Best Credit Cards for International Travel

If you travel abroad often, it's essential to have a credit card that provides benefits on international use. The right credit card can help you earn rewards on international transactions, enjoy complimentary lounge access, access discounted bookings, and avail exclusive privileges. Keep reading to discover the best credit card for international travel.

While all credit cards can be used internationally based on the prescribed credit limit and terms & conditions, it's crucial to consider the fees and charges associated with international usage. Therefore, it's important to have a credit card that offers a low foreign currency markup fee, reasonable cash advance charges at international ATMs, and additional benefits such as access to international lounges, discounted flight tickets, and enhanced rewards for transactions outside India. Here, we've compiled a list of some of The Best credit cards for international use to make your travel experience hassle-free:

Best Credit Cards for International Travel in April 2024

Credit Card Annual Fee Key Features
SBI Elite Credit Card Rs. 4,999
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Membership
  • Low foreign currency markup fee of 1.99%
IDFC First Wealth Credit Card Nil
  • Low forex markup fee of 1.5%
  • 4 complimentary domestic & international airport lounges, spa visits per quarter
HDFC Diners Club Privilege Credit Card Rs. 2,500
  • Low foreign exchange markup fee of 2%
  • 12 complimentary visits per year to 1,000+ airport lounges across the world
RBL World Safari Credit Card Rs. 3,000
  • 0% forex markup fee on foreign currency transactions
  • 5 Travel Points for every Rs. 100 spent on travel expenditure
AU Zenith+ Credit Card Rs. 4,999
  • Low forex markup fee of 0.99%
  • 2 reward points for every Rs. 100 spent on travel, dining, and international spends
InterMiles HDFC Bank Signature Credit Card Rs. 2,500
  • Complimentary InterMiles Silver Membership and 8,000 InterMiles at the time of joining
  • Complimentary domestic & international lounge access
Standard Chartered EaseMyTrip Credit Card Rs. 350
  • Complimentary domestic & international lounge access
  • Instant discount on your bookings through EaseMyTrip

1. SBI Elite Credit Card

SBI Elite Credit Card
Joining Fee:Rs. 4,999 Annual Fee: Rs. 4,999 (Reversed on spending Rs. 10 lakh in a year)

The SBI Elite Credit Card is a premium credit card that provides a range of benefits in various categories, including travel, movies, dining, international transactions, and more. It stands out as one of the best credit cards for international use in India. Here are some of the key features and benefits of this credit card:

Key Features:
  • Foreign Currency Fee: Only 1.99% markup.
  • Airport Lounge Access: Enjoy 2 free visits at Indian airports every quarter.
  • Priority Pass Membership: Get it for free (usually $99).
  • International Lounge Access: 6 free visits per year (up to 2 each quarter).
  • Exclusive Memberships: Complimentary access to Club Vistara, Trident Privilege, and Trident Red Tier programs.
Why is this suitable for international travel? The SBI Elite Credit Card is great for frequent international travelers. It has a low fee for currency exchange, helping you save money on transactions outside India. You also earn more reward points on your international spending. Plus, you get access to international airport lounges, which is a bonus if you travel abroad a lot. The free memberships for Club Vistara, Trident Privilege, and Trident Red Tier add extra savings on your travel expenses.

2. IDFC First Wealth Credit Card

IDFC First Wealth Credit Card
Joining Fee:Nil Annual Fee: NIL

The IDFC First Wealth Credit Card is free for life and gives you rewards, travel perks, and lifestyle benefits. It also has a low fee for transactions in foreign currencies. If you're looking for a card that offers travel benefits worldwide, this one's a good choice. Some of its key perks include:

Key Features: Sure, here's a simplified version:
  • Low forex markup fee of 1.5%
  • Full travel insurance and air accident coverage
  • Enjoy 4 free visits to domestic and international airport lounges or spas every quarter
  • Withdraw cash anywhere globally without interest*
  • Get discounts on fast-track immigration services at 450+ airports worldwide.

*Cash advance fee of only Rs. 250 per transaction.

Why is this suitable for international travel? If you enjoy traveling abroad, The IDFC First Wealth Credit Card is a great choice. It gives you cool perks like a low fee for spending in foreign currencies, free access to international lounges at airports, special services at the airport, and you can take out cash without paying interest. What's even better is that you get all these benefits without having to pay an annual fee. So, picking this credit card for your international trips makes a lot of sense.

3. HDFC Diners Club Privilege Credit Card

HDFC Diners Club Privilege Credit Card
Joining Fee:Rs. 2,500 Annual Fee: Rs. 2,500 (Waived off on spending Rs. 3 lakh in the previous year)

The HDFC Diners Club Privilege Credit Card is a top-notch card that comes with lots of perks for travel and lifestyle. When you have this card, you also get free memberships for cool brands like Amazon Prime, Times Prime, Dineout, and others. Here are the details about this credit card:

Key Features:
  • A low fee of 2% for spending in foreign currencies.
  • Enjoy 12 free visits per year to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide.
  • Get two free rounds of golf at some of the best courses globally.
  • Receive complimentary annual memberships for Dineout Passport, Amazon Prime, MMT BLACK, and Times Prime by spending Rs. 75,000 within the first 90 days.
Why is this suitable for international travel? The HDFC Diners Club Privilege Credit Card is great for its low forex markup fee and various perks like free memberships and lounge access. However, it doesn't provide extra rewards specifically for international transactions. If you're looking for a card with basic international travel benefits and a low forex fee, then this card is a good choice for you.

4. RBL World Safari Credit Card

RBL World Safari Credit Card
Joining Fee:Rs. 3,000 Annual Fee: Rs. 3,000

The RBL World Safari Credit Card is designed primarily for travelers who frequently journey abroad. It stands out as one of the best credit cards for international use due to its 0% forex markup fee. Here are some other key details about this credit card:

Key Features:
  • No extra charges (0% forex markup fee) for spending in foreign currencies.
  • Earn 5 Travel Points for every Rs. 100 spent on travel expenses.
  • Get 2 Travel Points for every Rs. 100 spent on all other transactions.
  • Enjoy 2 free lounge visits every quarter at major airports in India.
  • Access 2 international lounges for free through Priority Pass Membership.
Why is this suitable for international travel? The RBL World Safari Credit Card is great for using internationally because it doesn't charge any extra fees (0% forex markup fee) for spending in other currencies. Unlike many premium cards that have lower fees, this one has no extra charge. Plus, it gives you free access to international lounges, which is handy if you travel abroad a lot. But keep in mind, most of the perks with this card are geared towards international travel. So, if you're a frequent traveler looking to save on your overseas spending, this card is a good fit.

5. AU Zenith+ Credit Card

AU Zenith+ Credit Card
Joining Fee:Rs. 4,999 Annual Fee: Rs. 4,999 (Waived off on spending Rs. 8 Lakh in a year)

The AU Zenith+ Credit Card is an upgraded version of the Zenith Credit Card, packed with premium perks such as luxury brand vouchers, exclusive hotel memberships, increased rewards, a lower forex markup fee, and many more. Here are some of the standout benefits of this credit card:

Key Features:
  • A low forex markup fee of just 0.99%.
  • Earn 2 reward points for every Rs. 100 spent on travel, dining, and international purchases.
  • Get 1 reward point for every Rs. 100 spent on retail across all types of stores.
  • Enjoy 16 free visits to international airport lounges each year using Priority Pass.
  • Also, get 16 free visits to domestic airport lounges every year.
  • Experience VIP check-in from start to finish at the airport, with 4 complimentary services each year.
  • Receive a complimentary Taj Epicure membership on minimum net retail spends of Rs. 12 Lakh in a year.
Why is this suitable for international travel? The AU Zenith+ Credit Card is made for people who travel a lot and spend big. What sets it apart for international use is the low forex markup fee of only 0.99%, a perk usually found with very fancy cards. Plus, you get 16 free visits to both domestic and international lounges every year using Priority Pass. For those who love Taj hotels, the complimentary Taj Epicure Membership, valued at Rs. 25,000, is a fantastic bonus for those who spend a lot. In a nutshell, it's a good card for international travel, giving you more rewards for spending abroad, a low forex fee, lounge access, and other travel goodies.

6. InterMiles HDFC Bank Signature Credit Card

InterMiles HDFC Bank Signature Credit Card
Joining Fee:Rs. 2,500 Annual Fee: Rs. 2,500 (Waived off on spending Rs. 3 lakh in a year)

The InterMiles HDFC Bank Signature Credit Card is great for getting value back on your travel spending through InterMiles. It stands out as one of the top credit cards for international travel. You earn InterMiles with every transaction, and you can use them for future bookings. Here are some more details about this credit card in India:

Key Features:
  • Get a complimentary InterMiles Silver Membership and 8,000 InterMiles when you join.
  • Enjoy a free Priority Pass Membership with 5 visits each year to international lounges.
  • Benefit from 16 free visits to domestic lounges annually through the Visa Lounge Access Program (4 per quarter).
  • Earn 12 InterMiles for every Rs. 150 spent on flight and hotel bookings through the InterMiles website.
  • Earn 6 InterMiles for every Rs. 150 on all other spending.
Why is this suitable for international travel? The InterMiles HDFC Bank Signature Credit Card is a solid choice for those into international travel. It scores well in rewarding you and cutting down costs on your travel bookings. You also get the perk of international lounge access through the free Priority Pass Membership. However, it's worth noting that, like many other credit cards, it doesn't stand out in terms of benefits for international transactions, carrying a standard forex markup fee. In essence, if you're keen on a credit card that helps you save on your global adventures, this one fits the bill.

7. Standard Chartered EaseMyTrip Credit Card

Standard Chartered EaseMyTrip Credit Card
Joining Fee:Rs. 350 Annual Fee: Rs. 350 (Waived off on spending Rs. 50,000 in the preceding year)

The Standard Chartered EaseMyTrip Credit Card is a special card that works with EaseMyTrip for great perks on your bookings. But it's not just about travel – you also get benefits for other transactions. With this credit card, you get instant discounts when you make travel bookings. Here are more details:

Key Features:
  • Get a free visit to a domestic lounge every quarter.
  • Enjoy 2 free visits to international lounges yearly using Priority Pass.
  • Get an instant 20% discount on hotel bookings (both domestic and international) through EaseMyTrip*.
  • Receive a quick 10% discount on flight bookings (both domestic and international) through EaseMyTrip*.
*Terms and conditions are applicable.
Why is this suitable for international travel? The Standard Chartered EaseMyTrip Credit Card is perfect if you're a frequent traveler who often books through EaseMyTrip. It stands out by providing immediate discounts, a departure from the usual reward points system seen with most co-branded credit cards. The best part? No need to worry about hitting a minimum spending limit to enjoy discounts on hotel or flight bookings. If you're all about straightforward benefits on your travel expenses without dealing with reward points, this credit card is a great fit for you.

How to Choose the Right International Credit Card

When picking a credit card for spending abroad, remember that many cards work internationally. Yet, some go the extra mile, giving you perks to save money. Here's what to think about when choosing The Best International credit card:

1. Make sure the card works at different foreign places, both online and in stores. 2. Choose a card with little to no extra fees for spending in other currencies, unlike regular cards. 3. Look for a card that gives better rewards or perks when you use it internationally. 4. If you travel a lot, find a card that gives discounts on hotels and flights for your trips abroad. 5. Check if the card offers access to lounges in various countries when you're traveling internationally.

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Super Premium Credit Cards for International Travel

In addition to the cards mentioned earlier, there are a few other super premium credit cards perfect for international use. These cards not only feature a low forex markup fee but also provide extra perks for international transactions like bonus rewards, lounge access, complimentary memberships, and more. Here's the list of such International credit cards:

Credit Card Annual Fee Key Features
IndusInd Legend Credit Card Joining fee: Rs. 9,999 (Nil if applied through MybankingTips)
  • Low forex markup fee of 1.8%
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Program for primary and add-on cardholders
  • Redeem reward points against partner airlines or cash credit
  • 1 reward point for every Rs. 100 spent on weekdays
  • 2 reward points for every Rs. 100 spent on weekends
ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card Rs. 12,000
  • Low markup fee of 1.5% on international transactions
  • Unlimited complimentary international and domestic lounge access
  • Unlimited complimentary domestic airport spa access
  • No cancellation charges on travel and hotel bookings
  • 4 PAYBACK Points on every Rs. 100 spent on all retail transactions except fuel
Axis Bank Reserve Credit Card Rs. 50,000
  • Foreign transaction markup fee of 1.5%
  • Priority Pass Membership with free unlimited international visits for primary and add-on cardholders
  • Free unlimited domestic visits for primary and add-on cardholders
  • VIP airport services, including airport pick-ups/ drops and VIP assistance
  • Complimentary ITC Culinaire, Accorplus and Club Marriott Asia Pacific memberships
HDFC Diners Club Black Credit Card Rs. 10,000
  • Low foreign exchange markup fee of 2%
  • Unlimited airport lounge access worldwide for both primary and add-on users
  • Redeem reward points against Air Miles or flight/ hotel bookings
  • 5 reward points for every Rs. 150 spent
  • Up to 10X reward points on SmartBuy spends
SBI Aurum Credit Card Rs. 9,999
  • Low foreign currency transaction fee of 1.99%
  • Unlimited international lounge access
  • 4 domestic lounge access per quarter
  • 1 complimentary domestic airport spa per quarter
  • 4 reward points on every Rs. 100 spent on the card

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