Written by Credit Cards

Best Credit Cards For International Travel

Best International Travel Credit Card India

In this fast-paced world of the 21st century where getting to the other side of the world is the matter of a few hours, traveling abroad has grown to become an integrated part of life for many people.  Be it an important business meeting or a much-needed escape from the rat-race, a passion for exploration, a craving for adventure; international travels are becoming more popular among Indians each day.

However, let’s just face it; international travels come with hassles of its own like exhausting long journeys, endless waiting for the delayed flights and extra bucks that you lose as international currency transaction fee. This is where Credit Cards come to the rescue.

Why you should use Credit Cards during international travel?

It is definitely true that shopping or cash withdrawal in a foreign country might prove to be expensive. Credit card payment is the best method you can try on these situations due to the benefits that tag along with it. Some of the complimentary benefits are–

  • During the tiresome flight delays or in between flights, Credit Cards can provide you with complimentary access to the lounges
  • Foreign currency mark-up fees are comparatively low.
  • Credit Cards can be used as an option of the security deposit on multiple occasions.
  • Higher redeemable points are offered on international expenditures which can be used for availing further facilities.
  • Insurance cover in case of on-board death or accidental medical emergency, is available.
  • Another additional advantage – if by any chance credit cards get lost, then unlike in case of lost debit cards, your liability is usually limited by the credit card issuer.

Transaction charges and fee in credit cards

There are charges and transaction fees associated with most of the credit cards and debit cards. A transaction fee is known as the Foreign Currency Markup Fee which, generally for most of the cards is 3.5% + the GST. Meaning, 4% of the actual money spent, gets expended unnecessarily as a transaction charge.  Listed below are the different types of charges associated with the use of credit cards abroad –

  • Foreign Transaction fee – The credit card issuing companies such as State Bank of India (SBI), HDFC, ICICI, PNB, and BOB, etc. usually charge a Foreign Transaction Fee to the cardholders irrespective the amount of transaction, the currency or the cash withdrawal amount. This fee is almost equal to 3 to 4% of the total amount.
 
  • Foreign currency conversion charge Being the citizen if India your credit currency is INR. So when you’re traveling abroad then the currency needs to be converted for you to be able to utilize the money. During currency conversion 1 or 2% is automatically charged by MasterCard and Visa for the foreign currency conversion charge. Any excess amount, if charged, is some profit of the bank.
 
  • Cash Advance fee – Just the way advance fee is charged on the Credit Cards within the country, in the same way during money withdrawal abroad, the standard withdrawal fee along with the international withdrawal fee is charged on the credit card. Together the total fee amount adds up to be equal to almost 1 to 4 % of the withdrawal money.

The Best Credit Cards For International Use

HDFC REGALIA credit CARDEnjoy Premium Travel & Lifestyle Privileges

On HDFC Website

SBI CARD ELITEPriority Pass and Club Vistara Silver Membership

On SBI Website

YES Bank YES First ExclusiveDesigned For The Exclusive Few

On HDFC Site

HDFC DINERS CLUB CREDIT CARDUnlimited Domestic & International Lounge Access

On HDFC Site

JET AIRWAYS ICICI SAPPHIRO CREDIT CARDBest For Frequent Flyers

On HDFC Site

AXIS BANK MILES & MORE CREDIT CARDEarn Unlimited Award Miles

On HDFC Site

On HDFC Website

HDFC Regalia Credit Card

The lowest foreign exchange fee

Current offer

Complementary Zomato Gold membership

Redeem for

Flight ticket and hotel bookings

Rewards overview

10,000 reward points on ₹8,00,000 spend

Annual fee

Joining fee ₹2500  | Renewal fee fee ₹2500

Facilities

  • If you have priority pass membership then access to the airport lounge is complimentary. This card provides you with a Foreign Currency Markup of only 2% on international transactions which is comparatively the lowest with respect to the other cards.
  • There is an additional extra allowance of 5 kilos on the baggage. There are facilities of waiting list/ priority check-in clearance.
  • You have chances of winning more than 15000 future redeemable points on expenditures of 8 lakh or more every year.
  • Insurance cover is also provided in case of accidental death onboard or of any other emergencies on the medical grounds during your stay abroad.
  • Along with the HDFC bonus points, you can win Club Vistara points on the purchase of ₹ 100 or more. All the points are redeemable on future bookings of leading hotels and flights.
  • Cash Advance Charges is 2.5% of total amount which is way lower than the average rate i.e. 4%
  • Balance Transfer Processing Charge is 1% of the amount which is lower than the average i.e. 2%

Fees

  • The joining fee of HDFC Regalia Credit Card is ₹ 2500 along with the applicable taxes and the Annual fee is ₹ 2500 along with applicable taxes as well.

On SBI Website

SBI Card Elite

Free airport lunge access

Current offer

Welcome e-gift voucher worth ₹ 5,000 | Complementary movie tickets

Redeem for

Credit card payment

Rewards overview

5X reward points on dining & grocery spends

Annual fee

Joining fee ₹4999 | Renewal fee ₹4999

Facilities

  • If you have the priority pass then access to the International Airport lounges are provided complimentarily for up to 6 times in a year. Concierge services are provided to the travelers exclusively 24X7.
  • Silver membership of Club Vistara also comes complimentary with the card.
  • Upon joining, gift vouchers worth 5000 rupees are given to the customers which are redeemable in the future through the travel and lifestyle companies that they are partnered with.
  • Along with the HDFC bonus points, you can win Club Vistara points on the purchase of ₹ 100 or more. All the points are redeemable on future bookings of leading hotels and flights.
  • Cash Advance Charges is 3 – 3.5% of total amount:  lower than the average rate i.e. 4%.

Fees

  • The joining fee is ₹ 10,000 along with applicable taxes and the annual fee is ₹ 10,000 with applicable taxes as well.

On Yes Bank website

YES Bank YES First Exclusive

The lowest cash advance fee

Current offer

50,000 reward point on first transaction

Redeem for

Flight and hotel bookings

Rewards overview

12 reward points on every ₹100 spend

Annual fee

Joining fee ₹10,000 | Renewal fee ₹10,000​

Facilities

  • In this case, also access to airport lounges are complimentary if you are having the Priority Pass membership.
  • In case of any accidental death during air commute or any kind of medical emergencies insurance coverages are available during the stay abroad.
  • The card is embedded with contactless technology. Concierge assistance is provided to the travelers 24X7.
  • Redeemable reward points are awarded during transactions and bookings etc.
  • Cash Advance Charges is 2.5% of total amount which is way lower than the average rate i.e. 4%.
  • Foreign currency mark-up fee is 1.75% of the transaction amount which, again, is way lower than the average i.e. 3-4%.

Fees

  • The joining fees of YES Bank YES First Exclusive Credit Card is 10,000 along with applicable taxes and the Annual fees are 10,000 along with applicable taxes as well.

On HDFC website

HDFC Diners Club Credit Card

Unlimited domentsic and international lounge access

Current offer

Welcome benefit of 5000 reward points

Redeem for

Flight and hotel bookings

Rewards overview

5 reward points on every ₹100 spend

Annual fee

Joining fee ₹5000 | Renewal fee ₹5000

Facilities

  • Unlimited complimentary domestic and international lounge access applicable to more than 700 airport lounges for the primary cardholder.
  • You can get redeemable points on booking air tickets for hotels from more than 150 + choices of hotels in airlines.
  • Balance Transfer Processing Charge is 1% of the amount which is lower than the average i.e. 2%
  • Foreign Currency Transaction is 3.0% of the transaction amount lower than the average i.e. 3.5 – 4%

Fees

  • The joining fee of HDFC Diners Club Credit Card is ₹ 10,000 and the Annual fee is ₹ 5000.

On ICICI website

Jet Airways ICICI Sapphiro Credit Card

Redeem JP miles for free ticket

Current offer

10,000 welcome bonus JPMiles

Redeem for

Flight ticket booking

Rewards overview

10 JPMiles on every ₹100 spend

Annual fee

Joining fee ₹5000 | Renewal fee ₹5000

Facilities 

  • On everyday expenditures and bookings through to the website of Jet Airways, you can earn JP miles.
  • If you book tickets through the website of Jet Airways in the economy cabin then 5% discount is available on the base fare of all the book air tickets.
  • 10,000 JP miles are reverted to the customers as joining perk along with Jet Privilege Program membership and as renewal bonus, 5000 JP miles are rewarded.
  • The JP miles are redeemable for flights on Jet Airways all the other partnered international airlines.
  • With Priority Pass, complimentary access to VIP Lounges is available.

Fees

  • The joining fee of Jet Airways ICICI Bank Sapphiro credit card is ₹ 2,500 and the annual fee is ₹ 5,000.

On Axis Bank website

Axis Bank Miles & More World

Free 3,000 welcome miles

Current offer

Earn upto 55,000 miles in first year

Redeem for

Flight, hotel and car rental bookings

Rewards overview

Earn unlimited and never expiring miles

Annual fee

Joining fee ₹3500 | Renewal fee ₹3500

Facilities 

  • Upon availing the Credit Card, 3000 welcome miles will be given. Not only that, on activating the card & spending ₹ 60,000 or more within sixty days. If that was not enough, extra 3000 miles are awarded annually as Annual Bonus Miles.
  • Every ₹ 200 expenditure on the card will win you 4 miles, every ₹ 200 expenditure through movie bookings will win you 20 miles.
  • Access to MasterCard lounges around the world is provided complimentarily.
  • Foreign Currency Transaction Fee is 3.50% of the total transaction amount.

Fees

  • The joining fee of Axis Bank Miles & More World Credit Card is ₹ 3,500 and the annual fee is ₹ 3,500.

Tips for traveling overseas with Credit Cards

Till now all the advantages that come with a Credit Card has been discussed along with the best Credit Card options available in the market.

However, you must know that simply using a credit card overseas can’t completely help you deal with the amount of expense. If you are looking for cheap expenditure, given below are a few tips which you can follow while using credit cards internationally –

Before the Departure

#1 Acquire Credit Card with Zero Foreign Transaction Fee

Most of the credit cards that allow overseas transactions, charge a significant amount of money. As a result, even simple usage of these cards can increase your expenditure.

The best way to deal with this problem is to get a credit card that does not charge any or lowest possible foreign transaction fee.

#2 Before you leave, contact your Credit Card Issuer

After you get the required card, call the issuer of the card and explain your travel plans. As security, ask for a contact for assistance in case anything goes wrong with the credit cards transactions overseas. This is like a preventive measure for having assistance in case of malfunctioning of your credit card in the time of your need.

While Staying Abroad

#1 Stay away from Dynamic Conversion of Currency

Foreign shops and services often fool outsiders by printing the payment receipt in American Dollar. With respect to dollar, every currency has a different conversion rate. Unless you are in America, you should refrain paying in dollars as the conversion rate ultimately makes you pay an amount which is more than the actual cost charged.

Just refuse any payment which is asked in American dollars, ask them instead to print a receipt for their local currency. If you check back the rates later, you will see how much you have saved.

#2 Carry the Passport Always

Due to fraud alerts everywhere, the security level of credit cards has been increased. As a result, proper identification may be required in the time of payment, especially if you are a foreigner to them. With a passport, you always carry the ultimate proof of identity. So, you will not have any problem.

Conclusion

Travels, especially overseas may accompany several hassles including significant expenditures. Credit card payment is the best method you can try on those situations. Choosing the best credit and knowing a few basic tips about traveling with credit cards is crucial for smooth and safe international travels. With this in mind, you will be able to fully enjoy your tour, and that is what it is all about.

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