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Best Credit Cards in India – Complete Guide With Reviews and Benefits

Selecting a credit card that best suits your needs can greatly improve your financial situation by offering a variety of advantages. The credit card industry has changed quickly in India. It provides a wide range of alternatives that are intended to meet different demands, including rewards, travel, cashback, and more. There is a credit card that is ideal for everyone, regardless of whether you enjoy shopping, travelling, or eating out. This article will guide you through the best credit cards available in India, helping you make an informed decision to maximize your benefits and rewards. Let’s explore the top options to find the one that best suits your financial needs and lifestyle.

7 Best Credit Cards in India

1. SBI Cashback Credit Card

sbi credit card

The SBI Cashback Credit Card is a compelling choice for individuals seeking a straightforward cashback credit card. It offers attractive cashback rates across various spending categories, making it a popular option among cardholders in India. Here’s a detailed review of its features, benefits, and associated fees.

Key Features

  • Cashback Offers: High cashback on various spending categories.
  • Welcome Benefits: Attractive welcome offers for new users.
  • Annual Fee Waiver: Fee waiver based on annual spending.
  • Exclusive Deals: Special discounts on dining and shopping.

Detailed Benefits

Cashback Rates

  • Online Spending: 5% cashback on online purchases.
  • Other Transactions: 1% cashback on all other spends.

Rewards Program

  • Easy Redemption: Cashback is automatically credited to the cardholder’s account.
  • No Cap: No limit on the cashback earnings, making it ideal for high spenders.

Welcome Benefits

  • Joining Bonus: Welcome voucher worth ₹500 on spending ₹2,000 within the first 30 days.
  • Annual Fee Waiver: Annual fee waived if annual spending exceeds ₹1,00,000.

Fees and Charges

  • Annual Fee: ₹499, waived if spending exceeds ₹1,00,000 annually.
  • Interest Rate: 3.5% per month (42% annually).

Table of Benefits

Benefit TypeDetails
Cashback on Online Spending5% on online purchases
Other Transactions1% on all other spends
Welcome Voucher₹500 on spending ₹2,000 in the first 30 days
Annual Fee₹499 (waived on spending ₹1,00,000 annually)
Interest Rate3.5% per month (42% annually)

Additional Benefits

  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: 1% waiver on fuel surcharge.
  • Dining Discounts: Up to 20% discount at select restaurants.
  • Insurance: Complimentary travel insurance.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • High cashback rates on online spending.
  • Simple cashback redemption process.
  • Competitive dining discounts.
  • Annual fee waiver based on spending threshold.

Cons

    • High interest rate on revolving credit.
    • Limited to online spending for the highest cashback rate.
For further details and to apply for an SBI Credit Card, you can visit the official website.

2.American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card

american express platinum credit card

The American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card is an excellent choice for frequent travellers who can leverage its extensive travel benefits and rewards. The high annual fee and interest rate are balanced by the substantial welcome gifts, milestone bonuses, and comprehensive travel perks. It is particularly valuable for those who travel frequently and can make the most of the lounge access and hotel benefits.

Key Features

  • Welcome Gift: Earn ₹4,000 worth of travel vouchers as a welcome gift.
  • Travel Rewards: Accumulate Membership Rewards points redeemable for travel vouchers.
  • Lounge Access: Complimentary access to over 31 airport lounges in India.
  • Hotel Benefits: Enjoy discounts and exclusive offers at premium hotels.
  • Insurance: Comprehensive travel insurance coverage.

Detailed Benefits

Reward Points

  • Earn Rate: 1 Membership Rewards point for every ₹50 spent except for fuel, utility, and insurance payments.
  • Bonus Points: 5,000 bonus Membership Rewards points on spending ₹1.90 lakh in a year and another 10,000 bonus points on spending ₹4 lakh in a year.

Travel Vouchers

  • Milestone Benefit: Travel vouchers worth ₹7,700 on spending ₹1.90 lakh in a year and ₹11,800 on spending ₹4 lakh in a year.

