Best Travel Credit Cards in India 2020

Many of the most valuable credit cards in the market offer travel rewards as their main benefit. Whether they provide flight vouchers, airline miles, airport lounge access or any other great benefits, we've analysed and compared hundreds of cards to find you the best ones out there to suit your needs.

Best Travel Credit Cards
CashbackSC Yatra Platinum10% cashback on Yatra
InterMilesJetPrivilege HDFC Diners ClubUnlimited global lounge access
Yatra DiscountsYatra SBI Card8 lounge visits/year, 20% discount on Yatra bookings
Frequent FliersCiti PremierMiles4.5% on all air bookings, redeem on many airlines
SecuredAxis Insta Easy1.2% rewards & 2.4% on intl., Rs. 20,000 deposit
No FeeBOB Premier2.5% on travel, dining, overseas; lounge access
Axis Pride Signature1.6% back on all spend except fuel, lounge access
MakeMyTripMakeMyTrip ICICI Bank SignatureRs. 4,000 in promotions, Rs 3,999 Airtel roaming pack
ShoppingSnapdeal HDFC Card11.67% Snapdeal, 6.67% travel, Amazon, Flipkart
Air IndiaAir India SBI8 lounge visits/year, Rs. 11,250 in bonuses
Lounge AccessHDFC Diners Club BlackUnlimited global lounge access, Rs. 15,000 in bonuses
ICICI Bank Sapphiro Amex4 quarterly domestic lounge visits, 0.75% on travel
LuxuryCiti PrestigeUnlimited Priority Pass, buy 4 get 1 hotel night

Best Cashback Card for Travel: Standard Chartered Yatra Platinum Credit Card

Consider this if you are looking for a card to use on travel bookings and prefer to book your travels through Yatra

Age Requirement 21-65
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses
  • Sign-Up Bonus: Yatra vouchers worth ₹ 4,000

The Standard Chartered Yatra Platinum Card is the ideal option for any consumer looking to acquire a card used for travelling expenses, specifically on Yatra. The card offers cardholders an excellent 10% cashback on all travel bookings on the platform. This includes domestic and international flights, and hotel bookings. The Standard Chartered Yatra Platinum Card also offers a great perk that allows cardholders to cancel flights without incurring any fees. Alongside the cashback rate, the card also offers cardholders rewards rate of 0.95% (4 points per Rs. 100, 1 reward point = 0.53 InterMiles) on all travel bookings.

Unfortunately, the Yatra Platinum offers cardholders a relatively low 0.48% rewards rate (2 points per Rs. 100, 1 reward point = 0.53 InterMiles) for all other spending categories. As a result, this card is best for those in search of a credit card to use exclusively for travel.

Read Our Review

  • Annual Fee: 499
  • Earn Rate: 10% Cashback on all travel bookings (Rs. 250 cap on domestic flights, Rs. 750 cap on international flights and Rs. 1,000 cap on hotel bookings—this cashback is applicable 12 times per calendar year and max 4 times a month), 4 points per Rs. 100 spent on Yatra travel bookings, 2 points per Rs. 100 spent on all other spending categories
  • Cashback requirement: To receive this cashback the flights must be roundtrips and the hotel booking has to be at least 3 nights with a minimum booking price of Rs. 4,000.
  • Est. Point Value: 1 point = 0.53 InterMiles = ~ Rs. 0.24
  • Travel Perks: Waivers on flight cancellation fees for all tickets booked on the Yatra platform
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Fuel surcharge waiver of 1% across India (maximum waiver of Rs. 150)
  • Receive dining and shopping discounts through the Standard Chartered Good Life Programme
  • Annual Fee: 499
  • Earn Rate: 10% Cashback on all travel bookings (Rs. 250 cap on domestic flights, Rs. 750 cap on international flights and Rs. 1,000 cap on hotel bookings—this cashback is applicable 12 times per calendar year and max 4 times a month), 4 points per Rs. 100 spent on Yatra travel bookings, 2 points per Rs. 100 spent on all other spending categories
  • Cashback requirement: To receive this cashback the flights must be roundtrips and the hotel booking has to be at least 3 nights with a minimum booking price of Rs. 4,000.
  • Est. Point Value: 1 point = 0.53 InterMiles = ~ Rs. 0.24
  • Travel Perks: Waivers on flight cancellation fees for all tickets booked on the Yatra platform
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Fuel surcharge waiver of 1% across India (maximum waiver of Rs. 150)
  • Receive dining and shopping discounts through the Standard Chartered Good Life Programme

