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Most people nowadays compare credit cards not only on the basis of their credit limits but also with the benefits they provide. To attract more & more customers, credit card issuers offer additional benefits and rewards on their cards. One of the most exclusive benefits provided by credit cards is complimentary airport lounge access. As more and more people are now traveling abroad for vacations and work, free international lounge access becomes a must. All credit card issuers offer cards with this facility without any additional charge.

Best-Credit-Cards-for-Free-International-Lounge-Access

International lounges are the extra comfortable restrooms at international airports, where only selected individuals (people with some memberships/frequent flyers/traveling in business/first class or with cards providing lounge access) are allowed to visit. Even with a membership like Priority Pass, Dream Folks, etc, every time you visit the lounges, you may need to pay the usage fee. But, if any credit card provides free airport lounge access, then you can avail yourself of all the benefits at the airport lounges for free.

Table of Contents

List of Best Credit Cards for Free International Lounge Access

With a lot of credit cards offering airport lounge access in the market, many individuals find it very challenging to choose the right credit card for them. Moreover, different card issuers partner with different lounge programs to provide their customers with free access to airport lounges in India and outside. To help you understand the difference between these programs and choose the best credit card for yourself, we are here with a list of some of the best credit cards for international lounge access:

Axis Bank Magnus Credit Card

(4.6/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 12,500 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 12,500 + GST

Best Suited For

Movies

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

Choose a gift voucher worth Rs. 12,500 from any one of Luxe, Yatra, or Postcard Hotels

Axis Bank Magnus Credit Card is a unique card offered by Axis Bank to provide its customers with all the luxury & lifestyle benefits. With this card, you earn up to 24 RPs every time you spend Rs. 200 on your card. Other than its reward offers, you would also get up to 25% off on dining across several participating restaurants and a discount of up to Rs. 500 on movies on BookMyShow.

IDFC FIRST Wealth Credit Card

(4.5/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Nil

Renewal Fee

Nil

Best Suited For

Shopping

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

Gift vouchers worth Rs. 500 from popular brands on spending over Rs. 15,000 within 90 days and a 5% cashback on the first EMI transaction made within the first 30 days.

The IDFC FIRST Wealth Credit Card comes with no annual fee and various exclusive benefits, such as reward programs, travel benefits, lifestyle benefits, and many more. Here is a list of the benefits that you can avail of with this card. Up to 10 Reward Points on every Rs. 100 spent, where 1 RP = Re. 0.25 and 2 complimentary golf rounds every month can be availed with this card.

Axis Bank SELECT Credit Card

(4.6/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 3,000 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 3,000 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

Get 10,000 EDGE REWARD POINTS on your first transaction of Rs. 2000

Axis Bank Select Credit Card comes with great reward offers as it earns you up to 20 Reward Points for every Rs. 100 spent. With this card, you get various other benefits, such as a welcome bonus, complimentary lounge access, exclusive discounts on dining, and many more.

SBI Elite Credit card

(4.5/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 4,999 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 4,999 + GST

Best Suited For

Movies

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

E-vouchers worth Rs. 5,000 from any one of the brands, including Yatra, Aditya Birla Fashion, Hush Puppies/Bata, Pantaloons, and Shoppers Stop.

The SBI ELITE Credit Card is designed to offer exclusive rewards and benefits to its customers. With this card, you can earn 2 Reward Points for every Rs. 100 spent. Additionally, based on your annual spending, you can earn up to 50,000 bonus Reward Points every year. Furthermore, the card also provides exciting discount offers on movies, enabling you to save more on your entertainment expenses.

HDFC Bank Regalia Gold Credit Card

(4.5/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 2,500 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 2,500 + GST

Best Suited For

Shopping

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

Welcome benefit of complimentary MMT Black Elite and Club Vistara Silver Tier membership on spending over Rs. 1 Lakh inside 90 days of getting the card issued

The Regalia credit card range is one of HDFC Bank’s most sought-after offerings. It provides cardholders with some of the best travel and lifestyle privileges in the industry. Recently, the bank launched the new Regalia Gold credit card, which offers exclusive rewards and offers that enable travelers to travel in luxury and shop in style. On spending over Rs. 1 Lakh within 90 days of getting the card issued, you receive a complimentary MMT Black Elite and Club Vistara Silver Tier membership. You get 4 reward points on every retail spend of Rs. 150 and an accelerated 5x Reward Point on every Rs. 150 spent in-store and online at Nykaa, Reliance Digital, Myntra, and Marks & Spencer.

