRCTC mobile app/website.
  • The card earns you 1 Reward Point per Rs. 125 spent except for spends on IRCTC or fuel (on IRTC spends, you get a 10% value back as mentioned earlier).
  • The Reward Points earned on the card can be redeemed for booking railway tickets- the Reward Points are transferred to the IRCTC wallet of the IRCTC account linked with the card, 1 Reward Point = Re. 1.
  • Although it is an IRCTC co-branded credit card, the card does not entitle you to any complimentary railway lounge access (as it is an entry-level offering).

IRCTC RuPay SBI Credit Card

IRCTC RuPay SBI Credit Card is another IRCTC co-branded credit card by SBI Card and IRCTC. The card is very much similar to the IRCTC SBI Platinum Credit Card in terms of the rewards and benefits that it offers except that you also get complimentary IRCTC lounge access with the IRCTC RuPay SBI Credit Card (1 complimentary visit every quarter) that IRCTC SBI Platinum Cart does not offer. IRCTC RuPay SBI Credit Card, just like IRCTC SBI Platinum Credit Card, also comes with an annual fee of Rs. 300 (joining fee of Rs. 500 applicable in the first year).

MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Platinum Credit Card

As is obvious from the name, MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Platinum Credit Card is a co-branded offering by ICICI Bank in collaboration with MakeMyTrip. It is an entry-level lifetime free credit card, although an initial fee of Rs. 500 is applicable at the time of joining the card membership. Since it is an MMT co-branded credit card, you earn rewards as MakeMyTrip My Cash and earn MMT MyCash at an accelerated rate on all spends with the card. Some the key features of the MakeMyTrip ICICI Platinum Credit Card are-

  • You get a complimentary MakeMyTrip Holiday Voucher worth Rs. 3,000 on joining the card membership.
  • The card earns you My Cash on all categories of spends with the card. My Cash is earned on the card as per the following table-
Spend Category MMT My Cash Earned per Rs. 200 spent
Spends on flight bookings via MakeMyTrip Rs 2.00
Spends on hotel/ holiday bookings via MakeMyTrip Rs 3.00
Domestic spends outside MakeMyTrip Rs 1.00
International spends outside MakeMyTrip Rs 1.25

  • You can earn 1,000 MMT My Cash on spending a minimum of Rs. 50,000 with the card on flights/hotels/holiday bookings on MakeMyTrip website/mobile app or on spending a minimum of Rs. 2.5 lacs (all spends categories included) with the card in an anniversary year.
  • You are entitled to 1 complimentary domestic airport lounge access every quarter on a quarterly expenditure of a minimum of Rs. 5,000.
  • You are also entitled to 1 complimentary access to IRCTC Executive Lounge at select railway stations across the country.
  • You get a discount of up to 25% on the purchase of a minimum of 2 tickets from BookMyShow in a single transaction (maximum discount capped at Rs. 100 per transaction and the benefit can be availed for a maximum of 2 times in a given month).
  • You are also entitled to complimentary discounts on dining bills at partner restaurants on paying with your MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Platinum Credit Card.

Yatra SBI Credit Card

Yatra SBI Credit Card is a co-branded offering by SBI Card in collaboration with the travel portal Yatra. The card comes with a membership fee of Rs.499 per annum and offers special benefits on the Yatra portal including discounted rates on bookings made via the Yatra website/mobile app and complementary Yatra vouchers on joining the card membership. Some of the key features of the Yatra SBI Credit Card are-

  • Yatra vouchers worth Rs. 8,250 as a welcome gift on joining the card membership.
  • Exclusive travel benefits from Yatra including a discount of Rs. 1,000 on domestic flight bookings (min transaction of Rs. 5,000 required to avail of the benefit), a discount of Rs. 4,000 on international flight bookings (min transaction amount of Rs. 40,000 required to avail of the benefit) and 20% off on hotel bookings on a minimum booking amount of Rs. 3,000 (max discount on hotel bookings is capped at Rs. 2,000 in a month). All these discounts can be availed of by using the promo code TRAVEL at the time of check-out. The promo code can be used for a maximum of 6 times in a calendar year.
  • Yatra SBI Credit Card earns you 6 Reward Points per Rs. 100 on spends on departmental stores, grocery, dining, movies, entertainment (up to 5,000 Reward Points per month) and international spends (Up to 5000 Reward Points per month).
  • All other categories of spends earn 1 Reward Point per Rs. 100 spent with the card.
  • Yatra SBI Credit Card also offers a complimentary air accident cover worth Rs. 50 lacs to the primary cardmember.

Best Credit Cards with No or Less Foreign Currency Mark-up Fee

Almost all credit cards charge a mark-up fee on foreign currency transactions. The usual foreign currency mark-up fee applicable on most credit cards is 3.5% of the transaction amount. However, there are some premium and mid-range travel credit cards for which the foreign currency mark-up fee is either zero or very less. Some of such travel credit cards are RBL Bank World Safari Credit Card, Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card and IndiGo 6E Reward XL HDFC Bank Credit Card.

It is worth noting that apart from these travel-specific credit cards, some other premium credit cards also offer a lower foreign currency mark-up fee. For example, the foreign currency mark-up fee applicable on HDFC Infinia and Diner Club Black Credit Cards is also less than 2%.

Bottom Line

As you can see there are various credit card sub-categories within the travel category, which are targeted towards the specific niches 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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