Best InterMiles Travel Rewards Card: JetPrivilege HDFC Diners Club Card

Consider this if you like to book your flights using the Intermiles Platform

Age Requirement 21-60 (65 if self-employed)
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses
  • Sign-up Bonus: 15,000 Intermiles (worth ~ ₹ 7,650); ₹ 1,000 voucher for return ticket; an extra 15,000 Intermiles on ₹ 150,000 of spend within first 90 days
  • Renewal Benefit: 10,000 Intermiles (worth ~ ₹ 5,100); ₹ 750 voucher for return ticket

The JetPrivilege HDFC Bank Diners Club Credit Card is the best travel card for those who prefer booking flights on Intermiles. The card earns a great rate of 4.8% (16 points per Rs. 150, 1 point = 1 InterMile = Rs. 0.45). Further, the card does well on other spending with a rewards rate of 2.4% on other categories (8 points per Rs. 150, 1 point = 1 InterMile = Rs. 0.45). The card also has an excellent Etihad Airways rewards rate of 6.0% (20 Intermiles per Rs. 150, 1 point = 1 InterMile = Rs. 0.45) for bookings on Etihad Airways. Additionally, the cardholder will receive a 5% discount on Etihad economy tickets and 10% discount on Etihad business ticket purchases.

Furthermore, the JetPrivilege HDFC Diners Club Card offers great sign-up and renewal bonuses to cardholders, especially high spenders, that can help offset the annual fee. The card will prove to be beneficial to any consumer looking for an option that prefers to fly through the Intermiles platform.

Read Our Review

  • Annual Fee: Rs. 10,000 (first year), Rs. 5,000 (beyond first year)
  • Earn Rate: 8 points per Rs. 150 spent except fuel; 2.5x miles on Etihad bookings; 2x miles on Intermiles
  • Est. Point Value: 1 intermile = Rs. 0.45
  • Perks: Diners Club Lounge access (600+ lounges globally); unlimited free golf games (green fee waiver) at 20 courses in India & 40 worldwide; free golf lesson at select ranges in India; domestic airport premiere check-in & extra baggage allowance; dining discounts
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400 – 5,000; max Rs. 1,000 waived per month
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 10,000 (first year), Rs. 5,000 (beyond first year)
  • Earn Rate: 8 points per Rs. 150 spent except fuel; 2.5x miles on Etihad bookings; 2x miles on Intermiles
  • Est. Point Value: 1 intermile = Rs. 0.45
  • Perks: Diners Club Lounge access (600+ lounges globally); unlimited free golf games (green fee waiver) at 20 courses in India & 40 worldwide; free golf lesson at select ranges in India; domestic airport premiere check-in & extra baggage allowance; dining discounts
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400 – 5,000; max Rs. 1,000 waived per month

Best Credit Card for Yatra Discounts: Yatra SBI Card

Consider this if you frequently book travel online with Yatra

Age Requirement None listed by issuer
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses
  • Welcome Gift: 7 Yatra vouchers totaling Rs. 8,250 (flights, hotels, holiday packages)

The Yatra SBI Card is the best travel credit card in the market for many consumers. On a regular usage basis, the most important travel-related feature is its 6 discounts of up to 20% off flight and hotel bookings on Yatra each year. You'll also get two domestic MasterCard lounge visits per quarter.

On non-travel spend, you receive good rupee value back of 1.5% on retail and grocery stores, and on dining, movies, entertainment and international transactions (6 points per Rs. 100 spent, 25% redemption rate for Yatra vouchers). However, beyond those categories, you'll only get rupee value back of 0.25%, which is below average (1 point per Rs. 100). In all, if you book enough travel with Yatra, this card will provide the excellent overall value using the discounts and rewards to greatly reduce your annual travel expenses.

  • Annual Fee: Rs. 499 (beyond first year, waived on Rs. 100,000 annual spend)
  • Earn Rate: 6 points per Rs. 100 spent on department stores, grocery, dining, movies, entertainment, overseas spend; 1 point per Rs. 100 on other
  • Point Value: 1 Reward Point = Rs. 0.25 Yatra vouchers
  • Perks: 2 free domestic MasterCard lounge visits/quarter (23 lounges, 9 cities) valid until 4/1/19; air accident cover of Rs. 50 lakhs
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 500 – 3,000; max Rs. 100 waived/month
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 499 (beyond first year, waived on Rs. 100,000 annual spend)
  • Earn Rate: 6 points per Rs. 100 spent on department stores, grocery, dining, movies, entertainment, overseas spend; 1 point per Rs. 100 on other
  • Point Value: 1 Reward Point = Rs. 0.25 Yatra vouchers
  • Perks: 2 free domestic MasterCard lounge visits/quarter (23 lounges, 9 cities) valid until 4/1/19; air accident cover of Rs. 50 lakhs
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 500 – 3,000; max Rs. 100 waived/month

