There are a lot of people who hack their way around luxury travel with smart use of credit cards. Knowing the best travel rewards credit cards in India will help you do the same. At FinTown, we spend thousands of hours researching financial products in India to help our customers make the best possible personal finance decisions. You can find below a comprehensive understanding of some of the best travel rewards credit cards.

6 Top travel rewards credit cards in India:

  1. Citi PremierMiles Credit Card
  2. AmEx Platinum Travel Credit Card
  3. HDFC Regalia Credit Card
  4. JetPrivilege HDFC Bank World Credit Card
  5. Axis Bank Privilege Credit Card
  6. SBI IRCTC Credit Card

Citi PremierMiles Credit Card (For good intro benefit)

The Citibank PremierMiles Credit Card is one of the best travel credit cards in the market for its all round features on rewards/miles redemption across categories, great joining benefits, and excellent airport lounge access.

Who is it for?

This is a premium card from Citbank with the annual fees set at INR 3000. This card is targeted at those who travel frequently and would want to have air miles and airport lounge access handy for their travel needs.

Fees & Rewards Program:

  • Fees
    • Annual Fee: INR 3000 + GST
    • Annual Percentage Interest Rate (APR): 42.00%
    • Late Payment Fee: INR 100 +
    • Cash Advance Fee: 2.00%
    • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3.50%
  • Rewards:
    • Welcome Gift: 10,000 bonus points
    • Rewards/Miles:
      • 10 miles for every INR 100 spent on all airline transactions and with partner merchants
      • 4 miles for every INR 100 spent on all other transactions
    • Other benefits
      • Airport lounge access: While the Mastercard holders get 6 complimentary visits per calendar quarter, Visa holders get 8 complimentary visits per quarter.
      • Air accident insurance: INR 1 crore cover in case of loss of life due to an air accident
      • Fuel surcharge waiver
      • EMI benefits with select shopping stores and sites

Why we like it?

  • Excellent intro benefits program
  • Rewards Programs covers all airlines
  • Great rewards coverage across globe: This is a unique for this card since the inter-operability of your miles/rewards across the globe with Citi’s rewards program are excellent.
  • Airport Lounge Access

Bottomline:

The Citi PremierMiles Credit Card is a superb card for those who are seeking good air miles and airport lounge benefits. The annual fee and interest rate are on the higher side, but the intro benefits program somewhat makes up for it.

Read Full Review: Citi PremierMiles Credit Card Review 

AmEx Platinum Travel Credit Card (For Indigo Airlines frequent flyers)

The AmEx Platinum Travel Credit Card is a boon for domestic travelers. It has excellent rewards, excellent milestone rewards, and access to airport lounges.

Who is it for?

The best redeem option for Amex Platinum Travel Credit Card is with Indigo Airlines. This card makes best sense for those who fly Indigo frequently. For those who do not like to fly with Indigo, you can ignore this card.

You should also stay away from this card if you do not plan on spending upwards of INR 2 lakhs per year to get good value back for the INR 5000 in annual fees.

Fees & Rewards Program:

  • Fees
    • Joining Fee: INR 3500 + GST
    • Annual Fee: INR 5000 + GST (From Year 2)
    • Annual Percentage Interest Rate (APR): 42% – 45%
    • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3.50%
  • Rewards:
    • Welcome Gift: 5,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points or travel couchers worth INR 4000
    • Rewards/Miles:
      • 1 points every Rs. 50 on any purchase except for spend at Fuel, Insurance, Utilities and Cash Transactions.
    • Milestone Rewards: 
      • INR 7700 worth Indigo travel voucher on INR 1.9 lakhs spend
      • INR 11800 worth Indigo travel voucher on INR 4 lakhs spend
      • Taj voucher worth INR 10000 on INR 4 lakhs spend
    • Other benefits
      • Priority Pass Membership: 4 lounge passes per year

Why we like it?

  • Excellent Milestone Rewards: For someone who plans to spend INR 4 lakhs on their card per year, they may get total benefits valued at INR 33,500. At 8.375% Rewards Rate, it is one of the best for a travel card.
  • 4 Airport Lounge access passes per year

Bottomline:

If you like flying Indigo Airlines and can rack up INR 4 lakhs in spend on this card every year, go for this card. It’s a great value card that provides one of the best rewards rates at 8.375%.

