I am listing the best credit cards for travel in India which give maximum discounts while booking tickets, rewards points (which can be used for further ticket bookings) and complimentary access to lounges.
All premium credit cards give lounge access but may not give any extra travel benefits.
Here you can find details of 11 credit cards that provide additional benefit on ticket bookings.
Best Credit Card for Travel in India
Amex Platinum Travel credit card is the best travel credit card in India as the credit card offers complimentary lounge access and travel gift vouchers.
You can enjoy 4 complimentary lounges visit per year. You would also get additional travel vouchers worth Rs. 17, 000 and Taj Hotels gift card worth Rs. 10,000, if you spend more than Rs. 4 Lakhs in a year.
Amex Travel Platinum Credit Card Annual Fees
- First-year – Rs. 3500 (5000 rewards points)
- Second year onwards – Rs. 5000
I redeemed rewards points for travel vouchers worth Rs. 4000 which compensated the first year annual fees.
Diners Club Black is a super premium credit card which offers unlimited airport lounge access. You can visit 700+ lounges in India and worldwide without the need for a separate priority pass.
You will also get 5 reward points worth Rs. 5 on spending Rs. 150. A direct saving of 3.3% on your every day spends.
- First year– Rs. 10,000 (spend Rs. 5 lakh and get next year fee waiver)
- Second year onwards– Rs 5,000
- First-year welcome gift of 10000 points
- 5000 rewards points on renewal
The welcome gifts are equal to the annual fee. So, you can enjoy all the benefit without spending a single penny.
You must have a monthly salary of Rs. 1.75 Lakhs or income of 21 lakh per annum to get this credit card.
10X Reward points on Smartbuy
(Offer Valid till 30 April 2019)
Earn 10X Reward Points on all purchases in SmartBUY while you Compare and Shop with brands like Flipkart, Cleartrip & Yatra
Note: Maximum reward points earned per month is 25,000
10X offer on E-com Brands
(Offer valid 30 June 2019)
- Earn 10X Reward Points on select Brands
- Tata CLiQ
- Treebo Hotels
The card is best if you are a frequent traveler and want to have free lounge access.
Yes Preferred card offers complimentary 12 domestic and 4 international lounge access every year.
You can also earn up to 36000 bonus points in the very first year. 15000 points as a welcome gift, 20,000 milestone points on spending Rs. 7.5 Lakhs, 1000 points on every YES PayNow registration.
These reward points can be redeemed for flight and hotel bookings.
Annual Fees & Renewal Fees: Rs. 2500
- 15000 points in the first year
- 10000 points on each renewal
You can get Yes Preferred card if you have a monthly income of Rs. 2 Lakhs. Otherwise, you can get the card by making a fixed deposit of Rs. 3 Lakhs and above.
SBI Air India Signature card is best if you travel frequently on Air India Flights.
You can earn up to 30 reward points per Rs. 100 spent on AirIndia tickets with Air India SBI Signature Card (30 points for self and 10 points when booked for others).
You would also get 8 complimentary domestic airport lounge visits per year. For International airport lounge, you have to pay $27 per visit using Priority Pass Program.
Annual Fees – Rs. 4999
- First year – 20,000 reward points
- Second year – 5000 points
You can cumulatively get up to 100,000 bonus reward points on milestone spends which can later be converted into air miles.
SBI Elite credit card is a premium credit card which offers 8 domestic and 6 international lounge access every year.
You would also get 10 points per Rs. 100 spent on dining, departmental stores, grocery & international spends.
Annual fee: Rs. 4999 (spend Rs. 10 Lakhs and get annual fee waiver)
You will get a welcome gift worth Rs. 4999
- 10,000 bonus reward points on achieving annual spends of Rs. 3 lakhs and 4 lakhs
- 15,000 bonus reward points on achieving annual spends of Rs. 5 lakhs and 8 lakhs
You can use reward points for travel booking. The only bonus reward points are equal to a direct saving of up to 1.5%.
You can earn 10 miles for every Rs. 100 spent on booking at Citi premier website on any airlines with Citi Premier Miles credit card.
You will also get 8 complimentary domestic lounge access per quarter on Visa Signature card and 6 domestic lounge visits access per quarter on MasterCard World card.
