20+ Best Credit Cards in India for 2021 (with reviews & ratings)

By | February 20, 2021

Looking for the best credit cards in India for 2021 to suit your needs during the pandemic? You’re at the right place. Whether you want cashback, lounge access, free food, free hotel stays or free business class tickets, you can find everything here.

Best Credit Cards in India for 2021
List of Best Credit Cards in India for 2021

There is no single best credit card that fits all because where we spend, how much we spend and how much joining fee we’re willing to pay varies from person to person.

So I’ve analysed 100+ credit cards across various banks and compiled a list of 20+ best credit cards in India based on various user segments.

With about 10+ active credit cards in my wallet, the below list covers most of the cards that I personally use and even more. Let’s begin!

Best Entry-Level Credit Cards

Entry-Level credit cards that are also called as credit cards for beginners are those cards that are targeted at first-time credit card users. Below are some of such cards with very good reward rate.

  • Suggested income: 4 Lakhs+
  • Suggested spend: 1 Lakhs+

1. SBI SimplyClick

SBI SimplyClick Credit Card
SBICard SimplyClick Credit Card

If you are new to credit cards with spends around 1 Lakh a year, SBI SimplyClick is worth taking. You get 1.25% return on all online spends and 2.5% with select merchants like Amazon.

You would love the 10% off on Amazon/Flipkart from time to time. It also comes with sweet milestone benefit (Cleartrip vouchers) that makes this low annual fee card really Click!

2. Amex MRCC

Amex MRCC
Amex Membership Rewards Credit Card

American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card (MRCC) is the best way to get into the world of Amex. If you use this card just to get the 1000 MR bonus points monthly, you can easily get a return of more than 10%.

Apart from that, you will also get access to the amazing Amex Offers (merchant offers & spend based offers) which are very lucrative most of the time.

3. BOB Select

BOB Select Credit Card
Bank of Baroda Select Credit Card

If Amex MRCC is not something you could get or eligible for, no worries, BOB Select will do the work for you with similar monthly rewards.

Its the perfect entry-level credit card for beginners whose annual spends are less (in the range of 70K INR) and yet look for decent rewards.

4. IDFC First Credit Cards

IDFC Millennia Credit Cards
IDFC First Bank Credit Cards
  • Reward Rate: Upto 2.5%
  • Joining Fee: Lifetime Free
  • Details here

IDFC First Bank recently started issuing credit cards and all of them are Lifetime Free. It’s pretty useful if your spends are online or when your monthly spends are beyond 20K INR.

The variant for your profile is decided based on various metrics but not to worry, all of them carries the same return on spend – only the additional/travel benefits changes a bit.

Best eCommerce Credit Cards

India recently saw a huge spike in co-brand credit cards with eCommerce players. While they actually fall under entry level segment I’ve listed them separately for better understanding.

These cards may come with few drawbacks like: low initial credit limit, relatively less bank-run offers, etc. which varies from issuer to issuer and are usually issued in closed loop, meaning you can apply only through respective brands.

Major USP of these cards are that the rewards are usually in terms of direct cashback or equivalent to it with no complicated redemption system.

5. Axis Ace

Axis Ace Credit Card
Axis Bank Ace Credit Card
  • Reward Rate: 2% – 5% (as cashback to card)
  • Joining/Renewal Fee: Rs.500+GST
  • More Details

Axis Bank ACE credit card with Google Pay as brand partner is one of the highly rewarding credit card with flat 2% cashback to statement on almost all type of spends, this stands out to be one of the best credit card for beginners.

Further, it also comes with domestic lounge access benefit, which is nice. That’s definitely a lot for a card of this range. This is the HOT pick for 2021, don’t miss it.

6. ICICI Amazon Pay

amazon pay credit card - icici bank
ICICI Bank Amazon Pay Credit Card
  • Reward Rate: 1% – 5% (as Amazon Pay Balance)
  • Joining/Renewal Fee: Nil
  • More Details

If you want to step into the credit card rewards game with no annual fee, this is the card for you. ICICI Amazon Pay credit card has super quick approval process and amazingly fast delivery too, as long as you’re already banking with them.

That aside, it rewards amazingly well for Amazon Prime users. Its truly valuable as its anyway a no-fee card.

Caution: High value/Business spends on this card may get your card cancelled.

7. RBL Zomato Classic

RBL Zomato Credit Card
RBL Bank Zomato Credit Card
  • Reward Rate: 1.5% – 10% (as Zomato Credits)
  • Joining/Renewal Fee: Rs.500+GST
  • More Details

If FREE food is something on your mind, RBL Zomato Classic Credit card is all that you need. It’s one of the easiest to get approved, even without RBL bank a/c.

They follow the Aadhaar authentication process which is buttery smooth and works like a magic. The entire process hardly takes ~3 minutes and it is one step ahead of Amazon Pay credit card when it comes to onboarding experience.

However, note that this card is currently on Invite-only basis and should be available for all in a matter of few weeks.

Note: Edition Cash accrual/redemption issues were fixed by Feb 1st week.

Other cards to consider:

Axis Flipkart card may also be good for some, Ola Money Cards are bit devalued lately, SBI Paytm cards maybe good only for Paytm spends. HDFC Millennia may help with merchant offers.

Best Premium Credit Cards

Premium credit cards comes into picture when your lifestyle has pinch of luxury factor to it. It comes with more travel benefits like domestic and international lounge access, better reward rate, etc. 

  • Suggested income range: 12 Lakhs+
  • Suggested spend range: 6 Lakhs+

8. BOB Eterna

BOB Eterna Credit Card
Bank of Baroda Eterna Credit Card

It’s undoubtedly a wonderful premium credit card product for those who do majority of spends online, as 3.75% return on spend is highest ever one can get on a premium credit card.

You get unlimited domestic lounge access and premium customer support on top of that. Also recently coming up with very good merchant offers.

9. HDFC Regalia

HDFC Regalia Credit Card
HDFC Bank Regalia Credit Card

It’s HDFC’s flagship credit card and has its name and fame for many years in the industry. It is an upgraded version of Regalia First.

HDFC Merchant offers, Low foreign currency markup fees on international transactions and the milestone benefits are some of the advantages.

Most importantly, its the stepping stone for HDFC super premium cards and also gives access to HDFC merchant offers.

Note: While HDFC doesn’t take fresh applications, upgrades are still happening for existing customers.

10. IndusInd Pinnacle

If most of your spends are online, consider getting Indusind Pinnacle Credit card, as you get amazing return on online spends which is cash equivalent.

It recently gained attention in 2020 due to better availability with low joining fee & welcome benefits. Moreover as pandemic has puts a stress on travel rewards, stmt. credit look lot better for some.

