Airmiles, lounge benefits, free hotel room: Credit cards line up goodies for summer holidays The recent rule of 20% Tax Collected at Source has brought some relief as credit card spends on foreign spends are exempt from the tax up to a spend of Rs 7 lakh. But banks charge a foreign exchange markup fee when you spend abroad. These are the top Mastercard credit cards.
May 24, 2023 / 07:18 AM IST
Summer holidays have begun. If you're yet to home in on the best place to visit, then your credit card can be a good friend. With travel benefits like airmiles and reward points which you can use to book hotel rooms or even suites, a good credit card can reduce your travel costs to a great extent. These are some Mastercard credit cards that offer travel perks.
6E Rewards Indigo HDFC Card is an airline co-branded card. It is available in two variants 6E Rewards and 6E Rewards XL card. The cardholders of this Mastercard credit card can receive discounts of up to 5 percent on IndiGo purchases, 3 percent on dining, entertainment, and grocery purchases, and a staggering 20 percent on a variety of other valued partners. The users get domestic lounge access. There are welcome incentives, including free 6E Prime Addons, Accor Hotel stays, air ticket vouchers, and more. 6E Rewards card charges 3.5 percent and 6E Rewards XL card charges 2.5 percent forex markup fee on all foreign currency transactions. The annual fee is Rs 500 on 6E Rewards and Rs 1500 on 6E Rewards XL credit card.
RBL World Safari card charges zero percent forex markup fee on all foreign currency transactions. The card also provides the user travel insurance and access to over 13,000 international airport lounges through the complimentary Priority Pass membership. The card also offers MakeMyTrip voucher worth Rs 3,000 as a welcome gift. The more you spend through this card, the more benefits you accumulate in the form of free flights and a stay at luxurious hotels. The annual fee is Rs 3,000 on this credit card.
On Axis Miles & More credit card you are eligible to earn unlimited miles according to your spending. These miles don’t expire. It offers the miles and more club membership and priority pass lounge access to the card users. The card charges 3.5 percent forex markup fee on all foreign currency transactions. The annual fee is Rs 3,500 on this credit card.
SBI Card Elite charges 1.99 percent forex markup fee on all foreign currency transactions. The card users get priority pass, which offers access to over 1,000 lounges worldwide, cardholders also receive domestic lounge access in addition to international lounge access. The card users get the complimentary Club Vistara Silver membership and upgrade voucher, Trident Privilege Red Tier membership, accelerated rewards on Vistara and Trident. The annual fee is Rs 4,999 on this credit card.
HDFC Infinia Card is one of the most premium cards. Numerous travel perks are included with the card, including club Marriott membership with special discounts and weekend buffets at ITC hotels. It offers unlimited access to international lounges through Priority Pass. The cardholders can use their accelerated reward points, which can be used to cover up to 70 percent of the cost of travel booked through HDFC's SmartBuy platform, to earn rewards on a variety of e-commerce and travel purchases. The card charges 2 percent forex markup fee on all foreign currency transactions. The annual fee is Rs 12,500 on this credit card.
Have a disciplined approach to your credit behaviour. Once you get a credit card, it is critical that you use it smartly and responsibly. Since credit cards offer a significant interest-free period, there may be a tendency to overspend while travelling abroad on vacation at partnered hotels or resorts as well as while shopping from partnered merchants. Banks charge a foreign exchange markup fee when you are making a payment in a foreign currency, so spend wisely. If you spend more than you can repay and cannot pay your credit card bill timely, you will incur hefty interest charges ranging from 28 to 49 percent per annum along with late payment fees.
Mastercard has shortlisted the credit cards based on the travel benefits and low forex markup fees charged. All credit card information is sourced and updated as of May 4, 2023. We arranged these credit cards according to lowest annual fees charged.
Hiral Thanawala is a personal finance journalist with 9 years of reporting experience. Based in Mumbai, he covers financial planning, banking and fintech segments from personal finance team for Moneycontrol.