Axis Vistara credit cards are co-branded credit cards of Axis Bank in partnership with Vistara Airlines. Axis Bank offers 3 variants of Axis Vistara cards, Axis Vistara, Signature and Infinite. As the names suggest, the Infinite variant is the top-notch variant. In this article, I have penned down my views on Axis Vistara credit cards and their comparison with the Axis Atlas and the Axis Magnus.
Axis Vistara Credit Cards
Thoughts about Axis Vistara Credit Cards
All the Axis Vistara credit cards have a similar structure, with 1 free ticket upon joining. Based on your spending you get up to 4 more free tickets. Thus in all up to 5 free tickets. Varying level of Club Vistara membership and Club Vistara (CV) points on your spending. Obviously, the higher card variant (Vistara Infinite) has higher fees and more benefits compared to the base level card.
Great for bulky spends:
Axis Vistara credit cards’ milestones are based only on spending. Thus, hypothetically, you can spend 12 lakhs on Axis Vistara Infinite in one single day and get the 4 business class tickets. This is particularly useful for a few bulky spends running into lakhs. Further, while Axis Vistara credit cards neither give CV points on rent and wallet nor count them for milestones, however, tax payments are still considered. Thus for many self-employed who need to pay advance tax in a specific month, Axis Vistara cards can be particularly helpful. Further there are many times when we have bulky spends in a month; that is where these cards can be helpful.
Tier memberships – Vistara Gold is helpful
Vistara Infinite and Vistara Signature give you CV gold and CV silver membership complimentary along with the card. The good point is your CV membership remains valid until the time you hold the card and pay annual fees.
While the Vistara Silver is mediocre, the Vistara Gold membership that comes with Vistara Infinite is helpful if you are a frequent flier. It gives you priority boarding, increased baggage allowance and a rescheduling fee waiver. Further, it also priority boarding and increased baggage allowance on Singapore Airlines flights.
Not to forget, both Silver and Gold give you complimentary one-class upgrade vouchers. What it means is, if you have an economy class ticket by using the vouchers you can upgrade to premium economy. A premium economy ticket can be upgraded to Business class. All these are obviously subject to availability. 😁
Just 2 lounge access per quarter
This is surprising that Axis and Vistara have launched a frequent flier credit card with only 2 complimentary lounge access per quarter. This is abysmally low. Effectively forcing their cardholders to hold some other card too if they want entry into the lounge.
The reward rate is low compared to Magnus
Axis Vistara Infinite gives 6 CV points for every 200 spent. Further, there are no accelerated earnings on these cards. This is particularly low when compared to Axis Magnus (Apply Now) which gives 9.5 CV points (80% of 12 Edge RPs) for every 200 spent. For Magnus, I have just considered the base reward rate and haven’t even taken into account any monthly bonus, grab deals, travel edge, Gfytr etc. Considering that Axis Vistara Infinite has a fee similar to that of Axis Magnus (Apply Now), I believe it should at least give 8 CV points for every 200 spent.
Since Axis Vistara Infinite, the most premium Axis Vistara credit card gives lower reward points than Axis Magnus, no point in extending this discussion to other Axis Vistara cards.
One weird TnC
While reading the T&Cs for the Axis Vistara credit card I came across this weird condition. It states that no CV points are credited for fuel transactions on Axis Vistara Infinite credit card. Does that mean that one gets CV points for fuel transactions on other Axis Vistara cards? Is anyone holding these cards? Please throw some light.
Comparing Axis Vistara cards with others
Obviously, every card gets compared to Axis Magnus (Apply Now) nowadays. However, since Axis Vistara cards are airmiles credit cards, I have also compared them with Axis Atlas (Apply Now). Below is the Excel calculator that shows typical reward points that you may earn on these cards.
The result is not surprising that Axis Magnus (Apply Now) is still a better card than Axis Vistara Infinite card. However, what is surprising is the kind of outperformance Magnus gives. To put it in words, considering you spent 12lakhs on Magnus with 10 months where your spends were 1lk+. The total Edge Reward points you earn are 3.22lk (72k regular Edge Rewards + 2.5lk bonus Edge Rewards). Here not taking into account GrabDeals, Gfytr and Travel Edge benefits. These when converted to CV points will give you 2.57lk CV points. Typically, you get a business class ticket on Vistara for 18k CV points, which means your 2.57lk CV points give you 14 business class tickets on Vistara.
Compare that to the Axis Vistara Infinite card. You get 5 business class tickets in a year based on milestones and 36k CV points on 12lk spends (equivalent to 2 business class tickets). Thus, while Magnus gives you 14 business class tickets Axis Vistara Infinite gives you only 7. The choice is obvious.
However, surprisingly Axis Atlas (Apply Now) comes out as a dud even against the base variant. That’s mainly because the transfer ratio of Edge Miles to Vistara is at 1:1 against a 1:2 ratio against a host of other airlines.
Axis Vistara credit cards are underwhelming credit cards with relatively low reward rates when compared to Axis Magnus (Apply Now). However, as highlighted earlier, if you have a few bulky spends bunched up in a month running into lakhs then Axis Vistara may make sense for you.
Further, as discussed earlier Axis Magnus gives 14 business class tickets compared to 7 tickets on Axis Vistara Infinite for the same spending and fees; just shows how unsustainable the rewards program for Axis Magnus (Apply Now) is. Enjoy it while it lasts. 😉
In the interest of full disclosure, Credit Cardz may earn a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the links in this post. However, opinions and views expressed here are of the author's alone and not those of the bank, credit card issuer, or anyone else and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.