The travel season is in full swing. All of you who are frequent overseas travellers must be all ears for perks offered by travel credit cards like concierge services, complimentary travel insurance, or lounge access. Nowadays, many travellers want to cash in on airport lounge access to unwind and relax at a good seating area, with food, drink, Wi-Fi, shower, spa, and bedding facilities before a long flight or in transit.
Says Raj Khosla, founder and managing director (MD) of MyMoneyMantra.com, a loan aggregator: “Travel credit cards cater to customers who have high spends on travel as a category. They offer a bouquet of benefits for travellers starting with lucrative reward points on hotel spending, flight tickets, and a slew of privileges like concierge services, complimentary travel insurance, discounts, and vouchers on premium hospitality partners. The conventional benefits of travel credit cards such as air miles and complimentary airport lounge visits are some of the worthwhile advantages.”
Here are the five popular credit cards for airport lounge access in 2023:
HDFC Bank Visa Signature Credit Card: In the first year, no fee if spending on the card is Rs 15,000 in 90 days. In the second year, no cost again if the annual spending is Rs 75,000. The rewards include two points for every Rs 150 spent. There are no joining perks that come with it. On this card, you can make maximum yearly savings on lounge access and fuel and a free priority pass membership worth $99. You would also get a fuel surcharge waiver with a limit of Rs 250 on every billing cycle. With this credit card, you will get up to three add-on cards for your family. You would also get up to 50 days of interest-free credit from the purchase date. In addition, you would get zero lost-card liability benefits on reporting a card loss. The documents needed to avail of this credit card are KYC-PAN and address- and-ID proof.
Yatra SBI Credit Card: Yatra SBI Credit Card has a joining fee (first-year fee) of Rs 499 plus taxes. The finance charges or the interest rate on this card is up to 3.5 per cent per month. Rewards include grocery, movies, and dining - six points for Rs 100; six points for Rs 100 for international spends; one point for Rs 100 for others; one point for Rs 0.25. Yatra.com vouchers are worth Rs 8,250 upon paying the joining fee.
Axis Bank Miles And More Credit Card: This travel credit card has been specifically designed for frequent flyers. It is also for domestic and international usage during your travels. This card offers you redeemable reward points and complimentary lounge access at over 30 airports in India. The card also has offers for fuel expenses. The interest rate charged on the card is 3.4 per cent per month, with a joining fee of Rs 3,500 and an annual fee of Rs 3,500 if you opt for the World Credit Card.
Axis Bank Privilege Credit Card: This privilege credit card offers discounts and benefits across various categories, such as dining, fuel transactions, and shopping. With this card, you will have complimentary access to lounges twice every year. The card comes with a joining fee of Rs 1,000, waived for priority customers. The annual fee is Rs 1,500, waived if annual spending is more than Rs 4 lakh.
IndusInd Bank Platinum Aura Credit Card: This credit card comes with lifestyle benefits. It offers benefits such as comprehensive insurance, 24x7 concierge service, flexible reward plans, and a fuel charge waiver. This card provides EazyDiner, Veromoda, and Bata vouchers as a welcome benefit. In addition, you would get a one per cent waiver on fuel surcharge when you use the credit card to buy fuel. As a reward point benefit, you get up to 4x reward points for every Rs 100 you spend on partner merchant categories.
Things To Keep In Mind: It is important to remember that the number of complimentary lounge visits in a year varies from card to card. So, you may have two cards that provide access to airport lounges, but each may have a different number of free visits in a year.
Similarly, lounge access is restricted to specific airport lounges covered in the policy. For instance, you may have access to lounges in the metro airports but not in the non-metro airports. You may have access to domestic lounges but not international ones. You may have access only to specific lounges at a given airport. So you need to understand the scope of the reward before you opt for the card so that you can utilise it best.
“The charges for cards with lounge access vary across the board. Usually, these come with lifestyle and premium cards, so there would be annual charges of at least Rs 500-1000 associated with the card. Moreover, the number of access permitted in one year and the airports covered will also vary depending on the card,” says Adhil Shetty, CEO of BankBazaar.com, a financial services website.