Lounge Access

  • Domestic: Access to 31 airport lounges in India.
  • International: Complimentary Priority Pass membership with access to over 1,000 lounges globally (charges apply per visit).

Hotel Benefits

  • Discounts: Up to 20% discount on stays at select hotels.
  • Special Offers: Complimentary room upgrades and late check-outs at partner hotels.

Fees and Charges

  • Annual Fee: ₹3,500 for the first year, ₹5,000 from the second year onwards.
  • Interest Rate: 3.5% per month (42% annually).

Table of Benefits

Benefit TypeDetails
Welcome Gift₹4,000 worth of travel vouchers
Reward Points1 point per ₹50 spent
Bonus Points5,000 points at ₹1.90 lakh, 10,000 at ₹4 lakh
Travel Vouchers₹7,700 at ₹1.90 lakh, ₹11,800 at ₹4 lakh
Lounge Access31 domestic lounges, Priority Pass for global
Hotel DiscountsUp to 20% off at select hotels
Annual Fee₹3,500 (first year), ₹5,000 (second year onwards)
Interest Rate3.5% per month (42% annually)

Additional Benefits

  • Dining Offers: Discounts at select restaurants.
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: 1% waiver on fuel surcharges across all petrol pumps in India.
  • Insurance: Comprehensive travel insurance for air accidents, lost luggage, and trip delays.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Extensive travel benefits and rewards.
  • Access to a large number of airport lounges.
  • Significant welcome and milestone bonuses.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance coverage.

Cons

  • High annual fee after the first year.
  • High interest rate on outstanding balances.
  • Limited acceptance at some smaller merchants due to higher processing fees for Amex cards.
For further details and to apply for an American Express Credit Card, you can visit the official website.

3. Axis Bank Ace Credit Card

axis bank ace credit card

The Axis Bank Ace Credit Card is a versatile card designed for users who value cashback on their daily expenses. With competitive rates and a broad range of features, it stands out in the Indian credit card market. Here’s a detailed review of its features, benefits, and associated fees.

Key Features

  • Cashback Offers: High cashback rates are available in popular categories.
  • Rewards: Simple and lucrative rewards system.
  • Dining and Travel Benefits: Attractive offers and discounts.
  • Annual Fee Waiver: Annual fee waiver based on spending.

Detailed Benefits

Cashback Rates

  • Bill Payments: 5% cashback on utility bill payments via Google Pay.
  • Online Spending: 4% cashback on online purchases through partnered merchants.
  • Other Transactions: 2% cashback on all other transactions.

Rewards Program

  • Easy Redemption: Cashback is automatically credited to the cardholder’s account.
  • No Upper Limit: There is no cap on the cashback earnings, making it ideal for high spenders.

Dining and Travel

  • Dining Discounts: Up to 20% discount at select restaurants.
  • Travel Perks: Special discounts on travel bookings with partnered merchants.

Fees and Charges

  • Annual Fee: ₹499, waived if spending exceeds ₹2,00,000 annually.
  • Interest Rate: 3.6% per month (52.86% annually).

Table of Benefits

Benefit TypeDetails
Cashback on Bills5% on utility payments via Google Pay
Online Spending4% on partnered online merchants
Other Transactions2% on all other spends
Dining DiscountsUp to 20% at select restaurants
Annual Fee₹499 (waived on spending ₹2,00,000 annually)
Interest Rate3.6% per month (52.86% annually)

Additional Benefits

  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: 1% waiver on fuel surcharge.
  • Lounge Access: Complimentary airport lounge access (terms apply).
  • Insurance: Travel insurance covering various contingencies.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • High cashback rates on utility payments and online spending.
  • Simple cashback redemption process.
  • Competitive dining discounts and travel benefits.
  • Annual fee waiver based on spending threshold.

Cons

  • Limited to Google Pay for utility bill payments to get the highest cashback.
  • High-interest rate on revolving credit.
For further details and to apply for an Axis Bank Credit Card, you can visit the official website.

4. HDFC Regalia Credit Card

hdfc regalia credit card

The HDFC Regalia Credit Card is a premium offering designed for high-net-worth individuals who seek luxury, convenience, and a host of rewards. It stands out with its comprehensive benefits across travel, dining, and shopping, making it one of India’s top choices for discerning cardholders.

Key Features

  • Welcome Benefits: Substantial reward points on card activation.
  • Travel Benefits: Complimentary airport lounge access and travel insurance.
  • Rewards Program: Generous reward points on all transactions.
  • Dining Privileges: Exclusive dining discounts and offers.
  • Global Acceptance: Accepted at millions of establishments worldwide.

Detailed Benefits

Welcome Benefits

  • Reward Points: Earn 2500 reward points as a welcome gift upon payment of the joining fee.

Travel Benefits

  • Lounge Access: Complimentary access to over 1,000 airport lounges globally through the Priority Pass membership.
  • Travel Insurance: Comprehensive insurance covering medical emergencies, air accidents, and travel inconveniences like lost baggage.

Rewards Program

  • Earning Points: 4 reward points for every ₹150 spent.
  • Redemption Options: Points can be redeemed for air miles, hotel stays, vouchers, and merchandise.

Dining Privileges

  • Discounts: Up to 15% discount at partner restaurants across India.
  • Culinary Treats: Exclusive culinary experiences and offers.

Fees and Charges

  • Joining Fee: ₹2,500 (plus taxes).
  • Annual Fee: ₹2,500 (plus taxes), waived if annual spending exceeds ₹3,00,000.
  • Interest Rate: 3.49% per month.

Table of Benefits

Benefit TypeDetails
Welcome Reward Points2500 points upon activation
Lounge AccessComplimentary access to 1,000+ lounges globally
Travel InsuranceCoverage for medical, air accident, and travel inconveniences
Rewards on Spending4 points for every ₹150 spent
Dining DiscountsUp to 15% off at partner restaurants
Annual Fee WaiverWaived on spends above ₹3,00,000 annually
Interest Rate3.49% per month

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • High reward points on regular spending.
  • Comprehensive travel benefits including lounge access and insurance.
  • Attractive dining discounts at premium restaurants.
  • Wide range of redemption options for reward points.

Cons

  • High annual fee if spending threshold is not met.
  • The high interest rate on revolving credit.
  • Lounge access is limited by Priority Pass usage restrictions.
For further details and to apply for an HDFC Credit Card, you can visit the official website.

5. AU Bank Credit Card

au bank credit card

AU Bank offers a range of credit cards designed to cater to various customer needs. Their credit cards stand out for their rewarding benefits, competitive fees, and customer-friendly features. Below is a comprehensive review of AU Bank’s credit cards, including key features, benefits, fees, and a detailed table summarizing the offerings.

Key Features

  • Rewards Program: Earn reward points on every spend.
  • Travel Benefits: Complimentary airport lounge access.
  • Dining Privileges: Discounts at partner restaurants.
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Save on fuel transactions.
  • EMI Options: Easy conversion of high-value purchases into EMIs.

Detailed Benefits

Rewards Program
  • Earning Points: Earn points on every spend, which can be redeemed for various products, vouchers, or air miles.
  • Redemption Options: Points can be redeemed for merchandise, travel bookings, and gift vouchers.
Travel Benefits
  • Lounge Access: Complimentary access to domestic and international airport lounges.
  • Travel Insurance: Coverage for travel-related emergencies.
Dining Privileges
  • Discounts: Up to 15% discount at select restaurants.
  • Exclusive Offers: Special dining experiences and offers.
Fuel Surcharge Waiver
  • Savings: Waiver on fuel surcharge at petrol stations across India.
EMI Options
  • Flexible Payments: Convert high-value purchases into easy monthly installments.

Fees and Charges

  • Joining Fee: Varies based on the card type.
  • Annual Fee: Competitive fees, often waived on achieving spending milestones.
  • Interest Rate: Competitive interest rates on revolving credit.

Table of Benefits

Benefit TypeDetails
Reward PointsEarn on every spend
Lounge AccessComplimentary domestic and international lounge access
Dining DiscountsUp to 15% off at partner restaurants
Fuel Surcharge WaiverWaiver on fuel surcharge at petrol stations
EMI ConversionEasy conversion of high-value purchases into EMIs
Annual Fee WaiverWaived on achieving spending milestones
Interest RateCompetitive rates

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Generous reward points on all transactions.
  • Complimentary lounge access for frequent travellers.
  • Attractive dining discounts.
  • Savings on fuel transactions.
  • Flexibility with EMI conversion options.

Cons

  • Annual fees can be high if spending milestones are not met.
  • Interest rates can be high for revolving credit balances.
  • Limited acceptance at smaller or local merchants.
For further details and to apply for an AU Bank Credit Card, you can visit the official website.

6. IndusInd Bank Credit Card

indusind bank credit card

IndusInd Bank offers a diverse range of credit cards tailored to various customer needs, from rewards and cashback to travel and lifestyle benefits. Here is a detailed review of IndusInd Bank’s credit cards, including key features, benefits, and fees.

Key Features

  • Reward Points: Earn points on every purchase.
  • Cashback: Attractive cashback offers on select categories.
  • Travel Benefits: Complimentary airport lounge access and travel insurance.
  • Lifestyle Privileges: Discounts on dining, shopping, and entertainment.
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Save on fuel purchases across India.

Detailed Benefits

Reward Points
  • Earning Points: Accumulate points on every transaction which can be redeemed for a variety of rewards.
  • Redemption: Points can be redeemed for merchandise, gift vouchers, and air miles.
Cashback Offers
  • Categories: Earn cashback on specific categories such as dining, shopping, and utility bill payments.
  • Cashback Rate: Varies by card type, typically ranging from 1% to 5%.
Travel Benefits
  • Lounge Access: Complimentary access to domestic and international airport lounges.
  • Travel Insurance: Comprehensive coverage for travel-related contingencies.
Lifestyle Privileges
  • Dining Discounts: Up to 20% off at partner restaurants.
  • Shopping Offers: Exclusive deals and discounts at leading retail outlets.
  • Entertainment: Special offers on movie tickets and events.
Fuel Surcharge Waiver
  • Savings: Waiver of the fuel surcharge at petrol pumps across India, making it economical for frequent drivers.

Fees and Charges

  • Joining Fee: Varies depending on the card type.
  • Annual Fee: Annual charges are applicable, often waived off based on spending criteria.
  • Interest Rate: Competitive interest rates on outstanding balances.

Table of Benefits

Benefit TypeDetails
Reward PointsEarn on every purchase
Cashback OffersCashback on select categories
Lounge AccessComplimentary domestic and international lounge access
Dining DiscountsUp to 20% off at partner restaurants
Fuel Surcharge WaiverWaiver on fuel surcharge at petrol stations
Annual Fee WaiverWaived based on spending milestones
Interest RateCompetitive rates

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Versatile Reward Program: Points can be redeemed across various categories.
  • High Cashback: Attractive cashback rates on specific categories.
  • Extensive Travel Benefits: Complimentary lounge access and travel insurance.
  • Exclusive Lifestyle Offers: Discounts on dining, shopping, and entertainment.
  • Fuel Savings: Waiver of fuel surcharge adds to savings for frequent drivers.

Cons

  • Annual Fees: This can be high if spending criteria for waiver are not met.
  • Interest Rates: Competitive but can be high for revolving balances.
  • Limited Acceptance: Not as widely accepted as some other major credit card brands.
For further details and to apply for an IndusInd Bank Credit Card, you can visit the official website.

7. ICICI Bank Credit Card

icici bank credit card

ICICI Bank offers a range of credit cards tailored to meet various financial needs, including rewards, cashback, travel, and lifestyle benefits. Here is a detailed review of ICICI Bank credit cards, highlighting their key features, benefits, fees, and charges.

Key Features

  • Reward Points: Earn points on every purchase which can be redeemed for various rewards.
  • Cashback Offers: Attractive cashback on select categories like dining, shopping, and utility bill payments.
  • Travel Benefits: Complimentary airport lounge access, travel insurance, and discounts on flight bookings.
  • Lifestyle Privileges: Exclusive discounts on dining, shopping, and entertainment.
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Save on fuel purchases across India.

