25+ Best Credit Cards in India 2017 (Rewards, Cashback & More)

By | April 21, 2017

Everyone wants the best credit card ever available in India, but what’s best for me may not be best for you. This is because where we spend, how much we spend and how much joining fee we’re willing to pay varies between you and me. However, this article covers anything and everything that you would ever need to make the most out of your credit cards. Be it a beginner to the credit card or the celebrity who spends few lakhs to crores every year, i’ve covered them all 🙂

Best Credit Cards in India with Full Reviews for 2017 – Rewards Points, Cashback & Travel Benefits

If you’re very new to credit cards or if you’re wondering what are the basic benefits of holding a credit card, you must first check out 7 Reasons Why You Should have a Credit Card in India. Others, lets begin with the list.

India’s Best Credit Cards in 2017 – The Most Famous All Rounders

If you’ve a very high income or looking for a super premium credit card, you can find them at the end of the article. Now lets first look at the ones that are more popular, easy to get and common among the credit card holders in India.

  1. HDFC Regalia
  2. HDFC Diners Premium
  3. SBI Simply Click Credit Card
  4. SBI Elite Credit Card
  5. Yes Bank Preferred Credit Card
  6. Amex Gold Charge Card
  7. Indusind Iconia Credit Card
  8. Standard Chartered Manhattan
  9. ICICI Bank Coral Credit Card
  10. Citibank Cashback Credit Card

and now lets see why each of them are in the list.

#1 HDFC Regalia Credit Card:

If you’re looking for a single card that serves all purpose, its HDFC Regalia Credit card. This is because you get almost all benefits that you can ever imagine on a credit card, say, decent reward rate, free domestic and international lounge access, low foreign currency markup fees on international transactions, 5X rewards with selected merchants and access to host of other offers with HDFC.

My HDFC Business Regalia Credit Card

I’ve been using it for more than 2 years, accumulated a lot of reward points and used them to book FREE flight tickets for my recent trip to Vietnam. If you find it tough to get approved, apply for Regalia First and then upgrade it to the Original Regalia after 6 months.

#2 HDFC Diners Premium Credit Card

If you’re more of a traveler and online shopper, HDFC Diners Premium Credit card will help you save quite a lot with its 10X Reward Points and unlimited complimentary lounge access in India. The only downside of this credit card is that its not a Visa or Mastercard but Diners Club itself and the Diners Club acceptance is not 100%. Hence you always need one backup card to be on safer side.

HDFC Diners Premium Credit Card

#3 SBI Elite Credit Card

If you’re looking for a best credit card with the ability to redeem reward points for cashback, this card will fit in perfectly. Also you get 2 bookmyshow tickets every month (not buy1 get 1) which is one of best kind of Bookmyshow offer you could get.

SBI Elite Credit Card

Yes, it comes with a high joining fee, though you can get a waiver on a 10L spend per year. Even if you don’t spend that much, you get the value back through bookmyshow vouchers.

#4 SBI Simply Click Credit Card

If you spend more online and happy to redeem your reward points for Amazon Vouchers, this is the card for you. Also you get 2X returns when you spend with partner websites.

Sbi Simplyclick Credit Card

#5 Yes Bank Preferred Credit Card

This is more of a replacement for HDFC Regalia and is relatively easy to get approved. If you prefer to redeem your points primarily for Flight tickets, this card is best fit. While there is nothing much special with Yesbank cards for now, they’re growing super fast and are likely to have more benefits and better merchant offers in years to come.

Yesbank Preferred Credit Card

#6 Amex Gold Charge Card

You MUST have atleast one of the Amex cards in your pocket and Amex Gold charge card can be a best fit for that reason. This is because Amex is very aggressive and active in running offers with various merchants, especially related to travel and during festive season.

Amex Gold Charge Card

Note that its a charge card and hence you can’t buy things on EMI, for which you might consider the MRCC card. Do you know, with Amex Gold charge card, you can start with 1 Lakh internal credit limit and go as high as 8 Lakhs in just 6 months. Before you apply for one, you must check out 5 Things You Must Know about Amex Gold Charge Card.

#7 Indusind Iconia Credit Card (Amex)

The ability to earn reward points on fuel & utility spends and redeem them for cashback makes this card a unique one among the most popular Credit cards in India. Best when spends are made on weekends. Go for it if you’ve a lot of Utility spends, if not skip it as it does have a joining fee that you can’t escape from.

Indusind Iconia American express credit card

#8 Standard Chartered Manhattan

Are you a Family man Looking for cashback on groceries and departmental store spends? This card is for you, but don’t use it for regular spends as the reward rate is too low. Standard Chartered also has good cashback offers with Uber which makes this card work.

Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card Review

#9 ICICI Coral Credit Card

In earlier days its famous for the Bookmyshow Buy 1 Get 1 offer, however these days its very tough to get it due to the limited availability. Availing Buy1Get1 with this card is like booking a Tatkal ticket 😀 Apart from that, its very useful for Lounge access. Make sure to grab the Mastercard variant for lounge access.

ICICI Coral Credit Card

#10 Citibank Cashback Credit Card

Citibank Cashback Credit Card

Get flat 0.5% cashback irrespective of where you spend, infact it gives you 5% on some categories. So you don’t need to deal with reward points and all that stuff. Good for beginners and as like Amex cards, Citi also runs travel offers quite often for which this card will be very useful.

Alright, these are the cards most of the Indians are having in their wallet. Its upto you to choose which one you need based on what benefits you’re looking for. Ideally, you can have 2-3 credit cards for someone who has yearly spend of ~3L and for anything more than that, i invite you to the super premium credit card segment.

Super Premium Credit Cards:

Got a high income or have credit card spends more than 3 Lakhs in a year? You’re supposed to have one or more of these super premium credit cards in your wallet. All these super premium cards are lifestyle cards and has better rewarding experience on Travel, shopping & Dining. Here they are:

Super Premium Credit Cards

  1. HDFC Diners Black
  2. HDFC Infinia
  3. Citi Bank Prestige
  4. Yes Bank Exclusive Credit Card
  5. Amex Platinum Charge Card

-> For Full Reviews of each, check out: 5 Best Super Premium Credit Cards in India

Domestic Travel Credit Cards:

While most of the super premium credit cards in itself has cool travel benefits, there are some of dedicated travel credit cards in India that gives you Air Miles (or) travel vouchers that can be redeemed for complimentary flights and hotel stays. Here they are:

Domestic Travel Credit Cards

  1. Amex Platinum Travel Credit Card
  2. HDFC Diners Black
  3. Axis Bank Privilege Card
  4. Jet Airways American Express Credit Card
  5. SBI Air India Signature Card
  6. Citi Premier Miles Credit Card
  7. SBI IRCTC Credit Card

-> For Full Reviews of each, check out: 7 Best Travel Credit Cards in India

International Travel Credit Cards (also for Foreign currency spends):

Once in a while you might want to travel far and beyond the limits of the country. If you do, here are some of the best credit cards for international travel and it is also applicable for those who spend in foreign currencies, both online and offline. These cards typically has low foreign currency markup fees and the list is here:

International Travel Credit Cards

  1. Hdfc Infinia
  2. Citi Prestige
  3. HDFC Regalia
  4. YesFirst Exclusive
  5. YesFirst Preferred
  6. RBL Bank Icon Credit Card
  7. Indusind Legend Credit Card

-> For Full Reviews of each, check out: 7 Best Credit Cards for Foreign Currency Transactions

I hope that helps you find the best credit cards you would ever want. Was the list helpful? Do share your views in comments below.

Author: Siddharth

I'm a Credit Card freak minting reward points and cashback for years. Obsessed with aviation, airport lounges and luxury travel at affordable cost.

58 thoughts on “25+ Best Credit Cards in India 2017 (Rewards, Cashback & More)

  1. Mahendra

    Hi Sid,

    For Regalia card, I suppose domestic lounge access facility removed and for diners club there is an unlimited one plus one movie ticket to PVR movies.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      You can still access domestic lounges directly with the credit card at Visa/Mastercard affiliated lounges. Ofcourse, one on one movie offer with Diners is good, but it doesn’t cover all cities, especially mine 😐

      Reply
  2. Prashant Gupta

    Excellent compilation. All information in one article.
    For fuel one can have citibank indian oil card, seeing most of the banks now only reversing 1% surcharge.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Yes, it seems Fuel surcharge waiver is getting tricky these days. I’ll get this thing updated for other cards shortly.

      Reply
  3. Raj Sinha

    Great compilation!

    I think the ICICI card review is incorrectly linked to the Standard Chartered card review.

    Reply
  4. Jagan

    Hello Sid, If I do value for my time vs money for reading your post and spending time on your blog makes perfect value and returns. Keep updating your customers with your passion. Thanks.
    In 6 months time I may spend nearly 5-6 lacs for marriage, currently I hold dinners premium card for past 2 months, what is your CC suggestion to get maximum benefit interms of rewards like flight, forex, international spent, hotel booking to minimize honeymoon spent 🙂

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Thanks much for the kind words.

      Typically, for this spend, you need to check out the Super Premium Credit cards in the list 🙂
      Just upgrade Diners premium to Black, which could save you a lot on your honeymoon travel.

      Reply
    2. Prashant Gupta

      U can apply for amex platinum travel card. On 4l spends u get vouchers worth 28k for indigo and taj.

      Reply
  5. Dev

    Congrats on a great blog that is going places..
    I have 2 questions:-
    What is the difference in getting the regular Amex and the Yes Bank affiliated Amex cards?
    Which card do you think is best for utilities and/or fuel?

    Also, not sure what I should do with my normal Amex cards – I switched my Jet card to the Plat Travel and they reduced my limit from 5Lakhs to 70k! I tried speaking to them but oddly for Amex someone was very rude and told me to cancel my card. Which card do you think I should move to? I already have the Diners Black.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Thanks you,
      1.Any Amex card has nice 3% cashback on fuel, limited promo though
      2.You actually closed one and opened a new a/c as AMex doesn’t support “upgrade”. So its normal.

      Reply
      1. Dev

        Sure, but Amex has lower acceptance in fuel – is there any way I can get points in fuel?
        Or maybe it counts towards a milestone upon which I get benefits?

        Ideally larger than the small Citi IOC card, where I can make meaningful transactions every month..

        Reply
        1. Siddharth Post author

          Indusind Iconia might serve your purpose.

          Reply
  6. Rohit

    I spent like 6-7 lac rupees on hdfc diner premium and applied for upgrade to black card and was still denied the same. How to go about getting this card. I don’t understand that!!

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Well,
      They also look for relationship value & income.
      Please check the respective review article for loads of experiences shared by other readers.

      Reply
  7. Praveen Perumalla

    I liked the first pic with all your cards stacked in a nice way. Gives a good feel to have your hands on cards from various providers.

    Reply
      1. Anil

        Standard Chartered Manhattan card features changed
        Downgraded
        Even features for Standard Chartered Super Value changed
        But still good

        Reply
  8. Ved Prakash

    Hi Sid

    I have HDFC platinum money back card, HDFC has offered me an upgrade to Regalia or Diners Premium. Which one should I go? Personally, I think Diners premium as it gives unlimited lounge access and a movie ticket. I am not much bothered about its limited acceptance. Please suggest.

    Regards
    Ved

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Yes, Diners Premium esp for Lounge access and 10X rewards.

      Reply
  9. Malavkumar Patel

    Firstly i want to thank you a lot Sid because,
    I used to own HDFC Regalia Credit Card and i thought i had the best credit card in india with all the benifits that any single credit card could offer and didn’t bother to get any other credit card but then i came to know about your website,
    I thoroughly studied your articles for couple of weeks and then concluded as below,
    If you want to hold multiple credit cards then hold each one from different credit card technology providers like visa, master card amex etc,

    I used to have regalia with 8 lack credit limit so first thing i did was, Get YES FIRST EXCLUSIVE Credit Card on card on card besis so i can MasterCard credit card which i can use for free domestic airport lounge visits because my visa regalia didn’t help much with lounges in cities other than delhi and mumbai,

    Second thing i did was to get American Express Platimum Travel Credit Card so i could use their amazing domestic and international hotel deals,

    Third is Diners Black from HDFC Bank to get 33% discount on partner websites and buy one get one unlimited movie tickets offer (i am Add On card owner),

    Fourth was my Visa varient HDFC Regalia which i got upgraded to Visa varient HDFC Infinia after chasing HDFC Bank staff for some time, Visa has some nice offers like 75rs OLA cashback etc.

    So,
    American Express Platinum Travel
    MasterCard Yes First Exclusive
    Diners Black From HDFC
    Visa HDFC Infinia.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Awesome & Congrats on all!
      That’s a perfect strategy.

      Am glad that i was able to help through the blog 🙂

      Reply
  10. Viral

    Hey Siddharth,

    Which credit cards allow free lounge visits to companion ? If not included in primary card then with addon card .
    Which one is best & easy to achieve ?

    Priority Pass also allows only primary holder.
    ICICI’s high end Sapphiro is not providing this perk either.

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Viral

      Hi Siddharth,

      A little help here will be very much appreciated !

      Thanks

      Reply
      1. Siddharth Post author

        For Domestic?
        Consider Diners cards.
        Easiest though is some Mastercard debit/credit cards.

        Reply
        1. Viral

          Can you please suggest cards ?
          I wish to have access to lounge ( domestic + international ) for wife with addon card.

          Will HDFC Regalia work for this purpose ?

          I have Diners Premium but not sure if lounge access to companion is allowed with this card.

          Thanks a lot for quick response.

          Reply
          1. Siddharth Post author

            Diners premium itself has this.

  11. Vinod Kannan

    Now HDFC is very clear about the Eligibility Criteria for all their Credit Cards. HDFC has updated the minimum eligibility criteria for all their cards in their website. For Dinersclub Black it is >21 Lakhs, Regalia >12 Lakhs, Dinersclub Premium >7.2 Lakhs, Regalia First >7.2 lakhs…
    They have also updated the Rewards Catalogue and the heart break is, Regalia Credit card has been placed at a Lower Level than Dinersclub Premium.. Regalia is in Category E, whereas Dinersclub Premium has been placed above it in Category F.
    What it means that, Inorder to redeem your points for a 32Gb Iphone 7, you need 2,00,000 points in case of Regalia, and only 1,75,000 points incase of Dinersclub Premium.

    Reply
  12. Umar

    Hello Siddharth,
    I am salaried person 40k/month is my take home .. Currently I am using ICIC Bank Platinum Chip Credit Card. Could Please let me know some good cashback/any other Credit cards for my regular use(Grocery, Online/offline shopping, Flight ticket booking & Dining). For a kind information I am looking CC from HDFC Credit card or you can suggest the same from other bank also

    Reply
  13. Vinod Kannan

    Siddharth,
    It would be helpful if we receive Notifications for the replies to our comments. Is it possible?

    Reply
  14. Cliff

    Siddharth
    Informative article and thank you for being generous in sharing your knowledge
    Had some queries/suggestions
    Great if you can include processing time if you aware
    What does one do if there is a card rejection – eg. applied for SBI platinum and got no reason for rejection
    Costwise Is it economical to use a forex travel card for expenses instead of credit card when traveling overseas making – which one is most cost effective?
    thank you

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      6 Months wait time should be fine. reason for rejection is very imp though.
      Check out the best credit cards for international use in the article. Those are better than forex cards, as long as you don’t need cash.

      Reply
  15. Puneet Yadav

    Hi,
    I am a Diners Rewardz Card holder and recently being upgraded to Diners Premium. Just want to know what would happen to my RPs. I have accumulated around 25k. HDFC is saying just one line, RPs would transfer as per the applicable ratio. Whats the applicable ratio. Also, i am to get some cashback for my purchases, luke 1200 from Goibibo, 6k for buying iphone7. Will that cashback get deposited in new Card? Thanks

    Reply
    1. Mayank

      I dont remember correctly but its like half of one third. So HDFC customer representative told me to redeem the points first before upgrading your card. So I redeemed the points and then applied for the upgrade.

      Reply
  16. Shubhendu

    Hi Siddharth,

    What is card-on-card basis? How to apply using card-to-card and which all cards are applicable for this?

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Its basically applying for a new card based on the proof of existing card with other bank. Offers vary from time to time.

      Reply
  17. Debajyoti Banerjee

    GREAT work!
    I have become a fan of your contents. Just wanted to put a word through – Hats Off !

    Sid , Do you have any updates for HDFC 10x ?? Has the bonus point scheme actually expired ?? Might consider changing my Donera premium in that event . Any suggestions ?

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Thanks for the kind words. 10X will run for quite sometime 😉

      Reply
  18. Vishal

    How i am looking to apply for a Credit card, after reading your article i am planning to apply for Amex Gold but annual fees are very high ? i have few questions for amex gold charge card

    1. Is there any monthly/ annually spend required so that customer care support can waive off annual fees ?

    2. i currently hold league kotak card ? is that worth having ?

    3, what is your strategy to use this Gold charge card ? how to make most use of it…

    4. I hold addon card of Regalia and i have my own Citi rewards card ? is it worth keeping citi rewards card ?

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      1. Spends like 10L can help
      2. Maybe, if free
      3. Redeem for 18k or 24k
      4. As long as its free.
      Basically as long as you have enough spend to do on each, you can have as many cards as you want.

      Reply
  19. Majumdar

    Havoc on HDFC Diners Club website. Complete chaos and confusion on list of vendors. The top list of partners and list below have lots of diff names. Maybe MMT etc no there- no OTAs. Huge loss. Points capped at 25K

    Regards

    Reply
  20. Ravinder dwivedi

    Dear Siddharth
    great article i studied keep writing get a credit card great happiness.
    thanks

    Reply
  21. Gaurav

    Which is better of hdfc infinia and hdfc diners black?

    Reply
  22. Reshma

    Please help me to get my first credit card.
    from which cc i should start.
    I’ve selected few below please suggest as you know better than me.
    SBI SimplySave
    CITY Rewards
    or anyother you suggesting.

    Mostly i want to use card for grocery shopping, dineout , movies and some shopping.
    1L limit is enough for me. Please suggest.

    Reply
  23. Jay

    Excellent stuff. Great website with a lot of useful information.

    Reply
  24. Raj

    Sid, What Amex card would you recommend a person with a salary >1L per month, but with a credit card history of just one month [Regalia First] (paid off the first month bill in full).

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      It also depends on your yearly spends. Gold card or Plat travel is good to start with.

      Reply
  25. jawwad patel

    Dear Sid
    I am holding HDFC Regalia and I want to upgrade to Dinner premium please suggest

    Reply
  26. Jaswant

    hi siddharth,
    I am self-employed having an ITR of 10 lacs, but HDFC gave me a credit limit of Rs 75000 only with moneyback card which I feel is way too less.

    1. In your experience which bank will provide me with maximum credit limit for the given income??
    2. Also, which bank’s credit card enhances credit limit most rapidly if used properly??

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      1. It also depends on many other factors.
      2. Amex

      Reply
  27. Anbu Subramanian

    Hi Sid,
    Recently, HDFC bank released two cards in their pool. Bharat Cashback card and Freedom Card. Both are in cashback catergory. What is your view on this one

    Reply
  28. Atul

    Hi Siddarth,
    For about 5 years+ I was using the ICICI Signature card. About a year ago ICICI have offered me a Sapphiro with the same limit of 3.9 lakhs.
    My yearly spending is more than 5.0 lakhs & i travel atleast twice abroad.
    To use the international lounge access I have been given a Priority Pass Card but on which I get charged !
    Could you suggest me:
    a) any other ICICI or a SBI Credit Card with similar perks
    b) How to best utilize the 26000+ reward points accumulated on my card .

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      a) Check SBI Prime (newly launched)
      b) Payback points? consider redeeming it in partner sites.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *