Last Update: 5th Sep, 2018
Credit cards rewards and offers keep changing every month.
Update: Latest reviews on 11 best credit cards in India in 2018 has been updated.
I have reviewed only 11 credit cards in the above article and this is a large list of best credit cards for shopping and travel.
- Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Card
- Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card
- Citibank Cashback Credit Card
- Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Credit Card
- Citibank Indian Oil Credit Card
- Amex Gold Card
- SBI Simply Click Credit Card
- ICICI Instant Platinum Card
- HDFC Regalia Credit Card
- Amex Platinum Travel Credit Card
- Citibank Premier Miles Credit Card
- Jet Airways American Express Credit Card
- SBI Air India Signature Card
- Amex MakeMyTrip Credit Card
- SBI IRCTC Credit Card
- Axis Bank Privilege Card
- HDFC Diners Premium
- SBI Signature Credit Card
- Yes Bank Preferred Credit Card
- Citibank Prestige
You can pick the best credit card for yourself, as per your needs.
Most Important Point First: Always apply for a credit card directly from the bank website. If you apply from any market place, they will keep calling you to sell their other products. I am also not sure how they handle your financial information and documents.
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are obtained in partnership with banking networks. You will be redirected to the bank’s website and I will not capture any of your information. I will make a small referral income if your credit card gets approved (at no extra cost to you).
My purpose is to provide you genuine information, so that you can get fast approval of the best credit card.
I interact with a lot of people, who ask me for the advice on applying for a credit card.
- The first category is first time applicants, who need an all-rounder credit card because either they have just started a new job or are working in a government organization.
- The second category is people who want to apply for a second credit card, to avail benefits on shopping, fuel and travel.
- The third and last category of people want to apply for premium credit cards even if that means annual fees of 5000 rupees or more.
If you belong to the first category :
..then straight away
Now.. Continue reading the article till the end.
The article has been structured to help everyone.
Select Your Favorite Section
- Best credit card in India with no annual fee
- Best credit card for salaried person in India
- Best Petrol & Fuel Waiver Credit Cards In India
- Best cashback credit cards for online shopping
- Best business credit card in India
- Best credit cards in India for travel
- Best premium credit cards in India
- Conclusion (Which Card To Apply For and When)
Best credit card in India with no annual fee
Most banks stopped offering free credit cards because people were applying for the credit cards but not using them. Moreover, free credit cards do not come with great rewards.
I can recommend two credit cards which are free for life and get approved rather easily, as compared to annual fees credit cards.
#1. Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Card
This is the least known and least talked about credit card,
It comes with a great set of offers & rewards at No joining or annual fees.
Check the details yourself for Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards credit card.
The biggest benefit is 20% cashback on Uber rides. If you are living in a city like Delhi or Bangalore then you can save up to 600 rupees every month from Uber rides only.
The next best benefit is 5 points on spending 150 rupees on fine dining and fuel. You will get 1 point on spending 150 rupees on anything else. Not bad if the card comes at no cost to you.
You have a high chance of approval of Standard Chartered Platinum card if you are a salaried employee.
(Approval rate is good if you have salary from Private or Government job)
- 1000 additional rewards points if you transact within 60 days
- 500 bonus points for registering for online banking
- Special discount offers on BigBasket, BlueStone, FirstCry, Puma, Abof and UrbanClap.
Best credit card for salaried person in India
#2. Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card
Actually it’s the #1 credit card in India (for entry level cards segment) because of the benefits and a high quality customer care service. The only problem is that Standard Chartered Manhattan credit card comes with an annual fees.
I have been using this credit card for past 7 years and get the annual fees waived off every year.
Let’s talk about the benefits of SC Manhattan credit card.
You will get 20% cashback on Uber rides on all standard chartered credit cards.
But the biggest reason I love Manhattan credit card because of 5% cashback on grocery shopping. No other credit card has a similar offer in India so far.
Whenever I go to a supermarket, I spend at least 3000 rupees and get Rs. 150 as cashback. You can make maximum of 6000 rupees cashback in a year with a monthly cap of 500 rupees.
This is the only card that offers 5% cash back on your grocery spends.
You have to make a minimum spend of 1000 to get the cashback, that is not a big issue when you shop something from a supermarket like BigBazaar, Spencers, Reliance, More or Easy Day.
If you don’t spend money on groceries from supermarket then you may look at additional benefits of Standard Chartered Manhattan credit card.
- 1000 additional rewards points if you transact within 60 days
- 500 bonus points for registering for online banking
- 20% cashback on Uber rides
- 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 Fees – Rs. 499. Waived off by spending 30,000 rupees in the first year.
Annual Fees – Zero for the first year, 999 from the second year onwards that can be waived off by spending 60,000 Rupees.
Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card Review
Here is my latest review of Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card where I explain in the detail, how you can get the approval for the credit card and how to get the annual fees waived off every year.
If you already loving my favorite card then..
You can directly Apply for SCB Manhattan credit card by clicking here
#3. Citibank Cashback Credit Card
Citibank Rewards credit card was popular earlier but Citibank Cashback credit card has a better reward ratio (0.5%). You will also get 5% cashback on telephone and utility bills.
If you just want to own a simple credit card for daily use then apply for Citibank Cashback credit card. If you want to own multiple credit cards with exclusive benefits on travel, shopping and leisure then keep reading.
Annual Fees: Rs. 500
Who should apply for Citibank Cashback Credit Card?
Citibank Cashback credit card is an entry level credit card from Citibank and I suggest you to apply if you have a salary account with Citibank.
- 5% cashback on movie tickets
- 5% cash back on telephone bill payments
- 5% cashback on Utility Bill Payments
- 0.5% Cashback on all other spends
Best Petrol & Fuel Waiver Credit Cards In India
#4. Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Credit Card
It’s a hidden gem from Standard Chartered Bank. I already have SC Manhattan credit card otherwise I would have applied for Super Value Titanium Credit Card from Standard Chartered Bank.
This is the only credit card in India that gives 5% cashback on fuel spends. Combine that benefit with 5% cashback on phone and utility, and it becomes one of the best in it’s category.
Joining Fee: Rs 499 (Waived off with spending Rs. 30,000 in the first year)
Annual Fees: ZERO for the first year, Rs. 750 from second year onwards (Waived off with spending 60,000 in a year)
- 20% cashback on Uber rides
- 5% cashback on fuel, phone and utility bills
- 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
Note: Minimum transaction amount for cashback eligibility is Rs 750
#5. Citibank Indian Oil Credit Card
If you are a fan of Citibank and Indian Oil then consider applying for Citibank IOC Credit Card.
Citibank gives you turbo points on using this credit card on fuel stations or anywhere. You can redeem your turbo points for refilling fuel on Indian Oil outlets. 1 Turbo Point gives you Rs.1 of free fuel.
There are better card available in terms of cashback (Like Standard Chartered SVT) but people still love Citibank IOC credit card.
Annual Fees: Rs. 1000 (waived after spending Rs. Rs.30,000 in one year)
Limited Time Offer: Rs.250 worth of Activation benefits if you apply before 31st October, 2017
- 4 Turbo Points on Rs.150 (2.67%) of fuel purchases at authorized IndianOil Retail Outlets
- 4 Turbo Points for every Rs.150 spent at featured partners (like MakeMyTrip)
- Full waiver of the fuel surcharge (1%) on fuel purchases
- 2 Turbo Points on Rs.150 at grocery and supermarkets
- 1 Turbo Point on Rs.150 spent elsewhere like Shopping, Dining and more
Note: Your card must be swiped on Citibank EDC (Credit Card Swipe Machine) only to avail the above benefits
Best cashback credit cards for online shopping
#6. American Express Gold Credit & Charge Card
First of all, let me tell you the difference between a credit card and a charge card.
You can pay minimum balance for a credit card bill and carry forward the balance to the next month (of course you will pay the high interest charges). But for a charge card, you have to pay the full amount before the due date.
In India, most people pay off their credit card bills before the due date. So, it does not matter whether you apply for a credit card or a charge card.
American Express offers the same benefits for their Gold Charge Card and Credit Card.
I use the Amex Gold card to avail 1000 bonus points ( Indigo vouchers worth Rs. 400) after using the card 4 times with a transaction above 1000 Rs. I have written a detailed article on how I get the most benefits out of the Amex Gold card for my online shopping.
Annual Fees: First Year Rs. 1000 (Second year onwards Rs.4,500)
- OYO voucher worth Rs. 2000 on Card Approval
- 4,000 Membership Rewards Points after first 3 spends in 60 days
- 1000 Bonus MR Points for using your Card 4 times every month
- Earn 1 MR point on Rs.50 spent on all spends except for spend on Fuel, Insurance, Utilities and Cash Transactions
- Earn 5000 MR Points on renewal for second year
#7. SBI Simply Click Credit Card
This is my favorite category because I shop a lot online. SBI Simply Click card is much better than its variant SBI Simply Save because you will get 10x rewards on popular shopping websites in India.
That’s why they call it – Simply Click (and get 10 times rewards)
Annual Fees: Rs. 499 (get reversed after spending 1L rupees in the first year)
Bonus : Get e-gift voucher worth Rs. 500 from Amazon
(Make sure you have a good CIBIL score)
Honestly, I love the benefits and have applied for SBI Simply Click credit card twice but they rejected my application even when my credit score is excellent.
Unfortunately, they don’t deliver the card in my area. My pin code is not under their serviceable area. You should also avoid applying for SBI cards if you are not living in a big city. Every card rejection impacts the CIBIL score negatively.
Who should apply?
SBI Simply click is also an entry level credit card for the first time applicants. You have great chances of approval if you have a salary account in SBI and living in a city listed in their application form.
Expert Tip: Mention your landline phone number in the application form for faster approval of credit card.
- Earn 10X rewards on – Amazon / BookMyShow / Cleartrip / Foodpanda / FabFurnish / Lenskart / OLA / Zoomcar
- Earn 5X rewards on all other online shopping
- Earn 1 reward point per Rs. 100 on all other spends
- 2.5% fuel surcharge waiver (on 500+ transaction amount)
- Cleartrip e-voucher worth Rs.2,000 on annual online spends of Rs. 1 Lakh
#8. ICICI Instant Platinum Credit Card
Honestly, this credit card is not a premium platinum credit card as projected by ICICI bank. It was my first credit card, that I got in 2006 after getting my first job. I do not use ICICI credit cards anymore as I found credit cards that are a whole lot better.
If your application gets rejected by Standard Chartered Platinum for some reason, then you can apply for ICICI Instant Platinum credit card.
The biggest benefit of owning a credit card is building your credit history and score. Your future loans would get approved easily if you have a strong CIBIL score.
Annual Fees – NIL
Who should apply for ICICI Platinum Card?
ICICI Instant Platinum credit card is a good option for Students, Housewives and Non-Salaried persons, if they want to apply for credit card against a Fixed Deposit.
Offers and Benefits
- Discount of 100 rupees on up to 2 movie tickets per month at BookMyShow
- 15% savings on dining at over 800 restaurants
- Earn 2 PAYBACK Reward points on every 100 rupees spent (except fuel)
Best business credit card in India
#9. HDFC Regalia Credit Card
HDFC launched Regalia as personal and business credit card. No difference in the benefits but different documents are required for each one’s application.
I use it for all of my business purchases because of the reward structure and the 2% foreign transaction fees. All other credit cards charge 3.5% fees on foreign transactions (except Yesbank Preferred card). I save 1.5% on foreign transactions when I spend money on buying tools in dollars.
I also put the rest of my business expenses on Regalia credit card because it helps me keep a separate record of personal and business expenses.
Annual Fees: Rs 2500 (can be waived off after spending 40,000 in first 90 days)
HDFC bank launched another variant named Regalia First, that is easy to get approved and comes with less benefits as compared to Regalia regular credit card. Annual fees for Regalia first is Rs. 1000 that can be waived off after spending 15,000 in first 90 days.
- Complimentary Airport Lounge Access through Priority Pass Membership
- Complimentary Club Vistara Silver membership
- 4 Reward Points on every Rs. 150 spent
- 1% fuel surcharge waived off on fuel transactions. (Minimum transaction of INR 400)
Best credit cards in India for travel
There are two types of travel credit cards.
Generic miles – If you love the freedom of redeeming your miles with any airline, hotel or shopping vouchers then apply for Miles credit card.
For frequent flyers – Apply for a co-branded credit card, on which you earn miles from all types of shopping but redeem with the brand the card is associated with.
#10. Amex Platinum Travel Credit Card
Let’s talk about the best travel credit card that accumulate points or miles for you that you can redeem as Indigo or Taj vouchers.
If you spend 4 lacs in the first year then you will get Rs. 11,800 worth of indigo vouchers and Rs. 10,000 worth of Taj vouchers – in addition to the reward points.
Bonus benefit alone is more than 8% (7,700+11,800+10,000 = 33,500 by spending 4,00,000)
Annual Fees: First year fee:Rs. 3,500, Second year onwards: Rs. 5,000
- 5,000 Welcome Milestone Bonus Points redeemable for Travel Vouchers worth Rs. 4000
- Travel Vouchers worth Rs. 7,700 on spending Rs. 1.90 lacs in a year
- Spend Rs. 4 lacs in a year and get Travel Vouchers of Rs. 11,800 from Indigo and a voucher worth Rs.10,000 from the Taj Group
- Get 3% cash back* at leading fuel stations
- 1 Membership Rewards Point for every Rs.50
- Enjoy complimentary membership to Priority Pass for free access to airport lounges
#11. Citibank Premier Miles Credit Card
If you have more than Rs. 4 lakhs annual spend on travel then you should apply for Citibank Premier Miles Credit Card as well.
You can earn miles on every transaction on your card and then redeem them with any airline. You can transfer your miles to Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Thai Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Eva Air, Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways and Air India. You will get 1 Frequent Flyer Air Mile for every 2 Miles from your account (50% conversion value).
You can also redeem your miles with Citibank preferred partners (GoIbibo, Yatra, Indigo) at the rate of 100 Miles = Rs.45.
Annual Fees: Rs. 3000
- 10,000 Miles with your first spend of Rs. 1,000 or more within 60 days
- Additional 3,000 Miles on Card renewal
- Earn 10 Miles per Rs.100 spent on all airline transactions
- Earn 10 Miles per Rs.100 spent with online partner merchants (like MakeMyTrip)
- Earn 4 Miles for every Rs.100 spent on all other transactions
- Complimentary Access to Airport Lounges
#12. Jet Airways American Express Credit Card
If you fly regularly with Jet Airways (most corporate people do) then you can get the maximum number of JPMiles by using Amex Jet Airways credit card.
On your credit card approval, you will love the Welcome Gift of 10,000 Bonus JPMiles + one-way complimentary Jet Airways Base Fare Waived Domestic Ticket.
The welcome gift rewards are sufficient to cover the annual fees.
Annual Fees: First year Fee: Rs. 5,000 plus applicable taxes, Second year onwards: Rs. 10,000
Of course, you will need an excellent credit history and score to get the approval. You should apply for this credit card as your third one.
- 16 JPMiles on Rs. 150 spent for booking revenue tickets on JetAirways website.
- 8 JPMiles on Rs. 150 spent except at Fuel, Insurance and Utilities
- 3% cash back at leading fuel stations across India
- Extend your holiday with a complimentary night’s stay at select properties of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts
- Complimentary visits to 13 Domestic Airport Lounges at 11 cities in India
- On every renewal, get 5,000 Bonus JPMiles + get a complimentary Jet Airways Base Fare Waived Domestic Ticket
- Dedicated Check in & Excess Baggage Waiver of 5kg on Jet Airways flights within India.
#13. SBI Air India Signature Card
I don’t like flying with Air India but if you are a frequent traveller on Air India then you should apply for SBI Air India Signature credit card.
You will be awarded with 20,000 reward points as a welcome gift on payment of your joining fee + You will enjoy complimentary membership of the Air India Frequent Flyer program.
Bonus Points on spending more
- 20,000 Points on 5 Lakhs in a Year
- 30,000 Points on 10 Lakhs in a Year
- 50,000 Points on 20 Lakhs in a Year
In total you can earn 120,000 bonus points in the first year if you spend more than 20L rupees + 80,000 regular points (0.04 * 20L)
Convert these points to Air India Miles and enjoy free travel.
Annual Fees: Rs. 4999
- Earn upto 30 Reward Points for every Rs. 100 spent on Air India tickets booked through airindia.com
- Get 4 Reward points for every ₹ 100 spent.
- Get up to 1,00,000 bonus Reward points annually
- Convert your Reward points into Air India miles. 1 Reward point is equal to 1 Air India Air mile
- Free Access to International Airport Luxury Lounge
#14. American Express MakeMyTrip Credit Card
If you don’t want to stuck with Jet Airways or Air India, then you can apply for MakeMyTrip Amex Credit Card.
The card has very less annual fees and comes with a welcome gift of Rs. 2000 worth of MakeMyTrip vouchers.
If you keep using the card, you will reap more benefits by paying small annual fees. You will get a MakeMyTrip voucher worth Rs. 2,000 on spending Rs. 1.25 lakhs every year. Also, an additional MakeMyTrip voucher worth Rs. 5,000 on spending Rs. 2.5 lacs.
By spending 2.5 lacs in the first year, you will get Rs. 9000 worth of MakeMyTrip vouchers. You will also earn regular PAYBACK points that you can redeem on MakeMyTrip.
Annual Fees: First year fee: Rs.750 , Second year onwards: Rs.1,500
- Earn 5 PAYBACK Points for every Rs.100 spent on MakeMyTrip
- 2 PAYBACK Points for every Rs.100 spent elsewhere
- 5% cashback on your MakeMyTrip bookings
- Up to 70% cashback on Hotel bookings made via MakeMyTrip
#15. SBI IRCTC Credit Card
I hate to pay the 1.8% surcharge when I travel by train.
If you are a frequent train traveller, then there is only one credit card in India that can help you save 1.8% surcharge + earn additional benefits.
You can earn up to 10% value back as Reward points when you book tickets through the IRCTC website for AC1, AC2 and AC CC.
Annual Fees: Rs. 500 for the first year, Rs. 300 second year onwards
- 350 activation bonus Reward points on spending Rs. 500 within 45 days of card issuance
- 1% fuel surcharge across all petrol pumps in India
- 1 reward point is equal to 1 rupees on IRCTC booking
#16. Axis Bank Privilege Credit Card
I was reluctant to include Axis Bank Privilege Credit Card under the travel category but I found that you can get Yatra vouchers as bonus by using the card three times within 60 days of approval.
If you love to book tickets from Yatra as compared to MakeMyTrip then you should consider applying for Axis Bank Privilege Credit Card.
Annual Fees: Rs. 1500
- Get 5,000 bonus voucher on Yatra every time you spend Rs. 2,50,000 on the card
- Complimentary access to select airport lounges
- Complimentary Insurance Cover Upto Rs. 2,55,00,000
- Fuel surcharge waiver at all fuel stations across India
Best premium credit cards in India
Apply for premium credit cards only if you already have 2-3 credit cards from the category of shopping, cashback and travel. It is difficult to get approval for premium cards without having salary greater than 10L per annum and a strong credit history.
Note: Some of the premium cards have already been listed under travel category.
#17. HDFC Diners Premium Credit Card
HDFC launched Regalia and Diner with similar set of benefits. Some people fall in love with Regalia and some with Diner. Complimentary access to Golf lessons makes Diner card special for people who want to taste luxury at no additional cost.
The card comes at very nominal annual fees and offers a great set of deals under travel and leisure category. The only drawback is that Diner is not accepted everywhere like Visa and Mastercard.
Annual Fees: Rs. 2500 (Waived off after spending 40,000 in the first year, and 3,00,000 in the second year)
- Earn 4 Reward Points for every Rs. 150
- 8 Reward Points on spending Rs. 150 on www.hdfcbankdinersclub.com
- Get access to complimentary golf lessons at select Golf Courses in India
- Air Accident Cover of INR 1 Crore
- Emergency Medical Expenses Cover of up to INR 25 Lakh
- Credit Liability Cover of up to 9 Lakh
- Travel Insurance Cover of up to INR 50,000 on baggage delay/loss
- Complimentary access to airport lounges
- Foreign transaction fees 2%
#18. SBI Elite Credit Card
SBI credit cards are the only PSU bank credit cards that I listed here because of their great offers and good customer service.
You will get a bunch of rewards, offers and bonus points with SBI Signature credit card that will really make you feel privileged.
Annual Fees: Rs. 4999
- Rs. 5,000 worth of welcome vouchers from any of the following brands: Yatra, Hush Puppies, Bata, Marks & Spencer, Westside, Shoppers Stop
- Rs. 500 off on BookMyShow once every month
- 5X Reward Points on Dining, Departmental stores, Grocery and International spends
- 10,000 bonus Reward Points on achieving annual spends of Rs. 2 lakhs, 3 lakhs and 4 lakhs
- 20,000 bonus Reward Points on crossing annual spends of Rs. 5 lakhs
- Get a complimentary membership to the Elite Priority Pass program worth $99
- 2.5% fuel surcharge waiver
#19. Yes Bank Preferred Credit Card
I had not included any credit card from Yes Bank in last year’s list but I hear good things about their Preferred Credit Card.
You will get 15,000 welcome reward points on your first transaction within 90 days of approval of your card. Then you will get 10,000 reward points on every renewal.
1 reward point is equal to 0.25 Rs, that makes welcome rewards worth equal to Rs. 3750.
The next best thing about Yes Bank Preferred Card is that it comes with 1.75% foreign transaction charges, which is the lowest in India.
Annual Fees: Rs. 2500
- Bonus 20,000 Reward Points on achieving annual spends of INR 7.5 Lakhs
- 8 Reward Points on every INR 100
- 1000 Reward Points on each YES PayNow registration
- 25% discount on movie tickets when booked on BookMyShow
- Complimentary Access of lounges on Priority Pass membership
- Rs. 1 Crore Air accidental cover in case of death due to flight accidents
- Rs 25 Lakhs cover on medical emergencies, while travelling overseas
- Rs 5 Lakhs Credit Shield cover on accidental death of Primary Cardmember
- Fuel surcharge waived at all fuel stations
#20. Citibank Prestige Credit Card
You will get 10,000 bonus air miles and vouchers worth Rs 10,000 from Taj Group or ITC Hotels every year on the approval of Citibank Prestige Credit Card.
Annual fees of Citibank Prestige are Rs. 20,000 and you can’t even apply for the card online.
You will either have to get an invitation or you have to call their number 1-800-419-1050
If you own Citibank Premier Miles credit card then you can get an invite for upgradation if you really spend a lot of money on your credit card.
- Get one night complimentary stay if you book 4 nights with their partner properties
- Complimentary lounge access with Priority Pass
- British Airways Executive Club
- Taj Epicure Plus Plan and InnerCircle Silver membership
- 4 complimentary golf rounds & golf lessons
- Air Accident Insurance of Rs 5 crores
- Lost Card Protection of Rs 3,00,000
- 1 Reward point on every Rs.100 Domestic spend
- 2 Reward points on International spend
Conclusion (Which Card To Apply For and When)
I know it’s too much information in a single article. If you are not yet sure about which card to apply for, then I can help you.
My favorite credit card is Standard Chartered Manhattan – Apply for that if your salary is more than 6,00,000 rupees per year.
If you are looking for a free for life credit card, then apply for their variant Standard Chartered Platinum Credit Card.
If you are applying for the third or fourth credit card, then pick one from travel & premium category as per your taste.