Best Credit Card In India – Review of top 6 cards

Most of the people who apply for a credit card in India, do not pay much attention at the time of taking the card, but later get frustrated by the card itself for various reasons high bad customer service , hidden charges and several other factors. The obvious question then is, which is the best credit card in India? We did a survey on credit cards and tried to do review of credit cards based on participants experiences . We will see how these cards rate in 6 important parameters. There were 654 participants who took the survey, hence you can safely assume that the collective responses will give a near reality results.

Best Credit card in India

If you see the chart above you will know that the 6 top credit cards in India are –

  • HDFC bank Credit Card
  • ICICI Bank Credit Card
  • CitiBank Credit Card
  • SBI bank Credit Card
  • Standard Chartered Credit Card
  • HSBC Credit Card

6 factors to look at before you apply for Credit Card In India

Lets see those 6 parameters which you should look at before you apply for a credit card in India. At the end of this article, we will see the detailed results of the credit card survey and find out how different credit cards performed on each parameters, so that if some particular parameter is more important for you, you can just pick a card based on that parameter.

1. Interest rate charged on credit cards

The first parameter to look at while choosing a credit card can be the interest rate charged by the credit card company. It can range from 1.99% on cheapest credit card to as high as 3.5% per month on the most expensive credit card. For most of the people who pay their bills on time, this parameter will not matter much, but you never know when you might get into a debt trap kind of situation where you start using your credit card to the maximum limit and pay the interest per month, at that point of time this factor will really matter. Note that interest rate charged is mentioned on per month basis, but a small difference of 1% can be very big, considering it on yearly basis.

For example a 1.99% monthly interest rate actually means 27% Yearly and 3.5% monthly means 51% yearly CAGR.

51% yearly CAGR ! … means your Rs 1 lac of credit card debt can actually increase to 7.9 lacs in just 5 yrs if you don’t do something about it and obviously you will run around to improve your cibil score later !

2. Annual Fees & Other charges

A lot of credit cards charge a yearly fees and renewal fees (at the time of renewal). Now a lot of people hold a Free credit card for lifetime, but that’s just bunch of people who were given the credit card on a telemarketing call, mostly because they are working in some big company and chances are higher that their usage of credit card will be much higher than an average customer, hence the free credit card.

But, lot of people apply for the credit card themselves and for them, there are yearly charges (annual fees) and other kind of charges which is applicable to everyone. For example , the penalty charges if you don’t pay your dues no due date. There are tons of customers who do not pay their dues on last time and just pay the minimum payment. If this happens a lot of with you , then there is a great chance that you also live with the myth of minimum payments on credit cards. So apart from annual charges, there can be charges like

  • Charges when you pay your credit card bill by cash in any bank branch
  • If you make a demand draft from your credit card
  • If you request for a duplicate statement
  • And many other credit card charges .. the list is not a small one :)

Note that if your credit card is FREE as of now, it might carry annual charges when it expires and you apply for renewal – and credit card company says – “Sir , we gave it 100% free only till the card is valid, now its renewed ! “

3. Rewards and Offers on Credit Card

There are a lot of advantages of using a credit card in form of benefits and reward points. For example – You get PAYBACK points which you can use to redeem at various places like, and book movie tickets by redeeming those points. You also get cash back benefits if you use the card at selected HPCL petrol pumps and you don’t pay the fuel surcharge too .

There are many other kind of benefits which many credit cards in India offer and those can be different from one credit card to  another. This  is one very important factor before you choose a credit card because a big number of people just take credit card for these benefits and even if you are not looking for these, you might want it in future at some point of time.

4. Customer Service and Transparency

Once I called my credit card company (which is ICICI Credit card) because I wanted to know, if there will be any annual charges on my credit card as the expiry date is over and I wanted to renew the credit card. They gave me a very clear and satisfactory step by step answer which made me feel – “Great” .

There was no renewal charges and no annual charges even after renewal. So I was happy. Now it was not the FREE thing here which made me happy alone, It was the way customer care talked to me and treated me like a human :) .

While there are instances when I was not that happy, but overall on an average I would still rate the customer service of my ICICI credit card as “good” . Well, that’s my experience only and others can have bad or worse experience with credit card company. Before you apply for a credit card, you need to look at this very critical aspect of customer service and how transparent are they overall.

5. Convenience to pay the bills

Something which you will deal each month is the payment of your credit card bill. Now almost all the credit card companies allow to pay by net-banking, cheque, cash and other ways. But still some banks can be really torturing and not that supportive. It can be cumbersome at times. There has been instances when people paid by cheque before time and it was not processed on time and the person had to suffer because of that and had to run around to get back those charges reversed.

Here is the example

I got the CIR and there is absolutely no big hiccups except one in ICICI bank credit card (I had lot of issues with this bank and some late payments od 1-7 days in some credit cards in very few months. Never listens customer and pathetic customer care executives) of which the DPD is consistently not (000) good for last 5 months. But hey it wasn’t my fault. I dropped the cheque of overall due (about 12000/-) and they never bothered to inform me that my payment was not credited (god knows what they did with cheque). After 5 months when they made a balloon of charges and the whole amount jumped to 19000/- they called me and threatened me of CIBIL. I was never in the mood to not pay the due hence paid the whole amount 19000/- notified by them. Could this lead to this much low score?? – Link

Not to mention the unfair update on CIBIL report which affects you for years. So its a critical factor to look at before you apply for credit card in India.

