Credit Cards: Compare 10 Best Credit Cards In India 2023

12 January 2023
14 min read

India has a lot of credit cards to choose from. It's not as easy as it sounds to find the right one for you, so we've put together this guide to help you make an informed decision.

First off, let's talk about the basics: What are credit cards?

They're basically plastic cards that allow you to borrow money from your bank and pay it back over time. Some people use them for convenience—they can use them like cash at any time, and they don't have to worry about paying interest on their purchases. Others prefer them because they offer more flexibility in terms of spending limits and fees than debit cards do.

Which are the best credit cards to keep in India? Many people, especially the salaried ones ask this question. The truth is, there is no single credit card that is best suited to everybody. Every credit card is different and offers different kinds of benefits.

10 Top Credit Cards in India

Categories

Credit Card

Best Credit Cards for Salaried Individuals

1. Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Card

2. Axis Bank Insta Credit Card

3. Citibank Cashback Credit Card

Best Credit Cards for Students

1. ICICI Instant Platinum Card

2. SBI Student Plus Advantage Card

Best Credit Cards for Shopping and Online Purchases

1. Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card

2. SBI Simply Click Credit Card

3. Citibank Cashback Credit Card

Best Credit Cards to Travel

1. Indian Oil Titanium Citibank Credit Card

2. HDFC Platinum Plus Credit Card

Factors To Consider Before Opting For A Credit Card

When you're ready to apply for a credit card in India, there are a few factors that you'll want to take into consideration:

  • Credit Score

First, the credit score requirements will vary depending on the type of card you're looking for. If you're looking for a card specifically for travel and shopping, the higher the better—but if you don't have much of a history of using credit cards, it might be wise to start with the one that's easier to qualify for.

  • Fees

Second, fees can quickly add up—especially if you tend to carry a balance from month to month (which is common with cards like this). A high-interest rate can also make it more difficult to pay off your balance each month, so be sure to shop around when comparing rates. Be sure to check the fees associated with your chosen card.

Some cards offer cash back rewards or other perks that come with annual fees or interest rates. Others charge an annual fee even if there are no other fees or interest rates attached to the account itself. You'll need to figure out what works best for you before signing up!

  • Interest Rates

Third, interest rates are typically higher so make sure that's an important factor when choosing your card. The interest rate you'll pay on your new credit card will depend on how long you've been using it and where you live.

Most cards offer an introductory period where there are no fees or interest charges for your first few months of use, but then this changes into a regular APR (annual percentage rate). These rates vary from 0% up to 27% depending on how long you've had the account and where you live.

You may also want to read 13 Things You Need to Know About Credit Cards

Features To Watch Out Before Applying For The Best Credit Card in India

When applying for a credit card in India, it's a good idea to do some research on the offers and features offered by your potential credit card provider as per your use. These can be very useful in helping you to manage your finances.

1) How You Plan to Use the Card

Before applying for a credit card in India, you should first consider how you plan to use it. A credit card is a great way to build your credit history and establish yourself as an income-earner. You can use a credit card for any purpose, but you should be aware of its limits before applying.

2) Annual Percentage Rates (APRs)

Another important factor is annual percentage rates (APRs). These are the interest rates charged by banks and other financial institutions on loans or credit cards.

The rate will vary depending on many factors including how much money you want to borrow, how long it will take for you to repay this amount, and how reliable your income is at any given time (for example, if there are other expenses such as rent or student loans that need paying every month).

3) Credit Limit

If you don't plan on using the money on the card regularly, then there's no need to worry about having a high credit limit.

But if you do plan on making regular purchases with it, then your credit limit must be large enough to accommodate these purchases without jeopardizing your ability to pay off the balance in full each month.

4) Rewards

When considering rewards programs, make sure they're worth the cost. Some cards offer cash back or other perks, but those can be difficult to redeem and may not be worth the trouble if you're just looking for extra cash back on your purchases.

5) Penalties

You should look into the penalties for missing a payment. While some credit cards have a grace period before paying a charge, others have a higher fee for any late payment. Before applying for a credit card, it's important to know what your card will charge you in case of missed payments.

Also read, Does It Make Sense to Have A Credit Card in India?

10 Best Credit Cards in India 2023: Overview and Comparison of Credit Card

Below are some of the best credit cards to keep in India. We have categorized the content under different heads that may help you figure out which credit card is best in India.

