The blossoming of credit card industry has made it possible for banks and credit card companies to come up with dedicated card schemes for its customers. Travel centric credit cards are one such popular travel oriented credit card scheme where banks or credit card companies collaborate with various airlines and hotels to offer discounts of travel and ticket related purchase. Travel centric credit cards are a win-win situation for both the card holder and the issuing bank and airline concerned. Let us take a look at some of the best ways to maximize the travel deal benefits offered by airline credit cards.
Travel Credit Cards and Airline Miles: Travel centric credit cards offer users the advantage of earning air miles for every ticket purchase. The air miles can be redeemed for cash discounts while purchasing the next airline ticket. Depending on the airline and the credit card, airline miles also offer discounted to free flight tickets, hotel discounts and even discounts on shopping in various retail stores. While these are great options for frequent travellers, there are certain aspects that must be kept in mind while selecting the right travel credit card.
- Keep a Lookout of Miles Expiry: Many travel centric credit cards offering airline miles benefits have a time limit after which the accumulated miles are reset. It is imperative to make sure that you are aware of the expiry timeline of the accumulated miles or all your air miles accumulation may count for nothing.
- Opt for Multiple Airlines Centric Cards: Most credit card companies enter into an exclusive collaboration with a particular airline while offering the best travel deals. While it is good to have brand loyalty towards one card and one airline, make sure to check cards offering deals with two or three airlines just in case you are unable to fly the airline offering the card on some sectors.
- Understand the Miles Redemption Process: Travel centric cards offer card holders the privilege of earning air miles for both ticket booking as well as for other airline related transactions. Make sure to know the exact number of air miles offered for airline bookings and other retail bookings like hotels and taxis. The card offering the maximum number of air mile benefits across multiple purchases is a better option compared to cards offering air miles only on ticket bookings.
Typical benefits of Airline Miles Credit Cards: Airline miles credit cards offer a number of unique benefits to the card holder including conversion of reward points accumulated while purchasing or swapping card into active air miles. For all spending with one or two exclusive airlines, the travel centric credit cards offer faster air mile accumulation. This is done to build a brand value with the airline offering the credit card. Another important benefit offered by travel centric credit cards is access to various exclusive lounges at both domestic and international airports. Most travel centric credit cards also offer an easier redemption process if the user is seeking to convert air miles into ticket purchase or other travel centric purchase.
Popular Travel Centric airline credit cards: Let us take a look at some of the popular travel centric credit cards including airline credit cards offering discounts and deals for the frequent traveler.
ICICI Bank British Airways Premium Card: ICICI Bank British Airways Premium Credit Card offers great discounts for frequent fliers and is ideal for international travelers. The card helps customers earn air miles for most spends and allows it to be used for possible upgrades and free flights at British Airways. Some of the benefits and features of ICICI Bank British Airways Premium credit card include an introductory benefit of 8000 Avios on the first usage, 15% off on select restaurants across the country courtesy Culinary Treats Program, Access to ICICI Bank experience concierge services and a chance to earn as much as 9 Avios for every Rs 100 spent applicable on all travel and non travel purchase. The card comes with an Annual fee of Rs. 7,000 for both the first year and subsequent years.
Air India SBI Signature Credit Card: Air India SBI Signature Credit Card offers travelers the benefits of flying with Air India with 4 reward points for every 100 Rs spent. Each reward point accumulated by swapping the SBI Signature Credit Card amounts to 1 Air India Air Mile worth a welcome gift of 20,000 reward points. The card offers complimentary Priority Pass membership which allows access to lounges across the globe at a nominal fee along with a free fraud liability cover worth Rs 1 Lakh. The SBI Air India Signature Card comes with an annual free of Rs. 499.
HSBC MakeMyTrip Signature Card: The HSBC and MakeMyTrip cobranded Signature Credit card offers the card holder the advantage of accumulating 10 reward points for every INR 100 spent at MakeMyTrip.com travel portal. Turbo reward points to the tune of 5 reward points for every Rs100 spent in excess of INR 50,000 at MakeMyTrip.com in a year makes it ideal for frequent fliers who use the travel portal for all their ticket and hotel bookings. HSBC MakeMyTrip Signature Credit Card has an annual fee of Rs. 3499 and available to eligible candidates having an annual Income of more than Rs 18 Lakhs.
Jet Airways ICICI Bank Coral Credit Card: Jet Airways ICICI Bank Coral Credit Card offers card holders the benefits of accumulating JP Miles which can be redeemed for Jet Airways tickets and discount coupons. The card holders receive a welcome bonus of 2500 JP Miles. Apart from air miles on ticket and travel purchase, ICICI Bank Coral Credit Card offers 3 JP Miles for every Rs 100/- spent at domestic and international outlets. The card comes with a onetime joining fee of Rs. 1250 and an annual fee of Rs. 1250.
Citibank PremierMiles Credit Card: Citibank PremierMiles Credit Card is another popular travel credit card offering 10 Premier Miles for every Rs. 100 spent on multiple airlines. The card offers advantages for non airline travel as well to the tune of Earn 4 Premiermiles for every Rs. 100 spent on non-airline transactions. Citibank Premier Miles Card comes with an annual fee of Rs. 3000.