Best credit card for Flights and Hotels (in and out of India)

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harshak9045

Hey there,

My brother is looking for the best credit card in India for flights and hotels. He holds HDFC Money back, Citi Prestige, Amex MRCC, and other LTF cards for their respective benefits.  He plans to close the prestige card because of constant devaluation, and migration of the salary account to HDFC. Also, CITI seems to have lost interest in India's business as its exit is nearing. He's an add-on card holder on my Infinia and likes to pick the best card for travel and hotel bookings. I don't know much about credit cards offered by other banks besides HDFC.

He makes more than 24LPA (not bragging, just providing some context), has HDFC imperia, and should be eligible for most cards. Our family spends up to 18L per year on hotels and flights. So, should we use my Infinia or sign up for a different card to maximize the benefits? 

PS: His prestige card's renewal fee is 20k + GST which is due in March 2023. So, planning to redeem all the RP and close it.

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  1. HDFC Bank Diners Club Black Credit Card: This card offers complimentary airport lounge access, discounts on domestic and international flights, and discounts on hotel stays.
  2. ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card: This card offers accelerated reward points on flights and hotel bookings, and also provides complimentary airport lounge access and discounts on hotel stays.
  3. SBI Card Prime: This card offers a range of travel benefits, including discounts on flights and hotels, and also provides complimentary airport lounge access.
  4. Axis Bank Miles & More Credit Card: This card offers accelerated reward points on flights and hotel bookings, and also provides complimentary airport lounge access and discounts on hotel stays.
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Thanks will check the respective cards and take the decision accordingly. 
Finance Mentor Finance Mentor
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Only a few make the list then. You should, ofcourse, know how to mint points on them before applying:

Multipurpose:

- Amex Platinum (Charge card, not the TRAVEL credit card) - Axis Atlas  - Axis Reserve - Axis Magnus - HDFC Infinia

Following depend on  choice of Flight services:

SBI Air India Signature (Shiny Blue colored one) - SBI Etihad Premier (it was devalued, pls recheck before applying) - most now use > Axis Vistara Infinite 

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Thanks for your input. 

Amex Platinum Charge: He said there's no upgrade offer for an Amex charge card available on his MRCC but will dial up the cc and request it as his ITR is more than the required amount. 


Axis cards: He said he had some bad experiences with Axis in the past and holds an LTF FK Axis card but is never happy with their cc at least in his case. But Magnus seems like a nice contender. 

SBI Air India Signature:
 He currently has 2 LTF SBI cards, SBI IOCL for all our fuel spends, and an SBI IRCTC card for trains in India. Have to look out if SBI offers another card or an upgrade option available. 

In a nutshell, I feel the Amex Platinum charge is best when our entire family can use it and justify the fees of 60k + GST.  Also, the recent learning from the DD community is the risk of IT notice if CC sends is significantly higher than the filed ITR. Just wondering if spending 60k + GST as a joining fee is worth if it's for his own purpose. However, this feels like a nice card to have. So, just put it on our bucket list.

Also, a small query, if we pay the credit card bill before the bill generation date will the IT department count the debits under the cc bill?

PS: On Infinia for now there are 10x rewards which means effectively we'll be getting 33.33% cashback on flights. 
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Can axis magnus available lifetime free?

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If your brother has passed out from any prestigious college (IITs, IIMs, FMS, XLRIs etc) you can get HDFC Diners Black as LTF. Its a great card and allows unlimited lounge visits - both domestic and international. Plus you can apply for complimentary cards and comp card users enjoy same benefits.

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No, he's not. His RM said she could get him a DCB right away but had to wait for the Infinia upgrade. Does it make sense to hold a DCB when our family has already one Infinia? 
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