6. How easy was it to apply for credit card

Have you gone through frustrating time applying for credit card, really had to run around to get a credit card even when you were totally eligible to get one. While this criteria is not that big, as its a one time event still you can consider it before you apply for one. I recently had a hard time opening a saving account for my brother with ICICI bank because they had no way to accommodate people living on rent with friends, however Kotak bank did it for me, at that point of time, the “ease of opening the account” was really a big thing for me. In the same way ease of applying for a credit card can be one important factor at times.

Best & Worst Credit Card in India as per Survey

Below are the results of the survey which we conducted on credit cards. Have a look at it.

Best Credit card in India

If you look at the above chart you will see that the best credit card in India turns out to be Citibank Credit Card and the second best is HDFC Bank Credit card overall. However this does not mean that other credit cards are not good in all the parameters. ICICI Bank credit card is very close to all the other cards in several parameters.

While the SBI Bank credit card and HDFC Bank credit card top the list when it comes to interest rates charged (means they have lower interest rates compared to others), but HSBC Bank credit card comes last. HBSC Bank credit card has not done good in any parameter as per the survey and has lowest ranking in all of them.

Average Credit Card bill for last 6 months

86% people are paying less than Rs 20,000 per month as there credit card bills, that’s last 6 months average. Where as only 2% people had more than Rs 50,000 bill per month. I suspect that these people must be using their credit card for various mandatory expenses which is required anyways. Lots of reward points and benefits to them :) .

Best Credit card in India

Credit Card Reviews from participants

Ramakrishna says on his Citi IOC Card – I am using credit cards from past 9yrs. If u use the credit card in a right manner, u get the most out of it. And make sure you pay your outstanding amount before the due date. Most of the times, by end of month I am barely left with the liquid and credit cards used to save during that bad times and used to pay the outstanding by due date. I never ended up paying any interests until now. The best credit card till date to my knowledge is citi IOC card. I had made use of the rewards and offers at the extreme.

Kriprabha on Axis Gold Card – Very, very bad – due to careless service. 1) Not pointing out auto-debit facility – I missed one annual fee, so from 300/- bill went up to 1000+ . 2) Not applying their own rules about marking lien on my FD Receipt — my card was blocked for weeks and no one seemed to know this requirement, and they kept assuring me the card would be activated soon. As of now card is inactive – reason unknown. Am snipping up card today – want to avoid AMC which they will apply happily! These bankers live and work in air-conditioned comfort which is possible due to high AQB. I will soon terminate my “relationship” with them. I am a senior, living on savings, so these visits to the bank costs a lot in auto fares.

Raghavendra on HDFC Credit Card – Experience with HDFC Cards has been good. Have never looked at the interest option since i’ve always paid the outstanding amount by the due date. Was charged a penalty a couple of times when i paid the outstanding a couple of days after the due date ( had not even paid the minimum amount by the due date, owing to travel), but the same was reversed after a detailed email to HDFC Cards requesting for the same, in light of good payment track record except for the 2 instances. On the rewards front, HDFC Bank does not have a very good rewards scheme as compared to others. But customer service is excellent. They also have two billing cycles, one on the 25th and the other on the 5th and allow customers to choose any one of them. This is useful for those who already have a card and choose a second to make optimum usage and take advantage of the alternate billing cycles

Atri on HSBC Credit Cards – I am using HSBC gold credit card for more than last 7 years. I always submitted payments in time and even insured the card purchases. It was as good at their services and also at part of mine but I do not know why in their review they decided to cancel my card and stop their services to me. I even asked HSBC CUSTOMER representative but they could nor reply satisfactorily. I now feel I should have get credit card from Public Sector Bank only and wasted my time and money. My message to all public is to use Bank Account / Credit Card only of Public Sector Banks like SBI, Canara bank, Central Bank of India etc. for a good governance in nation. Thanks and Regards.

Some more data out of credit card survey

  • Only 10% people had 4 or more credit cards
  • Around 42% people had exactly 1 credit card with them
  • The average number of credit cards held by one person was 2.03

Other Credit Cards

Note that this survey is focusing on top 6 credit cards and their comparison with each other only, which came out as the result of the survey, but there are several other banks credit cards in market which can be considered, but due to small amount of feedback in the survey, it was not sufficient to conclude any thing about them nor do any kind of review about these credit cards. Here is the list of those other credit cards

  • Axis Bank Credit Card
  • Amex Credit Card
  • Kotak Credit Card
  • Bank of India Credit Card
  • Indian-Bank Credit Card
  • Bank of Baroda Credit Card
  • IndusInd Credit Card
  • RBS Credit Card
  • Syndicate Credit Card
  • Andhra Credit Card
  • Canara Credit Card
  • Corporation Credit Card
  • PNB Credit Card
  • ABN Credit Card

Did this article help you in choosing the best credit card in India ? Is there any other parameter to look at before you will apply for credit card? Do you think this survey helped you in choosing a good credit card in India ?

456 CommentsAdd Comment

  1. Swarup Saha

    Kotak Bank has a good option with their Kotak Gold Trump card.The card offers a flat cashback of 10% on your food bills and movie….this means if you spend 1000 rupees in a restruant, you have to pay 900 bucks only and that two njoying the 45 days credit period…..:-) .
    The bank has changed its rules on usage of the card recently.Before, it had a unlimited cashback of the spent on hotels and movies.Now u have to transact atleast Rs.5000 from your card in a billing cycle to avail the cashback offer and the yearly cashback is also restricted to a specific amount.

