Best Travel Credit Cards India

For people who spend half their time in hotel rooms, one of the most important things to consider for them is a credit card which offers discounts or exclusive privileges. These could be complimentary nights at hotels, easy rewards redemption on hotel room bookings etc. 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 credit cards in India for hotel stays.

Card Name Category Annual Fee Initial Bonus
American Express Platinum Charge Card INR 50,000 plus taxes Nil Nil (Benefits Only)
Citibank Prestige Credit Card  INR 20,000 20.99%  10,000  bonus on air miles
SBI Elite Credit Card  INR 5,000 40.22%  Vouchers worth INR 5000 and 1,000 bonus points on registering for Trident Privilege Membership
Citibank PremierMiles Credit Card INR 3,000 + GST A variable interest rate of 37% to 42% 10,000 Miles with your first spend of Rs.1,000 or more
ICICI Rubyx Credit Card  INR 2,000 + taxes  40.80%  Complimentary Sennheiser HD221 Headphones
Yatra SBI Credit Card INR 499 40.2% Gift vouchers worth INR 8,250

American Express Platinum Charge Card

American Express Platinum Charge Card offers benefits like no other card. Although it comes with a super hefty annual fee, the exclusive access to Hotel Loyalty reward programmes make this a very attractive option, if you are one of those people who spend a lot of time in hotels.

Pros & Cons:

Reasons to Choose Reasons to Avoid
Elite Hotel Memberships  High Annual Fee
Airport Lounge Access No welcome bonus
Dining benefits, Invites for events
Golf privileges

Rewards/Benefits:

  • Rewards Structure: On every INR 40 spent, you earn 1 reward point (excluding fuel). For fuel spends, you earn 1 point on every spend of INR 100.
  • Airport Lounge Access: With the AmEx Charge Card you enjoy access to Centurion Domestic Lounge, American Express Lounges, Priority Pass Lounge and Delta lounge.
  • Hotel Privileges: You receive benefits such as late 4 pm check out, free upgrade etc. across Fine Hotels and Resorts' properties and savings at the Hotel Collection. Additionally, you get complimentary memberships to Hilton Hotels, Shangri - La Golden Circle's Jade Tier, Radisson Rewards Gold Elite Status and Starwood Preferred Gold Guest Programme.
  • Dining Benefits and Offers: Exclusive features such as Complimentary Membership to EazyDiner Programme, Club ITC Culinaire Programme, Taj Epicure Membership etc.
  • Invites for cardholders: This card is truly rewarding in the sense that you get exclusive tickets to events, shows, concerts etc, whose tickets sell like hot cakes.
  • Access to golf courses: You get access to over 26 golf courses in India with the American Express Platinum Charge Card.

Quick Figures:

Annual Fee  INR 50,000
Initial Bonus  Nil
APR  No interest rate since it is a charge card
Minimum Requirements Should have a good credit history and company should be trading for at least 12 months if self-employed.

Unlike its competitors, this charge card does not offer any welcome bonus. However, all the hotel memberships, benefits and access to airport lounges and golf courses, more than compensate for the INR 50,000 annual fee.

SBI Elite Credit Card

The SBI Elite Credit Card is SBI's best premium credit card that gives an exclusive range of benefits. This card offers a Trident Privilege Membership which allows a flat 10% discount on hotels booked from the website. Additionally, you get 10 points on every INR 100 spent during your hotel stay. The welcome bonus on the trident membership Besides the hotel benefits, this card would serve you well if you are a Club Vistara Frequent Flyer.

Pros & Cons:

Reasons to Choose Reasons to Avoid
Rewards programme High-interest rate
Club Vistara Membership & Trident Privilege Membership High Annual Fee
 Domestic & International Airport Lounge Access Zero cash back
 Concierge Services No golf privileges

Rewards/Benefits:

  • Welcome bonus:  Welcome benefit worth INR 5,000.
  • Rewards Structure: 5X rewards on dining, grocery, and departmental stores.
  • Hotel Benefits: The Trident Privilege Red Tier Membership is perfect for you if you prefer staying at Trident Hotels. Additionally, you get 10% discounts on hotel bookings from the hotel website.
  • Club Vistara Silver Membership for primary cardholders: Valid for 12 months and reward points are valid for 3 years
  • Movie Offers: Buy one, get one BookMyShow ticket free; free movie tickets worth INR 6,000 a year.
  • Milestone Benefit: Milestone privileges worth INR 12,500 per year.
  • Airport Lounge Access: 2 complimentary domestic lounge access and 6 international airport lounge access abroad.
  • Forex Fee: Low foreign currency mark-up fee at 1.99%

Quick Figures:

Annual Fee INR 4,999
Initial Bonus Vouchers worth INR 5000 and 1,000 bonus points on registering for Trident Privilege Membership
APR 40.20%
Minimum Requirements Should be a salaried employee or self-employed with stable monthly income

If you are someone who loves travelling with comfort and prefers luxurious hotel stays while earning good reward points, then this is the card for you. Furthermore, the low foreign currency-mark up fee and airport lounge access also makes this card great for premium users. However, one of the major disadvantages of this premium card is the unavailability of any golf privileges.