Best Flexible Travel Credit Card for Very Frequent Fliers: Citi PremierMiles Credit Card

Consider this if you want maximum airline options and travel very frequently

Age Requirement None listed by issuer
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses
  • Welcome Gift: 10,000 miles (worth Rs. 4,500 in vouchers for online travel partners, e.g. Yatra or MakeMyTrip)
  • Renewal Bonus: 3,000 miles (worth Rs. 1,350 in vouchers)

Citi's PremierMiles Card is the best air miles credit card out there if you travel regularly and on multiple different airlines, due to its very flexible options for earning and redeeming rewards. You'll earn great 4.5% rupee value back on all airline transactions (10 miles per Rs. 100 spent; 100 miles = Rs. 45 with online travel partners like Yatra or MakeMyTrip). On top of that, a substantial portion of the card's value comes from its welcome gift of 10,000 miles (worth Rs. 4,500), with another 3,000 miles (worth Rs. 1,350) each year on renewal.

To round off the card's travel benefits, you'll get 6-8 airport lounge visits per quarter in India (depending on whether you get Visa or MasterCard). On general spend, you'll earn great 1.8% rupee value back (4 miles per Rs. 100 spent). As an additional perk, you can get 15% off dining at certain restaurants. Notably, annual fees can be waived if you are a Citi Priority or Citigold client. Particularly if you have (or can attain) such status as a customer, you should get this card for its high travel flexibility.

  • Annual Fee: Rs. 3,000. First year fee waived for Citi Priority clients. No fee for Citigold clients
  • Earn Rate: 10 Miles per Rs. 100 spent on airline transactions. 4 Miles per Rs. 100 spent on other
  • Point Value: 100 Miles = Rs. 45 on online travel partners (e.g. MakeMyTrip). Transfer to airlines' miles programs 50% less value
  • Perks: Domestic lounge access (MC - 6 visits/quarter, 7 lounges across 5 cities; Visa - 8 visits/quarter, 10 lounges across 5 cities); 15% off certain restaurants
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Indian Oil for transactions on Citi EDCs
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 3,000. First year fee waived for Citi Priority clients. No fee for Citigold clients
  • Earn Rate: 10 Miles per Rs. 100 spent on airline transactions. 4 Miles per Rs. 100 spent on other
  • Point Value: 100 Miles = Rs. 45 on online travel partners (e.g. MakeMyTrip). Transfer to airlines' miles programs 50% less value
  • Perks: Domestic lounge access (MC - 6 visits/quarter, 7 lounges across 5 cities; Visa - 8 visits/quarter, 10 lounges across 5 cities); 15% off certain restaurants
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Indian Oil for transactions on Citi EDCs

Best Credit Card Against Fixed Deposit for Travel Rewards: Axis Bank Insta Easy Credit Card

Consider this if you want a card against fixed deposit that will earn travel rewards

Age Requirement None listed by issuer
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses
  • Welcome Gift: 100 points (worth Rs. 40 Yatra vouchers) on first online transaction

The Axis Bank Insta Easy Credit Card is the best card on the market for earning travel rewards while you need a card against fixed deposit. A deposit of at least Rs. 20,000 is required, but you won't have to pay any annual fees, and it doesn't have age or income requirements. Its welcome gift of 100 points is fairly insignificant, so you'll get the most out of the card from its great 1.2% rupee value back on domestic charges (6 points per Rs. 200; 1 point = Rs. 0.40 in Yatra vouchers).

You'll get an even better rate of 2.4% rupee value back on international charges (12 points per Rs. 200). Dining at select restaurants could also earn you up to 15% off when using the card. Overall, if you're looking for the best travel benefits in a card against fixed deposit, go for the Insta Easy.