11. Amex Gold Charge

American Express Gold Charge Card (India)
American Express Gold Charge Card (India)
  • Reward Rate: 1%-10%
  • Joining Fee: Rs.1000+GST
  • Apply Now

While Amex MRCC serves the purpose for most, Amex Gold Charge Card makes sense if you need more buying power in hand.

You may also have both MRCC+Gold charge to speed up the 18K or 24K redemption.

Check out 5 Reasons Why You Should Have an American Express Credit Card. Remember, its a “Charge Card” and not a “Credit card”, hence no EMI options.

12. Axis Select

Axis Select Credit Card
Axis Bank Select Credit Card

Axis select comes with a beautiful design & decent rewards along with airport lounge & golf benefits. It’s a very good lifestyle credit card for Axis bank customers.

You may use it to avail 40% off on Swiggy orders which alone would help you save over Rs.4000 a year.

13. IndusInd Iconia (Amex)

IndusInd Iconia Amex Credit Card
IndusInd Bank Iconia (Amex) Credit Card

IndusInd Iconia Amex is known for the 2% reward rate on weekend spends, Amex Offers & other spend based offers from Indusind.

If you can time the spends on weekends, this is a very good credit card to hold. But remember that Indusind credit card systems are not so great at the moment to be used as a primary card.

Other premium cards to consider:

You may also go for HDFC Diners Privilege if you love 10X rewards, SBI Elite if you love movies amid Covid-19 and finally SBI Prime if you could still make use of the accelerated rewards.

Best Travel Credit Cards

When your life has good amount of travel, that’s when you need to have these exclusive Travel credit cards. Travel credit cards are designed in such a way that you get travel vouchers/points instead of cashback.

Also remember that, most Premium & Super Premium Credit Cards serve as a travel card in many ways.

14. Amex Plat Travel

Amex Platinum Travel Credit Card
American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card

American Express Platinum Travel card is the best travel credit card in the country, hands down! It still stands good even after the recent changes in redemption options.

I personally enjoy using this card as it helps me to stay at one unique Taj property every year by using the complimentary Taj Vouchers.

15. Axis Magnus

Axis Magnus Credit Card
Axis Bank Magnus Credit Card
  • Reward Rate: 1.2%-2.4%
  • Joining/Renewal Fee: Rs.10,000+GST
  • More Details

Axis Bank’s newest offering in premium travel segment gives you new airport experiences, like breezing through airport queues with their complimentary airpot meet & greet services, which is highly useful for our safety at times like this.

16. SBI IRCTC

SBI IRCTC Card
SBI IRCTC Card

With SBI IRCTC credit card, you have a chance to save upto 10% on your train tickets and redeem them back for train journeys. If you travel by Indian railways very often (40+ trips annually), consider going for this card.

SBI also has the expensive SBI IRCTC Premier card but you need high IRCTC spends like >50K a year for “self” to maximize the value. So for most, the Platinum variant is sufficient.

Best Airline Credit Cards

If you’re a frequent traveller, you might also need to get one or more of the best Airline Credit cards. Airmiles/Airlines credit cards makes sense if you fly frequently with a specific airline.

I’ve kept the list short, assuming that you would fly less due to Covid. I’ve also excluded cards for international travel, for obvious reasons.

17. Axis Vistara Infinite

Axis Vistara Infinite
Axis Vistara Infinite

Axis Vistara Infinite is one of the highly rewarding Airline credit card. Apart from the welcome voucher, this card gives upto 4 Business Class vouchers based on your spends with unbelievable reward rate.

Apart from that, you also get Club Vistara Gold membership, which is not available elsewhere.

18. SBI Vistara Prime

SBI Vistara Prime
SBI Vistara Prime

If you feel Axis Vistara Infinite is beyond your reach due to high joining fee, you’ve an option to go for the Club Vistara Prime that gives you complimentary Premium Economy tickets on Vistara.

While Axis Bank too have Vistara signature for this same purpose, SBI variant gives slightly better reward rate.

Best Super Premium Credit Cards

Super premium credit cards are those that comes with higher reward rate, higher credit limits, unlimited lounge access, better card linked benefits & much more perks that you would need to run a premium lifestyle.

  • Suggested income range: 25 Lakhs+
  • Suggested spend range: 10 Lakhs+

19. HDFC Infinia

HDFC Infinia Credit Card
HDFC Infinia Credit Card
  • Reward Rate: 3.3% – 33%
  • Joining Fee: Rs.10,000+GST (First Year Free usually)
  • Full Review: HDFC Infinia Review

India’s most popular Infinia Credit Card comes with amazing reward rate and premium customer support. The 10X rewards program with select merchants makes it one of the highest rewarding credit cards in the country.

That aside, HDFC also sends spend based offers from time to time, so you may get accelerated return on your spends.

20. Amex Platinum

Amex Platinum Charge Card
American Express Platinum Charge Card

This card is entirely different from any other card that you see here. That is because, this card gives you returns via benefits over rewards, like: hotel privileges, discounts on travel, first class upgrades, concierge, etc.

That said, in Jan 2021 & all through 2020 we’ve seen mind-blowing non-travel offers due to Covid situation. So, for rest of 2021 too you may expect such wonderful 100% cashback offers.

Overall it’s an amazing card for someone who loves luxury travel, concierge & premium support.

21. HDFC Diners Black

HDFC Diners Black Credit Card
HDFC bank Diners Black Credit Card

With its lucrative 10X reward points program (Diners + Smartbuy) & monthly rewards, its undoubtedly one of the best Credit card in India, especially for travellers & frequent online shoppers.

Only downside though is lower acceptance of Diners cards in India compared to Visa/MasterCard, which means, you have to keep a backup card handy.

22. Standard Chartered Ultimate

Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card
Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card

Just like HDFC Infinia/Diners Black, Stan. C Ultimate card too comes with 3.3% reward rate. The USP of this card is that you get reward points on almost any spend.

While it still comes with decent redemption options, cash-equivalent redemptions like Amazon vouchers are not available at the moment.

Other Super Premium cards to consider:

Citi Prestige may still be good for some due to its merchant offers, ICICI Emeralde Amex may be relevant for select set of travellers and Yes First Exclusive may be good just for the lounge access.

Best Fuel Credit Cards

Paytm Wallet load

There are about 7 decent fuel credit cards in the market issued by various banks, but my friend, let me tell you the fact: None of them are worth it, including the recently launched SBICard Octane.

There are many reasons for this and it needs an article of its own. But the important point is, most of us wont have significant fuel spends and hence its not worth your time to spend on maximising rewards on such low spends.

So the easiest way is to load wallets using one or more of the above listed cards (depending on your spends) and pay for fuel from that.

For ex, You can use Amex MRCC+Amex Gold Charge+BOB Select to load Paytm Wallet and pay for the fuel & enjoy the cashback too.

If Paytm charges you a convenience fee, try loading via Zomato/Uber which works for some. Or, you may also try other wallets which your nearest fuel station supports.

