25+ Best Credit Cards in India with Reviews (2019)

By | May 5, 2019

Looking for the best credit cards in India to suit your needs? You’re at the right place. Whether you want cashback, rewards, airmiles, premium or super premium cards, you can find everything here.

But remember, there is no single 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 70+ credit cards across various banks and complied a list of 25+ best credit cards in India based on various user segments.

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

Best Lifestyle Credit Cards

Lifestyle cards are nothing but the cards that suits almost everyone for any kinds of spends, be it dining, online shopping, etc. Hence, these are all-rounder cards used by vast majority of users and it is easy to get approved as well. 

  • Suggested income: 6 Lakhs+
  • Suggested spend: 3 Lakhs+

1. SBI Prime

SBI Prime Card

SBICard Prime is one of the best credit card in India for many cardholders since 2017. From milestone benefits to lounge access, SBI Prime has everything you need under single roof and that too with a renewal fee waiver on 3 Lakh spend. USP of this card is that you can use it to pay your house rent and get a great reward rate on it. So 3L spend shouldn’t be tough to achieve.

2. HDFC Regalia First

HDFC Regalia First Credit Card

Unlike SBI Prime which is a paid card, HDFC Regalia First mostly comes at free of cost, which fits well for those who are not comfortable in paying joining fees. The best part of HDFC cards are its merchant offers, as very often you get 5X/10X promos which will increase the reward rate of this card to the roof. I suggest you have at-least one HDFC credit card in your wallet and this one is good to start with.

3. Amex MRCC

American Express 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 points monthly by spending Rs.1000*4 times, you can easily get a return of more than 10%. Apart from that, you will also get access to the Amex merchant offers which are very lucrative most of the time.

4. SBI SimplyClick

SBI Simplyclick credit card

If your spends are mostly into online and is less than 3 Lakhs a year, you could prefer Simplyclick. With SimplyClick card you get accelerated rewards on few merchants as well. It also comes with sweet milestone benefit (Cleartrip vouchers) that makes this low annual fee card Click!

5. ICICI Coral Amex

ICICI Coral Credit Card is the beginner range of credit cards in the ICICI Bank’s Gemstone Credit card collection. If you really want a credit card from ICICI, this is probably the only best credit card that makes sense in lot of aspects: Low fee, decent benefits & ICICI amex offers.

6. ICICI Amazon Pay

If you want a FREE credit card from ICICI, Amazon Pay credit card is the best one out there. It’s also highly rewarding for the spends on Amazon.

7. RBL Platinum Delight

I wouldn’t really suggest RBL credit card unless you’re already banking with RBL and got a chance to get a card from them. Just like Amex MRCC, this card too gives 1000 Points on spends of Rs.1000*5 times a month which can get you a reward rate of ~5% on spends of around Rs.60,000 a year.

8. Standard Chartered Manhattan

Standard Chartered has very good cashback offers with Uber and so holding this card is one of the best way to save on your cab expenses. They also keep adding new merchant offers every now and then that are really useful. So if you’re going for SC for any reason, Manhattan is good to start with.

Best Premium Credit Cards

Premium credit cards comes into picture when your lifestyle falls bit beyond ordinary. Premium credit cards are kind of upgraded versions of the lifestyle cards that we’ve seen above.

It comes with more travel benefits like domestic and international lounge access, better reward rate on high spends, etc. 

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

1. HDFC Regalia

HDFC Bank Regalia Credit Card

It’s HDFC’s flagship credit card and has its name and fame for many years in the industry. Consider it as an upgraded version of Regalia First which we saw above.

Low foreign currency markup fees on international transactions, 5X/10X rewards with selected merchants are some of its benefits. Newly added milestone benefits increases the overall reward rate to 2% upto 8L spend.

2. SBI Elite

SBI Card Elite

SBI Elite is one of the best premium credit card with the ability to get 2 bookmyshow tickets (not buy1 get 1) worth Rs.500 every month and is one of the best Bookmyshow offer around. It suits well for movie buffs and high spenders, as the renewal fee gets waived off on 10L spend.

3. Amex Gold Charge Card

American Express Gold Charge Card (India)
  • Reward Rate: 2%-10%
  • Joining/Renewal Fee: Rs.1000+GST/Rs.4,500+GST
  • Apply Now

If you’re into premium lifestyle, you MUST have at-least one of the Amex cards in your pocket. While Amex MRCC serves that purpose as we saw earlier, Amex Gold Charge Card makes sense if you need more buying power and it’s way to the Amex Platinum.

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.

4. HDFC Diners ClubMiles

HDFC Diners ClubMiles Credit Card

If you’re more of a traveler and online shopper, HDFC Diners ClubMiles Credit card will help you save quite a lot with its 10X Reward Points and complimentary lounge access. 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.

5. Indusind Iconia Amex

Indusind Iconia American Express Credit Card

Do you spend a lot on weekends? Consider getting Iconia Amex Credit card. I’m personally using it for fuel spends as it doesn’t have fuel surcharge at HPCL pumps. While the unlimited domestic lounge access on this card has been revoked, its still good for the reward rate & Amex Offers.

This is for credit card enthusiasts and i would not really suggest for beginners as Indusind credit card systems are not so great at the moment.

Best Travel Credit Cards

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

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

1. Amex Plat Travel Card

American Express Platinum Travel card is the best travel credit card in the country, hands down! Its designed for high spenders as you get ~Rs.30,000 worth of travel vouchers that includes domestic travel vouchers + Taj Stay vouchers.

You get all these on spending 4 Lakhs on the card, however, your spends need to be bit higher if you’re looking for the renewal fee waiver.

2. CITI PremierMiles

Citi premier Miles (New Design)

First of all, its NOT an Airmiles card, which even most of the card holders don’t know. Citibank Premiermiles is a rewards card more like HDFC Regalia and fits well only for the Citi Priority/Gold account holders. You can also convert your points to major airlines & hotel loyalty programs.

