Best Travel Credit Card India in 2023

March 30, 2023

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Unless you’re secretly Tony Stark, the cost of your next trip might make your eyes bulge. Travelling has the glory to its name but is hard work. Banks and other financial institutions provide travel credit cards to people looking forward to a business or a leisure trip. These cards offer various benefits, like discounts on hotel and flight bookings and rewards in the form of points or miles that can be used for travel-related purchases. The best travel rewards credit cards are lucrative but frequently incur annual fees and relatively high-interest rates.

Get vacation ready with this blog on the best travel credit card in India. Pack your bags; it’s gone time!

Top 10 Best Travel Credit Cards in India 2023

Credit Card Annual Fee (in INR) Renewal Fee (in INR) Best For Welcome Benefits
SBI Card ELITE 4,999 + Taxes 4,999 + Taxes Low Forex Markup E-gift voucher worth INR 5,000
HDFC Regalia 2,500 + Taxes 2,500 + Taxes Travel booking with points 2,500 reward points
HDFC Bank Superia Airline Credit Card 2,500 + Taxes 2,500 + Taxes Travel booking with points and other dining benefits 1,000 reward points
Air India SBI Signature 4,999 + Taxes 4,999 + Taxes Travelling offers with Air India 20,000 reward points
Axis Bank Vistara Signature 3,000 3,000 Travelling offers with Vistara 1 premium economy class flight ticket
InterMiles ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card 5,000 5,000 Complimentary discount vouchers 10,000 InterMiles
Air India SBI Platinum Card 1,499 1,499 Up to 15000 bonus points 5,000 reward points
IRCTC SBI Card Premier 1,499 + Taxes 1,499 Railway Bookings 1,500 reward points
Yatra SBI Card 499 + Taxes 499 + Taxes Travelling offers with Yatra Vouchers of yatra.com worth INR 8,250
Citi PremierMiles Credit Card 3,000 Not available Travelling offers with EaseMyTrip 10,000 miles

SBI Card ELITE

SBI Card Elite is a premium all-purpose card that offers travel, shopping, and movie benefits. The card also comes with a free Silver membership to Club Vistara, which entitles you to flight upgrades and other perks from Vistara Airlines. You can get free international (via Priority Pass), and domestic (via Visa/Mastercard) lounge visits on the card. The card also provides hotel benefits, but only at Trident Hotels.

On dining, grocery, and department store purchases, the cardholder earns 5X reward points. Except for fuel, the card offers two reward points for every Rs. 100 spent on all other purchases. However, the reward value offered is quite low at 1 point = Rs. 0.25. The following makes it one of the best travel credit card India has witnessed.

SBI Card ELITE

Travel Benefits and Reward Programs

  • One can redeem Yatra welcome voucher worth INR 5,000.
  • A 1.99% forex markup fee is charged.
  • Club Vistara Silver Membership includes one free upgrade voucher and 9 CV points for every INR 100 spent on Vistara flights.
  • Complimentary Membership in Trident Privilege Red Tier with 1,000 welcome points upon registration
  • Complimentary Priority Pass membership with six international lounge visits per year
  • Every quarter, two complimentary domestic airport lounge visits are provided.

HDFC Bank Regalia

The HDFC Regalia credit card is one of the best in India. It is best suited for high-spending individuals and frequent travellers. If you travel frequently, Regalia will provide you with six international lounges per year and twelve domestic lounges per year. This card has a low foreign exchange markup fee of only 2% for frequent international travellers. The forex markup fee is typically 3.5% or higher, with only a few cards in the market charging a lower rate. One of them is HDFC Regalia. You also get generous bonus rewards when you reach certain spending thresholds.

This card has a default reward earning rate of 2.67%, which is excellent and difficult to find with other banks. However, the redemption rate is only 0.5%. So, if you spend INR 15,000, you will receive 400 reward points worth INR 200 when redeemed. If you are a frequent shopper and frequently travel throughout the year, this card is ideal for you.

