12+ Best Credit Cards in India for 2023 [Detailed Reviews]

By | January 6, 2023
Best Credit Cards in India 2023

Looking for the best credit card in India for 2023 to suit your needs? You’re at the right place. Whether you want cashback, lounge access, free hotel stays or business class tickets, you can find everything here.

I’ve analysed 100+ credit cards in India across various banks and compiled a list of best credit cards for 2023 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. Here’s a quick overview before we get into the details,

Overview

Below you can have a birds eye view of all the best-of-best credit cards in India for 2023 along with it’s reward rate and joining fee.

Note that I’ve mentioned the potential max. reward rate for most cards and not just the regular reward rate which is the case with few cards though.

No.Credit CardMax. Reward RateJoining Fee
1SBI Cashback5%FYF
2Amex MRCC~5%FYF
3IDFC First Wealth~2.5%LTF
4Amex Gold Charge1% – 4%1,000 INR
5Amex Platinum Travel~8.5%FYF
6Axis Atlas2% – 4%5,000 INR
7Axis Vistara Infinite~10%10,000 INR
8SBI Air India Signature5% – 8%5,000 INR
9Axis Magnus2.4% – 24%10,000 INR
10HDFC Infinia3.3%FYF
11Stan C Ultimate3.3%5,000 INR
12Amex Platinum1.25% – 2.5%60,000 INR
13Axis Reserve3% – 6%50,000 INR

If you’re new to credit cards, don’t be surprised about the high joining fees, as they’re usually compensated with equivalent welcome gift on almost all cards.

Now that you know what you can expect from the list, if you wish to go through the detailed reviews of the cards listed, you may use the links below:

Entry Level Credit Cards

  • Suggested income: 5 Lakhs+
  • Suggested spend: 1 Lakhs+

Entry-Level credit cards, also called as credit cards for beginners are those cards that are targeted at first-time credit card users.

Here’s a quick look at some of the best credit cards in India for beginners in 2023.

SBI Cashback Card

SBI Cashback Credit Card

This is the new HOT pick of the year for entry-level cardholders as 5% Cashback is quite lucrative, with a pretty good max cap of 10,000 INR a month, which equates to 2L monthly spends.

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 5%.

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

Further, you may also explore Flipkart Credit Cards as you can get cashback on top of Flipkart offers.

Premium Credit Cards

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

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.

IDFC First Wealth Card

IDFC First Wealth Credit Card

If your monthly spends are higher, don’t wish to go for paid super premium cards & prefer non-travel rewards like statement credit or amazon/flipkart vouchers then this is the card for you.

IDFC Wealth Credit Card also comes with domestic & international airport lounge access + domestic airport spa’s.

Apart from that, IDFC Credit Card (any variant) is also good for those who wants to take cash out of credit card as it has one of the lowest charges in that segment.

Amex Gold Charge

American Express Gold Charge Card

If you’re looking for a higher credit limit but unable to get it via any other credit card, this is the one for you.

You also get rewards on fuel/utility spends unlike most other credit cards in the segment. This is best used along with Amex MRCC to speed up the 24K gold redemption.

Travel Credit Cards

When your life has good amount of travel, that’s when you need to have these exclusive Travel credit cards.

Travel & airline credit cards are designed in such a way that you get travel vouchers/points/miles instead of cashback.

Amex Platinum Travel

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.

Axis Atlas

Axis Atlas Credit Card
  • Best for: ITC & other airline transfers partners
  • Review: *** Coming soon ***

Axis Bank Atlas Credit Card has been recently updated with better reward rate and comes with the USP of Axis Magnus & Reserve if you can spend as high as 15L a year. Accelerated rewards on Airlines & hotels are definitely useful for some.

It’s made for those who don’t have Axis Magnus or Reserve. Most others into premium cards won’t have the free slot (3 cards per person) with Axis to get this card, so it’s fine to skip if you’re short of it.

Axis Vistara Infinite

Axis Bank Vistara Signature Credit Card

This best airline credit card in the country continues to give wonderful returns even after many years of it’s existence.

It’s a must have credit card for those who frequently fly Vistara because of it’s gold tier benefits and for those who love business class experience, as it gives 1 complimentary business class ticket on every ~2.5L spends.

If you’re fine with Premium Economy vouchers, you may go with the SBI Vistara Prime Credit Card.

