One of the questions I get often is about Lounge Access. After all, I go Live From A Lounge ever so often. A long while ago, the cheapest way to access lounges used to be via the Diners Club card which you could get free of cost if you had a relationship with the HDFC Bank, or at a low price otherwise.
Unfortunately, that route closed a while back when HDFC Bank rationalized the product. From what I think I know, they are not even issuing the base variant anymore.
However, there has been another route to get lounge access for a while. It is via the RuPay Platinum Debit Cards. RuPay offers their Platinum Debit Cardholders access to the following 47 lounges:
- Port Lounge Ahmedabad, International
- Plaza Premium Bangalore, Domestic & International
- Above Ground Level Bangalore, Domestic & International
- Mayfair Lounge Bhubaneswar
- TFS Travel Club Chennai, Domestic & International
- Earth Lounge Cochin, Domestic & International
- Plaza Premium Delhi, Domestic T1/T2/T3 & International T3
- ITC Green Lounge Delhi, International T3
- Port Lounge Goa, Domestic & International
- Plaza Premium Hyderabad, Domestic & International
- TFS Travel Club Kolkata, Domestic & International
- Mumbai Airport Lounge Terminal 1
- Good Times Bar Mumbai Terminal 1
- TFS Travel Club Mumbai Terminal 2
- Loyalty Lounge Mumbai Terminal 2
- MIC NAC Lounge Pune Terminal 1
- Zesto Lounge Raipur
- Zesto Lounge Varanasi
- Zesto Lounge Lucknow
- Club One Lounge Jaipur
- Rube Arena, Trivandrum
- Privé Lounge Guwahati Airport
- Alhind Calicut
- Shaurya Executive Lounge Dehradun
- Club One Class Lounge Udaipur
- CIP Lounge Visakhapatnam
- Chanakya Lounge Patna
- CITCO Lounge Chandigarh
- TFS Lounge Nagpur
- Amravathi Lounge Vijayawada
- Club One Vadodara
For RuPay Platinum Card holders, they get two visits free per calendar quarter (8 per annum), through March 2019 for the moment. The card needs to be authorized for Rs. 2 everytime you make the trip.
Coming to the cost, almost all banks in India are now issuing RuPay debit cards. If you go for the Platinum variants, you can, of course, get free lounge access as well for the year. I ordered a PayTM RuPay Card recently. It will only cost me INR 125 for the issuance. The best place to apply for the RuPay cards is to apply via the RuPay portal, and they get you sorted pretty quickly after that.
If you are looking for a cheap way to access airport lounges in India, get yourself a RuPay Debit Card, and you are sorted to visit eight times a year. It is an easy and very cheap way to get inside a lounge for traveling four times a year. If you have not applied yet, go and get your card from the RuPay website.