Travel Credit Cards are generally tailored for frequent travellers. They are like regular credit cards but offer benefits and rewards when you spend money on travel related purchases, like plane tickets, booking hotel rooms and using cars on rent. These cards provide a range of benefits such as access to airport lounges, round-the-clock concierge service, and insurance benefits.
A significant number of travel credit cards also provide rewards in the form of AirMiles, which can be redeemed for award flights, air ticket bookings, or class upgrades with partner airlines. Sometimes you can get extra rewards when you first sign up for the card or every year when you pay the yearly fee.
It's important that you pick the best travel credit card that fits your travel requirements. You should use your card responsibly so you don't have to pay extra charges in the form of interest.
Take a look at the table below to discover some of the best travel credit cards in India.
Axis Bank Titanium Smart Traveller Credit Card
Lowest Forex Markup
Now that you know the best travel credit cards, here is more about the exclusive benefits associated with them.
Save up to 1% on all IRCTC transactions related to railway ticket bookings
Buy AC1, AC2, AC3, and AC CC tickets through the IRCTC app or portal and enjoy up to 10% value back as reward points
Enjoy complimentary access up to 4 railway lounges in a year at select railway stations in India.
Get a 1% discount on the fuel surcharge for all fuel transactions.
Enjoy 15% dining discount at partner restaurants
Accumulate 8 eDGE Loyalty Reward Points for every ₹200 spent using the card while travelling abroad.
Convert purchases into EMI through mobile or internet banking for transactions exceeding ₹2,500
Get an exclusive welcome benefit of ₹500 My Cash
Get a MakeMyTrip (MMT) holiday voucher worth ₹3,000 as a welcome bonus
Enjoy complimentary lounge access at select domestic airports and railways
Get ₹1,500 My Cash rewards on joining
Enjoy complimentary MMTBLACK Exclusive membership
Get a MakeMyTrip holiday voucher worth ₹2,500 as a welcome gift
Save up to ₹7,200 on ticket bookings via BookMyShow platform
Get complimentary Club Vistara Silver membership
Enjoy the lowest foreign currency mark-up charge of 1.99% on international usage
Enjoy 2 complimentary domestic airport lounge visits in each quarter
Get a complimentary membership to the Priority Pass Program
Enjoy up to 6 complimentary international airport lounge visits annually
Get access to over 1,000+ airport lounges across the globe
Earn 2 Reward Points on every ₹100 spent on international transactions
To make the right decision about which travel credit card to choose, you must know their various types. Here is a look at the range of cards you can get.
Here are the generic eligibility criteria and documents required for a travel credit card:
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 photo ID issued by the government
Proof of Address: One copy of any of these, such as an Aadhaar card, Passport, driver’s licence, utility bills for the last 3 months, documents related to property registration, or any other government-issued ID proof
Note that the eligibility criteria and documents may vary from one issuer to another. Check out these details on Bajaj Markets.
Credit card issuers offer several benefits that are tailored for travel enthusiasts. Here are some key features and benefits of the best travel credit cards in India.
Rewards Points: Travel credit cards offer rewards points for every purchase made using the card, which can be redeemed for discounts on flight tickets, hotel bookings, and other travel expenses.
Airline Miles: Some travel credit cards offer airline miles that can be redeemed for free flights or upgrades.
Lounge Access: Many travel credit cards offer complimentary access to airport lounges where travellers can relax before their flights.
Travel Insurance: Some travel credit cards offer travel insurance, including coverage for lost luggage, flight cancellations, and emergency medical expenses.
No Foreign Transaction Fees: Many travel credit cards waive foreign transaction fees, making them a great choice for international travel.
Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Some travel credit cards offer a fuel surcharge waiver on petrol purchases at select petrol pumps.
Annual Fee Waiver: Many travel credit cards waive the annual fee if a certain spending threshold is met.
Exclusive Discounts: Some travel credit cards offer exclusive discounts and deals on flights, hotels, and other travel-related expenses.
Travel credit cards are available in three categories:
Entry-level or beginners
Most, if not all, travel credit cards for beginners are co-branded and usually have limited benefits. Here is a list of some of the best travel credit card India for beginners.
SBI launched this travel credit card 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 in India, as it offers benefits while booking rail tickets. The IRCTC SBI Platinum Credit Card offers the following features:
You get 10% value back as reward points on railway ticket bookings made via the IRCTC app or website
You earn 1 Reward Point per ₹125 spent on transactions other than those related to IRCTC or fuel
You can also book railway tickets by redeeming reward points
This SBI and IRCTC co-branded credit card can be used at more than 3 million terminals in India. In addition to other rewards, it 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 an annual renewal fee of ₹300. Here are some of the features of the IRCTC RuPay SBI Credit Card:
You get 350 reward points as a bonus on activating the card
You get 10% value back as reward points if you book tickets via IRCTC mobile app or website
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 the IRCTC website
ICICI Bank offers this credit card in association with MakeMyTrip. The MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Platinum Credit Card serves 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. Moreover, it allows you to earn rewards on various bookings and purchases. Here are some of the prominent features of this credit card:
You get a holiday voucher from MakeMyTrip worth ₹3,000 as a welcome bonus
Spend up to ₹50,000 minimum in a year on hotels, flights or holiday bookings made via MakeMyTrip, and get 1,000 MMT My Cash
Enjoy complimentary discounts at partner restaurants
Avail travel benefits up to ₹20,000
This is a co-branded credit card offered by SBI and Yatra travel portal. The Yatra SBI credit card is available at an annual fee of ₹499. It offers discounts on bookings made through the Yatra website or mobile app.
The Yatra SBI Credit Card is the best travel credit card in India 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
Enjoy up to ₹1,000 discount on domestic flight bookings of when you spend ₹5,000 on Yatra
Avail up to ₹4,000 discount on international flight bookings of ₹40,000 booked via Yatra
Get a 20% discount on hotel bookings on spending at least ₹3,000
Earn six reward points for spending ₹100 on dining, grocery, entertainment, movies, departmental stores
The card also offers an air accident cover of ₹50 Lakhs
To apply for a credit card online, follow the steps mentioned below:
Step 1: Visit Bajaj Markets 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 you can get
Step 4: Select the travel credit card offering the maximum benefits
Step 5: Follow the instructions and submit the application
Now that you know what benefits travel credit cards offer, compare different card variants before finalising one.
For instance, compare the 10% value back on railway ticket bookings with Yatra vouchers worth ₹8,250. How? Imagine what you require from your travel credit card based on your usual transactions and spending patterns.
Here is what you must look at when comparing different travel cards:
Domestic vs International Travel: Before choosing a card, ask yourself whether most of your trips tend to be domestic or international. For example, you can select SBI ELITE Credit Card if most of your trips are international.
Airport vs Railway Lounges: If you are a frequent traveller by train, go with an IRCTC co-branded credit card. However, if you generally travel by flight, choose a credit card that offers maximum free airport lounge access and discounts on airline bookings.
Foreign Currency Markup: If you are going to transact often in foreign countries, check the foreign currency markup the bank is charging. In this case, you can choose SBI ELITE Credit Card as it has a markup rate of only 1.99%.
Hotel Vouchers: Premium credit cards often offer vouchers and discounts on your stay at popular hotel chains. These could help you rack up savings if you travel a lot and stay at particular places. Check for such deals to make an informed choice.
If you are using a travel credit card, try to understand the exact utility and maximum benefits of your card. Financial institutions offer a variety of cards tailored to meet the requirements of a specific category of customers.
Here is a list of dos and don’ts that you need to know when using your travel credit card:
Choose the best travel credit card that meets your travel requirements. If you are a frequent flyer your card selection needs to be different from that of a frequent train passenger.
Understand all the benefits offered by your card, so you know when, where, and how to leverage them.
Redeem your reward points against a category that offers maximum conversion value.
Do not let your reward points or other benefits expire.
Do not delay or miss your credit card bill payments, as it will cost you additional charges and late payment penalties.
Do not make any purchases before checking the availability and conversion of reward points and vouchers.
Super-premium credit cards offer high levels of perks and rewards for frequent travellers. These cards are typically reserved for high-net-worth individuals who are willing to pay an annual fee for the privilege of using the card. If you have a monthly income exceeding 100,000 rupees, you are eligible to access a variety of super-premium credit cards that offer exclusive travel benefits such as access to international lounges, air miles, favourable foreign exchange markup fees, and more.
Below is a list of some of the top super-premium credit cards tailored for big spenders looking to maximise their travel experience.
HDFC Bank Infinia Metal Edition
Axis Bank Reserve Credit Card
SBI Aurum Credit Card
Standard Chartered Priority Visa Infinite
Axis Bank Vistara Infinite credit card and Club Vistara SBI Prime card are some of the top credit cards offering Vistara benefits.
Some of the best travel credit cards in India are IRCTC SBI RuPay Credit Card and the Bajaj Finserv RBL Bank Travel Easy SuperCard. In addition to these, ICICI MMT Platinum Credit Card, ICICI MMT Signature Credit Card, and SBI Card ELITE also stand out.
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 the ICICI MMT Platinum Credit Card and the Air India SBI Signature Credit Card.
Credit cards having a low foreign exchange markup fee, such as the SBI ELITE credit card, are ideal for international travel.
Yes, booking a flight with a travel credit card gives you benefits like exclusive discounts, cashback, and special offers. The card also allows you to enjoy complimentary airport lounge access and air accident cover, among other things.
Travel credit cards are beneficial when they offer protection for baggage loss or allow you to earn reward points or miles on bookings. You get to redeem these rewards while travelling to get discounts and save more.
ICICI MMT Signature Credit Card and IRCTC SBI Credit Card are the best choices for domestic travellers. These cards offer free access to airport and railway lounges along with discounts on ticket and hotel bookings.
To find the right travel credit card, you must understand what you require from it. Remember that each of these cards is designed for a specific type of customer. So, choose a credit card that best suits your travel needs based on where you go and what you spend on.
You should use your travel credit card when travelling domestically or abroad, as it offers several discounts and redeemable reward points. You can also use it for regular transactions if it gives you redeemable reward points.
These cards may be worth it if you are a frequent traveller. Travel credit cards provide discounts and offers based on your spending habits or choices while travelling. They also allow you to save money on hotel and flight bookings.
You may need a CIBIL score of 700 or above to apply for a travel credit card. However, the credit score requirement may vary based on the mandates of the issuer.
If you are a frequent traveller, you must have at least one travel credit card. However, you can have more than one as per your travel requirements.