Best Credit Cards for Railway Lounge Access

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Newly opened IRCTC Executive Lounge at Varanasi Railway Station (Image Source Ministry Of Tourism/Twitter)

If you’re a frequent traveller by Indian Railways and fed up with the poor quality food and unhealthy snacking options available both on stations and while aboard then this article will change your lack of enthusiasm into excitement for rail travel. What if I tell you that you can get unlimited food, comfortable seating with a relaxed environment, and free premium wi-fi for free at railway stations? Excited?! Well, That’s what you get in a Railway Lounge.

IRCTC has launched several executive lounges on select railway stations and is expanding the service rapidly into smaller cities also. And to access these lounges complimentary you need the right set of cards in your wallet. 

Facilities offered under Complimentary Railway Lounge Access

Following are the facilities mentioned on the IRCTC website which must be given for complimentary access. Generally, these lounges have been outsourced to private catering companies or hotels and the quality of facilities may vary.

  •  Two hours’ of lounge stay in normal seating.
  •  Breakfast or Lunch or Dinner as per the time of visit and as per the offering by lounge operator at that particular time of visit.
  •  Unlimited tea & coffee with cookies.
  •  Free Wi-Fi.
  •  Newspaper & magazine.
Lunch Menu at IRCTC Executive Lounge at Jaipur Railway Station

Any additional service such as recliners or more shall be chargeable separate as per the operator price for that service.

Recliners in IRCTC Executive Lounge at Jaipur Railway Station are available for ₹349 for 2 hours.

List of Lounges at Railway Stations

LoungeRailway StationLocation
Executive LoungeNew DelhiFirst Floor, Platform No 1
Travellers Executive LoungeNew DelhiPlatform No 16
Executive LoungeMadurai JnPlatform No 1
Executive LoungeJaipurPlatform No 1
Executive LoungeAgraPlatform No 1
Executive LoungeAhmedabadPlatform No 1
Executive LoungeVaranasiPlatform No 1
Executive LoungeSealdahFirst Floor, Platform No 1

The list is dynamically changing and will be updated from time to time. Also, keep in mind that lounges that have recently opened may not offer complimentary access due to tie-up issues as faced recently in October 2021 by one of our readers at Executive Lounge at New Delhi Railway Station located at Platform No 1 and the lounge located at Sealdah Railway Station. I hope IRCTC will resolve this issue soon. Till then we urge our readers to escalate this issue with IRCTC through various channels.

How to Avail Complimentary Railway Lounge Access

  • Cardholder to present his valid/active credit card and valid train travel ticket at the entrance of participating lounge to avail the benefit.
  • A transaction of ₹2 would be done by the lounge operator as non-refundable card validation charges.
  • Cardholders would be given access to the Railway Lounge. 
  • Any guests without an eligible card would be charged as per prevailing lounge access rate.
Lounge Area at Jaipur Railway Station

Cardholder is entitled for a visit before the journey that is at the onboarding station only. Though it is mentioned on the IRCTC website that a valid ticket is necessary but general feedback on this has been that they are hardly checking the train tickets to maybe increase the footfall and thus revenue of the operator. So you can try accessing the lounge at the station at which you are de-boarding also.

Eligible Cards

Let’s have a look at all the cards which currently offer Railway Lounge access in India. Currently, no debit card in India is giving complimentary access to railway lounges. So only credit cards make up the list. Further, the list is very comprehensive and also provides an idea about the fees of the card.

1. ICICI Bank Coral*
ICICI Coral Mastercard Credit Card

Variant : VISA/MasterCard
Limits: One complimentary access per quarter
Joining Fee: ₹500 + GST
Annual Fee: ₹500 + GST (Waived off on annual spends of 1.5L)
*Co-branded ICICI Coral credit cards are excluded.

2. ICICI Bank MakeMyTrip Platinum

Variant: Visa Platinum
Limits: One complimentary access per quarter
Joining Fee: ₹500 + GST
Annual Fee: NIL

3. ICICI Bank MakeMyTrip Signature
ICICI MakeMy Trip Signature Credit Card

Full Review
Variant: Visa Signature
Limits: One complimentary access per quarter
Joining Fee: ₹2500 + GST
Annual Fee: NIL

4. ICICI Bank Rubyx
ICICI Rubyx AMEX Credit Card

Variant: VISA/MasterCard
Limits: Two Visits/ Quarter
Joining Fee: ₹3000 + GST
Annual Fee: ₹2000 + GST (Waived off on annual spends of 3 Lacs)

