There are a number of credit cards in India that provide huge discounts and offers along with rewards on travel and holiday bookings. Cardholders can use these cards to save money or get additional freebies on their travel and concierge bookings. However, there are very few credit cards in India that offer similar privileges on rail ticket bookings. In this article, we have listed some of the credit cards that offer amazing cashback and surcharge waivers on train ticket bookings.
Train Ticket Online Booking
Railways are the most common mode of transportation in India for long-distance travel at nominal rates. It allows people to book tickets either by visiting the ticket counter or booking online through the IRCTC portal. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) looks after the online booking section of Indian Railways. It makes it easier for travelers to book tickets from wherever they want to. However, they may have to pay an additional fee while making transactions online.
What is Railway Surcharge?
When one books a ticket online and makes the payment using his credit card, he has to pay an additional fee known as Railway Surcharge. This fee is levied on account of providing convenience to the person for the ticket booking.
Railway surcharge varies from 0.25% to 1.8% exclusive of GST. This excess amount has to be paid in addition to the ticket cost.
There are a number of banks that provide special offers or benefits on some credit cards that either waive off the railway surcharge or provide cashback or valueback points on carrying out transactions using those specific credit cards.
Best Credit Card for Booking Train Tickets in India for 2019
Not all credit cards come with Railway Surcharge Waiver or cashback. Below mentioned are some of the best credit cards that provide these benefits to cardholders:
|Credit Card||Annual Fee*||Renewal Fee*||Features|
|IRCTC SBI Platinum Card||Rs. 500||Rs. 300||Up to 10% Valueback as Reward points|
Book train tickets online and get it delivered to home
|HDFC Bharat Credit Card||Rs. 500||Rs. 500||5% Cashback on train ticket bookings through IRCTC website or app|
|Kotak Royale Signature Credit Card||NIL||Rs. 999||Railway Surcharge Waiver on tickets booked through IRCTC website|
|Air India SBI Signature Credit Card||Rs. 4,999||Rs. 4,999||Book tickets online and get delivered at home|
|Kotak Aqua Gold Credit Card||NIL||NIL||1% Railway Surcharge Waiver both online and offline|
IRCTC SBI Platinum Card
SBI Card customers can book tickets online using the IRCTC SBI credit card and avail the following benefits:
- Up to 10% Valueback as Reward Points on booking AC1, AC2, AC3 and AC CC tickets where 1RP=Rs.1
- 1 Reward Point for every Rs. 125 spent on non-fuel purchases
- Railway surcharge waiver of 1.8% on bookings done through irctc.co.in
- Exclusive travel privileges at irctc.co.in
- Low fare airline ticket booking through IRCTC portal
- Hotel booking at more than 5000 hotels across 350 cities
HDFC Bharat Credit Card
HDFC Bharat credit card holders get amazing cashback on train ticket booking. Its benefits are:
- 5% cashback on booking train tickets online through the IRCTC portal (both website and the mobile application)
- 5% cashback on fuel spends along with 1% fuel surcharge waiver
- 5% cashback on grocery purchases
- 5% cashback on bill payment and recharges
- 5% cashback on transactions done through EasyEMI, PayZapp and SmartBUY
Kotak Royale Signature Credit Card
Kotak Royale Signature Credit Card holders get benefits on train ticket bookings. Some of the benefits are mentioned below:
- Railway Surcharge Waiver on tickets booked through irctc.co.in
- Maximum railway surcharge waiver allowed in a calendar year is Rs. 500
- 4X Reward Points on all spends done using the card
- Fuel surcharge waiver on transactions between Rs. 500 and Rs. 3000
- Complimentary Airport Lounge Access
Air India SBI Signature Credit Card
Air India SBI Signature credit card users get the facility to book tickets online and get the tickets delivered to their home. Some additional benefits on this card are as follow:
- Welcome gift of 20,000 Reward Points within 15 days of annual fee payment
- 5,000 Reward Points every year on paying the renewal fee
- 2 complimentary visits per quarter at domestic airport lounges
- Huge rewards on booking Air India tickets through the website
- 1% Fuel Surcharge Waiver across all petrol pumps in India
Kotak Aqua Gold Credit Card
Kotak Aqua Gold credit card holders get a Railway Surcharge Waiver of 1% on booking trains tickets online through the IRCTC website or at the booking counter. Additional benefits on the card are as follows:
- Fuel Surcharge Waiver across all petrol pumps in India
- 4 free tickets or cashback of Rs. 750 on an annual spend of Rs. 1,50,000 or more
- 1X Reward Points on all retail purchases of Rs. 125
- Lifetime free credit card with no joining fee
- Credit limit up to 80% of the fixed deposit
Railway Lounge Access Programme
Lounges are specific areas designed to allow passengers during transit to unwind, have snacks, refreshments and rest at nominal fees. This facility was quite common at domestic and international airports. The government is now bringing this facility to railway stations and has already started railway lounges at some of the railway stations across the country.
ICICI Bank has started offering complimentary railway lounge access to its cardholders. They can avail this facility at least once per quarter depending on the credit card they are using.
Best Credit Card for Railway Lounge Access
Some of the best credit cards for railway lounge access are mentioned below:
|Credit Card||Annual Fee*||Renewal Fee*||Features|
|ICICI Rubyx Credit Card||Rs. 3000||Rs. 2000||2 Complimentary Railway Lounge visits per quarter|
|MakeMyTrip ICICI Platinum Credit Card||Rs. 500||NIL||1 Complimentary Railway Lounge visit per quarter for the primary cardholder|
|ICICI Bank Coral American Express Credit Card||Rs. 500||Rs. 500||1 Complimentary Railway Lounge visit per quarter|
Frequent travellers should always have a credit card that offers discounts and cashbacks on flight and railway tickets or hotel bookings. A credit card with both airport and railway lounge access make it all the easier for you to travel in India. However, you should analyse all features and benefits perfectly before applying for the credit card. You should zero in on a credit card that offers you the maximum benefits at least cost.