Top 5 credit cards for international travel Planning for an international tour during summer vacations? Here's a list of top five credit cards that offer travel related benefits on flight bookings, hotel stays and memberships.
March 21, 2023 / 07:58 AM IST
A credit card that offers hotel and airline benefits is a good companion for international travel. With summer holidays coming up, here's something for you. These cards not only earn decent rewards but also save on flight bookings, hotel stays and memberships. You can also save a substantial amount on foreign exchange mark-up fee as some of these cards offer a lower rate. Paisabazaar has identified the best credit cards for international travel that will make your stay hassle-free and affordable.
Image Source: IDFC First Bank | IDFC FIRST Wealth Credit Card charges 1.5 percent forex markup fee on international transactions. The cardholders receive four airport lounge access per quarter. The bank offers access to more than 900 luxury hotels with premium benefits. It also offers up to 20 per cent discount at more than 1500 restaurants and up to 15 per cent discount at more than 3000 health and wellness centres. The annual fee is Nil.
Image Source: Standard Chartered Bank | Standard Chartered EaseMyTrip Credit Card offers a flat 20 percent and 10 percent instant discount on hotel and flight bookings, respectively at EaseMyTrip app. The cardholder gets Rs 125 off on bus ticket bookings. It also offers 10X rewards on every Rs 100 spent for booking tickets at standalone hotel and airline websites, apps or outlets. It offers two complimentary international lounge access per year and one complimentary domestic lounge access per quarter. The annual fee is Rs 350 on this card.
Image Source: HDFC Bank | InterMiles HDFC Bank Signature Credit Card offers up to 8,000 bonus InterMiles on joining and 3,000 InterMiles on spending Rs 6,000 during the first 30 days. It also offers Rs 750 and Rs 2,000 flight and hotel discount vouchers respectively, and InterMiles Silver membership for the first year and upon renewal. The card user can redeem InterMiles to book flight tickets via the InterMiles website. It offers 16 complimentary lounge access per year to VISA and Mastercard network credit card holders. The annual fee is Rs 2,500 on this card.
Image Source: RBL Bank | On RBL World Safari Credit Card, there are no charges for foreign exchange mark-up fee. It offers MakeMyTrip welcome voucher worth Rs 3,000. The card users get a priority pass membership to access international airport lounges. It offers two complimentary domestic lounge access per quarter. The bank offers 10,000 travel points on spending Rs 2.5 lakh in a year using this card and an additional 15,000 on spending Rs 5 lakh in a year. The annual fee is Rs 3,000 on this credit card.
Image Source: SBI Card | SBI Elite Credit Card charges a foreign exchange mark-up fee of 1.99 percent. The card users get complimentary membership to the Priority Pass Program worth USD 99 annually. The cardholders get a complimentary Trident Privilege Membership and Club Vistara membership. It offers six international lounge access per year and two complimentary domestic lounge access per quarter. The annual fee is Rs 4,999 on this card.
Use your credit cards smartly and responsibly. Have a disciplined approach to your credit behaviour. Since credit cards offer a significant interest-free period, there may be a tendency to overspend while travelling with family on vacations. If you spend more than you can repay and cannot pay your credit card bill timely, you will incur hefty interest charges ranging from 28-49 percent p.a., along with late payment fees.
To shortlist the best credit cards during international travel, Paisabazaar compared all the credit cards available within the segment. They selected all the cards based on the travel benefits offered by each credit card, along with other benefits. All credit card information is sourced and updated as of March 15, 2023. We arranged these credit cards according to the least annual fees.
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.