International Credit Card

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International Cards

Having a credit card that provides benefits on international usage is essential if you travel abroad often. An international credit card functions as a dedicated credit card for international transactions and makes purchasing online or at a point-of-sale (PoS) overseas extremely hassle-free. 

 

You can earn air miles, access domestic and international airport lounges, and avail of other fantastic travel benefits with some of the best international credit cards in India.

Some of the Top International Credit Cards and their Features

While there are a lot of credit cards in the market that offer benefits for frequent travellers, below are details about the three best international credit cards, along with their features and charges.

Card Name

Features

 

 

 

 

SBI Card ELITE

 

  • A ₹5,000 welcome e-gift card that can be used at stores like Yatra, Hush Puppies/Bata, Pantaloons, Aditya Birla Apparel, and Shoppers Stop.

  • Achieve up to 50,000 Bonus Reward Points annually, valued ₹12,500.

  • Spending in restaurants, department stores, and grocery stores will earn 5X reward points.

  • Free Priority Pass Program membership, valued at $99

  • Get a free Club Vistara Silver membership and one free upgrade voucher. 

 

 

 

HDFC Infinia Credit Card

  • Enjoy free nights and complimentary buffets at selected ITC hotels

  • Get your first year of Club Marriott membership for free

  • Access to airport lounges worldwide for primary and add-on members

  • Earn 5 reward points for every ₹150 spent

  • Access to a 24/7 personal concierge service globally

 

 

 

Air India SBI Signature Card

  • Welcome gift of 20,000 Reward points on payment of your joining fee

  • Air India Frequent Flyer program (Flying Returns complimentary membership)

  • You can convert 1 Reward point into 1 Air India Air mile.

  • Access to more than 600 airport lounges around the world through the Priority Pass Program

  • Earn up to 1,00,000 bonus reward points every year

Features and Benefits of Using International Credit Cards

While the features and benefits may vary from one international credit card to another, some of the common features are listed below:

 

  • You can use the international credit card seamlessly over the counter as well as online to pay for goods bought and services availed abroad

  • You can withdraw cash abroad, and this can help when faced with a cash crunch

  • In most cases, the card also doubles as an international lounge access credit card and can be used at various international airports across the globe

  • Every time you use an international credit card overseas, you earn credit card reward points that can be redeemed later to enjoy attractive discounts and deals

  • The best international credit cards offer amazing discounts and rewards on flight and hotel bookings

  • Few premium international cards also offer complimentary memberships and concierge services to assist you when travelling overseas.

Tips to Maximise the Benefits of International Credit Cards

Using international credit cards can provide a range of benefits, including convenience, security, and rewards. 

 

Here are some tips to help you maximise these benefits:

 

  • Choose the Right Card: Do your research to find an international credit card that offers the benefits you need, such as low foreign transaction fees, travel rewards, or cashback programs. Look for a card that is widely accepted in the countries you plan to visit.

  • Notify Your Bank: Let your bank know where and when you will be travelling so they can monitor your account for any suspicious activity. This can also prevent your card from being blocked when you try to make a purchase abroad.

  • Utilise Multiple Cards: It's also a good idea to take at least two credit cards with you, from different payment networks, when you travel. The reason for this is that specific payment networks may not be accepted by some merchants, and when travelling, your credit limit can easily be depleted due to hotels reserving a certain amount on your card for potential expenses.

How to Choose the Perfect International Credit Card

When choosing an international credit card, consider a wide range of factors. This ensures that you select the perfect card for your needs. Here are some expert tips for selecting the ideal international credit card. 

 

  • Look for Sign-up Bonuses: As a traveller, you may be encouraged to apply for several travel reward cards due to their sizable sign-up bonuses. Utilising these bonuses can significantly lower your travel expenses, especially if you plan on going far away.

  • Check the Foreign Transaction Fees: You should look for a credit card that has low or no foreign transaction fees. This can save you a significant amount of money when using your card abroad.

  • Look for Chip and Pin Technology: Many countries have already switched to chip and pin technology for credit card transactions, so it's important to choose a card that supports this technology to avoid any issue with using your card abroad.

  • Review the Rewards Program: Consider the rewards program offered by the card and ensure that it aligns with your travel plans. Look for a card that offers rewards that you will actually use. This includes miles or points that can be redeemed for travel, hotel stays, or other perks.

  • Check the Acceptance Network: Make sure that the card is widely accepted in the countries you plan to visit. Visa and Mastercard are generally accepted worldwide.

  • Review the Annual Fee: Look at the annual fee charged by the card and consider whether the rewards and benefits offered by the card justify the cost. Some cards may offer a waived annual fee for the first year, which can be a good way to try out the card before committing to it.

By taking these factors into account, you can choose the perfect international credit card that meets your needs.

How to Apply for International Credit Cards

You can easily apply for an international credit card online. To do so, you need to follow the steps mentioned below:

 

  • Visit $$BrandName$$%.

  • Go to the ‘Credit Card’ section.

  • Browse through the international credit card list available on the website to understand more about credit card foreign transaction fees, international card services, etc.

  • Select the best credit cards for international travel usage as per your preference.

  • Enter the details requested, such as email id, contact number, etc.

  • Click on ‘Apply’.

  • Validate with the OTP received and get access to your online international credit card application form.

  • Check your eligibility for the card, fill in all applicable details in the international credit card application form, and submit.

Alternatively, you can also apply for the best credit card for international travel transactions offline by visiting the nearest branch of the bank from which you wish to get the card. You must carry all relevant credit card documents for your application and request a bank representative to assist you. 

 

The representative would then check your credit card eligibility and help you decide and apply for a card that best suits your needs.

Utilise Credit Cards for Foreign Currency Transactions to Their Fullest 

Using credit cards for foreign currency transactions can be an excellent way to save money and get the most out of your purchases. Here are some tips to help you utilise your credit card for foreign currency transactions to their fullest:

 

  • Choose the right credit card: Look for a credit card that offers the best exchange rates and the lowest fees for foreign currency transactions. Some credit cards even offer rewards or cashback on foreign purchases.

  • Watch out for foreign transaction fees: Most credit cards charge a fee for foreign transactions, typically around 3%. Look for a card that waives this fee or offers a lower rate.

  • Use your credit card for larger purchases: Credit cards often offer better exchange rates for larger transactions, so try to use your credit card for bigger purchases.

  • Keep an eye on your credit card statements: Make sure to check your credit card statements regularly to ensure that you are not being overcharged for foreign transactions. If you spot any discrepancies, contact your credit card company immediately.

Some Super Premium Credit Cards for International Use

In addition to the international credit cards, there are some other premium credit cards that are ideal for international use due to their low foreign exchange markup fees. These cards provide extra advantages on international transactions, such as access to lounges, bonus rewards, and more. 

 

Below is a compilation of some of the best credit cards for international travel.

Credit Card

Annual Fee

Key Features

Axis Bank Reserve Credit Card

₹ 50,000

  • 1.5% foreign transaction markup fee

  • Primary and add-on cardholders get free unlimited domestic visits

  • Complimentary memberships to  Club Marriott Asia Pacific, Accorplus, and ITC Culinaire.

HDFC Diners Club Black Credit Card

₹ 10,000

  • 2% foreign exchange markup fee

  • Unlimited airport lounge access globally for primary and add-on users

  • Redeemable reward points for Air Miles or flight/hotel bookings

  • Earn 5 reward points for every ₹ 150 spent

  • Up to 10X reward points on SmartBuy purchases

SBI Aurum Credit Card

₹ 10,000

  • 1.99% fee for foreign currency transactions

  • Unlimited access to international lounges

  • 4 free domestic lounge visits every quarter

  • 1 complimentary domestic airport spa visit per quarter

  • 4 reward points earned for every ₹ 100 spent on the card.

ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card

₹ 12,000

  • International transactions have a low markup fee of 1.5%

  • Unlimited access to international and domestic lounges is included

  • Unlimited access to domestic airport spas is also included

  • No cancellation fees for travel and hotel bookings

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FAQs on International Credit Cards

  • ✔️Which are the different international lounge access credit cards?

    The most popular international lounge access credit card variants include Citi PremierMiles credit card and SBI Card ELITE, among others.

  • ✔️How does international credit card processing happen?

    When you pay using your credit card at international locations, a foreign exchange mark-up levied on transacted funds is deducted automatically by the payment processor and provided to the merchant in his/her account.

  • ✔️Can you withdraw cash using an international credit card?

    Yes, an international credit card can be used to withdraw cash at ATMs while travelling overseas.

     

  • ✔️Which travel credit cards are best suited for frequent international travellers?

    There are several international credit cards with great travel perks, dining and shopping privileges, and low forex fees. Some of the best international credit cards include the Citi PremiereMiles, HDFC Infinia, SBI Card ELITE, RBL World Safari, and Air India SBI Signature cards.

     

  • ✔️Which credit card can be used internationally?

    A number of banks and credit card issuing companies offer international credit cards as part of their products.

    These credit cards come with their own specific travel benefits, such as travel reward points, airport lounge access, air miles, low markup fees, and more. So, depending on your travel needs, you can choose the best international credit cards.

     

  • ✔️How can I get an international credit card?

    To choose the best international credit card, you can visit the Credit Card section on $$BrandName$$%. Browse through the list of cards available to learn more about foreign transaction fees, international services, and other features.

    Once you've found a card that suits your needs, check your eligibility and click on "Apply" to begin the application process.

     

  • ✔️How important is your credit score if you apply for an international credit card?

    Your credit score is important when applying for an international credit card as it helps determine your creditworthiness. A good score can increase your chances of approval and access to better credit card offers.

     

  • ✔️What are the fees and charges on International Credit Cards?

    International credit cards typically come with various fees and charges, including annual fees, foreign transaction fees, late payment fees, over-limit fees, cash advance fees, and interest charges on balances that are not paid in full. 

     

    The specific fees and charges depend on the issuer and the type of card.