SBI Air India Signature

SBI Air India Signature Credit Card

If your travel involves flying Air India for whatever reason, you shouldn’t be skipping this credit card. It demands high spends, but rewards very well.

While you can also redeem Turkish miles for AI domestic business class, direct AI miles gives better value for many economy redemptions. I’ve redeemed it twice recently.

Also, with the change in ownership and merging of airlines, I’m hoping things with Air India to get better in 2023 and beyond.

Super Premium Credit Cards

  • Suggested income range: 20 Lakhs+
  • Suggested spend range: 10 Lakhs+

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

Axis Magnus

axis magnus credit card

Axis Magnus gives you new airport experiences with their complimentary airpot meet & greet service, which is highly useful at times like this.

Further, the card is super charged with rewards >12% if you spend >1L every month and that makes it the best super premium credit card not only in India but in the world.

The newly added points transfer partners can help to yield a reward rate like never before. It continues to be the HOT pick of the year for 2023 as well.

HDFC Infinia

HDFC Infinia Credit Card

Infinia is everyone’s dream for ages without an exception. It has everything one would ever need. If you are looking for a single credit card for all your spends beyond Axis Magnus, Infinia will serve the need.

With its attractive 10X rewards program (Smartbuy) Infinia is still good in 2023. It’s a must have card for those who know the game.

If you coudln’t get Infinia, Diners Black is equally good with same reward rate, only the capping on accelerated rewards are little different.

Stan C Ultimate

Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card (India)
  • Best for: any spend, rewards as shopping vouchers

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

And if you compare it with HDFC Infinia, the redemption options are huge, from Croma to MMT vouchers without any redemption limits like with HDFC. You shall check out the hands-on experience with SC Ultimate for more info.

Ultra Premium Credit Cards

  • Joining fee range: > 50,000 INR

The ultra premium credit cards are entirely different from other type of cards because these cards not only gives rewards but also intend to give you returns via card benefits.

Some of the benefits include: hotel privileges, concierge, meet & greet, airport transfer, first class upgrades, premium support, etc.

Amex Platinum

Amex Platinum Charge Card

The expensive metal card makes sense if you know how to get equivalent value out of the joining fee, rest is all complimentary.

Most of the Amex Plat cardholders I know have it for the Marriott Bonvoy Gold membership benefit which is quite useful in India.

Other than the tangible benefits, their “Do Anything” platinum concierge is worth it for those who have the lifestyle to make use of it.

Axis Reserve

Axis Reserve Credit Card
  • Best for: luxury airport transfers, meet & greet, golf, higher rewards
  • Review: Axis Reserve Review

If you love complimentary meet & greet and luxury airport transfers apart from unlimited golf & lounge access benefits, this card is a must to hold in your wallet.

Also, post introduction of airline/hotel points transfer partners, the regular reward rate on this card is the highest in the country at the moment.

Choosing the right Card

Choosing the right credit card

Choosing the best credit card in 2023 is lot simpler than how it used to be in the past, thanks to all the aggressive credit card offers around.

#1 If you’re new to the game and have relatively low annual spends (<5L) with significant online spends, get the SBI Cashback Credit Card and you’re done.

#2 If you spend >10L a year, get Axis Magnus along with one or two more cards that would suit your lifestyle.

#3 If you spend over >15L a year and don’t know where to start, you may take one-on-one credit card consultation service. Let me make it easy for you not only to choose the right cards but also get you the end-to-end CC application support just incase if you’re looking for one.

FAQ’s

Which is the best credit card in India for 2023?

Calculate your annual spend and choose the cards from the list above. The best card varies from one person to another.

How many Credit Cards can I have?

As many as you need. Start with 2 cards if you’re new to the system and increase the count gradually based on your spends. 5 cards is sufficient for most.

Which Credit Card has best customer service?

Amex is known for their premium customer support. You may also enjoy a similar treatment with any bank, as long as you take their super-premium cards.

Which Bank’s 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.

Which is the best fuel credit card?

You may use Amex Gold Charge Card as mentioned above. Or just buy HPCL gift cards (or) HP Paycode (or) use HP Pay app using any of your existing cards. Works well for most. You may also use Paytm Wallet upto your free load limits.

Bottom line

It’s interesting to note that the list is shrinking every year. While we’ve so many cards, the USP is not sufficient enough to list them all and so I’ve made it compact.

Hope you like the list as much as I did in preparing it for you. The list will be updated from time to time to keep it relevant.

And not to forget, the credit card industry in India has changed rapidly in past 2 years. You may stay updated with the trend by subscribing to the FREE email alerts service.

Expect an update to this article every 3 months or so and the same will be communicated to you over email.

What’s your thoughts about the above list of best credit cards for 2023? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. We shall amend the list if required.

Author: Siddharth

Helping Indians to choose right credit cards, pick right offers and enjoy luxury vacations for less. Day & night exploring the spiritual reality of our human existence.

60 thoughts on “12+ Best Credit Cards in India for 2023 [Detailed Reviews]

  1. Ravi

    I am holding SBI Cashback and Axis Vistara Infinite cards from this list.

    Reply
  2. Rakesh

    My Current Wallet:
    Axis Magnus – Primary
    Infinia Metal – Primary 2
    SBI Cashback – Online
    SBI Click – Need to cancel
    IDFC Select
    Amex Travel – Until the milestone is reached.
    Amex Reserve – Might cancel next cycle. Just holding without paying fees.
    Amex Gold – Unused.
    One Card – For some online offers
    Amazon Pay – Might cancel as SBI CB can replace the spends.

    Reply
  3. Mahesh S. Panicker

    Sid, interesting indeed that the list has shrunk, and doesn’t include the Ace/Flipkart cards from Axis, or the ICICI AmazonPay card. I assume its down to the SBI Cashback card… Yes, its a very unique, and UnSBI product from SBI. But SBI has been going bonkers with their range of restrictions and additional charges of late, that the Flipkart and Amazon offerings will remain in the top list for me.

    SBI don’t give you reward points/cashback in case is their an insttant discount offer from the bank. Then they have massive restrictions on rent pay, wallet load and so on. And howsoever well-placed it is, there nevertheless is a cap on the 5 percent earning.

    So while the Cashback SBI card will indeed make to any list around the top for entry level cards, the ICICI and Axis offerings should remain in their in my view. Particularly since the SBI card has an yearly membership charge of 999. In comparison, the AmazonPay card is LTF, and gives a 2 percent return on bill payments unlike the Cashback card.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Why settle for 2% while one can get 5% or even 6.5%/8% via amazon voucher (+Gyftr offers) with SBI Cashback card?

      I’m thinking to add a line mentioning FK & Amazon cards. But Ace is no longer being issued, so not on list.

      Reply
      1. Mahesh S. Panicker

        Are you sure about Ace not being issued? Because last week, I got an offer from Google Pay to apply for the card. And when I got a call with a loan offer from Axis CC a month or so back, they had confirmed I can apply for Ace… I hold the Flipkart card as of now. And in addition, one thing in favor of the AmazonPay card is that the Cashback SBI is not strictly an entry level card, it still seems difficult for people to get the card, particularly if you are starting out, and it has a not an exactly entry level charge of 999. The AmazonPay card is easier to get, and of course its LTF.

        Reply
  4. Pranab

    From the list of 13, I hold only 4.
    Amex MRCC & Gold, Axis Vistara Infinite & HDFC Infinia.
    Sid,
    Is there any way to get Platinum Travel? I’ve a pre-approved (paid) offer to upgrade from MRCC, but I’m not going for that since I’ve to lose MRCC. The other way, to get it as 3rd card (through CE link) was rejected as my city is not serviceable. It’s funny that I can upgrade but can’t get a new one!

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Better to upgrade, if it doesn’t ask for KYC again. Else, its impossible for non-serviceable area, for now.

      Reply
    2. Sumit

      Dear Pranab,
      I think u can go for upgrade as u will retain both the card. It is written in t&c that existing card will remain active. I myself saw it.

      Reply
  5. RAGIB MD IQBAL

    Personally, I feel INFINIA is still the best for me as I don’t have any pressure to reach any monthly target. Magnus is very good but my expenses are not 1L+ every month.

    Suggestion:
    Can have an updated entry level card list to help the masses.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Cardholders in premium segment are getting ~5% easily on spends, why settle for less and poor customer support with new limitations?

      Reply
  6. Dev

    Sad to see HDFC dropping out of the race with no regalia and DCB which makes sense given recent devaluation.
    ICICI Amazon still deserves to be in entry level.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Hope HDFC rises again with their hotel/airline cards as they’ve said so. Let’s see.

      Reply
      1. Anshul

        The problem with HDFC is that they allow only one card per customer. So not sure how many customers having Infinia and DCB will switch to the new card!

        Reply
      2. Hari

        Siddharth, recently I read somewhere that HDFC is launching 2 airline cards and on big hotel chain card (Marriott ?) in a few weeks time.

        Reply
        1. Siddharth Post author

          I don’t have any other info either but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the case.

          Reply
        2. Anshul

          The next question should be – Who is going to dump their Infinia/DCB to get one of the new cards! That too when they do not have a process to swap between cards! They always ask to cancel and apply afresh – which is a joke so much for being the best digital bank!! Logically, an existing HDFC card customer isn’t a target segment for new HDFC cards (excluding conversions).

          Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Similar to Infinia, added a new line to it now though.

      Reply
  7. Shail

    DCB is still one of best cards. Surprised to see it missing from the list. I feel, it’s better than SC Ultimate any time given it’s unlimited domestic and international lounge access for primary and add-ons apart from regular 3.3% reward rate.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      USP of SC Ultimate is rewards on ANY spend, which is usually rare to find.

      Reply
      1. Sri

        Another point about SC Ultimate is it actually gives 1 point for every Rs. 30 spend, although they advertise as 5 points for Rs. 150 spend.

        Reply
  8. Anchit Singla

    Just a suggestion:
    For fuel: SBI BPCL Octane seems like a no-brainer card for those whose monthly fuel spends are close to INR 10k. It offers 6.25% back in form of free fuel.

    I have been maxing out the 10k benefit every month for the last 18 months.

    Reply
    1. Nikhil

      I don’t know how are you getting 6.25% returns. This is possible only if you redeem points for BPCL fuel voucher which 99% of pumps don’t expect. If you redeem for amazon vouchers then reward rate comes down drastically. So I don’t think this card is worth it.

      Reply
      1. Anchit Singla

        @Nikhil
        I redeem for fuel at BPCL COCO petrol pumps, which if you are living in a metro city like I am, are not hard to find near you. Before filling, I let the attendant know that reward points are to be used for the payment and I don’t pay anything out of pocket.

        Reply
        1. Nikhil

          I live in Bangalore & yet to discover a single BPCL petrol which accepts fuel e-vouchers, tried 5+ outlets already. Anybody in bangalore maybe can post an outlet name which accepts fuel e-vouchers

          Reply
  9. Hemendra Ahuja

    What about Club Vistara SBI Card PRIME?
    Also, I have seen the Axis Bank Vistara Signature Card feature in a lot of articles here but not the above SBI Card and personally, I feel the SBI one is better because it gives international lounge access with PP. I believe the axis one doesn’t, it gives golf access though.

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Intention is to cover the best of best and so skipped it. But with Taj voucher, it’s indeed a worthy one.

      Will cover this card in sometime. For now added a line.

      Reply
  10. sudheep

    Consistent performance award winner “SC ULTIMATE” 🙂

    deliver what is promised, no devaluation (for this many years ), 3.3% for everything

    Reply
    1. Deepak Kumar

      Completely agree. For Rent, Fuel, Wallet loads, insurance premium, NPS payments, Education fees, etc..etc.. for everything 3.3%.

      It is indeed the Ultimate card 🙂

      Reply
    2. Ivan

      what’s the income criteria for this? my take home salary is ~1 lakh per month

      Reply
  11. Vijay

    Which credit card still gives reward points for Rent Payments ? HDFC credit card no longer gives reward points for rent payments. Any help on this is greatly appreciated.

    Reply
      1. NR

        Are you sure Axis Magnus works for rent payments? Have been noticing many folks state it doesn’t seem to be working for rent payments on portals like nobroker, redigiraffe etc. Has it been Fixed?

        Reply
    1. Shobhit Shukla

      Another SCB card which gives direct cashback (2%) on rent payment, insurance and even wallent reload is SCB Smart card. Has a low annual fees of just 499 and gives cashback everywhere except fuel. SCB Smart+Ace+Sbi Cashback is the holy Trinity of cashback cards.

      Reply
  12. AAJ

    Hi Sid, you may consider including Yes Private for the last category.

    Reply
      1. AAJ

        2% rewards, 5 add on cards with lounge access, first year bonus for 10L spends in 3m, 5x insurance points occasionally, private card support, 60% redemption for cash/card repayment on rewards

        Reply
  13. Amit

    Any idea if 5X/10X offer is still available on Gyftr through Axis Bank? Axis bank website mentions offer was valid till Dec’22. However, Gyftr website still projects 5X/10X edge rewards on axis bank.

    Reply
  14. DR

    Excellent & timely article as always Siddharth!
    Just got approved for AmEx MRCC, and trying to upgrade my Regalia to DCB/Infinia (fingers crossed).
    Question on Axis/Citibank (assuming this hasn’t been answered elsewhere on this forum)…
    Is it worth hanging on to a Citibank CC to see what Axis might offer once the takeover is fully completed? Asking since the Citi CC is my oldest card (16+ years) and concerned about the impact on CIBIL score.

    Reply
  15. AAJ

    Hi Sid, you may consider one of RuPay select card as they are decent + can be used over UPI. Even if at entry level 🙂

    Reply
    1. Deepak Kumar

      Not just that, there are some offers for RuPay card only. So worth owning atleast one RuPay card I think.

      I own 2, from HDFC and BOB, though they are not yet eligible for UPI.

      Reply
  16. Sudip

    Amazing content as usual Sid, it is always a pleasure to read your article and all the below comments. Thanks for the list as I always look forward for your best credit card list.

    Reply
  17. Sudip

    Also, can you kindly make a dedicated article on how to transfer reward points to airmiles, would like to understand the game. Thanks!

    Reply
  18. Hari Sundar Pyda

    Is Infinia still the best card out there overall with all the reward capping and restrictions for flight tickets, gold purchases, if I don’t want to take the hassle of Magnus’ monthly milestones?

    Also, which low annual charge card is good for getting movie tickets? I saw RBL play which gives 2 free tickets (upto 500) for monthly spend above 5000. Didn’t see any such offering in HDFC or Axis?

    Reply
    1. Abhi

      RBL Insignia, LTF, any number of tickets that combined cost within Rs500 a month.

      Reply
  19. SUNIL BHANUSHALI

    Hi Sid, Perfect List of each category.
    After getting Axis Magnus, closed 5 Cards. Axis Privilege, Flipkart, Select, SBI Prime & BOB Eterna.
    All spending transferred on 2 Super Credit Cards Axis Magnus & Infinia Metal.

    Reply
  20. Kapil

    It’s good to see that you removed the ICICI form list. They don’t have nice cards or customer service, at least.

    Reply
  21. Sudip

    Small correction just above SBI Cashback card description; here’s the best beginner card for 2023:)

    Loved the content and liked the thumbnail: so beautifully all cards placed to create a nice visual effect!

    Keep going Sid n don’t stop this beautiful blog of yours!

    Thanks, cheers!

    Reply
    1. Siddharth Post author

      Edited, thanks.

      Glad you’re enjoying the visual treat.
      Thanks again for the kind words. 🙏

      Reply
  22. Balaji

    Hi Siddharth,
    What do you think of the Bajaj Finserv DBS Bank Supercards? They have multiple ones with accelerated rewards.

    Reply
  23. Amar

    Hi sid, got emeralde cc with 25L+ limit (im 20+ yrs customer with this bank), any bank here who provides cc on c2c basis ? Tried idfc, talked with top cc guy, he promised me wealth cc, got stuck with 12L in saving for 2 months, then he said sorry. Then I realised this is India, this is the way. Tried to apply with your link, automation showing wow cc, which i am not interested in. Im just confirming if c2c still exist or not. Cause starting another 20yrs journey with a new bank is a tough job. My requirement is 2+ international lounge access per yr, + if international markup % is 0, that would be swell. Thanks.

    Reply
  24. Shree Vardhan Mundhra

    I recently paid income tax with the Standard Chartered Ultimate Card. Had to pay a 0.45% fee but also earned 3.33% in rewards. I don’t know if other cards allow you to do this and also let you earn the points. I know that some cards don’t allow you to earn points on insurance premiums but SC Ultimate does.

    Reply
  25. Ravi

    Sid, which card would you suggest purely for international spends? I may not be eligible for super premium card. So I am considering BOB’s Eterna. Would you differ?

    Reply

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