Unpacking the new Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card

IndusInd Bank and Club Vistara have come together to launch a new co-branded credit card called Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card. This makes the third partnership for Club Vistara co-branded credit cards, with Axis Bank and SBI Cards already on board as the first and second co-branded card partners.

Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card

With IndusInd Bank, the partnership is different, as compared to the first two partnerships launched. Being the first partner, Axis Bank made a deal to launch cards that straddle the entire spectrum, from entry-level cards to top-of-the-line super-premium products. With SBI Cards, Vistara made a deal that allowed SBI Cards to offer the entry-level and mid-tier cards, but SBI Cards did not enter the super-premium card segment with a Vistara co-brand card. Now, IndusInd enters the market with a top-tier card.

Let’s go over the salient features of the Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card.

  • Welcome Benefits: The Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card comes with goodies and benefits, arguably to justify the INR 40,000 fee it plans to charge in the first year as initiation fees. Here are the benefits it offers for year one:
    • Club Vistara Gold Tier: Unlike the Axis Bank Vistara Infinite Credit Card which offers CV Gold Tier for as long as you held the card, IndusInd Bank provides Vistara Gold membership for the first year of holding the card, subject to having paid the joining fee.
    • Welcome Ticket: You get a complimentary business class ticket voucher (taxes payable) from Vistara on payment of the joining fee, which allows you to book a space-available ticket on Vistara’s domestic network.
    • Vouchers worth INR 25,000: You can choose from various vouchers to receive one from IndusInd Bank:
      • Luxe Gift Card: You can receive vouchers worth INR 25,000 for spends at premium Reliance Brands stores, such as Tumi, Coach,  Satya Paul, Boss, Micheal Kors, Hamleys, Armani Exchange and so on. Vouchers are distributed into INR 5,000 values. Vouchers are valid for six months.
      • Oberoi Voucher: You can choose to receive an Oberoi Hotels, and Resorts stay voucher, which gets you a one-night (room/suite) stay at various Oberoi properties on a double occupancy basis across the country. Each hotel has defined the room/suite they would provide against the vouchers.
      • Vouchers at Multiple Brands worth INR 25,000: Via a voucher generation portal called Vouchagram, IndusInd Bank is offering vouchers at stores such as Charles & Keith, Louis Philippe, Bata, Hush Puppies, Vero Moda, Aldo, William Penn, Titan, Pantaloons, Hidesign, Woodland and UCB.
  • Earning Points: In terms of earning points, you earn Club Vistara Points at the following ratios:
    • Spends on Vistara website/app for direct bookings: 8 CV Points/INR 200 spent. 6 CV Points will be credited immediately, and 2 CV Points 45 days after.
    • Spends on Hotel, Airline, Travel: 6 CV Points/INR 200 spent.
    • Spends on Utility, Insurance, Government Payment, Fuel: 1 CV Point/INR 200 spent
    • All other spends: 2 CV Point/INR 200 spent
  • Milestone Ticket Vouchers: In terms of ticket vouchers, you earn Club Vistara Business Class tickets at every INR 3 Lakh spent up to INR 15 Lakh spends.
  • No Foreign Currency Markup: One of the only cards in the country which is absorbing the FCY markup on spends made abroad.
  • Lounge Access: 16 visits per annum (4 trips per quarter) to international lounges are complimentary by way of a Priority Pass issued, and four visits per annum (1 per quarter) to domestic lounges by way of swiping the card itself at lounges.

The card costs INR 40,000 for the first year, and then INR 10,000 from the second year onwards.

Our Thoughts

The IndusInd Bank co-branded partnership with Vistara is a complicated product structure, much like most IndusInd credit cards are. For instance, back in the day, IndusInd offered a Jet co-brand card where you get more points on the weekend spend than on weekday spends. Here, different categories get different spending, with lifestyle spending getting more points than regular spending.

The card will pay you back the initiation fee in the first year with the INR 25K vouchers and the J Class ticket, but you are on your own from the second year onwards.

What beats me also is that this card is on a Visa Signature platform and not on the Visa Infinite platform, which would have allowed it to draw more perks from the Visa bouquet of network perks (unless there is a plan to launch a super-premium card later).

In this case, Vistara held all the cards in case of the product negotiation. Back in the day, having handed out a sweetheart deal to Axis Bank to provide them with a Vistara Gold membership for cardmembers as long as they held the card, Vistara has not handed out this perk to any other bank anymore. Here, they backed off, but only limiting it to year one rather than as an evergreen benefit.

Bottomline

The Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card offers Vistara Gold membership, a free J Class ticket and Vouchers for Oberoi Stay/ Vouchers for shopping for the first year and up to five tickets on Vistara’s Business Class. Second-year onwards, you only get the milestone benefits and not the welcome benefits. In terms of earning, you get 8 CV Points/INR 200 spent on Vistara spends, 6 CV Points/INR 200 spent on other travel spends, and 2 CV Points/INR 200 spent on regular spending.

What do you make of the Club Vistara IndusInd Bank Explorer Credit Card? What features do you like?

(An earlier version of this article indicated that Axis Bank had discontinued the feature to grant Club Vistara Gold membership on membership fees payment every year. This has been rectified)


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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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Comments

  1. Hi Ajay
    when we use priority pass at domestic or abroad is there a charge that we need to pay. Many banks tout these as a benefit. Hence asking. Thanks a lot

    • @Neeraj, each bank has a different take on it. For instance, Citi Prestige issued Priority Pass offers all domestic + international access free. But most Indian banks and CCs either offer the PP free with each visit being charged 32$ (charged 90 days after the swipe) or domestic chargeable on PP and international free. Important to check the T&Cs on the card website.

      • Thanks a lot Ajay. Few quick updates. I got this card from Axis. There is a festive offer so I had to pay 12k which includes a one way business class ticket with the base fare waived. Also one year gold membership. After one year the gold membership goes off. But with every 3 lakh spend you get one business class base fare waived ticket. I think if someone were to use the offer now, worthwhile. But yes annual fee of 12k with taxes continues. Reward point accrual is low, 1 for every 100 in multiples of 200. My personal favourite is SBI signature Air India. Best reward, tickets are easy to get. I have used it well.

  2. Hi Ajay, I make a lot of hotel bookings for friends or for family (Oberoi,Taj, ITC, similar) on OTAs. Which cc would you suggest to me where I can get max benifits. And how do I get max benifits from these hotel memberships when most of these bookings are not in my name?
    (Treat me as a novice and suggest)

  3. IndusInd always brings half hearted perks across its products be it cc / premium banking.

    Besides,
    @Ajay; Can you list the cards with No Foreign Currency Markup in India ?

  4. Thanks, was waiting since yesterday hoping an article would come up on this.
    one question @ajay, Does Axis Infinite provide Vistara Gold membership every year or only 1st year like IndusInd. If yes then that makes it much more attractive offer.

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