  • Minimum Fixed Deposit: Rs. 20,000
  • No Fees
  • Earn Rate: 6 points per Rs. 200 spent on domestic transactions except on Fuel; 12 points per Rs. 200 spent on international transactions
  • Point Value: 1 Axis eDGE Reward Point = Rs. 0.40 Yatra Travel Vouchers
  • Perks: Axis Bank’s Dining Delights program
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400 – 4,000; max Rs. 400 waived per month
  • Minimum Fixed Deposit: Rs. 20,000
  • No Fees
  • Earn Rate: 6 points per Rs. 200 spent on domestic transactions except on fuel; 12 points per Rs. 200 spent on international transactions
  • Point Value: 1 Axis eDGE Reward Point = Rs. 0.40 Yatra Travel Vouchers
  • Perks: Axis Bank’s Dining Delights program
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400 – 4,000; max Rs. 400 waived per month

Best Travel Cards With No Annual Fee

Depending on your spending level, we've recommended a couple of different credit cards with (effectively) no annual fee

BOB Financial Premier Card

Consider this if you spend at least Rs. 120,000 annually on your card

Age Requirement None listed by issuer
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer

The BOB Financial Premier Card is the best credit card available for effectively no annual fee. To be clear, there is technically an annual charge of Rs. 1,000, but the first year's fee is waived on spend of Rs. 10,000 within 60 days, which should be easily achievable for most consumers. Beyond the first year, the waiver requirement does increase to Rs. 120,000 of annual spend, but this should still be achievable for an average spender.

All monetary value from this card comes from rewards earned on spend, with great 2.5% rupee value back on travel, dining and international transactions (10 points per Rs. 100 spent; 1 point = Rs. 0.25). You'll earn a relatively average 0.50% rupee value back on all other spend (2 points per Rs. 100). Last, you'll get access to dozens of lounges across India. Get this travel card if you want to avoid an annual fee, assuming you can meet the annual spending requirement.

  • Annual Fee: Rs. 1,000; first year waived on spend of Rs. 10,000 within 60 days; beyond first year, waived on annual spend of Rs. 120,000
  • Earn Rate: 10 points per Rs. 100 spent on travel, dining and abroad; 2 points per Rs. 100 spent on all other categories
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 0.25
  • Perks: Complimentary access to 38 airport lounges across 22 cities in India; golf program
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400 – 5,000. Max Rs. 250 per month
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 1,000; first year waived on spend of Rs. 10,000 within 60 days; beyond first year, waived on annual spend of Rs. 120,000
  • Earn Rate: 10 points per Rs. 100 spent on travel, dining and abroad; 2 points per Rs. 100 spent on all other spend
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 0.25
  • Perks: Complimentary access to 38 airport lounges across 22 cities in India; golf program
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400 – 5,000. Max Rs. 250 per month

Axis Pride Signature Credit Card

Consider this if you spend at least Rs. 40,000 annually on your card

Age Requirement 18-70
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses
  • Monthly Bonus: 100 points (Rs. 40 in Yatra vouchers) on spend of Rs. 5,000

The Axis Pride Signature Credit Card is the best option for a no-annual fee travel card if you spend less than Rs. 120,000 each year. To be clear, no fee is charged in the first year, but there is technically a Rs. 500 fee each year if you cannot meet the Rs. 40,000 annual spend threshold. However, this should be achievable for many consumers. Most of the card's value comes from rewards earned on spend, with great 1.6% rupee value back on all spend except fuel (8 point per Rs. 200 spent; 1 point = Rs. 0.40 Yatra vouchers). You'll also get 2 lounge visits per quarter across 5 major cities within India, and the card comes with additional dining benefits. If you're looking for a no-fee card, get this one if you can meet its Rs. 40,000 spending requirement.

  • Annual Fee: None 1st year; Rs. 500 beyond 1st year, waived on annual spend of Rs. 40,000
  • Earn Rate: 8 points per Rs. 200 spent except on fuel
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 0.40 Yatra vouchers
  • Perks: Access to 10 lounges across 5 cities in India, 2 visits/quarter; dining benefits
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400 – 4,000. Max Rs. 400 per month
  • Annual Fee: None 1st year; Rs. 500 beyond 1st year, waived on annual spend of Rs. 40,000
  • Earn Rate: 8 points per Rs. 200 spent except on fuel
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 0.40 Yatra vouchers
  • Perks: Access to 10 lounges across 5 cities in India, 2 visits/quarter; dining benefits
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400 – 4,000. Max Rs. 400 per month

Best MakeMyTrip Card: MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Signature Credit Card

Consider this if you prefer booking your travels through MakeMyTrip

Age Requirement None listed by issuer
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses & Promotions
  • Welcome Gift: 10,000 Reward Points (worth ₹ 10,000)
  • Renewal Bonus: 5,000 Reward Points (worth ₹ 5,000); not applicable when renewal fee is waived (requires annual spend of ₹ 500,000)

The MakeMyTrip ICICI Bank Signature Credit Card is great for those who often book trips through MakeMyTrip. This is greatly credited to the promotions and bonuses the card offers to its cardholders. For example, the card offers sign-up bonuses of Rs. 1,500 in My Cash to be used on the MakeMyTrip site and a Lemontree Hotel voucher of Rs. 2,500. The card also offers a solid promotion of Rs. 4,000 of My Cash each anniversary year once the cardholder achieves certain spending limits. The cardholder will also be enrolled into an invitation only MMTDOUBLEBLACK membership, which allows for domestic flight and domestic hotel cancellations. This also includes an MMTBlack membership as a way to receive points through spending, the details for MMTBLACK milestones are displayed in the table below.

Moreover, The MakeMyTrip ICICI Signature Card has a relatively high rewards rate on travel bookings made through MakeMyTrip, at 2% (4 points per Rs. 200) for hotel and holiday spending and 1% (2 points per Rs. 200, 1 point = Rs. 1) for flight bookings. Additionally, for overseas spending the the card offers an elevated rewards rate of 0.75% (1.5 points per Rs. 200, 1 point = Rs. 1). On the other hand, this card has a relatively low rewards rate of 0.63% (1.25 point per Rs. 200, 1 point = Rs. 1) on all other spending beyond the categories of travel bookings and overseas spending. With this in mind, the MakeMyTrip ICICI Signature Card is the best option for those who often use the MakeMyTrip platform.

  • Joining Fee: Rs. 2,500
  • Annual Fee: No Fee
  • Earn Rate: 1.25 point per Rs. 200 all spending, 4 points per Rs. 200 for hotel and holiday spending on MakeMyTrip, 2 points per Rs. 200 for flight bookings on MakeMyTrip, 1.5 points per Rs. 200 for spends outside MakeMyTrip
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 1
  • Travel: Cardholder will receive a Lemon Tree Hotels voucher worth Rs 2,500 as a welcome gift, up to 2 airport lounge visits per quarter, additional international roaming pack up to Rs 3,999 with Airtel
  • MMTBLACK and MMTDOUBLEBLACK: MMTBLACK offers My Cash rewards as cardholder spending increases, MMTDOUBLEBLACK allows the cardholder to cancel 2 domestic flights and 2 domestic hotels. This is provided for one year but to renew there will be a cost of Rs. 1,499
  • Ola: Every 6th ride per month will be free on OLA
  • Joining Fee: Rs. 2,500
  • Annual Fee: No Fee
  • Earn Rate: 1.25 point per Rs. 200 all spending, 4 points per Rs. 200 for hotel and holiday spending on MakeMyTrip, 2 points per Rs. 200 for flight bookings on MakeMyTrip, 1.5 points per Rs. 200 for spends outside MakeMyTrip
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 1
  • Travel: Cardholder will receive a Lemon Tree Hotels voucher worth Rs 2,500 as a welcome gift, up to 2 airport lounge visits per quarter, additional international roaming pack up to Rs 3,999 with Airtel
  • MMTBLACK and MMTDOUBLEBLACK: MMTBLACK offers My Cash rewards as cardholder spending increases, MMTDOUBLEBLACK allows the cardholder to cancel 2 domestic flights and 2 domestic hotels. This is provided for one year but to renew there will be a cost of Rs. 1,499
  • Ola: Every 6th ride per month will be free on OLA
SpendEarn
₹ 20,000₹ 500 My Cash
₹ 50,000₹ 1,250 My Cash
₹ 1,000,000₹ 1,500 My Cash
₹ 2,000,000₹ 3,000 My Cash
₹ 3,000,000₹ 3,750 My Cash
₹ 5,000,000₹ 15,000 My Cash
SpendEarn
₹ 20,000₹ 500 My Cash
₹ 50,000₹ 1,250 My Cash
₹ 1,000,000₹ 1,500 My Cash
₹ 2,000,000₹ 3,000 My Cash
₹ 3,000,000₹ 3,750 My Cash
₹ 5,000,000₹ 15,000 My Cash

Best Card for both Travel and Shopping: Snapdeal HDFC Bank Credit Card

Consider this if you want a great card for both travel and shopping

Age Requirement 21-60 (65 if self-employed)
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses & Promotions
  • Welcome Gift: 1) Rs. 2,000 in Snapdeal Vouchers and 2) 500 Reward Points (redeemable for Rs. 250 in Snapdeal vouchers)
  • Promotion: 20 points per Rs. 150 spent (6.7% rupee value back) & 5% discount on Snapdeal spend - expires March 31st, 2019

