An ideal credit card is supposed to come with a high reward rate, low interest rate and forex mark-up fee and offer complimentary benefits like airport lounge access, golf rounds/lessons, etc, at a very less or zero membership fee. But that sounds like a very utopian idea. It’s not monetarily feasible for card issuers to offer such a rewarding credit card that too at a nominal or nil membership fee. Therefore, what they do instead is, offer credit cards that are best suited for a particular category of customers based on their spending habits. No one credit card can be termed as “the best” for everyone. A card can be the best for a frequent flyer, but a letdown for a movie buff. We have handpicked the best credit cards in India from various categories, so that you may find the one that fits your spending habits the best.
Table of Contents
1,00,000 Membership Rewards Points or Taj, SeleQtions, and Vivanta Hotels’ vouchers worth Rs. 45,000.
1 Membership Rewards Point on every Rs. 40, 3X Points on all international spends, and 5X Rewards Points on transactions via Reward Multiplier portal.
Rs. 60,000 (plus applicable taxes)
It is the most premium credit card by American Express and comes with a hefty membership fee of Rs. 60,000 per annum. It is an American Express Charge Card, i.e. there is no fixed pre-decided credit limit (it keeps changing based on the cardholder’s financial behavior). The card offers you all the benefits that one expects from a super premium credit card-
All these aforementioned premium benefits and privileges make American Express Platinum Credit Card one of the best choices in the super-premium category. The AmEx Platinum Credit Card probably has the highest membership fee in the Indian credit card market. The benefits that it offers, to a degree, do justify the high membership fee. Even though the membership fee is high, but in last 1 year, AmEx has provided various 100% cashback offers like the recent 100% cashback up to Rs 30,000 on flipkart and myntra, which offset the fees paid. You might still want to compare the benefits of the American Express Platinum Card with those of HDFC Infinia and ICICI Emeralde credit cards.
10,000 bonus Reward Points and Complimentary Club Marriott membership for first year.
5 Reward Points for every Rs. 150 spent, reward rate of up to 3.3%
Rs. 10,000 (plus applicable taxes)
It is the most premium credit card by HDFC Bank and comes with a membership fee of Rs. 10,000 per annum. However, the benefits that the Infinia card offers justify the high membership fee. Some of the key features of the Infinia Credit Card are as under-
Considering the aforementioned benefits that HDFC Infinia Credit Card comes bundled with, it is definitely one of the best credit cards in the super-premium category. If you wish to enjoy best-in-class lifestyle privileges, you must have a look at this offering by HDFC.
2,500 bonus reward points and a benefit worth Rs. 10,000 from ITC hotels or the Taj group.
1 Reward Points for every Rs. 100 on domestic spends, 2 Reward Points for every Rs. 100 on international spends.
Rs. 20,000 (plus applicable taxes)
The Prestige Credit Card is the most premium offering by Citibank. It comes with a plethora of premium benefits including-
Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card is a premium offering by the bank. You need to pay a membership fee of Rs. 5,000 per annum. The features and benefits that this card comes bundled with are summarised as under-
4 PAYBACK points on every Rs. 100 spent on all transactions (except fuel, utilities and insurance categories) and 1 PAYBACK point on every Rs. 100 spent on utilities and insurance
Rs. 1,000 (plus applicable taxes) for monthly plan, Rs. 12,000 (plus applicable taxes) for annual plan
The Emeralde Credit Card by ICICI Bank is a super-premium offering by the bank. It is in direct competition with HDFC’s Infinia card. Being a super-premium credit card, it comes with a plethora of best in class privileges-
Emeralde Credit Card by ICICI Bank is yet another very good option for HNIs who don’t want to compromise with their lifestyle needs. One unique feature that memes this card stand out from most other credit cards in the market is that it allows you to choose between monthly and annual membership plans. The membership fee of the Emeralde Credit Card is Rs. 1,000 per month or Rs. 12,000 per annum.
Gift voucher worth Rs. 5,000 from any one of Yatra, Hush Puppies/Bata, Pantaloons, Aditya Birla Fashion and Shoppers Stop
2 Reward Points on every Rs. 100 on all spending except fuel (reward rate of 0.5%), 5X Reward Points on dining, departmental stores and grocery spends (reward rate of 2.5%)
Rs. 4,999 (plus applicable taxes)
The Elite Credit Card is a premium credit card by SBI cards. Being a premium offering, it comes loaded with a plethora of top-of-the-line privileges and benefits-
If you’re looking for a premium credit card from a PSU card issuer, then this one by SBI cards is certainly an option worth considering.
Choose any one- Tata Cliq voucher or a complimentary domestic flight ticket worth Rs. 10,000.
12 Axis EDGE REWARDS Points for every Rs. 200 spent with the card, 2X Points on MakeMyTrip, Yatra, Goibibo, etc.
Rs. 10,000 + GST
Axis Bank Magnus Credit Card is a premium offering by the bank. The card offers a plethora of premium privileges and benefits, particularly travel benefits. Some of the benefits that come bundelled with the Axis Bank Magnus Credit Card are as under-
Complimentary Club Marriott, Amazon Prime, Zomato Gold, Forbes, Times Prime, and MMTDOUBLEBLACK memberships for a year.
5 Reward Points for every Rs. 150 spent (reward rate of up to 3.3%), accelerated Reward Points on SmartBuy
Rs. 10,000 (plus applicable taxes)
It is the second most premium offering by HDFC bank. It also comes with a membership fee of Rs. 10,000 per annum and offers various premium benefits and privileges-
All these benefits make the Diners Club Black Credit Card by HDFC Bank another very attractive option for HNIs (high net-worth individuals). If you’re looking for a premium HDFC Credit Card, you can’t go wrong with either of Infinia and Diners Club Black Credit Cards.
HDFC Regalia Credit Card is one of the most popular lifestyle Credit Cards in the Indian Credit Card market. This should be the card of choice for those professionals who are financially well settled. This card comes with an annual membership fee of Rs. 2,500 and can be seen as the gateway to the more premium credit cards, many of which are invite-only and come with a hefty membership fee. Some of the key features of the HDFC Regalia Credit Card are as under-
Choose any of these options: A complimentary night stay at Oberoi hotels, a Luxe gift card, or gift vouchers from brands like BATA, Vero Moda, ALDO, Titan, etc.
Earn 2.5 reward points on every Rs 100 spent online, 1.5 reward points on every Rs 100 on online travel and flight bookings, 1 RP on every Rs 100 spent on every other purchase.
Rs 12,999/- plus applicable taxes
It is a sub-premium lifestyle credit card by IndusInd Bank. It comes with a membership fee of Rs. 12,999 but you may even get the card for free and offers a host of benefits. Some of them are as under-
If you’re looking for a credit card in the sub-premium range, the Pinnacle card from IndusInd can be a good pick for you as it offers very attractive travel, insurance and entertainment benefits.
Gift voucher worth Rs. 3,000 from any one of Bata/Hush Puppies, Pantaloons, Aditya Birla Fashion, Shoppers Stop and Yatra.com
10 Reward Points per Rs. 100 on dining, groceries, departmental stores and movie spends, 2 Reward Points per Rs. 100 on all other retail spends
Rs. 2,999 (plus applicable taxes)
It is a mid-level credit card by SBI cards. This card also comes with many benefits and privileges-
This credit card is best suited for someone looking for a card with a decent reward rate that offers benefits across various spends categories including travel, movies, dining, reward points, gift vouchers, etc. Although it’s not a super premium credit card, it does offer fairly good rewards and benefits.
Axis Bank Select Credit Card is a mid-level offering by Axis Bank. The membership fee of this card is Rs. 3,000 per annum. Select credit card offers a host of benefits for all categories of spends-
All the aforementioned benefits and privileges make the Select Credit Card by Axis Bank a very attractive choice in the sub-premium category.
6-month FitPass Pro membership worth Rs. 15,000 and 10,000 bonus reward points.
15 reward points / Rs. 100 on online shopping, travel, movie, and dining spends (max cap of 5,000 points at this rate), 3 reward points/ Rs. 100 for spends on all other categories.
Rs. 2,499 + GST
The BOB Eterna Credit Card is another very attractive option in the lifestyle category as you get quite a high reward rate with this one – up to 15 Reward Points per Rs. 100 spent (1 Reward Point = Rs. 0.25). The card comes with an annual membership fee of Rs. 2,499 and offers a host of lifestyle benefits including-
All these benefits make the BOB Eterna Credit Card a perfect card for those looking for a lifestyle or sub-premium credit card that offers benefits across all categories of spends.
As the name suggests, HDFC Millennia Credit Card is tailored for the needs of the millennials – the generation that loves shopping online. It is a cashback credit card and best suited for young professionals for whom online shopping accounts for a substantial portion of their total monthly spending. Keeping the card’s target customers in mind, HDFC offers the following benefits with the card-
Get exclusive travel & shopping gift vouchers worth more than Rs. 9,000 and get a cashback of Rs. 750 on spending Rs 20,000 within 60 days of issuance of the Sapphiro AmEx card.
On every Rs. 100 spent, get 6 PAYBACK Points on international purchases & 3 PAYBACK Points on domestic purchases through the AmEx variant and get 4 PAYBACK Points on international purchases & 2 PAYBACK Points on domestic purchases through the Mastercard variant.
Rs. 6,500 (plus applicable taxes)
The Sapphiro Credit Card is the second most premium offering by ICICI bank only next to the Emeralde credit card. You have to pay a membership fee of Rs. 6,500 per annum for this credit card. The Sapphiro Credit Card also comes loaded with many attractive benefits for all categories of customers. The card comes in two variants- AmEx and MasterCard variants. The AmEx variant has the upper hand in terms of the benefits that it offers. Some of the important features and benefits of the Sapphiro Credit Card are summarised as under-
Amazon gift voucher worth Rs. 500
1 Reward Point per Rs. 100 on offline spends (reward rate = 0.25%), 10X Reward Points on online spends at partner merchants (Amazon, BookMyShow, Apollo24x7, etc.) (reward rate = 2.5%), 5X Reward Points on other online spends (reward rate = 1.25%)
Rs. 499 (plus applicable taxes)
With a nominal membership fee of Rs. 499 per annum, SBI SimplyCLICK Credit Card is an entry-level card by SBI Cards and offers a fairly high reward rate at partner e-commerce portals like Amazon, Cleartrip, BookMyShow, Lenskart, UrbanClap, etc. Some of the salient features of SBI Simply Click Credit Card are as under-
Given its high reward rate on online spends, SBI SimplyCLICK Credit Card is one of the most popular entry-level credit cards in India, particularly popular amongst new to credit millennials and first-time cardholders. If you’re fond of online shopping, especially at the aforementioned partner merchants, this SimplyCLICK Card by SBI Cards can be a really good pick for you.
Axis Bank ACE credit Card is a very attractive entry-level offering by Axis Bank. The card comes with an annual membership fee of just Rs. 495 and is best suited for utility bill payments and recharges as it offers a high reward rate of 5% on bill payments and recharges via Google Pay. Some of the salient features of the card include-
Cashback of Rs. 500 on spends of Rs. 10,000 within 90 days of card issuance.
1 Membership Reward Point/Rs. 50 spent (with a few exceptions), accelerated Reward Points on Amazon and Flipkart (10X), Uber (10X) and on other merchants like Paytm, Swiggy, PVR, etc (5%).
5X Membership Rewards Points on spends on BookMyShow and PVR Cinemas.
Membership Rewards Points redeemable for online shopping vouchers, INSTA rewards for offline purchases, transferable to various flight and hotels loyalty programmes and for making credit card bill payments under the Cash + Points scheme.
Rs. 495 (plus applicable taxes)
The SmartEarn Credit Card by American Express is a basic entry-level offering by the card issuer. The card comes with a membership fee of just Rs. 495 per annum and is best suited for shopping. While the card earns you 1 Membership Rewards Point per Rs. 50, you can earn up to 10X Membership Rewards Points on spends at partner merchants which include big names like Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm, Uber, Swiggy, Paytm, etc. Some of the key features of AmEx SmartEarn Credit Card are as under-
As is obvious from the name, it is an entry-level cashback credit card and comes with a membership fee of just Rs. 500 per annum. You earn cashback on all categories of spends with the Citi Cash Back Credit Card. The card earns you accelerated cashback on movie tickets and utility bill payments. You also get special discounts on travel and dining spends (with specific partner merchants). Some of the key features of the card are as under-
Cashback of up to 1,500 on fuel transactions within first 90 days.
You get up to 5% cashback on fuel transactions, utility bills payments, telephone bills and 1 reward point on every Rs 150 spent on other categories
Rs. 750 plus applicable taxes
Nil (for premium banking customers)
It is an entry-level shopping credit card by Standard Chartered Bank. The unique feature of this card is that it rewards you both in terms of cashback as well as reward points depending upon the category of transaction. You earn a cashback on 5% on fuel purchases and utility bill payments and 1 reward point on all other categories of spends. As a welcome benefit, you get a 100% waiver on fuel purchases (up to Rs. 1,500) in the first 90 days of card issuance. Some of the salient features of Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Credit Card are as under-
IDFC First Classic credit card is another great option in the entry-level category. The best part is, the card comes with a zero membership fee. The salient features of the First Classic Credit Card as summarised as under-
With all these aforementioned benefits, IDFC First Classic Credit Card gives a neck-to-neck competition to other credit cards by big players like HDFC, ICICI and SBI in the entry-level category.
Rs. 300 to Rs. 600 Amazon Pay Balance (keeps changing)
5% cashback on Amazon India for Prime members and 3% cashback for Non-Prime members, 2% cashback on partner merchants accepting Amazon Pay, 1% cashback on all other payments except fuel purchases
AmazonPay ICICI Bank Credit is one of the most popular shopping credit cards in India right now. It is a lifetime free credit card launched by ICICI Bank in partnership with Amazon. The card rewards you with cashback which is automatically credited as Amazon Pay balance to your Amazon Pay wallet at the end of each month. The reward rate and other features of the card are as under-
Apart from these cashback benefits, you also get dining benefits with a minimum 15% discount at partner restaurants under the bank’s Culinary Treats Program. This card is comparable with the Flipkart Axis Bank Credit Card (see below) which can be a better pick for you if you prefer Flipkart over Amazon for online shopping.
Welcome benefit worth Rs. 2,500 on card issuance, benefit of up to Rs. 900 on Gaana app (Gaana Plus membership worth Rs. 1,299 for Rs. 399), discounts and cashback on first transaction on Myntra, The Phy Life and Plum Goodness
5% cashback on Flipkart and Myntra, 4% cashback on prefered partners (Swiggy, Uber, PVR and cure.fit) and 1.5% cashback on all other spends.
This co-branded offering by Axis Bank in partnership with Flipkart gives tough competition to the Amazon Pay ICICI Bank credit card. Flipkart Axis Bank Credit Card offers a high reward rate on Flipkart, Myntra and other partner merchants including Swiggy, Uber, PVR, etc. Earlier, Flipkart Axis Bank Credit Card was offered on the MasterCard payments network, now, since MasterCard is not allowed to onboard new customers, Axis Bank is issuing this card on the Visa payments network. Following are some of the key features of the Flipkart Axis Bank Credit Card-
Get a Complimentary Paytm First Membership is provided on card activation as welcome offer. Welcome Cashback of Rs 750 is provided to the card holder upon activation of the credit card in your Paytm wallet.
5% cashback on Paytm Mall, Movies, Travel. 2% cashback on all other purchases on Paytm App. 1% cashback on other online and offline spends.
Rs 1,499 plus GST
It is a co-branded credit card by SBI Cards in collaboration with Paytm. The card comes with a membership fee of Rs. 1,499. The salient features of this credit card are summarised as under-
It is the most premium travel credit card by Axis Bank in collaboration with Air Vistara. You earn Club Vistara Points on all spends via the Vistara Infinite credit card which can be redeemed on the Air Vistara portal for booking Vistara air tickets, class upgrades, award flights, etc. Apart from the CV Points, you also get the following travel benefits with the Vistara Infinite credit card-
1 Complimentary 6E Prime Add-On, 1 complimentary air ticket worth Rs. 3,000, Welcome vouchers from merchants like Nissin Noddles, Budweiser worth Rs. 250 each and Samsonite-or American Tourister worth Rs. 500.
5% 6E Rewards on IndiGo, 3% 6E Rewards on dining, grocery and entertainment, and 2% 6E Rewards on all other spends.
Rs. 2,500 plus applicable taxes (zero fee variant also available as a limited period offer)
As the name suggests, it is a co-branded credit card by HDFC bank in partnership with IndiGo. The card comes in two variants – free variant and paid variant (membership fee of Rs. 2,500). The card offers a plethora of travel benefits to domestic travelers which are summarised as under-
Go IndiGo is the country’s largest airline, therefore, this credit card can be a really good option for domestic frequent flyers.
20,000 reward points worth Rs. 5,000
30 reward points per Rs. 100 on tickets booked for self and 10 reward points per Rs. 100 on tickets booked for others through airindia.com and 10 reward points per Rs. 100 on tickets booked for self and others through Air India Booking office or call centers
Rs. 4,999 (plus applicable taxes)
Air India SBI Signature credit card is the more premium variant of the SBI Platinum card. It comes with a membership fee of Rs. 4,999 per annum and offers you the following travel benefits-
If you’re looking for a slightly more premium Air India credit card, then this one can be the card of choice for you as it gives you a fairly high reward rate on Air India bookings.
5,000 Etihad Guest Miles, complimentary Etihad Guest Gold tier status post first card transaction, 2 Free Wifi vouchers on first Etihad Airways booking.
6 Etihad Guest Miles for every Rs. 100 spent on Etihad.com, 4 Etihad Guest Miles for every Rs. 100 spent for international purchases, and 2 Etihad Guest Miles on all other spends (except fuel purchases). A max cap of 40,000 Miles per year is applicable
Rs. 4,999 (plus applicable taxes)
It is a premium travel credit card by SBI cards in collaboration with the UAE-based Etihad Airways airline. The card comes with a membership fee of Rs. 4,999 and offers you a plethora of travel benefits, which are summarised as under-
Considering the aforementioned travel benefits, it’d be safe to conclude that if you’re looking for a premium credit card and you’re a frequent flyer to middle-east destinations like Dubai, you can not go wrong with this one as it offers a fairly high reward rate, particularly on the Etihad Airways portal. On top of that, you also get a discount of 10% on bookings made directly on Etihad.com.
It is a co-branded travel credit card by Standard Chartered Bank in partnership with the UAE-based Emirates airline. The travel benefits that you get with this credit card as under-
The IRCTC SBI Card Premier is one of the few IRCTC travel credit cards currently available in the market. Since SBI offers this card in collaboration with IRCTC, you get many railway benefits with this credit card. Some of them are listed below-
The Platinum Travel Credit Card is a premium travel credit card by American Express and comes loaded with a plethora of travel benefits. The travel benefits that come bundled with the AmEx Platinum credit card are as under-
Apart from these travel benefits, you get up 20% discount on dining bills at American Express partner restaurants. You also get a discount of 10% on purchasing One Plus devices from the official One Plus website.
10,000 Miles on the spends of Rs. 1,000 or more in the first 2 months of card issuance.
10 Miles/Rs. 100 spent for airline transactions and 4 Miles/Rs. 100 spent for all other transactions.
Rs. 3,000 (plus applicable taxes)
The PremierMiles credit card by Citibank is a premium offering by the bank in the travel category. The card is offered in two variants- the Visa variant and the MasterCard variant. It comes with a membership fee of Rs. 3,000 per annum and offers you the following travel benefits-
2,000 PAYBACK Points on realization of membership fee within 2 months and expenditure of a minimum of Rs. 5,000 within the first 45 days of card set up; Rs. 100 cashback on HP Pay app on first transaction of Rs. 1,000 or above made via the app.
4% cashback on fuel purchases at all HPCL stations, 5% cashback as PAYBACK points on utility and departmental store purchases, 2 PAYBACK points per Rs. 100 spent for all other domestic and international transactions.
Rs. 500 (plus applicable taxes)
It is the latest co-branded fuel credit card launched by the ICICI Bank in July in partnership with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Visa. The unique feature of this credit card is that, although it’s a fuel card, you get accelerated reward points on many other categories of spends as well.
Given all these benefits, the recently launched ICICI HPCL Super Saver Credit Card seems to be one of the most attractive offerings in the entry-level segment, as with this credit card, you get a higher reward rate not just on fuel spends, but across many other categories of spends as well.
2,000 Bonus Reward Points and BookMyShow voucher worth Rs. 250
1 Reward Point per Rs. 100 (reward rate = 0.25%), 5X Reward Points on dining, movies, departmental stores, and groceries (reward rate = 1.25%), 13X Reward Points at BPCL pumps (reward rate = 3.25%)
Rs. 499 (plus applicable taxes)
This is another entry-level fuel credit card by SBI Cards in collaboration with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited. You get the following benefits with BPCL SBI Credit Card-
BPCL SBI Credit Card can be a very good option in the entry-level fuel cards category. This card gives a direct competition to the ICICI HPCL Super Saver Credit Card.
As is obvious from the name itself, it is a co-branded credit card by Citibank in partnership with IOCL. You earn Reward Points as Turbo Points on this credit card. The card comes with 250 Turbo Points as a welcome benefit. You earn-
Complimentary Zomato pro membership.
10 Edition Cash for every Rs. 100 spent on Zomato, 2 Edition Cash for every Rs. 100 spent online and on all other food purchases, 1 Edition Cash/Rs. 100 on all other spends.
Rs. 1,499 + GST
RBL Bank launched the Edition Credit Card in collaboration with the food delivery app Zomato. It is a mid-level credit card and comes with a membership fee of Rs. 1,499 per annum. You get the following benefits with the Edition Credit Card-
All these benefits and privileges make the Edition Credit Card by RBL bank a very attractive option for those who frequently order food online. As a bonus, you also get a couple of travel benefits with this card.
If you’re a movie buff, there can not be a better credit card than the PVR Kotak Platinum Credit Card. You don’t have to pay any joining fee for this card, however a renewal fee of Rs. 999 per annum is payable second year onwards. Some of the key features of the PVR Kotak Platinum Credit Card as under-
Choosing the right credit card in India can be a daunting task unless you are very clear about your spending needs. But, if that is not the case, you must first evaluate your spending habit. For that, you should determine what portion of your credit card bill do the various categories of spends account for. This data will make the choice easier for you. It’ll obviously be better to go for a card that gives you maximum benefit on your favrouite spends category. Now, you may utilise our list of top credit cards in different categories.
Card issuers offer Super Premium Credit Cards exclusively for HNIs (high new-worth individuals). These credit cards offer a high reward rate across almost all categories of spends, but come a high membership fee. Super Premium cards are either invite-only or have a very strict eligibility criteria. Infinia card by HDFC and Emeralde card by ICICI are two of the most popular super-premium offerings in India.
Lifestyle credit cards also offer a decent reward rate on almost all spends categories like shopping, movies and dinning. Although, the reward rate of these cards is not as high as that of Super Premium cards, they are a great choice if you want a generic credit card that doesn’t come with a very high membership fee. HDFC Regalia and ICICI Sapphiro are two of the most popular lifestyle credit cards.
A travel credit card usually offers complimentary domestic and international airport lounge access, a higher reward rate on travel-related spends (like flight bookings, hotel reservations), and sometimes other travel benefits like hotel vouchers, complimentary air tickets, airport concierge service, etc.
As far as dining cards are concerned, the Edition Credit Card by RBL Bank is the best dining card currently being offered in the market. The card offers a higher reward rate not only on Zomato, but on other dining spends as well.
Amazon Pay ICICI Bank Credit Card offers 5% reward rate to Amazon Prime members on shopping on Amazon (3% to non-prime members), 2% reward rate on payments made at Amazon partner merchants (including bill payments, travel, entertainment, etc.) and 1% reward rate on all other spends. You get rewards as Amazon Pay balance which is automatically credited to your Amazon Pay wallet every payment cycle. You don’t have to pay any membership fee for this credit card.
Flipkart Axis Bank Credit Card, on the other hand, earns you cashback (directly deducted from your card’s statement balance). You get 5% cashback on Flipkart, 4% cashback on partner merchants including Swiggy, Uber, PVR and cure.fit and 1.5% cashback on all other spends. This credit card, however, comes with a membership fee of Rs. 500 per annum. You also get the additional benefit of 4 complimentary airport lounge access per annum with the Flipkart Axis Bank Credit card.
Now, if Amazon is your favrouite e-commerce platform and you are an Amazon Prime member, Amazon Pay ICICI Bank Card should be the card of choice for you. Otherwise, if you want complimentary airport lounge access, you can definitely have a look at the Flipkart Axis Bank Credit Card.