Best travel credit cards in India - American Express Platinum Travel Card, Citi Premier Miles Credit Card

Are you a frequent traveller? Here are some of the best credit cards in India that will give you the best bang for your buck on your travels

credit card

If you’re a wanderer or work takes you to various cities in India and abroad, then a travel card can be very resourceful. Besides keeping your wallet or purse light of wads of cash, a travel credit card offers several benefits such as cashback and discounts, airline miles, and complimentary access to lounges in airports. However, it is imperative you choose the best credit card in India for your needs.

Here’s a list of five travel credit cards in India that are worth your attention:

1. American Express Platinum Travel Card

Joining fee – ₹3,500

Annual fees – ₹5,000

Interest rate – 40.2% per annum

Forex Markup fee – 3.5% + GST

Features and Benefits

  • Welcome Gift: ₹4,000 Worth Indigo vouchers
  • Travel Vouchers worth ₹7,700 on spending ₹1.9 lakhs in a year
  • Travel Vouchers of ₹ 11,800 from Indigo + voucher worth ₹10,000 from the Taj Group upon spending ₹4 lakhs in a year 
  • 3% cashback at leading fuel stations
  • Reward rate – ~7-8%
    • Spend based Bonus Milestone Rewards
    • 5,000 Welcome Milestone Bonus Points redeemable for Travel Vouchers worth ₹4000
    • One Membership Rewards Point for every ₹50 except fuel, insurance, utility bill payment and cash transaction
    • One reward point for every ₹40 spent or 2.5 points for ₹100
    • Ten points for every ₹40 spent on platinum partner
    • Redemption – ₹0.5 for 1 reward point for an Indigo voucher.
    • Five times the earn rate for spends on domestic flight bookings
  • Up to 20% discount upon dining at select restaurant partners
  • Exclusive discount on flight or hotel booking through MakeMyTrip
  • Complimentary membership to Priority Pass for free access to airport lounges – Four complimentary visits to per year to 29 airport lounges in 12 cities across India. Most Mastercard Lounges are allowed in this program
  • Foreign Exchange Mark-up fee: 3.5% + Service Tax
  • Zero Lost Card Liability
  • 24×7 Platinum Assist and Emergency Card Replacement, anywhere in the world

Related: 7 Must-have things for frequent travellers

How to apply online:

  • Ensure you meet the following prerequisites
    • over 18 years of age
    • Personal annual income of ₹6 Lakhs or above (for both Salaried, Self Employed)
    • Indian or multinational bank’s savings or current account in India
    • Permanent residential address in India
    • Good credit history and no payment defaults
    • If self-employed, your company has been trading for more than 12 months
  • Visit American Express website 
  • Share your personal and financial details
  • Follow the instructions after you have submitted your application online

Related: Tips to plan a great summer vacation at a shoestring budget

2. Citi Premier Miles Credit Card

Joining fee – ₹3,000

Annual fees – ₹3,000

Interest rate – 37.2- 42% per annum.

Forex mark-up fee – 3.5% per transaction value + applicable GST 

Features and Benefits

  • If linked to Citi Priority account reversal of the first-year annual fee
  • Rewards
    • It provides lucrative credit card flight offers. Evergreen miles on every card transaction, redeemable at any airline up to 3 hours before take-off – Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Thai Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Eva Air, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways and Air India
    • ONE Frequent Flyer Air Mile for every TWO Miles (50% conversion value).
    • Members of Frequent Flyer Program(FFP) of any airlines can get the regular FFP miles and get more miles by booking tickets through this credit card
    • Miles redeemable with Citibank preferred partners (GoIbibo, Yatra, Indigo) at the rate of ₹45 for 100 Miles
    • 10,000 Miles upon ₹1,000 or more spent within 60 days of Card issuance
    • 3,000 Miles on Card renewal
    • 10 Miles per ₹100 spent on all airline transactions
    • 10 Miles per ₹100 spent with online partner merchants (such as MakeMyTrip, Flipkart)
    • 10 Miles for every ₹100 spent on exclusive website
    • FOUR Miles for every ₹.100 spent on all other transactions
  • Air accident insurance cover up to ₹1 crore
  • Complimentary Access to Airport Lounges
  • Evergreen Miles that never expires
  • 24×7 SMS tracking of your Reward Points

How to apply online:

  • Visit Citibank website 
  • Share your details
  • You will be guided on the next steps thereafter depending on your assessed eligibility