This way you can easily enjoy over ~4% return on fuel spend and you still get good rewards everywhere, whereas your best fuel card wont reward you for non-fuel spends.

You will also end up saving time by not learning/wasting time on exploring the complicated redemption process that comes free with fuel cards. 😀

FAQ’s

Which is the best credit card in India for 2021?

There is no single best credit card per se, as it highly depends on your needs & spends. Though, above list gives a fair idea for every credit card seeker.

How many Credit Cards can I have?

As much as you need. Start with 2 cards if you’re new to the system and increase the counts gradually based on your spends.

Which Credit Card has best customer service?

Amex & Citi are some of the best credit card issuers known for their premium support. You may also enjoy a similar treatment with any bank, as long as you take their super-premium cards.

Which Bank Credit card is best in India?

HDFC Bank is the market leader and has very good merchant offers as well. So start with HDFC and add others as per your requirement. Consider having one Amex card for a mix.

Bottomline

I’ve prepared the above list considering the pandemic situation and hence removed few cards which may otherwise be listed here. Yet, I’ve still mentioned few of those under respective segment, for your reference.

Anyway, the thumb rule is to get maximum returns via: welcome vouchers, merchant offers, spend based offers, card linked benefits & regular spends. You may decide your card keeping above in mind.

And not to forget, credit card industry in India is rapidly changing as we’ve seen so many new card launches within a month (Jan 2021) and so you need to be aware of the changes happening in the space to make the most out of your credit cards. 

Hence, consider updating your strategy at-least every ~4 months to stay in the trend and it’s also wise to have an eye on the upcoming credit card launches.

You may also sign up for email newsletters (pop-up) to get weekly updates (starting soon) on latest happenings in the industry.


P.S. I hope the list not only gives you a wealth of information about various credit cards but also a visual treat to your eyes.

It took me a lot of time and effort to create this list. If it helps you to save at-least few thousands and if you wish to say thanks, you may get me a Fruit Juice (I’ve reduced coffee lately) or a Sumptuous Dinner if you’re generous.

That would help me to put further effort on upcoming content. Thank you! 🙂

Author: Siddharth

I love credit cards, enjoy travelling for free using reward points & airmiles. Obsessed with business class cabins, airport lounges and luxury hotels.

153 thoughts on “20+ Best Credit Cards in India for 2021 (with reviews & ratings)

  1. Ashutosh

    Any reason why you prefer HDFC Regalia to diners privilege? (As regalia made the list and privilege is mentioned under the segment)

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Acceptance. Many non-techies would go through the list, just want to keep things simple & easy for them.

      Reply
      1. Mohit Singla

        Thanks a lot for Paytm loophole. ICICI Coral Amex provides 1% on wallet loads, will make best use of it.

        Reply
      2. Shail

        No success so far. Looks like loading via Uber/Zomato has been patched.
        Any creative ideas to give our MRCC a life

        Reply
    1. Shailini

      Sid posted this article yesterday night and today afternoon, I can’t use this method to load my paytm wallet anymore. paytm already closed the loophole. thanks a lot Sid 🙁

      Reply
  2. Aditya

    Kind of a weird question, I had applied for a Magnus card few weeks back, but before I could give Axis bank my documents I asked for a cancellation.

    But Axis bank did a hard inquiry on my account which took a few chunks off my score (Learned it the hard way)

    Now is this hard inquiry reversible as I have not completed the formalities? Or do I have to wait the usual timeline for a hard inquiry to ‘wash off’

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      You’ll have to wait. But it will recover very soon if you’re having other active cc/loan products.

      Reply
    2. Pramtesh

      Similar thing happened to me for Amex.
      I asked for cancellation of the application. And had not submitted the income documents.
      It was approved in principle.
      But I have received reply from AMEX that the application is rejected due to internal policies.etc.
      Even my score was reduced due to hard enquiry.

      Reply
      1. Aditya

        Ouch. That is a bummer. Lesson learned for sure. Technically while applying for the same we did give them consent to access our score. So there’s technically no wrongdoing by them.

        If only credit bureaus considered hard check + successful creation of a new account / issuance of a loan to hit the points. That would be helpful for a handful of people. Considering it’s quite easy to apply online for cards these days, and I’m sure we aren’t the only ones in this scenario.

        Reply
        1. Sandeep Kumar

          @Aditya, Credit bureaus wont do that. Any credits which are turned down due to any reason wont make it to the list, not giving lenders any information of a credit hungry person.
          We should wisely apply for a new credit.

          Reply
      2. prateek

        Pratamesh,
        Please escalate to Banking Ombudsman. They cannot do a hard query when application was not completed. Amex has multiple ethical issues, this seems to be one of them. If you need any inputs on how to go about it, feel free to reach out to me.

        I did the same for reckless behavior by Yes last year.

        Reply
      3. Joseph Gnanadurai M

        If you apply for a new credit card or new loan and soon after when it is approved your score will come a little low due to the new credit card or new loan.

        Reply
  3. Sahil

    Just a suggestion for a new type of article. Basis the typical spends of an Indian Household , you can write an article on the top 5 combos of credit cards, where each combo has 2-3 credit cards and covers most of the spend spectrum.

    Because this is the realistic challenge people face who want to have at max 3 credit cards – of how to optimize this basis their eligibility.

    For eg: Infinia + MRCC is a pretty good combo which will cover most of your spend spectrum.

    Reply
  4. Rajesh

    How you manage the spend limit criteria for all these cards ? Kindly advice or write an article on how to meet all this limit when managing more than 5 cards.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      I don’t meet for all. For ex, I swapped Axis Magnus for ACE as I was not eligible for the waiver.

      Consider using CC for all spends like Rent Pay, etc. Apart from that, I wouldn’t suggest exploring manufactured spends, as it may damage the profile.

      Reply
  5. Devesh Mittle

    So sad to see Citibank not in the list now, the doyen of Credit Cards in India now has lost it all with poor products and hardly any rewards and schemes. It was a prestige to hold the Citibank card at once upon a time, being one of the first few customers (Diners Club) in those days I am still loyal with Premier Miles but of no use

    Reply
    1. Ayush Agrawal

      I was going to cancel my premier miles card this year for the same reason, but they offered a 3000 rupee cashback to retain. So they’ve got me for another year, since I’ll get the 3000 points for renewal, and I’ll only need to pay 540 rs. GST.

      Reply
    2. Joseph Gnanadurai M

      Citibank Indian Oil card is the best card I will say why because here 1 point = 1 rupee when you use to pay for fuel by reward points. Also, you will get 4 reward points for Rs.150 spent on fuel at Indian oil outlets. Also, you will get points in Intermiles by providing your mobile number linked with Intermiles.

      Reply
  6. Sudheep

    Nice Compilation SID.. Welcome new entrants in the list , BOB & IDFC cards.

    Flipkart Axis deserves more than a mention , Flipkart grocery section is the cheapest I could find, combined with 5% uncapped cashback and 4% as supercoins (plus members) is a steal. For a well planned shopping with batches of 2500Rs each, this card can fetch a whopping 9% assured return on flipkart spends. Additionally occasional AXIS card offers of 10% (like the one running now) .

    Reply
    1. Ankit Saraf

      Combine with grocery pass and 100 off 1000 for 20 coins and you can save further. I usually use Insta vouchers from smartbuy to do grocery shopping so have to forego card discounts, but the 33% points cover more than that.

      Reply
  7. Utsav

    Hello Siddharth,

    Great article 🤩🤩

    My yearly spend is around 25-30lacs and 90% is on Amazon, which card would be best fit for me, I live in a tier 3 city in Bihar 😭😭

    My card portfolios are
    HDFC Regalia
    HDFC MoneyBack
    IDFC One Card
    SBI SimplyClick (best card for me yet)
    SBI BPCL Octane
    ICICI Coral
    PNB Rupay Platinum

    Reply
    1. Avinash Mukunde

      You don’t need any credit card based on your yearly spend.

      I am very eager to know how do you spend 1,87,500 (90%) every month on Amazon? Please let me know.

      Reply
    2. Dhulla

      Wow , 90% of 25-30lacs on amazon , you might be on radar of many banks already

      Reply
    3. WallStreetBets

      Hi Utsav,
      While we wait for Sid, let me take a stab at the answer.

      It depends on your requirement.

      Firstly, for cashback and savings:
      The Amazon Pay Credit Card would benefit you to a great extent as a Prime member (5% cashback as Amazon Pay), which you can use towards future purchases.

      For Rewards(Gifts):
      Additionally, get the Amex MRCC and benefit greatly from it as you can aim for the fantastic Rewards Collection by hitting a minimum of 4 spends of 1000 or more each month on the card. Fee Reversal Criteria is 1.5L each year, which you’ll also hit easily. Also, applying via Sid’s referral link will make the annual fee just 1,500/- in case that’s cool with you.

      For Lounge and Travel facilities:
      Finally, since you meet the yearly spend Criteria for HDFC Infinia LTF (8L+), you can get your Regalia upgraded to it. Keep spending lavishly on the Regalia for a bit before requesting HDFC for an upgrade.

      Cheers!

      Reply
    4. Saurabh Patel

      ICICI Amazon Pay would be more rewarding compared to SimplyClick for Amazon.

      Try to get HDFC DCB or Infina for the sweet 5X rewards on Amazon.

      Reply
      1. dev

        icici amazon card would be blocked by icici bank if such amount per month was used on amazon…My Own experience.they wont give you the rewards as well

        Reply
    5. Ayush Agrawal

      Either the Diners Black or Infinia, to take advantage of their 5x scheme on Amazon.

      Reply
    6. Joseph Gnanadurai M

      ICICI Amazon Pay Credit Card would benefit you to a great extent as a Prime member (5% cashback as Amazon Pay), which you can use towards future purchases.

      Plus HSBC Cashback credit card
      Key features
      For some products in Amazon you will get 5% instant discount with this card.
      Unlimited cashback on all your transactions
      Get 1.5% cashback on all online spends (excluding transfer of funds to online wallet) and 1% on all other spends
      Zero joining fees
      Annual membership fees INR750 will be reversed if your total annual spend exceeds INR100,000

      Reply
    7. Joseph Gnanadurai M

      Generally HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card is coming up with more cash backs in a year. The current offer which is going now is

      Level-1 INR1,500 gift voucher*
      when you spend INR55,000 or more in a month

      Level-2 Additionally get, INR2,000 cashback
      on every INR100,000 spent in a month

      Quarterly bumper prize Also, top 5 spenders
      will get a Tanishq gift voucher
      worth INR1,00,000
      This offer is going on from Jan to March 2021. If you spend 1,00,000 every month totally you will get Rs.10,500 plus you will get Rs.250 amazon voucher every month or Rs.500 Book my show voucher for transacting above Rs.50,000 every month.

      Reply
  8. Abhi

    Useful article.
    Agree that fuel is a minor spend for most people. I use my Intermiles balance to refuel at IOCL pumps. But if anyone has to use a card, and paytm and other wallets are becoming less acceptable, try StanC Titanium Super Value card. Often given LTF and gives 4% cashback to card account plus fuel surcharge waiver regardless of the fuel outlet. 5% cashback on utility spends which is decent considering many cards don’t even give RP for that at all.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Could you share your experience with Intermiles redemptions for fuel? I haven’t tried assuming no one at the outlet would know how to redeem.

      Reply
      1. Mahendra G

        Hi Sid,

        I have silver membership with inter miles. I redeemed miles for fuel.
        Only silver, gold and platinum members are eligible to redeem against fuel.
        Each mile is equavalent to 0.25/-.
        You need to mention your mobile number and will get OTP. Inform to petrol bunk guy,that’s it. Transaction completed.
        We csn redeem only at specific bunks. List is mentioned nin website.

        Reply
        1. Abhi

          Have silver now, but was comfortably redeeming points for fuel even while I was on red tier, family members still redeem with their red tier, so its not restricted to just silver, gold or plat.

          Reply
      2. Abhi

        The list of accepting IOC outlets is available through intermiles app. Have personally used in 3 different cities. Usually the person in the cabin/office is familiar, didn’t come across a listed outlet where they don’t know of it, although sometimes they still know it as jetprivilege. One you mention about redemption, they ll ask for your 9 digit intermiles/JP number and will enter in their card swipe machine, then amount, then you ll get an OTP which they enter, and its done. First finish the redemption and then fuel your car, as sometimes it can take few attempts due to poor signal in their card machine or relevant personnel on leave, etc. Best part is no redemption fee, no min spend and it’s the best conversion rate of intermiles at 4:1 . There’s option to redeem or earn intermiles at these outlets.

        Reply
      3. Nishith

        I have redeemed fuel thru Intermiles, back when it was Jrt Privilege. Its a comparatively time consuming process, atleast from the merchant viewpoint. Once you give your JP no, it would take at least a minute for the points to be converted to fuel and a chargeslip to be generated. Also, as you’ll probably be the only one redeeming points for fuel, you might have to wait for a bit.

        Reply
      4. Joseph Gnanadurai M

        You have to tell that I want to redeem Intermiles then they will ask your phone number or Intermiles number and they will process it in the swipe machine.

        You can redeem Intermiles as gift vouchers also in their app. I am a Red tier member, used 2900 points to redeem Rs.500 gift voucher, (like Flipkart, Amazon etc.) You can earn points in this app by linking your google fit app. For every 1000 steps you will get 1 point also you will get points daily by “spin for miles” you have spin that you will get from 5 to 250 points at one time. Once I got 250, then I have got 125, 100, etc., mostly 10.

        Reply
    2. Shivi

      StanC Titanium Super Value card was downgraded recently. Now it offers cashback of only up to Rs. 200 per month with few other limiting clauses like max CB of 100 per transaction and that too on spending less than 2k per transaction. In contrast, the Octane card gives you monthly 625 CB on transactions up to 4k per transaction plus the 1% fuel surcharge waiver.

      Reply
    3. AbhiKohli

      Also, how do you earn so many RPs for fuel ? I’d say better to do other way around, get IOCL card & get Intermiles for fuel purchases.

      Reply
      1. Abhi

        Its easy to earn miles on the intermiles app. You can earn enough in a year to buy fuel for your car for a month or two.

        Reply
    4. Pramtesh

      Hi Abhi.
      I already have StanC Platinum LTF. Few days ago I received SMS for Upgradtion to Super Value Titanium.
      But it was chargeable. I wrote to the bank for converting it to LTF. They refused and said SCB has stopped issuing LTF card since 1st Nov 2019

      Reply
      1. Abhi

        These days they offer LTF only once in a while. I acquired this 14yrs ago, mainly to pay phone bills as that has 5% cashback too, back then hardly any card gave that kind of cashback on fuel/phone/utility.

        Reply
  9. Shivi

    Great write-up as usual, Sid. Could you please add a note for all AmEx cards that they are only available in a few places and not throughout India. I haven’t been able to get my hands on any AmEx since the past 4 years because i don’t live in their card sourcing locations.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Shivi, You would need a place in the sourcing location to begin with. It’s getting complicated lately as RBI needs address proof from 2020. Will cover it in detail soon.

      Reply
      1. Shivi

        I know that Sid. I meant that Amex card is not easily available in every town & that needs to be put up as a footnote in this write up. As per your discretion of course.

        Reply
        1. Siddharth Post author

          Thanks for the dinner, Shivi 🙂

          Have shared additional details to your email on this right away. Hope it helps.

          Reply
      2. AbhiKohli

        Yeah, i moved to a new flat and since rental agreement is not something they consider as POA, I am unable to even update the address. HDFC said they can do IPV on account and CC address will be updated.

        Reply
        1. Santosh Kumar

          Update aadhar address using rental agreement. Then use aadhar to update address.

          Reply
      3. Gouri Shankar

        I too live in non-sourcing location, So couldn’t get my hands on AmEx. Looking forward for your article.

        Reply
  10. Sujeeth

    How many Amex cards do you hold? I could see 4 in this article, do you still hold all four?
    Would be nice if you could write an article about the list of credit cards that you hold & how you use them against certain spends. It would be very informative for others too.

    Reply
    1. Ayush Agrawal

      The international lounge access for Diners is really great. Fee waiver threshold is 5 lakhs for Diners vs 8 lakhs for Infinia.

      Reply
  11. Varun Ravichandran

    Very happy with my Axis Select card so far. A huge thumbs down to HDFC for side-tracking me with an “upgrade” to the Millennia. I’ve stopped using their cards, and hope that Axis (or anybody else) can take advantage of this and build a good portfolio to rival HDFC – especially now that they are under the RBI ban.

    Reply
    1. Saket

      Same here. No upgrades and no good targeted offers from HDFC. Have completely stopped using them unless Flipkart/Amazon gives a 10% on using HDFC

      Reply
  12. Mahesh S. Panicker

    Thanks Siddharth, have been looking forward to this for some time.
    Interestingly, not many launches since the last list making it this time. There is the Axis Ace, and the IDFC and RBL-Zomato cards, but none of them are apply and avail, all invite only and very limited availability. A bit surprised to see SBI Simplyclick topping the list, thought Ace/Flipkart from Axis and ICICI Amazon Pay would be better all-round options. The Axis cards give an overall higher rewards on both offline and online spends and have even lounge option. Even the ICICI Amazonpay card has 1 percent rewards on offline spends too, and gives reward points for wallet loads unlike SBI or Axis. All the cards have made the list, so think its fine… By the way SBI has taken off some partners from the 10x rewards recently.

    Reply
  13. Fahad Haroon Memon

    Very good article. I have mrcc, rcl zomato, ibfc, axis ace, icici amazon pay, amex plat and diners club clubmiles from these. Absolutely rewarding. I think in terms of cashback axis ace is the best. Support wise amex is best and hdfc have the worst and most pathetic support. But diners club clubmiles has the best conversion ratio with decent reward points. Rbl zomato gives free zomato pro till the time you have the card and all reward points get converted to zomato cash. Ibfc card is the only free metal card. Awesome feeling. All have positives and negatives.

    Reply
    1. Raghu

      Yes pls.. within the fuel cards space, I think this is the best one out there

      Reply
    2. Sudhindra Kamath

      Hello. Ive been using the SBI BCPL normal card since 2 years. I would say its the best card for fuel. This card gives you fuel points irrespective of any banks swipe machine. ICICI HPCL and Citi IOC cards needs to be swipped in there own machines which is a big pain in the ass. Also its really convenient to redeem points for fuel at select petrol pump. If you have BPCL station nearby just go for the Octane card without looking back. Also octane card gives 2.5% returns on restaurants, grocery and movies. This is a all purpose card overall.

      Reply
  14. Piyush Agarwal

    Great article – was waiting for this since the start of the year. But i really think Citis Premier miles should be in the list. 1.8% return on spend is quite good and citi offers more than decent offers. Also, may not be useful now, but 300 of free movie tickets every month is a big plus too. Would be great if you can mention reasons of leavibg it out as i am thinking of upgrading to it from my citi rewards.

    Reply
    1. Amit

      Axis ACE gives 2% cashback for all spends and 5% cashback for utility through GPay for 500+ taxes and AXIS too has many offers. Combine this with any other BMS card and you get more bang for the buck than Citi Premier miles which has 3000+ taxes as fees. I think CITI has lost the plot in a movie where it was a protagonist long time back.

      Reply
    2. Ayush Agrawal

      Read the fine print of redeeming those 1.8% returns and you’ll realise that it’s not that great. The only reason I retained the card this year is that they practically waived off the annual fee for me.

      Reply
  15. Mahesh S. Panicker

    As for the fuel section, as Paytm has become useless as they are also shutting down the loopholesas well, one has to look at a card like the SC Titanium Super Value. Have been using the card for a few months. Guaranteed savings of 1900 a year besides the surcharge waver if you have fuel needs above 4000 a month. Can use in any outlet, no need to look for a particular company outlet. Even if you don’t make to the 90000 waver limit for the 750 yearly charges, it is not a bad deal. And to add to that, the card usually gives up to 53 days of credit window, one of the best in that regard.

    Reply
    1. Saurabh Vijay

      Too many t&c… Such as each fuel bill needs to be less than 2000… You will get zero cashback if bill is 2001 rs… Too much of effort…

      Reply
      1. Mahesh S. Panicker

        I usually tell them to fill for 1999… But yes, a rather unnecessary hassle. I usually have more than 4000 fuel requirement, using RBL Monthly Treats or Amex MRCC I got recently for the remaining amount, can meet the monthly spend target or the bonus point transaction for MRCC. Wish there is another cashback card for fuel with all outlet acceptability. Didn’t go for SBI as it is only BPCL, the city IOCL redemption process seemed too difficult, and I would rather prefer a card that can be beneficial in all outlets, that’s where SCB scores and the returns are in the form of cashback to the card, so no issues there either. So while there are hassles, there are advantages as well.

        Reply
      2. Mayank

        In addition if u pay fuel bill of 2001 no reward points also. This card has too much terms and conditions.

        Reply
  16. Vijay Vignesh

    I was thinking of switching to OlaMoney SBI card from SimplyCLICK due to the flat 1% reward rate it offers in comparison with the latter. Is this a wise choice, what are the limitations of OlaMoney SBI Card over SimplyCLICK?

    Reply
    1. Amit

      Choose Axis ACE. It has 2% flat cashback and 5% on utilities though GPay.

      Reply
      1. Vijay Vignesh

        But having an SBI card comes in handy to those 10% instant discount offers during festive season.

        Reply
        1. Raghu

          True that.. I have now downgraded from SBI Prime (become useless) to SBI BPCL Octane.
          Reasons:
          1. Having one SBI card is important just to keep it handy for those 10% offers
          2. I use BPCL for my 2/4-wheeler, so this was an easy choice for me (along with this, I get 10x on a few categories which are same as Prime card)

          Reply
  17. anish varma

    Can someone get an upgrade from HDFC Diners Millennia to HDFC Diners Black without having any bank account /fixed deposits with HDFC bank. If yes, what are different eligibility criteria to get such an upgrade

    Reply
  18. Ashish Kumar

    Axis privilege card with their 10x/5x reward points on gyftr is good value. Although having gotten infinia now my use of axis card will come down.

    Reply
  19. Arun C B

    Good work !.

    I always thought my Axis select is a waste. Surprised to see SBI cards are removed in most of the segments 🙂 .

    About fuel cards, All the petrol pumps in our area accepts card or UPI only. They don’t prefer wallets. Most people will go for UPI due to convinence. But I still use SBI BPCL so that I can use RP redemption for refuel. I feel itisi like statement credit of RP. I use SBI to get online offers ( Got 4K cashback on OnePlus purchase using Yono-Amazon) and BPCL pump at our area is COCO.

    Reply
  20. AG

    What would be the best credit card for instore purchases?
    Accumulated 2L points on Infinia, and dont want to add to that pile. Looking for some quick rewards like statement credit or Amazon/Flipkart gift vouchers. Infiania gives 1.66% return when redeeming as gift vouchers.
    Which other card would you recommend on the Visa or Mastercard platform.?

    Reply
    1. Amit

      Axis ACE, gives 2% flat cashback.
      BoB Eterna for online and dining spends.
      or all new e-commerce branded cards.

      Reply
      1. Mayank Goel

        You can add AMEX MRCC to the list. Its a good card with lot of benefits.

        Reply
        1. prateek

          Mrcc cannot even match axis ace. Its customer support is the trashiest amongst everyone else.

          For a card with 4-10x the annual fees, its useless

          Reply
  21. Gopal Gidwani

    Is there a way to get the annual fee of Rs. 4500 + taxes waived off on American Express Gold Card through an annual spend of certain amount (like Rs. 1.5 lakhs for MRCC) or any other way?

    Reply
    1. Prateek

      Cancel and switch to BoB Eterna or Axis Ace. If you can spend 25k in 12 months, no annual fees for eterna. And general cashback more than 2x of any AmEx (not promo),

      Reply
      1. Shivi

        Yu can’t compare AmEx Gold with BoB Eterna. These are 2 different leagues altogether

        Reply
    2. prateek

      The way I did. Cancelled it and went for axis ace.

      Substandard service and teerible acceptance for 5000

      Reply
  22. Tushar Pai Angle

    Hi Sid,

    Great job on the write up as always. Maybe one thing to mention about the Axis ACE card is that it currently only makes sense for Android users, and Google Pay on iOS doesn’t yet support payment via cards. Found out the hard way…

    Reply
  23. Darshdeep Singh Grewal

    IndusInd Pinnacle has changed to Rs.25000+GST. Which does not include Amazon or Flipkart vouchers.

    Reply
  24. Sunil

    Hi Sid

    Thanks for the detailed explanation.
    In some other post you had mentioned Yes Bank Credit Cards not recommended. Just wanted to check whether one can still go for Yes Bank CC, as they are doing some promotional LTF on Preferred Card variant these days. Is there any risk?
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Suresh

      There is no as such risk. But altogether its useless. I have around 80K rewards from 2Yrs and its value 25Ps. That time there was no option to credit to outstanding balance and the vouchers also limited and they never give amazon, flipkart like which people use more. Last year reward value reduced to 15Ps, but still I am waiting under the impression that bank will be back and recently they have introduced credit to outstanding but now the reward value further reduced to 10Ps with 100+GST on redemption. I got card upgrades 2 times and feeling like any card from Yes Bank is useless. I sent an email to CC and of no use.

      Reply
      1. Abhi

        RP value is still 25ps when redeemed on flights and hotels. On vouchers and cash its devalued. Being LTF, no harm in keeping yes bank card, sometimes the 10X through yescart is better than many other cards, plus golf, lounge benefits etc. Plus you also get online discounts, RP on wallet loads, periodical cashbacks on fuelling, targeted spend-based offers etc, so I m holding on to it.

        Reply
  25. Prateek

    AmEx MRCC – what a trashback card. Here’s my MRCC experience

    75p/100 rewards, and in my experience the trashiest customer support.

    2017 – refused to accept complaint when unauthorized activity was reported

    2018 – When OTP’s were not coming only for them, they refused to accept their problem. Had to get it in writing from Vodafone CEO’s office to get AmEx to accept

    2020 – FreeCharge wallet loads were not working. AmEx team didn’t care to research if FreeCharge was an online merchant, and asked me to talk to them directly. Issue dragged over 2 months, and turned out that AmEx Payment Gateway does not work on many non-Chromium browsers (sounds stupid but true)

    Another 2020 – When small shop offer cashback didnt come, on 2 different days level 1 support refused to accept offer applicability on my card. Had to escalate to level 2 to get them to accept

    2021 – No ticket number is generated. Nobody responds to your mail – level 1, 2,3 – nobody. Its like there is noone left in esclations support.

    Reply
    1. Karan Bhandari

      Prateek I accept with you. Ill be closing reserve before due with them.

      Reply
      1. Prateek

        Same here Karan. I’d rather switch to Iconia than suffering like this.

        I have Infinia + Citi Cashback + Indusind platinum – all excellent CS. MRCC pinches, esp ever since i moved to Infinia.

        I had DCB prior to Infinia (both DCB/Infinia have same CS team), but in general i’ve seen a tiny bit more improved email support experience ever since i moved. For a recent issue regarding 9X points credit, Infinia support exec charles anandraj kept giving me email updates for over 10 days until he could see the points credited. It was unexpected, and literally made me reconsider having any business relationship with AmEx (3.5% is what MRCC offers at max, Infinia baseline is 3.3%). The professionalism Charles showed just blew my mind, that was indeed a super super premium service.

        BoB Emeralde, Axis Ace, AmazonPay ICICI, even IDFC have really redefined credit cards competition,. Warned AmEx many many times, even gave them some bigger picture strategies, yet things are going worse.

        Reply
  26. Tejas

    Hi Sid,
    Is there a criteria for credit card comapnies to give out Life time free cards. I see many people claiming they have LTF free cards from American Express etc, but when i ask the executive they don’t give such. Can you throw some light on how co’s give out LTF cards

    Reply
    1. Ayush Agrawal

      Most people with Amex LTF got lucky during a small window of time a few years ago. They don’t offer it anymore.
      Regular banks offer LTF cards to their account holders.

      Reply
      1. Sandeep Kumar

        I got my LTF Amex MRRC back in Nov’18 when there was a LTF offer on MRRC with annual income of 15 lacs+. I was lucky that offer got my notice on their Facebook page.

        Reply
      2. Ankit Saraf

        I started with gold charge card and for few waiver for 2 years (needed to do some SI on card). Took companion MRCC card free in 3rd year. The spend was always below 1 lac. For 3rd year, they dint give renewal waiver, so I discontinued the charge card. I was told that MRCC would become chargeable, but somehow, its still free. I was not charged annual fees even though my spend was below the threshold. customer care confimed that its LTF card for me.

        Reply
  27. ManzB

    Got 4 of the cards listed
    1. DCB – good for the 10x offers and also HDFC offers are aplenty. Unlimited lounge access.
    2. SCB Ultimate- good 3.5% return on everything. Annual fees subsidised with reward points worth 5k. Unlimited lounge access for both primary+ add on
    3. Amex travel – good for spend up to 4 lacs
    4. Axis Vistara infinite- good value if you can use it for free tickets/ upgrades.

    These days all my normal expenses goes to Axis. DCB for 10x. SCB for others including wallet load.

    Reply
  28. Pranab

    Shivi & Gouri Shankar,
    Me too isn’t from any AMEX (and Citi) sourcing cities. But I got both the cards.
    Applied AMEX MR on 27th Jan mentioning relative’s address in Kolkata>Got a call on 28th>Informed him that I don’t have any POA in Kolkata>He mentioned, no worries>Submitted all my documents over the mail>Received message of card approval on 30th>Card was delivered to my relative’s address on 2nd Feb.
    The delivery guy (Blue dart) was trying to create an issue during delivery, finally delivered after I sent my ID to my relative over WhatsApp.
    Citi card processing was more or less same.

    Reply
  29. Aditya Sharma

    Hi Sid, I recently came across your blog – I must say this is some awesome work! I can see a few folks asking for an article on how to combine multiple credit cards to maximize value (include me in the list as well).

    I can share a trick for business travelers with Hilton (H) Hotels using a combination of Amex Plat (which offer H Gold status right away, which’ll give 5th night complimentary) + Citi Prestige (which offers you 4th night complimentary). The trick is to book using your Citi Prestige for 3 nights and you get 2 complimentary (which is 40% value right there). I think Citi applied a 2/yr. limit to this – which is sad, but still good enough. Also, if you travel for business you can book a H hotel at 2x reward rate (with paying additional 200-300 or so). Now few more numbers to add more taste; with H Gold you get 18 points for every $ spent which translates to ~25 points /100 rs and with 2x rate it’s 50/100 rs. A rough standard room across hotels could be very well booked at 15-25k points/night – which leads to a value of ~0.33/point – translating to additional ~16.5% overall value just with points.

    PS. The H 5th night free works smooth with use of points as well however it’s just on standard rooms ☹. Lastly, need not mention that there are usual hotels perks with being H Golds like room upgrades (better than M) + breakfast etc… (also, with H Plat you could add 1%-2% more to the numbers).

    Reply
    1. Shivi

      Far less Hilton hotels in India compared to Marriott. Its almost 85 to 15, M to H.

      Reply
    2. Shivakiran

      Wow..thanks for this tip. Sounds tempting and will put to use right away.

      Reply
    3. Neo

      How does booking 3 nights on Prestige snag 2 free nights ?
      Could you please help me understand as I dont think i got it.
      Thanks

      Reply
    1. Ayush Agrawal

      In general, ICICI credit cards are pretty useless. At any annual fee level, you’ll find a better credit card from another bank.

      Reply
    2. Shivi

      It’s a worthless card now with most of the initial benefits withdrawn

      Reply
      1. Arnab Chaudhuri

        I just got cancelled flight ticket refunded exc gst and convenience charges. Also got trident 7500 15 days back.

        Reply
    3. Basant Motlani

      Do icici gives sapphiro credit card free to wealth account customers?

      Reply
  30. Nitis

    Great, website article Sid. General & imp query to all. Need to meet spend criteria to get lifetime free. Need to make 70 k purchase in coming 1 week. I don’t have anything to buy or pay bill.

    Where can I use it. Paytm Zomato has 10k limitation( thanks for this)
    Any other bank wallet transfer option or other trick.

    Will appreciate quick response. Cheers!

    Reply
      1. Nitis

        Thanks Aditya, I have already done it. Let me know if any other alternate. Ok to pay max 2% charge for bank transfer

        Reply
    1. prathmesh ghag

      maybe pay your “rent” via cred though it comes with 1.5% charge.
      Still it could be lesser than paying card fees, while also giving you reward points.

      Reply
    2. Prashant bhushan

      Buy a gold coin. Can also sell it immediately for around 6% loss, or just keep it as an investment.

      Reply
  31. Pranab

    I applied for MRCC and surprisingly got the card delivered within a week.
    But the credit limit is a paltry 50K though my Infinia limit is 15L, ICICI 8.15L, SBI 5.09 & 3.25. Any ways to enhance the limit?
    Also if I get the Add-on card, does 1000 MR points on 4*₹1000 spends PM applicable to it separately?
    Can I apply for Gold Charge card right now or need to wait for 6 months.
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Abhi

      Call Amex after 6 months and they will promptly raise your limit in that call itself.
      Add-on card wont help you get separate 1000 bonus points, it’s counted towards primary card only.

      Reply
    2. ManzB

      I also got a similar limit despite havong another Amex (plat travel) card with around 5 lacs limit. This card is mostly useless except for amex offers and 1000X4 txns for the 18k/24K rewards.

      Add on card is not treated separately.

      Amex has few rules with regard to Charge card and Credit card (how many you can hold).

      Reply
  32. Nitin Gupta

    Thanks, Aditya. Have done that as well. Any others option. Paytm is charging 2.07 % . I would like to avoid that.

    Reply
    1. Arnab Chaudhuri

      Use lazypay upi with credit. Then pay off the bill using credit card.

      Reply
  33. MILAN GADAKARI

    Hello everyone,

    I currently hold Hdfc regalia and Amex MRCC. Is that a good combination of cards?

    Any other suggestions on card pairing?

    Reply
  34. Anirban Roychowdhury

    I wonder how Regalia can still give reward rate of 13%.
    5x/10x points are long gone and replaced by 5% cashback. Its shocking how HDFC devalued this card over the years.
    Or am i missing something with this reward rate of 13% as mentioned by Sid in this article?

    Reply
  35. Amex Guy

    Personally I just never look beyond Plat for fuel. No surcharge on HP (which thankfully has the only high octane option that’s not priced atrociously), and you still get 1MR/100. MRCC + Paytm is also a good option, but I’m not sure if adds the 2% Paytm on it and MRCC 1000 transactions are too easy to get done if you use Milkbasket.

    Reply
    1. Ajai Singh

      Only Plat has rewards for fuel which neither my Reserve or new MRCC has but the bonus points from MRCC more than make up for it.

      Out of curiosity which card do you hold as companion to your Plat as I was told by CC that Charge cards cant be held as companion so I could not get the Gold Charge as companion to my Reserve and had to settle for MRCC. Do enlighten us all about the whole companion process/limitations, etc.

      Reply
  36. Abhi

    Amex PT and MRCC are great in terms of RPs, and until recently it was convenient to load e-wallets using them, often even to meet milestones and campaign targets. But now that paytm is charging high fees for wallet loads, mobikwik restricts free loading to 5K pm, and Amex not usable on payzapp, yespay and many other wallets, it’s becoming challenging to reach even regular milestones. MRCC is still ok, but PT is getting tough, more so with low physical acceptance.

    Reply
  37. santosh p mathew

    I have a diners black from June 19 onwards. In December 20 when I tried to redeem the point for domestic travel, it was only allowing 70 percentage points and rest cash.

    Also since two days I am getting 15x rewards on online merchants on my Citibank rewards card.

    Reply
  38. Rajesh

    Which SBI card should one hold? I currently have the cards below
    1. HDFC Regalia LFT ( Use it as my main card, hoping will be upgraded to Infinia soon as my limit was bumped up to 9.5 a couple of months back)
    2. ICICI Sapphiro LFT (upgrades my ICICI account to Wealth Account, so use it occasionally to keep it active & also my main go to card for domestic lounge access.)
    3. ICICI Amazon Pay for all Amazon shopping
    4. Amex MRCC for the monthly 4K expense for 1000 points and occasional Amex offers
    5. SBI Elite: Have been using it for a few years now and was mainly using it for the BookMyShow monthly offer and Yatra vouchers… both are kinda useless now…in fact don’t see any travel benefits anymore.
    I want to exchange the SBI Elite to something more useful in the SBI network. Was thinking of changing it to the SBI SimplySave so that I can use it whenever there is an SBI 10x offer. Any other suggestions will be really helpful?

    Reply
    1. Saurabh

      Go for SBI SimplyClick. You will get at least 3% returns on online spends(if you spend 1 Lakh at least – better than most cards mentioned above). Not suitable for offline spends though, but can still make use of periodic good SBI offers.

      Reply
  39. Puneet Singal

    I plan to apply for Citi Prestige card. Can someone clarify one point for me. I am a Citigold member and remember some limited time promotion whereby Citi was providing bonus points basis Citi relationships viz. Citi Priority, Citigold and Citigold Private. Can you please confirm whether this promotion is continuing in 2021 and whether points are awarded for Citi Prestige + Citigold combo.

    Reply
    1. Ajai Singh

      Its still there but the card is now quite worthless the biggest minus for me was when they took away free Airport transfer and I without the knowledge was left with the card in hand. Have canned it after that no point for me to hold it anymore.

      Reply
    2. Shivi

      Please ask CiTi customer care. They changed a lot of things in 2020-21. Earlier too this was turning out to be more rewarding only with CiTiGold Private

      Reply
      1. Puneet Singal

        Yeah, spoke to them already. The limited time promotion for 30% bonus points with Citigold relationship was valid till Dec 2020 only. So the current points structure in place is the base rate of 1 point for Rs. 100 spent for domestic transactions. The executive mentioned that there might be promotions in future but nothing currently.

        Reply
  40. Krsna

    Hi Sid/All,
    Whats the criteria for Credit card companies to give out Life time free cards( How and when do they offer). I’ve made a request to AMEX and HDFC but they say dont issue LTF, but i ‘ve seen people carrying LTF cards with them. Please throw some light on this.

    Reply
    1. BlueBull

      For HDFC, I think they prefer good relationships with them, and/or use of certain services to make card LTF. When i joined, they said my card (at that time it was Moneyback, but this was applicable for Regalia as well) will be made LTF if I use their SmartPay application for paying at least one monthly bill. After ~2 years of decent relationship across multiple accounts (salary, savings, FD, etc with healthy balance), they upgraded the card to Infinia LTF.

      For Amex, I think there was a small sliver of time where they were giving out a certain card for LTF (one of the comments on this blog had mentioned it), but don’t know any more. Some credit card blogs also seem to have offered it using affiliate links. But I’m not sure if anyone would have a Platinum card LTF; that defeats the entire purpose of that card.

      If a bank believes you can be a reliable revenue stream from both the accumulation side (savings, FDs, demat wrt annual fees and large deposit amounts) as well as spending side (credit and debit cards; interchange fees or loan interest), you have a good chance of getting an LTF card. Else wait for good offers to come by (reading this blog helps). Case in point the very recent LTF infinia upgrade for a bunch of people.

      Reply
    2. GTMAX

      There is no criteria. Visit here regularly & you will get to know when they offer it the next time.

      Reply
  41. Dev

    ICICI is not offering the 10% discount on Amazon pay icici card in Amazon or Flipkart. How best to approach them for another variant of Card, preferably LTF – I also intend to keep the Amazon pay card?

    Reply
    1. Raghu

      ICICI Platinum Visa card is available as LTF and very easy to be approved for ICICI AP Card holders

      Reply
  42. Siddharth

    Just curious to know, how many cards do you have? Doesn’t it impact your credit score having many credit cards? How much of credit limit are you able to utilise across all the cards combined? Percentage wise.

    Reply

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