There had been a five-fold surge in applications for travel-specific credit cards from September 2022 to August 2023, according to a report by IndiaLends, an online marketplace for personal loans and credit cards, released on the eve of World Tourism Day on September 27.
The "TravelToGrow" report said that in 2022 alone, there was a 10-fold growth in overall travel loan applications.
The report shows an increasing trend of Indian consumers using credit products to finance their travel experiences, with women constituting 52 per cent of credit card applications.
IndiaLends said that 50 per cent of all credit card applications were specifically for travel-focused credit cards, starting September 2022. Last year alone, there was a six-fold increase in applications for travel credit cards. Among the preferred credit cards on the IndiaLends platform for travellers, the Axis Bank Vistara credit card, American Express Platinum Travel card, and SBI ELITE card credit were the top choices.
About 48 per cent of credit card applications related to travel originated from individuals aged 24-35, with an additional 52 per cent coming from those aged 36-45. This surge in applications is most prominent in metropolitan cities, with Bengaluru leading at 30 per cent, followed by New Delhi at 26 per cent. Only 12 per cent came from non-metro cities.
Gaurav Chopra, founder & CEO of IndiaLends, said, “The remarkable growth in our travel-centric credit card applications indicates that today's younger generation is actively working on building a strong credit history while capitalising on the reward programs linked to credit cards.”
Chopra also emphasised the importance of responsible credit card management, stating, “It is crucial to manage credit cards responsibly, ensuring on-time payments and avoiding high balances to avoid potential debt and financial challenges."
Further, the study unveiled that users of travel-specific cards have integrated them into their daily lives to maximise benefits. A substantial 38 per cent of users have employed their travel-specific cards for everyday expenses over a year, accumulating valuable reward points. Out of this group, approximately 22 per cent redeemed their reward points for a complimentary domestic flight ticket.