While this card in itself is not a great card, its the way to get Citi Prestige, which you’ll see shortly.

3. Axis Privilege Card

If you’re an Axis Bank Priority customer, you can get this card for free. That being said, this card comes with decent benefit for travellers in terms of Yatra voucher redemption options. Not a great card, but if you want non-airline card from Axis, it would be this.

4. SBI IRCTC Card

IRCTC SBI Platinum Card
  • Reward Rate: 1%-10%
  • Joining Fee: Rs.500+GST
  • Apply Now

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.

5. ICICI Makemytrip

If you can make use of the Lemon Tree hotels voucher that comes with the card, you will find a good value in the product. It also comes with benefits like railway lounge access/ airport spa sessions.

So it may be good for some, but not to me, for now. But as unfortunately not many credit cards in India are tagged as “travel card”, this card made it to the list.

Best Airline Credit Cards

If you’re a frequent traveller, you might also need to get one or more of the best Airmiles Credit cards. Airmiles credit cards makes sense if you fly frequently with the specific airline. Here are some of the best, after Jet Airways shutdown.

1. Axis Vistara Infinite

The newest airline in India has one of the best rewarding credit card in the Industry. Apart from the welcome voucher, this card gives upto 3 Business Class vouchers based on your spends and the reward rate is as unbelievable as ~15%.

It is also by far the easiest and fastest card to earn business class vouchers as Axis bank and Vistara has wonderful integration in place to post the points & vouchers to account faster.

This card needs 7.5L spend to maximize the benefit. if your spends are bit low, you may also go for the Vistara Signature variant.

2. SBI Air India Signature

No one is actually interested in flying Air India isn’t it? Well, this card gets you access to other Star Alliance Airline partner as well, like Thai Airways & Singapore Airlines, which makes it worth giving a try.

Fortunately, even Air India has decent product as i flew on one of their Dreamliner recently. Check out my first flight on: Air India 787 Dreamliner Business Class

3. Etihad Guest SBI Premier Card

If you’re flying Etihad often, it makes a sense to hold this card as it gives you the Gold tier which comes with a lot of benefits. But if you’re not into Etihad, its not the card for you.

Best Super Premium Credit Cards

With over 2 Lakh+ High Networth Individuals (HNI) living in India, they certainly need special attention, don’t they?! So banks have super premium cards that comes with higher credit limits, unlimited lounge access, highest reward rate & much more perks.

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

1. HDFC Infinia

  • Reward Rate: 3.3% – 33%
  • Joining Fee: Rs.10,000+GST (Free for select accounts)
  • Full Review: HDFC Infinia Review

India’s most Prestigious Infinia Credit Card comes with a minimum credit limit of Rs 7 Lakhs+ and the unique NPSL* (No Pre-set Spending Limit) feature makes it stand out. HDFC’s most popular 5X/10X rewards promos with select merchants makes it one of the highest rewarding credit cards in the country.

2. HDFC Diners Black

HDFC Diners Black Credit Card (NEW Design)

With its lucrative 10X reward points program, its undoubtedly the best Credit card in India, especially for travellers. Even without the 10X points, it comes with a great reward rate by default, as good as HDFC Infinia.

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.

3. Standard Chartered Ultimate

Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card (India)

Just like HDFC Infinia/Diners Black, Stan. C Ultimate card too comes with 3.3% reward rate. And the greatest advantage over HDFC is that you can also redeem your reward points for Amazon Voucher (temporary benefit). But it lacks the unlimited lounge access benefit.

4. Citi Prestige

  • Reward Rate: 2% – 10%
  • Annual fee: Rs 20,000+GST (Free for Citigold & Private Clients)
  • Full Review: Citi Prestige Review

Citi Prestige is a bit different card compared to the regular rewards cards. Despite being an expensive card, you get maximum benefit IF & ONLY IF you know to play the airmiles game. Holding Citi Gold/private account will further help you get accelerated rewards. If you are doing trips in APAC, this card can help you save well (Hotel+ lounge+ Limo).

5. ICICI Emeralde

This card comes with a very low reward rate on spends but if you put a value to the benefits like Spa/Bookmyshow/Wifi benefits among others, you’ll find the overall return to be reasonably good.

6. Amex Platinum Card

This card is entirely different from any other card that you see here. This is because, with any card we usually calculate the returns based on spends, but here you need to calculate the returns based on the benefits you get by holding the card, like: hotel privileges, concierge, etc.

It’s an amazing card for someone who loves luxury travel. The welcome bonus of 100K MR Points is great for the first year without a doubt. For renewal, you need to decide based on how much value you get from it.

Bonus: That all aside, its also OKAY to get Yes First Exclusive credit card just for unlimited lounge access benefit, as long as you get the card for free.

Bottomline

As I always say, choosing a credit card is totally based on the Individual’s lifestyle and spend pattern. Thumb rule is to get maximum returns via: welcome vouchers, card linked benefits & regular spends.

You shall have as many cards as you wish and all you need to do is find a strategy to get maximum value out of them.

And not to forget, credit card industry in India is rapidly changing and hence you need to be aware of the changes happening in the space to make the most out of your cards. 

Hence, consider updating your strategy at-least every ~6 months to stay in the trend. You may also like us on Facebook to get instant updates on latest happenings in the industry. Peace!

Author: Siddharth

I love Credit Cards! Minting reward points and cashback for years. Now exploring Airmiles & Hotel loyalty programs. Obsessed with aviation, airport lounges and luxury travel at affordable cost.

143 thoughts on “25+ Best Credit Cards in India with Reviews (2019)

  1. ARR

    Hi Sid,
    Thank you Sid for updating the list. We had a nice journey in the previous year. You introduced us a great app like CRED. It’s more rewarding.( They delivered a delicious cake too.) I got around Rs.70,000/- cash credit with Indusind Iconia.
    Thank you everyone for the contribution.

