Top 10 Credit Cards in India for 2019
Owning the Best Credit Card in India has become a way of life over the last 2 decades, especially in the Metro cities. With fast pacing E-commerce Industry, the use of credit cards has been truly phenomenal. After all, owning a credit card empower you to lead the lifestyle you desire. You get the flexibility to buy now and pay later.
Over the years, Credit Card companies have also come up with some amazing benefits for cardholders, hence making it more accessible for people to use credit cards. When choosing a credit card, you should know about the Top Credit Cards, the ones offering the maximum benefits.
Before we describe the top 10 Credit Cards available in India, here is the detailed information about Credit Cards:
What is a Credit Card?
It is a card that allows users to buy items without cash. The user can shop and pay bills with their Credit Card up to the credit limit sanctioned by the issuing bank/financial institution. The card issuer pays on behalf of the user and user can pay the Credit Card bill after a certain amount of time.
Why is a Credit Card important and when do you need it?
A Credit Card is the easiest way to make transactions in the fast-moving world.
Here are some reasons why using Credit Cards is important:
- They provide convenience as you don’t have to carry cash everywhere you go
- They provide you an opportunity to build your credit
- They are safe to use as they come with protection against fraud and theft
- They are a form of credit or loan which can be used when you need immediate funds and lack money in your bank account or pocket. You can shop today and pay later with them.
- They are universally accepted unlike cash
Benefits of using a Credit Card
Credit Cards come with various benefits, such as:
- Credit Cards comes with cashback offers, discounts, and other lucrative schemes
- Some Credit Cards come with insurance benefits as well
- Co-branded Credit Cards provide you various privileges and benefits on shopping through their partner associates.
- You can earn reward points on your transactions done through cards, which can be redeemed for further transactions.
How to choose the best Credit Card?
If you are buying your first Credit Card, here are some tips to help you choose the best one:
- Decide why you need a Credit Card and for which purpose. Maximising rewards that can be earned by using your card is a smart move. Look at your spending habits and find a card that matches them. There are many cards that offer bonus reward points for certain purchases. For example, if you travel frequently through flights, get a card that comes with a frequent flyer program (FFP).
- If you think you will carry a balance, go for a card that has low interest rate
- Consider the type of rewards that are most useful for you
- Research the card that is right for you, on the basis of your spending habits, required credit limit, and monthly income.
- Shortlist top ten Credit Cards and compare offers, terms, and annual fee of each of them and choose what suits you the best.
- Know about the eligibility criteria of the cards shortlisted by you before applying, like, credit score, age, income, and other requirements.
- Apply for the card
Points to consider when applying for a new Credit Card
While choosing a Credit Card, consider the following things:
- Your spending habits
- The rate of interest
- Credit limit being sanctioned
- Fees, charges, and penalties
- Balance computation method
- Rewards and incentives
Let’s have a look at the top 10 Credit Cards in India for 2019:
- Citibank Cashback Credit Card
- Standard Chartered Manhattan Platinum Credit Card
- ICICI Instant Platinum Credit Card
- IndianOil Citi Platinum Credit Card
- HSBC Visa Platinum Card
- SimplyCLICK SBI Card
- AXIS Bank Neo Credit Card
- HDFC Bank Diners Club Card
- IndusInd Bank Platinum Credit Card
- Jet Airways American Express® Platinum Credit Card
1. Citibank Cashback Credit Card:
This Citibank card is called the Cashback card as it provides a lot of cashback offers on purchases made. You get a flat 5% cashback on buying movie tickets or if you use it to pay your utility bills like electricity bill or mobile bills. Moreover, you also get 0.5% cash back on other purchases made from this card; which means that every time you spend from this Credit Card, you surely get a cashback. Additionally, you can convert your purchases above Rs. 2000 into Equal monthly installments as well. The annual fee is only Rs. 500 per annum.
Features of Citibank Cashback Credit Card:
- Joining fee: Nil
- Annual fee: Rs. 500
- 5% cashback on booking movie tickets, telephone and utility bill payments
- 5% cashback on all other spends
- 1% waiver on fuel surcharge at Indian Oil outlets only
- Save up to 15% on dining spends at participating restaurants
2. Standard Chartered Manhattan Platinum Credit Card:
This is one of the best and most sought after Credit Cards in India for shopping, dining out, cashback as well as reward points. This is the only credit card that gives 5% cashback on grocery purchase; If you buy grocery from any departmental store like Big Bazaar, Reliance Fresh, More, you get a flat 5% cash back on your bill amount. Now that’s a huge saving as we certainly use our Credit Card a lot when we shop at these stores. It comes for only Rs. 999 annual fee in the first year and Rs. 999 is the renewal fee from a subsequent year onwards. What’s more! You also get 5 times the reward points if you use this card for filling petrol, buying tickets or even while dining out. Hence it’s a double bonanza card which gives cashback as well as hefty reward points in your kitty.
Features of Standard Chartered Manhattan Platinum Credit Card:
- Joining fee: Rs. 999
- Annual fee: Rs. 999
- Get Rs. 2,000 worth BookMyShow vouchers on first transaction in first 90 days using the card.
- Get 5% cashback on spending at supermarkets
- Get 3x reward points on all other expenses
3. ICICI Instant Platinum Credit Card:
If you are a self-employed individual, or a homemaker or student or someone who has a bad credit history due to a past financial crisis and want to have a credit card; this is the most appropriate card for you. ICICI bank offers ICICI Instant Platinum Card to people who hold Fixed Deposits with them without any financial documents.
This credit card offers you a 15% discount at around 800 leading restaurants in India. You also get a discount of Rs 100 twice a month if you buy movie tickets using the card. This card comes with Zero annual fees.
Features of ICICI Instant Platinum Credit Card:
- Joining fee: Nil
- Annual fee: Nil
- Get 2 PAYBACK points on spending every Rs. 100
- Get 1 PAYBACK Point on spending every Rs. 100 on utilities and insurance
- Points can be redeemed against a variety of gifts
- Global Emergency Assistance & Card replacement service available
4. IndianOil Citi Platinum Credit Card:
This card offers maximum benefits to regular fuel charge users in India. With this card, you earn 4 Turbo points on the spending of every Rs. 150 for fuel purchase at any Indian Oil outlet across the country. You can redeem these turbo points against free fuel or can also use these points for buying gifts and gift vouchers. You also get your fuel surcharge waived off at Indian Oil outlets. Apart from fuel purchase, you also get turbo points on other spends as well. You earn 2 Turbo points at all grocery stores and supermarkets & 1 Turbo point for all other transactions like shopping and dining on every Rs. 150 spent. You stand a chance to get your annual fee waived off if you spend Rs. 30,000 in a year; else your annual fee is Rs. 1,000.
Features of IndianOil Citi Platinum Credit Card:
- Joining fee: Nil
- Annual fee: Nil if you spend Rs. 30,000 or above in a membership year on your card. For annual spends of below Rs. 30,000, annual fee of Rs. 1,000 will be charged.
- Earn 4 Turbo Points on spending every Rs. 150 for fuel purchase
- Full fuel surcharge waiver (1%) on fuel purchases
- 1 Turbo Point = Rs.1 worth of fuel
5. HSBC Visa Platinum Card:
This card offers a variety of benefits to its cardholders from reward points to cashback and additional discounts. This card gives you 10% cashback on all transactions in the first 3 months if you have at least 3 transactions more than Rs. 10,000 each. This entails you to avail up to Rs. 3,000 as a total cashback in just first 90 days. As far as the reward points are concerned, you earn 2 points on a spend of Rs. 150 on any transaction. You also get to earn 3 times of the reward points if you spend for dining and leisure. You also earn fuel surcharge waiver on filling fuel from this card.
Features of HSBC Visa Platinum Card:
- Joining fee: Nil
- Annual fee: Nil
- Get Rs. 2000 worth Cleartrip voucher and Rs. 250 worth Swiggy voucher on first transaction.
- Get 10% cashback (of up to Rs. 2,000) on minimum 9 transactions totalling Rs. 10,000 or above, in the first 90 days of issuing the card.
- Get BookMyShow voucher of Rs. 500 on spending above Rs. 50,000 in a calendar month.
- Earn 2 Reward points on spending every Rs. 150
- Earn 5X Rewards on all your subsequent purchases done after spending above Rs. 4,00,000 in an anniversary year (maximum 15,000 reward points).
- Get up to 15% off on dining at over partner 1,000 restaurants across major Indian cities
6. SimplyCLICK SBI Card:
This card is a blessing in disguise for online shoppers as it offers tremendous benefits to people who shop online. This is a one-of-its-kind credit card that gives you 10 times more reward points if you shop through any of their online e-commerce partners like Amazon, Bookmyshow, Zoomcar, and Cleartrip. Not only this but on the other purchases also, you get 5 times the Reward points. Moreover, there is a Fuel Surcharge waiver also if you buy fuel using your Simply Click SBI Credit Card. The annual fee for this card is Rs. 499; however it is waived off if you spend more than Rs. 1 Lakh per annum using this card.
Features of SimplyCLICK SBI Card:
- Joining fee: Rs. 499
- Annual fee: Rs. 499. Annual fee is reversed if you spend Rs. 1,00,000 in the subsequent year.
- Get gift card of Amazon.in worth Rs. 500 on joining
- Earn 10X Reward Points on spending online with exclusive partners
- Earn 5X reward points on all other spends online
- Get e-voucher worth Rs. 2,000 on spending Rs.1 Lakh annually online
- Get e-voucher worth Rs. 2,000 on spending Rs. 2 Lakhs annually online
- Get 1% fuel surcharge waiver on every transaction of Rs. 500 to Rs. 3,000
7. AXIS Bank Neo Credit Card:
A great card for movie buffs and shopaholics. This Axis Bank Credit Card offers excellent shopping, dining and entertainment benefits. This card provides 10% cashback if you use it for booking movie tickets, for any online shopping or even for mobile recharges. You also get additional benefits from some of the top e-commerce sites. For example, Jabong gives you complimentary vouchers of Rs. 500 and Myntra gives an additional 10% discount on every transaction more than Rs. 500. Moreover, Axis Neo card also gives you an option to convert your purchases into EMIs.
Features of Neo Credit Card from Axis Bank:
- Joining fee: Rs. 250. Joining fee is waived on spending Rs. 2,500 in 45 days
- Annual fee: Rs. 250
- Get Amazon voucher of Rs. 250 on first spend
- Get 10% off on movies, online shopping, and recharges
- Get vouchers worth Rs. 300 & Rs. 500 for online shopping and movies
- Convert purchases to EMIs on transactions of Rs. 2,500
- Get minimum 15% off on spending on dining at partner restaurants
8. HDFC Bank Diners Club Card:
This credit card by HDFC Bank is one of the finest cards of India offering some great benefits for shopping, travel, and entertainment transactions. With this card, you get 2 times the reward points on any air ticket booking or hotel booking (domestic or international), and you can also redeem those rewards points to further book air tickets or hotels. Being one of the premium cards, you get access to various airport lounges in India as well as abroad. On all other spends, you get 5 reward points for every Rs. 150 spent.
Features of HDFC Bank Dinners Club Card:
- Annual membership fee: Rs. 5,000 + applicable taxes
- Earn 5 Reward Points on spending every Rs. 150 on retail
- Reward points can be redeemed for booking air tickets and hotels across 150+ airlines and hotels (domestic as well as international)
- 1 Reward Point = Re 1
- Get 6 Complimentary Golf games each quarter in around 20 golf courses in India & 40 golf courses world over.
- Get Air Accident Cover of Rs. 2 Crores, Emergency Medical Expenses Cover up to Rs. 50 Lakhs, Credit Liability Cover up to Rs. 9 Lakhs, and Travel Insurance Cover up to Rs. 55,000.
9. IndusInd Bank Platinum Credit Card:
Being in the premium card category, it offers some luxury offers to customers in dining as well as lifestyle benefits. You can avail great discounts by using this card on BookMyShow or Shopping and travel partners like United Colors of Benetton, Satya Paul, Jet Airways, etc. On every Rs. 150 that you spend, you get 1.5 reward points. It offers travel insurance as well as air accident cover of up to Rs. 25 Lakhs.
Features of IndusInd Bank Platinum Credit Card:
- Joining fee: Rs. 3,000
- Annual fee: Nil
- Get 1.5 Reward Points for spending every Rs. 150 on IndusInd Bank Platinum Credit Card.
- Save on movie tickets, travel, fuel surcharge, and other spends
- Get access to Priority Pass Membership
- Travel insurance against lost/delayed baggage, loss of passport, loss of ticket, and missed connection.
10. Jet Airways American Express® Platinum Credit Card:
The collaboration of American Express and Jet Airways offers its customers unforgettable travel experience. This card gives you a 1 way domestic Jet Airways flight ticket and 10,000 bonus JP Miles free as a joining gift. You earn 16 JP miles for every Rs. 150 on spending on Jet Airways and 8 JP miles on other transactions, and these miles can be redeemed against air tickets. Apart from this, the card also offers free access to selected airport lounges and other travel benefits.
Features of Jet Airways American Express® Platinum Credit Card:
- Joining fee: Rs. 5,000 + applicable taxes
- Annual fee: Rs. 10,000 + applicable taxes
- Earn 8 JPMiles for spending every Rs. 150 (except at Fuel, Insurance, Utilities, and Cash Transactions).
- 10,000 Welcome Bonus JPMiles plus one-way complimentary Jet Airways Base Fare Waived Domestic Ticket on first charge.
- Get complimentary visits to all eligible lounges across India
FAQs on Best Credit Cards in India
What is the annual fee for Citibank Cashback Credit Card?
The annual fee is only Rs. 500 per annum for Citibank Cashback Credit Card.
Does HSBC Visa Platinum Card offer fuel surcharge waiver?
Yes, HSBC Visa Platinum Card provides a fuel surcharge waiver.
How much cover is provided for air accident by IndusInd Bank Platinum Credit Card?
IndusInd Bank Platinum Credit Card offers travel insurance as well as air accident cover of up to Rs. 25 Lakhs.
How can I get a Credit Card for the first time without any credit history?
You can apply through your bank where you have a savings account or a salary account. You can also go for a Secured Credit Card.
How many Credit Cards should I have?
If you are a new Credit Card user, you must focus on building your credit history with one or two Credit Cards. Pay off your complete balance each month. Later on you can add on Credit Cards for specific purposes, like a good rewards program, obtaining better travel insurance, and so on.
If you have been using cards for several years, you may add a card to obtain a lower rate of interest or transfer a balance to a zero interest card. However, make sure to keep your debt-to-credit ratio below 30%.
Which bank credit card is best?
Citibank, Standard Chartered, ICICI Bank, HSBC, SBI, AXIS Bank, HDFC Bank, IndusInd Bank and American Express offer the best Credit Cards.
What is the minimum salary required for getting a Credit Card?
Every bank has its own eligibility criteria in terma of minimum salary required to obtain a Credit Card, however, most banks need a minimum monthly income of Rs. 20,000.
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