Related: 5 Travel Insurance myths you have got to stop believing

3. SBI Air India Signature Card

Joining fee – ₹4,999

Renewal fees – ₹4,999

Interest rate – 40.2% pa

Mark up fee – 3.5% per transaction value 

Features and Benefits

  • Welcome gift on payment of joining fee complimentary membership of the Air India Frequent Flyer program.
  • Free Access to International Airport Luxury Lounge
  • Rewards
    • Welcome gift – 20,000 reward points on payment of joining fee
    • 20,000 bonus points + 80,000 regular points (4%) in the first year on spending more than ₹20 lakhs rupees
    • Bonus Points on spending more
      • 20,000 Points on 5 Lakhs in a Year
      • 30,000 Points on 10 Lakhs in a Year
      • 50,000 Points on 20 Lakhs in a Year
  • Conversion of points to Air India Miles @ ONE reward point = ONE Air India Air mile
  • Up to 30 Reward Points for every ₹100 spent on Air India tickets booked on the website
  • 10 reward points on every ₹100 spent on tickets booked through Air India offices/call centres
  • FOUR reward points for every ₹100 spent
  • Up to 1,00,000 bonus Reward points annually
  • 1% fuel surcharge waiver, subject to fuel purchase worth ₹500 - 4,000
  • Complimentary lost card liability cover of ₹1 lakh
  • Access to leading international airport lounges in addition to complimentary visa lounge access program in India (subject to certain conditions).

How to apply online:

  • Visit SBI website
  • Share your details
  • You will know instantly your eligibility and the decision based on the information you have shared

Related: Best destinations in India for every budget

credit card

4. Axis Bank Miles and More World Card

Joining Fees – ₹3,500

Annual Fees – ₹3,500

Interest Rate – 41.75% per annum

Mark up fee – 3.5% per transaction value 

Features and Benefits

  • Rewards
    • Welcome bonus 5,000 Miles + 3000 as annual bonus miles
    • FOUR Miles for every ₹200 of eligible spends
    • 20 Miles for every ₹200 for spends on movie bookings at PVR
    • Spend-linked miles up to 24000 miles, if spending touches ₹1 lakh monthly
    • With great Axis Bank flight offers, miles can be redeemed for flights
    • Miles can also be redeemed for hotel stays, shopping, car rentals, etc.
    • Up to 32000 award miles during the first year if the card is used systematically
  • Bill payment from any bank account
  • Fuel surcharge waiver – 1% on transactions Between ₹400 - 5,000 at all petrol pumps in India
  • Annual Bonus Of ₹3,000 Miles On Renewal
  • FOUR complimentary access to select 31 domestic Mastercard lounge every quarter across 14 cities in India
  • Dining delights and discounts at partner restaurants throughout India

How to apply online:

  • Ensure you meet the following prerequisites:
    • Age: Primary cardholder 18—70 years | Add-on cardholder > 15 years
    • Resident of India or Non-Resident Indian
  • Keep the following documents handy
    • PAN card photocopy or Form 60
    • Colour photograph
    • Latest payslip/Form 16/IT return copy as proof of income
    • Residence proof (any one of the following):
    • Passport
    • Ration card
    • Electricity bill
    • Landline telephone bill
    • Copy of latest Miles & More Membership card statement (for existing Miles & More members only)
    • Credit card statement of existing Miles & More credit card (not older than 2 months) issued by Miles & More's earlier Banking partner in India (for existing Miles & More members only)
  • Visit Axis Bank website 
  • Submit your details online and an Axis Bank representative will contact you on the next steps

Related: Types of travel insurance coverage in India

5. Jet Airways ICICI Bank Rubyx VISA Credit Card

Joining Fee – ₹1,250 (Waived for Jet Privilege Platinum Members)

Annual Fee – ₹2,500 (Waived for Jet Privilege Platinum Members)

Interest Rate – 42% Per Year

Forex Mark-up fee – 3.5% per transaction value 

Features and Benefit

  • Rewards
    • 5,000 bonus JPMiles 
    • 3 JPMiles / ₹100 On Domestic Spends
    • 4 JPMiles / ₹100 On International Spends
    • 6 JPMiles/ ₹100 Spent On Jet Airways Website
    • 2,500 bonus JPMiles upon renewal
  • 5% discount on base fare upon booking domestic/international travel through the Jet Airways website
  • Up to TWO Complimentary Lounge access per calendar quarter
  • ‘Buy 1 Get 1’ offer on Bookmyshow through the week. Up to TWO free tickets per month, not exceeding ₹250 value per ticket
  • Minimum 15% savings On Dining Bills
  • 24/7 Premium Concierge Service With I-Assist
  • Complimentary economy class ticket (base fare waived) for a domestic travel, at the time of joining and renewal

Related: 4 things to know about senior citizen travel insurance plans

How to apply online:

  • Visit ICICI Bank website
  • Submit your details online
  • Follow the instructions of the ICICI Bank representatives

While deciding the credit card that best suits your needs, compare using the following:

  • Reward program and mile benefits: Higher the rewards may lead to higher interest rates.
  • Overdraft limit and late payment charges applicable on a credit card.
  • Zero liability
  • Customer care support

Note: The above information is disclosed on the website of the card issuer – bank on date May 21, 2019

Disclaimer: This article is intended for general information purposes only and should not be construed as investment or insurance or tax or legal advice. You should separately obtain independent advice when making decisions in these areas.


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