Now and then we get to see rumours of various new credit card launches in India. So I thought why not make a list of them so that readers get to have a clear picture of not only the best credit cards in India available right now, but also what’s about to happen to the future of credit cards in India.
Here is the full list of such rumours, imaginations and also some confirmed credit card launches that we could expect to go live in 2020 and 2021.
Disclaimer: You’ll see source if its a confirmed plan. If you don’t see a source to any mentioned product, it means its a rumour or just my daydream.
Table of Contents
The Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) with its parent company headquartered in Marina Bay, Singapore in 2019 said they will launch their credit card products in India sometime in 2020.
Given that DBS has good experience in handling affluent customers in Singapore, I’ve very high hopes for some good premium & super-premium credit cards for India from DBS.
- Expected: Mid 2020 (delayed and may come around early 2021)
- Source: “We will launch our credit card by the second, or the third quarter of next year,” said Shantanu Sengupta, head of consumer banking for DBS in India on the sidelines of a banking industry event in Mumbai. – Mint, Aug 2019
Federal bank currently issues credit cards in partnership with SBIcard for now. And they are expected to come with their independent cards soon.
Federal Bank has been doing pretty good recently when it comes to cards, for ex, even their recently launched contactless debit cards comes with international lounge access which is one of a kind on a debit card.
That said I’m pretty sure they must be having solid plans for credit cards, likely to be issued on Mastercard platform.
- Expected: May-Aug 2021
- Source: “In next 9-12 months we are looking at a launch of an independent credit card. There is an expectation that the new normal should settle down in India by then,” said Nilufer Mullanfiroze, country head for deposit, cards and personal loans – PTI, Aug 2020
After seeing SBICard’s recent partnership with American Express, its very clear that they will have a Super premium credit card on American Express network as Amex has one each with ICICI & IndusInd. Let’s hope this comes out with promising benefits.
That aside, we may expect one or two new co-brand credit cards from SBICard every year as they’re very much interested in that space.
- Expected (assumption): Maybe early 2021, as demand for these cards are low at the moment due to Covid-19.
- Source: “Premium segment remains a key focus area for us and we seek to further expand our strength in the space, by launching new products, including in super premium segment.” said Ashwini Kumar Tewari, MD and CEO, SBI Card – BusinessLine, Sep, 2020
Jan 2021 Update:
As expected, SBICard AURUM is likely to go live sometime in Feb 2021. While the reward rate is not exciting, SBICard seem to have done a very good job in providing overall a premium experience to those who need.
Here’s a quick look as the SBICard Aurum (masked) that’s about to go live anytime:
Parag Rao, HDFC Country head for payments business on late Aug 2021 during a press meet says,
In the next 6-9 months, HDFC Bank will launch co-branded cards with various corporate sectors that will cater to the mass market and the ultra-premium segments, including Pharma, Travel, FMCG, Hospitality, Telecom, Fintech
Here’s what we could de-code from above.
That’s right, its “ultra” premium and not “super” premium, as per the stmt. by HDFC Bank.
Its been more than 5 years since Diners black and Infinia were launched. A lot has changed recently and HDFC too optimised the products to fit into the current needs of customers.
But HDFC doesn’t have a competing product for a card like Amex Platinum or even centurion. So I’m hoping for a new Ultra-Premium luxury credit card with benefits and privileges in line with Amex Platinum and hoping for a relatively low fee.
While this is more of a daydream (no more), I think a card like that would be great as most HNI’s I know usually have Infinia + Amex Platinum. So if HDFC can offer what Amex offers, I think it would work out well.
- Expected (assumption): Late 2021 or early 2022.
- Expected price range: >10K INR
Rumours: Some have mentioned that this new card is likely called as Infinia Reserve/metal. We will need to wait and watch the space.
As spotted by few, one of the updated credit card MITC shows the new airline co-brand credit card named: HDFC Bank Emirates Skywards Diners Club at a fee of Rs.5000+GST.
I’m sure Emirates is a wonderful option for international travellers as almost everyone who fly to west from my circle, especially to USA prefer emirates.
So that’s definitely a good partnership. But well, whether we will get attractive rewards or not is the question. We may need to wait a while for that.
- Expected (assumption): Mid 2022, as there is no demand for international travel at the moment due to Covid-19.
It’s bit tough to predict as this segment is moving very slow in co-brand card partnerships, but HDFC might ideally team up with Marriott, Taj or Hyatt for a brand new co-brand “hotel/hospitality” credit card.
Further, we may even see one with online aggregators like MMT/Goibibo. I highly think so because they’ve mentioned “travel, hospitality” as more of different segment.
- Expected (assumption): Late 2021 or early 2022, as there is less demand for travel at the moment due to Covid-19.
Other Co-brand Cards
- Pharma: Practo/Apollo maybe
- Fintech: Paytm/Cred maybe (mostly Paytm, because of their recent tie-up)
- Telecom: Airtel/Jio maybe
- FMCG: Dmart/Bigbasket maybe
Co-brand airline: Vistara
As Jetairways co-brand card is out of picture, currently Amex must be loosing a lot of revenue on that segment and I’m sure they should be working on something.
Thinking about that, Vistara is a perfect co-brand partner to fill the space. They recently came up with the ability to transfer Amex points to Vistara, so Vistara card is highly expected from Amex.
If not, they may even go for Singapore airlines as that would not only cover SA but also vistara. Let’s see what they’re coming up with.
- Expected (assumption): Mid 2021, as there is no demand for travel cards at the moment due to Covid-19.
Co-brand hotel: Marriott
Marriott Credit card is a long due for India and I’ve been hoping this to happen since past 3 years. Maybe the SPG merger and all that could have delayed this a bit but now as Marriott too is running on low revenue, this may likely be the best time for Marriott to launch their credit cards in india.
Moreover, Marriott is getting good interest in India recently as I see they’re actively promoting Marriott Bonvoy on IPL 2020. So that’s a good sign to give life to this imagination.
- Expected (assumption): Maybe in 2021 or later
American Express Reserve is the topmost premium “credit” card with Amex India but its unbelievable to see such a low rewarding card to be placed at that position.
The newly added monthly vouchers and Taj Epicure benefit may give some value, but its still not an attractive product in my eyes in the current trend.
- Expected (assumption): It may get minor or major refresh in 2021 or hopefully sooner.
While 2020 is unfortunetly a bad year for everyone, I think it has definitely given a LOT OF TIME for credit card product managers to pause and think, create new products for a better future, perhaps a better India.
So even-though 2020 is not great when it comes to credit card products & offers, I’m expecting 2021 to see strong rebound in terms of new credit card product/feature offerings.
What’s your thoughts on the upcoming credit cards in India? Feel free to share in the comments below.
Axis Bank has launched Ace credit card which gives 2% unlimited cashback on almost all spends. 2% cashback is much high in comparison to Infinia cash redemption. It’s one of the best cashback credit card of India. Kindly review it.
One big name in the banking space is ICICI, but their portfolio of cards (credit AND debit) is horrendous to say the least. What gives? Are they just not trying to compete in this space?
Their Amazon Pay credit card is doing wonders, so maybe they’re celebrating that and forgot their premium customers 😀
Amazon pay credit card is seemingly useless
The best card for Amazon is simply click sbi card
Which gives 2.5% cashback with it’s 10x reward points
Plus 5% YONO UNLIMITED CASHBACK
That gives it a total of 7.5% unlimited Cash that’s huge
These things even SBI employees don’t know lol
How do u transact using yono. I have never received the 5% cashback.
They are planning to launch a Metal variant of the Emeralde card and have travel benefits like Axis’ Magnus / Reserve and other features to boot.
Hope this helps. 🙂
That would be amazing. Lets hope that happens 🙂
AU Bank is also setting up a team for Credit cards right now. They might launch it in late 2021.
I wondering if you can do an article regarding “Debit Cards with International Lounge Access”. On top of my mind there is citi bank debit cards but also after your mention of federal bank this made me think what are the other hidden gems with these perks 🙂
Its here, but will come up with updated list soon. Thanks.
The link you put in here only has the debit cards with domestic/International lounge acces inside India. I was talking about debit cards you can use for entering lounges in foreign countries. Like you mentioned federal bank debit card and some citi bank debit cards also have the same feature without using priority pass.
I’m soo much waiting for DBS credit cards
The banking experience with them has been amazing
I wish to get more of it via credit cards
Hopefully they bring something that would disrupt the already stale credit card industry in India
The Amazon Credit Card is one of the best I’m using it no doubt it gives you unlimited 5% cashback from Amazon. I hope HDFC gives some good options this time since its a market leader and specially relaxing their stupid CC process which is unnecessary
Standard Chartered must completely overhaul their Ultimate Card. They should introduce 10X rewards, conversion of reward points to cash, seamless booking of flight tickets and hotels with reward rates, waiver of annual fee on milestone spends and milestone spend bonuses. They should also provide unlimited airport lounge access. Unless they do all this, their card will not become popular. Even welcome bonus should be less restrictive
My views are exactly same for ULTIMATE card.
Credit is something u give an opportunity to use our spending capacity to enhance it our way u don’t need any other conditions like CIBIL ,bank statement ,etc.if a person without any CIBIL score or bank statement ,not possessing of any other credit cards are also shall be given the credit cards some times such persons who ever may be spoiled by maligned transactions does not have to wait for two years to recorrect the credit histroy but the banks has identify such accounts wihch perhaps has cleared all previous debts with good intention shall also given an opportunity to have a credit card.
Amex definitely stands apart from the cards mentioned, i am 8 year old customer and have never faced any challenge and have gained multiple rewards as part of Point redemption and their Taj stays. I think it was good move for SBI to partner with Amex to tap into “Super Rich” segment,
Waiting for the DBS card hope they will come up with something interesting but knowing their services I have doubt
I am using HDFC Diners black. My petrol expense is 10k per month. What is the best way to pay at petrol pump?
Buy hpcl gift card using amazonpay on amazon
But hpcl gift card always out of stock and it’s acceptance is very low only in very few big petrol pumps
Go for CITI IOC card. 2.67% of return as fuel on all Indian oil outlet. No other card is better for returns on fuel. If you spend 30000 in a year annual fee of 1000 is waived. So suitable for your need.
Swipe Amazon pay ICICI card at any petrol pump for Rs.100 , will be billed for Rs.101 & get Rs.10 as fuel surcharge waiver , thats 10 %.If you use for Rs.200 still Rs.10. waiver.
Citi indian oil is worst. As i have already posted many times they are not posting correct points now. Amex Icici hpcl
Coral is best with 4% return till spends of Rs4k after that its 1.5%.
Use RBL TravelEasy Super card for 10% cashback (upto 400 per month) on fuel. Spend 1L in year and get GV worth 1000 and annual fee waived off. ERR comes to be ~7%.
Use RBL TravelEasy Supercard for 10% cashback (upto 400 per month) on fuel. Spend 1L in a year and get voucher worth 1000 and annual fee of 999+GST waived off. ERR comes to be ~7%.
RBL TravelEasy supercard gives 10% CB (Upto 400 per month) on fuel. It has milestone reward of 1000 if spent 1L in a year. Also the annual fee (999+GST) is waived off. ERR of ~7%. For you it will be ~6%.
You can go for SBI BPCL CARD. It gives you 4.25 valueback on every 100₹ spends at Fuel Transactions or Bharat Petroleum across India. You can also go fir SBI OCTANE Card( abkut to launch), it will give you 6/7% valueback on fuel Spending.
You totally forgot İdfc First banks upcoming card.
It is something to look forward.
I’m only looking forward for their shares to go up, for now 😐
I won’t have any high hopes on DBS credit cards. I follow a couple of Singapore based credit card blogs and their card offerings are not so good.
You may add IDFC First Bank to the list. Few months back, I saw recruitment ads for their credit card team on LinkedIn. So a credit card may be coming from IDFC First Bank.
IDFC First Bank already have a credit card in place called as ONE METAL Card. So I dont think they would be launching a direct credit card anytime soon. Their books are not that great currently , and I suppose these partnerships ( CC with OneScore ) , Forex Card ( with GoNiyo ) only reduces their risks and at the same time allows them access to a customer base
Nothing from citibank india!!
Thanks Sid. Of all this, my wish list ranks Amex Marriott cards on top. Could be best in 2021.
High time they bring this to India too.
Wish HDFC should launch a more exclusive credit card much in the hype of Centurion and unlike Infinia which I guess is fully exploited in it’s exclusiveness…
Paytm has announced new launch of credit cards, with an aim to reach 20L ‘young’ users in a year.
Their statement says:
Paytm Credit cards will have a transparent & compelling rewards program with assured cashback on every transaction. The accrued rewards point will have no expiry and users will also be able to utilize those for various payments in the Paytm ecosystem. Since the cashback will be received directly in the form of Paytm Gift Vouchers, they can be spent anywhere. It will also give great lifestyle benefits for the users in the form of discount vouchers & complimentary memberships across travel, entertainment, food, and many such categories.
Their Citi partnership did not work out the way they thought. Hence they seem to explore other issuers.
They have tied up with SBI and launching in Nov. 589 annual fee. 3% cashback on paytm mall, movies & travel. Not exactly clear if movies and travel must be booked on paytm only for this reward. Paytm first membership. 2% CB on spends made via paytm app. 1% on all other spends. Nothing on wallet loads and fuel though. Points don’t expire. Noteworthy that they have started charging 2% on loading via CC and that applies even with their own credit card.
PayTm Citi’s minimum age was 22. New one should atleast be 21.
Being bored from Infinia LTF since last six years, HDFC must come with a more exclusive product much in the hype of Centurion by keeping the eligibility super high with low fees or low eligiblity with very high fees, I guess that what’s AMEX does with the Platinum Charge Card, as Infinia is already an exploited product in my sense…
Marriot has posted a job opportunity titled “Manager, Partnerships and Cards, India”
Looks like Marriot is finally here. Fingers crossed.
Hi Sid, could you pls do a review of best cards for wallet loads? Or other way round also – best wallets for your cards, now that paytm has made 2% charges mandatory for loading with CC. Is the credit card party with wallets getting over?
Will be an interesting read with cards like Amex, SC Ultimate, YFE, BoB, Millennia, Axis Vistara, etc suited to wallets; and so many wallets like Mobikwik, Paytm, Phonepe, Payzapp, Freecharge, Amazon etc.
Esp now all increasingly trying to move to UPI and discouraging CC or even DC.
I see an Amex variant of the SBI Elite card on SBI card website. Is that it or is there going to be another card above this on the Amex network from SBI?
Looks like there’s an Amex variant for the SBI Prime card too.
Really looking forward to the Federal Bank credit card. I have an excellent banking relationship with them for the last 7 years. They really do listen to customers, and even the debit card has reward points and priority account customers have many other facilitations like unlimited ATM transactions from Non-Federal machines, no charges for RD and so on. They also have many regular offers on popular shopping sites like Amazon and Big Basket. I had an accessibility related issue with their passbook application on Android, and as I posted a review on Playstore and wrote to my branch, the IT department got in touch, understood the problem and fixed it within a week.
Didn’t like their SBI partnered credit card though, doesn’t offer anything more than the Simply click I have or the Simply save I had earlier. But the independent card should be good, and considering their debit cards, the CC should have some attractive features.
New SBI Credit card above Elite will be “SBI AURUM”. Will be launched to the market soon with yearly fees of 9999 + GST.
Further details yet to be revealed
It seems Elite card holders will receive the communication after the lunch and points accumulated on this card will never expire
SBI super Premium card SBI AURUM with 9999 plus GST
AURUM by SBI Card has the below mentioned benefits
• 40K AURUM Reward Points as Joining Gift worth INR 10,000. Rewards do not expire
• Monthly & Annual Milestone benefits, earn as you spend with
• TATA Cliq INR 1500 monthly voucher on spend of 1L in previous month
• INR 5000 Reliance brand limited (LUXE) Voucher on spend of 5L in the year
• INR 10,000 TAJ vouchers on spend of 10L in the year
• Various other memberships include
• Entertainment – Amazon Prime memberships, Discovery Plus membership
• Dining. – EazyDiner prime & Zomato Pro
• Grocery – bbstar Membership
• Eye care – Lenskart Gold Membership
• Travel : Unlimited International Lounges
• 4 movie tickets free every month worth INR 12000 for the year
• 4 Reward Point for every Rs.100 spent except Fuel Spends
• Touching Customers travel along with Dreamfolks membership
So many new cards from HDFC. Eagerly waiting.
So many new cards from HDFC. Eagerly waiting…
HDFC & Paytm partnership confirmed. Waiting for the details to come out.
Some info is now available in Paytm App. Some Early access program is offered to some users. Overall looks quite similar to existing Citi and SBI cards from Paytm.
Paytm HDFC Bank Mobile Credit Card is a digital only credit card that offers incredible cashback, matches your unique style and is ready to be yours instantly. Upto 2% Cashback on Paytm Mall, Movies & Mini App, 1% Cashback on all other Paytm spends & 0.5% Cashback on all other spends.
Paytm HDFC Bank Credit Card offers unlimited cashback across spends on essentials, shopping, entertainment, travel and more. Upto 3% Cashback on Paytm Mall, Movies & Travel, 2% Cashback on all other Paytm spends & 1% Cashback on all other spends. Users can additionally earn up to Rs. 1200 cashback annually i.e. 1% cashback upon spending INR 10,000 every month capped at INR 100 per month. The card also offers complimentary 1year membership of Paytm First Program.
Paytm HDFC Bank Select Credit Card offers unlimited cashback across spends on essentials, shopping, entertainment, travel and more. Upto 5% Cashback on Paytm Mall, Movies & Travel, 2% cashback on all other Paytm spends & 1% Cashback on all other spends. Additionally, users can earn gift vouchers worth 2000 in a year. The card also offers access to 8 domestic lounge visits in a year and a complimentary 1year membership of Paytm First Program.
Paytm HDFC Bank Business Credit Card honours and recognises your enterprising spirit by offering unlimited cashback along with Business benefits. Upto 3% Cashback on Paytm Mall and monthly bill payments & 1% Cashback on all other spends, Cash withdrawals upto Rs. 10,000 without any cash advance fee. Subscription offers on expense management and other business solutions from time to time. The card also offers complimentary 1year membership of Paytm First Program
Paytm HDFC Bank select Business Credit Card honours and recognises your enterprising spirit by offering unlimited cashback with Business benefits. Upto 5% Cashback on Paytm Mall, 3% cashback on Paytm Travel & 1% Cashback on all other spends, Insurance benefits i.e. Personal Accidental Insurance cover upto 30 Lakhs. Subscription offers on expense management and other business solutions from time to time. The card also offers complimentary 1year membership of Paytm First Program.
Thanks for sharing the info, Raja.
I see Jupiter is going to soon join the credit card game. They started gathering opinion on credit cards and what is expectation from customers