  2. kviyer

    My experience with ICICI is miserable and not only i have stopped use but have ensured over 150 family memebers do so.
    HDFC is a clean , efficient and responsible bank. we all enjoy using and dealing with it.
    never deal with icici….

    • kviyer

      I had a sbi hsg loan and ICICI tricked me to accept a cash loan at “claimed” lower interest.They split the loan into the two credit cards i had , one bill coming from hyderabad & another from chennai…i had series of delayed bills and fraud signature made by cour ier to have delivered to home. while one bill was regular and the case is closed without any issue he other bill was not received in time inspite of taking the same up to the bank.they went on adding delay and interest and threatened me with leagal action arrest warrant etc and i had to pay over 22000 over and above dues ( which in anyway was highly inflated).

  3. Venki

    +1 for HDFC (three months) and SBI credit (more than five years) cards.

    My friends are using Standard Charted, said that the offers are good. However my application was rejected for the same (?), not sure of reasons, when I enquired they replied it was confidential. I did check my CIBIL score, it was 830. Ironically, SC guys returned after a month time offering a card, but I opted HDFC by that time. Good that HDFC (also, ICICI, CITI) being accepted at online shopping where as SC is not.

    I have used CITI card during initial days of my career. It was good in service. I won’t opt ICICI even at free of cost :), rather I will go for Kotak (I am using trinity account, their service is good so far).

    • Hi Venki,

      Even I had a bad experience with Standard Chartered. I took a credit card from them long time back during my college years. At that time since I was not having any income, I was not eligible for a credit card. So I made my Dad the primary cardholder and I was the Add-on Cardholder. The relationship with Standard Chartered went on very well for some years (I guess 6-7 years) until one day a telemarketer called my Dad for a Card Protection Insurance Policy. Since my Dad does not understand these things he asked them to call me. The telemarketer told me something else and during the confirmation call he told something else to my Dad. I was billed the insurance policy premium in my statement even before the policy documents came to me, whereas I was told by the telemarketer on the call that the premium will be billed in the statement after I get the policy documents and I agree to accepting the policy. I complained to their call center, visited the credit card office in Pune, even spoke to branch officials in Mumbai, but all in vain. They only support their unethical staff and think customers speak lies. I and my Dad were a victim of unethical selling and mis-selling by Standard Chartered. For them fee income is more important than anything else and customers come last in the priority list. Since then I have decided not to deal with Standard Chartered for any of my financial requirements. I don’t recommend Standard Chartered to any of my family members and friends

      • KK

        I strongly condemn the fraudulent practices of StanChart bank. I am also a victim of this bank and suffering bad CIBIL score. They make false promises and trap you into this fraud.

        In 2005 they offered me a credit card and promised it is free for one year and I don’t need to pay annual fees. But, I had called customer care to close my card before one year and on their advice I have cut the card and thrown it.
        To my surprise in 2013 they called me and said I have a due of around 50 thousand rupees despite the fact that I have closed it in 2006 itself. Now, they are asking me the proof of closing the card which I don’t have now.And today, 18-Aug-14 they called me and informed me of 70,000 dues. But they are not ready to provide the transaction details also about my spending on this stupid card which is unethical.

      • Venki

        Thanks, I missed your reply to note on time. It is one of the most useful article on JI.

        True, I had issue with ICICI, but not with credit card. It was with banking, and pissed off. I am even hate to listen about ICICI products these days. Adding to this, many stories on Net (not sure of reality) made me to stay away from it.

        My friend told me about SC benefits, annually he saved 7000/- including waiver on annual fee. That made me to think of SC as I would be having purchases of few electronic items in the next two years. Alas, my card application was rejected. So I turned to HDFC gold card (salary AC linked with HDFC). I did use CITI IOC card for 4 years (I didn’t had a vehicle that time :) ), but I would rate their service at the best.

        I don’t feel comfortable with SBI (GE Money) now, their customer care works only on week days. Benefits also nothing, charges are high. I found careful use of credit cards does help. I hold two cards, HDFC (1 L) and SBI (40 K) both on Visa network. Thinking to shift my SBI card to Kotak or Allahabad bank (recent news, refer ET, it teamed with American Express), or even back to Citi.

        As I said, apart from monthly bills, I would make few purchases for next few years. Any suggestions on which card can benefit me well? Basically, I am looking for zero percent EMI (3/6 months), acceptance on most malls/shopping portals and yes, hassle free balance transfer option (if needed). I am not too keen on reward points. Is it possible for balance transfer if the cards are on different network Visa/Master/AmEx/etc…?

        Also, would it affect my credit score if I cancel SBI card as it is more than 5 years?

  4. Deivasigamani

    As you said, the customer service of ICICI Credit card has been good so far in my experience as well. I can’t call it outstanding or great because sometimes we need to explain the problem 2-3 times to a very finer detail to get the response we are looking for.

    I hold a citibank debit card and I must say during the last 7 years for whatever mails I sent to customer service they gave a concise reply and if we are not satisfied with that they will give you a detailed reply. May be thats the reason why citibank scores high in customer service?

    I am just holding a credit card for reward points and ease of customer service. Going by your mantra decided not to apply for more than one credit card and happy with ICICI so far!

  5. Rachit

    Kotak Gold Trump crd, I agree thats earlier it as good but now it’s some confusing terms that they have – exactly it is that the amount should be 4000 Rs or below if it’s more then that then they will not provide the 10% cash back. I had spent 5000Rs on single dining bill and didn’t get the cash back.

    • ATS Preeth

      Yes, they have changed the terms…but it is still worth using this card!

      Few tips, which will help in using this card are …

      1. 5K minimum spend per billing cycle
      2. first 5 transactions of food/movie get only 10% discount
      3. Food Bill discount will be available if the restaurant / food place is a ‘Standalone’ restaurant and NOT part of any hotel where boarding /lodging is there.
      4. Food bill should not be exceed 4K above. If bill value is above 4K, then make it as two breakups. one swipe less than 4K and remaining as other value, which will help in getting the discount 😉

  6. Hari Prasad

    Absolutely Agree with other comments. ICICI is the worst bank to deal with. They are not transparent at all and have so many hidden costs. SBI and Citibank are good.

  7. Ash

    My Experience with Citibank has been excellent. They have good customer service.
    Even though I paid several time full payment after dues date and just before the next bill generated, They never charged me whereas HSBC being the worst. Even the cheque is not cleared due to their late presentation they charged even with 1 day delay.

    Recently they replaced my JACC Platinum Credit card with Premiere miles at the annual Fee or Rs 1000 but at the same time, they refunded my JACC Rs 2500, which effectively is +15oo to be and that to without my knowledge and followups.

  8. Gowtam

    Yes…the results looks like to more accurate. I have been using HDFC for the last 5 yrs now and never experienced a Regret from them. They always had some of the best offers. Friendly customer care support.

    CITI is also one of the best cards. I am using that too. Instant resolutions for all our needs.

  9. Mohan


    I have a question. Currently I do not have a credit card (for 7 years). I am able to manage my expenses, shopping (online/offline) with my debit cards and I never felt a need for a credit card.

    But in order to create a good credit history, is it a good idea to have a credit card and use it on regular basis? How does having or not having a credit card can affect credit history?

    Please advise.



    • Yes Mohan

      Better you get a credit card and pay using credit card and settle the dues in full each month . I know you dont need it , but its a need of the hour in today’s world especially if you are looking towards a loan in future ! .


  10. Shashank

    Service of ICICI bank is very poor & full of hidden charges. Service of SCB & HDFC is good. But American Express service is BEST .I have used AMEX card for 5 years in US & never faced a single problem.

  11. Biju

    I had a similar experience with HSBC like mentioned in the article. I had a HSBC Gold card with a limit of Rs 50,000 which I was holding since 2008.I had a good history with HSBC as I miss no payments and HSBC was providing me hassle free service unless we need a limit increase or so. Suddenly one day they cut my limit from Rs 50,000 to Rs 24,000 stating that is based on their annual review. After some days they send a mail stating that my card will be cancelled in 30 days based on some review.I don’t know what prompted them to do so.When asked they told that many cards are cancelled and I have an option to move to a Makemytrip platinum card that they introduced soon.The picture was clear then as they are forcing customers to move to co-branded cards and which are no longer free cards and we have got no other option.Either you move or we will cancel your card in 30 days.Well I decided that I am done with HSBC and told to go ahead with the cancellation. I have another HDFC platinum card which I am pretty happy about with a higher limit and now on the look out for a secondary card to replace HSBC.Any suggestions ?

  12. Anand

    Earlier redemption of points used to be free; but now most of the banks are charging for that under the name of handling charges.

    stand chrtd charges 100 Rs and hdfc charges 75 Rs.
    others, tell me how much your bank charges?

    • Swetank Saroj

      now a days 75 rupee is standard.

      CC business is to make money and they never able to make money on a free card from a deciplined user..:D

      even I never like it..and over a period of time they have increased the points required for reeding a gift voucher..:(


  13. Mayank

    FYI, Flipkart accepts only Citibank, ICICI and HDFC credit cards.
    I wanted to buy something on credit from flipkart and found out the above fact. Want to beware buyers of “other” credit cards that please make sure that your card is accepted at the place where you are intending to use it in near future.

  14. Swetank Saroj

    Hi Manish,

    Thank you for this new and different (from the trend..:)…) article.

    After reading through the comments I find out that many people have different views for different credit card and their companies. No doubt, HDFC, ICICI and Citibank being the most used banks for salary account have biggest chunk of CC users. ( I may be wrong.)

    As everyone have their own share of experience, hence the card being favoured by one may not be favoured by the other. As far as my preferences goes, I love HSBC for their service and reward points. Kotak captured the market share especially because of their innovative offers and features but now they have either withdrawn them or made them stringent, even their customer care is not very good.

    If I am not wrong Citi actually tried hard and gained its lost market (during the recession, when they stopped balance transfer and other features). Having an SBI card is the best one; cause may be its now managed by GE Money, but still its the SBI trust which one can believe.

    Having and using an AmEx card is the best one, but its never free comes with huge annual charges and we Indians have a tendency of getting everything free. AmEx prefer to give the highest customer service, it is even visible in case of a dispute. One of my friends (working in CC dispute settlement) told me that shopowners never prefer AmEx because of high charges as well as during any dispute they prefer the card owner and not the merchant; this is not the case with VISA or MASTER.

    Now my last point for the people who complain for loosing the HSBC card even having a good history. Friends try to understand CC business is a way to make money and they (every bank) only offer a card for free expecting one can default on payment someday and they will make money. Now for all of us who use the card in a deciplined way are not good customer for them (this can happen with anyone and with every CC company). They do a lot of analysis and analytics goes behind this, and you never know when ICICI or HDFC decide not to give a service to you.