Read Full Review: American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card Review

HDFC Regalia Credit Card (For access to airport lounges)

The HDFC Regalia is a premium offering from HDFC targeting those who travel frequently and like having access to both domestic and international airport lounges. It also comes with complementary Club Vistara Membership which provides elevated benefits for those who fly Air Vistara frequently.

Who is it for?

The HDFC Regalia Credit Card is designed for two kinds of users: frequent Air Vistara flyers, people who want to have access to a lot of domestic and international lounge passes.

Fees & Rewards Program:

  • Fees
    • Annual Fee: Rs. 2500 + GST
      • Spend Rs. 3L in 12 Months and get Renewal Fee waived for next renewal year.
    • Joining Fee: Rs. 2500 + GST
    • Annual Percentage Rate (Annual Interest Rate): 35.4%
    • Cash Advance Fee: 2.5% or Rs. 300, whichever is higher
    • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2%
    • Late payment fee: Rs. 100 – Rs. 700 (depends on amount due)
  • Rewards:
    • Welcome Gift: 
      • 2500 Reward Points
    • Airport Lounge Access:
      • Priority Pass Membership: 6 complimentary access to Priority Pass lounges abroad every year
      • Mastercard Lounge Access Program: 2 domestic lounge access passes per quarter
    • Complimentary Club Vistara Silver membership: Regalia card holders enjoy complimentary Club Vistara Silver Membership which offers unmatched benefits on Vistara:
      • Earn 9 Club Vistara(CV) points for every INR 100 spent on All Vistara Flights

Why we like it?

  • Priority Pass Membership and Domestic Lounge Access
  • Annual Fee and Interest Rate not very high
  • Low foreign transaction fee at 2%

Bottomline:

If you are a frequent traveler both domestic and abroad, then this card provides you 14 total lounge access passes a year. Outside that, the card does not do a whole lot for travel rewards. If you are looking to earn lots of travel rewards to use towards flight or hotel bookings, look at some of the other travel cards.

Read Full Review: HDFC Regalia Credit Card Review

JetPrivilege HDFC Bank World Credit Card (For frequent Jet Airways flyers)

The JetPrivilege HDFC Bank World Credit Card is the semi-premium option of the 4 cards that HDFC launched in partnership with Jet Airways.

Who is it for?

This card was designed keeping in mind frequent Jet Airways travelers with trips both domestically and internationally. The card offers a lot of benefits including a 5% discount on Jet Airways base fare rates, international and domestic lounge access, along with an excellent JPMIles program that gives 18 JPMiles for every INR 150 spent on Jet Airways’ office website.

Fees & Rewards Program:

  • Fees
    • Annual Fee: Rs. 2500
    • APR Interest Rate (Annual Percentage Rate): 41.88%
    • Late payment Charges: Rs. 100 – Rs. 700
    • Cash Advance Fee: 2.5%
    • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2%
  • Rewards:
    • Joining Benefit:
      • One way (base fare waived) Jet Airways ticket
      • 3750 Bonus JPMiles with first card purchase within 3 months of card issue
      • 3750 Bonus JPMiles with spend of INR 75,000 within first 3 months of card issue
    • Renewal Fee Waiver: Rs. 2500 in fee waived if previous year spend is greater than INR 3 Lakhs
    • JPMiles Program:
      • 18 JP Miles for every Rs. 150 spent on Jet Airways official website
      • 6 JPMiles for every Rs 150 spent on Retail
      • Tier Points: Get one ‘Tier Point’ in your JetPrivilege Frequent Flyer Membership on every Rs. 2,00,000/- spent
    • Airport lounge access:
      • International – 5 access passes through Priority Pass Membership
      • Domestic – 4 access passes per quarter through VISA/Mastercard programs
    • Fuel surcharge Waiver: Up to 1% waived
    • Jet Airways Discount: 5% Discount on base fare for tickets booked on Jet Airways

Why we like it?

  • All-round travel benefits (lounges, miles, joining bonus)
  • 5% discount on Jet Airways base fare booked through official website
  • 9 domestic and international lounge passes
  • Excellent JPMiles program

Bottomline:

This is one among the 4 cards that HDFC offers in partnership with Jet Airways targeting the frequent Jet Airways travelers. Check the other cards and see which one matches best with your travel activity, annual card spend, and annual fee.

Read Full Review: JetPrivilege HDFC Bank World Credit Card Review

Axis Bank Privilege Credit Card(For airline agnostic travel)

The Axis Bank Privilege Credit Card is one of the most popular travel cards because it is not tied to any airline nor does it have any spend restrictions for earning travel rewards.

Who is it for?

The Axis Bank Privilege Credit Card is a great option for credit card newbies who want to earn travel rewards. The card has a low annual fee of INR 1500 that is adequately compensated by an INR 5000 travel voucher.

Fees & Rewards Program:

  • Fees
    • Annual Fee: Rs. 1500 + GST
    • APR (Annual Percentage Rate) Interest Rate: 41.75%
    • Late payment fee: INR 300 – 600 (depends on amount due)
    • Cash Advance Fee: 3%
    • Overseas Transaction Fee: 3.5%
  • Rewards:
    • Joining Benefit
      • Yatra vouchers worth Rs. 5000 on swiping the Privilege Card thrice within 60 days of card issue
    • Reward Points
      • Earn 10 points on every Rs. 200 spent on the credit card
    • Milestone Benefit
      • Yatra Vouchers worth Rs 5,000 on the Axis Bank Edge website on minimum annual spends of Rs 2.5 lacs.
    • Annual Benefits
      • Earn 3000 eDGE Reward Points on renewal of your Axis Bank Privilege Credit Card
    • Access numerous airport lounges
      • 2 Complimentary access per calendar quarter to select MasterCard lounges with a Privilege Axis Bank Credit Card
    • Fuel surcharge Waiver 

Why we like it?

  • Low annual fee of INR 1500 compared to joining benefit of INR 5000 in Yatra Voucher
  • 1% Rewards Rate
  • Milestone Benefit of INR 5000 Yatra voucher for INR 2 lakh spend
  • 2 Airport lounge access passes per quarter

Bottomline:

If you want a cheap travel card that gives you travel benefits for any airline you choose along with airport lounge access passess and a decent rewards rate, go for this. You cannot go wrong.

Read Full Review: Axis Bank Privilege Credit Card Review

IRCTC SBI Platinum Credit Card (For frequent Indian Railways travelers)

The IRCTC SBI Platinum Credit Card is a great card choice designed for travelers who use Indian Railways often. With a very reasonable annual fee of INR 300 and 1.8% transaction waiver on all IRCTC bookings, this card might reap a lot of savings for those who love to travel on the Indian trains. Additionally, there is other benefits like fuel surcharge waiver and rewards program for non-fuel spend.

Who is it for?

This card was designed with keeping the frequent railways travelers in mind. If you are looking for rewards outside Indian railways, then this card may not be for you.

Fees & Rewards Program:

  • Fees
    • Joining Fee: INR 500 + GST
    • Annual Fee: INR 300 + GST
    • Late payment fee: INR 100 – 750
    • Cash Advance Fee: 2.5% – 3%
    • Annual Percentage Rate (Annual Interest Rate): 40.20%
  • Rewards:
    • Welcome Bonus Gift: 
      • 350 Reward points on spending INR 500 and INR 100 cashback on first ATM withdrawal
    • Rewards Benefits
      • Earn 1 Reward point for every INR 125 retail spend and 10% Valueback as points for AC1, AC2. AC3 and AC CC bookings
      • (1 Reward Point = INR 1)
    • IRCTC Benefit:
      • Save 1.8% transaction charge on all IRCTC bookings
    • Fuel Surcharge Waiver
        • 1% fuel surcharge on fuel transactions between INR 500 – 3000, exclusive of GST

Why we like it?

  • Low annual fee
  • 1.8% transaction waiver for IRCTC bookings

Bottomline:

With such a low annual fee and with uniquely designed benefits for IRCTC travelers, this card is a favorite among the urban and semi urban middle class. Go for it if you travel on Indian Railways once a month or more.

Read Full Review: IRCTC SBI Platinum Credit Card Review

Note: We update our list of the best travel rewards credit cards every month. If you like any other cards that we have not added on this list, please comment below.

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