Guide to Credit Cards and Loyalty in India.

Now that Jet Airways is gone, Vistara is the only full-service carrier that people can count on (apart from Air India, which I'm not a fan of). So, when they decided to launch a co-branded card with Axis, I was extremely eager to get it.

Given their poor eDGE rewards program, the Vistara cards are the only ones worth considering. Axis offers three variants of its Vistara co-branded card. In this review, I will talk about Vistara Infinite, the top-of-the-line offering that comes with an annual fee of ₹10,000/- plus taxes.

Vistara Business Class upgrade using voucher.
Vistara Buisness Class on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Application Process:

Two Coins Rating

My first credit card ever was with Axis, and since then not much has changed in terms of the application process. Even after having an excellent credit score, income way above the required threshold, and a few business class trips on Vistara. I got 3 rejections over the year with no clear answer.

They really need to train their staff in order to make sure the information they hand over is correct, they added incorrect information in my CIBIL profile with spelling mistakes in the office address and the company name.

On my 4th attempt, I shared my experience on Twitter and somebody from their team reached out to me to get it looked into and I finally managed to get the card.

Welcome Bonus:

Five Coins Rating

The Vistara Infinite is quite generous in terms of the welcome gifts. Here are the welcome gifts you get on payment of the annual fee:

  1. Club Vistara Gold Membership
  2. One business class voucher
  3. 10,000 CV Points (On spending ₹1L within 90 days)

Apart from this, you also get two domestic business class upgrade vouchers and two lounge access vouchers as Club Vistara Gold membership perks.

I like the perks offered. They do make up for the annual fee that comes on this card. For somebody who frequently travels on Vistara, the Gold status alone can make up for the membership fee.

On-Going Benefits:

Four Coins Rating

The ongoing benefits of the Vistara Infinite card are not as versatile as those offered by Amex Platinum or HDFC DinersBlack card. They do give some great benefits to frequent flyers.

Club Vistara Gold Membership with Axis Vistara Infinite.
Club Vistara Gold Membership with Axis Vistara Infinite.

Club Vistara Gold

You get Club Vistara's Gold tier as long as you hold the card. It comes with some great benefits and can help you earn CV miles and save on your travel.

  1. CV Points: Earn 10 CV points per ₹100 spent on Vistara. You also get additional 6 CV points for every ₹200 spent on the card.
  2. Vouchers: Gold members will earn three One-Class Upgrade vouchers on renewing their tier status. These vouchers can be used to get a confirmed upgrade to the next cabin class.
  3. Priority Connect: This is one of my favorite features, customer support for most airlines can be very frustrating, however from my experience with Vistara's dedicated support desk there's virtually non-existent wait time.
  4. 48hr Guaranteed Reservation: Gold members are entitled to a guaranteed seat in Economy Class. A request must be raised at least 48 hours prior to departure, in any sector flown by Vistara. This benefit is applicable only when you're unable to secure a seat in the Business Class or Premium Economy.
  5. Rescheduling Fee Waiver: Gold members can make changes to their existing direct bookings at no additional charge. This benefit can be used for up to 1 change per booking for travel within India, up to 24 hours prior to departure. Fare difference will be applicable.
  6. Priority Checkin and Boarding: For heavy traffic sectors, this can save you a lot of headaches and skip queues. The Gold Members can use the Business Class counter for check-in. Apart from this you also get Priority Baggage handling.
  7. Baggage Allowance: Gold members are entitled to a 10kg additional check-in baggage allowance over and above the check-in baggage entitled to your cabin class. You also get 1pc check-in baggage for Economy-lite fare within and outside India.
  8. Perks on Singapore Air: With Club Vistara Gold, you get perks like additional baggage, priority check-in, business class lounge access when flying Singapore Air. You may read more about them here.

Milestone Benefits

The card offers spend-based milestones. You get a free Business Class ticket for each milestone. Not something that'll benefit everyone; Even those with higher spending may not find it valuable to use this card for all their spending.

