15 Best Credit Cards in India 2018 (Review & Comparison)

15 Best Credit Cards in India 2018 (Review & Comparison)

I am a big fan of credit cards. I save a lot of more money using credit cards every month.

I earn more rewards and cashback by using different credit card for different purposes.

For example, I use the SC Manhattan credit card to buy grocery, SC Super Value Titanium Credit Card for petrol, and the Amex Credit Card to shop online in Amazon, Flipkart, load money in PayTM.

I also use my HDFC Regalia credit card for dining at restaurants and for shopping internationally during onsite travel.

I do a lot of research on credit cards and keep an eye on the best available credit cards in India.

There are more than 100 credit cards to choose in India.

Many first time credit card buyers at my work ask me which is the best credit card.  I always recommend them the following:

Here is my recommendation:

First time credit card buyers  looking for an all-rounder credit card can apply for the Citibank Cashback Credit Card (or) Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Credit Card

For best cashback credit card apply for the Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card ( 5% cashback on grocery purchase and more perks)

For online shopping  American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card is the best ( I earn Rs.11,000 in cashback every year using this credit card)

If you are looking for best credit card for fuel purchases apply for the Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Credit Card.  You will earn more cashback(Rs. 6000 easily annually) than any other fuel credit card.

Now read the complete review and choose your favorite credit card.


Best Credit Card in India for Salaried Person


#1 Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Credit Card

Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Credit Card - - Best Credit Cards in India

Best credit card in India for first time credit card buyers and salaried persons. You can earn plenty of reward points with this credit card on purchases in various categories.

Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Credit Card is an all-rounder credit card that can be used for buying groceries, shopping, fuel and travel.

Eligibility: All salaried employees and self-employed are eligible to apply.

Key Benefits:

  • 20% Cashback on Uber rides. Save upto Rs.600 in cashback per month
  • 5X rewards on every Rs.150 spent on dining. No cap or limit
  • 5X rewards on every Rs.150 spent on fuel. No cap or limit
  • 1X rewards on every Rs.150 spend on all other categories
  • Only 2% foreign currency transaction fee
  • 5% cashback on duty free outlets
  • Earn upto Rs.10,000 in cashback from MakeMyTrip on any tickets booked in first 90 days of receiving the credit card.
  • 5% cashback on iPhone purchases.

Annual Fees: No annuals Fees.  This is a lifetime Free Credit Card

Direct Link to the Online Application

 

#2 Citibank Rewards Credit Card:

Citibank Rewards Credit Card - Best Credit Cards in India

Citibank Rewards Credit Card is the best rewards credit card available in India for the first time credit card buyers.  You’ll earn 10 reward points for all your purchases at Dress and Grocery shops.

Highly recommend this Citibank credit card for you if you already have a salary account with Citibank.  Your application will be easily approved.

Eligibility: All salaried employees are eligible to apply.

Key Benefits:

  • 10X rewards for purchases at Dress and Grocery Shops
  • 1X rewards for all other purchases
  • Get 2500 points as bonus after the first card transaction.
  • 300 bonus points on spending more than Rs. 30,000 in a month.
  • Redeem you points for premium merchandise, air miles, holidays
  • Redeem reward points for cashback
  • Reward points never expire

Annual Fee: No annual Fee (Fee waived on spending Rs. 30,000 in a year)

Direct Link to the Online Application


Best Cashback Credit Card in India


#3 Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card

 

Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card - - Best Credit Cards in India

Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card is the best cashback credit card in India.

No other credit card in India can get you as much cashback (upto Rs.8650) as Standard Chartered Manhattan gives you.

Moreover, it is also a rewards credit card. So you can earn cashback as well as reward points with this credit card.

This credit card is best suited for family people who spend a lot on groceries, household expenses every month and earn 5% cash back.

Key Benefits:

  • Easily earn upto Rs.8650 cashback every year. This is a real cash back. Not a gift voucher. Pay credit card bills with it.
  • 5% Cashback at supermarkets and department stores.  Earn upto Rs. 500 Cashback per month.
  • 3X reward points on all other purchases.  1 Reward point = 30 Paise.
  • 20% Uber ride discount upto Rs 600 per month.
  • Rs.2000 worth of BookMyShow gift voucher sent to you after the first transaction.
  • 5% Cash Back at Chroma every Tuesday.
  • 5% Cashback on Apple iPhone purchases
  • 10% discount at Snapdeal on every Saturday
  • More discounts at other retailers such as Tata CliQ etc.

Annual Fee: No annual fees, if you transact Rs, 10,000 minimum every month.  Even otherwise, they’ll waive the fee if you call the customer care and make a request.

Direct Link to the Online Application

Read the detailed review here:  Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card Full Review

#4 Citibank CashBack Credit Card

Citibank Cashback Credit Card - Best Credit Cards in India

Citibank Cashback Credit Card is also one of the best cashback credit cards in India.  You’ll get 5% cashback on utility bills, mobile phone bills, internet bills and movie ticket purchase.

It is a simple general purpose creditcard for the first time credit card buyers.  If you have your salary account with Citibank your credit card application will be easily approved.

Eligibility. Salaried employees are eligible to apply. Easy approval if you already have a citibank salary account.

Key Benefits:

  • Easily earn more than Rs.6000 in cashback every year
  • 5% cashback on Movie tickets
  • 5% cashback on Electricity bill payments
  • 5% cashback on Telephone bill payment
  • 0.5% cashback on all other purchases. No cap on the cashback earned
  • 5% cashback on iPhone purchases
  • Upto Rs. 10000 cashback on purchase of all other Apple products

Annual Fee: Rs.500 (Call customer care to check if the fee can be waived)

Direct Link to the Online Application

 

#5 HDFC Bharat Credit Card

HDFC Bharat Credit Card - Best Credit Card India

HDFC Bharat Credit Card is a simple credit card for everyday purchases such as grocery, utility bill payments, mobile recharge, and IRCTC train booking.

HDFC Bharat Credit Card will easily earn you Rs.3000 in cashback every year.

The annual fee for this credit card is very low, just Rs.500.

Eligibility:

All salaried employees with 2 Lakhs annual salary or self-employed with 2 Lakhs annual income are eligible to apply.  If you have a salary account with HDFC Bank then you’ll easily get approved.  But even otherwise, you can apply for the credit card.

Key Benefits

  • 5% Cashback on rail bookings through IRCTC Website or mobile app
  • 5% cashback on fuel spends
  • 5% cashback on bill payments and mobile recharge
  • max cashback of Rs.150 per month on the above 3 categories.
  • 5% cashback on EasyEMI, PayZapp and SmartBUY transactions (max Rs.150 cashback per month)
  • 1% Fuel surcharge waived
  • zero liability on lost credit card
  • 50 days of interst free period

Annual Fee: Rs.500 (waived on annual spends of Rs.20,000 or more)

Highly recommended for first time credit card buyers.  No other credit card from HDFC or ICICI or SBI or Citibank has this low annual fees and annual spending requirements( Just spend Rs,20,000 annually using the card and pay no fees).

Direct Link To Online Application


Best Lifetime Free Credit Card in India with No Annual Fee


#6 HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card

HSBC VIsa Platinum Credit Card - Best Credit Card in India

HSBC Bank Credit Card is one of the best credit card in India with no annual fee or joining fee or renewal fee.

This is a lifetime free credit card.

Not many people are aware of the HSBC Credit Cards but it provides many benefits.

HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card can be used for every day purchases such as grocery, utility bill, fuel, dining and shopping and you can earn reward points.  You’ll also get fuel surcharge waiver at petrol pumps.

It is a great credit card for first time credit card buyers.

You need to be a salaried employee or self-employed earning atleast Rs.4 Lakhs annually.

You’ll need to provide your last 3 months pay slip or income tax filing document to get it approved.

Key Benefits:

  • Get a Clear Trip Voucher Rs.2000 worth on first transaction
  • Earn 3X rewards on all spends at dining, hotels and telecom categories for the first 12 months
  • Get a movie ticket voucher worth Rs.500 on spending Rs.50,000 in a calendar month
  • 1% fuel surcharge waiver on your fuel bills
  • Earn 2X Reward Points for every Rs.150 spent
  • Earn 5X Reward Points on all subsequent purchases made after spending Rs.4 Lakhs in a year using the credit card.
  • Enjoy 15% discounts at participating dining restaurants.
  • Buy One Get One Free movie ticket at BookMyShow
  • 10% discount at Shopper’s Stop and Home Stop

Eligibility: All salaried and self-employed with an annual income of Rs.4 Lakhs are eligible to apply.

