Every now and then we must be receiving a phone call from one or the other call centers requesting us to apply for a credit card and also tells us the innumerable benefits it comes along with.
What is a Credit Card?
A Credit Card is a small plastic card, issued by a bank, which is linked to a credit account. Which means that instead of borrowing the whole amount at one time, as you do in case of a loan, we are allowed to borrow the amount within the credit limit at the time of purchase of any goods or services.
Every Credit Card comes with a credit cycle of 30 – 50 days generally. This means that within this period we have to pay back the total amount of money we have used to make payments through our credit card. If we pay the total due amount after this period then we may have to pay some interest.
Types of Credit Cards
Frankly speaking, there is no single credit card that can be said to be best suited for everyone. There are many types of cards and each card comes with its individual benefits and offers. So it depends upon the individual to decide which credit card is best for them considering their lifestyle and requirements.
Credit cards can be broadly categorized into 6 types.
They are –
- Lifestyle credit cards are generally designed for those people who love luxurious living.
- These cards come with a lifetime of rewarding travel, dining, shopping and entertainment experiences.
- These lifestyle cards not only offer rewards on our lifestyle expenditure but also help us save money while we are shopping by giving us great offers and discounts.
- A Reward credit card generally comes with an incentive or rewards scheme while we shop.
- This reward scheme can be in the form of cashback, frequent flier points, merchandise discounts or simply reward points to redeem afterward. Some reward credit cards encourage a particular type of expense like grocery, travel, fuel or dinning.
- This category of credit card is for those individuals who love shopping, either online or in-person.
- Shopping credit cards come with huge rewards on popular spending categories like grocery, departmental stores, dining or movies. These cards are specially designed for rewarding the shopaholics.
Travel & Fuel Cards
- Travel credit cards offer valuable rewards to their users when they travel for either business purpose or leisure tours.
- These cards come with incentives like priority check-ins, complementary access to airport lounges, checked baggage. From reward points and travel miles to luxury perks, these cards come with all.
- Fuel cards waive the surcharge and also add reward points to our credit card when we buy fuel across all petrol pumps.
- Business credit cards come as a useful medium to save while we spend by giving us excellent reward points in the form of cashback, hotel stays and good discounts. This means we are saving enough money even while spending money for our business purposes.
Banking Partnerships Cards / Co-Branded Cards
- These credit cards come with the partnership of banks other than the issuing bank. With co-branded cards, we can get reward points or merchandise discounts when we purchase from the partner brand.
- So while choosing a credit card for oneself, we should first try to understand what our need is and for what purpose we need to have a credit card.
- There are numerous credit cards available in the market offering plans and bonanzas. But we have to choose what is best for us.
- The above categorization helps us find our best-suited credit card among the rest.
- Below is a list of credit cards which come under either of these categories.
Top 10 Credit Cards Available
After going through many credit cards which are available in the market, we have prepared this list of top-performing cards which according to us are highly beneficial credit cards. We are sure that this list will definitely help you in choosing your dream credit card.
1. Standard Chartered Platinum Reward Card
One of the best card in the Indian market today is the “Standard Chartered Platinum Credit Card”.
- This card is a beginner-friendly credit card offering its users good reward points on movie tickets, eating out and fuelling vehicles.
- This card offers 5 Reward points at every Rs 150 spent on fuel at any Indian fuelling station. 5 Reward Points on dining at the selected but large range of dining outlets. In addition to all these, BookMyShow offers are also provided to these cardholders.
- The card is provided at a fairly low annual cost of Rs 250 which is waived off at a low spend of Rs 30,000 per annum.
- As the darker side of the Ying-Yang, it is not available across all the cities and on top of that if one is not a salaried individual between an age-frame of 21-65 years and without a decent CIBIL Score, it is more likely that it would not be approved for them.
2. Indian Oil Titanium Citibank Credit Card
- One of India’s best fuel card is this Indian Oil Titanium Citibank Credit card. It gives cashback on fuel in terms of Points. This card is for those, who use their own means of communication to anywhere they go, or at least fill their vehicle to the brim twice-to-thrice a month.
- With the use of Indian Oil Titanium Citibank Credit Card, we can earn 4 points on every Rs 150 purchase at Indian Oil dealerships.
- It also fetches us, 2 points on spends of Rs 150 at the approved list groceries and supermarkets. The points we earn with this card values Rs 1/ per Point and are redeemable at any Indian Oil outlet for free fuel.
- The annual fee of this card is Rs 1,000 if the yearly spend of yours, using the card, is not Rs 30,000. The monthly rate of interest in this card is 3.25% and charged annually at 39%.
3. Citi Bank Rewards Credit Card
- If the departmental store and Apparel shopping is your thing, the card is for you. This card comes with a handy feature to instantly earn and redeem points. This card is full of rewards.
- On basic terms, this card gives 10 Reward Points at every Rs 125 shopping at departmental stores and apparels shopping. It also provides 1 Reward point per Rs 125 purchase on any other goods.
- Additionally, 2500 Reward points are credited on the issue of this card. An additional 1000 Reward Points on the first spend of Rs 1000, in the 60-days duration of the card issuance. There are 300 extra Reward points if the monthly card spend exceeds Rs 30,000.
- The card comes with an annual fee of Rs 1000, which gets waived off with the expenditure of Rs 30,000 in the membership year. Wow!!! this card looks good.
4. Kotak PVR Gold Credit Card
- If you love watching movies then this is probably the best movie card in the market. It has a single drawback, that it is just applicable with PVR Cinemas. This problem is sorted in most of the places, as we have many PVR Cinemas in major cities around us. Hence, it can be beneficial for people living in those cities. It provides a good pack of deals in just Rs 499 annually.
- The user of this card can avail 24 free PVR movie tickets, where 2 tickets can be availed per month. There is an additional free movie ticket with the first swipe made with the card.
- Kotak PVR Gold also provides checkpoint bonus of 1 movie ticket at Rs 10,000 and 2 movie tickets at Rs 15,000 spend checkpoint with the card on the monthly billing cycle. This credit card comes combined with insurance cover for the lost and stolen card.
5. Axis Bank’s Neo Credit Card
- This credit card is a shopping credit card offered by Axis bank. There are some specialties that can be beneficial in terms of saving money.
- The Joining fee of the card is only Rs. 250 which is very easily waived off at the spending of Rs. 2500 within the 45 days of issue of the card.
- The card also provides 10% cashback on mobile recharges, online shopping and movie tickets. One of the unique features of this card is that there is an option of converting any spend above Rs 2500 to easy EMIs.
- Additionally, it also provides a 10% discount on any purchase of above Rs 500 from Myntra. It also gives gift vouchers for BookMyShow, Myntra, Jabong, etc.
6. SBI Elite Credit Card
- This comes under the premium credit cards. The joining fee is Rs 4999 + GST. This is suitable for you if you are a high spender since the renewal fee of Rs 4999 + tax is waived off if you spend 10 lakhs annually using your SBI Elite credit card.
- You will get a welcome gift worth Rs 5000. You will get gift vouchers from Yatra, Hush Puppies/Bata, Marks & Spencer, Pantaloons, and Shoppers Stop. You can choose anyone from these.
- This has the best Book My Show offer at present. You will get 2 movie tickets worth Rs 250 each month. This means you will get Free Movie Tickets worth Rs 6000 every year.
- You can earn from 10000 to 50000 Bonus Reward Points worth up to Rs 12500 every year. These bonus Reward points are achieved on annual spends of Rs 3 lakhs to 8 lakhs.
- You will earn 2 reward points per Rs 100 spend through your card. You can earn 5X Reward Points on Dining, Grocery and Departmental Store. There is also 1% Fuel Surcharge Waiver across all petrol pumps.
- You can enjoy complimentary domestic Lounge access twice every quarter at airport lounges in India. You can also access around 850 airport lounges worldwide through your Priority Pass. For the list of lounges visit Visasignature.com/worldcard.mastercard.com
7. AMEX Platinum Travel Credit Card
- This card is usually used by those who are frequent travelers and can be widely used worldwide for paying hotel bills and other travel expenses.
- The First-year joining fee of this card is Rs.3,500 plus applicable taxes and the second year onward it is Rs.5,000 plus applicable taxes.
- The individuals availing this card get a welcome gift of 5,000 Milestone Bonus and membership Rewards Points redeemable for Travel Vouchers worth Rs.4000.
- The cardholder on spending Rs.1.90 lacs in a year and get Travel Vouchers worth up to Rs.7,700 and also get 4 complimentary visits per year(limited to one complimentary visit per quarter) to 12 airport lounges across India.
- Enjoy benefits on one’s Travel bookings with MakeMyTrip.com
- The cardholder on spending Rs.4 lacs in a year get additional travel Vouchers worth up to Rs.11,800 and also get a voucher worth Rs.10,000 from the Taj Hotels, Resorts, and Palaces.