Citibank Premier Miles Credit Card

The Citibank PremierMiles Credit Card is one of the most popular travel credit cards for its all-rounder benefits on rewards, miles, points redemption across categories, excellent introductory benefits, and at least 6 access passes to airport lounges every quarter. Although the interest rate and the annual fee are a tad bit on the higher side, the introductory bonus does make up for it, thereby, making it your best travel partner. This card would offer you the added advantage of complimentary nights at Taj, IHG, Club Carlson etc. It can be done by transferring miles to partner hotels.

Pros & Cons:

Reasons to Choose Reasons to Avoid
Excellent Intro Benefits  and renewal bonus  High APR
No expiry date of accumulated reward points  No golf privileges
Miles on every time you spend
Airport Lounge Access

Rewards/Benefits:

  • Welcome benefit: 10,000 points as an introductory bonus and 3000 points on renewal.
  • Air Miles:10 miles per INR 100 on flight tickets and hotel stays on Citi Premier Miles website. Furthermore, the air miles earned never expire.
  • Rewards Redemption: Miles can be redeemed for partner flights or  hotels according to your preference
  • Airport Lounge Access: 6 or 8 visits to airport lounges depending on whether you have master or visa card.
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: The Fuel Surcharge gets waived off at Indian Oil Petrol Pumps
  • Rewards on airline spend: 3% reward rate on airline spends.
  • Dining Discounts:15% discounts on dining.

Quick Figures:

Annual Fee INR 3000 + GST
Annual Bonus 10,000 miles on your first spend of INR 1,000 or more within 60 days of card issuance
APR 37.20% to 42%
Minimum Requirements Should be a salaried employee or self-employed with stable monthly income

The Citi PremierMiles Credit Card is a useful credit card for those who are seeking to earn miles for their flight bookings and hotel stays. The annual fee and interest rate are on the higher side, but the introductory benefits program and airport lounge access make up for it. With 10x points earned on airline expenditures, a frequent traveller surely gets rewarded well.

One of the major complaints many people have on this card is that the rewards categories have been devalued. Even after devaluation, the card continues to hold its own. Furthermore, with a variable APR ranging from 37.20% to 42%, one might want to stay away from this card unless they intend to make card balance in full every month.

Citibank Prestige Credit Card

The Citi Prestige Card primarily targets people who prefer luxury over other things in life. It offers unlimited airport lounge access, a good insurance coverage, Taj Epicuria and Inner Circle Silver Membership and golf privileges. Therefore, it is designed keeping in mind all the needs of a person wishing to travel in luxury.

Pros and Cons:

Reasons to Choose Reasons to avoid
Unlimited airport lounge access Very high annual fee
Golf privileges Unimpressive Rewards rate
A good insurance coverage
 Taj Epicuria Plan and Inner Circle Silver Membership

Rewards/Benefits:

  • Unlimited airport lounge access: You get a Priority Pass Membership which allows unlimited access to airport lounges at over 800 airports for primary as well as supplementary cardmembers.
  • Golf games: With the Citi Prestige Card, you get 4 complimentary golf at 15 golf courses in India every year.
  • Insurance: The Citi Prestige Card offers an overseas medical insurance of USD 50,000 dollars. Additionally, the Citi Prestige card offers an air accident coverage of INR 5,00,00,000. The lost card liability insurance is for INR 3,00,000.
  • Complimentary nights in Hotels: On every 4 nights stay at partner hotels, you get to stay for an extra night free of cost.
  • Global Assistance: With the Taj Epicuria and Inner Circle Membership, you get to receive a personalized welcome worldwide with an elevated status on the loyalty programs of their global partner.
  • Rewards: For every INR 100 spent locally, you get 1 reward point whereas you earn 2x rewards on international spends. You can redeem your points for air miles.

Quick Figures:

Annual Fee INR 20,000
Initial Bonus 10,000 bonus air miles
APR 20.99%
Minimum Requirements  A good credit history

The Citi Prestige Card is exclusively for premium customers and the existing Citigold Private Clients. Although it comes at a very high annual fee, the unlimited access to airport lounges, Taj Epicuria Memberships etc. make this a suitable choice for high income customers. Since this credit card also offers a complimentary fourth night at luxurious properties. Furthermore, you get to enjoy the best hospitality at exclusive prices on the Citi Prestige Credit Card.

ICICI Bank Rubyx Credit Card

The ICICI Bank Rubyx Credit Card is one of the gemstone credit cards offered by ICICI bank that offers you excellent rewards on any one category of your choice among travel, essentials and shopping. This card also includes complimentary golf rounds, airport lounges,  movie tickets. You can choose the travel category to earn rewards.  Additionally, ICICI bank credit and debit card offer good deals/discounts on hotel bookings made from ezeego1, Agoda and Expedia websites.

Pros and Cons:

Reasons to Choose Reasons to Avoid
ICICI Bank Offers/discounts on wide range of products/services No international airport lounge access
Complimentary domestic airport lounge access, golf rounds High interest rate
Complimentary movie tickets
Dining discounts

Rewards/Benefits:

  • Welcome Offer: A Complimentary set of Sennheiser HD221 Headphones
  • Airport Lounge Access: You get 2 free access to domestic airport visits, courtesy Mastercard and American Express
  • Golf rounds: With this credit card in your wallet, you also get a complimentary round of golf every month, based on your eligible spends.
  • ICICI Bank Offers: Get discounts on hotel bookings on booking from websites like Agoda, Expedia and ezeego1
  • Complimentary movie tickets: Buy one get one free ticket on BookMyShow
  • Dining discounts: A minimum of 15% discount on dining bills at partner restaurants

Quick Figures:

Annual Fee INR 2000+ taxes Joining Fee: INR 3000 + taxes
Initial Bonus Complimentary Sennheiser HD221 Headphones
APR 40.80%
Minimum Requirements Salaried employee

ICICI Bank Rubyx Credit Card is a good option among all ICICI Credit cards since it offers a wide range of offers/discounts on domestic and international hotel bookings. One of the demerits to this card is it does not offer any free international airport lounge visits. Additionally, the APR for this card is also slightly on the higher side.

Yatra SBI Credit Card

The Yatra SBI Card is one of the best credit cards that SBI offers at this point. It not only covers travel benefits such as discounts on air tickets and hotels, airport lounge access etc.  but also offers a lot with regards to earning rewards. With this card, you would get 6X reward points in spends on dining, movies, grocery, departmental stores and international spends. Additionally, this card also offers complimentary air accident cover when tickets are booked through yatra.com. Furthermore, the Yatra Card also offers a Fuel Surcharge Waiver.

Pros and Cons:

Reasons to Choose Reasons to Avoid
Complimentary Air Accidental Cover No premium services such as golf privileges
Discounts on flight bookings and domestic hotels No cash back on your spends
Rewards in a broad range of categories High APR
Fuel Surcharge Waiver No international airport lounge access

Rewards/Benefits:

  • Welcome Offer: Yatra vouchers worth INR 8,250 on joining
  • Flight discounts: Discounts on flight tickets upon meeting  minimum transactions
  • Hotel discounts: 20% discount on hotel bookings. For example, when you spend INR 10,000 on partner hotels, you can get a maximum discount of INR 2,000.
  • Airport Lounge Access: Access to domestic airport lounges
  • Air Accident Cover: INR 50 Lacs Air Accident Cover
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: 1% Fuel Surcharge Waiver at all Petrol pumps.

Quick Figures:

Annual Fee INR 499
Initial Bonus Gift vouchers worth INR 8250
APR 40.2%
Minimum Requirements Salaried employee

The Yatra SBI card is a good choice for people on the road since it caters to all types of needs that a person might encounter during the course of his/her travel. Nonetheless, the only demerits of this card are are the unavailability of international airport lounge access and golf privileges

Bottom Line

Among all these credit cards for getting discounts on your hotel spends and getting complimentary nights or easy redemption of reward points, the American Express Platinum Charge Card offers the best deal. However, it has a super high annual fee. Therefore, if you want a credit card with a lower annual fee, you should try out any of the other 5 credit cards.  The Citi Premier Miles is one of the other options that you could never go wrong with. However, if you are strictly on a budget, then we would suggest the Yatra SBI credit card.

FinTown Advantage:  We provide unbiased personal finance advice to help people make the best possible financial decisions. Our reviews and ratings of financial products are determined by customer financial wellbeing and not profiteering. Whether or not we make a penny, we do what is best for the customer. Our research team is made up of economists and market researchers who spend hundreds of hours researching and comparing products with the same mission in mind.

Related: