Top 10 Best Credit Cards in India for 2021
Created on 05 Oct 2020
Wraps up in 6 Min
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Updated on 24 Aug 2022
“We do not believe credit cards are bad things. They are, however, very powerful and potentially dangerous tools if you don't know how to use them.” - Brian Lawrence
Credit cards are one of the most lucrative and innovative financial products available in the market currently. But the number of options available is beyond one’s imagination. Each of these cards caters to the needs of different sections of the population and provide exclusive benefits to its cardholders.
If you are confused regarding which card to choose, continue reading as this article will familiarise you with the 10 best credit cards currently available in the Indian market.
Before diving deep, let’s first understand why one would want to opt for a credit card.
Why should you opt for a credit card?
The purpose of a credit card is to provide credit, which means one can get money to be spent now but repaid later. Once you apply for a credit card, the bank will decide your monthly credit limit. This would depend on various factors like your income level, age, credit score etc. But this is not it.
Apart from the primary facility of providing credit, these cards provide a lot more benefits to its customers. This includes certain common facilities like waiver of fuel surcharge, contactless payments, add-on cards and rewards. Also, not everyone can avail of any card of their choice. These banks list out the income age criteria of persons that can avail their cards.
These cards also help you build a credit rating. Responsible use of credit cards leads to better credit scores, which is definitely beneficial.
2021’s Best Credit Cards
Here is a brief description of the best credit cards available that not only provide you with maximum benefits but also wouldn’t burn a hole in your pocket!
HSBC Visa Platinum Card
If you are reluctant to pay the joining and renewal fee, this is one of the best options for you. It provides certain introductory offers if you spend a minimum of Rs.500 within 30 days of issuance of the card.
One intending to get this card must be between the age group of 18-65 years, must earn a minimum annual income of Rs.4 lakh and must reside in one of the mentioned cities.
This card provides air miles conversion on Singapore Airlines, British Airways and InterMiles. It also provides Rs. 3,000 annual sayings on fuel surcharge. A customer can avail 5 times rewards on subsequent purchases made after spending Rs.4,00,000.
Axis Bank Ace Credit Card
The joining fee of this card is Rs.499 which would be reversed if the user spent Rs.10,000 within 45 days of card issuance. The renewal fee is also Rs.499. This amount would be reversed on annual spendings above Rs.2,00,000. The finance charges amount to 3.4% per month.
The only criteria to be followed for being eligible for this card is that the primary cardholder must be above 18 and below 70 years.
This card provides unlimited cashback on Swiggy, Zomato, Ola, bill payments and other payments. This typically does not have an upper limit for cashback. It facilitates the conversion of purchases into EMI, provides offers in more than 4,000 restaurants in India, lounge access and fuel surcharge waiver.
HDFC Regalia Credit Card
To avail of this card, a salaried person must be between 21-60 years with a monthly net income of above Rs.1.2 lakh. For self-employed, the upper age limit is 65 years with an income furnished on ITR above Rs.12 lakhs per annum. The joining and renewal fee of this card is Rs.2,500 plus taxes.
A few of the many benefits this card provides its cardholders are, exclusive complimentary dine out passport membership, 12 airport lounge access within India and 6 outside India, zero cost liability in case the holder loses the card and informs the bank within 24 hours.
Citi Cashback Card
If you are looking for a card that mainly focuses on providing cashback, a Citi cashback card definitely has to be considered. This card does not have a joining fee but has an annual renewal fee of Rs.500, exclusive of taxes. It facilitates contactless payments.
This card provides varying rates of cashback on different kinds of spending. The cashback is credited to the statement in multiples of Rs.500. Also, the cashback yet to be redeemed has a perpetual existence, it never really expires.
Standard Chartered Manhattan Platinum Credit Card
The eligibility criteria to avail of this card is basic. One must be between 21- 65 years of age and must have a steady monthly income.
The joining and renewal fee is Rs. 999. The bank provides loans on this card for up to Rs.5 lakh, whose tenure is flexible ranging from 12 months to 60 months. It allows conversion of expenditure above Rs.5000 to EMI. It provides contactless cards, lifetime supplementary cards, 5% cash back at supermarkets and 3x rewards for all other expenses. One can also redeem the points against their new online catalogue.
ICICI HPCL Coral Credit Card
One must be between 18-60 years to avail of this card. However, the primary cardholder must be above 23. The monthly income of the applicant must be Rs.20,000 or above or an annual income of Rs.3L per ITR(if self-employed).
The main advantage is cashback on fuel charges and savings on fuel surcharge. The joining fee is Rs.199 plus GST. For the first year, the annual fee is waived off. From the second year, the customer is required to pay an annual fee of Rs.199 plus GST. Also, this fee is reversed if the previous year’s annual spending is above Rs.50,000.
Apart from savings on fuel surcharge, this card has few other benefits. One can avail of a discount of 25% maximum up to Rs.100 on purchase of a minimum of two movie tickets per transaction. This can be availed twice a month on BookMyShow. The card also provides exclusive dining offers through ICICI Bank Culinary Treats Programme. This card also comes with an embedded microchip that provides additional security against duplication and counterfeiting of cards.
SBI SimplyCLICK Credit Card
The joining fee and renewal charges are Rs.499. The renewal charge of a year is reversible if expenditure on the card made in the previous year exceeds Rs.1,00,000.
This card provides Rs.500 worth of Amazon gift vouchers as a “log-in gift”. Apart from providing contactless payments, waiver of fuel surcharge and add-on card facilities, this card provides vouchers worth Rs.2,000 if your annual spending is Rs.1 lakh or Rs.2 lakh. Also, one can earn up to 10x reward points on online shopping with any of the exclusive partners of SBI like Amazon, Lenskart, ClearTrip, etc.
Citi PremierMiles Credit Card
If you are a wanderlust, this card is one of the best options for you. The major focus is the rewarding air-mile program and the flexibility to use the miles with several leading airlines.
The joining fee and annual charges are Rs.3,000 exclusive of taxes. The customer can avail 10,000 air miles on spending Rs.1,000 within 60 days of the card issuance and 3,000 on renewal. On Rs.100 spent at Amazon India, Myntra and Flipkart, the card provides 8 air miles.
SBI Card Elite
One of the best SBI credit cards in the premium category, the joining fee of this card is Rs.4,999. The yearly renewal fee is also Rs.4,999, both exclusive of taxes. Among many other benefits, this card provides an add-on card and contactless payment facilities.
It also provides up to 50% discount on golf games, 10% on Hertz car rental and up to 35% on Avis Car Rentals, exclusive benefits across 900 luxury hotels worldwide.
YES FIRST Preferred Credit Card
The annual membership fee of this card is Rs 2,499 plus taxes. It provides a unique feature of “instant EMI”. one can also earn reward points on the transactions converted into EMIs.
The age criteria are 21- 60 years earning a net salary of Rs. 2,00,000 per month, or in case of self-employed, ITR of 24,00,000 or above. This card is also available against a fixed deposit of Rs.3,00,000.
Availing this card includes absolutely no documentation and no processing fee. Repayment options available are spread from 3 months to 24 months. Most benefits provided are in the form of rewards when a certain limit of expenditure is crossed. Interest rates range from 12%-15%.
The Bottom Line
Though credit cards provide easy access to additional funds along with other benefits, there are certain drawbacks, which if ignored might lead to dire consequences. The various types of hidden costs, high interest rates and urge to overspend can lead to one slowly falling into the debt trap. This, of course, does not mean that you shouldn’t own a card or avail the benefits, but doing it responsibly is the best practice.
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