If you are a wanderlust and are frequently flying for business or pleasure, travel credit cards help in increasing your savings. Travel credit cards provide benefits such as reward points, loyalty programs, travel memberships, stay vouchers, welcome perks, and loads of other advantages ranging from travel insurance to complimentary airport lounge access. These cards give good value for money.
Benefits of Travel Credit Cards
Travel credit cards provide a wide range of benefits that can be availed by the credit cardholders while enjoying their holiday. From offering welcome gifts to providing fee waivers, travel credit cards provide a wide variety of features and benefits catering to the needs of frequent travelers. Some of the common benefits offered by most credit cards are:
Most of the travel credit cards offer several reward points or air miles as a welcome gift or sign-up bonus. Both at international and domestic airlines, the points can be redeemed for air miles. Some cards also provide free tickets on select airlines.
Complimentary airport lounge access:
For cardholders to sit and relax in selected airport lounges during flight delays, some travel credit cards provide complimentary lounge visits at both domestic and international airports. The cardholders can enjoy these benefits free of cost. Some lounges give free access to friends and family accompanying the cardholder.
Also Read: Credit score for the Credit Card
Some travel credit cards provide a complete insurance cover that safeguards the cardholder from unexpected expenses that may occur due to air accident, medical exigency, loss of baggage, passport, ticket, etc.
Zero Liability on Lost Card:
If you lose your travel credit card abroad, you should report it immediately to the bank. You will have zero liability on any fraudulent transactions done after reporting the loss.
Annual Fee Waiver:
Most of you may be looking for travel credit cards with zero annual fee or no annual fee. Nevertheless, due to exclusive privileges offered on travel credit cards, it becomes difficult to find one with no annual fee. But, cardholders can avail the annual renewal fee waiver facility offered on most of the travel credit cards.
By spending a specific amount, as decided by the bank, in a given year, cardholders can avail annual fee waiver for the subsequent year. By reaching the target spend every year, cardholders can enjoy the benefits of a no annual fee credit card.
Some travel credit cards come with complimentary golf lessons, free movie tickets, and reward points on dining. Many credit card issuers have partnered with major airline companies such as Jet Airways, Vistara airlines, etc. to provide comprehensive benefits for their customers. Some of the common benefits provided by travel credit cards include:
- Complimentary benefits such as membership in airport programs and airline programs
- Bonus air miles
- Get free lounge access to both domestic and international airports
- Accelerated reward points on airline related spends
- Reward point redemption for air miles
- Discounts on air ticket bookings
- Extra baggage allowance, etc.
- Priority check-in at partner airlines
Ten Best Travel Credit Cards
Here is a list of the 10 best travel credit cards, both co-branded and generic, along with their features and benefits. These are the cards that offer maximum value for money.
Citi PremierMiles Credit Card
Citi PremierMiles credit card is a travel credit card suitable for frequent travelers who wish to avail air mile benefits.
- A welcome gift of 10,000 miles on spending Rs. 1000 within 60 days.
- Acquire 10 miles per Rs. 100 spent on airline transactions and the PremierMiles website
- Accumulated air miles never expire.
- 4 miles for every Rs. 100 spent on the card.
- 8 domestic lounge visits per quarter offered as complimentary.
- An Air accident covers up to Rs. 1 crore.
SBI Card ELITE
SBI Card Elite is one of the best all-rounder cards that provides benefits across travel, shopping, and movies.
- Welcome voucher worth Rs. 5,000 that can be redeemed on Yatra.
- Club Vistara silver membership along with 1 complimentary upgrade voucher
- Low forex mark-up fee of 1.99%
- 9 CV points for Rs. 100 spent on Vistara flights
- Complimentary Trident Privilege Red Tier membership with 1,000 welcome points given on registration
- Complimentary Priority Pass Membership along with 6 international lounge visits each calendar year.
- Earn 2 complimentary domestic airport lounge visits per quarter
HDFC Regalia Credit Card
HDFC Regalia is amongst the best credit cards in India. It is most suited for heavy spenders and those who travel often.
- 6 complimentary lounge visits outside India
- 12 complimentary lounge visits within India
- Low forex mark-up fee of 2%
- Get Priority Pass Membership for primary and add-on members
- You can use reward points for flights and hotel bookings via Smartbuy (1 point = Rs 0.50)
- Air Miles conversion via internet banking (1 point = 0.5 air miles)
HDFC Bank Diners Club
It is a co-branded credit card that provides exclusive benefits on Jet Airways flight bookings.
- Annual or Joining fees: Rs. 5000
- The interest fee is 1.99%
- The insurance is Rs. 2 crores for air accident cover, Rs. 50 Lakhs for emergency overseas hospitalization, up to Rs. 55,000 for baggage delay, and up to Rs. 9 Lakhs credit liability cover.
- 8 inter miles per Rs. 150 on retail spends.
- Earn 16 InterMiles on Rs 150 spent on flights booked on flights.intermiles.com.
- Earn 16 InterMiles on Rs 150 spent on hotels booked on Interbook.intermiles.com.
- 10% & 5% discount on Etihad Airways business & economy class tickets, respectively.
- Earn 2.5X bonus InterMiles for EA tickets booked on flights.intermiles.com.
- Welcome benefits comprise Inter-Miles gold membership, up to 25,000 bonus InterMiles, Rs 2,000 flight, & Rs 3,000 hotel discount vouchers for the first year.
- Limitless golf games at leading courses across India and select courses across the globe.
- Unlimited airport lounge access to 1,000+ lounges in India and across the world.
Air India SBI Signature Credit Card
SBI Air India Signature credit card is one of the best travel credit cards in India, particularly for Air India loyalists.
- 20,000 reward points as a welcome benefit
- Earn Up to 30 reward points for each Rs. 100 spent on Air India ticket booking
- Earn up to 1 Lakh reward points yearly
- 8 VISA lounge access yearly (maximum 2 per quarter) as complimentary.
- Lost card liability cover of up to Rs. 1 lakh
- 1% fuel surcharge waiver for transactions worth Rs. 500 to Rs. 4,000
Axis Bank Vistara Signature Credit Card
Axis Bank Vistara Signature Credit Card is suitable for those who are regular travelers and prefer Vistara Airlines.
- Welcome benefit of 1 complimentary premium economy ticket
- 4 Club Vistara points per Rs. 200 spent on the card
- For booking flights and other upgrades, rewards can be redeemed.
- Bonus CV points and up to 4 complimentary premium economy tickets on achieving spending milestones.
- Air accident cover of up to Rs. 2.5 crores and purchase protection cover of Rs. 1 Lakh
- Lost card liability cover capped at 100% of the credit limit
InterMiles HDFC Signature Credit Card
The Inter Miles HDFC Bank Signature Credit Card is a co-branded credit card provided by HDFC bank and InterMiles. It offers customers a broad range of features and benefits across different categories such as travel, reward points, fuel, and dining.
- The joining bonus is 8,000 InterMiles.
- Complimentary access to the airport lounge program.
- Acquire up to 8 InterMiles on booking flights and hotels on the InterMiles website.
- Waiver on fuel surcharge
- Complimentary membership to the Dineout Passport Program.
MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Signature Credit Card
MMT ICICI Bank Signature Credit Card is ready-made for frequent travelers who do not wish to compromise on luxury.
- Welcome benefit of complimentary Rs. 1,500 My Cash
- 1 International lounge benefit under Dreamfolks membership
- 1 complimentary railway lounge access per quarter
- 2 complimentary domestic airport lounge access each quarter on spending Rs. 5,000 in the previous quarter
- You will get a complimentary international roaming pack up to Rs. 3,999
- Complimentary MMT BLACK Exclusive membership
IRCTC SBI Card Premier
There are a number of credit cards that meet the needs of air travelers. But, only some credit cards provide benefits for railway ticket bookings and railway lounge access. Those who travel by trains frequently can save greatly by using this credit card.
- Welcome benefits: 1,500 reward points on payment of the joining fee
- Here, one reward point is equal to 1 rupee.
- 10% value back on AC1, AC2, AC3, AC, and CC as reward points on IRCTC
- Earn 3 reward points for each spend of Rs 125 on dining and standing instructions.
- 2,500 reward points on achieving a milestone of Rs. 50,000 on travel expenses annually.
- 1000 reward points on achieving the milestone of Rs. 1 Lakh on travel spends annually
- Complimentary rail accident insurance of Rs. 10 Lakh
- Complimentary air accident insurance of Rs. 50 Lakh
- 8 railway lounge accesses in a year at specific lounges.
Thus, you should research and compare online and choose the best travel credit card suitable for you.