Best way to Book a Train Ticket


It has always bugged me as to which is the best platform to book train tickets on. I have always found the IRCTC website difficult to navigate especially on a mobile device.

The different platforms like Paytm, Amazon etc provide a more convenient way to book train tickets. However, they all charge a convenience fee as well as have offers to attract cardgyanis.

In my quanrantine time, I have decided to finally answer this question. I have booked (almost) the same train ticket via multiple ways and compared the final prices. The ticket chosen is AC ticket from Ahmedabad to Mumbai with Basic Cost of Rs 685.


A) IRCTC website

You might be surprised that this is not the cheapest option in the article by far.

There are a myriad of payment options each with its individual charges.

A flow chart shown below to show the charges.

1st you choose the option as “UPI” or “Other”. For the “Other” option, different fees are levied as per payment by Netbanking, debit card, credit card and wallets.

Sr no

Website

Payment way

IRCTC Convenience Fee (Rs)

Gateway Fee (Rs)

Total (Rs)

1

IRCTC

UPI

23.6

709

2

IRCTC

Netbanking

35.4

11.8

732

3

IRCTC

Credit Card

35.4

15.3

736

4

IRCTC

Debit Card

35.4

3.4

724

5

IRCTC

Wallet

35.4

15.3

736

The best option is UPI with the minimum charges of Rs 23.6.


B) Amazon Pay

Amazon shines in this list too. The user experience is smooth. You only get hit with the IRCTC convenience fee of Rs 35.4. Amazon charges no additional Gateway fee. That means other than the single case of UPI payment in IRCTC website, Amazon is the cheaper option compared to IRCTC.

Website

IRCTC Convenience Fee (Rs)

Total (Rs)

Amazon

35.4

720

Also Cardgyanis already know how to get discounted Amazon cash too making it possible to optimize further.


C) Paytm

Paytm had introduced train ticket booking before Amazon and it also has a smooth interface. I have used it earlier but never noticed how high Paytm was charging me.

Paytm charges you thrice

1) IRCTC convenience Fee = Rs 35.4

2) Payment Fee = +2.124%

3) Gateway fee = Rs 39.9

This the most expensive train ticket you can book.

Website

IRCTC Convenience Fee (Rs)

Gateway Fee (Rs)

Agent Fee (Rs)

Total (Rs)

Paytm

35.4

39.9

16.1

776


D) Smartbuy HDFC

No list can be complete without a mention of HDFC bank. You will get 5% cash back by using smartbuy.

The charges are as follows.

1) IRCTC convenience Fee = Rs 35.4

2) 1% additional charges on HDFC credit cards/ No charges on Debit cards.

Website

Payment

5% cashback Offer (Rs)

IRCTC Convenience Fee (Rs)

Gateway Fee (Rs)

Total (Rs)

Smartbuy

Credit Card

-36.4

35.4

8.5

692

Smartbuy

Debit Card

-36

35.4

684


Conclusion

The table below is in the ascending order of prices of the same train ticket booked via different platforms.

Order

Website

Payment

Total (Rs)

1

Smartbuy

Debit Card

684

2

Smartbuy

Credit Card

692

3

IRCTC

UPI

709

4

Amazon

All

720

5

IRCTC

Debit Card

724

6

IRCTC

Netbanking

732

7/8

IRCTC

Credit Card

736

7/8

IRCTC

Wallet

736

9

Paytm

paytm

776

Happy and Safe Travels to you!

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