Top Indian Credit Cards For The Best International Travel

By Sanesh Mathew | August 4, 2017

Top Credit Cards For International Travel

Trip abroad on your mind? If so, it’s extremely important to have the right International Credit Card when you’re travelling. A Credit Card which offers low or no foreign currency transaction fee, international customer service and worldwide acceptance is a good card to opt for, if you plan to travel abroad. It will not only help you save on your foreign transactions but in case of loss/theft of the card, you will receive immediate assistance.

So, what are the main things you should look for in an international Credit Card?

The first thing that you must check is the foreign transaction fee. Foreign transactions on the Credit Card you choose should ideally be low or free. The average foreign currency mark-up on most Credit Cards is 3.5%.

What’s next? Check if the Credit Card provider offers international customer service. It’s important to know how easily you will get help if you need it when in a foreign country. Guaranteed live operators for customer service will help you on an international trip.

Added travel rewards never harmed anyone. Check all the special perks offered. Plus, a lot of travel-oriented Credit Cards offer a variety of travel-related benefits and special discounts on flight tickets, hotel bookings, car rentals, etc. If you really want to save big on your international trips, you should pick a Credit Card that offers you multiple benefits.

Additional Reading: Scratch That Travel Itch With These 5 Travel-Friendly Credit Cards

Three other important features that you must look for in an international Credit Card are complimentary insurance, complimentary airport lounge access, and wallet assist.

Also, make sure that you inform your Credit Card provider before you travel abroad. Let them know which country you are headed to. This will help avoid unnecessary blocking of the card. Sometimes, Credit Card providers block cards if you swipe them in a foreign country, as these transactions could be construed to be fraudulent activities.

P.S. If you always travel to UK, Europe or Australia, then you can check for Credit Cards that come with built-in contactless technology (Visa PayWave or MasterCard PayPass) just for the sake of convenience. Wouldn’t you love to just wave or tap your card and make payments on the go? This is not yet a popular concept here in India, but it is slowly catching up.

Now, are you wondering which International Credit Card you should choose? Let us help you with it:

If you make a lot of purchases when you are abroad, you can opt for one of the below-mentioned cards. They come with a low forex mark-up fee, so you can save on your international spends.

HDFC Regalia Credit Card

The foreign transaction mark-up fee on this HDFC Credit Card is comparatively low – 2% (the average is 3.5% for most Credit Cards).

Other awesome travel-related features include:

  • Priority check-in/waiting list clearance
  • Additional baggage allowed (5 Kg)
  • Get complimentary airport lounge access with Priority Pass
  • 24/7 travel concierge assistance
  • Complete protection and cover in case of Death due to air accidents and medical emergencies overseas
  • Redeem accumulated reward points for flight bookings or hotel bookings. Or you can convert your reward points to Air Miles of leading airlines

YES Bank YES FIRST Exclusive Credit Card

This YES bank card also has a low foreign transaction fee mark-up. It is only 1.75% on this Credit Card. Apart from this, it also comes with a variety of other great features:

  • Complimentary lounge access with Priority Pass membership
  • Insurance coverage for accidental death during air travel and unexpected medical emergencies abroad
  • Contactless technology embedded in the card
  • 24/7 concierge assistance
  • Redeem accumulated reward points for booking flights or hotels or movies

SBI Card Elite

This premium SBI Credit Card offers you a low foreign currency mark-up fee of 1.99% on all your international spends. Plus, you also get two reward points for every Rs. 100 that you spend overseas. Other features include:

  • Exclusive 24/7 concierge services
  • International lounge access – up to six free visits in a year with Priority Pass
  • Complimentary Club Vistara Silver membership
  • Joining perks – Rs. 5,000 e-gift voucher which can be redeemed against exclusive travel and lifestyle partners

Additional Reading: Using Your Credit Card Overseas? Understand Your Charges!

Want some more options? Cool! We’ll give you two more awesome options. However, these cards will not have the advantage of a low foreign transaction fee mark-up like the above two. But, they have other advantages. So, here goes:

Jet Airways ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card

This is one of the best airline co-branded Credit Cards in the market. So, if you’re completely loyal to Jet Airways, getting this card will be a smart move. Exclusive travel privileges on this card includes:

  • Earn JPMiles on everyday spends and bookings made via Jet Airways website
  • Get 5% discount on the base fare for all air tickets booked through Jet Airways website (Economy cabin)
  • Joining perk – JetPrivilege program membership and 10,000 JPMiles
  • Renewal bonus – 5,000 bonus JPMiles
  • Redeem JPMiles for free flights across Jet Airywas or the other 25+ international airline partners
  • Complimentary VIP lounge access with Priority Pass
  • Forex mark-up fee – 3.5%

Additionally, for domestic flight bookings, you can enjoy dedicated check-in and complimentary excess baggage allowance.

Standard Chartered Emirates World Credit Card

Avail lots of travel benefits with this Emirates co-branded Credit Card offering from Standard Chartered. Here’s a quick look at the exclusive benefits it offers:

  • Joining perk – 4,000 Skywards Miles
  • Earn Skywards Miles on all your domestic and international spends. Redeem these for free flight tickets, upgrades, etc. across 15 airline partners
  • Get cashback on duty free shopping. TnC apply
  • International and domestic lounge access
  • Insurance cover for air accidents, loss of baggage, hijacks, flight delays, and more
  • Great offers on hotel bookings and car rentals

Additional Reading: Pack These International Credit Cards with You While Travelling Abroad

That’s not all. There are a number of other cards to choose from too. Always compare between cards and pick the one that suits your requirements. Cool?

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Category: Credit Cards Travel

About Sanesh Mathew

A talkative sleepyhead, Sanesh, enjoys watching horror movies, listening to music, reading all things related to personal finance and wandering aimlessly (walking meditation, he calls it!). He refers to himself as a 'simple human being with a rather chaotic mind'.

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