Travel credit cards make holidays easy, convenient, and light. How, you ask? Well, a travel credit card can reduce your worries of having to carry around too much cash. If you are a frequent traveller, be it for business or leisure, you must apply for the best travel credit card.
These offer exciting credit card rewards on both domestic and international travel along with benefits like complimentary lounge access, free premium economy tickets, air mile earning, hotel discounts, co-branded benefits with airlines and travel partners, among many others. Go through the below table to understand about the top travel credit cards in India.
₹500 + GST
Booking rides on Ola, Uber; fuel purchase
Lowest Forex Markup
Now that you know the top travel credit cards in India, let’s learn about the exclusive benefits associated with the above-mentioned travel credit cards.
Buy AC1, AC2, AC3, and AC CC tickets through irctc.co.in and IRCTC Mobile App (for Android only) and earn a value back of up to 10%
Save 1% charges on transactions related to railway ticket bookings made on www.irctc.co.in
Avail complimentary railway lounge access 4 times in a year (max 1 per quarter) at participating lounges in India
Earn a 10% monthly cashback on spending ₹400 on Ola and Uber as well as fuel purchases
Enjoy a gift voucher of ₹1,000 when your annual spending crosses the threshold of ₹1 lakh
Get fuel surcharge waiver of up to ₹100 per month on refuelling your vehicle at any petrol pump in India
Earn 10 Miles/₹100 on airline transactions or 4 Miles/₹100 on other transactions with Citi PremierMiles Credit Card
Get the chance to redeem miles from more than 100 airlines and hotel partners. You can also transfer miles to 14 hotel and airline partners
Avail Lost Card Liability Cover of ₹10 Lakh and Air Accident Insurance Cover of upto ₹1 crore with Citi PremierMiles Credit Card
Enjoy complimentary lounge access in select airports across India
Get exclusive welcome benefit of ₹500 My Cash reward points on ICICI Bank MMT Platinum Credit Card
Get MakeMyTrip (MMT) holiday voucher worth ₹3,000
Avail benefits worth up to ₹2,000 on ICICI Bank MMT Platinum Credit Card
Enjoy complimentary lounge access per quarter at airports across India on spending ₹5,000 in a calendar quarter
Enjoy railway lounge access per quarter at participating lounges in India
Get ₹1,500 My Cash rewards on joining the ICICI MMT Signature Credit Card
Avail complimentary MMTBLACK Exclusive membership
In addition, get a MakeMyTrip holiday voucher worth ₹2,500 on this card
Get complimentary Club Vistara Silver membership with SBI ELITE Credit Card
Enjoy the lowest Foreign Currency Mark-up charge of 1.99% on international usage
Enjoy 2 complimentary domestic airport lounge access every quarter in India
Get a complimentary membership to the Priority Pass Program worth $99 with the SBI ELITE Credit Card
Enjoy 6 complimentary airport lounge access per calendar year, outside India (maximum 2 visits per quarter). This offer is effective from July 01, 2017
Get access to 1,000+ Airport Lounges across the globe
Earn 2 Reward Points on every₹100 spent on international transactions
To apply for a credit card online, follow the steps mentioned below:
Step 1: Visit Bajaj Market’s official website and click on ‘Cards’.
Step 2: Enter your contact information and other personal details.
Step 3: Click on ‘Check my offer’ to browse the list of cards being offered to you.
Step 4: Select the travel credit card that offers you the maximum benefits.
Step 5: Follow the instructions and submit the application.
Below is the generic eligibility criteria and documents required for travel credit cards:
Age: You must be above 21 years
Residence: You must be a resident of India or a non-resident Indian (NRI)
Income: You must meet the income-specific requirements for the travel card.
Credit Score: You must have a good credit score of 750 or above
Proof of Identity: One copy of either your PAN card, Aadhaar card, Passport, driver’s licence, Voter’s ID, NREGA-issued job card, or any other photo ID card issued by the government
Proof of Address: One copy of either your Aadhaar card, Passport, driver’s licence, utility bills for the last 3 months, documents related to property registration, ration card, bank account statement for the last 3 months, NREGA-issued job card, or any other photo ID card issued by the government
Proof of Income: One copy of either your latest Form 16, salary slips for the last three months, or bank statement for the last 3 months
Note: The eligibility and documents may vary from one card issuing bank to another.
Some of the common features and benefits of availing travel credit cards are mentioned below:
These benefits include vouchers or bonus points that you receive once the travel credit card is approved. In most cases, the bonus points are in the form of air miles which you can redeem at partner airlines and save money.
One of the most attractive features of travel credit cards is the free access to airport lounges. The number of visits at domestic and international lounges may vary depending on the travel credit card. Some special cards, i.e. those in partnership with IRCTC, give you access to railway lounges too.
Comprehensive travel insurance is another benefit you can enjoy on your travel credit card. This feature protects you against unforeseen travel expenses such as medical emergencies, baggage loss, etc.
Some travel credit cards offer maximum liability on the lost travel credit card. Therefore, even if you lose your travel credit card in a foreign country, you can avoid payment for unauthorised transactions post-reporting to the credit card issuing bank.
You earn travel reward points by making holiday bookings or by booking air tickets with your travel credit cards. You can later use these points to buy merchandise, gifts or for availing travel benefits.
Travel credit cards also offer air miles instead of offering reward points. You can collect air miles when you purchase services or goods and these points can then be utilised to pay for air travel.
You can earn various vouchers by using travel credit cards. The best travel credit cards in India can offer you a variety of vouchers like travel vouchers, stay vouchers and dining vouchers. These vouchers are offered either on reaching a milestone or at the time of getting a new credit card in the form of a welcome bonus.
Many financial institutions collaborate with tours and travel websites or airline companies to issue travel credit cards. Both the parties then sponsor the credit card and offer discounts, vouchers and other benefits.
Travel credit cards are available in three broad categories of entry level or beginners, mid-level and premium. Most, if not all, travel credit cards for beginners are co-branded. Travel credit cards for beginners usually have limited benefits. Here is a list of some of the best travel credit cards in India meant for beginners.
This travel credit card was launched by SBI in association with IRCTC. It is one of the best travel credit cards in India and is available against a membership fee of ₹300 per year. The joining fee applicable in the first year is ₹500. If you are a frequent train traveller, this is the best travel credit card for you as this card offers you benefits while booking rail tickets. IRCTC SBI Platinum Credit Card offers the following features:
You get 10% Value Back Reward Points on railway ticket bookings made via IRCTC app or website
If you book railway tickets from IRCTC mobile app or website, you will receive 1.8% waiver on transaction surcharge
You earn 1 Reward Point per ₹125 spent in transactions other than those related to IRCTC or fuel
You can book railway tickets by redeeming reward points
This SBI and IRCTC co-branded credit card can be used at 3.7 million terminals in India. In addition to other rewards, the IRCTC RuPay SBI Credit Credit Card offers you four complimentary railway lounge accesses per year. IRCTC RuPay SBI Credit Card is one of the best travel credit cards in India if you frequently travel by train . This card has a one-time annual fee of ₹500 and annual renewal fee of ₹300. Here are some of the features of the IRCTC RuPay SBI Credit Card:
You get 350 reward points as activation bonus
You get 10% Value Back as reward points if you book tickets via IRCTC mobile app or irctc.co.in
You get 1 reward point for every ₹125 that you spend on non-fuel purchases.
You save 1% transaction charge on railway ticket bookings made via IRCTC website
This is a co-branded credit card offered by MakeMyTrip and ICICI Bank. MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Platinum Credit Card can serve as a lifetime free credit card. It is available for a joining fee of ₹ 500. This is one of the best travel credit cards in India for beginners and you can earn rewards on a variety of bookings and purchases. Here are some of the prominent features of this credit card:
You get a ₹3,000 Holiday Voucher from MakeMyTrip as an activation bonus
You earn ₹2 MMT My Cash on ₹200 spent on flight bookings made via MakeMyTrip
You earn ₹3 MMT My Cash on ₹200 spent on hotel and holiday bookings made via MakeMyTrip
You earn ₹1 MMT My Cash on ₹200 spent on domestic spends made outside MakeMyTrip
You earn ₹1.25 MMT My Cash on ₹200 spent on international spends made outside MakeMyTrip
If you spend ₹50,000 minimum in a year on hotels, flights or holiday bookings made via MakeMyTrip, you will get 1,000 MMT My Cash
You get complimentary discounts at partner restaurants
This is a co-branded credit card offered by SBI and Yatra travel portal. Yatra SBI credit card is available at ₹499 annual fee. It offers discounts on bookings made through Yatra website or mobile app. Yatra SBI Credit Card is one of the best travel credit cards for frequent travellers. Here are some of the key features of this credit card:
As a welcome gift, you earn Yatra vouchers worth ₹8,250
You get ₹1,000 discount on domestic flight bookings of ₹5,000 made on Yatra
You get ₹4,000 discount on international flight bookings of ₹40,000 made on Yatra
You get a 20% discount on hotel bookings of ₹3,000
You earn six reward points for spending ₹100 on dining, grocery, entertainment, movies, departmental stores
The card also offers you an air accident cover of ₹50 Lakhs.
If you are using a travel credit card, it is important that you understand the exact utility and maximum benefits of your card. Financial institutions offer a variety of cards that are tailored to meet the requirements of a specific category of customers. Here is a list of do’s and don’ts that you need to know when you use your travel credit card:
Choose the best travel credit card that meets your travel requirements. If you are a frequent flyer, or a frequent train passenger, your card selection would be different
You should understand all the benefits offered by your card so you know when, where and how to use the benefits
You should redeem reward points against a category that offers maximum conversion value
You should not let your reward points or other benefits expire. It is always better that you keep a check on the expiry of reward points and air miles. You should redeem them at a proper time, to your maximum benefit, without letting them expire
You should not delay or miss your credit card bill payments as it will cost you additional charges and late payment penalties
You should not make any purchase before checking the availability and conversion of reward points and vouchers
Axis Bank Vistara Infinite credit card and Club Vistara SBI Prime card are some of the top credit cards that offer Vistara benefits.
Some of the best travel credit cards in India are IRCTC SBI RuPay Credit Card, RBL Travel Easy SuperCard, Citi PremierMiles Credit Card, ICICI MMT Platinum Credit Card, ICICI MMT Signature Credit Card, and SBI Card ELITE.
Credit cards from top banks offered in partnership with airline companies or travel websites offer the best discounts on flight ticket bookings. Some of these top cards are ICICI MMT Platinum credit card, Air India SBI Signature credit card, Axis Bank Vistara Infinite credit card, etc.
Credit cards which have a low foreign exchange markup fee, such as the SBI ELITE credit card, are ideal for international travel.
Yes, when you book a flight with a travel credit card you get benefits like exclusive discounts, cashback, and special offers. The card also lets you enjoy complimentary airport lounge access and air accident cover, among other things, on your credit card.
Travel credit cards prove to be beneficial when they offer protection for baggage loss or allow you to earn reward points or miles on bookings which you can then redeem while travelling.
Travel credit cards usually offer points or miles on both travel-related purchases and everyday purchases. Once you complete shopping or make transactions with this credit card and accumulate a considerable amount of reward points, you can redeem them and save while travelling, i.e. flight bookings and hotel stays.
While choosing a travel credit card: compare the joining or annual fee, foreign currency mark-up fee, foreign transaction fee, and standard cash withdrawal charges. Above all, you must consider your travel needs, which will help you to shortlist and compare travel credit cards thoroughly.