Travel credit cards are those cards that offer tailored for the needs of frequent flyers. These cards are often co-branded cards and are offered in collaboration with airline partners of the card issuers. Most card issuers including HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI Card, Axis Bank, etc. offer travel credit cards. Almost all travel credit cards in the premium segment and even in the mid-level segment offer additional bonuses to the cardholders at the time of joining the card membership. These benefits are known as welcome benefits or welcome bonuses. In this article, we shall see which travel credit cards offer the best welcome bonuses to the cardholders.
6E Rewards XL – IndiGo HDFC/Kotak Bank Credit Cards
Both HDFC Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank offer cobranded credit cards in partnership with Go IndiGo- 2 IndiGo cobranded credit cards each. The 6E Rewards XL Credit Card is offered by both the banks and is the more premium of the two cards offered by the banks and comes with a membership fee of Rs. 2,500 per annum (plus GST).
Since these are IndiGo cobranded credit cards, you earn Reward Points as 6E Rewards- 20% 6E Rewards on IndiGo featured brands, 5% 6E Rewards on IndiGo spends, 3% 6E Rewards on dining, grocery and entertainment spends, 2% 6E Rewards on all other spends with the card. Apart from the 6E Rewards benefit, IndiGo 6E Rewards XL Credit Cards by HDFC and Kotak also offer add-on benefits such as 8 complimentary domestic airport lounge access, 12 golf lessons and 4 rounds of green fees every year.
As far as welcome benefits are concerned, you get the following benefits on joining the membership of the 6E Rewards XL – IndiGo HDFC/Kotak Credit Cards (the benefits are exactly the same for both Kotak and HDFC cards)-
- Free IndiGo air ticket worth Rs. 3,000.
- Free 6E Prime add-on worth Rs. 899.
- Accor hotels stay vouchers worth Rs. 5,000 (30% off).
- Accor hotels dining voucher worth Rs. 1,000.
- Budweiser 0.0 gift voucher worth Rs. 250.
Given the best in class welcome benefits offered by the IndiGo 6E Rewards XL Credit Cards, we have included them in our list of top travel credit cards with the best welcome bonuses.
Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card
The Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card is a newly launched co-branded travel credit card by IndusInd Bank in partnership with the IndiGo airline. It is a premium travel credit card and comes with a hefty joining fee of Rs. 40,000 (plus GST) and an annual fee of Rs. 10,000 (plus GST) is applicable second year onwards. Since it is an Air Vistara co-branded credit card, you earn Reward Points as Club Vistara (CV) Points.
IndusInd Club Vistara Explorer Credit Card earns you 8 CV Points per Rs. 200 spent on Air Vistara, 6 CV Points per Rs. 200 on other travel spends, 2 CV Points per Rs. 200 on other retail spends (except insurance, utility and fuel) and 1 CV Point per Rs. 200 on spends on insurance, utility and fuel with the card.
Coming to the welcome benefits offered by the Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card, the card offers the following welcome benefits-
- Complimentary Club Vistara (CV) Gold membership.
- Complimentary business class ticket voucher (you get the complimentary business class ticket every year the card membership is renewed).
- Any one of the following three gift vouchers- Luxe gift card worth Rs. 25,000, complimentary night stay at Oberoi hotels, gift voucher worth Rs. 25,000 from BATA, Vero Moda, Vouchagram, ALDO, Titan, Pantaloons, etc.
With all the aforementioned welcome benefits offered by the Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card, it can definitely be considered one of the best travel credit cards in terms of the welcome benefits offered.
Etihad Guest SBI Premier Credit Card
As is obvious from the name, it is a co-branded credit card by SBI Card in collaboration with Etihad Airlines. SBI Card offers two Etihad cobranded credit cards and Etihad Guest SBI Premier Card is the more premium of the two. It is a sub-premium travel credit card and comes with a membership fee of Rs. 4,999 per annum (plus GST). The card earns you 6 Etihad Miles per Rs. 100 spent on Etihad.com, 4 Etihad Miles per Rs. 100 on international spends and 2 Etihad Miles per Rs. 100 on all other expenditures with the card (except fuel).
As far as the card’s welcome benefits are concerned, the card offers the following welcome benefits to the cardholders-
- Complimentary Etihad Guest Gold Tier membership on making the first transaction with the card.
- 5,000 Etihad Miles within 15 days of the annual fee payment.
- 2 complimentary wifi vouchers sent via email within 15 days of the first Etihad Airways flight booking.
InterMiles HDFC Bank Diners Club Credit Card
The InterMiles HDFC Diners Club Credit Card is a co-branded travel credit card by HDFC Bank. The card falls in the sub-premium category and comes with a membership fee of Rs. 5,000 per annum. Since it is an InterMiles cobranded credit card, you earn Reward Points as InterMiles. The card earns you 16 InterMiles per Rs. 150 spent on flight/hotel bookings via the InterMiles portal and 8 InterMiles per Rs 150 on other retail spends with the card and 2.5x InterMiles on Etihad Airways tickets booked via the InterMiles portal. Apart from earning InterMiles, you also get a number of additional benefits with the card such as unlimited complimentary domestic and international airport lounge access, unlimited rounds of golf at some of the leading golf destinations across the country, complimentary insurance cover and many more.
Coming to the welcome benefits offered by the card, HDFC Diners Club Black Credit Cardholders get the following welcome benefits with the card-
- InterMiles Gold Tier membership for the first year of the card membership.
- 10,000 Bonus InterMiles on spending a minimum of Rs. 20,000 with the card within the first 30 days of card setup.
- 15,000 Bonus InterMiles on the expenditure of a minimum of Rs. 1.5 lacs within the first 90 days of card issuance.
- Flight discount vouchers worth Rs. 2,000 and hotel discount vouchers worth Rs. 3,000.
Given all these welcome benefits that you get with the InterMiles HDFC Bank Diners Club Credit Card, it is another very good option for you amongst all the travel credit cards that offer best-in-class welcome benefits.
Credit card issuers offer welcome benefits on newly issued credit cards in order to lure new customers. The usual trend is, the more the joining fee of a card, the more value worth of welcome benefits you get. While welcome benefits do make credit cards an attractive proposition initially and you should consider the welcome benefits that a card offers before you make your mind, it is not a good idea to make the decision to apply for a credit card only because of the welcome benefits that it offers. The reward rate and the additional benefits such as travel benefits, dining benefits, etc. should always be the key factors based on which you should make your mind about a credit card.