When we think of flying, the first thing that comes to mind is the time spent waiting at the airport if the flight is delayed or if you arrive early.
What if I told you that you could use the dining services for free during the long hours of your wait? I'm not going to go into depth about the airport snacks. You're probably wondering what I'm talking about then.
Of course, I'm referring to the airport lounge. Trust me, and It has the feel of a five-star hotel's dining room. The perfume of freshly brewed coffee will fill your nostrils.
You can charge your phone and laptop. You will have free Wi-Fi access in the lounge, allowing you to download Netflix movies right before boarding the aircraft.
You will find a buffet at the dining counter, including Indian, Italian, Continental, and Chinese cuisines. You can fill your plate or order meals from the live counters. Liquor is also available but only at some ultra-premium lounges, which may be complementary or charged.
You will never want to miss it the next time you travel, especially if it is included for free with your credit card.
Airport Lounge Access Credit Cards in India
The number of complimentary airport lounge passes varies per credit card. Most credit cards limit the number of visits per year to four to eight, and a few super-premium credit cards provide unlimited access to airport lounges.
1. HDFC Bank Diners Black Credit Card
HDFC Bank Diners Black Credit card is one of the best credit cards with international lounge access. The credit card entitles you to unrestricted access to domestic and international airport lounges for you and your family. Because this is a super-premium credit card, you'll need a monthly salary of Rs. 1.75 lacs or an annual income of Rs. 21 lacs to qualify.
You will receive 5 reward points worth Rs. 5 when you spend Rs. 150. This equates to a 3.3 percent immediate savings on all of your purchases.
This card provides you with unrestricted access to international and domestic lounges.
With the HDFC Dinners Black credit card, you'll also get a free membership to Club Marriott, Forbes Digital, Zomato Gold, Amazon Prime, MakeMyTrip Double Black, and Times Prime.
Other advantages include:
You will be covered for a total of Rs. 2 crores in the event of an air mishap. A cover of Rs. 50 lacs for unexpected medical costs. Along with a credit card liability cover of Rs. 9 lacs. Also included is an Rs. 55,000 baggage delay insurance policy.
On spending Rs. 80,000 in a calendar month, you will receive two Rs 1000 coupons from Ola Select membership, BookMyShow, or TataCLiQ.
Its annual fees are Rs.5000 for the first year (If you spend Rs. 5 Lacs, then you will get next year's fee waiver)
From the second year onwards, the fee is Rs. 5,000.
2. HDFC Infinia Credit Card
From lounge access to golf courses and even credit limits, the HDFC Infinia credit card has it all.
With the HDFC Infinia credit card, you'll have unrestricted access to over 1000 airport lounges across the world (both domestic and international). Even the supplemental cardholder has unlimited access to the lounge. HDFC bank also provides Cashback credit cards which provide awesome cashbacks.
Infinia credit cards have a minimum credit limit of Rs 10 lacs, whereas HDFC Infinia credit cards require a 45 lacs ITR.
Other advantages include:
For every Rs. 150 spent on hdfcbankinfinia.com, eating, and flight bookings on airvistara.com, you will receive 10 reward points. On all other purchases, you will earn 5 reward points. There is no charge for cash withdrawals.
Accidental death insurance worth Rs. 3 crore is available. During your trip overseas, you'll be covered for medical emergencies up to Rs. 50 lacs. You will also get accidental death and permanent disability insurance policy worth Rs. 9 lacs.
It has a yearly fee of Rs. 10,000. (Waived off on spending 8 lacs).
3. Citi Prestige Credit Card
Citibank's Prestige credit card is a super-premium credit card. It is ideal for frequent travelers who require limitless lounge access throughout the world.
For primary and supplementary cardmembers, you will receive gratis and unlimited priority pass lounge access at over 800 airports.
With this card, you get unfettered access to international and domestic lounges.
It charges a yearly fee of Rs. 20,000.
Every year, you can receive a welcome gift worth equal to the yearly fee, which includes 10,000 extra air miles, Taj Group or ITC Hotels, and vouchers for Rs 10,000.
This card also has other advantages:
For every Rs. 100 spent outside of India, you will receive two reward points, and for every Rs. 100 spent in India, you will receive one reward point. In addition, you will receive four complimentary golf rounds and golf lessons.
You will also receive two complimentary luxury airport services and meet and greet services. When you stay for a minimum of four nights, you will receive one complimentary night at any hotel in the world.
It also includes USD 50,000 in international medical insurance while you're on the road. You will be covered by an Rs. 5 crore air accident insurance policy. There is an Rs. 10,00,000 Lost Card Protection if you misplace your card.
4. Yes Bank Preferred Exclusive Credit Card
Yes Bank Preferred Exclusive Credit card provides free access to domestic and international lounges all over the world. The major benefit is that the principal cardholder and add-on cardmembers will have unrestricted access to the lounge.
However, in order to be approved, you must have a monthly income of 4 lakhs or an ITR of 50 lakhs (if self-employed).
It charges a cost of 10,000 INR each year.
As a welcome gift, you will receive 50,000 reward points on your first transaction within the first 90 days. Each renewal also earns you 40,000 reward points. The welcome gift alone is worth more than the annual price for the unique credit card, Yes Preferred.
On reaching the milestone of INR 20 lacs in a year, you will receive 25,000 additional reward points worth Rs. 6250.
Yes, the bank also provides the best forex cards to carry when someone is traveling to another country.
Other advantages include:
For every INR 100 spent, you will receive 10 reward points, and for each YES PayNow registration, you will receive 1000 reward points. You'll also receive a free TAJ Inner Circle epicure membership. The foreign currency markup is 1.75 percent.
BookMyShow offers a 25% discount on movie tickets, up to Rs. 250 every month. A waiver of a 1% fuel fee Every month, you will receive one complimentary golf lesson. There is a life insurance cover of INR 3 crores for death due to flight accidents.
A medical insurance policy worth INR 50 lacs is required when traveling abroad.
5. SBI Elite Credit Card
A high-end SBI Elite Credit card grants you access to eight domestic and six overseas airport lounges each year. You'll also earn 10 points for every Rs. 100 spent on foreign purchases, eating, department stores, groceries, and international purchases.
If you spend more than $85,000 every year on your SBI Elite credit card, you can earn up to 50,000 additional reward points. You can use reward points to plan your travels.
It costs Rs. 4,999 per year.
You will also receive an Rs. 4999 welcome gifts. Milestone You will receive 10,000 bonus reward points if you spend Rs. 3 lacs or Rs. 4 lacs in a single year, and 15,000 bonus reward points if you spend Rs. 5 lacs or Rs. 8 lacs in a single year.
The single additional reward point is worth up to 1.5 percent of indirect savings.
You will also receive 10 points for every Rs. 100 spent on eating, department stores, groceries, and foreign purchases. On all other expenditures, you will receive 2 points. For every Rs. 100 spent on Vistara flight reservations, you will earn 9 Vistara points.
Every month, you'll get two free movie tickets worth Rs. 500. and a 1% fuel surcharge waiver, as well as a 1.99 percent foreign currency mark-up.
6. HDFC Regalia Credit Card
The HDFC Regalia credit card grants access to 12 domestic lounges every year. You'll also get six free trips to over 1000 airport lounges throughout the world as part of your complimentary priority pass membership.
If you visit more than the specified number of times, you will be charged $27 per visit. For every Rs. 150 paid, you will receive 4 reward points.
Its annual charge is Rs. 2500 (if you spend Rs. 3 lacs, you will receive a fee waiver for the following year), and you will receive a welcome gift of 2500 reward points worth Rs. 1250 per year. Spend Rs 75,000 in a year and get a one-year Zomato Gold membership.
You will receive 2500 reward points under Milestone Benefits as a welcome gift. In addition, as a renewal benefit, you will receive 2500 reward points per year.
Annual spending of Rs. 5,00,000, you can get 10,000 reward points. If your entire spending is Rs. 8,00,000, you will receive 15,000 reward points.
Four reward points are earned for every Rs. 150 spent, with each point worth 50 paise. A 2% foreign currency markup is applied. You'll get a 15% discount on dining at high-end restaurants.
You will be covered for medical emergencies up to Rs. 15 lacs. You'll have a one-crore air accident insurance policy. Credit liability coverage of up to Rs. 9 lacs is available. Baggage delay is covered up to Rs. 55,000 under travel insurance.
7. Yes Bank Preferred Credit Card
Yes Bank Preferred Credit card gives you access to three domestic airport lounges every quarter. With a priority pass membership, you'll also get four complimentary international lounges to access each calendar year. After the first four appointments, you will be charged $27 per visit.
This card grants you access to four international lounges and twelve domestic lounges.
In the first year, you can earn up to 36,000 extra points. 15000 points as a welcome gift, 20000 points after spending Rs. 7.5 lacs, and 1000 points when registering for YES PayNow. These reward points can be used to book flights and hotels.
It charges Rs. 2500 in annual fees and renewal fees.
It offers 15,000 points for the first year and 10,000 points for each renewal.
Also included are 8 reward points for travel agencies and tour operators, domestic airlines, and eating out, and 4 reward points for all other purchases.
You will get a foreign currency markup of 1.75 percent. You'll also get an Rs. 1 crore life insurance policy in case of a flight accident. While traveling abroad, you are covered by a medical insurance policy for Rs. 25 lacs.
With a monthly salary of Rs. 2 lacs, you can apply for the Yes Preferred card. Otherwise, you can obtain the card by putting in an Rs. 3 Lakh fixed deposit.
8. ICICI Jet Privilege Sapphiro Credit Card
ICICI Jet Privilege Sapphiro Credit card provides complimentary access to eight domestic and two overseas lounges every year. A maximum of two domestic lounges can be visited per quarter.
Every year, you will also receive two complimentary spa services at Indian airports as part of your Dragon Pass membership.
The ICICI Jet Privilege Sapphiro card is the best option if you travel by Jet Airways. For all international and domestic air tickets booked on jetairways.com, you will receive a 5% discount on the base rate.
Spending Rs. 100 on Jet Airways will also earn you 10 JPMiles.
It charges Rs. 5000 in annual fees.
12,500 additional JPMiles and an airline ticket voucher are included in the Welcome Gifts. Every renewal earns you 5,000 JPMiles and a voucher for an airline ticket. The welcome presents are more valuable than the annual membership price.
You'll also get 5 JPMiles on domestic purchases and 7 JPMiles on overseas purchases, and 1 JPMile on insurance and utilities. A DragonPass membership entitles you to two international lounge visits and two spa sessions.
There is a separate check-in area for a limited number of domestic flights. Excess baggage allowance of 10 kg (Premier) and 5 kg (Basic) is provided at no additional cost (Economy).
Every month, you will receive four complimentary golf rounds or lessons. Twice a month, BookMyShow offers up to Rs. 500 off on the second movie ticket.
9. ICICI Sapphiro Credit Card
The Sapphiro Platinum American Express Card and the Sapphiro Mastercard are the two types of ICICI Sapphiro credit cards.
You'll get two free international, and sixteen free domestic airport lounge visits every year with both options. Access to the domestic lounge is limited to four visits each quarter.
The only variation between the two variants is the number of payback points. On domestic purchases, Sapphiro Mastercard offers 2 payback points for every Rs 100 spent and 4 payback points on international purchases.
The Sapphiro Platinum American Express Card, on the other hand, offers 3 payback points for every Rs. 100 spent on domestic purchases and 6 payback points on international purchases.
Note that while the American Express card has more perks than the MasterCard, it is not accepted everywhere in India.
The first year's annual fees are Rs. 6500.
Renewal fees: Rs. 3500 (it will be waived if you spend more than Rs. 6 lacs)
The ICICI Sapphiro credit card comes with a Rs 10,000 welcome gift certificate.
Shoppers' Stop Vouchers worth 3,000 and four MakeMyTrip Vouchers worth 1,000 each are among the welcome gifts. You'll also receive four Ola vouchers, each worth Rs. 250. Two Zomato vouchers, each worth Rs. 500. Croma Voucher with a value of 1000 rupees.
Also read: What Is Credit Score? & Why It Is Important?
10. Kotak Royale Signature Credit Card
The Kotak Royale Signature Credit card entitles you to eight complimentary domestic lounge visits every year. You won't get any free entry to overseas lounges with the card.
If you simply need a credit card for domestic lounges and don't want to pay a high annual fee, the Royal Signature credit card is ideal.
Its yearly fees are Rs. 999 (spend Rs. 1 lakh and obtain a waiver). As a welcome gift, you will receive two BookMyShow vouchers worth Rs. 200 each on your first swipe.
Milestone Benefits include a 10,000 reward point bonus when you spend Rs. 400,000 and a 30,000-point bonus when you spend Rs. 80,000. (This is in addition to the 10,000 bonus).
4X reward points on airlines, hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, tour operators, and package deals are among the other benefits. All other purchases will earn you 2X rewards. A waiver of a 1% fuel fee
Coverage for credit card theft of Rs. 2.5 lacs.
I hope this list has assisted you in understanding the differences and selecting the best option for you. Have a wonderful trip and travel in luxury.