It isn’t about the colour of the credit card anymore. Business travellers today want a credit card that gives them rewards and air miles, rather than one that is merely a testament to their social standing. And they are exploring various value propositions and travel benefits before selecting a credit card.
Fact is, as much as you love your credit card, banks tend to charge hefty fees for all overseas transactions. So, if you happen to be travelling to foreign countries often, you might end up losing between one-three percent for every usage. Credit cards that are meant specifically for business trips have their own advantages and reward systems and business charge card accounts are designed for executives with features such as low APR, no annual fees, and rewards for hotels, rental cars, restaurants, airlines. So, it is worth doing some research before you decide where to place your bet, as this will help you save money.
So, what are the most important factors when it comes to choosing the right card?
- Access to cash, whenever you need is a big advantage.
- The extended warranty when buying commercial items such as laptops, cell phones and other communication devices.
- Rewards, loyalty programmes and additional services and benefits.
- Emergency support during a trip and protection of services such as guarantees, insurance and emergency roadside assistance.
- The offer of a free ticket for a travelling companion or an upgrade to business class air travel.
- Lost luggage plans for protection and protection against identity theft.
- Protection against unauthorised purchases if your card is lost or stolen.
- Car rental insurance and air travel accident insurance.
Here is a lowdown on some of the travel cards available in the Indian market.
This bank has launched a pack of three premium credit cards- Regalia, Superia and Platinum Edge- for the globe-trotting Indian business traveller, and promises to be a complete solution to all their travel needs. These travel cards ensure a smooth flight for the well-heeled, and come loaded with unique privileges with the USP being their reward point redemption system which gives one the freedom to choose from a wide array of airlines to cash in on the air miles accumulated on the card.
With the Regalia card, you can find the best prices and deals on your flight tickets, hotel bookings and movie tickets on the online Travel & Entertainment Portal, and every time you visit www.hdfcbankregalia.com and spend Rs 150, you earn eight reward points. You can also get a complimentary Priority Pass Membership for preferential and free access to 600 airport lounges around the world. Additionally, enjoy a complimentary Taj Epicure Plus Membership that entitles you to some very exquisite benefits at Taj Hotels and Resorts. You can redeem your points for gifts from the catalogue or simply convert them into air miles at leading domestic airlines.
The protection benefits offered include excellent insurance cover in case of accidental death (in which case your nominated next of kin will receive a compensation of Rs 1 Crore) and protection of up to Rs 12 Lakhs against medical emergencies.
ICICI Bank Travel Card:
This card, on the VISA network, provides you the option of nine currencies to choose from and you can enjoy the convenience of the wide network of more than 1 million VISA ATM’s and 27 million merchant establishments. It makes available to the customers a more secure and safe card with the ICICI Bank Chip Travel Card. The chip inside the card will change the way customers make payments while overseas, will make payment secure, and secure against card fraud.
To take care of emergencies abroad, a Replacement Card is given free of cost as part of the Travel Card Kit.
Axis Bank’s Corporate Card:
It offers the best travel and expense management solution with global acceptance and customised solutions powered by VISA. The card comes with two liability options- Corporate Liability (an effective way of managing travel policies and negotiating preferential terms with key suppliers) and Individual Liability (an effective way for the employees to keep their personal and official expenses separate).
Benefits include streamlined payments, keeping track of costs, savings through online bookings, petrol surcharge refunds, PlusPoints and protection through insurance.
American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card
The bank claims this card is the fastest way to complimentary travel, complete with flight tickets and a luxury stay. You can get up to four complimentary return flights and up to two room nights stay at the Taj Group, and the flexibility to redeem your points from over 600 redemption choices including leading airlines and hotels. All your large purchases can be converted into installments with the Pay-in-Parts Privilege. You can transfer your miles to the airline of your choice from their international and domestic airline partners, redeem them online for hotels and car rentals or plan your complete holiday on their online travel website. Customers also get complimentary lounge access at key airports in India and up to 20 percent off while dining at over 1000 of the finest restaurants.
The card offers a complimentary Air Accident Insurance which covers up to 30 lakhs p.a. for the primary card member.
Deutesche Bank Prepaid Travel Card
This Navigator Card is the most convenient and secure way to carry currency overseas and make payments to merchant outlets anywhere in the world. The card can be used to withdraw cash in the local currency of the country you are in, and you will never have to worry about fluctuating exchange rates or unexpected fees since you lock in your exchange rate when you load the card.
With its Total Protect feature, a first -of-its-kind security program that covers you for unauthorised transactions on your card, you are covered for a sum up to the limit loaded on your card. It covers unauthorized transactions and counterfeit fraud.
Standard Chartered Platinum Elite
This credit card is best suited to frequent travellers, and has an array of golfing privileges. Customers can access over 2,000 golf courses across the world, including 20 premier golf courses in India, enjoy up to 30 percent discounts at various leading restaurants and complimentary membership to over 600 lounges globally.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
HSBC Advance Platinum Credit Card features top-notch rewards programmes, complimentary air mile conversion and insurance benefits. It offers protection against misuse of lost card up to 24 hrs before reporting the loss, online fraud protection, access to premium offers and key features such as zero percent fuel surcharge at all petrol pumps and access to periodic offers such as accelerated rewards at select merchants, festival offers, etc.