7 Best Credit Cards in India for International Travel/Spends (Low Forex Markup Fees)

By | September 8, 2018

Last Updated: 8th Sep 2018

Planning on your dream foreign vacation or just spending a lot on foreign currencies online? Its time to use the right credit card for your international transactions as all such transactions has a new kind of transaction fee called Foreign Currency Markup Fee which is usually 3.5%+GST on most cards, which turns to almost 4% of the actual spend.

If you wonder how does it make a difference, its quite simple. Suppose you spend 1L on foreign currency, you end up loosing Rs.4000 (4%) as markup fee. Its one of the major source of income for banks and its time for us to get rid of it.

Best Credit Cards in India for International Travel

Best Credit Cards for International Transactions

By choosing the right credit card, you will not only pay low markup fee, but also get some reward points on top of it which compensates the markup fee. Nice isn’t it? Lets look at some of the best credit cards with low foreign currency markup fee with detailed review of each. Here are some,

1. HDFC Infinia Credit Card

  • FCY Markup Fee: 2%+tax
  • Reward Rate: 3.3%
  • Net Gains: 1%
  • Annual fee: Rs 10,000+tax (waived for select profiles)
  • Full Review: HDFC Infinia Review

HDFC Infinia Credit Card

Its one of the super premium credit cards in India and so is pretty tough to get approved for one. You can get similar gains with HDFC Diners Black credit card as well, but after visiting couple of countries, i can say that the acceptance of diners cards is incredibly low in foreign countries. So Infinia is far better comparing the two.

2. Citibank Prestige Credit Card

  • FCY Markup Fee: 3.5%+tax
  • Reward Rate: 4% – 10% (Citi Gold Client)
  • Net Gains: 0%-6% (Citi Gold Client)
  • Annual fee: Rs 20,000+tax
  • Full Review: Citi Prestige Review

Citibank Prestige Credit Card

As you can see, being a Citi Gold client helps you get a better reward rate, else you cant save much unless you’re a PRO in airmiles/hotel points redemption. The Citigold status can be availed by maintaining a Net Relationship Value* (NRV) of Rs. 50 Lakh for Savings/Current Account Holders.

3. Yesbank YESFirst Exclusive Credit Card


Yes First Exclusive Credit Card by YES Bank

It’s easy to get approved with Card-on-card application these days as long as you have 8L+ Credit limit on any of your other credit cards. On top of that, its issued as Lifetime free for a limited period.

4. Yesbank YESFirst Preferred Credit Card

YesBank – YES First Preferred Credit Card

It’s easy to get approved Card-on-card basis as long as you have 4L+ Credit limit on any of your other credit cards. On top of that, its also issued as Lifetime free for a limited period. A lot of our readers has got this card and totally love it for its 2x/3x Points offers.

5. HDFC Bank Regalia Credit Card

  • FCY Markup Fee: 2%+tax
  • Reward Rate: 1.3%
  • Net Gains: – 1% (loss)
  • Annual fee: Issued LTF for most
  • Full Review: HDFC Regalia Review


Yes, that’s a loss of about 0.7% but much better than most other cards which will let you loose 4% or so. Its one of the most popular credit card in the industry for its name and fame of the past. It has been devalued recently, though it still carries some of the premium features to certain extent. HDFC Diners Premium also has similar markup fee, though, acceptance is the issue.

6. RBL Bank Icon Credit Card

RBL Bank Icon Credit Card

Its a not so popular card, though gives a decent reward rate on International spend. Note that it works only when you spend around ~Rs.10,000 a month, anything more wont give you the accelerated points on Intl spend.

7. Indusind Signature Legend Credit Card

Indusind Signature Legend Credit Card

Its one of the latest entrant in Indusind Credit Card Portfolio and comes with a decent benefit of 1.8% Markup fee for a limited period (until Dec 2017). Maynot be a perfect credit card for a typical international trip, but for those who can put the spends on weekends, can reap the maximum benefit.

Bonus: ICICI Jet Sapphiro (Amex)

  • FCY Markup Fee: 3.5%+GST
  • Reward Rate: 7% (with Yearly cap)
  • Net Gains: 2.8% (as JPMiles)
  • Annual fee: Rs.5,000+GST
  • Full Review: ICICI Jet Sapphiro (Amex)

ICICI Jet Sapphiro Credit card

If you’re playing airmiles game, this will be your best credit card as long as you can redeem 1 JPMile = 1 INR which is tough for non-frequent flyers. I personally use this card for foreign transactions where-ever its accepted.