    • Swetank

      Thanks for your comment . Good to hear that you love your HSBC card, obviously there can be good and bad experience with eveyr card, just that a lot of other HSBC credit card holders are having very bad experience ,but you didnt . Just like I have a great experience with ICICI credit card, but many others have a very bad one :)

      • Hussain

        Hi, After reading the last lines Above two comments,

        I want to add something that if we use the card with discipline also banks are getting good amount of income every year from a free credit card.

        Charges 3.5 for International currency conversion charges.
        Bank never send reminder to you when there is chance in future for them to deduct money like low balance in account or overdue payment.

        This is for free credit card.

        If you have a credit card which cost you 5000 rupees yearly then bank will not make any wrong step to make you angry they will not charge you wrong for anything they will listen to you always nicely.

        So Paid services always good if you really require a Good credit card then go for any credit card which suits you with a decent annual fees like 1500 to 5000.

        I am using a Master credit card from Middle east with no benefits at all and paying 6000 Annual fees.

        At the same price i can get Very good offers in India with have free air tickets holiday every year like Taxiways or American Express British airways

        You can get decent free holiday airfare or cashback on your purchases with that card.

    • Shreyas Puri

      Very Helpful , indeed.
      I had HDFC and they have pathetic customer service, they don’t even have walk-in offices / branches in most parts of the country.

  15. Krish

    Nice article touching every urban employee. I had a HDFC credit card for 5 years with very good credit limit. My track record was great and I was happy with the card. After I became NRI, the card was deactivated due to non-usage. I then spoke with them and they insisted to use the card atleast once in 6 months else risk of deactiving. Owing to this mandatory use, I was forced to cancel the card.

    Over the years my investment relationship with HDFC bank gone up multiple times and recently I enquired again for the new credit card to be used globally. HDFC bank surprised me saying that they can issue the cc only on collateral basis linking with the fixed deposit. Even with the FD, they put a ceiling on credit limit. I am not sure why Indian banks are somuch worried about issuing cards to NRIs even while they have significant investments with them.

    • Krish

      thanks for your experience. . I think they limit the use of card with NRI , because NRI = more expenses = more risk in case of non payment and on top of that you are not in india :)

      • AdiShell

        I am also an NRI and I have a NRE account with HSBC. They have never been able to issue me a card..even though I have applied for it many times…some excuse or the other…I find it surprising that they find it difficult to give me CC even though i have an account with them. CITI is a straight no…there reason..just because you come to India once in a while. So now I am forced to share an add on card from SBI. :/
        Hearing about the reviews about Amex, I think i will soon go for it.
        Very nice and informative article. :)

  16. s s rao

    Excellent survey and very good analysis. Its very useful for all persons either using credit cards or propose to get a credit cards.

  17. Sachin

    Banks will be “good” with you until you either pay in full/pay min + with interest. If you use your CC as convenience then look for online payment option and rewards points. I am using ICICI card from last 9 years without issue and had to call only once. Since they started payback points, life is more than good. So problem zilt, happiness lot.

    If you don’t pay your CC balance (I dont really recommend that!) be sure to calculate interest you are paying. Search market, there could be cheaper option to get credit than what you are paying. If you clearing your large debt on CC, be sure to talk to bank customer service politely and you may get handsome rebate on total amount. Also keep tab on your CIBIL score.

    Do we have credit cards with facilities like free balance transfer and zero interest for limited period in India ?


  18. Mansoor

    Very good information collected Manish, Thanks for sharing.
    I have been a client of Standard Chartered Credit card over 5 years (no annual fee) and used it widely for almost everything I possibly could. Always paid the dues on time and I use to receive tons of shopping vouchers of lifestyle, shoppers stop etc. Recently, they have been pushing me to buy one of their premium cards, which involves an annual fee, they did everything to make me buy that card. With frustration, I broke relation with them and surrendered the card.
    I have been using Citi bank credit card for little over a year now, quite happy with their service and transparency. The minute I swipe the card, I will get an email and a sms. Also, they will check for any large purchases. Now, I think I found the right card for me.
    Another option they have is that you can convert any purchase over 2500 into EMI’s of 3/6/9/12 months at 2% per month. This is a huge trap for people who are not sincere with their payments.
    Have only one, or max 2 credit cards, pay your dues on time is the lesson.

  19. Good info. I think you have covered everything. The penalty is a significant amount, if you miss the due date. I did that mistake once and now I have set a reminder in Google calendar :-). I have reduced my credit card usage and use it only for web hosting and domain registration.

  20. Chandan Kundapur

    Great article Manish . Thanks for the insights . I have 2 cards – HSBC Platinum and AMEX Silver

    I have used HSBC for over 8 years now and have never once delayed on the payment or had to pay additional charges and the customer service is decent . I was once asked to pay 500 INR extra for crossing my credit limit , but this was duly reverted on request

    I use the Amex card for big ticket purchases and for use outside the country . I believe that the service and rewards are unmatched

      • Chandan Kundapur

        Thanks Manish. I am curious to know if a bank considers someone like me as a “good” credit card customer . I rack up a bill of ~ 30 – 50 k a month on average but always pay before the due date and have not paid any interest until now

        Does the credit card issuing institute make money largely from interest paid or from retailers where the card is used ?

        Please let me know your thoughts

        • Chandan

          If you are clearing your dues on time, then it should not be an issue at all , just make sure you are not touching your credit card limit each month. Like if you have a limit of 60k and your bill is 50k each month , better avoid it , just call your card company and tell them to bump up your limit itself to 1 lac !

