Unveiling the 20 Best Credit Cards for Travel in India




Travel credit cards have emerged as essential companions for individuals who frequently visit different countries within the growing credit card industry. These cards provide a variety of perks, including access to airport lounges and exclusive concierge services, to accommodate the requirements of frequent travellers. Let’s examine the 20 top travel credit cards in India that guarantee to enhance your journey and gratify your desire to explore as we enter the year 2023.

How Travel Credit Cards Work

Collaborations between travel credit cards and airlines, online travel portals, or hotel/resort corporations are joint. With co-branded credit cards, spending with associate entities earns greater rewards. As an illustration, the Air Vistara co-branded cards issued by Axis Bank grant advantages such as complimentary access to lounges and access to exclusive memberships. Conversely, generic travel credit cards, exemplified by the American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card, serve a more general demographic by refraining from associating reward points with a particular airline or online destination.

List of Best Travel Credit Cards in India 2023

Air Vistara Co-branded Credit Cards

Axis Bank Vistara Infinite Credit Card

best credit cards for travel

Designed for frequent travellers, the Axis Bank Vistara Infinite Credit Card has a joining fee of Rs. 10,000 + GST and a renewal charge of the same amount. Providing advantages such as two complimentary visits to domestic lounges each quarter and membership in Club Vistara Gold guarantees an abundant and fulfilling journey.

Fees: Joining – Rs. 10,000 + GST, Renewal – Rs. 10,000 + GST                                  Best Suited For: Travel                                                                                          Rewards: 2 complimentary domestic lounge visits per quarter, Club Vistara gold membership.

Club Vistara IDFC First Credit Card

best credit cards for travel

The Club Vistara IDFC First Credit Card is intended for frequent travellers and carries an annual maintenance fee of Rs. 4,999 + GST in addition to the initial membership fee. With the complimentary Club Vistara Silver Tier membership and up to five Premium Economy flight ticket vouchers, this card is a valuable companion for individuals pursuing luxury and advantageous experiences.

Fees: Joining – Rs. 4,999 + GST, Renewal – Rs. 4,999 + GST                                      Best Suited For: Travel                                                                                                Rewards: Complimentary Club Vistara Silver Tier membership, Premium Economy flight ticket vouchers.

Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card

best credit cards for travel

The Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card accepts movie devotees for an annual fee of Rs. 10,000 + GST and an initial deposit of Rs. 40,000 + GST. Cinema enthusiasts can enjoy complimentary access to domestic and international lounges, significantly enhancing their travel experience.

Fees: Joining – Rs. 40,000 + GST, Renewal – Rs. 10,000 + GST                                    Best Suited For: Movies                                                                                              Rewards: Complimentary domestic and international lounge visits.

Go IndiGo Co-branded Credit Cards

6E Rewards XL – IndiGo HDFC Bank Credit Card

best credit cards for travel

Designed for IndiGo aficionados, the 6E Rewards XL Credit Card by HDFC Bank provides complimentary access to domestic lounges in exchange for an annual membership charge of Rs. 1,500 plus GST and an equivalent renewal fee. Therefore, it is a highly suitable option for frequent travellers searching for enhanced convenience while on the move.

Fees: Joining – Rs. 1,500 + GST, Renewal – Rs. 1,500 + GST.                                      Best Suited For: Travel                                                                                                Rewards: Complimentary access to domestic lounges.

6E Rewards XL – Indigo Kotak Bank Credit Card

best credit cards for travel

With a yearly maintenance charge of Rs. 2,500 plus GST and an application fee of the same magnitude, the 6E Rewards XL Indigo Kotak Credit Card provides travellers advantages such as discounted convenience fees on IndiGo flights and complimentary access to airport lounges.

Fees: Joining – Rs. 2,500 + GST, Renewal – Rs. 2,500 + GST                                      Best Suited For: Travel                                                                                                Rewards: Complimentary airport lounge access, discounted convenience fee on Indigo flights.

6E Rewards – IndiGo HDFC Bank Credit Card

best credit cards for travel

Designed for budget-minded travellers, the 6E Rewards IndiGo HDFC Bank Credit Card carries an annual maintenance fee of Rs. 500 plus GST and a corresponding joining fee. It provides advantages, including a complimentary 6E Prime Add-On and a Rs 1,500 IndiGo air ticket.

Fees: Joining – Rs. 500 + GST, Renewal – Rs. 500 + GST                                                  Best Suited For: Trave                                                                                            Rewards: Complimentary 6E Prime Add-On, IndiGo air ticket worth Rs 1,500.

Club Vistara SBI Card PRIME

Club Vistara SBI Card Prime

best credit cards for travel

An equivalent renewal charge and initial membership fee of Rs. 2,999 + GST comprise the Club Vistara SBI Card Prime, a premium travel card. In addition to complimentary lounge access and Premium Economy Class tickets, the programme offers discounts on hotel reservations, vehicle rentals, and destination programmes.

Fees: Joining – Rs. 2,999 + GST, Renewal – Rs. 2,999 + GST                                      Best Suited For: Travel                                                                                        Rewards: Premium Economy Class tickets, complimentary lounge visits, discounts on car rentals, hotel bookings, and destination programs.

Air India Co-branded Credit Cards

Air India SBI Signature Credit Card

best credit cards for travel

In addition to complimentary access to domestic and international airport lounges, the Air India SBI Signature Credit Card provides convertible Air India Air Miles, accelerated reward points, and accelerated reward points for a joining fee of Rs. 4,999 + GST and an annual renewal charge of the same amount.

Fees: Joining – Rs. 4,999 + GST, Renewal – Rs. 4,999 + GST                                      Best Suited For: Travel                                                                                            Rewards: Convertible Air India Air Miles, accelerated reward points, complimentary lounge access.

Air India SBI Platinum Credit Card

best credit cards for travel

The Air India SBI Platinum Credit Card, which requires a joining charge of Rs. 1,499 + GST and a renewal fee, offers complimentary access to domestic lounges. This feature renders the card an attractive option for travellers who prioritise comfort while on the move.

Fees: Joining – Rs. 1,499 + GST, Renewal – Rs. 1,499 + GST                                        Best Suited For: Travel                                                                                        Rewards: Complimentary access to domestic lounges.

Etihad Airways Co-branded Credit Cards

Etihad Guest SBI Premier Credit Card

best credit cards for travel

The Etihad Guest SBI Premier Credit Card, which costs Rs. 4,999 + GST for both initiation and renewal, provides an array of perks such as complimentary lounge access, Welcome Benefits, Etihad Gold Tier status, and discounts on direct Etihad Airways reservations.

Fees: Joining – Rs. 4,999 + GST, Renewal – Rs. 4,999 + GST                                        Best Suited For: Travel                                                                                                Rewards: Complimentary Etihad Gold Tier status, Welcome Benefit, lounge access, discounts on bookings.

Etihad Guest SBI Credit Card

best credit cards for travel

The Etihad Guest SBI Credit Card offers the following perks in exchange for an annual fee of Rs. 1,499 plus GST: Etihad Guest Silver tier status, miles, booking discounts, lounge access, and Priority Pass membership.

Fees: Joining – Rs. 1,499 + GST, Renewal – Rs. 1,499 + GST                                      Best Suited For: Travel                                                                                      Rewards: Etihad Guest Silver tier status, miles, discounts on bookings, lounge access, Priority Pass membership.

Lufthansa Co-branded Credit Cards

Axis Bank Miles & More Credit Card

best credit cards for travel

The Axis Bank Miles & More Credit Card, designed specifically for enthusiastic individuals about travel, entails an annual fee of Rs. 10,000 + GST for the Miles & More Select Credit Card and Rs. 3,000 + GST for the Miles & More World Credit Card. It provides complimentary access to airport lounges, both domestically and internationally.

Fees: Joining – Rs. 10,000 + GST, Renewal – Rs. 4,500 + GST                                      Best Suited For: Travel                                                                                          Rewards: Complimentary lounge access.

IRCTC Co-branded Credit Cards

HDFC Bank RuPay IRCTC Credit Card

best credit cards for travel

Designed for railway passengers, the HDFC Bank RuPay IRCTC Credit Card carries an annual maintenance fee of Rs. 500 plus GST and a corresponding initiation fee. IRCTC Executive Lounges are accessible to cardholders for eight complimentary visits.

Fees: Joining – Rs. 500 + GST, Renewal – Rs. 500 + GST                                            Best Suited For: Travel                                                                                      Rewards: Complimentary access to IRCTC Executive Lounges.

IRCTC SBI Card Premier

The IRCTC SBI Card Premier, which comes with an annual renewal fee of the same amount and a joining charge of Rs. 1,499 + GST, grants eight complimentary visits to railway lounges for passengers who travel by train frequently.

Fees: Joining – Rs. 1,499 + GST, Renewal – Rs. 1,499 + GS                                          Best Suited For: Travel                                                                                                Rewards: Complimentary railway lounge access.

IRCTC Rupay SBI Credit Card

The IRCTC Rupay SBI Credit Card provides complimentary access to railway lounges and benefit packages at hotels throughout India in exchange for an annual charge of Rs. 300 + GST and an application fee of Rs. 500 + GST.

Fees: Joining – Rs. 500 + GST, Renewal – Rs. 300 + GST                                            Best Suited For: Travel                                                                                        Rewards: Complimentary railway lounge access, accommodation at 5000+ hotels.