Caution: The reward rate on all above cards are calculated on effective utilization of the reward points that you earn on the spend. If you donot redeem the points at the right time, you may loose the whole point of saving.


While these are some of the best credit cards for international use, i still prefer a debit card from Indusind which is Indusind Signature Exclusive Debit Card that has 0% markup fee. It comes at a small fee but for a weeklong international travel i save enough and it gives me peace of mind as i can goto any country and withdraw their money just like any other local citizen – zero charges!

Ideally, i would suggest a combinational of debit+credit cards for international trips and use it this way: debit card for cash withdrawals & credit card at risky/non-safe locations. If you’re just doing online spends in foreign currencies you could very well choose your preferred one from the above list.

Which is your preferred credit/debit card for International Transactions/Travel? Share your thoughts in comments below.

126 thoughts on “7 Best Credit Cards in India for International Travel/Spends (Low Forex Markup Fees)

  1. Rahul

    Would you recommend using credit cards or multicurrency prepaid cards like “thomas cook borderless prepaid card”. I have to do transactions only in USD and would like to know which one is the better choice.

    1. Siddharth Post author

      Yes, above cards are better than Multicurrency cards.
      Sometimes though third party forex cards are good if you deal with USD or other popular currencies.
      You just need to compare what CC you have with the respective forex card fee/charges to find the answer.

      1. Rahul

        I have HDFC Allmiles and AmEx Membership rewards credit card (lifetime free). Can you tell me if i should go for the thomas cook card still for USD? I tried applying for regalia but they asked me to send the paper form instead of initiating over phone call which i think will be a paid upgrade.

        1. Siddharth Post author

          Check forex card by Doorstepforex, i availed it recently and you can consider it. I heard Thomas cook cards are bit pricy.
          They need physical form for all upgrades, it maynot be a paid upgrade.

          1. Deb

            Doorstepforex is a third party provider unlike Thomas Cook who sells its own card. Thomas Cook is definitely superior. Suggest you do a comparison for yourself.

          2. shubhankar

            I often deposit money in skrill.com which is an international wallet. I am charged 3.44 mark up fee + 1.8% GST on my icici credit card. Please suggest me a better credit card or forex card.

  2. Abhishek Roy

    YES FIRST Exclusive gives a reward rate of 2.5%. It gives 10 RP/₹100. Each point is worth ₹0.25.

  3. Anish

    FYI – The Regalia First card also provides a 2% markup` fee.

    1. Siddharth Post author

      But its reward rate is less, that ends up in more net loss, hence not added 🙂

  4. Gautam

    Hi, Siddharth,
    I have been using HDFC regalia credit card for 4 month now and I am liking it. But now I have to make transactions of about 6L but my credit limit is 3L only. It seems like I can’t put in upgrade request as that feature is currently not available on my account – as stated by HDFC net banking site. Is there any other way to do so?

    1. Siddharth Post author

      You need atleast 6 months gap for Limit Enhancement Gautam.

  5. Vivek Agrawal

    How do I check reward point breakup for my diners rewardz card(I mean to check how many points I have actually got for each transaction I made, so that I can verify if they have not missed on crediting the 10X reward points for eligible purchase)

  6. Amandeep singh

    Rbl is upgrading my platinum maxima to icon.I have tried convincing them but they are not ready to waive the annual fee. Is it worth upgrading and does lounge(international)visits are free with complimentry PP?.As per the rep it is free.

    1. Siddharth Post author

      Maybe its worth it if you spend on Intl txn’s else no.
      Priority pass membership Free (but no free visits)

  7. Arjun Sachdeva

    Seems like someone is copying your content
    www [dot] lifenan [dot] com

    1. Siddharth Post author

      There are ppl who does this(copy content) as their primary business. Let me try to send a notice. Thanks for notifying me.

  8. Prashant Gupta

    Hi siddhart what abt amex cards. Are their absolute firex rate less? I may have to book tickets for $600 . Which card to use hdfc regalia or amex platinum travel.

    1. Siddharth Post author

      They have 3.5%+Tax which is higher. So better stay away from Amex cards for Forex txn’s.

  9. Amandeep singh

    SBI elite has 1.99% foreign transaction fee but now reward rate is normal for international spending.

