Best Zero Markup Forex Credit Cards in India

Whether you're planning a trip abroad or just treating yourself to something from an international website, dealing with foreign currencies can be a bit of a headache. Forex markup fee charges are added to transactions

by Sadikaa Updated: 13 Feb, 2024, 17:37 IST
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Whether you're planning a trip abroad or just treating yourself to something from an international website, dealing with foreign currencies can be a bit of a headache. Forex markup fee charges are added to transactions in foreign currencies that quietly hike up your overall spending. But fear not, there's a way out - zero forex markup credit cards. So we'll take a look at all the zero markup Forex credit cards, break down how they work, what benefits they bring, and even look at the potential drawbacks. By the end, you'll have a list of some great options for the best zero markup forex credit cards in India.

But first, let's understand what forex markup is and why it matters when you're dealing with international transactions.


What is Forex Markup?

Forex markup, also known as foreign exchange markup or currency conversion fee, is an extra charge added by credit card companies or banks when you make transactions in a foreign currency. It's like a percentage of the transaction amount, and it can increase the overall cost of your international spending. This fee helps banks and credit card companies cover the complications and risks of converting currencies, affecting how much money you end up spending on cross-border transactions.

Zero Forex Markup Cards

A zero forex markup credit card becomes advantageous due to the inherent fees associated with using a regular credit card for transactions in foreign currencies. You're usually charged a currency conversion charge (CCC) or forex markup fee when you pay in a currency other than INR. Expenses in foreign currencies, for instance, have additional charges and taxes, which can add up. But with Zero Forex cards, your transactions are as it is. You pay Rs.100 and only that amount is deducted.

Benefits of Zero Forex Markup Credit Cards

Zero forex markup credit cards are becoming increasingly popular among frequent travellers and online shoppers. These cards offer several significant advantages that make them an ideal choice for those engaging in cross-border transactions.

One of the key benefits of using a zero forex markup credit card is the cost savings on international transactions. With these cards, users can save significant amounts of money by eliminating conversion fees. This is because zero forex markup cards allow users to pay the exact exchange rate without incurring additional charges.

In addition to cost savings, zero forex markup credit cards offer a high level of convenience and transparency. Users can enjoy the flexibility of dynamic currency conversion and global acceptance, which makes these cards an ideal choice for international travellers. With these cards, users can easily track their expenses and make informed decisions about their spending, while enjoying the peace of mind that comes with transparent pricing. With their cost savings, convenience, and transparency, these cards offer exceptional value and can help users save money while enjoying a hassle-free experience.

Drawbacks of Zero Forex Markup Credit Cards

While these cards provide substantial benefits, potential drawbacks should be considered. Some zero forex markup cards come with an annual fee, though it is often made up for by savings from avoiding forex markup. Users should also be aware of foreign transaction fees that may still apply in some cases, so read the card's terms and conditions carefully. These cards also come with variable interest rates, so be careful if you carry a balance. Despite these concerns, many users prefer the convenience and cost savings over these potential drawbacks.

In summary, zero forex markup credit cards offer substantial advantages in terms of cost savings, convenience, and transparent pricing. However, weighing these benefits against potential drawbacks such as annual fees, foreign transaction fees, and varying interest rates is essential.

Best Zero Forex Markup Credit Cards in India

Having a credit card with zero forex markup can save you a lot of money. In India, several great credit cards offer zero forex markup, making it easier for you to enjoy your international trips or transactions without worrying about fees.

Here are some of the best zero forex markup credit cards in India:


Niyo SBM Global Credit Card

Joining Fee: NIL (Lifetime Free)

Annual Fee: NIL (Lifetime Free)

Forex Markup: Zero markup

Travel Benefits: Complimentary Visa airport lounge access at both domestic as well as international terminals in India

The Niyo SBM Global Credit Card stands out for its zero forex markup, offering a unique currency conversion approach. Only the exact amount needed for a transaction is converted, while the remaining balance continues to earn interest in a high-interest savings account with a monthly interest payout. This feature ensures a seamless and cost-effective solution for international transactions, maximizing potential interest earnings. Beyond zero forex markup, the card offers up to 7% interest on fixed deposits per annum and requires no credit score check. Another perk of the Niyo SBM Global Credit Card is the free international airport lounge access it provides in India. This means that you can enjoy a comfortable and luxurious travel experience without having to pay extra for lounge access.

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Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card

Joining Fee: Rs.40,000

Renewal Fee: Rs.10,000

Forex Markup: Zero markup

Welcome Benefits: Complimentary Club Vistara Gold membership, Complimentary Priority Pass membership

Other Benefits: Earn 6-8 CV points per Rs.200 spent on Vistara's website and app, plus receive up to 5 complimentary Business Class tickets per year

Positioned as an ideal choice for frequent users, the Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card not only boasts a zero forex markup but also offers a comprehensive set of benefits. With a joining fee of Rs 40,000 + GST and an annual fee of Rs 10,000 + GST, the card provides an impressive effective return of 7% to 10% when redeemed for Vistara flights. Additional perks include up to 6-8 CV points and 5 complimentary international lounge visits per year, making it a well-rounded option for those seeking both savings and travel privileges.

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RBL World Safari Credit Card

Joining Fee: NIL

Annual Fee: Rs.3000 + GST

Forex Markup: Zero markup

Rewards: No regular rewards. Only milestone rewards.

Welcome Benefit: MakeMyTrip Voucher Worth INR 3,000

Other Benefits: Two complimentary airport lounge visits and two complementary lounge visits at over 1300 international lounges are included with Priority Pass membership.

Designed for frequent international travellers, the RBL World Safari Credit Card distinguishes itself with a zero forex markup fee. If you often embark on international trips and primarily use your credit card for travel expenses, considering this card could be advantageous. By doing so, you have the opportunity to maximize benefits through milestone privileges and redeem rewards across various categories, particularly in the realm of travel and beyond. Plus, this card offers enticing features such as 5x reward points on travel spending and a MakeMyTrip voucher as a welcome gift. Its unique proposition translates zero forex markup into tangible savings, providing a 4% reduction on all currency exchange transactions. With an annual fee of INR 3,000 + GST and 2 complimentary international lounge visits via Priority Pass Membership, the card appeals to those seeking practical benefits.


Axis Bank Burgundy Private Credit Card

Joining Fee: Needs to be eligible for Burgundy Private Client.

Annual Fee: Varies

Forex Markup: Zero markup

Travel Benefits: Exclusive lifestyle privileges, international concierge services

Other Benefits: Increase credit limit during foreign travel and Withdraw cash without paying withdrawal charges or interest on the withdrawn amount.

Rewards: Earn 15 edge reward points for every Rs.200 spent on the card. You can redeem the reward points for a wide variety of items offered in the Axis Bank Rewards Catalogue.

Tailored specifically for High net worth individuals (HNI), the Axis Bank Burgundy Private Credit Card combines exclusive lifestyle privileges with practical benefits. Featuring zero forex markup, it ensures international transactions without additional fees. Beyond traditional credit card perks, it offers unlimited lounge access, golf benefits, entertainment privileges, health and wellness offers, and more. With the flexibility to increase credit limits during foreign travel, it caters to the discerning needs of high-net-worth clients. Additionally, users can earn 15 edge reward points for every Rs.200 spent, redeemable for a variety of items in the Axis Bank Rewards Catalogue.

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IDFC First WOW! Credit Card

Joining Fee: NIL (Lifetime Free)

Annual Fee: NIL (Lifetime Free)

Forex Markup: Zero markup

Welcome Benefit: 5% cashback of up to Rs 1,000 on the first EMI transaction

Rewards: Up to 4X rewards on both online and offline spending, plus no expiry date on reward points.

International Lounge Access: Not Available

The IDFC First WOW! Credit Card is a premium credit card that is issued against an IDFC fixed deposit with a minimum FD of Rs 2,000. It is a secured credit card that comes with no annual membership or joining fees. There is no need to provide income proof or credit history for availing of this credit card. Although it lacks international lounge access, the FIRST WOW! Credit Card compensates with an attractive rewards program, making it a suitable choice for those focused on saving money in the long run. The credit card offers welcome benefits, attractive rewards, dining offers, and Visa Infinite Premium Platform benefits. It operates on the Visa network, ensuring that it is widely accepted worldwide.

This zero forex markup lifetime-free credit card comes with personal accident cover, lost liability cover, and roadside assistance, providing an effective return and eliminating extra charges.

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Scapia Federal Bank Credit Card

Joining Fee: NIL (Lifetime Free)

Annual Fee: NIL (Lifetime Free)

Forex Markup: Zero markup

Rewards: All online and offline transactions get 10% Scapia Coins, except for rent, cash withdrawals, money transfers, EMIs, digital wallet loading and top-ups. You'll get 20% Scapia Coins on all flight and hotel bookings you make with Scapia.

Lounge Access: Free access to all domestic airport lounges when spending at least Rs.5,000 per month with this card.

If you're looking for a simple and affordable credit card, the Scapia Federal Bank Credit Card might be a good option for you. It's a lifetime-free credit card that doesn't charge any extra fees for international transactions, which can help you save money. The card operates on the Visa network and doesn't offer any rewards or access to any of the airport lounges, so it's a good fit for people who prefer a straightforward credit card without any unnecessary features.

Where can I get Forex credit cards?

