How to Choose the Best Credit Card in India

India is slowly shifting from a debit card-dominant market to one where credit cards are becoming a favourite. In fact, as per the latest RBI data, credit card issuance has grown with a CAGR of 20%. The rise in popularity has also resulted in a plethora of options to choose from, which can make picking the best credit card in India overwhelming. 

Nonetheless, knowing how to do that is crucial because here’s what can happen if you don’t: 

  • You may end up paying high charges for poor rewards
  • You may earn reward points that you can’t use as the offers are irrelevant
  • Your credit card may also charge an annual fee, for which you may not be getting enough value.

To avoid this, take the following aspects into account to select the best credit card in India for your needs. 

How You Plan to Use the Card

  • Credit card companies offer different types of cards that align with the various spending needs.
  • For instance, if you plan to use your card for everyday spending, you should opt for a credit card with offers at stores and outlets that you frequent
  • However, a travel credit card may be an ideal option if you are more likely to spend your money on trips.

Credit Limit

  • Issuers offer a limit based on several factors – including your income and eligibility
  • Check where you can get the maximum limit to make the most of your card
  • Some issuers even offer a credit card limit increase to enhance your spending ability when possible after a few months

Credit Score Requirements

  • Reviewing the eligibility requirements, including the credit score prerequisites, is important as it significantly impacts your odds of approval.
  • Most issuers require you to have a score above 700; however, it varies.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

  • It represents the interest rate that will be charged on the rollover balance on your credit card.
  • When choosing a card, look for the one that has lower rates than the average credit card APR in India.
  • This will help you keep your costs low in case you miss paying your bill.
  • Note that you will need an exceptional credit score if you wish to secure a card with attractive interest rates.

Other Charges

  • Associated fees, such as annual and joining fees, can significantly raise the cost of using credit cards. 
  • Other charges, like late payment, balance transfer, cash advance, and foreign transaction fees, may also apply depending on the service you use.
  • Carefully compare and assess the T&C to choose one that will have lower costs.
  • Issuers are required to provide this information, and you must compare different card options to find a cost-effective variant.  

Rewards and Redemption Structure

  • Credit cards generally offer rewards in the form of points, miles, and cashback.
  • These rewards are offered on select transactions and can be redeemed in certain ways.
  • You need to choose a card whose structure meets your preferences to maximise your benefits.
  • It helps to research about the options to redeem these points. Cards with an overly complicated reward redemption process can hamper the experience. 

Features and Benefits of Top Credit Cards in India 

Here’s an overview of some of the best credit cards in India:

Card NameFeatures and Benefits
ICICI Bank Coral Credit CardJoining Fees- ₹500 + Taxes or NilAnnual Fees- ₹500 + Taxes or NilYou can get one complimentary domestic airport and railway lounge access every quarter by spending more than ₹5,000 in a quarterYou can also claim a 25% discount on a minimum of two movie tickets per transaction through BookMyShow or INOX
HDFC Bank Diners Club Black Credit CardJoining Fees- ₹10,000 + TaxesAnnual Fees- ₹10,000 + TaxesIt offers a complimentary annual subscription to Club Marriott, Forbes, and Amazon PrimeYou can earn 5 reward points on every ₹150 spent using the cardIt provides 2X rewards on weekend dining 
Axis Bank Reserve Credit CardYou get 50,000 reward points on card activationThis card provides 8 complimentary VIP concierge services in a year at airports for hassle-free travelYou can enjoy 50 rounds of golf with this credit card 
SBI Card ELITEAnnual Fees- ₹4,999 + TaxesRenewal Fees- ₹4,999 + TaxesIt offers a welcome e-gift voucher worth ₹5,000You can get complimentary movie tickets worth ₹6,000 every yearYou can claim up to 50,000 bonus reward points on spending over ₹12,500 in a year 
OneCard Credit CardJoining Fees- NilAnnual Fees- NilIt offers 5X reward points on your top 2 spending categoriesEMI facility to pay for your large purchases in parts Complimentary add-on cardsNo rewards redemption fees

When choosing the best credit card in India, try and get a holistic understanding of your options. If you want a card that offers attractive rewards and offers with no annual or joining fees, get the One Credit Card.

Using this premium metal card, you can enjoy 5X rewards, attractive discount offers on dine-out and travel, and track your spending with the One Credit Card app. Apply now to get these benefits and more!

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