Credit Cards

Credit cards are a handy way to make purchases and offer extra benefits like rewards, cashback, and a chance to improve your credit score. Whether you're interested in travel perks, shopping discounts, or managing expenses, there's a credit card to suit your needs. In this article, we'll explore the different types of credit cards and how to choose the right one for you.

Credit Card NameInterest Rate (APR)Annual FeeRewardsKey Features
HDFC Regalia3.49% per month₹2,5004 reward points per ₹150 spentAirport lounge access, fuel surcharge waiver
SBI Card ELITE3.35% per month₹4,9992 reward points per ₹100 spent on groceries and diningWelcome gift vouchers, movie ticket discounts
ICICI Bank Coral3.40% per month₹5002 PAYBACK points per ₹100 spent on utilitiesDining offers, airport lounge access
Axis Bank Buzz3.25% per month₹7502 EDGE points per ₹200 spentDiscounts on Flipkart purchases, fuel surcharge waiver
American Express Platinum Travel3.5% per month₹3,5001 Membership Rewards point per ₹50 spentTravel vouchers, Taj Experiences Gift Card
Standard Chartered Manhattan3.49% per month₹9995% cashback on supermarkets, 3 reward points per ₹150 spent elsewhereComplimentary Priority Pass membership, fuel surcharge waiver
Kotak Mahindra Royale Signature3.5% per month₹9994 reward points per ₹150 spentAirport lounge access, fuel surcharge waiver
Yes First Preferred3.4% per month₹9998 reward points per ₹200 spent on dining, groceries, and other categoriesWelcome gift vouchers, airport lounge access
HSBC Visa Platinum3.3% per month₹02 reward points per ₹150 spentMovie ticket offers, fuel surcharge waiver
IndusInd Bank Platinum Aura Edge3.83% per month₹8994 reward points per ₹100 spentLifestyle benefits, fuel surcharge waiver
RBL Bank Platinum Maxima3.99% per month₹2,0002 reward points per ₹100 spentMovie ticket discounts, lounge access
Citibank Rewards Card3.75% per month₹1,0001 reward point per ₹125 spent10x reward points on apparel and department stores
SBI SimplyCLICK3.35% per month₹49910x reward points on online spends with partnersE-voucher on joining, fuel surcharge waiver
HDFC MoneyBack3.49% per month₹5002 reward points per ₹150 spent2x reward points on online spends
ICICI Bank Platinum Chip Credit Card3.40% per month₹02 PAYBACK points per ₹100 spentEMV chip for enhanced security, fuel surcharge waiver
Axis Bank Neo Credit Card3.40% per month₹2502 EDGE reward points per ₹200 spentDiscounts on online shopping, movie ticket offers
Kotak Mahindra Feast Gold3.5% per month₹02 reward points per ₹100 spentDining discounts, fuel surcharge waiver
Yes Prosperity Edge3.4% per month₹1,1996 reward points per ₹200 spent on groceries and diningLifestyle benefits, fuel surcharge waiver
Bank of Baroda Prime3.25% per month₹1,0004 reward points per ₹100 spentComplimentary insurance, fuel surcharge waiver
Union Bank of India Signature3.40% per month₹1,5002 reward points per ₹100 spentAirport lounge access, insurance benefits


Credit card issuers in India offer a wide range of cards to meet the diverse needs and preferences of users. Here are some of the popular types of credit cards available:

  • Co-branded Credit Cards: These cards are issued in partnership with another company, offering a range of benefits specific to that brand.
  • Rewards Credit Cards: Earn reward points for all your spending, with higher points for specific categories like dining, shopping, or travel.
  • Travel Credit Cards: Provide various travel benefits such as complimentary airport lounge access, travel insurance, and rewards on travel bookings.
  • Cashback Credit Cards: Offer cashback on all your purchases, with certain categories providing higher cashback percentages.
  • Shopping Credit Cards: Ideal for shopaholics, these cards come with discounts and rewards at partner stores, enhancing your shopping experience.
  • Fuel Credit Cards: Provide cashback or discounts on fuel purchases, helping you save on your fuel expenses.
  • Premium Credit Cards: Offer exclusive privileges and perks, catering to the distinct needs of affluent cardholders with benefits like concierge services and luxury travel.
  • Lifestyle Credit Cards: Designed to meet lifestyle-related needs such as dining, movies, golfing, and more, with relevant rewards and discounts.
  • Business Credit Cards: Tailored to the needs of professionals and business owners, offering benefits like higher credit limits, expense management tools, and business-related rewards.
Choosing the right credit card that aligns with your spending habits and financial goals can help you maximize the benefits and rewards associated with your card.

Comparison and Choosing the Right Card

When it comes to selecting the best credit card, it's essential to compare key features and benefits that align with your financial goals and spending habits. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice:

  • Interest Rates (APR): Consider the interest rate charged on outstanding balances. Lower APR can save you money if you carry a balance month-to-month. For instance, the Axis Bank Buzz offers a competitive interest rate of 3.25% per month.
  • Annual Fees: Evaluate the annual fee of the card against the rewards and benefits offered. Some cards, like the ICICI Bank Coral and Wells Fargo Active Cash, come with lower fees or no annual fee, making them cost-effective for everyday use.
  • Rewards and Cashback: Look at the reward points or cashback percentages. Cards like the HDFC Regalia and SBI Card ELITE offer generous rewards on specific categories like travel, dining, and groceries. If you spend heavily in these areas, such cards can provide significant value.
  • Key Features and Perks: Assess additional perks such as airport lounge access, travel insurance, and fuel surcharge waivers. The American Express Platinum Travel card, for example, provides travel vouchers and a Taj Experiences Gift Card, which are excellent for frequent travelers.
  • Welcome Offers: Some cards offer lucrative welcome bonuses, such as gift vouchers or bonus reward points. These can provide an immediate benefit upon signing up, like the welcome gift vouchers offered by Yes First Preferred.
  • Spending Habits and Lifestyle: Match the card benefits to your spending habits. If you frequently shop online, the Axis Bank Buzz card offers discounts on Flipkart purchases. For those who dine out often, the Standard Chartered Manhattan card’s 5% cashback on supermarket purchases could be advantageous.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: For those who travel internationally, consider cards with no foreign transaction fees, such as the HDFC Regalia and Capital One Venture, which can save you money on overseas purchases.
  • Customer Service and Card Issuer Reputation: Research the card issuer’s reputation for customer service and support. A card with excellent customer service can provide peace of mind and assist you in managing your account effectively.
By comparing these factors, you can narrow down your options and choose a credit card that best fits your financial needs and lifestyle. Remember, the right credit card can help you manage expenses and provide valuable rewards and perks tailored to your spending habits.

Application Process

Applying for a credit card in India is a straightforward process that can be completed online or offline. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the application process:

  1. Choose the Right Credit Card
    • Based on your needs, spending habits, and the comparison of different cards, select the credit card that best suits you.<>
  2. Check Eligibility Criteria
    • Minimum age (usually 18–21 years)
    • Income criteria (varies by card and issuer)
    • Good credit score (often 700 or above)
  3. Gather Required Documents
    • Proof of identity (Aadhaar card, PAN card, passport)
    • Proof of address (utility bill, rental agreement, passport)
    • Proof of income (salary slips, bank statements, ITR)
  4. Apply Online
    • Visit the official website of the bank or credit card issuer.
    • Navigate to the credit cards section and select your chosen card.
    • Click on the 'Apply Now' button and fill out the online application form with your personal and financial details.
  5. Submit Documents
    • Upload the required documents as specified on the application form. Ensure all documents are clear and legible.
    • Some issuers might require you to submit physical copies. In such cases, a representative might contact you to collect them.
  6. Verification Process
    • Credit score check
    • Employment verification
    • Address verification
  7. Approval and Card Dispatch
    • If your application is approved, you will receive a confirmation email or SMS from the bank.
    • Your credit card will be dispatched to your registered address within a few days.
  8. Activate Your Credit Card
    • Calling the customer care number provided.
    • Logging into your online banking account.
    • Visiting the nearest branch of the card issuer.
  9. Start Using Your Credit Card
    • After activation, you can start using your credit card for purchases, bill payments, and other transactions.

Tips for a Smooth Application Process

  • Ensure Accurate Information: Double-check all the information you provide to avoid delays or rejection.
  • Maintain a Good Credit Score: A good credit score increases your chances of approval and might get you better terms.
  • Track Your Application: Use the application tracking feature (if available) on the issuer’s website to stay updated on the status of your application.

Special Tips

Using a credit card responsibly can help you maximize benefits and avoid potential pitfalls. Here are some special tips for credit card users:

  • Pay Your Bills on Time: Always pay your credit card bills by the due date to avoid late fees and interest charges. Timely payments also positively impact your credit score.
  • Pay More Than the Minimum Amount: Paying only the minimum amount due can lead to high-interest charges on the remaining balance. Aim to pay your full balance each month to avoid accumulating debt.
  • Monitor Your Spending: Keep track of your credit card expenses to stay within your budget. Many banks offer mobile apps and online portals where you can monitor your transactions in real-time.
  • Utilize Rewards and Cashback: Make the most of your credit card’s rewards program. Use your card for purchases that earn the most rewards, such as travel, dining, or shopping, and redeem your points or cashback regularly.
  • Avoid Cash Advances: Cash advances typically come with high fees and interest rates. Try to use cash advances only in emergencies and pay them off as quickly as possible.
  • Check Statements Regularly: Review your credit card statements each month to ensure all charges are accurate. Report any unauthorized transactions to your bank immediately.
  • Keep Your Credit Utilization Low: Maintain a low credit utilization ratio (the amount of credit you use compared to your credit limit). Ideally, keep it below 30% to improve your credit score.
  • Take Advantage of Introductory Offers: Many credit cards offer introductory benefits such as 0% APR on purchases or balance transfers. Use these offers wisely to save on interest, but be mindful of when the introductory period ends.
  • Be Aware of Fees and Charges: Familiarize yourself with your credit card’s fees and charges, including annual fees, foreign transaction fees, and late payment fees. Understanding these costs can help you avoid unnecessary expenses.
  • Use Contactless Payments and EMIs: Many credit cards offer contactless payment options for quick and secure transactions. Additionally, consider converting large purchases into easy monthly installments (EMIs) if your card offers this feature.
  • Protect Your Card Information: Safeguard your credit card details to prevent fraud. Use secure websites for online shopping and avoid sharing your card information over the phone or email.
  • Leverage Complimentary Benefits: Take advantage of complimentary benefits like airport lounge access, travel insurance, and concierge services. These perks can add significant value to your credit card experience.
Credit Card against Fixed Deposit: If you do not have a salary slip or are currently not working, you can still get a credit card by opting for a Credit Card against Fixed Deposit (FD). The FD serves as collateral, which minimizes the risk for the bank. Additionally, credit cards against FD often come with lower interest rates compared to unsecured credit cards, making them a financially wise choice.