Travel credit cards seeing strong growth as Indians warm up to reward miles, discounts

Travel credit cards seeing strong growth as Indians warm up to reward miles, discounts

Travel-based co-branded credit cards are seeing strong growth led by steady demand as more and more users utilise these cards for reward miles and discounts for their domestic and overseas travel.

Travel credit cards were the fastest growing category in 2023, with demand rising 27 per cent on year, especially in Tier-2 and Tier-3 towns and cities. The rise in demand has been led by offerings such as air miles, hotel discounts, or travel-related rewards, according to a recent report by Zet, adding that demand was highest for SBI IRCTC, Axis Vistara, and IDFC Vistara credit cards.

Other popular cards in the category include Standard Chartered EaseMyTrip Credit Card, Air India SBI Signature Card, SBI Yatra Credit Card, Air India SBI Platinum Card, Axis Atlas Credit Card, Intermiles HDFC Signature Credit Card and Kotak IndiGo Kaching 6E Rewards XL Credit Card.

SBI Card, one of the largest players in the travel segment with seven co-branded travel cards, saw spends in its travel, entertainment and restaurant category going up 23 per cent on year as of December 2023. This was led by 30 per cent increase in online spends and 13 per cent in PoS (point-of-sale) spends.

Visa, in its ‘Global Travel Intentions Study 2023’, said that 95 per cent Indian travellers aim to utilise credit cards at overseas travel destinations to make their trips more convenient.

Another report by American Express said 62 per cent Indians are planning to spend more on travel in 2024 compared with the global average of 40 per cent. Further, 43 per cent Indians are using credit card points to offset flight and hotel expenses, as against the global average of 30 per cent, whereas 42 per cent (vs global average of 26 per cent) are opting to book from companies offering complimentary hotel benefits such as room upgrades and credits.

“While spending more, Indians are also looking for value for money by mastering the art of using travel hacks to make their journeys more affordable and rewarding,” the report titled ‘American Express Travel 2024 Global Travel Trends’ said. The report is based on data from India, the US, Australia, Canada, Mexico Japan, and the UK, collected between January–February 2024.


Courtesy: Business Line – Dt. 24th March 2024

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