Top 5 credit cards for international travel

Planning an international tour during summer vacation? Here is a list of the top five credit cards that offer travel-related benefits for flight bookings, hotel stays, and memberships.

Credit cards that offer hotel and airline benefits are great companions for international travel. With summer holidays coming up, here’s something for you. These cards not only get decent rewards but also save on flight bookings, hotel stays, and memberships. You can also save significant foreign exchange mark-up fees as some of these cards offer lower rates. Paisabazaar has identified the best credit cards for international travel that will make your stay hassle-free and affordable.

Image Source: IDFC First Bank | The IDFC FIRST Wealth Credit Card charges a 1.5 per cent markup fee for international transactions. Cardholders receive four airport lounge access per quarter. The bank offers access to more than 900 luxury hotels with premium benefits. It also offers discounts of up to 20 percent in more than 1500 restaurants and discounts of up to 15 percent in more than 3000 health and fitness centers. The annual fee is Nil.

Image Source: Standard Chartered Bank | Standard Chartered’s EaseMyTrip Credit Card offers instant 20 percent and 10 percent discounts on hotel and flight bookings, respectively on the EaseMyTrip app. Cardholders get a discount of Rs 125 on bus ticket bookings. It also offers 10X rewards for every Rs 100 spent on booking tickets on the websites, apps or independent hotel and airline outlets. It offers two free international lounge access per year and one free domestic lounge access per quarter. The annual fee is Rs 350 for this card.

Image Source: HDFC Bank | HDFC Bank Signature InterMiles Credit Card offers up to 8,000 bonus InterMiles on joining and 3,000 InterMiles on spending Rs 6,000 for the first 30 days. It also offers flight and hotel discount vouchers of Rs 750 and Rs 2,000 respectively, and InterMiles Silver membership for the first year and upon renewal. Card users can redeem InterMiles to book flight tickets through the InterMiles website. It offers 16 free lounge access per year for VISA and Mastercard network credit card holders. The annual fee is Rs 2,500 for this card.

Image Source: RBL Bank | On the RBL World Safari Credit Card, there is no foreign exchange mark-up fee. It offers a MakeMyTrip welcome voucher worth Rs 3,000. Card users get priority pass membership to access international airport lounges. It offers two complimentary domestic lounge access per quarter. The bank offers 10,000 travel points for spending Rs 2.5 lakh in a year using this card and an additional 15,000 for spending Rs 5 lakh in a year. The annual fee is Rs 3,000 for this credit card.

Image Source: SBI Card | The SBI Elite Credit Card charges a foreign exchange mark-up fee of 1.99 percent. Card users get a free membership to the Priority Pass Program worth USD 99 per year. Cardholders get Trident Privilege Membership and Club Vistara membership for free. It offers six international lounge access per year and two free domestic lounge access per quarter. The annual fee is Rs 4,999 for this card.

Use your credit card smartly and responsibly. Have a disciplined approach to your credit behavior. Because credit cards offer significant interest-free periods, there can be a tendency to overspend when traveling with family on vacation. If you spend more than you can afford and can’t pay your credit card bill on time, you’ll incur hefty interest charges ranging from 28-49 percent annually, along with late payment fees.

To choose the best credit card for international travel, Paisabazaar compares all available credit cards in the segment. They select all cards based on the travel benefits each credit card offers, along with other benefits. All credit card information sourced and updated as of March 15, 2023. We’ve ranked these credit cards based on the lowest annual fee.

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