Cards for Salaried Individuals

1. Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Card

This is the best-suited credit card for salaried people (Government or private). There are no annual fees or joining fees if you want to apply for this credit card.

It is an overall credit card with the best offers possible and also the best for the people who have applied for a credit card for the first time.

There is an option of upgrading this credit card to Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card if you would want to do it at a later stage. But the upgrade will be approved only based on your credit usage and salary.

Benefits of Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Card

  • If you do the transaction within 60 days, then you receive 1000 reward points.
  • 5x rewards point on spending Rs 150 on fuel and dining.
  • 1x rewards points if the spending is done on all other categories.
  • Enjoy 20% cashback on Uber rides.
  • Registering for online banking fetches you extra 500 reward points.
  • A number of discounts and offers across shopping, dining, travel and more.

2. Axis Bank Insta Credit Card

You can avail of this one of the best credit card india, even if you have a poor credit rating, all you need to have is a fixed deposit with the bank. In fact, it is quite easy to get a credit card through this plan.

Benefits of Axis Bank Insta Credit Card

  • Earn a reward point of 100 with every online transaction
  • Attain a waiver of 2.5% for fuel-related transactions if it is in the price range of Rs. 400 - Rs. 4000
  • There is a joining fee of Rs. 500, which is waivered off if Rs. 5000 is spent within 45 days
  • Once a certain amount of points have been attained, the user can redeem them in the form of gifts (mentioned in their catalogue)

3. Citibank Cashback Credit Card

This credit card provides attractive discounts to the user by giving cashback and discounts on every transaction. It is very handy for salaried individuals as it saves a lot of money for the customer.

Benefits of Citibank Cashback Credit Card

  • You can make payments up to 2000 without entering the pin number.
  • The card offers cashback of 5% on utilities like telephone bills, electricity bill, movie tickets, etc.
  • You can redeem these cashback points to reduce your overall liability every month

Best Credit Cards for Students

1. ICICI Instant Platinum Card

If your credit card score is less, then you probably should go for an ICICI Instant Platinum Credit Card. It is best for students, non-salaried people, and housewives.

If you have a savings account with ICICI bank then getting approval for this credit card against a fixed deposit becomes very easy.

The annual fee for this credit card is nil. You need to keep in mind that the approval rate isn’t good if you don’t have a fixed deposit with the bank.

Benefits of ICICI Instant Platinum Card

  • You get 2 PAYBACK Points for every Rs 100 spent.
  • Their Culinary Treats program offers a minimum 15% discount on dining at over 800 restaurants.
  • At bookmyshow.com you get Rs 100 off on up to 2 tickets per month.
  • If the minimum transaction of Rs 4000 is done on fuels at HPCL pumps, then you can avail 2.5% fuel surcharge waiver.
  • Earn interests on fixed deposits and have low-interest rate credit cards @ 2.49% per month.

2. SBI Student Plus Advantage Card

This card is unique because it is specially designed for customers who have availed of the SBI Education Loan. To avail of this card, you will need to have an FD with the bank.

You can use this card in India, as well as abroad in more than 24 million outlets.

Benefits of SBI Student Plus Advantage Card

  • You earn a reward point for every transaction you make (above 100) and you can use this point to pay off your outstanding balance
  • You can attain a waiver of 2.5% on fuel across petrol pumps in India if you buy petrol from Rs. 500-3000.
  • You can also pay your utility bills from this card and attain 10X reward points

Cards for Shopping and Online Purchases

1. Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card

It comes with an annual fee of Rs 999, which can be waived off.

The most attractive point of this credit card is that it gives 5% cashback on expenses relating to groceries. It is best suited for salaried people whose expenses are 1 Lakh to 2 Lakh per annum.

All the grocery stores aren’t included but supermarkets like Big Bazaar, More, Spencers, etc. are included. It is recommended for the people who spend most of their money on grocery shopping and online shopping and would want to save on their monthly expenses.

Benefits of Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card

  • 5% cashback on the expenses made on supermarkets and departmental stores (Maximum up to Rs 500 per month).
  • 3x rewards points on all the other expenses made.
  • A number of discounts and offers on most lifestyle stores and hotels.
  • Enjoy 20% cashback on Uber rides.