HDFC Bank Regalia

Travel Benefits

  • 12 complimentary visits to Indian lounges
  • 6 free lounge visits outside of India
  • Membership in Priority Pass for primary and secondary members
  • A 2% forex markup fee is charged.
  • Use Smartbuy reward points to book flights and hotels (1 point = Rs 0.50).
  • Conversion of Airmiles via internet banking (1 point = 0.5 Airmile)

Air India SBI Signature

The SBI Air India Signature credit card is one of the best travel credit card in India, particularly for Air India fans. The basic reward earning rate is 4%, and all points are worth the same number of Air India Miles. If you spend INR 20 lakh in a year, you can earn up to 1 lakh reward points, equivalent to 1 lakh Air India Miles and used to get free flights multiple times. Another advantage of redeeming rewards points is that they are not limited to air mile conversion; you can use them to obtain services from the rewards catalogue.

Air India SBI Signature

Travel Benefits

  • As a welcome bonus, you will receive 20,000 reward points.
  • Earn up to 1 lakh reward points per year.
  • Every Rs. 100 spent on Air India ticket booking earns you up to 30 reward points.
  • Eight complimentary VISA lounge visits per year (max. 2 per quarter)
  • Up to Rs. 1 lakh in liability coverage for lost cards
  • 1% fuel surcharge exemption for transactions between INR 500 and INR 4,000

Yatra SBI Card

There are certain cards created in partnership with travel portals like Yatra.com, even though the majority of travel credit cards are focused on providing general travel rewards or co-branded airline advantages. Also, the card offers six reward points for every INR 100 spent at department stores, restaurants, movie theatres, and other entertainment venues. For the primary cardholder, complimentary air accident coverage up to INR 50 lakh is also provided, which is once again an unusual perk on a card at this pricing level.

Yatra SBI Card

Travel Benefits

  • Vouchers for domestic and international travel, vacation, and hotel booking, totalling INR 8,250, are provided as welcome gifts on Yatra.
  • 1,000 off domestic flight reservations with a minimum purchase of INR 5,000
  • 4,000 off foreign flight reservations with a minimum purchase of INR 40,000
  • 20% off domestic hotel bookings with a 3,000 rupee minimum transaction value
  • When a ticket is purchased through Yatra.com and paid for using a Yatra SBI Card, the primary cardholder is entitled to complimentary air accident insurance of INR 50 lakh. Moreover, all gas stations remove the 1% fuel levy for transactions between INR 500 and INR 3,000.

HDFC Superia Card

The HDFC Bank Superia card is a premium credit card with many wonderful features and advantages in areas like eating, travel, petrol, and retail. Together with a welcome incentive, the card also offers reward points for each purchase you make. Use your HDFC Bank Superia credit card for dining and receive 50% more reward points. For minimum transactions of INR 400, the 1% fuel surcharge is eliminated on all fuel transactions.

Fuel transactions are only eligible for a maximum cashback of INR 500 every statement cycle.

The first year of membership is free if you spend INR 15,000 during the first 90 days of account setup. You must spend INR 75,000 in the first year to get your annual fee waived for the next year.

HDFC Superia Card

Travel Benefits

  • Using the KrisFlyer – Singapore Airlines Frequent Flyer Program, you can exchange the reward points you have accrued on your credit card for airfare on more than 20 foreign airlines.
  • The reward points can also be exchanged for AirMiles. Tickets from Air India can be purchased using these miles. The miles can also be used to purchase tickets on other well-known domestic carriers.

IRCTC SBI Card Premier

Many credit cards are available that are designed with air travellers in mind. Yet, very few credit cards offer advantages for purchasing train tickets and using train lounges. Using this credit card saves frequent rail travellers a tonne of money. On ordering air-conditioned tickets, IRCTC SBI Card Premier offers 10% value back as reward points on all purchases (AC1, AC2, AC3 and AC CC). Additionally, any plane ticket and e-catering purchases made through the IRCTC website or app will earn you 5% back. Also, you will receive a waiver of 1.8% for air ticket purchases made through the IRCTC website and a waiver of 1% for train ticket purchases.

IRCTC SBI Card Premier

Travel Benefits

  • 1,500 Reward Points as welcome bonuses after paying the membership fee
  • 1 Reward Point is 10% of 1 Rupee. Returning to AC1, AC2, AC3, and AC CC as IRCTC Reward Points
  • For every INR 125 spent on dining and standing orders, you receive three reward points.
  • 2,500 reward points are earned when you spend INR 50,000 on travel each year, and 5,000 reward points are earned when you spend INR 1 lakh on travel each year.
  • 10 lakh rupees in free rail accident insurance
  • Free INR 50 lakh in aviation accident insurance
  • Eight entrances per year to specific lounges on trains

Axis Bank Vistara Signature

The Axis Bank Vistara Signature Credit Card is ideal for frequent travellers who prefer Vistara Airlines. It awards 2% Club Vistara Points, which can be redeemed for flight upgrades and free flights. The more you spend on the card, the more travel benefits you will receive, as the card’s milestone benefits are excellent. You can earn up to four premium economy tickets per year by meeting spending goals.

Long-distance flights earn more rewards than short-distance flights because the total payable amount on the former is greater. You can also get a Club Vistara Silver membership, travel insurance, and discounted golf access.

Axis Bank Vistara Signature

Travel Benefits

  • As a welcome gift, you will receive one complimentary Premium Economy ticket.
  • 4 Club Vistara Points for every Rs. 200 spent on the card Reward points can be redeemed for flight bookings and other upgrades.
  • Bonus CV points and up to four complimentary Premium Economy tickets upon reaching certain spending thresholds
  • Up to Rs. 2.5 crore in air accident insurance and Rs. 1 lakh in purchase protection insurance
  • Up to 100% credit limit liability coverage for lost cards

InterMiles ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card

In partnership with the InterMiles frequent flyer programme, ICICI Bank provides the InterMiles ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card. It has two versions: one for American Express and one for Visa. In regards to the advantages they provide, the two types are only slightly different. You can use the InterMiles you earn on your InterMiles ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card to make reservations for flights and hotels with partner airlines and hotel chains through the InterMiles website.

InterMiles ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card

Travel Benefits

  • Rewards Points can be converted into InterMiles and earned faster when booking hotels and flights through the InterMiles website.
  • Free domestic spa visits and free (limited) access to domestic and international lounges are included with the free Dreamfolks membership.
  • With a Dreamfolks membership, you receive two free annual visits to foreign airport lounges.
  • If at least Rs. 5,000 was spent in the preceding calendar quarter, and AmEx and Visa customers would receive two complimentary domestic lounge visits each quarter.
  • Both the Visa and American Express versions are eligible for these advantages.

Air India SBI Platinum Card

This is a credit card that all frequent travellers should consider getting the Air India SBI Platinum Card. For this card, the membership charge (which also serves as the first-year fee) is INR 1,499. From the second year, there is an annual fee of INR 1,499. If you have an unpaid amount, interest fees of up to 3.35% per month (or 40.2% annually) will be applied.

air india sbi platinum card

Travel Benefits

  • You can sign up for the premium Flying Returns frequent flyer programme with the card for free.
  • You can receive up to 15 reward points for every Rs. 100 you spend on airfare when you book through the Air India website.
  • Also, it provides free access to lounges at domestic airports.
  • When you pay the card’s annual renewal charge, you receive 2,000 reward points.

Citi PremierMiles Credit Card

The Citibank PremierMiles Credit Card is among the best travel credit card in India. This card comes with a rewards programme, and the rewards are AirMiles. Although you can use these Miles to make a variety of purchases, using them to book flights or hotels through partner airlines or hotel chains or Citibank’s PremierMiles portal offers the most value. Also, these Miles can be transferred to other hotel or airline loyalty schemes. You receive 10,000 Miles from Citibank at sign-up and 3000 Miles annually when your card membership is renewed.

For every INR 100 spent on flight reservations or the bank’s PremierMiles website, you receive 10 Miles. With every further transaction, you will receive 4 Miles. 32 domestic lounge visits per year with the Visa Signature variation and 24 domestic lounge visits per year with the MasterCard variant are additional travel perks. Nevertheless, this credit card does not give you access to overseas lounges.

Citi PremierMiles Credit Card

Travel Benefits

  • For the Visa Signature version, you are entitled to either six or eight domestic lounge visits for free each quarter (applicable for the Mastercard variant).
  • As previously indicated, you can use your earned Miles to book flights on the official airline website or at the airline counter. Also, the Miles can be transferred to affiliated hotel and airline loyalty programmes.
  • If you participate in an airline’s frequent flyer programme, you receive a double benefit: in addition to the ordinary AirMiles you earn as a member, you also receive PremierMiles.

Eligibility Criteria

Individuals seeking the best travel credit cards in India must meet the eligibility criteria set by various banks and financial institutions. The following is the list of the basic eligibility criteria an applicant must meet when applying for travel credit cards.

  • Applicant should be a citizen of India
  • Both salaried and self-employed individuals are eligible
  • Applicants must maintain a good credit score. The ideal credit score for most banks and financial institutions is 650 or above.
  • The applicant must fall in the age group of 21 years to 65 years
  • The applicant must reside in the city of the source of the travel credit card.

It must be noted that the criteria differ from one credit card provider to another. It is best to check with the credit card provider before deciding.

Documents Required

The following documents are required to get the best travel rewards credit card. Customers must produce one document from each of the below-mentioned categories to avail of the required travel credit card.

Identity Proof

  • Aadhaar card
  • PAN card
  • Driving licence
  • Voter ID card
  • Passport

Address Proof

  • Electricity bill
  • Ration card
  • Passport
  • Driving licence
  • Telephone bill
  • Last two months’ bank statement
  • Voter ID

Income Proof

  • Latest payslip
  • Form 16
  • Income tax (IT) return

Age Proof

  • Tenth standard school certificate
  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Voter ID card

It must be noted that a bank may ask for a few additional documents. It is advised to visit the bank’s website to ensure they have every document handy.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do travel credit cards differ from regular ones?

Travel credit cards have features and benefits primarily related to discounts, reward points, and cashback on travel expenses. These credit cards give you access to travel-related promotions. On the other hand, a credit card is a type of credit facility offered by banks that allow customers to borrow funds up to a pre-determined credit limit. It allows customers to make purchases of goods and services.

What are the benefits of using a travel credit card while booking flights and hotels?

Travel credit cards provide accelerated travel rewards as well as benefits such as complimentary lounge access,co-branded benefits, and air mile earning with airlines and travel partners. Cards are best suited for frequent business or leisure travelers.

Are any travel credit cards offering rewards or cashback on purchases?

Yes, there are credit cards that offer rewards or cashback on purchases. Read our blog above to learn about the best travel rewards credit cards.

Can travel credit cards be used to book travel internationally?

Many credit cards can be used to book domestic and international flights at a discounted rates. Additional discounts on hotel bookings may also be available.

Are any travel credit cards offering complimentary lounge access or travel insurance?

Yes, many travel credit cards offer complimentary lounge access or travel insurance. The number of complimentary visits to lounges might be restricted.

How can I compare and choose the best travel credit card for my needs?

It is important to compare different cards to choose the best travel credit card in India. A comparison can be drawn based on the fees, welcome rewards, airline or travel partner, type of travel and other benefits offered.

Shweta Agarwal lets her pen dance to its own tunes. Torn between work and play, she finds solace in sleep. Having done her studies in Finance, she loves to research and write about her niche. She is also the proud author of her poetry book ‘ Hues of Pink ’and loves musical instruments.

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