Credit Cards in India- Overview

Credit cards are becoming increasingly popular because of their convenience and ease of use. It is a staple of financial transactions loaded with the pre-approved amount which the cardholder may use for various purchases and pay for them later. You can use it to buy anything from jewelry to groceries. The use of credit cards eliminates the need to carry cash everywhere.

One of the great benefits of using this instant credit availing card is that the card issuer allows you to repay the amount in full without levying additional interest for almost up to 50 days (interest-free period).

How Credit Card interest rate is applicable?

If you pay your credit card bills on time and in full, each month, you are not required to pay any interest on the money spent on your purchases. However, if you make only a partial payment, the issuer will charge credit card interest on the remaining outstanding amount - or balance - that will be carried over to the next month's bill.

You can find credit cards offered by top banks along with their features, benefits, fees, and latest offers, everything in a single place.

Eligibility Criteria to apply for a Credit Card

To get a quick credit card approval, it is a must to ensure that you meet certain eligibility requirements. Each of the financial institutions has set certain parameters to give credit card approval. Here are the most common credit card eligibility requirements to get a credit card in India:

  • Applicant must have a minimum age of 18 years
  • The minimum income salary must be between Rs.1 lakh and Rs.3 lakh.
  • Applicant should either be salaried or self-employed

Documents required to apply for a Credit Card

Here is the list of some of the basic documents required you will need to submit:

Both Self-employed and Salaried

  • Completed application form
  • Passport-size photographs
  • Proof of identity (copy of PAN, Aadhaar, passport, etc.)
  • Proof of residence (utility bills, driving license, PAN, Aadhaar, etc.)

Salaried- Income proof

  • Latest salary slips
  • Form 16
  • Bank statements

Self-employed- Income Proof

  • Income proof
  • Statement of accounts
  • Proof of business

If you’re applying for a student credit card, you will have to provide your student ID card along with your application form.

Features and Benefits of Credit Card

Welcome Gift

Many of the banks and other financial institutions are offering exciting welcome gifts to the new credit card applicants at the time of issuing a credit card to them. The welcome gift could be discounts, vouchers, or reward points.

Reward Program

All credit cards generally have a reward program that allows the card users to make some reward points on each transaction they are making using a credit card.

Fuel Surcharge waiver

The credit card provider is offering a fuel surcharge waiver to the cardholders on spending a specific amount on fuel each day.

Cashback benefits

Credit card users get certain cashback benefits on making purchases at certain places like spending groceries or doing online transactions using a credit card.

Lifestyle Benefits

The cardholders can enjoy numerous lifestyle benefits on their credit cards like offers on shopping, wellness, dining, entertainment, etc.

Travel Benefits

The main travel benefits offered for using the Credit Card are Airmiles, airport lounge access, travel insurance, airline offers, hotel bookings, etc.

Airport Lounge Access:

Some of the credit cards offer complimentary airport lounge access to the cardholders that varies from one card issuer to other.

Add-on Cards:

Many banks offering cardholders an add-on facility. It means they can add the names of their immediate family member to their credit card account.

Insurance Coverage

Some of the premier cards provide a comprehensive insurance policy that is giving coverage against credit card outstanding, lost baggage, air accident, lost card, etc.

Balance Transfer Credit Card

Credit card holders can transfer the outstanding balance of their existing cards issued by one bank to another credit card account.

Global acceptance

Most credit cards issued in India are International Credit Cards and are accepted by various merchants all over the world.

EMI conversions

The feature allows credit card members to convert their credit card transactions into easy monthly installments (EMI).

Credit Score

Owning a credit card helps you build a healthy CIBIL score. By making timely payments on your card and in full, you receive a positive credit score from a credit bureau, CIBIL.

Some of the most popular Credit Cards feature-wise you are most interested in

Credit Cards come in many varieties -- from basic Credit Cards, with reasonable credit limits and plain vanilla features, to super-premium cards that are a great accessory to a high-flying lifestyle. There are cards for your regular salaried people, the frequent flyers, students, the fun-loving crowd, the cautious savers, and so on.

Basic Credit Cards

It is the most preferred choice for those who wish to try out using a credit card. You will be given a small credit limit based on your income and you can make purchases with the given limit. There are no additional benefits given on transacting with the card.

Secured Credit Cards

Individuals who have a poor credit history can get hold of a secured credit card by making a deposit equal to the credit limit of the card. This deposit acts as a security to issue credit cards for banks. If you make payments on time consecutively for a few months, the bank may return the security deposit.

Travel Credit Cards

Travel cards make you enjoy exciting discounts and cashback on all airline ticket bookings, bus, and rail ticket bookings, and more. These types of credit cards make you earn reward points on every purchase. You can easily redeem all the reward points to earn Airmiles that can be used to avail discounts on future airline bookings. Enjoy complimentary access to VIP airport lounge access and more. It is also known as Airmiles credit card.

Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Many credit cards offer you the ability to transfer the balance to a credit card which is offering a low introductory rate on balance transfer for a certain time. If you are willing to save money on a high-interest rate balance on an existing credit card, choose a balance transfer Credit Card.

Reward Credit Cards

The reward credit cards are those that offer rewards on credit card purchases. Mainly there are three types of rewards given: cashback points, bonus points, and travel points. Some people prefer the flexibility of cash-back rewards, while others like points that can be redeemed for cash or other merchandise. Travel rewards cards remain a favorite among frequent travelers because of the ability to earn free flights, hotel stays, and other travel perks.

Low-interest credit cards

Low-interest credit cards are those that are offering a low interest rate as compared to other cards from a similar category. Don’t mix this category from balance transfer credit cards as the interest rate will not be as low as 0% and the rates are not valid for a specified time as in the latter case.

No Annual Fee Credit Cards

It is the best entry-level credit card that comes with no annual fee for usage. It is a kind of basic credit card or slightly above that level that offers few benefits. It is one of the best credit cards for beginners.

Cashback Credit Cards

These credit cards are one of the best credit cards that are offering a certain portion of the purchased amount as cashback whenever you are making a transaction with the card. There are certain terms and conditions of using a cashback credit. One must go through before making any transactions.

Lifestyle Credit Cards

This type of credit card gives benefits when the card is swiped for lifestyle expenses such as premiere screenings, nightlife, fashion shows, and more.

Entertainment Credit cards

The Entertainment Credit cards offer discounts and rewards on the purchase of entertainment products. You could enjoy offers such as buy one movie ticket and get another free. Apart from giving free movie tickets, they are also offering shopping benefits, rewards to be won on lifestyle products. Some cards also offer access to golf clubs.

Premium Credit Cards

These Credit Cards come into the picture when your lifestyle has a pinch of luxury factor to it. It comes with more travel benefits like domestic and international lounge access, a better reward rate, etc. These are also known as Gold Credit Cards of India.

Super Premium Credit Cards

Super-premium credit cards are those that come with a higher reward rate, higher credit limits, unlimited lounge access, better card-linked benefits & much more perks that you would need to run a premium lifestyle. Benefits include exclusive lounge access, complimentary golf games, personal concierge, best-in-class rewards, and fine dining discounts. These cards come with high credit limits and are usually by invitation only.

Student Credit Cards

Credits cards issued to college-going students are referred to as student Credit cards. These cards are valid for five years and have very low interest rates. The card is issued to students who are 18 years old or above. These cards have very low Credit limits compared to other Credit cards in the market. There are many banks and financial institutions that are offering student Credit cards as add-on cards to their parents’ cards. Student Credit cards also offer deals on shopping as well as food expenses.

How to choose the right Credit Card?

We Compare 50+ credit cards from all top banks that offer credit cards in India. Also, we help you get the right credit card basis your profile and requirements.

Your spending pattern: It is one of the most significant factors considered for choosing the right credit card.

Your reward type: The credit card is offering rewards in terms of air miles, rewards, and cashback

Fees: Comparison of interest rates offered on different cards and the fees and charges applicable

Offers on the card: Some cards have great offers and discounts when you use them to shop on a particular website or when you use them in a specific store.

Welcome bonus or gift: Some of the credit card issuers are also giving welcome gifts and joining bonuses on applying for a credit card. Gifts could be the latest gadget or bonus points and miles.

Payment options: Most cards will allow you to make payments via multiple channels.

Top Credit Card providers of India

To help you to enjoy the top credit cards, here is the list of the best credit card providers in India. Our list will help you in finding the right credit card with features that match your spending habits.

1. Axis Bank

Axis Bank offers a wide range of credit cards to cater to the varied need of the customers. The travel-centric cards provide great benefits such as complimentary airport lounge access, frequent flyer membership, and discounts. The three most popular travel cards are-

2. Bank of Baroda

Bank of Baroda offers a range of credit cards that cater to the needs loaded with special benefits, privileges, and promised savings on every usage. The credit card application process is also simple and easy.

3. Citi Bank

Citibank credit cards become the preferred choice of many due to amazing benefits that it offers. An excellent rewards program, Airmiles points, and considerable savings on fuel are among the most popular benefits that Citibank credit cards provide.

4. HDFC Bank

HDFC Bank is India’s largest credit card issuer and offers 40+ credit cards that cater to the varying lifestyle needs and spending habits of consumers.

5. HSBC Bank

HSBC is a multinational bank operating in India. Among the various products offered by the bank, credit cards are the most popular. It offers a wide variety of benefits such as reward points for each purchase made on shopping or fuel, cashback, and discounts. Apart from this, a few credit cards of HSBC also offer cashback offers on transactions.

6. ICICI Bank

ICICI Bank is among the best credit card companies in India and offers some amazing credit card options that make the users earn rewards and cash back but also help them make big-ticket purchases and pay in easy installments.

