Planning your next international vacation across the world? How about having a Quiet, comfortable space to relax with Wifi, Complimentary drinks & refreshments before your Flight take off ? Welcome to Lounge Class. Airport Lounges are one of the favorite part of my travel as they give unique experience at airports while saving some money on other side.
If you’re an Indian resident, there are two major ways to access the international airport lounges at free of cost by using the credit card perks. The international lounges can be accessed through two main programme:
- Priority Pass
- Diner Club Lounge Programme
Priority Pass is currently the world’s No.1 independent lounge programme that gives access to 1000+ lounges worldwide which means, you can virtually access any lounge with its membership. All you need to access the lounge is a Priority pass card which is given for free as a credit card benefit on some of the premium cards that i’ve listed below.
If you’re new to Priority Pass, check out my Ultimate Guide to Priority Pass Airport Lounge access.
Diners Club Lounge access is next best to Priority Pass and they do have quite good number of lounges in their network. Almost all lounges i’ve been to accept both Diners & Priority pass except rare case where Diners is not accepted. For access via Diners Club all you need is the Diners Club credit card itself which will get you the lounge access directly.
Lets see some of the best credit cards in India which can give you complimentary international lounge access through above two programmes.
Best Credit Cards in India with International Lounge Access Benefit:
1. HDFC Infinia
- Access Via: Priority Pass
- Free Limits: Unlimited (Primary & 3 Add-on cards)
- Read Full Review: HDFC Infinia Credit Card
I love Infinia especially for this benefit. Having this card in hand means guaranteed access to you and your family to any lounge in the world via Priority Pass. I wish i have it soon 🙂
2. HDFC Diners Black
- Access Via: Diners Club
- Free Limits: Unlimited (Primary Only)
- Read Full Review: HDFC Diners Club Black Credit Card
This stands almost in par with Infinia except that the lounge access is given by Diners Club itself. I’ve recently accessed international lounges in Malaysia & Bali with my Diners Black credit card and
add-on card and it works perfectly fine (no more). The visits are not even recorded in the credit card statement.
3. YesBank’s Yes First Exclusive Credit Card
- Access Via: Priority Pass
- Free Limits: Unlimited (both for Primary & Add-on cards)
- Read Full Review: YES First Exclusive Credit Card
New entrant in credit card segment but this should work perfectly well as like any other. Its currently being issued lifetime free and its the right time to grab one.
4. Citi Bank Prestige
- Access Via: Priority Pass
- Free Limits: Unlimited (both for Primary & 4 Add-on cards)
- Read Full Review: Citibank Prestige Credit Card
If you’re happy to pay this card’s annual fee, around Rs.20,000 per annum, know what, you can get upto 4 add-on cards apart from primary card and all has unlimited lounge access benefit through priority pass.
5. HDFC Regalia
- Access Via: Priority Pass
- Free Limits: 6 (shared between Primary & Add-on cards)
- Read Full Review: HDFC Regalia Credit Card
This is one of the most famous credit card in India with which Priority pass card are issued with decent complimentary visits. Recently they allowed sharing the visits with Add-on Card holders as well.
6. HDFC Regalia First
- Access Via: Priority Pass
- Free Limits: 4 (shared between Primary & Add-on cards)
- Read Full Review: HDFC Regalia First Credit Card
A recently introduced variant placed a bit lower than actual Regalia version, comes with 4 complimentary visits, still holds good for one time foreign travelers.
7. HDFC Allmiles
- Access Via: Priority Pass
- Free Limits:
4 (shared between Primary & Add-on cards)Discontinued
- Read Full Review: HDFC Allmiles Credit Card
While most of them struggling to get Priority Pass card on Allmiles Card, HDFC is still issuing it with 4 complimentary visits.
8. YesBank’s Yes First Preferred Credit Card
- Access Via: Priority Pass
- Free Limits: 4 (Primary only)
- Read Full Review: Yes First Preferred Credit Card
Again a new entrant in credit card industry, though its worth it as you can get this card for lifetime free as a temporary promo offer.
9. HDFC Diners Premium
- Access Via: Diners Club
- Free Limits: 6 (Primary only)
- Read Full Review: HDFC Diners Premium Credit Card
Apart from International lounge access, it gives unlimited Domestic lounge access which is a good mix for anyone to choose.
