Let us face the fact there. None of us would like to wait and get bored of our time by doing nothing. It is told that ‘Patience is a virtue, but sometimes it just hits us hard that we fall into boredom. This could be commonly seen with people in a travel commute where they would have to wait for a long time to get their flight or train. And here comes the savior – Lounges that provides you with various services that keep you occupied during your wait time.
As you could commonly see this scenario in an airport, a lounge is filled with a huge crowd, people moving around to get to their flights, food outlets that have really high-priced and not-so-up-to-mark quality foods. With credit cards, you get to access the lounges free of cost in domestic and international airport lounges. Sounds interesting, right? With that being said, let us look at the top credit cards in India that provide you with lounge access in your wait time.
What to Keep in Mind While Choosing a Credit Card?
- To begin with, you need to keep yourself updated about your credit score that establishes how likely your application for a credit card with exclusive benefits is expected to get approved.
- Choose the right credit card for your needs:
- If you want to rebuild credit, you could prefer taking secured debit cards with a minimum deposit.
- If you want to have a credit card with low interest, you could choose credit cards based on that.
- For better benefits and exclusive privileges, you could choose reward-based credit cards.
- Check out the cards that provide you with overall value. If you would want to choose reward credit cards that offer you exclusive privileges, make sure to check the expiry of such privileges, reasonable rates, better benefits, etc.
5 Best Airport Lounge Access Credit Cards India
Here is a comparison table of the top lounge credit cards that we would be looking at today.
|HDFC Regalia credit card||HDFC Diners Black credit card||SBI Elite credit card||American Express Platinum Travel card||Citi Bank Prestige credit card|
|Annual Fee + Renewal fee every year in INR (exclusive of taxes)||2,500/- + 2,500/- (after spending up to 3 lakh in a year, next year fees is waivered off||5000/- + 5,500/-(after spending up to 5 lakhs a year, next year fees is waivered off)||4,999/- + 4,999/-||3,500/- + 5,500/-||20,000/- + 20,000/-|
|Complimentary access to airport lounges (Domestic & International)||12 domestic lounge visits and 6 international lounge visits||Unlimited domestic and international access.||2 domestic and 6 international lounge visits||4 domestic lounge visits (1 per quarter)||Unlimited domestic and international access|
|Min annual Income requirement for approval of credit card in INR||8.4 lakhs and above||21 lakhs and above||7.2 lakhs and above||6 lakhs and above||25 Lakhs and above|
On that note, let us move on to look at some more exciting benefits, other advantages, and disadvantages of the credit cards listed above.
1. HDFC Regalia Credit Card
A short review of the card: This credit card is undoubtedly one of the best premium lounge credit cards available in the market for its various benefits available for the users at a nominal fee payment. This lounge access provided with this card is not just for the primary but also for the add-on cardholders.
Features: Apart from the most sought lounge access feature, this credit card provides you with some fantastic features that include Gold membership for Zomato as welcome benefits. Few other features include – 4 reward points (equivalent to Rs.0.50) per spending of Rs.150/- with a reward rate of 1.27%, which expires after two years from the date of accumulation; air insurance cover up to 1 crore and emergency hospitalization cover up to Rs.15 lakhs.
Pros: This credit card provides a default reward rate of 1.3% and gives extraordinary milestone benefits.
Cons: The criteria for eligibility is on a high level, and the reward redemption for flights and travel can only be up to 70%.
2. HDFC Diners Black Credit Card
A short review of the card: Powered by the Diners club international, this card comes with the exclusive positive image of having a minimum of 33% savings on significant shopping and travel expenses incurred. This makes it one of the demanded credit cards in the market.
Features: The card has exclusive membership advantages for Forbes, Amazon prime, Zomato Pro, Time prime, and many more. It also provides the users with complimentary vouchers, after a spend of Rs.80,000/-, for Ola Select, BookMyShow, etc. One of the best stand-out features would be the 10X reward points with the supporting partner brands.
Pros: Unlimited international and domestic lounge access, free complimentary golf games up to 24 games across the globe, 10X reward points.
Cons: High requirements for meeting eligibility criteria.
3. SBI Elite Credit Card
A short review of the card: This card is recommended and suggested for those who expect a moderate to high spend limit of up to 8 lakhs per year. It is also highly recommended for those interested in membership in Priority pass, Vistara, and Trident.
Features: Initial bonus as welcome benefits would be vouchers up to a max of Rs.5000/-, while up to Rs.12,500/- worth of vouchers would be given for the users upon reaching the milestone requirement for spending. Exclusive membership with brands like Vistara flights and Trident accommodation facilities.
Pros: One of the apparent reasons you chose this card would be that you could redeem the reward points even with any outstanding balance. Few other advantages would be – Movie ticket vouchers up to Rs.500/- and a low mark-up fee for foreign currencies.
Cons: High annual and renewal fee charges, Less cashback, and substantially high-interest charges.
4. American Express Platinum Travel Card
A short review of the card: Although considered one of the credit cards that provide the user with lesser rewards and benefits, this card is favored by many who regularly travel, specifically with the Indigo brand.
Features: The reward rate for this card is up to 8%, and up to 4 lounge access is provided domestically per year with no international lounge access.
Pros: High reward potential of vouchers for flights and hotel, with spending of up to 4 lakhs.
Cons: There are not many rewards benefits apart from Travel advantages, a high fee rate with fewer benefits for the users.
5. Citi Bank Prestige Credit Card
A short review of the card: It is considered one of the best credit cards in the country, which provides double the rewards as travel benefits for regular and frequent travelers. Although the annual fee and renewal charges are considerably high, the advantages got as a welcome bonus compensate for the same, making it a unique card in the market.
Features: With this card, it is guaranteed that you would be having unlimited access to lounge on international and domestic levels. You are also provided with one complimentary night stay on booking of 4 nights across the globe hotels. The users are provided with one reward point and two on domestic and international spending, respectively.
Pros: Exclusive travel benefits on flight and hotel bookings, nil fees for foreign transactions, etc.
Cons: High annual fees with no waiver for first-year and high level of APR.
Can I have free access to the lounges in airports?
Free access to the lounges is not provided to everyone traveling. Credit cards with exclusive benefits give the required access to lounges in the airport.
In the airport lounges, would the food be free every time?
The services and benefits provided in an airport lounge are primarily complementary and complimentary. However, you would be required to pay for certain extra benefits not covered with your credit card complimentary access.
Can another person use lounge access in the airport with my credit card?
This is not possible as only the cardholder can use the lounge access benefit. However, the cardholder can bring along an add-on guest.
What are the benefits I get by using the lounge?
Lounge access provides the user with various benefits like free food, internet, stocked bars, power outlets, shower facilities, etc.
To conclude with, a lounge access credit card would be of use in such a way, the moment you enter an airport you get to live the high experience and even when it is time to leave the lounge and go for boarding the flight, the lounge experience would stay as a strong memory that would make you want to come there more.