If you want great rewards for both your travel and shopping spend, the best card for you is the Snapdeal HDFC Card. It's great welcome gift equates to Rs. 2,250 in Snapdeal vouchers, and then most of its value is from the fantastic 11.67% value back on Snapdeal (5% instant discount + 20 points/Rs. 150 spent; 1 point = Rs. 0.50 Snapdeal vouchers). For travel, you'll get excellent 6.67% value back on HDFC's exclusive SmartBuy platform, with 20 points per Rs. 150 spent on travel bookings. SmartBuy will also give 6.67% value back on Amazon, Flipkart, and more. The 0.67% rupee value back on all other spend (except fuel) is average, so get this card if you want great benefits on travel and shopping.

  • Annual Fee: Rs. 500 (spend Rs. 150,000/year & waive next year’s fee)
  • Snapdeal: 20 points/Rs. 150 spent, 5% instant discount (min transaction Rs. 150, max 10,000 points/month, max Rs. 500 discount/month) - through March 31, 2019
  • Other Rates: 20 points/Rs. 150 on SmartBuy (travel, Amazon, Flipkart); 2 points/Rs. 150 on all other (min transaction Rs. 150)
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 0.50 Snapdeal
  • Perks: Accidental Death Insurance (Rs. 50 lakhs), Fire & Burglary protection
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400-5,000, max waived Rs. 250/month
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 500 (spend Rs. 150,000/year & waive next year’s fee)
  • Snapdeal: 20 points/Rs. 150 spent, 5% instant discount (min transaction Rs. 150, max 10,000 points/month, max Rs. 500 discount/month) - through March 31, 2019
  • Other Rates: 20 points/Rs. 150 on SmartBuy (travel, Amazon, Flipkart); 2 points/Rs. 150 on all other (min transaction Rs. 150)
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 0.50 Snapdeal
  • Perks: Accidental Death Insurance (Rs. 50 lakhs), Fire & Burglary protection
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400-5,000, max waived Rs. 250/month

Best Credit Card for Air India: Air India SBI Signature Card

Consider this if you fly Air India

Age Requirement 21-60
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses
  • Welcome Gift: 20,000 Reward Points (worth about Rs. 9,000)
  • Renewal Bonus: 5,000 Reward Points (worth about Rs. 2,250)
  • Anniversary Bonuses: Spend Rs. 5 lakh for 20,000 points, Rs. 10 lakh for an additional 30,000 points and Rs. 20 lakh for an additional 50,000 points (worth about Rs. 45,000 total)

The Air India SBI Signature Card is the best card on the market for the typical Air India flyer. A majority of the card's monetary value comes from its bonuses, including its 20,000 point welcome gift worth about Rs. 9,000. If you happen to be an ultra-high spender, you'll additionally benefit from the card's anniversary bonuses. Apart from the bonuses, you'll earn a best-in-market 13.5% rupee value back on travel spend, assuming it's for yourself and on Air India (30 points per Rs. 100 spent; 1 point = Rs. 0.45).

If you book for others on Air India, you'll still get a fantastic 4.5% rupee value back (10 points per Rs.100). On all other spend, you'll earn great rupee value back of 1.8% (4 points per Rs. 100). Of the card's 2 lounge programs, the 8 domestic visits per year with the Visa program has the most value. Last, you'll also get tier upgrade benefits for Air India. Bottom line, if you fly Air India, get this card as it will have the best travel rewards for you.

  • Annual Fee: Rs. 4,999
  • Earn Rate: 30 points per Rs. 100 spent on Air India for yourself; 10 points per Rs. 100 spent on Air India for others; 4 points per Rs. 100 on all other spend
  • Estimated Point Value: 1 point = 1 Air India mile = Rs. 0.45
  • Perks: Visa Domestic Lounge Program (8 free visits/year, max 2/quarter; lounges across 6 major cities), free Priority Pass membership (USD 27 charged/visit), Air India tier upgrade benefits
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 500 – 4,000; max Rs. 250 per month
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 4,999
  • Earn Rate: 30 points per Rs. 100 spent on Air India for yourself; 10 points per Rs. 100 spent on Air India for others; 4 points per Rs. 100 on all other spend
  • Estimated Point Value: 1 point = 1 Air India mile = Rs. 0.45
  • Perks: Visa Domestic Lounge Program (8 free visits/year, max 2/quarter; lounges across 6 major cities), free Priority Pass membership (USD 27 charged/visit), Air India tier upgrade benefits
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 500 – 4,000; max Rs. 250 per month

Credit Cards for Airport Lounge Access

In this section, we have identified two great travel options that are ideal for individuals in search cards that will provide access to airport lounges. Depending on your preferences, either of these cards will help add comfort to your travels.

