Do you travel overseas frequently on business trips? Or do you love going on international vacations with your family? Or do you shop a lot on international websites?

If you answer yes to any of the above questions, then this guide is just for you. An overseas trip is always exciting. But, it can become downright expensive, if you’re not using the right credit cards for your international transactions. 

Most credit cards charge a special type of transaction fee known as Foreign Currency Markup Fee, which ranges around 3.5% + GST, and equals approximately 4% of the actual spend value.

If you're wondering how this fee impacts you, let's explain it with an example. Every time you use your credit card overseas or on an international shopping website, the card issuer charges this fee. Let's say you spend foreign currency worth Rs. 1 lakh on your international trip. Then, you have to pay an additional 4% (Rs. 4000) as a markup fee to the card company. This can become expensive and limit your overseas budget. 

This is why it pays to choose the right credit card for international transactions. SBI, the largest commercial bank in India, offers a plethora of credit cards to suit different customers. Here, in this guide, we walk you through some of the best SBI credit cards for international usage. Besides having a low markup fee, these cards also offer customers reward points on every usage. 

Here is a detailed review of the features and benefits of the top SBI credit cards for international usage.

1.Air India SBI Platinum Card 

If you're a frequent traveller on Air India, then this credit card from SBI is the perfect choice for you. The card offers a welcome bonus of 5000 reward points that can be easily converted into Air India air miles at the conversion rate 1 reward point = 1 Air India airmile. The card offers complimentary membership to the Air India reward program, Flying Returns, for all cardholders.

That is not all. The card offers reward points for every booking made on Air India, fuel surcharge waiver, and rewards for online spending. Here is the list of features and fees of the card.

Features:

Lounge Access 8 complimentary visits to Domestic VISA lounges in India
Lost Card Liability Cover Of Rs. 1 lakh offered from 48 hours to 7 days of reporting the loss
Global Acceptance The card is accepted at over 2 million PoS outlets overseas and 2,85,000 outlets in India
Cash on the go Withdraw cash in local currency at over 1 million Visa ATMs worldwide
Add-on Cards Available for spouse, children, parents or siblings
Emergency Card Replacement Yes

 

 

Additional Bonuses and Promotions: 

  • Reward Points: 1 Reward Point = 1 Air India mile on Flying Returns

    • Earn 2 reward points for every Rs. 100 spent 

    • Enjoy additional reward points up to 15,000 annually 

    • Earn 15 reward points for every Rs. 100 spent on Air India (15 reward points when booking tickets for self, and 5 reward points when booking for others) 

  • Welcome Gift of 5000 reward points (one-time)

  • Anniversary Gift of 2000 reward points (annually) 

  • Enjoy railway ticket booking on IRCTC and get it delivered at your doorstep.

  • Fuel surcharge waiver – Don’t pay the 1% fuel surcharge when using this card at any petrol bunk in India 

Fees and Charges: 

Annual Fee (one-time) Rs. 1499
Renewal Fee (annually) Rs. 1499
Add-on Fees (annually) NIL
Cash Advance Up to 80% of the credit limit, a maximum of Rs. 15,000 per day
Cash Advance Fee 2.5% of withdrawal or Rs. 500, whichever is higher
Card Replacement Fee Rs. 100 (Nil if the card is lost overseas)
Foreign Currency Markup 3.50%
Rewards Redemption Fee Rs. 99 (NIL if spending on Air India)

 

2.Yatra SBI Credit Card 

The Yatra SBI credit card is a delight for travellers. It offers various travel perks and benefits for both domestic and international travellers. If you are a frequent traveller, who travels widely within the country and overseas, this card is the perfect choice for you.  

Features:

Travel Benefits Rs. 1000 off on domestic flight bookings (Minimum transaction Rs. 5000)

Rs. 4000 off on international flight bookings (Minimum transaction Rs. 40,000)

20% off on domestic hotels (Minimum transaction Rs. 3000, Maximum Discount Rs. 2000)
Global Acceptance At all MasterCard acceptance outlets
At over 24 million outlets worldwide

At over 3,25,000 outlets in India
Cash on the go Withdraw from 1 million MasterCard ATMs globally, and over 10,000 SBI ATMs in India
Add-on Cards Available for spouse, children, siblings or parents (over the age of 18)

 

Additional Bonuses and Promotions: 

  • Reward Points: 

    • Earn 6 reward points for every Rs. 100 spent on dining, entertainment, movies, grocery, departmental stores, and international spends

    • Earn 1 reward point for every Rs. 100 on other spends 

  • Welcome gift:

    • Receive an Rs. 8250 Yatra.com voucher.