Note: Premier Miles doesn’t offer any international complimentary lounge access.
Annual Fees– Rs. 3000 (first-year fee waiver for Citi priority account holders)
- 10,000 Miles with your first spend of Rs. 1,000
- 3,000 Miles on renewal
You can redeem miles for MMT, Goibibo, Indigo, Yatra, Bookmyshow, IndianOil, Amazon, Flipkart for domestic and international airlines. The redemption value varies from 0.15 to 0.45 paise depending on the redemption option.
ICICI JetAirways Sapphiro card is the best credit card for JetAirways travelers. You can save 5% discount on the base fare for all domestic and international air tickets booking on jetairways.com
You would also get 10 JPMiles per Rs. 100 by spending on JetAirways.
ICICI JetAirways Sapphiro offers 8 complimentary domestic and 2 international lounge access every year. You would also get 2 spa sessions at Indian airports through complimentary DragonPass membership every year.
Annual Fees: Rs. 5000
- 12,500 bonus JPMiles and an air ticket voucher
- 5,000 JPMiles and an air ticket voucher on every renewal
Axis Privilege credit card is the best credit card if you use Yatra for your travel booking. Because you would get Yatra voucher worth Rs 5,000 as a welcome gift and one Yatra voucher worth Rs. 5,000 on spending Rs 2.5 Lakhs.
You would get 8 complimentary domestic lounge access at selected airports in India.
Annual Fees – Rs. 1500 ( waiver on spending Rs. 4 Lakhs)
You can save 2% (5 points= 5×0.40= Rs. 2) on all your spends including travel with Axis Bank Privilege Credit Card.
ICICI Sapphiro credit card comes in two variants, Sapphiro Mastercard and Sapphiro Platinum American Express Card.
Sapphiro Mastercard offers 2 payback points per Rs. 100 on domestic and 4 payback points on international spends.
Sapphiro Platinum American Express Card gives 3 payback points per Rs. 100 on domestic and 6 payback points on international spends.
You would get complimentary 2 international and 16 domestic airport lounge visits every year with both the variants.
- First Year – Rs. 6500
- Renewal Fees: Rs. 3500 (waived off for a spend of more than Rs. 6 Lakhs)
ICICI Sapphiro credit card offers welcome gift voucher worth Rs. 10,000
Welcome Gift Details
- Shoppers Stop Voucher worth Rs. 3000
- 4 EaseMyTrip Vouchers worth Rs. 1000 each
- 4 Ola vouchers worth Rs. 250 each
- 2 Zomato vouchers worth Rs. 500 each
- Croma Voucher worth Rs. 1000
You would also Get 4,000 payback points on spending Rs. 4 Lakhs and additional 2000 payback points each time you cross Rs. 1 Lakh spend thereafter in one year.
Royal signature credit card is best for you if you spend on travel agencies, tour operators which are unusual for a premium card.
The Kotak royale credit card gives 4X reward points per Rs. 150 spend on Airlines, hotels, restaurants, travel agencies & tour operators and package tour operators spend.
You will also get 8 complimentary domestic lounge access every year.
Annual Fees: Rs. 999 (spend Rs. 1 Lakh and get a waiver)
You will get 2 BookMyShow vouchers on your 1st swipe, worth 200 each as a welcome gift.
- 10,000 bonus reward points on spend Rs. 4,00,000
- earn 30,000 points on spending Rs. 8,00,000 (not extra of 10,000 bonus).
SBI IRCTC credit card is the only credit card for railway traveler. You can get up to 10% discount and higher reward value (1 reward point = Re. 1) especially traveling in AC classes (AC1, AC2. AC3 and AC CC).
Plus, you even do not have to pay 1.8% transaction fees, a savings up to 11.8% on all train travel spends.
The only drawback is that you can redeem reward points only to buy tickets on IRCTC.
- First Year – Rs. 500
- Renewal Fees: Rs. 300
You will get 350 bonus points as a welcome gift
No doubt, HDFC Diners Club Black is the best so far in the Indian market. But the approval requirements are difficult to meet to get HDFC Diners Black.
I use Amex Travel Platinum as my primary credit card for travel needs. Hit the milestones to get bonus gifts and enjoy the redemption of points against hotels.