10. HDFC Bank JetPrivilege Diners Club Card
- Access Via: Diners Club
- Free Limits: Unlimited (Primary & 3 Add-on cards)
- Read Full Review: Diners Jet Credit Card
A less known card for many, runs on Diners club platform and good for Jet Airways frequent flyers.
While you have a lot of choices, the best way to pick one is based on the annual fee. If you’re able to get any of the above cards with no annual fee, its a go to card. I prefer to have a mix of one Priority pass card and one Diners Club card so you have a backup in-case the other doesn’t work for some reason or other.
Whats your favorite card for International lounge Access? Feel free to share your thoughts below.
Big fan of your blog and regular reader of your posts. Can you review the RBL cards as well sometime? Reviews of Platinum maxima and Platinum Delight would be really helpful.
Also, I have a limit of 1.85L on HSBC card (had the option of increasing it to 2.47L a few months back but now not being offered) and 2.62L on Regalia (1 month old). Should I go ahead and apply for the Yes Preferred now (card-on-card lifetime free only)? Multiple queries were made on my cibil 1 month back as I applied foolishly for all cards thinking I could reject them later. Wasn’t aware that would affect my profile, my cibil score is still healthy. Please advise.
Nice to hear. I’m ignoring RBL cards due to its joining fees 😀
Well, will review them shortly.
Ofcourse, Yes preferred is a good option as its a lifetime free card.
I have yes bank first business card its same like yes preferred card ?
Is the Yes Preferred lifetime free on a card-on-card basis? I can increase limit on my HSBC card by submitting salary slips but afraid it will lead to a hard inquiry on my cibil. What do you suggest should be done? Also, I don’t have an account with Yes Bank
Generally it wouldn’t put hard inquiry.
I checked one of my friend’s CIBIL report after HDFC limit enhancement request,
HDFC was not displayed in the inquiry list. Looks like they have different type of access.
Sid, small correction- The limits on Yes first preferred is 4 and they are only for primary. For diners premium it’s 5.
Thanks for pointing out. Updated the same 🙂
Great take on the topic. Ofcourse it’s an often asked question. The only mistake in the post is that there are total number of “5” free international lounge access on the Diners Premium Card against the mentioned “4”.
Just updated after seeing the other comment 🙂
Hey sid, does sbi/indian or any such bank credit cards provide lounge access across the world?
No complimentary access ASAIK. SBI cards have just access though via Priority Pass
Regalia and Regalia First have downgraded the number of Free visits in their PP offering. Kindly update the article .
I am holding HDFC Regalia Card and Priority Pass. Unfortunately, it did not help me twice when I tried to use in Toronto Pearson Airport. They asked me to come before 30 minutes to boarding the flight. At Leguardia airport, New York, they did not accept the Priority Pass at all.
Visa Signature cards also provide access ro international lounges. Like Citibank Premier Miles.
It gives access to only Intl Departure lounges located within India. Isn’t it?
If you consider Debit cards then RuPay Premium Debit cards from banks like HDFC and Axis Bank can give 8 free international/national lounge access in a year. Now that’s something from NPCI!! Very few people are aware about this feature.
But i guess its only for Intl departure lounges in India. Right?
No, Rupay Platinum/Premium debit cards allow lounge access (2) times per calendar quarter per card in any of the 27 domestic airport lounges and over 540 International airport lounges.
You’ll be amazed to know that this card comes just for Rs 150+ ST. This is better than most debit cards in India at this fees.
I still wonder what network they use for Rupay Intl lounge access.
I’ve never seen rupay swipe machines or banner promos anywhere in lounges.
RuPay has tie ups with Discover, Diners Club, JCB (Japan), China Union Pay, Pulse. Where ever you see these logos, RuPay cards will be accepted. Sounds interesting now? What say?
I guess it so. Am aware of the diners/discover partnership with Rupay and was digging the Terms & conditions of Rupay card, but it doesn’t mention anything.
Btw, i recently tried charging my Diners on JCB enabled swipe machine in Indonesia but it did not go through.
I have a federal,bank, rupay international platinum debit card,can I use it for free international airport lounges excess?
Exactly. This is because JCB network works only in Japan. That’s why you couldn’t make it go through in Indonesia. Similarly, China Union Pay works only in Mainland China and Pulse network is only for ATM withdrawal and not for POS. However, Diners/Discover is in any part of the world. If you need the link, do let me know on twitter I’ll DM you as links are deleted from the posts here.
Citi Prestige should appear as No.1 as it has unlimited lounge access for 1+5!
AllMiles PPs expire wef from March 1, 2017.
But Prestige has quite high joining fee 🙁
Yes, HDFC is ditching the Allmiles card in full swing 😀
Question – Is priority pass membership a one time thing?
So let’s say I have a PP membership from a credit card and I close this credit card, do I have to apply for a membership again with a different/new credit card or will the existing one be valid?
If CC is closed, PP also gets closed. So yes, you need to get a new one with PP membership. You can also get PP directly from Priority pass itself.
after many requests from HDFC managers, 3 month back I got my first Diners rewardz card , That very day i searched the net for credit card, and surprisingly every question landed me to your page/blog.
So my journey of credit card started with your blog page.
First of all kudos to your blog, its amazing, simple and lucid .
Coming to my card, I got two Diners rewardz card in same pack (one for me, other for my Brother )
later HDFC people issued two more cards (Regalia first) for my brothers account for me and brothers,
now we both are having two cards, Diners rewardz and Regalia first. before reading your blog i thought all credit cards were same.
My question may be silly but i know only you can ans my questions. We (I, Brother, Mom, Friend (having a corel card ICICI) are going to Nepal
1. how can we access lounges in India (we all four)?
2. What is the procedure to access the lounge, I mean, my Diners card is sufficient or do i need priority pass ?
3. How can i avail Priority pass for abroad?
4. I wrote a mail to HDFC (Regalia first ) they sent me a single priority pass (Main card is in name of my brother but PP card i got with MY name embossed on it)
5. should i write mail for diners club also? (mine card being primary, my brothers being secondary Diners card)
6. HDFC sent 2 cards , (e.g My diners and bro secondary Diners, and My bro’s regalia and mine secondary Regalia) These cards (Diners for bro, Realia first for me) called add on card?
7. Why i received PP card ( coz i was add on card holder for regalia, it was from regalia side) and my bro dint? or we two are allowed on this single PP?
Its tough for 4 to access lounges with these 2 cards. You can get multiple add-on on regalia first and use though but you’ll hit the limit fast. Only primary Diners Rewardz has lounge access. All these are already spoken in respective blog post. please check them.
Siddharth great work. Appreciate your work across all cards. Based on your recommendation I applied for Diner Black and received it yesterday. After reviewing your site I realized how much I had been missing out on cards. As I maintained only 1 credit card CITI rewards. Now I can make more out of cards. Thanks to you.
On Lounge access, I have Black with 1 add on but to take my kids along ( below 10) I have to pay for the charge or I shall have another set of credit card to skip the charges. especially when travelling with family abroad or domestic.
Infinia is tempting but way high cut off requirements. any other suggestion where i can get through with minimal.
Glad that i was able to help. For Kids, i guess some lounges allow for free. For others, you might need to pay for them as Add-on Credit card may not be issued for them.
Was searching a card which can give good access to lounge. However to my utter surprise I was not aware that HDFC Bank was giving lounge access over Signature Cards. I am holding the card with high value limit. I do air travel almost 5 times in a quarter. Use HDFC CC for booking air tickets. But till date not received any mailer or information or proactive process where in they can join me in “DEFAULT”. I feel cheated now. I know its my issue coz I was not aware. Now when I am seeing the benefits it says the access is going to be withdrawn w.e.f. March 17. Will you suggest any card on Visa/Master platform which I can take.
Well, you might be knowing the features from catalog or website. They or any bank don’t intimate this as its a feature with Visa. No worries about expiry as they’ll be renewing it usually.
I have the following cards
Citibank Visa Platinum Rewards Card
SC Manhattan Platinum Visa
Do I get access to Mumbai Clipper Lounge also any International Lounges in Europe or US. ?
Hi, I have been last week to Malaysia and Indonesia. While trying to use Diners Black card, Lounge guys were able to swipe primary card but as soon they try for addon card, they couldn’t. Reason being same card number (primary and Add On) . I called HDFC, they informed, valid for primary only. through sharing.
He need to wait for a while and swipe after resetting the txn or something like that. I had similar issue, but then went through when tried after a minute or so.
For HDFC Premium card, is the lounge access valid only for the person whose name is on the card or anyone holding the card?
I have both Regalia and Diners Premium cards. Is it possible to use both the cards at the same lounge at the same time ? Will it work ?
I have both Regalia and Diners Premium cards. Is it possible to use both the cards at the same lounge at the same time ? Will it work ? Appreciate your views on this.
I used both Cards at the same time and it worked.
I am a NRI and have credit cards issued in UAE, I was able to use it in UAE Airports. However, In india none of my card worked. Would you suggest me some cards which I can take to use in Indian Airports.
You can get Rupay platinum debit card on your NRE/ NRO account and you will be eligible for 3 lounge visits every quarter.
Shouldn’t Diner’s Premium be ranked above Regalia and Regalia First?
Due to its overall acceptance, its in that place 🙂
Let me thank you for the efforts on answering questions. I am following your blog for quite some time, very useful.
I am holding Diners Black, with the recent changes in Lounge facilities, please comment on complimentary access for add-on.
I guess its still allowed as no one reported of being denied.
Has any one use Premium rupay debit card for international lounge access.
I am an NRI and having NRI account with Axis bank. Do I have any option for Axis creditcard with good international and domestic(India) lounge cards.
Do hdfc diners black and jet diners both allow primary+supplementary card holders free access?
It does, but not officially and cannot rely 100% as it maybe revoked at any point of time. Hence, you got to play safe!
There is another product from HDFC called Business regalia first. I want to know which one is better – Regalia or business regalia first considering that I want to access lounges primarily
Limits are same.
Hello Mr.Siddharth , have been visiting your blog for getting a creditcard for myself especially for lounge access, unfortunately as a home-maker I only have SBI SimplySave Pro credit card, just wanted to know, what would I have to do to get a premium credit card with lounge and dining benefits as a Home-maker in mind?
Without even informing me, the payment accepted by HDFC bank declared as settled long back. My CIBIL score affected for issue of credit cards only by any other bank. My present CIBIL Score is more than 825 and I am getting other loans regularly with good payment track except credit cards due to remark from HDFC Cards. Now I am planning abroad tour with my family and I may require to avail free launge access at some of the air ports. Please advise which bank will issue a credit card with launge access facility.
Can we have lounge access at final destination on arrival (without boarding pass for a departing flight) ? Is this possible on domestic arrivals ? Please throw some light on it, if there are any lounges on arrivals terminals and do we have access.
In India, you get a good lounge access only at departures!
Only Delhi has arrivals lounge (T3 both domestic & intl) where they give biscuits and tea with very small lounge area. Terminal itself is good btw.
Hyderabad has transit lounge but u need to have flight within 24 hrs to be able to access it.
There are arrival lounges in some airports. For example Delhi airport does have a couple of arrival lounges accessible by PP. But they are few and far between except for the larger airports.
Yes-there are arrival lounges in most airports, though they are more coffee shops than actual lounges. Delhi has Plaza Premium arrival lounge in T1 and T3. Siddharth has reviewed Hyderabad arrival lounge in the blog. Diners and Amex provide free access to most.
Delhi has an arrival lounge but there is hardly any thing there , just tea coffee and softdrinks…its just sort of a waiting room
Yes in delhi there is arrivals lounge at t3 but you must have boarding pass of the flight u got off from
I have Diners Black (Primary & Add-on).. Used Add-on in MSP airport & got charged for the add-on. Now Diners’s HDFC website says that it is complimentary only for Primary holder. Never knew when this change happened – wasn’t informed either/.
Is any of you aware of this change?
You’re the 2nd to report it. I’m yet to use Add-on for access in past 1Yr, so couldn’t comment.
So it appears that the change is now effective.
Ok, thanks. Will try discussing this with RM.
I read somewhere on this website. Diners Add-on lounge access is available only for domestic lounger and didnt work on international lounger.
I personally using dinersblack add on card in domestic lounges without any issue.
apart from priority pass and diners if any Indian credit card has access to international airport lounges directly?
your early response will be much appreciated.
as i am leaving for Bangkok on 23rd early morning.
thanks in advance.
I am 69 years as on date, which credit cards are available for me and can I get domestic and international lounge access.
Hi! Just came back from a multi sector International trip. Me and my wife both have HDFC regalia. I have Yes exclusive as well, and my wife the add on to it, which has same lounge benefits as the primary card. Now, we have an 8 yrs. old daughter, so I tried using the 2nd card for my daughter. Here’s the experience-
A) Domestic: 2 different bank cards for the same person if they are from same company – ie. 2 Master Cards/ 2 Visa Card- Not accepted. My wife had both masters, and machine declined the 2nd card attempt. However, 2 Different bank cards from 2 different companies- i.e. 1 Master/1. Visa: Accepted. No problem – I had HDFC Visa, and Yes Bank Master, it was accepted. Another option for me was to use priority pass from Yes Bank even in domestic lounge as it is still not charged. That would have worked.
B) International Lounges: Now this was very tricky. 1st PP card for both of us were swiped, and accepted. However, the 2nd PP Card was not accepted for both. Now, I have an add on Diners Club Black from my father. Tried that for my daughter- It was accepted (even though it was an add on, and the HDFC site clearly states Lounge Visit for only the primary members). May be in International lounges it is accepted, though I’ve not tried it in Domestic lounge. Also, I’m hoping they don’t charge me on Diners Black for the lounge access, though I see that as a very minute possibility. One more thing, for Diners club, they still use the old manual machine to swipe, which just takes the impression of your card and validate it later. It wasn’t the electronic machine, so there is no way for them to know if it is Primary or Add On card. From my perspective, I truthfully told them that this is an add on card and I’m not sure it is accepted. Their reply- no problem sir! (I really do hate to cheat, and not telling them would make me guilty of cheating, but now I’m not). 😀
P.S.: Sorry for the long post, hope it helps some fellow travellers. It’s my way of saying thanks to you people managing this site- probably the best site with genuine information on the best credit cards available in India with such in depth coverage and practical information from actual user experiences. Good job guys.
Thanks RM. Could you please tell me if HDFC charged for the swipe on Diners Add-on Card?
No. It wasn’t. 😉
RM – Hi, I tried to understand your post but unable to!
“2 different bank cards for the same person if they are from same company – ie. 2 Master Cards/ 2 Visa Card- Not accepted” –
I have used my ICICI Master card and my HDFC MasterCard at the same time and got in with my wife at the domestic lounge. The reception just swiped the cards on 2 different machines. Rs 25 was charged which gets reversed within a few hours.
I can only say that you’re lucky! I was clearly told that 2nd card is denied. Infact, I had issued the Yes Exclusive Card in Initials for our names (ie., N Surname instead of Name Surname- which is in our HDFC cards) thinking it may help in such scenarios. But… I was too naive. The moment they swiped, they knew our full names, and informed that access was denied due to the other card being swiped earlier. Btw, when did you try it worked- My experience was in May-June 2018, at Delhi T3.
Observed the same at Above gorund level lounge in Bangalore. They are not accepting citing the same reason
IMO SBI Elite can get a spot in this list. Actually better than the bottom few.
SBI Elite is mostly issued in Visa variant only. As of now VISA has only 5 domestic lounges viz., Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. Further the number of visits in a quarter are2 only.
SBI does not provide any free international lounge access. Only PP membership is complimentary
One has to pay annual fee of Rs 5000/- ( waiver is possible if spend target of 10 lakhs is achieved, which is very high when compared to competitors)
@ ravi – I have SBI Elite in “MasterCard World” Variant and the PP has 6 lounge visits free per year via SBI Elite card internationally (maximum 2 per quarter). This is, however, for the first 2 years of card membership only. Did you even read the TnC booklet that came with the SBI Elite credit card? 🙂
I have never had problem in lounge access. Most of the times i swipe 3 cards in my name for access and occasionally my wife’s card. They hardly check seeing a family and this time they let my daughter who is 5 years old free entry in Delhi airport, the lady smiled and said i am making an exception enjoy your stay here.