8. HDFC Regalia Credit Card
- The HDFC Regalia First Credit Card comes with special privileges and benefits for its privileged customers such as excellent rewards and other benefits on shopping, travel, and entertainment. Airport lounge access and exclusive dining privileges are also offered by this credit card and become customers favorite choice.
- This card allows airport lounge access worldwide. Customer can get access to over 850 airport lounges globally after making at least 4 valid transactions within the last 60 days and be eligible for Priority Pass Membership.
- This card also offers dining privileges at more than 300 top restaurants among prominent hotel chains such as Hyatt, The Leela, The Gateway, Taj, Marriott, etc.
- No fuel surcharge on all fuel purchased using the card on fuel purchase of at least Rs.400 up to Rs. 500 in every billing cycle.
- Card Holder can earn reward points on transactions done through the card and can be used to buy a whole range of products such as airline tickets (both domestic and international), making hotel bookings, movie tickets, mobile, and DTH recharge, and so on.
- The nominee of the cardholder gets complimentary insurance up to Rs. 50 lakh in case there is an air accident or medical insurance of Rs.10 lakh can be availed if the cardholder is in a foreign country.
9. ICICI Bank Coral Credit Card – VISA
This card is one of the most popular cards among senior executives of corporates and persons who are frequent travelers and movie lovers.
Some of the salient features of this card are as under:-
- The cardholders of this card can earn up to 10,000 bonus PAYBACK points on every anniversary year
- There is an offer of 1 complimentary domestic airport lounge visit per quarter
- Also, 1 complimentary Railway lounge visit per quarter and 2 complimentary movie tickets every month under the Buy One Get One offer through www.bookmyshow.com.
10. RBL Platinum Advantage Super Card
A credit card offered by RBL Bank with the power of four cards in one. This card helps an individual in his or her spending habits and lifestyle and helps one to enjoy all their spending like grocery, fuel, etc. coupled with best-in-class rewards, vouchers, and discounts.
The salient features of this card are as under:
- Emergency Advance: The card converts the available cash limit into a Personal Loan for 3 months at no interest, once a year. (Processing fee of 2.5% applicable; min Rs.500)
- Easy Cash: The RBL platinum advantage super card provides interest-free withdrawal of ones available cash limit from all ATMs in India up to their billing date; maximum period of 50 Days. (Processing fee of 2.5% applicable; min Rs.100)
- This card gives 1 Reward Point for every Rs. 100 spend on all your spending’s and 20X Reward Points on Grocery items purchased (Maximum = 1,000 Reward Points in a month)
- This card also provides 10X Reward Points on fuel refilling (Maximum = 1,000 Reward Points in a month) and avail a fuel surcharge waiver of up to Rs.100 per month.
- The card also comes with an offer of 20% discount on BookMyShow,15 times a year up to Rs. 100 in each transaction and a welcome gift of 2,000 Reward Points and get a waiver of next year annual fee on spending Rs. 50,000 in a year
Things to Remember
No doubt a credit card is a powerful financial tool but while using a credit card we should always remember to restrain ourselves from impulsive buying.
There are certain precautions that should be taken care of while using a credit card. Like:
- While we are using a card at merchant outlets, one should ensure that it is being swiped in his presence. In case, any unauthorized person gets hold of the card, the card can be cloned. The credit card has impact information like name of the cardholder, expiry date of the card and CVV (Card Verification Value), a three-digit security number on the back of the card. This information, if captured by somebody else can be used for doing online transactions. The swapping of the card should also be done in the presence of CCTV (Closed Circuit Television)
- The customer/person while using his credit card to ensure that the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) on which the card is being used is a secured website i.e. starts with “https” where “S” stands for secure.
- One should avoid doing transactions using the card from a cyber cafe; rather one should do such transactions from his/her personal computer, laptop, etc. This will help an individual to avoid misuse of the card.
- The credit card holder should not share any information like date of birth, complete credit card number and its pin number to anyone at any point of time.
- Any unused card should be kept separately or destroyed so as to avoid being stolen or misused by anyone.
- The cardholder should check his credit card statement at frequent intervals to ensure that there are no unauthorized transactions and if any he should block his card immediately, and report such transactions to the concerned authority.
Credit cards can prove to be extremely helpful at the time of need if used intelligently and with a little bit of budgeting. I am sure this blog will help you to decide the best credit card for you and also use it carefully. But I would suggest that before applying for a credit card please compare it with the latest cards available in the market because offers and benefits keep on changing. This will help you to decide the best credit card for your use.