Fees: No Annual or Joining Fees

Direct Link to the Online Application

 

#7 ICICI Platinum Chip Credit Card

ICICI Platinum Chip Credit Card - - Best Lifetime Free Credit Card in India with No annual fee

ICICI Platinum Chip Credit Card is an ideal all-round credit card for first time credit card buyers.  Also, this is a lifetime free credit card.

It is a simple credit card for students, house wives, parents, and young professionals who just found a job.

If you apply for this credit card online and for some unknown reasons it get rejected, check with the bank if you can deposit 30,000 or 50,000 in fixed deposit and get this credit card.

Eligibility: All are eligible to apply.  This credit card is easy to get approved without much eligibility criteria.

Apply for this credit card if only you don’t get approved for the better credit cards reviewed above.  Use this as the last option because it is easy to get this credit card approved.

Direct Link to Apply for the Credit Card Online

Key Benefits:

  • 2X PAYBACK points earned on every Rs.100 spent on retail purchases except fuel
  • 1X PAYBACK point earned on every Rs.100 spent on utilities and insurance categories.
  • 1% Fuel Surcharge Waived at HPCL pumps
  • Minimum 15% savings on dining bills at participating restaurants across 12 major Indian Cities

Fees:

Lifetime Free Credit Card with no annual fees or joining fees.


Best Fuel Credit Card in India


#8 Standard Chartered SuperValue Titanium Credit Card:

Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Credit - Best fuel Credit Card in india 2018

Standard Chartered SuperValue Titanium Credit Card is the best fuel credit card in India for car and bike owners.

It is also a great credit card for paying Utility Bills such as – electricity bill and telephone or internet bills.

“Only fuel credit card that gives you 5% cashback when you use it on any petrol station.”

The annual fee is Rs.750 but the untold rule is that, if you call the customer care they’ll waive off this fee.

Key Benefits:

  • You can easily earn Rs.500 per month or Rs.6000 in cashback every year.  This is a real money you can use to pay your credit card bill.
  • Earn 5% cashback on fuel spends across all fuel stations up to a maximum of INR 200 per month (max of INR 100 per transaction). Minimum transaction of INR 750.
  • Earn 5% cashback on utility bill payments up to a maximum of INR 100 per month . Minimum transaction of INR 750.
  • Earn 5% cashback on telephone bill payments up to a maximum of INR 200 per month (max of INR 100 per transaction). Minimum transaction of INR 750
  • 20% Cashback on Uber rides upto Rs.600 per month.
  • Get 1 reward point for every INR 150 when you use your credit card for all other expenses
  • Enjoy 5x rewards for any spends in foreign countries and a complimentary Priority Pass allowing access to 1000+ airport lounges worldwide with one free usage per month

Fees:

Annual Fee: Rs. 750( Usually waived off, if you call the customer care and make a request)

Direct Link to the Online Application

 

#9 BPCL SBI Credit Card

SBI BPCL Credit Card - Best Credit Card in India

BPCL SBI Credit Card is a fuel credit card primarily targeted towards car owners who pay a lot at the petrol pumps every month because they look to earn reward points and fuel surcharge waiver.

This is NOT a beginner’s credit card. It is a special purpose credit card whose benefits are tuned primarily to attract car owners who buy bulk fuel (10 liters or more) for their vehicle.

Eligibility: All salaried employees and self-employed are eligible to apply.

Key Benefits:

  • 2000 activation bonus worth Rs.500 provided as a welcome gift.
  • 13X reward points on every Rs.100 spent on fuel purchases
  • 5X rewards on every Rs.100 spent on movies, department stores, dining, and utility bills
  • 1X reward point on all other expenses
  • 1% fuel surcharge waiver

Fees:

Joining fee: Rs.499 (one-time fee)
Annual fee: Rs.499 ( waived on spends Rs.50,000 or more annually)

Direct Link to the Online Application


Best Credit Card In India for Online Shopping


#10 American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card

American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card Review - Best Credit Card in India for Online Shopping

American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card is the best credit card in India for online shopping because you can earn a lot of reward points using this credit card, when compared to any other shopping credit cards in India.

You can earn 1 reward point for every Rs 50 you spend with American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card.  Most credit cards I have seen, gives 1X reward points for every Rs.150 spent on all categories.

Just use this credit card to pay Rs.1,000 or more 4 times a month and you’ll earn 1000 Bonus Points(equivalent to Rs.420 in cashback).

American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card provides the best conversion ratio when you convert reward points to cash or Amazon gift card.

1 American Express Reward Point = 42 paise in cashback or 46 paise in Amazon Money.

Eligibility:

All salaried and self-employed are eligible to apply for this credit card.  Easily approved if you already have some other credit card.

Key Benefits:

  • Earn 1 Membership Rewards Point for every Rs. 50 spent, except for spend at Fuel, Insurance, Utilities and Cash Withdrawal Transactions.
  • Each reward point is worth 42 paise in cashback. or 46 paise of Amazon Money.  This is much better than any other credit card I have reviewed so far.
  • Earn 1,000 Bonus Membership Rewards Points for simply using your Card 4 times on transactions of Rs. 1,000 and above every month

Annual Fee:

Yes there is an annual fee that can be easily waived off.  Read the details.  Don’t be fooled by Indian Banks that offer low fee or no fee credit cards.  Think smart.  To earn more rewards and cashback, you need to take some calculated risk based on your spending pattern.

  • First Year fee : Rs. 1,000 plus applicable taxes.  Second Year onwards : Rs. 4,500 plus applicable taxes.
  • Annual Fee is waived:  If you spend Rs. 1,50,000 annual (Rs. 12,000 monthly); If you spend Rs.90,000 then 50% of the annual fees(Rs.2250) will be waived.
  • Even otherwise, just Call the customer care and request them.  Your annual fee will be usually waived off completely.  This method works for me 100% of the time.

Direct Link to the Online Application

 

#11 SBI Simply Click Credit Card

SBI Simply Click Credit Card - Best Credit Card in India

SBI Simply Click Credit Card is the best credit card for Online Shopping, as the name suggests ( simply click).

You’ll get plenty of rewards for all your online transactions.

This credit card is good for first time credit card buyers. Annual Fee is low.

This is a beginner’s credit card and not a special purpose (travel/leisure/fuel) credit card

All salaried and self-employed are eligible to apply for this credit card.  You need to have a good credit score(above 700) to apply for this credit card.

Key Benefits:

  • Joining gift of amazon gift card worth Rs.500
  • Earn 10X reward on shopping online: Amazon/BookMyShow/Cleartrip/Foodpanda
  • Earn 5X reward on all other online spends (pay your utilities and telephone/internet bills online)
  • e-voucher worth 1000 on annual spends of 1lac and Rs.2000 for spends above 2 Lacs
  • 1% fuel surcharge waived
  • Easy EMI option available at many retail outlets

Fees:

Joining fee: Rs.499 ( one time fee)
Annual fee: Rs. 499 ( spend 1Lac and the annual fee will be waived)

Direct Link to the Online Application

 

#12 HSBC Advance Visa Credit Card

HSBC Advance Visa Credit Card - Best Credit Card in India

HSBC Advance Visa Credit Card is an every day use credit card specially targeted towards online shopping.

Earn more reward points when you shop online or anywhere.

It is a great credit card for first time credit card buyers.

Eligibility: All salaried and self-employed with an annual income of Rs.4,00,000 are eligible to apply. Easy approval if you have corporate salary account with HSBC.

Key Benefits:

  • Earn 3X Reward Points on all online spends in the first 24 months
  • Earn 2X Reward Points for every Rs.150 spent
  • Earn 5X Reward Points on all subsequent purchases made after spending Rs.4,00,000 in a year using the credit card
  • Get Movie ticker voucher worth Rs.500 on spending over Rs.50,000 in a calendar month
  • Enjoy 15% discounts at participating dining restaurants
  • Foreign currency conversion charges 3.5% of the transaction
  • Buy One Get One Free movie ticket at BookMyShow
  • 10% discount at Shopper’s Stop and Home Stop

Annual Fees: Strictly No Annual Fee
Annual Minimum Transaction Required: No annual minimum transaction requirement.

Direct Link to the Online Application

 

#13 SBI Simply Save Credit Card

SBI Simply Save Credit Card - Best Credit Card in India

SBI Simply Save Credit Cards is an all-purpose shopping credit card. You can shop online and in stores and still earn reward points.

This credit card is ideal for first time credit card buyers. Annual Fee is low.

Eligibility: All salaried employees and self-employed are eligible to apply.

Check Your Eligibility

Key Benefits:

  • 2000 bonus reward points on spends of Rs.2000 in first 60 days
  • 10X reward points earned per Rs.100 spends on Dining, Movie, Departmental Stores, and Grocery Stores
  • 1X reward points per Rs.100 spent on all other spends
  • 1% fuel surcharge waived at all petrol pumps
  • Easy EMI option available, convert card balance to a low interest rate EMI.

Fees:

Joining fee: Rs. 499 (one time fee)
Annual fee: Rs. 499 ( spend Rs.90,000 and the fee will be waived)


Best Credit Card in India (Luxury, Travel & Dining)


#14 HDFC Regalia Credit Card

HDFC Regalia Credit Card - Best Credit Card India

HDFC Regalia Credit Card is a luxury lover’s credit card.

The credit card provides a host of benefits to travelers, diners, holiday/vacation lovers.

HDFC Regalia Credit Card is definitely not a right credit card for first time credit card buyers. Even if you apply it may be rejected.

Eligibility: Salaried employees with monthly income > Rs.1,20,000 or Self-Employed with annual income of Rs.12 Lakhs can apply.

Key Benefits:

  • Earn welcome benefit of 2500 bonus reward points after joining
  • Earn 2500 bonus reward points on renewal every year
  • Earn 15,000 reward points on annual spends of Rs. 8,00,000 or more
  • Earn 10,000 reward points on annual spends of Rs. 5,00,000 or more
  • Complimentary lounge access in India and International airports
  • Lowest Foreign currency Mark-up of 2% on all international transactions
  • 1% Fuel surcharge waiver
  • 50 days of interest free credit
  • Air Accidental Death Insurance of Rs. 1 Crore
  • Emergency Medical Protection upto 15 Lakhs on any medical emergency when you are traveling outside the home country.
  • Credit Liability Protection Upto 9 Lakhs
  • Zero Liability on Lost Credit Card
  • 4X Reward Points on every Rs.150 spent

Fees:

Joining Fee: Rs.2,500
Annual Fee: Rs.2,500( Waived on spending Rs.3 Lakhs or more annually)

Direct Link to the Online Application

 

#15 SBI ELITE Premium Lifestyle card

SBI Elite Premium Lifestyle Credit Card - Best Credit Card India

The ELITE credit card from SBI is the best credit card in India for people who love luxury and for those who travel a lot both domestically and internationally. It has a premium touch in every benefit the card provides.

This is not a regular credit card and definitely not for first time credit card buyers. Even if you apply, there is a high chance that your application may be rejected.

The annual fees and joining fees are high. As a proud owner of this credit card, you know that you are paying for that extra luxury the credit card provides you where ever you go !

Key Benefits:

  • Welcome gift worth Rs.5000 on joining
  • Get Free movie tickets worth Rs.6000 every year
  • Earn upto 50,000 bonus reward points worth Rs.12,500 every year on card renewal.
  • Complimentary membership to Club Vistara and Trident Privilege program
  • Earn 10,000 reward points on spending 3 Lacs and 4 Lacs annually
  • 5X rewards on dining, department stores and grocery purchases
  • 2X rewards per Rs.100 on all other spendings
  • Complementary Domestic and International Airport Lounge Access.
  • Low foreign currency mark-up charges of 1.99% on international usage.

Fees:

Joining Fee Rs.4999
Annual Fee Rs.4999

Direct Link to the Online Application

 

Summary:

If this was too much of information to digest, and you are still confused on which credit card to apply, here is my recommendation:

First time credit card buyers looking for an all-rounder credit card apply for the Citibank Cashback Credit Card (or) Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Credit Card

For Best cashback credit card, apply for the Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card ( 5% cashback on grocery purchase and more perks)

For online shopping  American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card is the best ( I earn Rs.11,000 in cashback every year using this credit card)

For fuel purchases, apply for the Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Credit Card.  You will earn more cashback(Rs. 6000 easily annually) than any other fuel credit card.  You can use this credit card at any petrol station.

If you enjoyed reading this article please like us or share this article in Facebook using the link below.

If you have any questions or comments, please submit it below.


Practical Guide for First Time Credit Card Applicants


What is a Credit Card ? What are differences between Credit Card and Debit Card or ATM Card ?

You may wonder “What is a credit card”

“How is a credit card different from an ATM card or a Debit Card”

“How to apply for a free credit card”

You are not the only one who has this question.  After the recent demonetization in India, many people in India are looking for digital payment options.

Credit Card is one such digital payment option.  It is very similar to your Bank ATM Card or Debit Card but the way it works is fundamentally different.

You’ll find the answers to all your questions on Credit Card in this article.

What is Credit

The English word “Credit” means “Trust“.

Credibility” means “Trust Worthiness” of a person or a thing.

When you go to a grocery store in your street, buy some groceries and say that “I’ll pay tomorrow because it’s a month end and I don’t have any money.  I’ll pay you when I get the salary next month”.  

The store owner may say yes because he knows you for the last 20 or 30 years.  Moreover, he knows that you, your father and your grandfather have been living in that street for many many years.  The grocery store owner knows that you’ll not run away tomorrow.  He trusts you and your family.

This is called “buying something on credit”.

 

How to carry the credit along with you wherever you go

Now, what if you move to a new city like Bangalore, Pune or Noida after your college education to start your career?

The Reliance Fresh or Big Bazaar in your new city, don’t know who you are and where you live.  They’ll not give you any grocery based on “trust” or “credit”, like how the grocery store keeper in your home town trusted you.

So what you do at the month end, if you don’t have any money to shop for your groceries in a new city far away from your home town ?

You can go to a bank and say “Please give me a loan of Rs.5,000 and I’ll pay you back in 10 days, when I get my salary next month”

The bank will not agree to give you this loan for the following reasons.

It is not very efficient for the bank to process your application for Rs.5000 loan for just 10 days.  They’ll not earn any huge interest by lending you this very small amount for just 10 days.  Plus, it will take more bank staff to manually process many such applications from many people like you at the end of each month.

To solve this problem, the banks have come up with what is called a “Credit Card”.

 

What is a Credit Card

Credit Card is actually a loan. It is a very small loan from the bank.  It can vary anywhere from Rs.50,000 to 1Lakh to 2Lakhs.  This loan amount is called the “Credit Limit” of the Credit Card.

What is a Credit Card?

A credit card is an interest free loan from the bank, not in the form of a cash or a cheque but in the form of a card. The bank gives you this free loan for about a month, so that you can buy anything you want from any store, using the loan amount.  You pay back the loan to the bank only in the next month or after 30 days.

When the bank gives you a credit card, you can go to any store in your new city and buy anything for one month without paying anything for about a month.  You need to pay the loan amount you spent back to the bank.

This is what is called the “Credit Card Bill” that you pay at the beginning of the next month when you get your salary.

The bank basically “trusts” you that you’ll pay back the money for all your purchases at the end of one month.

This is how credit cards work.

 

Difference between Credit Card and Debit Card

Many of you already know what a debit card is.  Now you also know what a credit card is.  What is the difference between credit and debit card.

When you buy something in a store and pay using your debit card or the ATM card, the money from your savings account is immediately debited or subtracted from your balance amount.

However, when you use a credit card to buy something in a store, your money in the savings account or the salary account will not be affected.  The bank which gave you the credit card will pay the store owner for what you purchased at the store.  You’ll pay the bank only in the next month.

This is because you are paying using the “small loan” or the “Credit” the bank gave it to you in the form of a “Credit Card”.  It is actually not your money but bank’s money.

 

Types of Credit Card:

There are a wide variety of credit cards available in different flavors in India today.

15 years back when I applied my first credit card with ICICI Bank ( there was no HDFC Bank then), there was just two or three options – Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

SBI didn’t not offer credit card then.  Standard Chartered and HSBC were the only foreign banks to offer credit cards in India.

Now there are 50 different banks in India offering 100’s and 1000’s of credit cards.

It is very confusing to choose the best one.

Here is the summary of six different types of credit cards in India and around the world.

#1 Types Of Credit Card based on trust worthiness:

  • Secured credit card
  • Unsecured credit card

#2 Types of Credit Card based on the Issuer

  • Visa Credit Card
  • MasterCard Credit Card
  • American Express Credit Card
  • Rupay Credit Card

#3 Types of Credit Card based on the Bank

  • HDFC Credit Card
  • ICICI Credit Card
  • SBI Credit Card
  • CItibank Credit Card
  • Standard Chartered Credit Card
  • HSBC Credit Card
  • American Express Credit Card

#4 Types of Credit Card based on the Use:

  • Grocery Credit Cards
  • Bill Pay Credit Cards
  • Fuel Credit Cards
  • Online Shopping Credit Cards
  • Airline Miles Credit Cards
  • Travel & Hotel Credit Cards
  • Luxury Credit Cards

#5 Types of Credit Card based on the Rewards Earned

  • Cashback Credit Cards
  • Reward Points Credit Cards
  • Miles Credit Cards

#6 Types of Credit Card based on the Colour (Grade) of the Credit Card

  • Silver Credit Cards
  • Gold Credit Cards
  • Platinum Credit Cards
  • Titanium Credit Cards

 

How I applied for my first Credit Card

When I applied for my first credit card in 2003, after getting my first job, I was very scared to apply.

I didn’t know much about credit cards. I googled about credit cards, talked to my colleagues at work, especially seniors, about how credit cards work, their monthly charges, annual fees, how safe it is to use etc.

That clarified all my doubts and cleared all my unnecessary fears about credit cards.

Misunderstandings about Credit Cards

I had several misunderstandings about credit cards before I applied for my first credit card.

I always thought:

  • Credit card companies always charge a lot of hidden fees
  • Credit cards could be lost or stolen and someone who finds it could misuse it.
  • Someone could learn about my credit card number and buy something very costly online.
  • Why do I need a credit card when I have a debit card and I’m happy with it?

But later, I learnt that my understanding on credit cards was not correct.

Truth about Credit Cards

But here is the truth about Credit Cards.

The Government finance bureau and RBI requires that credit card companies should clearly state all fees and charges up front. So there is no way for any hidden charges on a credit card possible.

If you pay your monthly credit card bill on time, just like you pay your electricity bill or telephone/mobile phone bill or internet bill on time, then there will be no penalty or extra charges on your credit card.

 

Are Credit Cards safe to use than Debit Cards

Yes, credit cards can be lost or stolen by someone.

But don’t worry!

All you need to do is call the customer care and inform then that the credit card is stolen and it needs to be blocked.

They’ll take care of rest of the things. They’ll even invalidate any transactions happened after the credit card was stolen.  So you’ll not loose even a single rupee if the credit card gets lost.

This is one good thing about credit cards when compared to debit cards.

If someone steals your debit card and makes transactions with it, the money is immediately withdrawn from your account.  There is almost no way you’ll get back your money.  In the most cases, the banks will not help solve the problem.

Whereas with the credit card, you don’t pay anything upfront. The credit card company will take care of those fraudulent transactions.

You’ll pay for only what you transacted.  All you need to do is just call and inform the credit card company within 24 hours of losing your credit card.

Moreover, you pay your credit card transactions only the next month.  So you can always cross check all your transactions before you pay the credit card bill.

 

Credit Cards require your password for online transactions

Today, no body can steal your credit card number and transact online. You can setup an online password for your credit card at Visa or MasterCard website.

It will ask for the password if anyone tries to use the credit card online for any transaction, including you.

The bank will also generate an OTP to your mobile phone number and ask you to use that to complete the online transaction.

So overall, it is highly safe to transact using credit cards than with debit cards – both online and offline.

Now that the misunderstandings about credit cards have been clarified, let’s go straight into “How to apply for a credit card”

 

Who can apply for a credit card

Working Professionals – salaried or self-employed, Business owners, Professionals, House Wives, Elderly, Retired Senior Citizens can apply for the Credit Card.  Even students who are dependents of earning parents can apply for a students credit card.

 

How to apply for a Credit Card Online.

There are many banks that provide a free basic credit card.

As a beginner in Credit Card, you should apply for the very basic credit cards.  Fancy credit cards with many features are only for more experienced credit card users.

Here are 3 good credit cards for first time credit card applicants.  These credit cards have no annual fees.  Click the link below to take you to the Bank’s Website where you can apply for your credit card online and get it approved immediately.  All you need to submit is last 3 months’s salary slip.  If you don’t have a salary slip then you can use the  last year’s income tax filing report.

Citibank Cashback Credit Card (or) Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Credit Card (or) ICICI Platinum Chip Credit Card

 

Leave a Comment