  1. Spend ₹1,00,000 - 10,000 CV Points (First year only)
  2. Spend ₹2,50,000 - 1 Business Class ticket
  3. Spend ₹5,00,000 - 1 Business Class ticket
  4. Spend ₹7,50,000 - 1 Business Class ticket
  5. Spend ₹10,00,000 - 1 Business Class ticket

For me, business class for domestic travel doesn't make much sense for most routes, except those with their Boeing 787 or the new Airbus 321. You do get all the other perks with the Gold membership even when you're flying economy.

For the first year, you get good returns by spending ₹250,000/- This will give you the following.

  1. 2 Business class tickers: ~₹30,000
  2. Welcome Bonus (10,000 CV Points): ₹7,000
  3. Spends (7500 CV Points) : ₹5250

Total Returns: ₹42,250 comes out to roughly ~16.9%. Also, this doesn't include the value of upgrade vouchers and lounge access. One can manage to get as much as 22% back on this card for the first 2.5 lakhs.

Please note, this probably only makes sense for frequent flyers and domestic business class travelers.

Lounge Access

Lounge perks are not that great for this card. You get access using the Visa network. Currently, they're offering only two complimentary lounge access per quarter. The complete list of lounges is available here.

However, you can use your Club Vistara Gold membership as well to access their partner lounge.

Get lounge access with Axis Vistara Infinite card.
Get lounge access with Axis Vistara Infinite card.

Golf Benefits

Often a not-so-popular perk, you also get Six Complimentary Rounds of Golf at some of the most popular clubs across India. If you're somebody who's a regular player, you have one more way to get the value out of this card. You can find the complete list of available clubs here.

Travel Insurance

Another valuable perk that comes with this card is travel insurance. Though this doesn't cover everything, it's good to have in certain situations and may save you some money. Here's what you get:

  1. Loss of Travel Documents: $300
  2. Delay of Check-in baggage: $300
  3. Loss of Check-in baggage: $500
  4. Lost Card Liability Protection: INR 3,00,000

You can read the complete list of terms and conditions here.

Dining and Experiences

The card offers up to 20% discount at various restaurants through their Axis Diners Delight program. They do have some good restaurants on the list, though the discounts are not exceptional given there are so many alternatives available.

Axis Bank Dining Delight offers.
Axis Bank Dining Delights Offers.

Reward on Spends:

Three Coins Rating

The Infinite variant of the Vistara co-branded card offers 6 CV points per ₹200 spent. Along with that, you get a fuel surcharge waiver as well. Here are a few terms and conditions to keep in mind:

  • The CV Points are credited for eligible spend within ten working days from the statement generation date.
  • No CV Points are credited for fuel transactions.
  • Any reversal of transaction or conversion of a transaction to EMI will lead to the reversal of CV Points for the particular transaction.
  • No CV Points are credited for transactions through wallet load.

You can maximize your earnings by using this card for booking Vistara flights. You'll earn miles for the flight as well as for the transaction. Here are the calculations for a sample itinerary:

Delhi to Bangalore (Premium Economy): ₹10,000 Round Trip

  • CV Points for Flight: 1000 (Club Vistara Gold Tier)
  • CV Points for Transaction: 300

Total Value: ~₹910 is a decent value.

Also, you don't pay any convenience fee for the booking on the official site.

Final Words:

Four Coins Rating

India has limited full-service carriers. Axis Vistara Infinite has positioned itself as the only card that caters to the premium frequent flyers in the domestic market. It is an excellent card for those who fly Premium Economy or Business Class. The Club Vistara Gold membership alone is an excellent proposition and comes with some of the best.

What are your thoughts on the cards? Share your experiences and questions in the comments below. If you like my work, please follow me on Twitter or Instagram.

Disclaimer: Rights to the assets used in this article are owned by the respective companies. BrownPoints doesn't claim ownership of any of those assets and only uses them for demonstration purposes.

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