I don’t think HDFC Regalia allows Lounge access within India. Probably this is a recent update and this article might be dated. Also, it is a pain to go through their customer care to get the Priority Pass membership card.
I prefer MasterCard for the lounge access- However, these are restricted 2 visits per quarter.
Let me add the two cents of a banker and a card afficianado:
1) Check the add-on card’s and primary card’s first 6 digits. If both are same, both the cards will get lounge access irrespective of what the card issuer website claims.
2) Only exception to point no 1: If last 4 digits are also same for both add-on and Primary, then only one card will work at a time.
I had recently visit t3 lounge , where they denied me with hdfc regalia . Told me that go to a separate lounge for regalia.
I am afraid to go for that lounge , with such short of time & not sure about the services
Feels very humiliating
The AddOn Lounge Access by Diners Black has been discontinued. Pl update.
As on Date – Only the primary card gets Unlimited Visits
Can I use Visa International Debit Card for Lounge in Kiev boryspil airport? Pl revert back soon
No you cant
Sir, can I use union bank of India platinum visa debit card for Dubai airport lounges
Hello, any recent update on Top cards which are best to use in international airport for lounge access. As Im frequent flyer with multiple destination, in some of the non famous airports lounges even the priority pass are not accepted so end up paying the charges, is there any alternative for such scenarios. Thanks
Which “non famous lounges” are you referring to? Ask the reception desk over their which cards they accept.
Mostly its one of the four International passes – Most popular Priority Pass or more recent Dragon Pass or exclusive American Express Lounges or the lesser known Lounge pass.
If none of the afore-mentioned cards are accepted in that lounge then its a Regional Lounge and most certainly going to be made for intra-country airlines business class fliers or Regional bank credit card holders only.
Very informative article.
Just need to check whether HDFC regalia card provides free lounges access in airport of Bali and Malaysia?
Great post . If I apply for. Hdfc regalia card do I have to complete 2 cycles before i use it for international lounge access ??
I am traveling in 2 months which is the card you would suggest without completing 2 cycles.
You don’t need to complete 2 cycles. You just need to ask for a Priority Pass card and use that card for international lounge. Don’t use Regalia directly in international lounges as that is chargeable!
If leaving in short period better apply for diners club miles card. As lounge feature is inbuilt within the card you wont have to wait for them to send priority pass.
Because hdfc send pp after few conditions, check them in regalia post.
I would like to know if there are any SBI credit cards that offer Priority Pass membership including lounge access
I already hold a HDFC Regalia First but it allows only myself,I need another card for my wife
Only Primary Cardholders are eligible for Priority Pass with all SBI cards including Prime & Elite. This might change with their upcoming new credit card.
Apply for addon card and then priority pass for addon in your current card or try upgrading your card to regalia (for more no. of visits).
SBI Prime/Elite offers priority pass with complimentary lounge access for primary cardholder (addon i m not sure).
I think addo card don’t make a difference,iam I’m not wrong I read somewhere on this forum itself that add-on card doesn’t give the lounge access to the card holder
Im looking to get a credit card, although HDFC Diners was my topmost choice, HDFC isnt accepting new applications for any credit cards. So apart from that, what credit card is suggested to get? My primary purpose is lounge access or any travel benefits and not a lot of other transactions in general.
ICICI MMT Signature Credit Card will serve the purpose. You will get 2 complimentary domestic airport lounge access per quarter by spending Rs 5000 in the previous quarter and 1 complimentary Railway lounge access per quarter. 1 International Airport lounge visit per annum is complimentary through Dreamfolks Pass. 1 Spa visit (30 minute session) per annum at Domestic airports is also there. Double MMT membership for 1 year is complimentary. You can cancel hotel and flight bookings twice in a year without any charges. You will get hotel booking voucher worth Rs 2500 and Rs 1500 in your MMT Wallet. All this for me one time fee of Rs 2500+GST.
I am NRI, I want to apply for a CC against FD. Which bank card will be the best for me? I want international lounge access with the card.
Does anyone have the dreamfolks URL where we can manage saved cards and check past lounge access log