The popularity and ease of use of credit cards have risen many folds. Not only does a credit card help in payments and offer short-term credit, but it is also a good way to earn some offers, rewards, and other perks. These rewards/benefits come in various forms. While some cards may award you for spending online, others may do so for spending on hotels, dining, shopping, etc. 

Travel perks on credit cards are a big draw and when utilized well can be of much use. But it is good to know that not all credit cards come with travel perks. If you are among those who travel quite often, it makes sense for you to go in for one of the specially co-branded travel credit cards.  

Additional Reading: Learn which kind of credit cards for good for business travel

The perks that come with a credit card are: 

Welcome Offers: You can start reaping the benefits on a card right from the word go. There are many credit cards which offer benefits such as a Welcome Offer.  

Depending upon the kind of card you go in for, there would be some type of welcome offer available for you. These may range from free air tickets to credit of reward points to offer of vouchers.  

A few of the Welcome Offers available on some credit cards are: 

  • Air India SBI Platinum Card offers a welcome gift of 5000 reward points. 

  • HDFC Jet platinum Card offers a Welcome benefit of One Base Fare Waived Jet Airways Ticket and One Rs. 750 discount voucher for booking return ticket online on Jet Airways website. It also offers the welcome benefit of up to 4000 Bonus JP Miles for the first year (2000 Bonus JPMiles on first swipe of card & 2000 Bonus JPMiles on spending Rs. 50000 – both within 90 days of card issuance) 

  • Yatra SBI Credit Card has the Welcome gift of Rs. 8,250 worth vouchers on payment of joining fee 

  • Air India SBI Signature Card has a welcome gift of 20000 rewards points on joining 

Rewards Points: Offering of reward points is a huge benefit available on credit cards. There is a two-way benefit available here. Spends on other categories can be converted in to air miles (if on a co-branded travel card) and spends on booking air-tickets earn extra reward points/benefits.  

These reward points/air miles can be directly spent on booking future tickets/spends. Accelerated reward points are also available on spending at partners/associated networks. 

Following are a few banks that offer reward points: 

  • Standard Chartered Platinum Credit Card offers 4x rewards whenever you spend at 

  • Air India SBI Signature Card gives you 20 points for every Rs 100 spent on buying Air India tickets. In addition, renewal of the card every year earns 5000 points 

  • On Citi Premier Miles Credit Card, you earn 10 Miles on every Rs.100 spent on flight tickets and hotel stays on bookings made at & select partners, and you can redeem miles for flight tickets across 100+ airlines at & select partners  

  • With a Yes Bank First Preferred Card, you can earn 8 reward points for every Rs. 100 spent, and these reward points never expire. Further, you can redeem Reward Points for Airline Ticket / Hotel Booking or Movie Tickets booking on Dedicated Rewards Redemption Portal. 

  • IRCTC SBI Platinum Credit Card gives up to 10% value back as reward points on buying train tickets at for AC1, AC2, and AC CC categories. 

Concierge Services: Everyone lives a fast-paced busy life these days. So, credit cards also double up as your personal concierge and offer many services for your convenience. It makes it more beneficial as the spends on amounts that you pay through the concierge are counted for your reward points too. 

Some of the cards that offer concierge services are 

  • HDFC Regalia Credit Card offers a 24/7 concierge service that can take care of all your travel bookings from hotels to air tickets to your transfers 

  • YES First Preferred Credit Card allows you a concierge service with automobile assistance too 

  • AMEX Jet Airways Platinum Credit Card gives you a 24/7 Platinum Concierge service.  

Insurance: Insurance is an important part of your financial planning and future. Did you know many credit cards also offer travel insurance and insurance on the loss of your credit card? Certain premium cards also offer life/accident insurance. Of course, many times, they come with conditions attached, such as minimum spend, usage criteria, etc. These will be found in the terms and conditions booklet that comes along with the card. It is good to read through them and make a note of insurance offers if any.  

Here are some of the examples of insurance that comes along with credit cards: 

  • Emirates Standard Chartered Credit Card comes with Complimentary air accident insurance up to Rs. 1 crore 

  • HDFC Diners Club Rewards Card offers you air accident cover of up to Rs 50 lakhs 

  • With Citi Premier Miles Credit Card, you are eligible for an air accident insurance cover of up to Rs. 1 crore and lost card liability cover of Rs. 2 lakhs 

  • SBI Prime Card also offers air accident cover of up to Rs 50 lakhs 

  • HDFC Regalia Card offers insurance cover on air accident of Rs. 1 crore and in case of any medical emergency during travel outside India, the card offers a medical cover up to Rs. 15 lakhs 

Cashback: Cashback is another form of benefit that can be earned with the usage of a credit card. With cash back, a pre-determined portion of the cash spent on certain spends is credited back on to your credit card account.  

  • HDFC Diners Club Rewards Credit Card comes with Redeem Reward points as Cashback on your MoneyBack Credit Card (100 Reward Points = Rs 40) 

  • Standard Chartered Platinum Credit Card gives 10% cash back on travel bookings made through without any cap on cashback 

Lounge Access: Business and Personal travelers end up spending a lot of time at various airports between their flights, hence access to lounges where they can relax becomes quite important. Many credit cards have attractive offers when it comes to lounge access. While some cards restrict it to primary holders only, there are others which extend to add-on card holders as well. 

Let's explore some offers available on cards: 

  • Yes First Preferred Credit Card comes with Complimentary Lounge Access with Priority Pass Membership & Domestic Lounge Access 

  • With Citi Premier Miles Credit Card you can enjoy complimentary access at key airport lounges across India 

  • Axis Bank Privilege Credit Card offers you access to airport lounges across the world twice every 3 months 

  • HDFC Diners Club Platinum Credit Card allows you five Complimentary accesses to 500+ Lounges worldwide in a calendar year. In addition, it also allows unlimited Complimentary access to 25+ lounges across domestic Airports in India 

  • Jet Privilege HDFC Bank World Card provides exclusive access to Lounge through Priority Pass and MasterCard Lounge Program 

  • With Emirates Standard Chartered World Credit Card, you get access to 600 lounges across the world 

Hotel & Holiday Benefits: There are many a credit card which allow benefits on travel bookings as holidays or hotel stays. These are available either as vouchers or redemption of reward points. 

  • On SBI Yatra Travel Credit Card, you can get flat 20% off on Domestic hotel bookings on a minimum booking amount of Rs 3000 

  • On Yes First Preferred Credit Card, you can Redeem Reward Points for Airline Ticket / Hotel Booking or Movie Tickets booking on their dedicated Rewards Redemption Portal 

  • Your HDFC Diners Club Platinum Credit Card gets you unique, luxury stay experiences with Small Luxury Hotels of the World with special offers from Taj Group of Hotels. 

  • American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card allows you benefits like travel vouchers worth more than Rs. 7,700 after spending Rs. 1.9 lakh in a year and travel vouchers up to Rs. 11,800 on a spend of Rs. 4 lakh. A voucher from the Taj Resorts and palaces is also on the cards for a certain amount of spending.  

Benefits that come along with a credit card are numerous. However, it is up to the individual to be able to act responsibly towards credit by paying their credit card outstanding promptly and maintain a good credit score.