Standard-Chartered-Ultimate-Credit-Card

(4.7/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 5,000 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 5,000 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

6,000 Rewards redeemable for shopping vouchers or charity spends under the Standard Chartered 360° rewards program.

Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card is the premium card offering from SC Bank. The card offers lavish benefits and is one of the most beneficial credit cards for travel. The card offers 5 Reward Points per Rs. 150 you spend and 1 complimentary Golf game every month.

AU-Metal-Zenith

(4.6/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 4999 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 4999 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

Gift voucher worth Rs. 5000 from Taj Hotels, Tata Cliq, Michael Kors, or other luxury brands. Customers can even opt for 5000 RPs as welcome benefit.

The AU Bank Zenith Plus Credit Card is ideal for frequent travelers who use their credit cards for most of their expenses. The card offers a decent reward rate, where you can earn 2 RPs per Rs. 100 spent on dining, international, and travel expenses, and 1 RP per Rs. 100 spent on other purchases. If you spend Rs. 12 Lakhs in a year, you can get a complimentary Taj Epicure Membership. Additionally, the card provides you with 16 complimentary lounge access at domestic and international airports, complimentary golf rounds, and complimentary BOGO movie tickets.

HDFC Infinia Credit Card Metal Edition

(5/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 12,500 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 12,500 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

Welcome bonus of 12,500 Reward Points and complimentary Club Marriott membership for the first year offering 20% discounts on dining and stay in the Asia-Pacific region.

HDFC Bank Infinia Credit Card comes with all the exciting features & benefits that one might be looking for. Targeting high-income individuals, the card provides all the benefits, keeping their requirements in mind. HDFC Infinia offers you 5 RPs on every Rs. 150 you spend, access to unlimited golf games, and exclusive dining benefits under the Good Food Trail Program.

IndusInd Bank Pinnacle World Credit Card

(4.6/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 14,999 + GST

Renewal Fee

Nil

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

Choose any one benefit from, a Luxe gift card, a complimentary night stay at Oberoi hotels, or gift vouchers from brands like Hush Puppies, BATA, Titan, Pantaloons, Raymond, etc.

The IndusInd Bank Pinnacle World Credit Card is a premium card that offers exclusive privileges across various categories. For every transaction of Rs. 100, the card rewards you with 2.5 points, which means you can save up to 2.5% on your purchases. Additionally, you can avail of the ‘Buy 1 Get 1 free offer’ on movie tickets booked through BookMyShow and get up to 3 complimentary tickets every month. Talking about its travel benefits, you get to enjoy complimentary airport lounge access both domestically and internationally, as well as a free Priority Pass membership. Moreover, you can also relish free golf rounds and lessons every year at some of the premium golf courses across the country.

Yes-Bank-Reserv-Credit-Card

(4.5/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 1,999 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 1,999 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

N/A

Yes First Exclusive Credit Card is a mid-level shopping credit card offered by Yes Bank. The card is in direct competition with the likes of ICICI Sapphiro and HDFC Regalia Gold. As far as international lounge access is concerned, you get unlimited international airport lounge access with Yes Bank First Exclusive Credit Card with complimentary LoungeKey (for Visa variant) or Priority Pass (for MasterCard variant). You earn 12 Reward Points per Rs. 200 on all spends with the card except spends on select categories. The card also entitles you to 4 complimentary rounds of golf per year and one complimentary golf lesson per month at select golf courses across India.

Diners-Club-Black-Metal-Edition-Credit-Card

(4.7/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 10,000 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 10,000 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

Complimentary Membership of Club Marriott, Swiggy One and Amazon Prime (On Spends of Rs. 1.5 Lakh Within 90 Days of Card Issuance)

HDFC Bank Diners Club Black Credit Card is another super-premium credit card issued by the HDFC Bank like that of the HDFC Bank Infinia Credit Card. It comes with great reward programs and exclusive benefits over almost all the categories that one expects from a credit card. Enjoy up to 10X Reward Points for every Rs. 150 spent and complimentary access to 6 golf games every quarter with this card.

RBL World Safari Credit Card

(4.3/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 3,000 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 3,000 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

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

RBL World Safari Credit Card by RBL Bank offers lots of benefits in travel. The card has many features that would help you save more and enjoy more during your travels. The card charges Rs. 3,000 as an annual fee and offers complimentary access to domestic as well as international lounges and also offers complimentary golf games every year. Get 5 travel points on every Rs. 100 spent and 10,000 bonus travel points on spending Rs. 2.5 lakhs or more in an anniversary year.

