A few of my friends went on a 10-day group trip to Europe. They were narrating their experience to me about the places they visited, the things they did and the memories they made. I asked them about the all-expenses cost of the trip. To our surprise, most of them spent approx. INR 1 lakh on the 10-day trip but one of them had spent just INR 75,000.
They had both gone on the exact same trip. The difference was they all separately did their bookings and paid for their individual expenses. Turned out that the significant difference in their expenses was because they used different credit cards. The friend who spent only 75,000 had utilized his credit card very smartly to avail discounts on flights and also earned reward points on his other expenses.
Thus, using the right credit card when you travel can save you a lot of money.
I am listing the best travel credit cards in India 2021 which give maximum discounts in form of flight tickets booking discount, rewards points (which can be used for further ticket bookings) and complimentary access to lounges.
Note that all premium credit cards give lounge access but may not give any extra travel benefits.
Here you can find details of 11 best travel credit card in India 2021
Best Credit Card for Travel in India 2021
#1. American Express Platinum Travel Review
Amex Platinum Travel credit card is the best travel credit card in India 2021 as the credit card offers complimentary lounge access and travel gift vouchers.
You can enjoy 4 complimentary lounges visits 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.
- Get travel voucher worth Rs. 6000 by spending more than Rs. 1.9 Lakh in a year
- Earn 10000 milestone reward points on spending Rs. 4 Lakh
- Get a Taj experiences gift cards worth Rs. 10000 on hitting 4 Lakh milestone
- 1 reward point per Rs. 50 spend, the value of each reward point is min 40 paisa
- Frequent discounts and offers from MakeMyTrip
- 600+ other redemption options
- Zero lost card liability
- Fuel surcharge waiver at HPCL fuel outlets
#2. SBI Elite Credit Card
SBI Elite credit card is one of the top travel credit card in India that 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%.
- 10 points per Rs. 100 spent on dining, departmental stores, grocery & international spends
- 2 points per on all other spends
- 9 Vistara points for every Rs. 100 spent on Vistara flight bookings.
- Free 2 movie tickets worth Rs. 500 every month
- 1% fuel surcharge waiver
- 1.99% foreign currency mark-up
Best Credit Card for Flight Booking in India 2021
#3. HDFC Diners Club Black Review
Diners Club Black is a super premium credit card that offers unlimited airport lounge access. You can visit 700+ lounges in India and worldwide without the need for a separate priority pass. If you are a frequent traveler then you must have this credit card.
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 along with your flight booking expenses.
- First-year– Rs. 10,000 (spend Rs. 5 lakh and get next year fee waiver)
- Second-year onwards– Rs 10,000
- 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 benefits 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.
You will also get complimentary membership for one year on Club Marriott, Forbes Digital subscription, Zomato Gold, Amazon Prime, MakeMyTrip Double Black, Times Prime.
- Rs. 2 Crores of Air accident cover
- Rs. 50 Lakhs cover for Emergency medical expenses
- Rs. 9 Lakhs cover for Credit card liability
- Rs. 55,000 Travel insurance cover on baggage delay
The card is best if you are a frequent traveler and want to have free lounge access.
#4. Yes Preferred Credit Card Review
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
- 8 reward points on travel agencies & tour operators, domestic airlines and dining
- 4 reward points on all other spends
- Preferential foreign currency markup of 1.75%
- Rs. 1 crore Life Insurance Cover for flight accidents
- Rs. 25 Lakhs of medical insurance cover when traveling overseas
- Credit card cover in case of accidental death of primary cardmember
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.
Best Credit Card for Domestic Travel in India 2021
#5. SBI Air India Signature Credit Card Review
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 the 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.
- 4 Reward points for every Rs. 100 spent
- 10 Reward Points spent on SuperSaver booklet purchases
Best Miles Credit Card in India 2021
#6. Citi Premier Miles Credit Card Review
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.
- Earn 4 Miles for every Rs. 100 spent
- Rs. 10 Lakhs lost card liability cover
- 15% on dining at participating restaurants
- Air accident cover of up to Rs 1 crore
#7. ICICI JetAirways Sapphiro (Amex) Credit Card Review
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
- 5 JPMiles on domestic spends
- 7 JPMIles on international spends
- 1 JPMile on insurance and utilities
- 2 international lounge visits and 2 spa sessions via DragonPass membership
- Dedicated check-in for the select domestic flight
- Complimentary excess baggage allowance of 10 Kgs (Premier) and 5 Kgs (Economy)
- 15% on dining
- 4 complimentary rounds/ lessons of golf every month
- Up to Rs. 500 off on the second movie ticket on BookMyShow twice every month
#8. Axis Bank Privilege Credit Card
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)
- Earn 5 reward points per Rs. 100 on all spend except fuel
- Get up to 15% discount at selected Fine dining restaurants
- 1% fuel surcharge waiver
You can save 2% (5 points= 5×0.40= Rs. 2) on all your spends including travel with Axis Bank Privilege Credit Card.
#9. ICICI Sapphiro Credit Card Review
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.
- Get 1 payback points on Rs. 100 spent on fuel, utilities and insurance
- Buy one movie ticket and get up to Rs. 500 off on the second ticket
- 15% savings on dining
- 4 complimentary rounds of golf every month at the golf course
- 1% fuel surcharge waiver
- 2 complimentary domestic airport spa visits per the calendar year
You may also like to read – Best credit card in India 2021
#10. Kotak Royale Signature Credit Card
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).
- 2X rewards on all other spends
- 1% fuel surcharge waiver
- Rs. 500 of railway surcharge waiver on www.irctc.co.in
- Rs. 2.5 Lakhs of Credit Card stolen cover
Best Credit Card for Train Travel in India 2021
#11. SBI IRCTC Credit Card Review
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
- Get 1 reward point for every Rs. 125 spent except on fuel
- Earn 1% fuel surcharge across all petrol pumps
- Rs. 100 cashback on your first ATM cash withdrawal within 30 days of receiving the card
No doubt, HDFC Diners Club Black is the best travel credit card 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 redemption of points against hotels.
With travel credit cards, you will not only able to save money but also improve your overall travel experience.
So next time you travel, make sure you include a travel credit card in your packing list!