    • Withdraw cash using the card within 30 days of receiving it and get cashback of Rs. 100

  • Complimentary air accident cover of Rs. 50 lakhs. 

  • Standing instructions for utility bill payment

  • Fuel surcharge waiver – Don’t pay the 1% fuel surcharge when using this card at any petrol bulk in India. Maximum waiver of Rs. 100 per month. 

Fees and Charges: 

Annual Fee (one-time) Rs. 499 + GST
Renewal Fee (annually)

Rs. 499 + GST, the annual fee is waived if the total annual spend for the previous year is more than Rs. 1 lakh

Add-on Fees (annually) NIL
Cash Advance

Up to 80% of the credit limit, a maximum of Rs. 12,000 per day

Cash Advance Fee

2.5% of withdrawal or Rs. 500, whichever is higher

Card Replacement Fee

Rs. 100 if the card is lost in India

Actual cost, a minimum of $175 if the card is lost overseas

Foreign Currency Markup 3.50%
Rewards Redemption Fee Rs. 99

 

3.Club Vistara SBI Card Prime 

The Club Vistara SBI Card Prime allows cardholders to enjoy an array of benefits and perks on India’s newest airline – Vistara. Vistara is a partnership between TATA and Singapore Airlines. It has quickly emerged as one of the premium airlines in the country. If you're looking to enjoy perks on this brand airline, you can opt for this card from SBI.  

Features:

Contactless Advantage

Simply wave the card at a secure reader to complete the transaction

Lost Card Liability Of Rs. 1 lakh
Domestic Lounge Access

Up to 8 visits in a year

Global Acceptance

Accepted at over 24 million international outlets, and 3,25,000 outlets in India

Cash on the go

Withdraw from 1 million MasterCard ATMs globally, and over 10,000 SBI ATMs in India

Add-on Cards

Available for spouse, children, siblings or parents (over the age of 18)

 

Additional Bonuses and Promotions: 

  • Reward Points: 

    • Earn 4 Club Vistara points for every Rs. 200 spent on the card. 

  • Welcome gift:

    • Get 1 premium economy ticket voucher on paying the first annual fee. 

  • Milestone Benefits

    • Spend Rs. 75,000 within 90 days of receiving the card and earn 3000 bonus CV points 

    • Get 1 premium economy ticket on annual spending of Rs. 1.5 lakhs, Rs. 3 lakhs, Rs. 4.5 lakhs and Rs. 8 lakhs

  • Complimentary air accident cover of Rs. 1 crore

  • Comprehensive insurance cover on your travel bookings

    • Up to six cancellations per year

    • Baggage damage cover worth Rs. 5000

  • Complimentary Priority Pass Membership worth $99.

  • 10% discount on Hertz Rental and 5% discount on Rentalcars.com

  • 33% discount on select hotels and restaurants. 

  • Standing instructions for utility bill payment

  • Fuel surcharge waiver – Don’t pay the 1% fuel surcharge when using this card at any petrol bulk in India. Maximum waiver of Rs. 100 per month. 

 

Fees and Charges: 

Annual Fee (one-time) Rs. 2999 + GST
Renewal Fee (annually) Rs. 2999 + GST
Add-on Fees (annually) NIL
Cash Advance

Up to 80% of the credit limit, a maximum of Rs. 12,000 per day

Cash Advance Fee

For domestic transactions - 2.5% of transaction amount (minimum of Rs. 500)

For international transaction – 3% of the transaction amount (minimum of Rs. 500)

Card Replacement Fee

Rs. 100 if the card is lost in India
Actual cost, a minimum of $175 if the card is lost overseas

Foreign Currency Markup 3.50%
Rewards Redemption Fee Rs. 99

 

What about other SBI Credit Cards? 

All SBI credit cards can be used for international spending and transactions. However, the foreign currency markup fee varies based on the type of card. 

The charges for international transactions are as follows:

  • A forex markup fee of 1.99% + applicable taxes is applied on all SBI Elite range of credit cards.  

  • All non-Elite credit cards attract a markup fee of 3.5% + applicable taxes.

EndNote

Choose the Right SBI Credit Card and Reduce Charges on International Transactions 

With the right SBI credit card, you don't have to worry about carrying around wads of foreign currency. Compare the fees, charges, and benefits offered by these three SBI credit cards and choose the best one that suits your specific travel needs.