Premium Credit Card - The Concept

It is not business prudence to have one Credit Card that satisfies all sections of society. The high net worth individuals can afford to pay more, and hence, deserve better benefits when compared to people at the lower end of the economic strata. This distinction gives rise to the concept of Premium Credit Cards. 

As the name suggests, a Premium Credit Card is one that offers the best lifestyle privileges, reward points, and benefits that you usually do not get from a regular Credit Card. Some of the benefits include premium membership to the top lifestyle clubs in the world or free access to international and domestic airport lounges. The rewards point structure is also comparatively more attractive. Such cards offer benefits like a lower Foreign Currency Markup Charge or attractive rates of interest on revolving credit. They provide better insurance benefits. Such premium Credit Cards have higher credit limits as well.

The Top Premium Credit Cards in India in 2019

Almost every bank offering Credit Cards have specific products that cater to the creamy layer of society. We shall discuss ten of the best Premium Credit Cards provided by the top banks in India.

SBI Signature Corporate Credit Card

Privileges

  • Priority servicing across all SBI Credit Card products
  • Priority Pass Membership to the primary card member that allows access to more than 600 international airport lounges across the world.
  • Travel insurance up to 1 Crore
  • Concierge services such as hotel reservations, cruise bookings, car rentals, and much more.

Features

  • Accepted globally all over the world
  • 24X7 dedicated services of Relationship Managers
  • Multilayer spend control such as restricting the purchase of jewellery, use at casinos, and so on.
  • Availability of emergency cash within 24 hours

Fees

  • No joining fee
  • Annual fee up to 499

Charges

  • Cash advance finance charges: 3.35% per month
  • Cash advance fee: 2% of cash advance amount with a minimum of 450
  • Rate of interest on revolving credit: 3.35% per month
  • Foreign Currency Markup charges: 3.50%
SBI Card Prime

Privileges

  • Welcome e-gift voucher for 3,000
  • Complimentary Trident Privilege Red Tier Membership
  • Complimentary Club Vistara Membership
  • 4 complimentary international airport lounge access and eight domestic airport lounge access per year.
  • Get milestone benefits such as waiver of annual fee on spending 3 Lakhs annually.
  • MasterCard/Visa benefits such as Green Fee waiver, discount on golf games, car rentals, and luxury hotel bookings.

Features

  • 20 reward points (RP) per 100 on utility bill payments
  • 15 RP per 100 on Big Basket
  • 10 RP per 100 on dining, groceries, movies, and departmental stores
  • Double the amount of RP for spending on your birthday

Fees

  • One time annual fee: 2,999 (Welcome Gift available worth 2,999)
  • Renewal fee: 2,999 per annum

Charges

  • Rate of interest: 3.35% per month on revolving credit and cash advances
  • Cash advance limit: Up to 80% of the Credit Card limit
  • Cash advance fee: 2.5% with a minimum of 500
ICICI Bank Emeralde Credit Card (Joint venture with American Express Bank)

Privileges (ICICI)

  • 15% discount at select restaurants through ICICI Bank Culinary Treats Programme.
  • 1% fuel surcharge waiver
  • Personal air accident insurance cover of 3 Crores
  • Credit shield of 50,000
  • Other benefits like baggage insurance, loss of baggage, travel documents, plane hijacking insurance, and so on.

Amex privileges

  • 15% discount at O2 Spa
  • 20% discount on gold making charges at Joyalukkas
  • 50% off on dining and accommodation

Rewards points

  • 4 payback points on 100 spent on retail transactions except for fuel expenses.
  • 1 payback point on 100 spent on insurance and utility bill payments

Concierge services

  • Concierge services available in select cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and Bengaluru.

Other benefits

  • Complimentary golfing sessions
  • Celebrate your birthday at Trident hotels with a gift voucher worth 7,500
  • Gift voucher for 5,000 from Da Milano
  • Unlimited complimentary access to domestic airport spas
  • Discounts on Premium Gym membership
  • Unlimited international and domestic airport lounge access

Eligibility

  • A monthly salary of 3 Lakhs and above or annual income of 30 Lakhs or more.
HDFC Bank Regalia Credit Card

Features and benefits

  • Spend 8 Lakhs annually to get 15,000 RP
  • Spending 5 Lakhs gets you 10,000 RP
  • Complimentary Zomato Gold Membership
  • Primary card member gets Priority Pass membership and 6 complimentary airport lounge access at more than 1,000 airports worldwide.
  • Contactless Card
  • 4 RP for every 150 spent
  • Foreign Currency Markup Charges of 2%
  • 1 Crore insurance cover in case of air accident
  • Credit shield of 9 Lakhs 

Eligibility

  • Salaried persons between 21 and 60 years with a minimum salary of 1.20 Lakhs per month.
  • Self-employed individuals between 21 and 65 years with income 12 Lakhs per annum.

Fees

  • The membership fee is 2,500 and renewable every year by paying 2,500 (Welcome benefit of 2,500 RP).
  • Renewal fee waived if cardholder spends 3 Lakhs per annum
Axis Bank Vistara Infinite Credit Card

Benefits and features

  • Welcome gift of a complimentary business class ticket
  • Complimentary Club Vistara Membership that includes priority in check-in, boarding, lounge access, baggage handling, and additional baggage allowance.
  • Spend 200 to get 6 Club Vistara points
  • Redeem these points for flight upgrades

Insurance

  • Air accident insurance cover: 2.5 Crores
  • Credit shield: Up to 1 Lakh
  • Cover for loss of documents: Up to $300
  • Baggage delay or loss: Up to $300

Other benefits

  • Convert big purchases into easy EMIs
  • Concierge services available

Eligibility

  • The minimum age of the Credit Card applicant should be 18 years whereas the maximum should be 70 years.
  • The minimum income should be 6 Lakhs per annum

Fees

  • Membership fee: 10,000
  • Renewal fee: 10,000
  • Finance charges: 2.95% per month
  • Cash withdrawal fee: 2.5% with a minimum of 250
Standard Chartered Bank Super Value Titanium Credit Card

Benefits

  • 5% Cashback of utility bills, telephone bills, and fuel expenses
  • 1 RP for every 150 you spend on other expenses
  • Premium Banking customers get five times the RP for overseas POS transactions.
  • Complimentary Priority Pass and access to international airport lounges for Premium Banking customers.

Features

  • Free lifetime supplementary card for family members
  • Contactless Credit Card
  • 3D secure OTP verification
  • Convert big purchases into easy EMI options
  • Redeem your rewards points with 360-degrees Rewards Programme
  • Personal Loan available up to 5 Lakhs
  • Balance Transfer of other Credit Cards up to 5 Lakhs
  • Balance Transfer on EMI with Zero Processing fee

Fees

  • Membership fee: 750
  • Renewal fee: 750
  • Premium Banking customers get a fee waiver
  • Finance charges: 3.49% per month
  • ATM withdrawals: 3% with a minimum of 300

Eligibility

  • Applicant should be between 21 and 65 years of age and have a stable monthly income.
Citi Prestige Card

Benefits

  • Welcome gift of 10,000 bonus miles
  • Benefits worth 10,000 from Taj Group of hotels every year
  • Book 4 consecutive night stay at any hotel/resort and get the fifth night stay free.
  • 1 RP for every 100 you spend on the card
  • 2 RP for international spending
  • 3 Green Fee waivers at select Golf courses around the world
  • Priority Pass membership with 2 complimentary airport services every year
  • Build up your relationship with Citibank to get 30% bonus points
  • Concierge services from Citi Prestige

Additional privileges

  • Deals and discounts available in more than 90 countries around the world
  • Facility to pay for your purchases by redeeming reward points
  • Convert substantial purchases into easy EMI options
  • Loan facility available on Credit Card

Insurance and protection

  • Air accident insurance cover is available up to 5 Crores
  • Cover fraudulent transactions up to 10 Lakhs
  • Overseas medical insurance cover up to $50,000
  • Contactless payments

Eligibility

  • Annual membership fees: 20,000
  • The minimum age of the applicant cardmember should be 21 years
  • The minimum income should be 25 Lakhs per annum
American Express Platinum Card

Welcome benefits

  • Apply for American Express Platinum Card and get 1,00,000 Bonus Membership RP or complimentary stay vouchers worth 40,000 from Taj Group of Hotels.

Rewards points

  • 1 Membership RP for every 40 you spend on the card for retail transactions except fuel, insurance, utility bills, and cash advance.
  • 3 times RP for overseas spending

Benefits

  • Lounge benefits worth 35,000 at more than 1,200 international airports
  • Complimentary services worth 37,000 at 1,000+ hotels and resorts
  • Travel and lifestyle benefits worth 70,000
  • Enjoy Platinum Concierge services

Eligibility

  • Minimum age: 18 years
  • Stable income without any default in loan repayments

Fees

  • Annual charges: 60,000 + applicable taxes
Yes Private Credit Card

Privileges

  • Global privileges
  • Yes Private Banking and Concierge services
  • Benefits available to an exclusive clientele, by invitation only

Features

  • Travel benefits like hotel bookings, airport lounge access, airport privileges, cruise programmes, vacation packages, and car rentals.
  • Lifestyle benefits like golf privileges, movie tickets, luxury club membership, dining benefits, and epicurean benefits.
  • Medical Concierge benefits with personalised medical care at your doorstep
  • 50,000 RP on your first transaction and keep earning them as you use the card.
  • Fuel surcharge waiver
  • Five Add-on cards available for family members/siblings

Insurance

  • Air accident coverage of 3 Crores
  • Overseas medical insurance up to 50 Lakhs
  • Credit shield up to 10 Lakhs

Charges

  • Yes Bank savings account holders: 1.20% per month on revolving credit
  • Other customers: 1.99% per month
  • Foreign Currency Markup: 1.75%

Fees

  • Membership: 50,000
  • Renewal: 10,000
HDFC Bank Diners Club Black

Rewards points

Earn 5 RP for every 150 spent on the card

Travel benefits

Book air tickets and hotels by redeeming reward points earned on the card

Lifestyle benefits

Concierge services and Golf course referral and reservation assistance

Golf programme

6 complimentary golf games per quarter at select golf courses in India and abroad

Insurance protection

  • Air accident insurance of 2 Crores
  • Credit shield: 9 Lakhs
  • Medical insurance: 50 Lakhs
  • Travel insurance up to 55,000 on baggage delays

Eligibility

  • Salaried persons between 21 and 60 years of age earning a minimum wage of 1.75 Lakhs per month.
  • Self-employed individuals in the age group 21 to 65 years and declaring income greater than 21 Lakhs per annum in ITR.

Fees

  • Membership fee: 5,000
  • Renewal fee: 5,000
  • Rate of interest: 1.99%
  • Foreign Currency Markup charges: 2%

Premium Credit Cards - General Eligibility Criteria

Different banks have varying eligibility criteria for applying to the premium Credit Cards. The eligibility criteria depend on the internal policies of individual banks and Credit Card providers.

The following are the general eligibility criteria:

  • The Credit Card applicant should be a minimum of 18 to 21 years of age
  • The maximum age criteria for salaried individuals and self-employed persons are 60 and 65 years, respectively.
  • The applicant should have a steady and stable source of income. Some of the premium Credit Cards are available for high net worth individuals only.

Premium Credit Cards - Necessary Documents

The statutory KYC documents and income documents are necessary for processing the Premium Credit Card applications.

Premium Credit Cards - How to Apply

Usually, all the banks issuing premium Credit Cards have facilities for customers to apply for these cards online. Applicants have to provide their details and display their intention to apply for the premium Credit Cards. The relationship managers from the respective banks take over and contact the applicants to complete the necessary formalities.

Premium Credit Cards - How are They Different from Regular Credit Cards

Premium Credit Cards offer premium benefits that are substantially better than the benefits and rewards points offered by regular Credit Cards.

  • Premium Credit Cards offer exclusive membership to renowned clubs, hotels, associations, and organisations.
  • Usually, premium Credit Cards provide Priority Pass Membership to the primary cardholder. This membership entitles the card member to have complimentary access to international and domestic airport lounges, and enjoy other benefits, as well.
  • The premium Credit Cards have additional bonus rewards points as compared to the regular Credit Cards.
  • The premium Credit Cards target high net worth individuals. Hence, the limits offered on premium Credit Cards are higher than the regular ones. Therefore, the membership and renewal fees for such cards are higher, as well.
  • The premium Credit Cards offer greater protection to the card member by providing high-value insurance cover in case of air accidents, medical cover to cater to emergencies abroad, and higher credit shields.
  • The premium Credit Cards have lower rates of interest on revolving credits and cash advance facilities as compared to the regular Credit Cards.

Premium Credit Cards - Frequently Asked Questions

Are premium Credit Cards available to all customers?

No, premium Credit Cards have high eligibility criteria. Usually, these cards are available to high net worth individuals or a select band of customers alone.

Do they differ in usage from the regular Credit Cards?

No, the procedure for using the premium Credit Cards is the same as that of regular Credit Cards. Nowadays, regular Credit Cards also come with features like contactless cards, 3D secure option, and other exciting benefits.

Which is the best premium Credit Card available in the market?

It depends on the user's preference. All banks have their premium Credit Card products that offer similar privileges.

Do you need a robust credit rating to avail the benefit of premium Credit Cards?

Yes, an excellent credit score is mandatory for any Credit Card application. The premium Credit Cards are high-value cards. Hence, it becomes critical for the applicant to maintain an impeccable credit reputation.

When is the insurance cover available on the premium Credit Cards?

Generally, all premium Credit Cards come with air accident insurance covers ranging from 50 Lakhs to 3 Crores. This cover is available only if the card member purchases the air tickets using the respective Credit Card. In the unfortunate and undesirable event of the death of the cardmember due to an air accident, the insurance amount is payable to the registered nominee.

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