Detailed Benefits

Reward Points
  • Earning Points: Earn points on every transaction.
  • Redemption: Redeem points for merchandise, gift vouchers, and air miles.
Cashback Offers
  • Categories: Cashback on categories like dining, shopping, and utility bills.
  • Cashback Rate: Typically ranges from 1% to 5%, depending on the card type.
Travel Benefits
  • Lounge Access: Complimentary access to domestic and international airport lounges.
  • Travel Insurance: Comprehensive coverage for travel-related contingencies.
  • Discounts on Bookings: Special discounts on flight and hotel bookings.
Lifestyle Privileges
  • Dining Discounts: Up to 20% off at partner restaurants.
  • Shopping Offers: Exclusive deals and discounts at leading retail outlets.
  • Entertainment: Special offers on movie tickets and events.
Fuel Surcharge Waiver
  • Savings: Waiver on the fuel surcharge at petrol pumps across India, beneficial for frequent drivers.

Fees and Charges

  • Joining Fee: Varies depending on the card type.
  • Annual Fee: Annual charges are applicable, often waived off based on spending criteria.
  • Interest Rate: Competitive interest rates on outstanding balances.

Table of Benefits

Benefit TypeDetails
Reward PointsEarn on every purchase
Cashback OffersCashback on select categories
Lounge AccessComplimentary domestic and international lounge access
Dining DiscountsUp to 20% off at partner restaurants
Fuel Surcharge WaiverWaiver on fuel surcharge at petrol stations
Annual Fee WaiverWaived based on spending milestones
Interest RateCompetitive rates

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Versatile Reward Program: Points can be redeemed across various categories.
  • High Cashback: Attractive cashback rates on specific categories.
  • Extensive Travel Benefits: Complimentary lounge access and travel insurance.
  • Exclusive Lifestyle Offers: Discounts on dining, shopping, and entertainment.
  • Fuel Savings: Waiver of fuel surcharge adds to savings for frequent drivers.

Cons

  • Annual Fees: This can be high if spending criteria for waiver are not met.
  • Interest Rates: Competitive but can be high for revolving balances.
  • Limited Acceptance: Not as widely accepted as some other major credit card brands.

Popular ICICI Bank Credit Cards

  • ICICI Bank Coral Credit Card
  • ICICI Bank Platinum Chip Credit Card
  • ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card
  • ICICI Bank Amazon Pay Credit Card
For further details and to apply for an ICICI Credit Card, you can visit the official website.

How to Choose the Right Credit Card in India?

Choosing the right credit card in India can feel overwhelming with so many options available. However, by understanding your financial habits and needs, you can make a more informed decision. Here’s a guide to help you choose the right credit card:

a) Understand Your Spending Habits

Before diving into credit card features, it’s essential to analyze your spending patterns:

  • Frequent Purchases: Identify where you spend the most – groceries, fuel, dining, online shopping, travel, etc.
  • Monthly Expenses: Calculate your average monthly expenses to determine how much you’ll likely spend on the card.

b) Types of Credit Cards

Different credit cards cater to different needs. Here are some common types:

  • Rewards Credit Cards: Best for those who want to earn points on every purchase. Points can be redeemed for gifts, travel, and more.
  • Cashback Credit Cards: Ideal for people who want to earn a percentage of their spending back as cash.
  • Travel Credit Cards: Perfect for frequent travellers, offering benefits like air miles, lounge access, and travel insurance.
  • Fuel Credit Cards: Great for those who spend a lot on fuel, offering discounts or cashback on fuel purchases.
  • Shopping Credit Cards: Offer discounts and cashback on retail and online shopping.

c) Key Features to Consider

When comparing credit cards, look at the following features:

  • Interest Rate: The interest rate on outstanding balances is crucial. Lower interest rates are preferable if you often carry a balance.
  • Annual Fees: Some cards have high annual fees, but they may offer substantial rewards. Make sure the benefits outweigh the cost.
  • Joining Bonus: Many cards offer a joining bonus in the form of reward points or cashback.
  • Reward Rates: Check the rate at which you earn rewards or cashback and the categories in which they apply.
  • Credit Limit: Ensure the credit limit suits your spending needs without encouraging overspending.
  • Other Benefits: Additional benefits like concierge services, insurance, and purchase protection.

d) Comparing Popular Credit Cards in India

Here’s a quick comparison of some popular credit cards available in India:

Credit CardAnnual Fee (INR)Key Benefits
HDFC Regalia Credit Card2,500Lounge access, air miles, dining discounts
ICICI Amazon Pay Credit Card0Cashback on Amazon purchases, fuel surcharge waiver
SBI SimplyCLICK Credit Card499Online shopping rewards, Amazon vouchers
Axis Bank Ace Credit Card499High cashback on Google Pay, utility bills, and dining
Amex Membership Rewards Credit Card1,000Exclusive rewards program, dining benefits

e) Evaluating Your Options

After understanding your needs and comparing features, evaluate your top options. Consider:

  • Total Benefits vs. Costs: Make sure the card’s benefits exceed its costs.
  • Suitability for Your Lifestyle: Choose a card that aligns with your spending habits.
  • Future Needs: Think about how your needs might change over time and if the card will still be beneficial.

f) Tips for Using Your Credit Card Wisely

  • Pay Full Balance: Always pay your full balance to avoid interest charges.
  • Track Spending: Monitor your spending to stay within budget.
  • Use Rewards Wisely: Redeem points and cashback strategically for maximum benefit.
  • Avoid Multiple Cards: Too many cards can lead to overspending and managing multiple bills.

Choosing the right credit card requires understanding your financial habits and needs, comparing features, and evaluating costs and benefits. By taking a thoughtful approach, you can select a card that enhances your financial health and rewards you for your spending.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best credit cards in India for beginners?

For beginners, the best credit cards in India include the SBI SimplyCLICK Credit Card, ICICI Amazon Pay Credit Card, and HDFC Millennia Credit Card. These cards offer low annual fees and attractive rewards for everyday spending.

Which credit card offers the best cashback in India?

The Axis Bank Ace Credit Card is known for its high cashback rates, particularly on utility payments and Google Pay transactions. It offers up to 5% cashback, making it a top choice for cashback seekers.

What is the best travel credit card in India?

The HDFC Regalia Credit Card is highly recommended for travellers. It offers complimentary lounge access, air miles, and comprehensive travel insurance, making it an ideal choice for frequent flyers.

Are there any credit cards with no annual fees in India?

Yes, the ICICI Amazon Pay Credit Card and the HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card are popular options with no annual fees. These cards offer significant rewards and benefits without the burden of annual charges.

Which credit card is best for online shopping in India?

The SBI SimplyCLICK Credit Card is great for online shoppers. It provides enhanced reward points on purchases from popular online merchants like Amazon, BookMyShow, and Cleartrip.

What credit card should I get for fuel purchases?

The IndianOil Citi Platinum Credit Card is excellent for fuel purchases. It offers fuel surcharge waivers and accelerated reward points on fuel spent at IndianOil outlets.

How can I maximize my credit card rewards?

To maximize your credit card rewards, use the card for everyday expenses, take advantage of bonus categories, and pay your bill in full each month to avoid interest charges. Also, keep an eye out for special promotions and offers from your card issuer.

Are there credit cards with special benefits for dining in India?

Yes, the American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card and the HDFC Diners Club Black Card offer substantial dining benefits, including discounts and exclusive dining experiences.

What should I consider when choosing a credit card?

When choosing a credit card, consider your spending habits, the card’s rewards and benefits, annual fees, interest rates, and any additional perks such as travel insurance or lounge access.

Can I get a credit card if I have a low income?

Yes, several banks offer credit cards tailored for low-income individuals. For example, the HDFC MoneyBack Credit Card and the ICICI Platinum Chip Credit Card have lower income requirements and still offer good rewards and benefits.