American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card

(4.6/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Nil

Renewal Fee

Rs. 5,000 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

10,000 Membership Rewards Points

The AMEX Platinum Credit Card is no doubt one of the most premium credit cards issued by American Express. It comes with exclusive benefits over different categories, including travel, dining, lifestyle, etc. Targeting the audience who believes in a rich & luxurious lifestyle, the card has the following key features: Up to 5 Reward Points for every Rs. 100 you spend and a discount of up to 50% on dining at over 1,800 premium restaurants.

Club Vistara IDFC First Credit Card

(4.6/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 4,999 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 4,999 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

Complimentary class upgrade voucher and 1 premium economy flight ticket voucher for Air Vistara

Air Vistara has formed a partnership with IDFC Bank to launch the Club Vistara IDFC First credit card. This co-branded travel card is intended to enhance the travel experience of customers who frequently fly with Vistara. The card rewards customers with CV Points for every swipe, as well as bonus CV Points and complimentary flight tickets when spending milestones are reached. Air Vistara has already partnered with SBI and Axis Bank for their co-branded travel cards.

ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card

(4.5/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 6,500 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 3,500 + GST

Best Suited For

Travel

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

Exclusive travel & shopping gift vouchers worth more than Rs. 9,000 (From Tata CliQ, EaseMyTrip, Uber, Zomato Pro, Croma) with the Visa & Mastercard variants and get an extra cashback of Rs. 750 on spending Rs 20,000 within 60 days of issuance with the AmEx variant.

The ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card is the second most premium card offered by the bank, after the ICICI Emeralde Metal Credit Card. It has a yearly fee of Rs. 6,500 and offers a range of privileges, attractive offers, and user-friendly features. The card is available in three variants – the ICICI Bank Sapphiro AmEx Credit Card, the ICICI Bank Sapphiro Visa Credit Card, and the Mastercard variant. This card is not only ideal for frequent travelers but also for those looking for maximum savings opportunities, entertainment benefits, and other advantages.

Samsung Axis Bank Infinite Credit Card

(4.5/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 5,000 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 5,000 + GST

Best Suited For

Shopping

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

30,000 EDGE Reward Points

Axis Bank has recently launched two co-branded credit cards in partnership with Samsung, a well-known multinational electronics corporation. The two credit cards are the Samsung Axis Bank Infinite Credit Card and the Samsung Axis Bank Signature Credit Card. The Samsung Axis Bank Infinite Credit Card is a premium credit card meant to offer benefits to frequent shoppers at Samsung. As a welcome gift, the card offers 30,000 EDGE Reward Points that can be availed by making three transactions within 30 days of card issuance. For those making purchases of Samsung products, the card offers a 10% cashback and up to 15 EDGE points on all spends of Rs. 100.

PNB RuPay Select Credit Card

(4.5/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Rs. 500 + GST

Renewal Fee

Rs. 750 + GST

Best Suited For

Shopping

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

300 bonus Reward Points.

PNB RuPay Select Card is an entry-level RuPay Credit Card offered by Punjab National Bank. The card has a very nominal fee of just Rs. 500, and no annual renewal fee is applicable for the second year onwards if the card is used at least once every quarter. 2 Reward Points on Rs. 150 spent with the card and 2x Reward Points per Rs. 150 on merchandise/online transactions made within the first 90 days of card activation.

Federal Bank Visa Celesta Credit Card

(3.5/5)

Fees

Joining Fee

Nil

Renewal Fee

Nil

Best Suited For

Movies

Reward Type

Reward Points

Welcome Benefits

Amazon gift voucher worth Rs. 600

This particular card is designed for individuals with a high net worth and offers a range of exclusive benefits across various categories. With the needs of its target audience in mind, the card comes with enticing welcome benefits, travel perks, entertainment offers, and more. With this card, you can earn up to 3 reward points for every Rs. 100 spent. Additionally, you will receive an Amazon gift voucher worth Rs. 600 as a welcome gift.

Card Insider’s Review of Best Credit Cards for Free International Lounge Access

Lifetime Free Card – IDFC FIRST Wealth Credit Card

The IDFC FIRST Wealth Credit Card is a lifetime offering by IDFC First Bank. With this card, you can enjoy never-expiring reward points and many travel benefits. Keep in mind that to be eligible for this credit card, you need to have a minimum annual income of Rs. 36 lakh.

According to Card Insider, you should keep the following in mind-

Why This Credit Card Is The Best Choice for You?

  • It’s a lifetime free credit card.
  • This card is highly beneficial for those who are frequent domestic and international flyers as they can easily avail of four complimentary international and domestic lounge access each quarter.
  • Offers exclusive perks and a great reward rate for avid foreign travelers.

Why This Credit Card Might Not Be Right for You?

  • You do not frequently take on trips abroad.
  • You do not have a high annual income.

Entry Level – Axis Bank SELECT Credit Card

The Axis Bank SELECT Credit Card charges a joining fee of Rs. 3000. It offers a wide range of benefits across various categories, including travel, shopping, dining, movies, and more. This makes it a popular choice for those seeking a lifestyle credit card. The card also provides a Priority Pass membership that allows complimentary access to both international and domestic airport lounges.

According to Card Insider, you should keep the following in mind-

Why This Credit Card Is The Best Choice for You?

  • Reasonable joining fee of Rs. 3000.
  • This card offers two complimentary domestic lounge access each quarter and six complimentary international lounge access in a year.

Why This Credit Card Might Not Be Right for You?

  • You are looking for a card with no annual or renewal charges.
  • You are looking for a card with more than six international lounge visits.

Lifestyle –  RBL World Safari Credit Card

The credit card has a joining fee of Rs. 3,000 and provides welcome gift vouchers worth Rs. 3,000. It rewards you with travel points, giving you 5 TPs for every Rs. 100 spent on travel. The card has been designed keeping in mind the travel and lifestyle needs of customers. It offers access to both domestic and international airport lounges, and there’s no foreign currency markup fee. You can also enjoy complimentary rounds of golf every year. Additionally, you may earn a gift voucher worth Rs. 10,000 and up to 25,000 bonus travel points every year on achieving the milestone spend.

According to Card Insider, you should keep the following in mind-

Why This Credit Card Is The Best Choice for You?

  • This card offers a 0% foreign currency markup on all foreign transactions; this is especially beneficial for people who travel for work.
  • You will get a free priority pass membership with this card with which you can access international lounges twice a year.

Why This Credit Card Might Not Be Right for You?

  • You are looking for unlimited lounge visits.
  • You do not travel internationally.

Premium – HDFC Bank INFINIA Credit Card

HDFC offers a premium credit card that is designed for international travelers. The HDFC Infinia Metal card provides a lower foreign currency exchange rate of 2% and a complimentary membership to the Priority Pass program. With this card, you can earn 5 Reward Points for every Rs. 150 spent. Although the annual fee for this card is relatively high at Rs. 12,500, it is well worth it if you value your lifestyle and financial stability. If you are someone who travels frequently and wants to enjoy exclusive benefits and rewards, then the HDFC Infinia Metal card may be the right choice for you. Keep in mind that this is an invite-only credit card.

According to Card Insider, you should keep the following in mind-

Why This Credit Card Is The Best Choice for You?

  • You are looking for a card with unlimited international lounge access for primary and supplementary/add-on card holders.
  • You are looking for a luxurious card that comes in a Metal variant.
  • One plus one on buffets at ITC Hotels.
  • Personal concierge service 24/7.

Why This Credit Card Might Not Be Right for You?

  • You do not want to pay Rs. 12,500 as joining fees for a card.
  • You want a card with a foreign currency mark-up of less than 2%.

Also, Have a Read – Best Credit Cards For Free Domestic Airport Lounge Access

International Lounge Access Programs

Credit card payment networks like Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diners Club, and RuPay have partnerships with airport hospitality companies to offer free access to their lounges to cardholders worldwide. Apart from credit card payment networks, there are many independent airport lounge access programs like Priority Pass and LoungeKey by Collinson Group and Dreamfolks that offer lounge access to their members. Many credit card issuers offer complimentary membership of these lounge access programs to their cardholders.

Thus, there are two ways a credit card issuer can offer complimentary airport lounge access to its cardholders- first, via the card’s payment network’s partnership, and second, through a third-party lounge access program.

Compare Annual Fees & Lounge Benefits of Popular Credit Cards

Credit Card Annual Fee International Lounge Access (Annually)  International Lounge Access (Add-on Cardholders)
American Express Platinum Credit Card Rs. 60,000 Unlimited Unlimited (Only for One Add-On Cardholder)
HDFC Bank Infinia Credit Card Rs. 10,000 Unlimited Unlimited
YES First Exclusive Credit Card Rs. 9,999 Unlimited Unlimited
HDFC Bank Diners Club Black Credit Card Rs. 10,000 Unlimited Unlimited
YES Private Credit Card Rs. 50,000 Unlimited Unlimited

How To Apply For Credit Cards With Free Airport Lounge Access With Card Insider?

You can easily apply for an international lounge access credit card online with Card Insider. The application process is very quick to understand and easy to fulfill. Simply select your preferred card on the website and click on the Apply Now button next to it. You will be redirected to the Bank’s official application page. Fill in a few details like mobile number and PAN Card details, and you will have filled out the application for a credit card with free lounge access.

To apply offline, simply visit your nearest bank branch and fill in the application form for credit card application. Take all the required documents, including Identity proof, income proof, address proof, etc, with you.

How We Compiled Our List?

At Card Insider, we take great care in researching and analyzing data from various card issuers to provide you with the most relevant and up-to-date information. Our team is committed to delivering the best possible resources to help you make an informed decision when selecting the ideal credit card for your international lounge needs.

Bottom Line

If you travel internationally very often, you must have one of the above credit cards so that you can avoid that noisy environment at the airport for free. Generally, it becomes costly when you access airport lounges through a lounge program’s membership, and then you also have to pay for every lounge visit. That’s why airport lounge access provided by credit cards is among the most attractive benefits provided by credit cards. Before choosing one, it is advisable for you to compare all the cards wisely, keeping the annual fees & other benefits in mind, and then apply for the one that suits you the best. Also, make sure to go through the terms and conditions of the card carefully, as most of the cards offer complimentary airport lounge access to primary cardholders only, so you may need to pay for others who are traveling with you. Or, you can get credit cards for airport lounge access that offer free access to supplementary cardholders and guests as well.

So, let us know which of these cards you are planning to apply for. If you already have one of these, do share your experience with us and other readers in the comment section below.

FAQs:

The credit cards offering the International Airport Lounge access facility are designed for those individuals who travel internationally more often. With this feature, cardholders can enjoy all the privileges of an international lounge.
Many credit cards offer the international lounge access feature. These cards provide not only international lounge access but also many other travel benefits and must be considered - Axis Bank Magnus Credit Card and HDFC Bank Diners Club Black Metal Credit Card.
Yes, the IDFC FIRST Wealth Credit Card is a credit card that comes with no annual fee and provides complimentary access to international airport lounges.
If you exceed the no. of complimentary lounge access, then you will have to pay a usage fee of US $27 to visit an airport lounge.

6 Comments

  1. Abhishek chatterjee Reply

    Update this new info –

    RuPay JCB Select Credit card holders now also offer free International Airport lounge access from LoungeKey – https://www.loungekey.com/en/jcb11/

    Already verified, RuPay JCB Select Credit card successfully registered for LoungeKey and after register yearly 4 Free International lounge access mentioned.

    Interesting fact, if you have BOB RuPay JCB Premier credit card then access to 4 free international airport lounge visits in a year (for comparison, BOB Visa Premier credit card variant only gives you access to airport lounges in India).

    RuPay JCB Platinum (Excellence) Credit Card holders also offer Free International lounge access, register link – https://www.loungekey.com/en/jcb12/

    *At the time of registration, US$3.25 is withdrawn from your account, but it is refunded later.
    *At the time of Debit or Credit card is swiped for lounge access, US$1.00 is withdrawn from your account, but it is refunded later.

  2. rajat Reply

    Text in front of “Renewal Fee” is actually the Reward Structure. Kindly correct it.

    • Kartik Kanwar Reply

      Hello, Sir. Corrected.

  3. Priya Sharma Reply

    For the past few months, I’ve been traveling to different countries for business purposes, and for me, Axis Bank Magnus Credit Card was a lifesaver. However, this card is worth considering for those who travel often. Some of the benefits which are lifesavings are-
    Unlimited Domestic and International Airport Lounge Access
    Discounted stays at Oberoi Hotels
    Credit shield protection worth Rs. 5 lakh (when your card is lost) and purchase protection worth Rs. 2 lakh.

  4. kajal Reply

    Recently, I applied for an IDFC First Bank Wealth credit card. Alongside that Visa card, they issued me a virtual Rupay card, which I could attach to my UPI account. Things are simple and sorted now. Don’t need to apply for a separate Rupay credit card to use for UPI payments.

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