7. IDFC Bank

IDFC First is getting a good name recently because of their premium credit cards. These credit cards can help you to multiply your reward points 10 times. The rate of interest on these cards starts from just 9% per annum.

8. IndusInd Bank

IndusInd Bank offers credit cards to its customer based on their requirement and daily needs. These cards provide excellent rewards to the users along with spend-based benefits.

9. Kotak Bank

Kotak Mahindra Bank offers different types of credit cards suiting the varied needs of individuals and businesses. Kotak credit cards are designed to give value back to the users in the form of rewards, cashback, discounts, fee waivers, and more.

10. RBL Bank

RBL Bank is counted among the most preferred banks in India. In its varied product gamut, credit cards are the most sought-after. The cards are designed to meet the needs of different customer segments.

11. SBI Credit Card

State Bank of India is equipped with wide credit card types; each designed after analyzing the financial needs of the cardholders. From low finance charges to an excellent rewards program, SBI credit cards offer several benefits.

12. Standard Chartered Bank

Standard Chartered Bank is among the top multinational credit card companies in India. It offers some amazing credit cards that give movie vouchers, cash back at departmental stores, and several other lifestyle benefits. Some popular SCB Credit Cards are-

13. Yes Bank

Credit cards by YES Bank are preferred by people because of the various benefits that they offer such as rewards, lounge access, movie vouchers, and fuel surcharge waiver.

List of Credit Card providers IndiaLends has collaborated with

To help you to enjoy the top credit cards, IndiaLends has partnered with banks that offer some of the unique and best credit cards with unlimited offerings and cashbacks.

SBI Credit Cards
HDFC Bank Credit Cards
ICICI Bank Credit Cards
Yes Bank Credit Cards
RBL Credit Cards
IndusInd Bank Credit Cards

Top Credit Cards of India

Whether you want cashback, rewards, discounts, fuel surcharge waiver, lounge access, free food, free hotel stays, or free business class tickets, you can find everything here.

Here is a list of the top 10 credit cards and is based on the different categories they fall under.

1. SBI SimplyClick Credit Card
2. HDFC Regalia First Credit Card
3. Citi Premier Miles Credit Card
4. Amazon Pay ICICI Credit Card
5. RBL Cookies Credit Card
6. Indian Oil Citi Platinum Credit Card
7. ICICI Bank Coral Credit Card
8. SBI student plus advantage Credit Card

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Credit Card?

The credit card is an essential financial tool that makes it easier for the credit card holder to make purchases and pay later for the same. It comes with a pre-approved limit from the bank. The credit limit is decided based on the credit profile of the customer. This spent money must be returned by the credit card user on a due date which is decided by the credit card issuer.

What are the types of Credit Cards available?

Starting from travel credit cards to shopping, there are different types of credit cards are available today to fit various needs of the customer. A few types of credit cards are secured credit cards, credit cards for rewards, fuel credit cards, entertainment credit cards, co-branded credit cards, student credit cards, and cashback credit cards.

What does Credit Card cost?

To get a credit card, you are required to pay the initial cost. The banks are usually charging a joining fee which ranges from Rs 200 to Rs 25000 based on the type of card you are applying for. The annual fee ranges between Rs299 and Rs8,000. As a promotional offer, sometimes the card-issuing company waives off all charges for a year.

Does applying for a Credit Card hurt my credit score?

When you apply for a credit card, it leaves little impact on your score. The impact is temporary only. Hard Pulls stays on your credit report for a minimum of 2 years, but the credit score effect wears off after one year.

Can I apply for a credit card with a poor credit score?

If you are having a poor credit score, you can then also apply for a credit card. Apply for a secured credit card. It is the best option that is secured against collateral such as a fixed deposit. It will also help in building up a good credit score.

What if I cannot pay the credit card bill?

If you are not able to pay a credit card bill on time, you will be levied with late payment charges, increased interest rates, and a lower credit score. If you continue to miss your payment for so long, your card can be frozen, and your debt could be sold to a collection agency.

What should I think before getting a Credit Card?

Credit Cards are the most powerful financial tools which not only help you to build a strong credit history but if used rationally they can benefit you in numerous ways. If you are taking the initial step towards applying for your first credit card, here are few important things to remember.

  • Credit Card Types
  • Income
  • Fee and interest charges
  • Credit utilization ratio
  • Benefits credit card is offering
  • Credit limit
  • Credit utilization ratio
  • Payment schedule
  • Interest-free period

Visa Vs Master Card – What is the difference?

As far as most consumers are concerned, there is no real difference between Mastercard and Visa. The two are both widely accepted in over two hundred countries and it is very rare to find a location that will accept one but not the other.

The only real difference that stands between Visa and Mastercard is that your card works on the payment network that the company operates. A Visa card won't work on Mastercard's network, and vice versa.