5. SBI IRCTC Premier

Variant: VISA Signature
Limits: 8 Visits/Year (Maximum 2 Visits/Quarter)
Joining Fee: ₹1500 + GST
Annual Fee: ₹1500 + GST (Waived off on annual spends of 2 Lacs)

6. SBI IRCTC Rupay

Variant: Rupay Platinum
Limits: 4 Visits/Year (Maximum 1 Visits/Quarter)
Joining Fee: ₹500 + GST
Annual Fee: ₹300 + GST

7. IDFC First Bank Credit Cards
Accessing IRCTC Travellers Executive Lounge at New Delhi using IDFC First Bank Select Credit Card

Credit Cards Names – IDFC First Bank Millennia/ Classic/ Select/ Wealth
Variant: Visa
Limits: 4 Visits/Quarter
Joining Fee: NIL
Annual Fee: NIL

8. AU Bank Zenith

Variant: Visa Infinite
Limits: 2 Visits/Quarter
Joining Fee: ₹7999 + GST
Annual Fee: ₹7999 + GST (Waived off on annual spends of 5 Lacs)

9. AU Bank Vetta

Variant: Visa Signature
Limits: 2 Visits/Quarter
Joining Fee: ₹3000 + GST
Annual Fee: ₹3000 + GST (Waived off on annual spends of 1.5 Lacs)

10. AU Bank Altura Plus

Variant: Visa Platinum
Limits: 2 Visits/Quarter
Joining Fee: ₹499 + GST
Annual Fee: ₹499 + GST (Waived off on annual spends of 80K)

11. AU Bank Altura

Variant: Visa Platinum
Limits: 2 Visits/Quarter
Joining Fee: ₹199 + GST
Annual Fee: ₹199 + GST (Waived off on annual spends of 40K)

AU Small Finance Bank Altura Card of one of our readers.

*Add-on cardholders can also avail complimentary access on all AU Bank Credit cards within the quota of primary cardholder whereas the same is not allowed and categorically mentioned on the websites of ICICI Bank, IDFC First Bank and SBI Cards. So a new entrant like AU Bank is taking an edge for giving the complimentary access but we would not recommend their cards seeing its poor reward rate across the line-up and unjustified annual fees for their Zenith Variant. AU Bank is offering its whole card lineup LTF to employees of select corporates also.

12. Bank Of Baroda IRCTC

Variant: Rupay
Limits: 1 Visit/Quarter
Joining Fee: ₹500 + GST
Annual Fee: ₹350+ GST

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We understand the list is quite exhaustive and certainly, your go-to card for all the spends could be missing from this list. So, First of all, before taking the leap for the card you need to evaluate yourself “How many times I am going to use Indian Railways for my travel needs”? “Will my destination or origin be the same as mentioned in the list”? 

So if you are going to travel around even twice a quarter and your route matches the above list then having one or a couple of eligible cards makes a lot of sense and entitles you to a new experience every time you travel. And if you want to have a card specifically for this purpose then TechnoFino recommends going for LTF IDFC Credit Cards or the ICICI Bank MakeMyTrip Signature it’s also LTF and sort out the scene of accessing the Railway Lounges without shifting your spends from your most rewarding cards to waive off the annual fees.

For frequent rail travellers that too who prefers to travel by A/C only we recommend SBI Premier IRCTC Credit Card to them. Consider it only if you are doing at least a couple of round-trips every month.

What has been your experience regarding Railway Lounges? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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J.....K...

Good information

Ravichandra Gavsane

I regularly be updated with your videos on youtube. I like how minute and specific details you write. Thanks for all the efforts you take to educate people. Please Keep it up. Love From Pune.

Mahadevan T S

Good information. The IDFC First website has NOT mentioned the railway lounge access benefit on their Wealth variant. Strange, given that is their most premium variant!

Vishal Sharma

Even IDFC Millenia card gives free railway lounge access

Rehan

Excellent

Rahul udesh

Good job thank u

[…] All in all, it was a good experience with a decent variety of food spread, sparkingly clean interiors, and a comfortably peaceful seating area, Indian Railways is working honestly in changing the way you travel.As the travel is opening up back to pre-pandemic levels I think many of the readers will be looking forward to traveling in Indian Railways and accessing the railway lounges. So for them, I am again sharing one of our most popular articles on the same which would give them all the information about all the Credit Cards in India for Railway Lounge Access. […]

Subhash Agarwal

Nice article

Subhash Agarwal

Nice article. There should be date on article when posted

Mandeep Ashiya

does any of the cards here have add on cards facility as well???

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