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Best Credit Cards in India

Updated: January 2019

I personally am big fan of credit cards. When used properly, they can help you a lot in managing your regular finances in best way possible.

In fact, I analysed different offers extended by debit and credit cards of same bank and found that owning and using a credit card offers more benefits as compared to a debit card. Here is the article if you are interested.

You can find the details of each one of the top credit cards in the list below. If you like a quick look, here is the list:

  1. Citibank Cashback Credit Card – Best Cash Back Card
  2. HSBC Visa Platinum Card – Maximum offer for regular uses
  3. Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Credit Card – Best Card for Fuel Cash Back
  4. Standard Chartered Manhattan Platinum Credit Card – Flat Cashback at Supermarkets

Types of credit cards available in India

The issue commonly faced is which credit card to apply for? The reason it is difficult to decide, is due to number of choices in the market currently.

Each bank offers credit cards in three categories:

  1. Basic or entry level credit card: Entry level doesn’t mean low limit cards. They are the most basic credit card, simple rewards system & easiest to qualify for.
  2. Co-branded credit cards: These credit cards are result of a partnership between the bank & a service provider. If you are frequent user of that service, then this card makes the most sense. Though, you should spend some time to decide if you want to lock your choices to one service platform. Here is a low down on co-branded credit cards available in India.
  3. Premium credit cards: These are the one most difficult to qualify for and in most cases, unless you use the card for minimum amount, you will charged an annual fee. This card is recommended for seasoned credit card users only.

Citibank Cashback Credit Card

This one is the best basic credit card for salaried people. The reward structure is simple. The best part, the cash back is automatically deducted from your future credit card bills.

No need to login and request for cashback or any lengthy redemption process.

Here is the list of benefits on Citibank cash back credit card:

  • Make contactless payments of up to Rs.2,000. No PIN required. Simply tap the card at the contactless terminal to pay.
  • Get 5% cashback on movie tickets and phone bill payments.
  • Get 5% cashback on utility bill payments, if paid through Citibank Online Bill Pay.
  • Get 0.5% cashback on all the other spends.
  • Enjoy exclusive dining and shopping benefits.
  • Make purchases on EMI at over 2,000 mobile phone, electronics and retail outlets.

Annual Fee: Rs. 500 /- (You can bargain for annual fee waiver for a minimum spending per year).

Joining offer of Amazon Voucher if you join before March 15, 2019

HSBC Visa Platinum Card

This card is preferred for various offers it provides right from joining. My advice is to apply for this card when you have planned some purchases within next 60 days.

Benefits of HSBC Visa Platinum Card:

  •  You get 10% cashback on all spends, provided at least 3 transactions are made and the minimum spend is Rs.10,000. Avail a maximum cashback of Rs.3,000 in first 90 days.

A secret tip: When you get this card, ask if any one of your friend would like to order a phone. You will get free cash back on your card and offer your friend share too 🙂

  • If you are a movie buff, then you will be happy to know that if you spend 50,000 per month, then you get Rs. 500 movie voucher each month.
  • Enjoy fuel surcharge waiver when you pay for fuel using the card.
  • Enjoy discounts on dining under HSBC Dining Privileges.

Joining Fee: Rs. 0 /-

Joining offer of Amazon Voucher if you join before March 15, 2019

Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Credit Card

One of the best card if you have a travelling job profile. Like people into sales profile. The cashback you receive will be sweet when get to know that this is the only credit card in India which gives such cash back on fuel spends.

SC Super Value Titanium Credit Card gives 5% cash back on fuel spends. The minimum spend has to be Rs.. 750/- for cashback.

Here is the small list of benefits provided by this credit card:

  • 1,000 Additional reward points on your first transaction
  • 500 Additional reward points on registering for online banking
  • 1 reward point for every Rs. 150 spent

Joining Fee: Rs. 499 /- (Waived off with spending Rs. 30,000 in the first year)

If you spend 60,000 per year then you annual fee is also waived off.


Standard Chartered Manhattan Platinum Credit Card

The very best from Standard Chartered for a salaried person. The reason: A flat 5% cashback at Supermarkets. 

If you living in a metro, then it means the money you spend in supermarkets on weekends comes with automatic 5% cashback.

Benefits of Manhattan Platinum Credit Card:

  • 1000 additional rewards points if you transact within 60 days
  • 500 bonus points for registering for online banking
  • 3x rewards when you use your credit card to pay for Hotels, Dining, Airline ticket reservation and Fuel
  • Special discount offers on BigBasket, BlueStone, FirstCry, Puma, Abof and UrbanClap.

Joining Fee: Rs. 499/- ( Just like Super Value card, joining and annual fee are waived off when you spend above the threshold of 30,000 in first year and 60,000 thereafter).