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Vistara Indusind Explorer credit card – Detailed Review

Club Vistara Indusind Explorer Credit Card

“Club Vistara Indusind Explorer” credit card is a new offering from Indusind Bank in partnership with Air Vistara . The Vistara Indusind credit card targets affluent frequent flyers, clearly seen in the joining and annual fees. Let’s “explore” the features of the Vistara Indusind Explorer credit card.

Vistara Indusind Explorer credit card

Snapshot

Indusind Explorer Snapshot

What did I like about the Vistara Indusind Explorer credit card?

  • 5 Business class vouchers on spending 15lakhs: You can get 5 business class vouchers on Vistara Indusind Explorer credit card on spending 15lakhs in a year. The good thing is you can get a voucher for every 3lakh spend. Thus, if we assume an average business-class fare at 25k, then for every 3lakh spend we get 8% value + CV points. However, the downside here is these vouchers have limited validity (around 1-year). Thus if you don’t travel frequently (like me) then these vouchers may not be of much use.
  • International lounge access: While the domestic lounge access at just 2 per quarter seems very inadequate, however, 4 international lounge access per quarter appears sufficient for a frequent flyer.
  • EazyDiner offer of 3000 off, twice a year: The Vistara Indusind Explorer credit card has this excellent offer from the EazyDiner app, where you get a flat 3000 off on dinner bill at any restaurant, twice a year. So total benefit of 6000 every year from this offer alone.
  • BMS Offer: The Vistara Indusind Explorer credit card also offers a BOGO offer from BookMyShow of up to 700 per month. You can avail of this offer twice a month. Further, to this, you will also get 100 off on F&B for every 2 tickets booked. This means those pricey caramel popcorns during movies may just become a bit more affordable. 🙂
  • Zero foreign currency mark-up: This is super beneficial for those who have sizable foreign currency spends. No currency mark-up can alone save you 2-3.5% on your forex spends.
  • No late-payment fee and no cash advance fees: This is good for those one-offs, where we forget to make a bill payment on time or need cash for some emergency. However, remember that the bank is only waiving off the fee and not the interest applicable.

What I didn’t like?

  • Low reward rate: The Vistara Indusind Explorer credit card has a tiered structure for earning CV points and you can earn 8 CV points spends on Vistara Airlines and 6 CV points on travel/hotel related spends. However, outside of that the base rate of just 2 CV points per 200 spend is very low. Further, you only get 1CV point for spends done on utility/insurance etc. Even, if I value 1CV point at INR1, then it gives a 1% value, much lower than entry-level cards.
  • Vistara Gold for only 1 year: This credit card offer complimentary Vistara Gold membership, which offers priority check-in, additional baggage allowance and lounge access among other benefits listed here. However, the Gold membership is valid only for a year and second year onwards one has to meet the eligibility criteria for the same. This is a downer given that Axis Infinite card offers complimentary Vistara Gold membership over the life of the card.
  • High joining fees: The Vistara Indusind credit card comes with a hefty joining fee of 40k+GST. Though it makes up for it by giving 25k vouchers + 1 business class voucher; but please remember one has to pay the tax component of ~8k. Therefore, the joining fees is nearly 50k and not 40k.

Comparing with Axis Vistara Infinite card

It’s quite obvious that the Vistara Indusind Explorer credit card will evoke comparison with the Axis Vistara Infinite card; given that both are Vistara co-branded cards and target the same customer segment. Below is a quick comparison of these cards.

Axis Infinite-Indusind Explorer Compare

In terms of deciding which credit card is better, I did some math as shown below. In the comparison, the Indusind Explorer does appear to give a better reward rate than the Axis Vistara Infinite card. However, the difference is not very large.

I am incorporating an editable excel sheet below. Here you can modify the spends across categories and check on-the-fly the changes in the reward rate. Only the  input columns in Light Yellow are editable. Do let me know your views on this feature. If you find it useful will incorporate the same in all future posts.

Indusind Explorer credit card compares favourably to Axis one only because of the 5th business class voucher. In case you don’t travel frequently on routes where Vistara has deployed business class then it’s better to go with Axis Vistara Infinite credit card. The reason being, CV points earning potential of Axis card is much better than Indusind’s one.

Conclusion

The Vistara Indusind Explorer credit card does give a better reward rate than the Axis Vistara Infinite credit card, but that is only due to the 5th business class voucher on spending 15lakh per annum. At lower spend levels Axis Vistara Infinite card fares better.

However, if I have to choose between the two, I would prefer Axis Vistara Infinite credit card to Explorer credit card, because it gives me more CV points earning opportunities on regular spending, especially the daily spends of utility, insurance etc. I can use these CV points for free tickets/flight upgrades not only for domestic travel but also for international travel.

Do let me know your views on Indusind Explorer card. Eager to know which card is best for accumulating Club Vistara points? Also, do let me know your view on the new excel feature.

Photo courtesy: Dominik Scythe on Unsplash 

8 Comments

  1. Uber Rider

    Admire your hard work in putting together such a detailed and comprehensive review.

  2. Joyce

    I always liked the way you showed the calculations unlike other experts who assume that everyone understands “rate of return of rewards” etc. Good work Harsh bhai. 🙌🏿

  3. Murali Krishna

    Can you re-confirm if there is the annual benefit of 1 business class voucher on paying annual fee on axis vistara infinite card?

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