MakeMyTrip and Yatra Co-branded Travel Credit Cards

MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Platinum Credit Card

The joining fee for the MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Platinum Credit Card is Rs. 500 plus GST, and there is no renewal fee. This card is ideal for MakeMyTrip consumers. It provides complimentary access to lounges at domestic and railway airports each quarter.

Fees: Joining – Rs. 500 + GST, Renewal – Nil                                                                Best Suited For: Travel                                                                                              Rewards: Complimentary lounge access every quarter.

MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Signature Credit Card

Quarterly complimentary lounge visits are available with the MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Signature Credit Card, which requires no renewal charge and a one-time membership fee of Rs. 2,500 + GST.

Fees: Joining – Rs. 2,500 + GST, Renewal – Nil                                                            Best Suited For: Travel                                                                                      Rewards: Complimentary domestic & international lounge visits quarterly.

Yatra SBI Credit Card

The Yatra SBI Credit Card includes an annual maintenance fee of Rs. 499 plus GST and a corresponding initiation fee intended for Yatra aficionados. Cardholders are eligible for hotel, domestic flight, and international travel discounts.

Fees: Joining – Rs. 499 + GST, Renewal – Rs. 499 + GST                                            Best Suited For: Travel                                                                                              Rewards: Discounts on flight and hotel bookings.

InterMiles Co-branded Travel Credit Cards

InterMiles ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card

InterMiles ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card initiation and renewal fees are Rs. 5,000 plus GST. In addition to reward points redeemable as InterMiles, cardholders receive a complimentary Dreamfolks membership, which grants access to international lounges and domestic airport leisure visits.

Fees: Joining – Rs. 5,000 + GST, Renewal – Rs. 5,000 + GST                                      Best Suited For: Travel                                                                                        Rewards: InterMiles, Dreamfolks membership, lounge access, and airport spa visits.

Emirates Co-branded Travel Credit Cards

Emirates Co-branded Travel Credit Cards

The Emirates Skywards ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card’s Dreamfolks membership offers complimentary access to airport lounges and leisure sessions in exchange for an annual membership fee of Rs. 10,000 plus GST and an equivalent renewal charge.

Fees: Joining – Rs. 10,000 + GST, Renewal – Rs. 10,000 + GST                                      Best Suited For: Travel                                                                                      Rewards: Lounge access, spa sessions with Dreamfolks membership.

Benefits of Travel Credit Cards:

Lounge Access: Enjoy complimentary access to airport lounges, providing a comfortable and relaxing environment during travel.

Travel Insurance: Benefit from travel insurance coverage, offering financial protection against unforeseen events during your journeys.

Higher Reward Rates: Earn more points or miles on travel-related expenses like flight bookings and hotel reservations, boosting your rewards for future travel or upgrades.

Concierge Services: Access 24×7 concierge services for assistance with travel arrangements, reservations, and other personalised services.

Currency Exchange Benefits: Enjoy preferential currency exchange rates, helping you save on foreign transaction fees and get more value for your money.

How to Apply for Travel Credit Cards:

Research and compare: Explore different travel credit cards to find one that aligns with your travel preferences and financial requirements.

Visit the issuer’s website: Go to the official website of the credit card issuer or visit a local branch to access the online application form.

Complete Application: Fill in accurate personal and financial information in the application form.

Document Submission: Prepare and submit necessary documents, such as proof of identity, address, and income. Some issuers allow online document submission for faster processing.

Application Review: The bank will review your eligibility and creditworthiness based on the information provided.

Approval and Issuance: If approved, you will receive your travel credit card, unlocking a range of travel benefits and rewards for your future journeys.

Conclusion

Before selecting the ideal travel credit card, one must consider travel preferences, routines, and the corresponding perks. Given India’s vast array of choices in 2023, these cards ensure a smooth travel experience and allow you to accumulate valuable rewards that can enrich your journeys. A travel credit card exists to fulfil the requirements of individuals who travel frequently or occasionally, enhancing the overall experience of their expeditions.

FAQs

What makes travel credit cards different from regular credit cards?

In contrast to standard credit cards, travel credit cards provide specialised advantages for frequent travellers, including access to exclusive lounges, travel insurance, and increased rewards for expenses associated with travel.

How should I choose a travel credit card in India?

When deciding on a travel credit card in India, consider various aspects, such as annual fees, reward structures, complimentary benefits, and collaborations with airlines or travel portals, to find one that complements your travel preferences.

Can anyone apply for co-branded travel credit cards, or are they limited to specific airline customers?

Co-branded travel credit cards are accessible to the general public, not limited to airline frequent travellers. Nevertheless, benefit maximisation is possible by selecting a card from your preferred airline.




Recent Articles

Related Stories