Premium Lounge Access: HDFC Diners Club Black Card

Consider this if your annual income is at least Rs. 2,100,000

Age Requirement 21-60 (65 if self-employed)
Annual Income Requirement Rs. 2,100,000
Bonuses
  • Welcome Gift: 10,000 Reward Points (worth Rs. 10,000)
  • Renewal Bonus: 5,000 Reward Points (worth Rs. 5,000); not applicable when renewal fee is waived (requires annual spend of Rs. 500,000)

The HDFC Diners Club Black Card is a valuable card for high spenders, but does require a very high minimum annual income of Rs. 2,100,000. The card provides great value from both its bonuses and earn on spend, with the former equating to Rs. 15,000 in welcome and renewal gifts. You'll earn a top rate of 3.33% rupee value back on all retail spend except fuel (5 points per Rs. 150; 1 point = Rs. 1 in travel rewards).

The card's fantastic perks include Diners Club Lounge unlimited access and 6 complimentary golf games (green fee waiver) per quarter. If you can meet the income requirement, this can be one of the best travel perks cards available to you.

  • Annual Fee: Rs. 10,000 first year; Rs. 5,000 beyond (waived on annual spend of Rs. 500,000)
  • Earn Rate: 5 points/Rs. 150 retail spend except fuel
  • FX Fee: 2.0%
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 1 on HDFC Diners Club travel portal
  • Perks: Diners Club Lounge (free access to 850+ lounges); 6 free green fee waivers/quarter at 20 courses in India & 40 worldwide; air accident cover Rs. 2 crore; emergency medical expense cover; baggage delay cover
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400–5,000, max Rs. 1,000/month
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 10,000 first year; Rs. 5,000 beyond (waived on annual spend of Rs. 500,000)
  • Earn Rate: 5 points/Rs. 150 retail spend except fuel
  • FX Fee: 2.0%
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 1 on HDFC Diners Club travel portal
  • Perks: Diners Club Lounge (free access to 850+ lounges); 6 free green fee waivers/quarter at 20 courses in India & 40 worldwide; air accident cover Rs. 2 crore; emergency medical expense cover; baggage delay cover
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400–5,000, max Rs. 1,000/month

Great Lounge Access: ICICI Bank Sapphiro American Express Credit Card

Consider this if you are looking for a lounge access card with great travel perks and a low salary minimum

Age Requirement None listed by issuer
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses & Promotions
  • Sign-up Bonus: Shopping and travel vouchers woth Rs. 10,000 after paying joining fee
  • Anniversary Bonus: 4,000 PAYBACK points on spending ₹ 400,000 on your card and 2,000 PAYBACK points each time you cross ₹ 100,000 spend thereafter in an anniversary year; maximum of 20,000 PAYBACK points per year
  • Anniversary Bonus: 20,000 PAYBACK points

The ICICI Bank American Express Sapphiro Card is also a good option for individuals seeking a lounge access card. When compared to the HDFC Diners Club Black Card, the ICICI Bank Sapphiro American Express Card has a much lower joining fee (Rs. 6,500). Although it has less promotions, the ICICI Bank Sapphiro card has some great benefits. For example, through the DreamFolks DragonPass Lounge Access Programme, the cardholder receives a quarterly perk of 4 domestic lounge visits along with 2 domestic airport spa visits per calendar year. Additionally, the Sapphiro card offers 2 international airport lounge visits per year.

Furthermore, the ICICI Bank Sapphiro American Express Credit Card has a rewards rate of 0.75% (3 points per Rs. 100, 1 Reward Point = Rs. 0.25) on all spends, 1.5% (6 points per Rs. 100, 1 Reward Point = Rs. 0.25) on overseas spending, and 0.25% (1 points per Rs. 100, 1 Reward Point = Rs. 0.25) on utilities spending. This results in 50% more earnings than the cards MasterCard counterpart. Finally, other perks the card offers include both entertainment and air travel coverages listed under card details below.