    1. Siddharth Post author

      Yes, but that’s 0.5% loss even on “effective” usage, worser than Regalia in its current form.

  10. Arun

    Dear sidharth
    I need a credit card for my wife . I need it because of getting free international lounge access. Since she is currently not in India , I think need to a get a credit card against fixed deposit. Will you please help to find a credit card. Thanks a lot

  11. Arun

    Thanks sidharth
    Can you tell how much minimum need to put in fd for getting this card please.

  12. Arun

    To get hdfc regalia , how much minimum amount required on fixed deposit.

    1. Siddharth Post author

      I think 4L-5L would do. Visit your HDFC branch.

    1. Anoop

      I deposited 4 lakh and got 3 lakh credit limit, now I have requested to cancel my Regalia and asked my wife to apply add on Regalia for me to use her card’s shared lounge access 🙂 You may consider applying Yes Bank First Preferred card and need 3 lakh deposit and you can get 75 % of credit limit. Yes Bank offers 1.75 FCY and 4 international lounge access + 3 domestic lounge access/ quarter. I applied for the Yes bank CC couple of days back and will keep my HDFC FD, so that I can apply for Regalia after 6 months from the cancellation date.

  13. Siddhartha Pakrasi

    Hi Siddharth, saw your blog and picked up HDFC Infinia and Yes First Exclusive cards for my upcoming visit to Europe. In addition to the Forex markup fee levied by the credit card issuing bank I am told there is a Forex conversion surcharge of around 3% levied by MasterCard/ Visa as well. Is this true ?

    1. Siddharth Post author

      No, its very less, usually 1% or so.
      I’ve verified this many times and the numbers are matching very very close as on XE[dot]com

    2. Abhishek Roy

      You don’t have to be worried about what what Visa and MasterCard will charge. All you pay is 2% + ST +SC+KVC which roughly comes down to 2.5%, in case of Infinia/Regalia/Diners Black/Diners Premium. For Yes First Excusive, all you pay is 1.75% +ST+SC+KVC which roughly comes down to 2.22%. If any agent or customer care officer tells anything else, they are misinformed. Have checked and verified this info myself on a lot of occasions. Those 2% and 1.75% Mark Up fees contains the 1% or less charge that the Franchisee(VISA/MasterCard/Diners) Charges.

  14. Prashant Gupta

    Service tax and other levies total to 15% I think so total charges should be 2%+15% i.e. 2.30%

    1. Siddharth Post author

      Yes, i’ve taken that into ac in most cases 🙂

  15. Siddhartha Pakrasi

    Great, thanks a lot. Must say that you have some great stuff on your blog. 👍🏻

  16. Harwinder

    I have SBI visa credit card. I want to an international fee in CAD, but my card is not activated for international usage. What do I do now. How much time bank takes to grant activation?

  17. Prashant Gupta

    It can be activated through netbanking or by calling customer care.

  18. Riyaskhan

    hdfc offer GLOBAL VALUE, in which we get 1% cashback for international transaction subject to maximum of 1000 rs per statement cycle. it is great benefit if we use regalia or infinia which have only 2% markup fees.

    1. Siddharth Post author

      Interesting. Did you get a separate mail on it?

      1. Riyaskhan

        it was one of the feature when I apply for a card 2 years before. This is applicable for all hdfc credit catds. we can activate it by calling customercare. But It was come up with a annual charge of Rs.199. Luckily I never charged. I’m not sure why this is free for me. But still I am getting 1% cashback for all my international or foreign currency transactions.