    Reply
    1. Pavan Goyal

      Ya CRED best way to pay credit card dues also icici has introduced PAYLATER digital credit which can pay your CC dues via upi

      Reply
    1. Shashi

      Hello, i am a beginner for CC’s. I applied for HDFC regalia 1st and CITI Rewards. Even though i met the eligibility criteria they rejected the application due to ‘no credit history’. Let me know how to build/start a credit history. I don’t want to take any kind of loans. I have now applied for sbi simply save cc. Will they approve?

      Reply
        1. Vikas

          I don’t why HDFC have rejected my application, the branch manager tried it’s level best.
          Seems that Siddharth u need to update the story on how the banks don’t give the credit cards to the Judicial officers in India ( Personal Experience) even though my CIBIl score is 852, ITR of 19 lac. Have the SbI elite, Citibank rewards & Amex Rewards card.
          AXis informally told they won’t be able to give.
          HDFC put a negative score on my CIBIl.

          Reply
          1. Siddharth Post author

            Yes, HDFC don’t issue cards to select work groups (like lawyers). Looks like they had bad time with them in the past. Its the karma of the past generation. 😐

          2. Ebin Johnson

            It is not only the case with judicial officers. I am from IT sector, Bangalore. ITR close to 25 Lac. Hold SBI ELITE, AMEX GOLD, AMEX MRCC,HSBC. Preferred account holder. Credit score above 750, still HDFC won’t approve my applications.

          3. Siddharth Post author

            That’s weird. Did they give any reason?

          4. Amex Guy

            Ebin, for DCB/Infinia, I can see application getting rejected for non-management roles in general. For other HDFC cards, the preferred account portal should have pre approved offers. I mean, CIBIL and ITR should not even be in picture.

          5. Vikas

            Hahahahah. Don’t know how they believe that Judicial officer wont pay or cheat them when they impart the justice to these banks on the daily basis.
            Lawyer can be understood as they can say , see u in court and fight for the recovery.

            Judicial officers are like another govt employee and they do their work.
            What so unsafe about them. Instead I believe we would be safest client they will see who will pay 😉
            They are ready to have my salary account and offer me privileged account .
            ICICI & HSBC just approved my colleague’s application and now they are ready to offer me also despite the HDFC incident & assured it will sail through.

            What’s so hush about Axis and HDFC,

  2. Gautam

    How does YES FIRST Preferred Credit Card fare against this list ? Earlier, it was in direct comparison to HDFC Regalia ? What about now, after devaluation

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Its somewhere between beginner & premium cards. As they reduced offers too, I decided to skip it from the list.

      Reply
  3. Shailesh

    I think Diners Club Miles also deserves a place in the list..

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      I think you need to read slowly 😉

      Reply
  4. Captain Bishuddha Bharatiya

    Typing mistake. Under best premium credit cards instead of writing spends range you wrote suggested income range.

    Reply
  5. Ruhul Laskar

    Could you share a detailed review of CITI Ultima card?

    Reply
    1. Shivi

      .@ Ruhul – Citi Ultima is an invite only card and doesn’t even feature on Citi India’s Site page. The best Citi we have here is Prestige and Ultima (Infinite variant) is, imho, issued to very few who have spends in excess of 50-80l/yr.

      Reply
      1. Mayank Grewal

        I didn’t realise they were still issuing the Ultima to new customers. Thought applications had been frozen circa 2016 or so.

        Reply
        1. Ruhul Laskar

          The previous variant of Ultima got rebranded as Prestige. Ultima is now offered only to Ultra High Net-worth Individuals and the eligibility is an ITR of INR 5 crore and above. It has a joining fee of around INR 2 lac. It will be great to see if any member could share a hands-on experience of it along with list of all welcome and renewal benefits.

          Reply
      2. Ruhul Laskar

        @ Shivi, I am currently using Prestige and was eager to know more about the Ultima, like you mentioned, it’s not even featured on CITI’s website. Centurion is also not listed on AMEX’s website, however, there are several reviews and unboxing videos available for it. Ultima is one such card for which one would struggle to find a detailed review!

        Reply
  6. SH

    Great post.

    Citi Premier Miles has a new design? Not aware of that.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Yes, they’ve changed to global design. Check Citi website for new designs of other cards.

      Reply
      1. Arjun S

        I really like the new global designs. Wished they would have changed it for the Prestige too.

        Reply
  7. Vineet

    Thanks for a great article. It was eagerly awaited.
    Could someone pls tell me if I should ask HDFC for a change to DCB. MY limit on regalia is 2.7 lakhs. And my ITR is 15 plus. The thing that is holding me back is that my Regalia is LTF. And presently I don’t see any hope of spending a large amount on a single CARD to ask for waiving my annual fees ( blame it to my habit of collecting cards like trophy– HSBC, SBI, AMEX{2}, YES BANK, HDFC, ICICI). Plus the issue that I just have one another Mastercard. Rest is Visa or Amex. So should I go ahead, sacrifice LTF for Diners. Is there a possibility of being accepted or should I wait till my Regalia crosses 3 lakhs limit

    Reply
    1. Gopal

      Vineet,
      I would wait before asking for the upgrade as i recently asked for an upgrade via my RM from Regalia First with 5 lacs limit and with ITR of 18 lacs and also having a few FDs and being a preferred customer. RM was pretty confident about the upgrade being done but the upgrade was rejected as the reason my RM said was that the CC division rejected saying they need 1.65 lac nett salary or should keep a FD of 11 lacs.

      Reply
      1. Raj kumar

        Gopal,
        Does keeping a FD of 11 Lacs makes you eligible for DCB?

        Reply
    2. Praveen Katiyar

      @Vineet
      Wait for limit to be on positive side of 3L. Keep checking in ur hdfc credit card online account for limit increase/paper form to chennai, using ur ITR.
      Register few billers in Smart Pay Online after logging into ur hdfc credit crd account. (Mobile/LIC etc)
      For the time being spend more on Regalia, to increase ur chances of getting DCB.

      Reply
    3. Abhishek Roy

      I would suggest you to wait and let the limit be increased to around 4 lakhs and then try.

      Reply
  8. Prashant Gupta

    Thats again a good article, but i think u can add a sub category of fuel cards as thats one of the expenses we all do. U can add citi indian oil and hpcl icici amex coral card- these i think are the most used cards.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Will need to do a separate article. Thanks for the inputs.

      Reply
    2. Pavan Goyal

      Hdfc regalia does not give cash back for fuel spends only hdfc moneyback card gives

      Reply
  9. Praveen Katiyar

    @Sid
    YEs First cards need mention for their industry lowest FC markup of 1.75% among CC. Correct me if im wrong.
    YFE with unlimited lounge thru PP for add on also.
    Although devalued, YFP/YFE are easiest/cheapest way to get PP, not to mention card on card basis. Also both were LTF.

    Reply
    1. Aditya Agrawal

      +1 YFE is an excellent card. Even at rewards rate of 1.5%, unlimited Domestic + International lounge access even for Add on members makes it killer to own.

      Reply
  10. Yash Dabriwal

    Hi Sid,

    Do any of these offer points in utility bills ? Currently pay upwards of 6L annually on utility so wanted to maximize my points there

    Reply
    1. MT

      take any card which gives points on wallet transactions , and then pay utility through wallets , which card you can get is upto your income and credit history and bank discretion

      Reply
      1. HIMESH MISHRA

        AXIS,SBI & ICICI gives rewards points on wallet amount load.

        Reply
    2. Praveen Katiyar

      Have a look at SC Titanium.
      It gives5% cashback (not points) with certain limits, on minimum trxn of Rs. 750.
      I like that card.

      Reply
    3. Abhi

      AFAIK, nearly all cards give RP on utility payments except for AmEx, isn’t it so ?? Which card are you using ?
      Anyhow, if you use any card to pay that huge amount, they’ll most probably stop/revert RPs.

      Reply
  11. Amann

    Great Job Sid.

    This was bound to happen with YFE dropping its rewards rate. Where do you think the next top Credit card will come from?

    I’m currently relying on SCB ultimate for rewards and YFE for lounge access.

    Also please update for the best debit cards as well. I think Development Credit Bank Elite / Family Cashback should make the cut there along with Axis Bank Priority and IndusInd Exclusive. Please post with your thoughts.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Ola card from SBI & flipkart card from others seems to be in works. They can give grand reward rate if they wish, esp. Ola. Let’s see.

      Reply
  12. Shashi

    Hii, any difference between sbi simply save credit card vs sbi simply save ADVANTAGE credit card?

    Reply
    1. Ankur

      Both cards are same except simply save advantage is issued against FD.

      Reply
  13. Gkcards

    Citi prestige is free only for private clients, and not for Citigold

    Reply
  14. Abhishek Roy

    One can’t help but drool at the sight of all these cards!!!

    Reply
  15. Dion

    Which offers have Yes downgraded on their Yes First Preferred Credit card? They still have priority pass so lounge access, low foreign currency mark up of 1.75%, no validity on reward points. Makes this seem more promising than Regalia.

    Reply
  16. Smruti Panda

    I think you’re too harsh on Yes Bank First credit cards. The Exclusive variant deserves more than just a mention. The reward rate has dropped by only (~0.5%; considering both 1.5% and 3% slabs). Considering the wide spectrum of target audience in the super premium category, some may still find it better than Prestige, Emeralds and Platinum.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      It’s there at the bottom. Didn’t feel it worthwhile to list it with separate title among other great cards 🙂

      Reply
  17. Mouli

    Sid,

    Great list and I feel Yes First Exclusive deserves a place somewhere in the bottom for their unlimited lounge access for add on holder and decent reward rate in most of the categories

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Its there in the bottom if you pay attention. 🙂

      Reply
  18. Keshav Sodhi

    Hi, the card you have mentioned in the description for RBL Titanium Delight is their Platinum Delight card.
    Also, feel Platinum Maxima from RBL could make it to the list. Do check that out! Close to 2.2%+ Rewards on crossing 3.5l milestone

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Fixed. Thanks.

      Maxima is good, yet there are better cards for 2k fee range.

      Reply
  19. rudresh

    No place for AMEX platinum reserve?

    With quite high acceptance rate, HDFC Regalia has lost its sheen a bit, also it has impacted on the privilege that it used to give 3-4 yrs back

    Reply
  20. Prem Taparia

    Maybe you could also include Standard Chartered Titanium Credit Card for beginners. It’s reward rate is 5% cashback on fuel, utility and telecom, subject to a cap of Rs500 per month. With a fee waiver on annual spends of just 60K, this could easily become a free card with an annual cashback earnings of about Rs6000.

    Also I feel instead of Indusind Iconia Amex, Indusind Legend credit card would be better suited in this list. Both cards have similar benefits with the only exception that Legend is a Visa Card and therefore enjoy better acceptability, as compared to Iconia Amex.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      # I don’t prefer Tiny max. caps

      # Legend comes at high cost. Not worth it.

      Reply
      1. Prem Taparia

        Well, you have included Manhattan which is also “Tiny max. caps”. My point is if any BEGINNER wants to have SC card, then Titanium is a better choice than Manhattan.

        Reply
      2. Pratik Gattani

        @sid legend comes at high cost but with amazing benefits..its easy to get 50-60k cashback with legend per year

        Reply
        1. Siddharth Post author

          As long as the spends are on weekends, Iconic Amex just does the same + Cool Amex offers every now and then.

          Reply
  21. Hussain

    I hold a regalia first card. Is there an option to get this changed to the diners club miles. I had heard that they dont allow this as its considered as a downgrade. Also how is the acceptability of diners club these days? Would there be a benefit of changing from Regalia first to Diners club miles?

    Regards

    Reply
    1. Mayank

      I asked the same query, but they told only chennai office can tell whether the card can be changed or not. They told me to send a letter along with some verification documents to get the card changed. But as you know its HDFC CC, so for different people they provide different answers.

      Reply
    2. Rohan

      I hold regalia first, applied for diners club miles through the link that comes to apply for credit card once you logout from hdfc netbanking. Card is delivered in 3 days from application without any query. Now I hold both regalia first & diners club miles.

      Reply
      1. Mayank

        Is it really possible. Then How do the reward points get generated? I mean the value of each point is 0.30 paise or 0.50 paise?? How does it differentiate between the two?

        Reply
    3. Jambui

      My allmile was about to expire. Got message from hdfc that regalia first would be sent as replacement.

      I email card cust care that send me clubmiles instead as both are on same level. Losers replied that card is already sent, white lie as card if sent is usually recd the next day in metro cities.

      Forwarded mail to grieviance. Tadaaa clubmiles message recd within 3 days with a proper follow up email by grievance.

      So not everything is done by chennai dept.
      Grievance n nodal officer got full power if request is a valid one.
      Spent 5lac+ in 9 month and i am having diners black(fyf) now.

      Reply
  22. Praveen Perumalla

    Iconia is probably not premier anymore given that the lounge benefit is taken away and no more RPs on fuel. YFP is still a better choice given its BMS discount, PP, Golf, and other benefits.

    Reply
  23. Parag

    CITI PremierMiles is only free for 1st year in CITI priority account. They will deduct the fee and refund it if you maintain minimum balance for priority account.

    Reply
  24. Hanumant Shankarrao Jayebhaye

    I spend 60- 70 k on fuel per month can you suggest me a credit card for fuel purchase?

    Reply
    1. MT

      I suggest go for any card who gives points for wallet recharges and pay through wallet , most premium cards have surcharge waiver but limited to 100-450rs per month , any fuel transaction above 45,000 per month would prove worthless , you will end up paying a lot of surcharge, on wallet transactions, no surcharge plus you get full 0.75% cashback of the OMCs which in a CC transaction will be adjusted against the surchaRge you pay

      Reply
  25. Arjun S

    Although the SBI Elite is a good card, the experience I have had with their customer service has been a nightmare. I have a dispute for a transaction of Rs. 1.5L that has been going on for over a year now. Long story short, I was charged by SBI (and I paid my bill), but the merchant (a big software company) has confirmed multiple times they did not receive the money. I can’t even begin to describe my experience dealing with their customer care. The only reason I am keep that card active is on a hope that I get my money back. I am also considering going to the consumer court.

    Reply
      1. Arjun S

        I agree. I have 2 Amex cards – Jet Privilege and MRCC and the customer service is on a different level altogether. Although I must add that Citi Prestige customer care is a close second. Even for international transactions I use my Citi or Amex inspite of a higher forex charge. I just can’t trust the Elite card anymore 🙁

        Unfortunately I will have to give up the Jet Privilege card and take something else – maybe the Platinum Travel.

        Reply
        1. Praveen Perumalla

          One of my colleagues had to deal with a similar ordeal with SBI and ultimately got it settled in the court with 50% compensation from SBI.

          Reply
        2. MAA-traveler

          I’ve the SBI Prime card and currently chasing for a charge reversal (fraudulent transaction) though the amount is not as high as Arjun S for the past 3 months and I keep getting parrot reply only even after escalating to nodal officer which itself is a farce I guess. I’ve disabled the international transaction for good.

          That being said SBI Prime is one heck of a card. I get over 7% (5% birthday/Utility spends plus Yatra/Pantaloon and Pizza Hut vouchers) returns which can be statement credit and not some overpriced Maldives stay or J/F flight ticket. Also what is not mentioned here is Vistara Silver is given as long as we hold the card! After one year there is a review (where we can be downgraded) however we can re apply for the status and get the upgrade and Vistara lounge voucher. I’ve got the same for my card. I also think we can re apply for the Priority Pass after expiry.

          I guess a good strategy would be:
          Rs 5 Lakhs in SBI Prime (birthday/Utility spends)
          Rs 4 Lakhs in Amex Plat Travel
          Rs 0.5 lakhs in Amex MRCC
          Amazon Spends in ICICI Amazon Pay Card

          For Rs 5,900 annual fee (SBI has spend based waiver, MRCC can be companion LTF and Amazon Pay is LTF) we can get very good returns. Plus it is easy to hold these cards and doesn’t require any high ITR or banking relationship. 🙂

          Reply
          1. Anmol

            Hi MAA-traveler ,

            How did you get Vistara Silver Membership again after first year. I tried to re-apply after the first year membership ended & my account with Vistara was downgraded. SBI refused on the grounds that it’s a first year benefit only.

            Thanks in advance

          2. MAA-traveler

            @ Anmol,
            I had applied again on the SBI Card site with my Vistara CV number and got Silver again for one year along with the upgrade and lounge vouchers.

          3. Hari

            But, I don’t see any option to re-apply for the Vistara Silver status on the SBI website. Could you please throw some light on that ?

          4. Anmol

            Hi MAA-traveler ,

            I am unable to find any option on SBI Site which allows me to renew my silver membership for one more year. Can you please point the exact location on the site.

            Thanks in advance

  26. Ameya

    This list has come at the correct time. I am planning to shift to Mumbai and the rents there are too high. But as we have read so many examples of travel hacking, I want to apply the same for rent hacking. There are websites which help you pay via credit card, so am gonna use them.
    From this post, I expected to find the highest % which can be earned thru the transaction.
    My analysis of the returns so far (ignoring the HDFC club as the benefits may not last forever):
    1) Vistara Infinite (But I don’t want a miles dependent card)
    2) Amex Platinum Travel (Personally, having used this, I am inclined towards this card)
    Can you guys help me find any other rewarding cards for this purpose?
    My monthly rent will be 40k.

    Reply
    1. GTMAX

      The first card in the list provides you the perfect solution with 5% cashback on Auto Utility Payments which cover the Redgiraffe rent payments too. SBI Prime!!

      Reply
      1. Ameya

        No maximum reward points per transaction non-sense with SBI Prime? Actually, I am really fed-up with my SBI BPCL. So am a little averse to SBI.
        But thanks GTMAX.

        Reply
        1. Abhishek Roy

          No limit to earning points. The only three cards worth holding in the SBI arsenal is SBI Prime, SBI Elite and SBI Simply Click.

          Reply
    2. Abhishek Roy

      Without a doubt, SBI Prime. There is no card which comes even close to this. Other good cards are Infinia, SC Ultimate and DCB. Always avoid utility bill payments with AMEX as you don’t get any RPs for that.

      Reply
      1. Raj kumar

        Abhishek,
        Thanks for the information about Amex not giving points on utility payments.
        I have noticed they don’t give points even for Paypal transactions too.
        I did a transaction on Yatra through PayPal and card being Amex, I got 0 reward points.

        Reply
        1. Kiran

          Hi,

          I have received points on Paytm and amazon bill pay as well.

          Try those payment options.

          Cheers,
          Kiran

          Reply
      2. Ameya

        Is the rent transaction at redgiraffe a utility bill payment? If so, then it squashes the entire case for the Plat Travel.
        Thanks a ton guys!

        Reply
      3. Ameya

        Hi Abhishek, I just got off a call with AMEX customer care and they informed that they classify only:
        1) electricity bill
        2) gas bill payment as utility bills.
        So redgiraffe is an online transaction which is eligible for points

        Reply
  27. Praveen Perumalla

    I was comparing your card collection from 2017 article, all the way to 2019 and a big change in the collection indicating the need to update the portfolio per the changing market. Great collection, Sid!

    Reply
    1. Abhishek Roy

      Agreed, but the thing is, owning these cards is highly subjective. It’s based on your income and spends. You might not own the best cards (Super Premium Cards) but what we should aim for is to own the best card as per our income and spends. The point is whatever be your income, there will always be a card that will the best for you for your spend strategy and your income. I think the idea of this blog is to make the user know about such cards and make them realise about the benefits so that the pay could make an informed choice to own such cards and thus cannot be taken for a ride by any credit card agents or the fleeced by the banks.

      Reply
      1. Siddharth Post author

        “You might not own the best cards (Super Premium Cards) but what we should aim for is to own the best card as per our income and spends.” – That’s an amazing Point!

        Reply
        1. Praveen Perumalla

          True. I can only agree with that. I assume that a lot of the regular readers have learned that and I hope more people understand that and benefit out of credit cards instead of burning their hands with CC debt.

          Reply
      2. Mouli

        Point Well Made,I have seen few who blindly chase Super Premium Cards whose benefit will be available only if you spend X amount per year which they cant spend
        So its better all does a self study on where they fit and apply and get those cards .
        Super Premium cards are not Super Premium for all !

        Reply
  28. Nabendu Mondal

    Hi Sid,

    Nice update to previous years list. Can u please update the article with Indusind Iconia being LTF currently for everyone .I got both the variants issued but the Amex one is the one which is worth going for . Also any idea if the PP benefits on sbi prime is limited to only the first 2 years as quoted by someone in its respective thread. Yes cards may mellow down its 10x 5x with the current situation. Axis seems to be getting better with offers and promotions . And a flipkart and ola cobranded cards will be fabulous just like Amazon nailed it with ICICI Amazon pay

    Reply
    1. Alok Patil

      Hi Nabendu, can you please tell how to get Indusind Iconia as LTF. I currently don’t hold an account or card with Indusind.

      Reply
      1. Nabendu Mondal

        Hi Alok ,

        Please check the Indus Amex Review page linked in the article . I have mentioned the contact details alongwith how I procured the card . I also did not have any relationship with the bank when I applied for the card

        Reply
  29. Shubham Velani

    Should I use regalia for fuel expenses or is something better available?

    Reply
    1. Ankur

      You can switch your fuel spends to Citi Indian Oil card or Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium card.

      Reply
      1. Sakthi

        Paytm also gives 5% return on fuel spends (max 20 per transaction). I switched all my fuel spends to Paytm @ IOC fuel stations.

        Reply
        1. Bhavya

          Can you please elaborate how Paytm gives 5% return on fuel spends ?

          Reply
      2. Praveen Katiyar

        Yes. Perfect. I have both.
        StanC Super Value Titanium card is not tied to a particular petrol pump and cashback can be redeemed for statement credit. Plus it also gives u 5% cashback for utility payments with certain conditions and Rs 750 min payment amount. I have continuously reaped atleast Rs100 per month and availed fee reversal by spending Rs 60k annually.
        Citi Indial Oil is LTF for me and also nice if u have Indian Oil nearby. This card can be mostly sourced LTF.

        (JUST A SHORT INTRO. FOLLOW RESPECTIVE THREADS ON CARDEXPERT.IN FOR DETAILED INFO.)

        Reply
    2. Bhavya

      You can also try HDFC Bharat Card for cashback on fuel (5% cashback). Bharat card can also be used to pay utility bills via PayZapp which also earns 5% cashback on PayZapp transactions. You can also apply the utility bill promocodes to earn additional 5% cashback in your PayZapp wallet. Effective cashback ~ 10% on utility bills on PayZapp using Bharat card.

      Reply
  30. Mohit

    Hi Siddharth, You might want to check your post as you have exposed the card numbers of the users in this post.

    Secondly, I am holding more than 15 active cards on the premium segment across the banks. This is great forum to collaborate. I will be happy to share my experiences as well.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      “exposed the card numbers of the users” – May I know where?

      Reply
  31. Amar Mehta

    Hey Siddharth,
    Great article (as always), thank you!
    I don’t see Yes Bank Credit Card featuring anywhere, I applied for one based on your reviews last year on this site and that’s become my primary spending card.
    I had couple of questions and couldn’t find an answer to it in the article, maybe I missed it.
    – Which is/are the best card/s for Utility Bills Payment?
    I am currently using SC Titanium Rewards Card.
    – Is there something like maximum/optimum no. of credit cards that one can/should hold for good credit history? Can I have multiple cards per institution vs 1 card per institution?

    Thanks again for the great content, experiences and guidance your provide.

    Reply
  32. jambui

    Yes preferred deserve place instead of icici coral amex.
    I feel your opinion is a little biased as you own coral and kind of justifying it.

    it still provides 1% return instead of coral .5%/1% for offline/online.
    plus 4 priority pass visit plus 12 matercard visit.

    and best part is free for most of users.

    Reply
    1. Priyansh Modi

      Love the article.. and damn, not just Siddharth or AmexGuy but there seems to be so many who are knowledgeable about the card game.

      Anyway, have quite a few cards myself (HDFC diners premium, Citi premieremiles, SCB ultimate, SBI IRCTC, amex Reserve, axis privilege, yes preferred first, jet plat)

      The aim is to of course upgrade few of them (HDFC diners black and/or yes first exclusive being the key ones).

      Would love to hear tips for same.
      Average card spends- 1l/m
      HDFC spends- approx 35-40k (preferred customer) limit around 5.1l
      Yes card- not much.

      ITR- 15lpa approx

      Any tips on getting those two upgrades? Would be amazin.
      Any tips on how

      Reply
      1. Praveen Katiyar

        If ur YFP is more than 6month old, call customer care and ask for YFE.
        Take some interest free EMI (on portals like paytm/amazon or anywhere). Online portal refunds you interest portion, u just pay 18% GST on interest amount(small sacrifice). But bank gets interest. Then again try with customer care may b after bill is generated. U wd get YFE surely.

        Reply
  33. Surya

    There was a comment few months back that ‘A very good bank is coming up with a very good card’. But no update after that, is there any update on that story?

    Reply
    1. Praveen Katiyar

      Im also waiting anxiously.
      Good u reminded.
      If i have to guess, may b Barclays..!!

      Reply
  34. Vineet

    Can anyone shed light as to paying through which credit card will accrue reward points in NPS. Today i came to know that Nps payment through AMEX doesnt accrue points as it comes under Utilities.
    Will Regalia or Premier miles or Elite accrue points? Or for that matter any card by ICICI or HSBC or Yes bank

    Reply
    1. Praveen Katiyar

      @Vineet
      I have made NPS payment via credit card, I would like you to check extra amount(plus gst on it) that NPS charges for using credit card. That generally nullify accrued point value(taking1% in general).
      Still as i said I have used it and plan to use it during Deepawali or any other time to reach spend based milestone, as during those times there is net gain plus i get free credit period by using credit card.
      Users with Regalia/PM/Elite can tell u about point accrual.

      Reply
        1. Anoop E S

          you can pay NPS at PFRDA website using credit card option.

          Reply
        2. Mayank

          SBI e pay accepts it.
          Also, yes you will get the reward points using Regalia First/ SC Manhattan. One thing you should note that payment for NPS comes under insurance category, so you can also invest when there is some 2X or 3X offer for insurance payments. That way you will warn more then the fee you had to pay for doing NPS transaction.

          Reply
    2. MAA-traveler

      @Vineet,

      There is an extra charge of 1.1% for credit card payment for NPS. So you may want to use a card which can give you more returns than that. I guess you should get points for Amex also but assuming even you don’t get, you can can still use the card card strategically for meeting the 4L spends for Plat Travel or 4*1000 charge per month in the case of MRCC. Further you may use when there is a spend based offers on Amex (or any other card for that matter).

      Reply
  35. Ashish

    Hi Siddharth
    Appreciate you taking time off to update this article with the latest details.
    This is the only place which gives me hope of holding a DCB card after I read the comments.
    DCB is a dream card for me.
    I currently hold:
    1> Regalia card with 6l+ limit (primary) (expiry in June)- I regularly check for upgrade but still no luck, but when ever I get a chance to enhance the limit I do.
    2> Citi Reward with 5l+ Limit – not using it frequently.
    Wanted some guidance on how to get to DCB, the regalia card should i get it extended or go with Mailing my forms directly to Chennai.
    WIll not renewing my Regalia impact my credit score?
    PS: I dont have the monthly inhand salary of 1.65l

    Reply
    1. John

      You should be able to get DCB by sending them the upgrade forms. Usually they won’t upgrade at the time of renewal. In my case I send the upgrade forms soon after renewal and it was approved.

      Reply
      1. Ashish

        Thanks John,
        Will wait then.
        In case any body has any other suggestion do let know

        Reply
        1. Praveen Katiyar

          @ Ashish

          As far as i know renewal of card does not impact CIBIL. Its just continuing of your old account.

          After login to your HDFC CC account, register some payments like LIC/Mobile bills in Smart Pay.
          It increases the chances.

          Reply
  36. Wahed

    Sid,
    I want to apply for Amex platinum travel card based on ITR of 6.5lac,
    Should I apply for platinum travel or MRCC,
    My current cibil score is 754,
    Which Amex card is easy for approval.
    Reply appreciate.

    Reply
    1. Rakesh

      @Wahed, you can apply for Amex Platinum travel card ..they anyway offer MRCC soon as companion card 🙂

      Reply
    2. Praveen Katiyar

      @ Wahed

      MRCC is Lifestyle card, i.e. suits everyone. Best part is, if u can spend 90k/150k in a year next year’s 50%/100% fee is waived. 1000 points every month for 4 transaction of more than Rs. 1000, even on wallet loading.

      Amex Platinum Travel is indeed best travel card out there, but it has no fee reversal, the rewards are great if u can use it. It gives you maximum value on 4lakh spends.

      Read reviews of both cards on cardexpert.in and decide which suits your needs and spending pattern.

      Hope it helps.

      Reply
  37. Anoop E S

    Hi Siddharth

    any advice on jet cards?

    checked with ICICI and Amex. If we request,we can change to any gemstone card upto emaralde (ICICI) and Plat Travel or Plat Reserve (Amex)

    Reply
  38. Vishal Kumar

    Hi everyone, can you please suggest a credit card for me?

    Here’s a brief about me: I’m an entrepreneur running a startup and most of the payments through credit card will be towards Google Ads (in INR), Facebook Ads (in INR), International service companies (in USD). The annual spends will be around 10L-15L which will be paid through company account. I’m on a salary of 9L CTC.

    Also, can I get a Personal card variant and use it for my startup expenses to get the maximum benefit?

    Reply
    1. Priyansh Modi

      Would suggest StanC Ultimate/SBI Prime.
      Good cards for the spends you are looking at.

      Also, corporate cards often have less points or offers. Hence would suggest personal cards more.

      P.S- HDFC Diners Black is good card to have but will take time for you to reach I think.

      Also, use Cred app to pay the bills for your card. Approx rewards of 1-2% for doing just that- paying your dues.

      Reply
    2. Praveen Katiyar

      I would recommend Yes First (Preferred or Exclusive) as its FX markup is only 1.75%, for your USD payments. 2nd choice would be HDFC cards having 2% FX markup.

      Check Sid’s article – 7 Best Credit Cards in India for International Travel/Spends (Low Forex Markup Fees)
      If your spends are high and u can recover ur Annual Fee HDFC Infinia is worth, else Yes First Cards (generally LTF) are better.

      @Sid (& other readers) are better placed to tell you whether there could be some flagging if you use personal card for company spends..

      Hope it helps.

      Reply
  39. Ricky Kodnani

    Hello Sir,
    I’d like to know if are there any subscriptions to email reports regarding cards and if they are available… is it available for specific banks or credit card types

    Thanking you in advance.

    Reply
  40. Nammu

    On the SBI cards website, there are 2 cards – SBI Elite & SBI Elite advantage- What is the difference between the two? I even used to compare feature but can’t find any difference.
    Similarly what is the difference between SBI Prime & SBI Prime advantage?

    Reply
  41. Kiran

    I have developed a strategy with below credit card and their spends-

    1. Diners Black (Fees- 5000)- Main card. I earn 10x benefits from it most of the times. Lowest FX markup fees.
    2. Amex MMRC-(Fees- 1500) Secondary card- mainly for 18k & 24K points- so that I can offset the Diners Black renewal fees from 2020 onwards.
    3. Standard Chartered Titanium (Fees-750)- For Fuel expenses- Irrespective of any petrol pump, I get 5% cashback on the fuel expenses. Have earned more than 2500 in 5-7 months.
    4. Yes Bank (LTF)- For adhoc offers.
    5. HSBC Visa platinum-(LTF) For 10% cashback and other swiggy offers.
    6. Indusind Aura- Just wanted to have Indusind card in my wallet (backup)

    Now, I am planning to have one more credit card specially for travel benefits. probably, I’ll go for Amex Platinum Travel card.
    Can anyone suggest if I can still get more benefits by getting any other card.

    Thanks
    Kiran

    Reply
    1. Praveen Katiyar

      @Kiran
      Nice to share your strategy. Few more

      If u like watching movies take ICICI Coral/Rubyx for 1 free ticket on bookmyshow (max value of ticket should not be more than 250 in Coral, 300 in Rubyx). Some say its hard to get the discount as its first come first serve, but i have 7 out of 10 times got it. Else i use Yes First card for 25% discount on full value.

      Upgrade or get Yes First cards (Preferred/Exclusive), they have a FX Markup of 1.75%. Plus they give u priority pass in case u visit foreign lounges. Exclusive gives you add on priority pass with unlimited complimentary visits.

      Maximum fuel cashback including Surcharge, possible in SC Titanium is Rs. 200 per month. Other categories are Telecom & Utilities on which max cashback per month is Rs 200 & Rs 100 Respectively. If u need more cash back on fuel, add another card probably Citibank Indian Oil Card, but its applicable only on Indian Oil Outlets. U can check Cardexpert.in for best fuel cards.

      Hope it helps.

      Reply
  42. Venkat

    How do you guys maximize 10x on Diners Club Black? I guess Gold purchases are not counted. Nor are gift cards? What are the best options?

    Reply
  43. Shail J

    Although I’m not a great fan of icici credit cards, I’m still impressed with some of Rubyx and Sapphiro card features like Domestic lounge access and Bookmyshow offers
    1. Domestic lounges: ICICI Bank issues Amex and mastercard variants for the same CC account in case of both Rubyx and Sapphiro which gives you 16 and 24 domestic lounge accesses respectively in a year. For Rubyx it’s 2/qtr on mastercard and 2/qtr on Amex I. e 4/qtr on both cards put together. And so in a year each of these cards allow you for 8 accesses likewise it’s 24 for Sapphiro. This is a great benefit if you are travelling with your family.
    2. Bookmyshow: unlike lounge accesses, bookmyshow offer is limited 2 tickets per month for Rubyx up to 300 Rs regardless of the variant. It’s max 2 tickets PM on the account. Likewise for Sapphiro get 1+1 offer for up to 400 Rs twice a month
    3. Railway lounges: 2/qtr. Limited to 4 cities i believe at this point
    4. International lounge access: applicable on Sapphiro through DragonPass.

    I believe, these cards should figure somewhere on the list.

    Reply

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