2. SBI Simply Click Credit Card

It is best suited for people who love online shopping and also who are salaried people.

The people having a salary account with SBI get the credit card easily. It’s important to have a good credit history score if you are planning to apply for this credit card.

The annual fee for this credit card is Rs 499, which will be waived off if the annual spending exceeds Rs 1,00,000.

They have tie-ups with online stores which makes it even more useful for the customers who prefer online shopping.

Benefits of SBI Simply Click Credit Card

  • On joining, you receive a Rs 500 Amazon gift card for free.
  • On an online transaction with Amazon, Cleartrip, Foodpanda, Lenskart, Bookmyshow, and UrbanClap, you get rewards points of 10X.
  • On any other online shopping site, you earn 5X reward points.
  • Annual online spending of Rs 1 lakhs fetches you an e-voucher of Cleartrip for Rs 2000.
  • For each fuel transaction between Rs 500 to Rs 3000, a 1% fuel surcharge is waived off.

3. Citibank Cashback Credit Card

It’s a good credit card if you make a lot of payments online and book a lot of movie tickets.

An annual fee of Rs 500 is charged if you apply for Citibank Cashback Credit Card. To get this credit card it’s important that you have a good credit history.

Benefits of Citibank Cashback Credit Card

  • Movie tickets purchases have 5% cashback
  • Telephone bill payments have 5% cashback
  • Utility bill payments made online through Citibank Online Bill Pay also fetches 5% cashback.
  • 5% Cash Back on all other spending.
  • Exclusive offers and discounts on dining and shopping

Cards to Travel

1. Indian Oil Titanium Citibank Credit Card

This is the best credit card for someone who commutes to the office using his/her car or for someone who refills his car twice a month.

You have a lot of benefits if you get the petrol refilled in your car through IndianOil fuel stations in India.

There is no annual fee on this credit card, however, if you do not spend Rs 30,000 per annum then you will have to pay Rs 1000 as an annual fee.

Benefits of Indian Oil Titanium Citibank Credit Card

  • At IndianOil fuel pumps, you get 4 Turbo Points for every Rs 150 spent on purchasing fuel. (Here 1 Turbo point is equal to Rs 1)
  • On every Rs 150 spent on groceries and supermarket, you get 2 turbo points. (Approved list of supermarkets)
  • 1 Turbo point on shopping, dining, etc. for every Rs 150 spent.
  • Full fuel surcharge on fuel purchased is waived off.

2. HDFC Platinum Plus Credit Card

This is another credit card just like the Indian oil credit card from HDFC, you can save a lot of money on fuel by redeeming the reward points.

Also, there is no annual fee on this credit card and there is an add-on facility that allows you to get an additional 3 credit cards for spouses, children, parents, etc.

Benefits of HDFC Platinum Plus Credit Card

  • With every Rs 150 spent, you receive 2 reward points.
  • If you report the bank after losing the card within 24 hours, then after that there is no liability on you.
  • There is a fuel surcharge waiver of 2.5% on fuel consumption.
  • You can avail yourself up to 50 days interest-free from the purchase date.

Risks of Opting For A Credit Card in India

The risks of opting for a credit card in India are many. The biggest risk is credit card fraud, which is quite common in India. Your card could be compromised by hackers who use it to make fraudulent purchases or transfer money to other accounts. This can happen when you're using your card at a store that doesn't accept cards or online purchases, or if you use it without securing it with two-factor authentication.

Another risk is high-interest rates. If you don't pay off your balance on time each month, the interest rate will add up quickly and may turn into a fee if you don't pay it off within a year.

There are also some cards that offer benefits like travel insurance or roadside assistance, but those are often not worth the cost of using them.

Conclusion

Well, the main reason to have a credit card and most importantly, compare credit cards India these days is that you can build a good credit history. You can also get loans at a favourable time if your credit history is good.

As a new cardholder, you must ensure that the credit card has a good or excellent credit score requirement. Credit scores are indicative of the likelihood of somebody being able to repay their debts. A card with an excellent credit score requirement can be used by consumers with very high scores who do not require any additional safeguards. 

As you have read above in the blog about credit card comparison India, you can also get a discount on your purchases, by using a credit card. Some credit cards can also help you protect those purchases against any damage or theft.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are that of the author and not those of Groww.

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Research Analyst - Bavadharini KS

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