To obtain forex credit cards, the process is generally straightforward and can be done online. It's worth noting that for regular credit cards, banks usually assess your credit history before approval. However, issuers of Forex cards typically do not thoroughly investigate the credit history of these cards. To be eligible, you must be an Indian citizen aged 18 or older and possess a valid Aadhaar, PAN card, and passport. Online applications are the norm, and some banks may offer virtual forex credit cards, although obtaining a physical card may involve charges depending on the bank.

While the specific steps and document requirements may vary among banks, it's not a requirement to open a savings account with the bank to get a credit card, and there's no need to maintain a balance. However, it's crucial to pay your credit card bill on time to avoid hefty interest charges.

Which is better, a Credit card or a Forex card?

When it comes to using forex cards and credit cards for international transactions, there are some key differences that you should be aware of. One of the most significant differences is the way that exchange rates are handled. With a Forex card, you can lock in the exchange rate at the time of loading money onto the card. This provides a sense of financial security, as you know exactly how much money you will have when you arrive at your destination. On the other hand, with a credit card, the exchange rate is determined at the time of the transaction. This means that you may be subject to fluctuations in the exchange rate, which can affect the amount of money you have available for spending.

While forex cards offer the advantage of locking in exchange rates, credit cards can offer better exchange rates and rewards. Some credit cards offer cashback or rewards points that can be redeemed for future purchases. However, it's important to note that credit cards can come with international transaction fees, which can increase the overall cost of your forex transactions. If you have a credit card with no foreign transaction fees and good rewards, then it can be a favourable option for your international spending.

Ultimately, whether you choose a Forex card or a credit card will depend on your individual needs and preferences. If you prefer the security of a locked-in exchange rate, then a Forex card may be the way to go. On the other hand, if you're looking for the potential to earn rewards and cashback, then a credit card may be a better option.

On an Ending Note

In short, zero forex markup credit cards can help you save money when making international transactions. They do not charge any additional fees for converting foreign currencies, which means you can pay the exact exchange rate without incurring extra charges. The Niyo SBM Global Credit Card, Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card, and RBL World Safari Credit Card are some of the best zero markup forex credit cards in India.

However, it's important to understand that some of these cards may come with annual fees or foreign transaction fees. So, it's important to read the card's terms and conditions carefully before selecting one. Ultimately, zero forex markup credit cards offer a cost-effective and convenient solution for anyone who frequently makes international transactions.

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1. Can a credit card be used for forex transactions?

Yes, credit cards can be used for forex transactions. However, credit card networks and banks often charge a "Forex transaction fee" for payments made abroad. This fee typically ranges from 1 to 3% of the total transaction value, depending on the issuer. To save on these fees, consider applying for a zero forex markup credit card.

2. Which credit card has zero forex markup?

Niyo Global credit cards have no forex markup, and that makes them a good choice. It offers a unique currency conversion approach, eliminating additional fees for international transactions. When seeking the best credit card for forex transactions, one with zero markup is an ideal choice to save on currency conversion charges.

3. How do I avoid markup fees in forex?

To avoid markup fees in forex, consider applying for a credit card with zero forex markup. These cards eliminate or significantly reduce the additional charges associated with converting foreign currencies. Look for options that provide transparent pricing and cost-effective solutions for international transactions.

4. Is it better to use cash, credit cards, or traveller's checks?

Among the three options—cash, credit card, and traveller's cheque—a credit card is often considered the best monetary instrument for international travel. This is particularly true if the credit card charges a 0% currency conversion fee. Credit cards offer security, convenience, and the ability to dispute or cancel transactions if needed, making them a preferred choice for many users.

Deal Cadet
Content Writer with the Mission to bring you the Best Information. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, watching Kdramas/Anime, Theorycrafting in Genshin, and indulging in all things MBTI.
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which is most easily issued without any extra formalities?

which one is issued to salaried only and which one to self employed?

whose customer support is top notch?

Starting limit offered to you known CC Subscribers if any?

What all verifications they conduct before issuance?

Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
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Hey, thank you for asking! 😄

The IDFC First WOW! Credit Card, Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card and Scapia Federal Bank Credit Card can be availed by both salaried and self-employed individuals. The same goes with the RBL World Safari Credit Card but your minimum income should be Rs.25000. For Niyo Global, you will need to be 18+ and have a valid Indian Passport.

The verification process will vary from bank to bank but most of them generally require a KYC with a government-issued ID (like a passport or Aadhaar card), address verification using documents like utility bills or bank statements, income verification through salary slips or income tax returns, etc.

The rest of your questions require personal experience so I might not be the perfect source for those answers. I'm sure our dimers who have experience in this area can help you out!

Deal Cadet Deal Cadet
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Thank you! VU + KG. innocent plus1
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