  19. Prashant Gupta

    this is what i got from HDFC website

    Presenting a world of exclusive benefits with GLOBAL VALUE. Enroll for the program on your HDFC Bank Credit Card and avail a host of amazing benefits when you use your card for international purchases.
    1. Welcome / Renewal Benefit – 500 Bonus Reward Points on 1st International transaction. This feature is available once in a year.
    2. Cashback Benefit – 1% Cashback on all International transactions (upto Rs. 1,000/- per statement cycle).
    3. Milestone Benefit – Get Rs. 2,000/- worth Yatra voucher once you accumulate International spends of Rs. 1,50,000/- in a year. This feature is available once in a year.
    Program Fee
    Annual / Renewal Fee – Rs. 199/-
    Registration Process
    Simple, just call our 24×7 customer service number to place your request.
    After your request is processed we will enable GLOBAL VALUE program on your credit card and you can start enjoying the benefits.
    Service Activation
    Your request will be processed within 5 working days.
    The service activation confirmation will be communicated to you through SMS (on the registered mobile no.) and through Letter (on the registered mailing address)
    Points to Note
    This program is available for the following retail credit cards – Gold, Titanium, Platinum Plus, Signature, World, Titanium Edge, Platinum Edge, Solitaire, Solitaire Premium, Superia, Regalia and Infinia.
    Welcome Benefit would be credited within 60 days of first international transaction, post enrolling for the program.
    Milestone Benefit – Yatra voucher would be sent within 30 days of achieving International spends of Rs. 1,50,000/- in a year.
    The maximum cashback would be Rs. 1,000/- per statement cycle under the benefit.
    Cancellation policy – If this facility is cancelled at any point of time, the program fee already charged for the year will not be reversed.
    Service Tax and Education Cess will be additionally applicable on the program fee
    In last 2 months i had done almost Rs.1.5L forex transaction. Had i know earlier i would have saved some money.

  20. Vivek Tyagi


    Could anyone help me with the suggestion for an international travel card with Minimum interest and FX exchange rates. I am flying to Australia in the month of September and need quick suggestion which card to opt for to do the transactions.

    Thanks in advance for your suggestion.

  21. Ankur Mittal

    Anyone got this Global Value activated ? I called HDFC and they told it’s an old offer.

  22. Gaurav J

    I have held Citibank Prestige card for past 2 years now and have managed to rack up close to 200,000 air miles in this timeframe.
    Although Citibank cards have a slightly higher FCY rate, the generous air miles program as well as wide range of partner airlines and hotels make it a great choice for those who travel frequently.

    I have also been using Amex Centurion Card (Black Card) for the past 3 years now. This card is exorbidently expensive with a 2.5 lac annual fee. It does come with immense benefits for those who are travelling internationally very frequently – however the much hyped concierge service is quite pathetic in India. Other countries have a far better concierge service for similar pricing.

    1. Anoop

      I have just received Citi Prestige card from Singapore and I am very happy with the unlimited priority pass lounge access for primary card holder and a guest. Have you ever booked hotels using their concierge services ? Is it possible to know the list of hotels and rates like any other booking sites when using the concierge service ? Also, do you know any special category where I can earn more miles ?

      Thanks/ Anoop

  23. Ninja Agarwal

    Hi Mr. Siddharth…obviously can’t proceed without mentioning that your content gives a definite insight into the various credit cards…so thank you for that but i did have a question…So i am due to apply for an Hdfc credit card with travel rewards, air miles and international travel and dining as the main focus and was wondering when you mentioned in regalia that diners black also has the same perks but acceptance is a problem so what did that mean ?

  24. AMIT

    Which is the best credit card to make foreign transactions online?
    I’ll be applying in some international universities, so it would be great if you can please suggest a card that has minimum extra charges?

  25. Mihir

    You should mention HDFC’s Globe Value program, which gives additional 1% cashback on all international spends.

  26. Abir Mukherjee

    Hi Siddartha,
    Great content you have. I am a frequent international traveller to the APAC countries. Have a priority pass courtesy HDFC Regalia but almost exhausted the free visits (reduced to 6 now). Can I take another credit card which provides free priority card along with Free visits. Are 2 priority pass possible for a same person?
    Correspondingly, HDFC is ok to upgrade me to Diners Black, however I am a little skeptical due to the low acceptance of Diners in Foreign markets. Also not sure what happens to the points. I have close to 32000 Points in Regalia. Please suggest Options.

    1. Siddharth Post author

      Diners Black not suggested if you’re using it as primary card. But i guess you might be eligible for the Infinia as well. Check with the RM.

  27. Abir Mukherjee

    With a monthly take home of around 2.5 Lacs, what are the credit card options for travel, mainly looking for Free priority pass with Free visits.

    1. Ritika Sharma

      This information is very useful Siddhartha. I hope I had got this information before applying for the card, taking decision would have been easier. After evaluating my options, I narrowed down to buying forex card from Centrum Forex. I liked their card as it was widely accepted and their services were super quick.

  28. Ana

    Which credit card would you suggest, if I make foreign currency transactions online. I do not travel much but I have to make business payments by credit card online. I am losing a lot of money through markup fees. I have just started my business so volume is very low.

  29. Ajit

    Hi Sidddharth,

    Thanks for the useful info. You must amend your blog & include Stanchart’s Ultimate card. It does have 2% FX markup & 5 reward points for Rs 150/- spent.

  30. vyom aggarwal aggarwal

    hdfc diners black is the best card for foreign use currently, although acceptance is really low, but the mark up fees is 2 % + taxes and you get reward points of 3.33%.
    In addition to that you get 1% cashback for global value and 10x reward points which take your benefits to whooping 32%

  31. jitendra kumar saraogi

    please suggest best credit card excluding diners for going to Bangkok in this month.
    thanks in advance.

    1. Sharathkumar Anbu

      Hi Jitendra,

      In most of the places in Bangkok or Thailand, they won’t accept cards even if they accept many shops charge 4% extra. They will try to recover the merchant discount rate from the payer itself.

      I recommend to go with IndusInd Exclusive Visa Signature debit card which doesn’t have any mark up for international transactions.

      Mastercard gives better mark up rate compared to Visa but shops like Seven Eleven accept only Visa.

      Xe.com 1 THB = 2.08 INR

      Master card 1 THB = 2.083 INR

      Visa 1 THB = 2.105 INR

      Also please note Thailand Banks charge 220 Baht for cash withdrawal. Also don’t use their currency conversion to get charged in INR, always charge in Baht.

  32. Meghal

    Hi Siddarth,
    I have Diners Black and HDFC Infinia card. I travel a lot internationally and use these cards. Each time I get a Forex mark up fee of some absolute amount. Can you tell me whats the % mark up fee charged on these cards. Once this mark up fees are charged, is forex exchange rate very competitive ( as per what we see on google as daily exchange rate) or you see a difference in that also and hence an indirect fee being paid on that account. Appreciate your views on the same, thanks

  33. jitendra kumar saraogi

    if standard ultimate card is better than yes preferred card for international travel?
    will appreciate a quick response.

    1. Amann

      Hi Jitendra

      YFP and YFE are better than ultimate for international travel for 2 reasons:

      1. Forex markup is 1.75%+gst for yes vs 3.5 +gst – 1.5 cashback for ultimate. Also MasterCard usually gives better Forex rates than Visa as well as Mastercard lounge access programme at Indian airports has more options..

      2. Priority pass visits: 4 free with YFP a year/ unlimited for YFE vs 1 per month provided 20k has been spent in previous calender month.

      Reward rate is better in Ultimate (@3.3%) but you will get no reward points for international spends as you are already getting 1.5% cashback on markup.

      1. AshishR

        Are you sure no RP for international spends on SCB ultimate card?

        this is mentioned on the SCB website
        “Earn 5 reward points on every INR 150 spent and get maximum benefit with 1 reward point equal to Re 1”

        1. Amann

          Quoting Abhishek Roy’s comment on Ultimate card review:

          “They have mentioned in their terms and conditions that there is a 2% mark up fees on foreign transaction. Actually that is not true. They will charge you 3.5% as mark fees when you will make the payment. Later on they will reverse 1.5% mark up fees, effectively making the markup fees as 2%!! They ave also mentioned that since they will be issuing cashback of 1.5% hence those transactions are not eligible for Reward Points. Hence you get actually no value on spending in foreign currency with your card. I am quite sure that even though they’ll reverse the 1.5% mark up fees but they’ll not reverse the extra taxes that they’ll charge on that 3.5%. So effectively, you pay more than all High value cards like Infinia, Diner Black, Yes First Card and Citi Prestige. You end up paying more mark fees considering the non reversal of the taxes on that extra 1.5% mark up fees and you will not get reward points on those transactions. …….”

    2. Jay

      Yes!! SCB Ultimate is the Best Card for International Travel however if you have DCB then as of now it has got the value proposition for International Usage due to their 10X Points. But make a note even though DCB has 2% FX Charges they intend to have a more currency conversion rate compared to VISA or Master. Hence I would suggest SCB Ultimate

  34. jitendra kumar saraogi

    thanks for your prompt responses.
    i hope yes preferred card gives reward points @2% for international transactions as well.
    please confirm.

    1. Kiran


      Yes you do get RP in YFP for your international spends.

      Hope this helps.


  35. Md Irfan

    Hi Siddharth

    I have the following credit cards:
    HSBC Advance
    HSBC Platinum
    HDFC Moneyback
    Indusind Platinum
    Stanchart Manhattan

    Which of these card is the best for foreign exchange?

  36. VICKY

    Off the topic

    But can you suggest best travel insurance plan WHICH provides cover for:-

    Trip Cancellation for any reason i.e. to say if for any reason whatsoever, I cancel my trip, the insurance company compensates for loss of flight tickets charges and hotel non-refundable booking charges in full.

    The plans are available abroad but any such plan being provided by indian companies>


  37. Sharathkumar Anbu


    I believe there is a mistake in calculation for citi prestige card. When spent internationally, Citi gives 2 reward points per 100 which is equal to 8 air miles, Hence 8% reward rate. Net gain would be 4%

    So Citi prestige is the clear winner

    1. Siddharth Post author

      Citigold / Citigold Private Clients gets 30% more points, hence calculated based on that.

      1. Sharathkumar Anbu

        You have mentioned 0% for normal person. That’s not the case I am telling.

  38. vicky

    Can one apply for a Uk or USA credit card from India.
    If yes, can you also please tell the formalities to be completed.


    1. Malavkumar Patel

      You need social security number to apply for credit cards from USA, and you can’t get social security number unless you are moving to USA legally.

  39. Paras

    Hi Siddharth,
    I am looking for a good travel card.(domestic and international) and am looking for these key features besides others….

    No foreign transaction fees
    Zero fraud liability
    Lost luggage insurance
    Rental car insurance
    Travel incident insurance
    Free unlimited Lounge etc.

    These are some of the features which are easily available on cards in the USA etc.Sadly in our country the credit card companies are giving us peanuts for such high costs.(yearly fees and other charges)

    Can you suggest any card which has these features here in India ?
    I have Amex platinum travel and even they don’t have all these features.

  40. zee

    i just completed my masters in physiotherapy and planning to do free lancing and workshops, for which i need to do foreign transactions.
    how can i apply for a credit card.

  41. Amrita Ghosh

    Hi Siddharth,

    I am looking for an international credit for the online international transaction. The only purpose of this card will be to pay the application fees to the universities.
    Can you suggest any card suitable for this purpose? I have checked a few but I found that the annual charges are too high. (SBI, HDFC, and ICICI are preferable as I have A/in these banks)

    Also, I want to know, do I need to pay the annual charges even if I do not make a purchase using it for a year?

    Thank you.

    1. Himanshu


      Yes u need to pay annual fees. You can start with hdfc regalia. 2% markup fee on intl spends. It is generally issued LTF.

  42. Anoop A V

    Hi Siddharth et All,

    Anyone know any zero / close to zero markup fee debit card other than indusind exclusive cards ?

    Thanks/ Anoop

  43. Hardik Parikh

    Wonder whether Yes First Exclusive would find itself now that it has devalued heavily?

  44. Aja

    FALSE MARKUP, Just went on a long long trip to Russia & Abu Dhabi and did a series of experiments “Bought the same 2000 RBU doll again and again to see real price” with the following cards that I had:

    1. Indusind Exclusive Signature Debit Card
    2. HDFC Regalia
    3. HDFC DBC
    4. Yes bank Prefered
    5. SBI Elite


    1. Overcharge of 0.8 % over mark-up
    2. Overcharge of 0.5% over mark-up
    3. Overcharge of 0.5% over mark-up
    4. Overcharge of 0.9% over mark-up
    5. Overcharge of 0.3% over mark-up

    Had called up HDFC and asked them the reason for this and they say it’s the bank exchange rate value correction errors and can max out around 1%.

    It’s really nice to see SBI not being a ass and eating the least but then they do have a 2% mark-up which means equal to Regalia and DCB

    1. Sharathkumar Anbu

      Hi Aja,

      Did you wait for the transaction to be settled? At the time of settlement the rate could differ. We can’t compare based on how much amount is charged during card swipe.

      Did you compare the rates from Visa / Mastercard website and average rates in XE?

    2. Amann

      Please also mention whether the card is Visa or MasterCard. Please also explained how you calculated overcharge.

      Btw, you have a nice card collection .

    3. Shivi

      Hey Aja!

      The card charge reflected on the statement will not be the amount on your charge-slip but the exchange rate on the day that transaction was settled. Also, Visa & DBC charge slightly more fx rate compared to MC. BUT, if you take the Global Value Programme offered by HDFC, your actual difference comes to a meagre Rs.60 extra on every Rs.1 Lakh worth of transactions. IndusInd Exclusive MC/Visa card variants do not charge anything if you use the card to make withdrawals from ATMs abroad (same day/minute settlements); they do charge bit more for PoS transactions. IndusInd Pioneer does not charge extra on both PoS purchases and/or ATM withdrawals.

      I use Infinia for International PoS transactions (with Global Value Prog~ 2% CB over and above MarkUp fees n GST) and IndusInd Exclusive for ATM withdrawals. My backup card is CiTi Prestige for Intl. PoS and SBI debit card for Intl. withdrawals.

  45. Arjun Kelaiya

    I recently did transaction of 1100 USD on my axis My zone visa credit card. xe.com was showing 1 USD = 69.1 INR; So 1100 USD amount to 76010 INR. I was charged Rs.79,874 ; almost 3864 INR which amount to 5.08% markup.

    Should I escalate the mattter to the bank or this is just the way it it is?

    1. Abhishek Roy

      There is no point in escalating as the charges are absolutely correct. XE.com shows you bank wholesale rates. Those rates you won’t ever get with Visa/MC. The latter usually always has 0.5-1.5% higher that the XE.com rates. On top of that you pay 3.5%+ GST as markup fees. This comes down to 4.13% as net markup fees. So it’s safe to assume that you will have to cough up more than 5% over the XE.com rates. That is why we recommend using cards with lower markups like Yes First Cards(1.75%+ GST), HDFC Premium cards like Regalia/Infinia/DCB(2%+ GST) and SBI Elite (1.99%+ GST)

      1. A2Z

        DCB exchange rates are usually 1% higher then Visa
        I transacted on SCB Visa & HDFC Diners on same day & got charged higher on Diners

          1. Swagat Acharya

            While the Yes First Preferred and Exclusive cards have been devalued from April 2019, a good reason to still hold onto these cards is the low 1.75% foreign currency markup, which is perhaps the lowest amongst all credit cards currently out there (do correct me if I am wrong). Not to mention, you also get Priority Pass with complimentary international lounge access and domestic lounge access via MasterCard Lounge Program. International travellers would surely like these features.

          2. Ankur Mittal

            ICICI Emeralde has lowest markup of 1.5%

        1. Anshul

          The FX rate used is that as on settlement date and not transaction date. So it might vary across cards.

  46. Mickey

    Has anyone used the HDFC MakeMyTrip Forex card?

    Good offer going on – 20 paisa discount on exchange rate, and 10x points if card value is > US$ 1,000.

    + Free airport cab voucher

    Sounds good.

    1. Ravi

      Hello guys,

      I have Diners black and Yes exclusive card.

      There is also an offer to get Hdfc MakeMyTrip forex card on zero fees from makemytrip with some ongoing offers.

      Please suggest which card would be most economical in my next international trip (Europe) out of these.

      Thanks in advance !

      1. Ravi

        Siddharth – Your suggestions on my last query for Europe trip would be highly appreciated.

        Please help.

        1. GTMAX

          You can apply for HDFC Regalia ForexPlus card to avoid cross currency markup charges and load with Diners Black Card to get 10x points

  47. Nitasha Rawat

    I have used the below 2 Forex cards for international transactions and would recommend NIYO. But forex card ke liye paisa chahiye bank main pehle se 🙂 (have also used SC ultimate credit card in May 2019, awaiting cash back so that I can write about my experience)

    1. Thomas cook one currency card (used in July & Aug 2018)
    Advantage – Free card, can load only in USD and spend in many currencies directly, Can take out local currency from ATM of the country that you are visiting(could be a charge or free depending upon the bank, I took out MYR and VND), no cross currency markup charges in case of merchant swipe, also exchange rates quite good.
    Disadvantage – To pay service tax and fees on loading card, Load in USD only and then conversion to different currency- you may lose some money in between, takes 1 hour to load money in card.
    Transaction Example – Loading – 5th Aug 2018 – Loaded 500 USD = 34310 INR, Rate – 1 USD = 68.62 INR, Also paid extra 125 INR as service charge and 141 INR as Gross GST for loading card; Spending – 13th Aug 2018 – Spent 40 MYR = 9.78 USD, 1 USD = 4.09 MYR

    2. NIYO – Used in May 2019 (they also open a DCB account with zero balance)
    Advantage – Free card, Load in INR and spend in any currency, No charge on Loading the account with INR, no cross currency markup charges, Conversion rate is quite good, Can use to take out local currency from ATM of the country that you are visiting (can be chargeable or free depending upon the Bank policy…I took out Turkish Lira from Ziraat Bankaasi free of cost), Amount remaining in card post your trip can be transferred back to any of your accounts free of cost. They have an app which shows all details with currency conversion rates used for every transaction and they also do forex adjustment (only on merchant transactions, not atm transactions) and pay you back in case they charge more, Instant loading of account …in like a minute.
    Disadvantage – You will be charged as per currency conversion of the country on that day, so if the currency is fluctuating immensely in a short span, better to have euros n dollars.
    Example of Spending – 20th May 2019 – 58 TRY = 677.77 INR – Rate 1 TRY = 11.69 INR , also for this transaction they added INR 2.08 more on 22 May 2019 due to currency rate exchange mismatch & final merchant settlement.

    You can check historical rates for currency exchange on Google for the above dates.

  48. Sandeep

    Hi Siddharth,

    Travelling to Canada for a week. I have an HDFC Regalia Credit Card that I might consider for international transactions. Would it still make sense to carry forex card (HDFC Regalia Forex Plus) and cash with me? What will be more beneficial? Please let me know. Thanks! 🙂

  49. Garv

    Hello, Sir just wanted to know is there any update about current forex markup charges? My current monthly volume of USD transaction is around $500-600 and I’m using paypal. How can I save maximum amount of money and via which card.
    Please reply as soon as possible.
    Thanks for the great comparison.

  50. jitendra saraogi

    above article needs to be updated suitably with current scenario to inform up to date analysis in this regards.
    thanks in advance.

  51. Subhrasoumya Ghosh

    Being a freelancer I have to buy hosting & other things in USD. I am from India. The biggest issue is everywhere need international credit card.. suggest me anyone.

  52. Soumya

    Hi Sid,

    I am planning to make a forex txn (USD) online, and contemplating as to which card would give me a good value, considering premium above inter-bank rate/forex markup/reward points/cash back.

    I presently hold the following Credit Cards
    i. HDFC DCB (LTF) – GVP registered
    ii. StanC Ultimate & Infinite (LTF)
    iii. Yes YFE (LTF)
    iv. ICICI Sapphiro (LTF)
    v. SBI Elite (LTF)
    vi. Amex Gold Charge

    Please let me know your views.

    1. Naresh Kumar

      How did you manage to get sc ultimate for ltf?
      I even tried asking them for few waiver and they denied even though I have spent more than 60L on their card in a year alone.

    2. Santosh Kumar

      There is a card by RBL called the world safari. Forex charges are 0%. But no reward points in international transaction. But DCB gives 3.3% reward points and charges 1.99 mark up fee.

      I would suggest DCB would be the one to use.

      1. Soumya

        Yea.. But confused between DCB and Ultimate. Infinia would have been no brainer.

        1. DCB – It’s 1.99% markup – 1% cashback (GVP), effectively making the markup at . 99%. However, I have seen is the rate diners charge is ~. 5%-1% higher than MC rate.

        2. Ultimate – It’s 3.5% markup – 1.5% cashback, effectively making the markup at 2%.

  53. Ankit Singhal

    In my opinion you should also add Indusind Celesta Credit Card in the list as they charges 0% markup fees (??) for international expense which is unbeatable comparing any other premium credit card

  54. Govind

    I m going to russia for mbbs which debit card is best for me ????

  55. Naveen Kumar

    Now many cards launched after 2018 which is not in this list. Idfc wealth, indusind celestial etc. if you have time pls research and update this list. Which will help others as well

  56. Jay

    Need to make online payment in USD around 90000inr might go to US in a year.. I’m not eligible for regalia credit card. Only millenia credit card is approved for my account. Can I go with the millenia credit card? Is it worth it? I’m a graduate currently not on any job. Applying for further studies in the US.

  57. Darshdeep Singh Grewal

    What are your views on RBL Bank safari credit card with 0 mark up fee? Please refresh this article as a lot has changed in this segment.

  58. Sidd

    Hey Siddharth, it is time to update this post. There are many new credit cards available in market.

  59. ramesh

    At present which is the best credit card for lowest forex mark up fees ??


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *