Money

10 Best Credit Cards in India


Just like you, I’m a big fan of credit cards (I’ve got five!). Why? If you know the inside outs of how credit cards work, how to manage credit, and is knowledgeable about their offerings and features, you can get a lot of leverage financially. That’s why you will see rich folks carrying more than one credit card. They have one for each use (shopping, travel etc). Of course, if you don’t know how to use a credit card, then you’re treading difficult terrains. In this article, I’ll give you an idea of the best (and worst) credit cards in India from my experience. Also, some cool offers and tips for you. Read along! (If you are looking to find what is the right credit card for you, submit this form here with your details, and I should be able to send you some recommendations.)

Credit cards are the most convenient modes to make payments as it reduces the burden of carrying  cash all the time. Some credit cards are for travelers, some for shopping and some for international travel etc (I’ve written about plenty of them on this blog, just search via the search form for cards you are looking for). Depending on their use, features also change. In India, the credit scoring system isn’t as popular as in the US (it exists but people aren’t aware), but still there are a variety of credit cards available today.

Having said that, traps and misleading offers are many. One has to carefully study each credit card offer before taking one. But then, worry not, in this article, we’ll take a look at the best credit cards in India available today from different banks. If you’re looking for Shopping and Cash back credit cards, here are the best Shopping & Cashback credit cards in India. In this article, we will discuss the following credit cards (also check out the comparison table and scroll down for some wisdom in the comments area).

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In summary, here are the best credit cards in India.

  1. Standard Chartered Manhattan Platinum Card
  2. ICICI Instant Platinum
  3. Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards
  4. Standard Chartered Inner Circle Titanium
  5. Indian oil Titanium Citibank Credit Card
  6. SBI Gold
  7. Yatra SBI Credit Card
  8. HDFC Platinum Plus
  9. HDFC Solitaire
  10. IRCTC SBI Card

Also, check out my entire collection of credit card reviews here > In depth credit card reviews of all credit cards in India

Which are the best Credit Cards in India?

Here is a list of top credit cards that currently are available. (This is manually curated by me, not based off some fancy algorithm.) Jump to comments for a lot of wisdom and inputs from readers like you. Feel free to ask your questions or share you opinion about any cards mentioned here. Be brutally honest. No sugar coating!

More Cards Here

Also check out these credit card reviews – HDFC Credit Cards | Axis Bank Credit Cards | Standard Chartered Credit Cards | Citibank Credit Cards | SBI Credit Cards | Kotak Mahindra Credit Cards

1. ICICI Instant Platinum Credit Card – Good For Shopping

Top_Credit_Cards_in_India_ICICI Instant Platinum Credit Card

Features

– This credit card is meant for those who have problems with their credit scores. You don’t need a credit history to get this card. (Kind of like a secure credit card)
– You can instantly get access to this card against the security of fixed deposit. The minimum fixed deposit is 20,000 Rupees and has to be kept for at least 180 days.
– Charges for the overdue interest is 2.49% per month and 29.88% yearly. But interest will only be charged if you only make part payment or nil payment. If the outstanding has been paid in full you will not be charged any interest.
– Zero annual fee
– 2.5% fuel surcharge can be availed for transaction up to Rs 4000 at HPCL pumps
– It cannot be issued to minors and foreign nationals

Advantages

– Ideal credit card for shopping.
– There is no joining fee or Annual fee for ICICI Instant Platinum Credit Card.
– Subscribers of this card can avail Rs 200 off on movie tickets every month.
– 15% discount at leading restaurants
– Points collected can be used redeem attractive gifts from specified centers.

Disadvantages

– The monthly fee is on the higher end but the card does offer some attractive deals.

Related: Check out Citibank Cashback Card’s Review.

2. Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Credit Card

Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Credit Card

– Entry fee is Rs 399 and the first year you don’t incur any annual charges. But the second year you have to pay Rs 750 as renewal charges.
– Person applying for this card must earn a monthly income of 25000 Rs per month.

Advantages

– Customers can avail 5 points for every Rs 150 spent at specified dining restaurants.
– Avail 5 points for Rs 150 spent on fuel.
– Earn 5 reward points for every Rs.150 spent at hotels.
– No entry or annual charges if this credit card is applied online.
– You can also get 1500 reward points after first five transactions.
– This is a good credit card for people who dine out often.
– This is also a good credit card for corporates/companies who can give this card to employees who’d like to put their expenses on the card.

Also read >  Axis Bank MY Zone Credit Card - Good For Movie Buffs!

Disadvantages

– Monthly interest is 3.1% and annual interest is 37.20%.Interest rate is slightly on the higher end. But if the outstanding amount is paid the same month no interest is charged.

Apply Here

Related reading: Best Credit Cards from Standard Chartered Bank

3. Standard Chartered Inner Circle Titanium Credit Card

Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Credit Card

Features

– Subscribers of this card get a discount voucher for Rs 2500.
– There is no admission fee and annual charges for this card.
– There is a 5% cash back at Auchan Stores.
– Points gathered can be redeemed at Lifestyle stores.

Advantages

– Standard Chartered is globally accepted so you can shop freely at your convenience.
– Card payments can be made wither online or even at cheque collection boxes
– The Standard Chartered Inner Circle Platinum Credit Card can also be used to purchase railway and airline tickets.

Disadvantages

– Monthly interest is 3.1% and annual interest is 37.20%.Interest rate is slightly on the higher end. But if the outstanding amount is paid the same month no interest is charged.

Apply Here

Related reading: Best Credit Cards from State Bank of India 

4. Citibank Platinum Credit Card – Good Credit Card for Travel

Citibank Platinum Credit Card

Features

– You can earn 1 point on every Rs 125 spent on the Citibank Platinum Credit Card.
– Special discounts on dining, entertainment and travel.
– You can know your credit card bills through the credit card statement sent through letter or email. You can also keep track of your account through CitiAlert.
– You can also opt for Click-an-EMI that allows you make your payments in easy installments.

Advantages

– There is no joining fee or annual charges for this card.
– You can find out the rewards earned for your card by sending a sms to REWARDS XXXX to 52484*. XXXX denotes the last digits of your credit card number.

Disadvantages

– The interest rate is 3.25% per month and the annual rate is 39.00%. So if payment is not met in time you will end up paying high interests.

More Details

Related reading: Top Credit Cards from Axis Bank

5. Indian oil Titanium Citibank Credit Card

Features

– You earn up to 4 points on every purchase of Rs 150 fuel from Indian Oil .These points can be redeemed at Indian Oil for fuel purchases. I turbo point is equal to Rs 1 free fuel.
– You can earn 4 points for purchase of Rs 150 from establishments like Amazon, book my show, jabong.com, Samsung, myntra and many more.
– You can get 2 Turbo Points on every Rs.150 spent at groceries and supermarkets

Advantages

– There is no annual fee to be paid if you spent Rs 30000 or more on this card in a year. But subscribers who have not spent Rs 30000 will have to pay an annual fee of Rs 1000.
– You can redeem your points for free fuel
– You can check your points by sending a sms to REWARDS XXXX’ to 52484. XXXX denotes the last digits of your credit card number.

Disadvantages

– Interest rate is 3.25%per month and the annual rate is 39%
– Cash withdrawal of Rs 300 can be drawn from ATM but it will be subject to an interest rate of 2%.

More Details

Related reading: Top Credit Cards from CitiBank

6. SBI Gold Credit Card – Good card for paying utility bills

SBI Gold Credit Card

Features

– SBI Gold card provides you the privilege of meeting all your utility bills like electricity, insurance, telephone conveniently.
– Flexi pay option allows you make payments in simple installments on a monthly basis.
– E-statements will sent to your email account and the credit card status can be known form the mobile alerts.

Advantages

SBI Gold Card is accepted worldwide and can be used in over 24 million outlets.
– You can withdraw cash at VISA/MasterCard ATMs. You can withdraw 2.5% of withdrawal amount or 300/- (WIH) per transaction.
– You can book your railway or airline tickets online or at the counter using SBI Gold Card.
– Bill payments can be done online but you can also opt for cheque drop box facility.To locate nearest drop box you can sms “PIN” < space > your 6 digit pin code xxxxxx to 56767 and it send you list of nearby places where it is located.
– Good credit card for paying bills on a regular basis.

Disadvantages

– The SBI Gold card has a joining fee of 299 Rs and an annual charge of 299 Rs.
– Interest is 3.35% per month and annual charges is 40.2%.
– Cheque pick up charges is Rs 90 and for cheque dishonor the fee is Rs 350 and can go up to Rs 500.
– Card replacement will cost Rs 100.

More Details

Related reading: Credit Cards from ING Vysya Bank

7. Yatra SBI Credit Card – Good for Travel, Bill payments

Yatra SBI Credit Card

Features

Also read >  10 Tips to Save on Income Tax in India

– SBI Yatra card is an international card that gives you many benefits.On joining you get a travel voucher Rs. 8,250 from Yatra.com
– It allows you to meet all your utility bills like electricity, insurance, telephone conveniently.
– Flexi pay option allows you make payments in simple installments on a monthly basis.
– E-statements will sent to your email account and the credit card status can be known form the mobile alerts.

Advantages

– You can earn 6x Points on making purchasing at Yatra.com or grocery stores using this card.
– You can redeem your points to purchase vouchers from Yatra.com
– You earn 6x Bonus Points on tickets purchased from Yatra.com
– Yatra SBI card also gives access to premium MasterCard airport lounges in India.
– Bill payments can be done online but you can also opt for cheque drop box facility.To locate nearest drop box you can sms “PIN” < space > your 6 digit pin code xxxxxx to 56767 and it send you list of nearby places where it is located.
– You can avail fuel surcharge waiver of Rs 100 every month.But to avail this you have to purchase fuel between Rs. 500 and Rs. 3000 every time per transaction.

More Details

Related reading: Top Credit Cards from HDFC Bank

Disadvantages

– Yatra SBI card has a joining fee of 499 and annual charge of 499.
– Interest is 3.35% per month and annual charges is 40.2%.
– Cheque pick up charges is Rs 90 and for cheque dishonor the fee is Rs 350 and can go up to Rs 500.
– Card replacement will cost Rs 100

8. HDFC Platinum Plus Credit Card

HDFC Platinum Plus Credit Card

Features

– Subscribers of HDFC Platinum Plus Credit Card benefit Rs 250 as Fuel Surcharge Waiver.
– For every Rs 150 spent using this card you earn 2 reward points.
– No liability on losing the card
– This credit card provides you 50 days interest free credit commencing from the date of purchase.

Advantages

– There is no joining fee for the HDFC Platinum Plus Credit Card.
– If card is issued against fixed deposit you interest liability is only 1.99%per month and 23.88%annually.Otherwise it is 3.4%monthly and 40.8% annually.
– Add on facility allows you to get an additional 3 cards for your spouse, parents, brother or sisters

Disadvantage

– If card is not taken against fixed deposit you will have to pay high interest of 3.4%monthly and 40.8% annually.
– There is joining fee but there is an annual fee of Rs 399.

More Details

9. HDFC Solitaire Credit Card

HDFC Solitaire Credit Card

Features

– This card is exclusively designed for women and has a lot of deals for shopping.
– You get gift vouchers worth 1000 every 6 months from Shoppers Stop.
– Rs 250 off on fuel surcharge every billing cycle.
– The card also gives you 3 reward point on every Rs 150 spent.

Benefits

– You can a cash back of up to Rs 4000 for Rs 500000 spent on the card.
– On loosing card subscriber has zero liability after informing the bank of the loss.
– You can make up to 2,880 Reward Points just from dining as well as grocery.
– If card is issued against fixed deposit you interest liability is only 1.99%per month and 23.88%annually.Otherwise it is 3.4%monthly and 40.8% annually
– Rs 250 off on fuel surcharge every billing cycle.
– If 10000 is spent within 90 days of issuing card then first years membership fee is waived off.

Disadvantages

– There is an annual fee of Rs 999 but you don’t have to pay any joining fee.
– If card is not taken against fixed deposit you will have to pay high interest of 3.4%monthly and 40.8% annually.

More Details

10. IRCTC SBI Card

Features

– This card is designed exclusively for train travelers and is issued by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Limited
– You earn 1 point for every Rs 125 spent.
– IRCTC SBI Card is accepted worldwide.
– All utility bills like telephone, electricity can be met through the IRCTC SBI Card

Advantages

– Subscribers of this card earn up to 10% Value Back on AC1,AC2, AC CC booking as Reward Points for your ticket purchases
– You can book your railway ticket with this card from the comfort of your own home.
– On spending Rs 500 or more within 45 days of issuing card you can gain up to 350 Activation Bonus Reward Points.

Disadvantages

– There is a joining fee of Rs 500 and an annual fee of Rs 300 for this card
– Interest is 3.35% per month and 40.2% per annum.
– Cheque pick up charges is Rs 90 and card replacement will cost Rs 100.

More Details

Best Cashback & Shopping Credit Cards in India

Shopping Credit Cards are specialized credit cards offering numerous features that rewards you for shopping more. They pay you back, points every time you shop with them. Some of them have no annual fees while some do. It is important that you find out which credit card works for you before selecting one. I wouldn’t recommend going by the most popular one in the market – unless it fits for your usage.

Also read >  AXIS Bank Miles & More Credit Card Review - For frequent flyers!

Let’s check out some credit cards for shopping in India.

1.  Citibank Rewards Card

Citibank Rewards Shopping Credit Card India

The good news is that there is no annual fee for this card and it is a shopping and cashback reward type credit card.

Advantages

– For activation, you get 1500 points , for cards booked before January 31, 2015.
– Enjoy 10x Reward Points on spends at Apparel & Department Stores.
– Earn 1 Reward Point for every 125 spent anywhere else.
– Redeem rewards instantly across 600+ stores.
– No annual card fees.
– This is an international Credit card & can be used in India and abroad while traveling.
– A good credit card for travelers and frequent shoppers.
– Great customer service.
– Easy to get an account.

More Details

2.  Citibank Cashback Card

This credit card from Citibank is for people who do a lot of shopping, movie watching and bill payments to name a few. A credit card for the normal urban city dweller. It has an excellent rewards and cashback (up to 5%) scheme and is well accepted.

Advantages

– 5% cash back on all your movie ticket and telephone bill payments.
– 5% cash back on all bill payments made through Citibank Billpay.
– 0.5% cash back on every swipe across all other purchases.
– Hassle free automatic redemption of cash back in multiples of Rs. 500.
– Can be used in India and abroad.
– Perfect card for folks who live in the cities with an urban lifestyle.

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3. HDFC Bank MoneyBack Card

If you’re looking for a credit card that you can use for daily shopping & earn money for everyday expense, then this is a good credit card for you.  HDFC Bank MoneyBack Credit Card gives cash back on almost all day-to-day purchases. If you’re an excessive (or moderate) shopper who purchases almost any daily stuff with credit cards, then this card will help you save more money as you go. Much recommended!

Advantages

– Cash Back reward points on daily shopping items (100 Reward Points = Rs 40)
– Get 2 Reward Points on every Rs 150 spent for all retail purchases
– Get 3 X Reward Points on all online purchases
– 2.5 % Fuel surcharge waived off on all fuel spends
– Rs.250 cashback for minimum first transaction of Rs.1000 in first 45 days from card setup date
– 5X Reward Points for first 3 months from card setup date
– Rs.200 BookMyShow voucher (one time use only)

More Details

Related reading:
Best Credit Cards from Standard Chartered Bank – Features some of the best credit cards from Standard Chartered.
Best Credit Cards from SBI – SBI’s top recommended credit cards.
Top Credit Cards from Axis Bank – Axis banks most recommended credit cards hand picked.
Top Credit Cards from CitiBank – Citibank, which has some of the best credit cards, has all of them listed here.
Credit Cards from ING Vysya Bank  – These are some of the best credit cards from Vysya bank.
Top Credit Cards from HDFC Bank – These are HDFCs best credit cards I’d recommend.

If you’re looking for Shopping and Cash back credit cards, here are the best Shopping & Cashback credit cards in India.

Before getting a credit card, there are certain things one should be aware of. Let’s go one by one.

Factors to consider before getting a credit card in India

Interest rate

Interest rates vary from bank to bank and it would be charged every month. It can be as low as 1.99% to 3.5% and best option would be to compare the rates to find the most feasible choice.If you meet your bills on time it won’t be a problem but otherwise the debt compounding every month becomes very difficult to pay off.

Annual fees

A yearly fee or a renewal charge will have to be paid by the credit card holders.  Some banks provide free credit cards for certain time period but once it expires you would have to pay the charges.

Convenience in paying the bills

You can pay your credit card bills online, cheques or by cash. Payment is prompt and easy when it is done online. But sometimes cheque take time to process and customers end up being charged for not meeting the bills on time. So in such cases it becomes a difficult task to get the charges reversed.

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Got questions? Leave a comment below or WhatsApp me your question. Glad to help!


Hi, Mani Karthik here. Having lived in USA, India & Middle East, and worked for big MNC’s to startups, I have a lot to share with you. My aim is to help people, by sharing everything I’ve learned in life, through this blog. It’s read today by more than 150K people world over! I currently live in LA, California and visit India occasionally. Here’s my full story on who I am and why I blog. Connect with me on FBInstagram, Twitter or WhatsApp (+001-408-489-4785). Happy to help! 🙂


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