  • Joining Fee: Rs. 6,500
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 3,500 (This can be waived if the cardholder reaches annual spends of Rs. 600,000)
  • Earn Rate: 3 points per Rs. 100 on all spends (except overseas spending and utilities), 6 points per Rs. 100 on overseas spending, 1 point per Rs. 100 on utility spending
  • Point Value: 1 Reward Point = Rs. 0.25
  • Movies: With the purchase of one movie ticket the cardholder can get up to Rs. 500 off of a second ticket on BookMyShow, twice every month
  • Dining: A minimum of 15% savings on dining at over 2,500 restaurants across the nation through the Culinary Treats Programme
  • Insurance: Offers air accident insurance up to Rs. 3,000,000, air accident insurance up to Rs. 3 crore, baggage insurance up to Rs. 25,000, loss of travel documents $500, loss of checked baggage $1,200, delay receipt of checked baggage $300 in excess of 12 hours, missing flight due to trans-shipment $300, plane hijacking $250 per hour of up to a maximum of 12 hours, delay in flight coverage of $250 over 12 hours
  • Joining Fee: Rs. 6,500
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 3,500 (This can be waived if the cardholder reaches annual spends of Rs. 600,000)
  • Earn Rate: 3 points per Rs. 100 on all spends(except overseas spending and utilities), 6 points per Rs. 100 on overseas spending, 1 point per Rs. 100 on utility spending
  • Point Value: 1 Reward Point = Rs. 0.25
  • Movies: With the purchase of one movie ticket the cardholder can get up to Rs. 500 off of a second ticket on BookMyShow, twice every month
  • Dining: A minimum of 15% savings on dining at over 2,500 restaurants across the nation through the Culinary Treats Programme
  • Insurance: Offers air accident insurance up to Rs. 3,000,000, air accident insurance up to Rs. 3 crore, baggage insurance up to Rs. 25,000, loss of travel documents $500, loss of checked baggage $1,200, delay receipt of checked baggage $300 in excess of 12 hours, missing flight due to trans-shipment $300, plane hijacking $250 per hour of up to a maximum of 12 hours, delay in flight coverage of $250 over 12 hours

Best Luxury Card: Citi Prestige Credit Card

Consider this if you have Citigold Private status or you're a very high spender

Age Requirement None listed by issuer
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses
  • Welcome Gift / Renewal Bonus: 10,000 air miles (worth about Rs. 4,500) and vouchers worth Rs. 10,000 from Taj Group or ITC Hotels

The Citibank Prestige Card offers the most lucrative perks on the market, but you must be a very high spender or have Citigold Private status for its monetary value to outweigh its annual fees. A majority of the card's value comes from its annual bonuses of about Rs. 14,500 in rupee value (10,000 miles + Rs. 10,000 in Taj/ITC vouchers). However, it also has great rupee value back of 1.8% on domestic spend (1 point per Rs. 100) and 3.6% overseas (2 points per Rs. 100).

Consumers will want to choose this card for the fantastic perks, including its unlimited Priority Pass, stay 4 nights get 1 free at any hotel across the world and great golf benefits. If you can spend enough or have Citigold Private status and want perks like these, this is the card for you.

Read Our Reviews

  • Annual Fee: Rs. 20,000 - waived for Citigold Private (account > Rs. 5 lakhs)
  • Earn Rate: 1 point/Rs. 100 spent in India, 2 points/Rs. 100 overseas
  • Point Value: 1 point = 4 miles (~Rs. 1.8) on 14 major airlines
  • Perks: Unlimited free Priority Pass; stay 4 get 1 night at any hotel; 1 year Taj Epicure Plus/InnerCircle Silver; 3 free green fees; 4 free golf rounds & lessons each year at 15 clubs; air accident cover Rs. 5 crores; overseas medical insurance; emergency cash if card lost
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions at Indian Oil on Citi EDCs
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 20,000 - waived for Citigold Private (account > Rs. 5 lakhs)
  • Earn Rate: 1 point/Rs. 100 spent in India, 2 points/Rs. 100 overseas
  • Point Value: 1 point = 4 miles (~Rs. 1.8) on 14 major airlines
  • Perks: Unlimited free Priority Pass; stay 4 get 1 night at any hotel; 1 year Taj Epicure Plus/InnerCircle Silver; 3 free green fees; 4 free golf rounds & lessons each year at 15 clubs; air accident cover Rs. 5 crores; overseas medical insurance; emergency cash if card lost
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions at Indian Oil on Citi EDCs