  21. MJason

    I had used HDFC, ICICI & Citi Bank cards. ICICI & Citi Bank cards are good. When compared to everything i felt Citi Bank was the best. They have easier reward points redemption process and good customer support.
    ICICI Bank Customer support is pathetic and HDFC (some other Banks as well) have a charge even for redemption of rewards points :(

  22. Hi Manish,
    I have been using HDFC Credit Card and SBI Credit Card since last 4-5 years. So far I have not faced any major issues with them. I make my payments regularly. I have not had a chance to interact much with their customer service so far. So can’t comment on their customer service agents.

    Once I exceeded the overall limit on my SBI Credit Card without realising it. I realised the next day. I quickly paid some amount and brought the outstanding amount well within my limit. I saw in my unbilled transactions there was a charge of Rs. 500 as a limit overuse charge. I contacted SBI Cards through Twitter and asked to reverse the fee as a goodwill gesture and they did that and reversed the Rs. 500 fee. That was a WOW moment for me with SBI Credit Cards!!!

    One good thing I have observed about HDFC Credit Card is that you can increase your credit limit online immediately provided you are eligible for it. Few days before my marriage I wanted to increase the credit limit on my credit card just in case if I needed it at the last moment. I logged on to the internet to my HDFC account. I was eligible for increase in credit limit and availed it. Next moment I saw the limit was increased and I was ready to use the increased limit whenever needed.

  23. Biju

    I just got notified by HDFC that I am eligible for a limit increase to 2.5lacs on my platinum card. Isn’t it a little risky to have such high limits on a single card ? Your valuable thoughts are welcome.

    • If you are using just 10-20k per month and are sure that you dont need more than 50k or 1 lac , better tell bank that you want them to decrease it , so that incase there is any fraud later , you are not affected much.

  24. Biju

    True..One of my cards has 1.88 lacs and I only use that credit only in case of international flight bookings..otherwise 20k-50k will be more than enough credit.I think a couple of cards with no more than 50k credit will do the job unless you need some large transactions.

  25. Sushant

    Hi Manish,

    I have been using Citibank Indian Oil Titanium card for last 3 years. Before than I had ICICI card for around 3 years till it got expired. I had decent experience with ICICI, never paid any charge and used payback (called imint those days) freebies.

    Having said that, Citibank is simply best. Reward points scheme, customer support, transparency, reporting to CIBIL, in all aspect I find it very good. I have thoroughly used it on IOC pumps and got free petrol. My overall usage have been on average 10-15K per month. This card is due expiring Feb ’13… thinking to get Citibank Reward card this time. There is no annual charge if you spent 30K annually( I guess one spends this much anyway if using credit cards). Do you have eye on any particular card?

    • Yea .. . citibank is rated best .

      I think wait for its expiry and then when you talk to customer care, they will anyways offer you the next best card as you are old customer .

  26. Shinoj Jose

    Hi Manish,
    Good article on credit cards. :)
    Some things I would like to add.

    I am using HDFC card and I am happy till now except the payment options. If you login to their credit card online, there is no option to pay the bill from there. May be they want people not to pay so that they will get penalty. Who knows. Any way I use billdesk service to pay and its quite easy unless you make some typing mistake.

    Also in most cards, the marketing guys use to tell a lot about reward points. Agreed. But what to do with these reward points? As far as I know they can be redeemed only at the places which the bank decides. Also the value of the rewards are not that good. For eg, if you have 3000 or 4000 points (which is very difficult for an average user) they may give you a gift voucher on some stores for about 500 rupees. Again this 500 can be used only if you shop for 5000. :(

    Another thing is regarding paid cards. What is the point of going for a card which have AMC, when there are enough cards where there is no fees.

    About SBI card. I don’t know how many people realize that SBI cards are NOT run by SBI. It’s actually GE money. They are just using the SBI brand name by giving some royalty.

    Also there is a TATA credit card which is available from any tata outlets like croma or star bazaar etc. Actually TATA does not have a card, this is SBI card only, which is internally GE Money.

    Also one can check review sites like regarding customer experiences on various cards. Obviously all cards have complaints but looking at the count of negative reviews one can have a broad assumption.

    • Suhas

      If you have saving account with HDFC then they have the online paying option through the netbanking.There is a separate tab for it after you logon with netbanking login.
      I have my account with HDFC and use it always its excellent.

  27. Best cards according to me

    1. Kotak Trump – for 10% cash back on dining
    2. StanC Manhattan – for 5% cash back on departmental stores and amazing point system and rewards
    3. Citi Platinum – for good discounts on dining at lot of restaurants
    4. Amex Gold – no limits, discounts on dining places, and easy ways to get lot of points, good rewards

    HDFC, ICICI, SBI are all useless according to me for reasons of bad services, less security measures, high charges and lack of offers.

  28. Deepak mulchandani

    Great Analysis Manish, I 100% agreed with this analysis.

    I have one tip for the people who have SBI credit card, these days SBI Paynet payment option provides the facility of doing credit card bill payment through SBI debit card.
    As per SBI Freedom rewardz program, these days even SBIdebit card users get points such as on every 100 rs spent through SBI gold debit card you will get 4 rewards points which is equivalent to 1 Rs , so if you pay monthly credit card bill of 5000 Rs you will have additional savings save 50rs(200 rewards on debit card)
    Please refer to check n redeem

    you can even take movie tickets, bus tickets , shoping coupons etc as reward point redemption.
    So one should use SBI debit card instead of SBI net banking. so in this way SBI gives more savings indirectly.


  29. Ravi

    I have been using Citibank Indian Oil credit card since last 7 years and my experience is very good.

    1. You get 4 points for every 150 rupees petrol if you use your card at Indian oil petrol bunk with no surcharge. Each point is 1 rupee and is like u get 2.5% cash back on petrol. If you already have points, you can redeem the points for petrol at the credit card machine itself
    2. You get 2 points on 150 spent on groceries which is still good as you get 1.33% cash back
    3. Other spends u get 1 point per 150 .
    4. The best thing is the card is free of cost and no annual maintenance charges

    All the points you can redeem on your Petrol purchases at Indian oil petrol bunk. I have been using this for all my monthly purchases at the end of year I get 1-2 months of petrol free (considering the points I get) which is think is very good

    The customer service is also very good. Only bad thing i found is that the charges are way too high.

  30. Senthil

    My First cc was HSBC (Annual fee was zero – worked in satyam computer and got this corporate card). Initially the credit limit is 20K. Fairly it was increased upto 75K in a few months bcoz had good relationship.
    when the company was in troubled, immediately they reduced my cc limit to 15K without any notification or intimation.
    Unknowly there charged Rs 1000 for annual fee… I called customer care and revert the annual fee.
    Next year they again charged rs 2000/- for annual fee..
    I paid and cancelled the card. Also cheque clearance issues…

    • Thanks for sharing your experiences .. credit card is not that easy business, most of the companies didnt think long term and distributed it like anything only to realise later that its not the right way !

  31. Tejaswi

    I used to have HSBC and SBI card. I closed SBI because it was a Mastercard and had the hassles to deposit a cheque as all my SB accounts were affiliated with Visa. Finally, I closed the SBI card.

    HSBC has not posed any issues so far. But seeing that Citi bank is best, I am tempted to buy that one for the following reasons.
    1. I bought the HSBC card in 2007. Since then my salary has increased but my credit limit still remains the same. I have been paying the bill on time via online. I would expect them to increase the CL based on my spending patterns and repayment
    2. The rewards catalog and offers is not that great
    3. They have been asking me to upgrade the card to platinum card after paying some fee which I bluntly refuse
    4. Every year they charge annual fee (although I was been told that it is a lifetime free card). I have to call them to revert it…each time They try to misguide saying that it is not possible…and finally revert it :)

  32. RITESH

    I am planning to buy Standard Chartered Manhattan card which give 5% cash back offer on departmental store. Please provide pros and cons of this card immediately

      • Krishna Kanth

        Our Office has a corporate current A/c with the nearest SBI br. & most of us have our Salary A/c there. Their marketing guys pressurised us with all kinds of mis-selling, that it was free for life, etc. But they have charged me Annual fee. On enquiring them against the same, I was told that if I spend some Rs.75,000/- or so in the first year, then only it would be free.

        Then there were terrible mistakes in their billing, like debiting the Min. amt due, inspite of making the full payment, etc. It took them more than 2 months, after my persistent follow up, to rectify that. THEIR TOLL FREE CALL CENTRE IS PROBABLY THE WORST, IT TAKES YOU AT LEAST 30 MIN TO SPEAK TO THE EXECUTIVE. The guy who sold me the card was untraceable later for clarification reg the “free” card.

    • Atul


      Go for Standard Chartered. I have been used SC Credit card for the last few years and experiences has been extremely good.



    • Abhijeet

      Hi Ritesh,
      Talking about Standard Chartered Manhattan Platinum Card, It is gr8 card but not for free. Only first year fee is waived off, second year onwards they will charge you 999 Rs per anum

    • Jyotheeswara reddy

      Hi Rithsh,

      This is one of the best cards that I have used till now(in my past 9 years of Credit cards usage) in terms of rewards and redemption. I pay the full amount every month. I get cash back as well as 5x rewards on my spendings. Every 3 points is approximately equal to one rupee. they give 5 points for every 100Rs spend. Recently they changed their 5x rewards or 5 points for every 150 spend which I can’t appreciate. I spend high and I get more rewards only with this card. Their customer care is not that great. I also pay anual fee of 750/- but I get rewards around 10K every year approximately. I spend very high around minimum of 40K per month.

      I also use AMEX Gold charge card which is awesome with respect to Customer service and some what better with rewards and goes in second place compare to all other cards available in market. this is my perspective only. They also revert anual fees if requested based on your spends.

      I tried all other less rewarding cards including HDFC, CITI, HSBC, ICICI etc.. but settled with this. In my perspective rewards are more important as this is one thing that we always need. We rarely need support of customer care if we go through all terms and conditions often. Every company publish their terms and conditions as they all have to face legal issues that arise.


  33. kelly

    I had a very bad experience with ICICI Bank, but this was related to a debit card I was holding. They had increased the min. balance from Rs 5K to Rs 10K and didnt inform the same. They had started deducting charges on my account. My account balance went down from Rs 9.5K to somewhere around 5K. When asked they tried to cover up saying that they had already communicated. After some argument they reverted back partially. I had decided not to go for any credit card with ICICI.

  34. Atul

    The first credit card I owned was ABN Amro and that was the worst experience. ABN AMRO used to sell holiday packages, books etc. and charge me in advance. Only after receiving the statement I used to realize and fight to get the same cancelled. Within 3 months I cancelled the credit card.

    I am surprised to see Citibank is best, that is most expensive and cheating company I have encountered. I was using Citibank CC and they advertised immediate payback on any amount spending. What they did not told was that one needs to spend Rs 25000/- to avail cashback. SBI Credit card did the same thing , however this time the limit was Rs 30,000/-

    Finally I settled with Standard Chartered bank for the last 3 years. I am satisfied with their services.



    • Venki

      I too surprised to see a negative response on Citi card. Perhaps this is the only one -ve feedback on Citi card over all comments.

      We should note that bank does business for profit. No one wants to give for free and for banks CC is most risky business. On the bank side, it is not good practice not informing the terms & conditions. We too should read them carefully.

      I did use Citi and SBI from inception of my career (5+ years). But closed Citi CC as my Suvidha AC was closed due to change of company. But I would rate Citi as the best in service.

      • Atul

        Venki, looks like people love to hear good about Citi and top 6 CC mentioned in the article. Critics view should be respected as well.



        • Venki

          @Atul, I don’t mean to disrespect your view, neither I mean everything perfect in Citi card. It is relatively better one among all cards.

          Apologies if I had hurt your opinion.

  35. Krishna Kanth

    I have been using Icici card for the past 9+ years & was literally dragged into SBI card last year. I believe that there can’t be a worse card than SBI. Their marketers are the worst ! Hidden charges rampant, customer service abysmal, Billing – horrible.
    I had no issue with ICICI for the past 9 years except that they started charging Rs.100/- or so from the past 2 yrs. or so for making payment at their bank & have removed cheque drop boxes from ATMs. Also the cheque clearance time appears a bit longer in these days of NEFT / RTGS.

    Dear Manish, Thank u for u a very useful article

  36. Venki

    It would be informative if you can cover details of security issues of credit cards while using online, and the concept of virtual cards.

  37. I have ICICI, HDFC, SBI credit cards, I feel HDFC credit card service is very good and their interest and late fee charges are not charged for regular clients for two days after due date.

  38. Suhas

    I own a HDFC platinum chip & I love this card.These guys are honest and donot bother you much.
    But the card is not very good on rewards and cashbacks compared to other in market.
    Regarding CITI I checked for there cash back card which is excellent but seems they charge a annual fee of Rs 500/- irrespective of the monthly transaction amount since May2012.
    The most suprising thing one of there executive was not aware of it.So i confirmed it with another and rejected it then…:))
    I had been contributer for this poll and happy to see HDFC as 2nd best.
    Thanks for taking the survey…It will surely help while choosing the card.

  39. bharani

    Hi manish

    I was really waiting for an article on credit cards. thanns you have brought it up. I want to share my recent bitter experience with standard chartered credit card. I was clearly mis-sold saying this card is life time free card (No annual fee) but now I got to know that the annual fee is not charged only for first year, and for the second year they have charged me 850 rs and 250 rs over due charge, i was not aware of the 850 rs bill, so it went over due., in fact I have not used that card so far for any transaction. I called to customer care and complained about this and told them I was worried whether this will affect my credit score, but I was shocked to get a reply like this “If you are worried, then pay the due..”
    This is completely not fair on any consumer. Mis selling a card and charging for annual fee and asking him to pay to get good credit score.

    I am using hdfc credit card for past 5 years and there is no such issues, its really a good experience with hdfc.

      • bharani

        thanks for the reply Manish. Now that I have been charged penalty for overdue, will that impact my credit score in a big way…? when called to customer care of credit card they say that outstanding will be cleared if i cancel the card.. (the outstanding amt is the annual maint. fee for 2nd yr) is it so.. is ther anything fishing in this deal? pls let me know..

        • Bharani

          The point is you should clear the outstanding amount whatever it is and close the card with proper way . If there is any penality as per terms and conditions of bank , then do it and close clean

  40. ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and CITI Bank has very strange criteria for approving the Credit card application. Ever in your life time if you have gone for settlement with them, they might blacklist you for lifetime. Between year 2004 and 2007 I had all these three cards. Since I had to go abroad for long term, so I could not pay my bills on time, at that time they didn’t had such a good online payment facility also. So I took help of my friends in India and Settled all my bills. After I returned back in 2008 and when I tried to apply they had always rejected my application on Spot. I have salary account and I premium customer of Citibank, Privilage customer of ICICI Bank holding almost 3 account, Demat account, Loan, etc with these banks. But for Credit card they don’t consider any of these existing relationship with these banks. Please be noted for HDFC Bank, I have been charged for the card which I have never received also. And I had a very tough time in closing this account since I did not had any card number. I had to pay 5000 in cash to close this card account, HDFC bank office simply blackmailing me that if I dont pay this they will list my name in Satyam Database, and for my whole life I could not get any Loans or any bank accounts, Scary.

    • Might be like that .. you should have ideally not settled it , better contact the companies and offer to pay back the outstanding amount , i believe the rules you have mentioned is for those who still have some outstanding against them !

      • I have settlement letter, online as well as physical letter. Please find the one which I have received from Citibank below

        Dear Mr. Mohan,

        This is with reference to your recent contact with us.

        We have not received any payment towards the dues in your card ending XXXX for a considerable period of time.

        As a consequence, we have closed your card.

        To date, your card account reflects no outstanding.

        We have reviewed your application and the annexure provided. Please find the following for your reference on the application status.

        As stated in our earlier communication, we regret to inform you that we are currently unable to approve your application for a Citibank credit card, as the performance of your credit card ending xxxx with the bank does not meet the internal policy guidelines.

        As per bank’s internal credit policy guidelines, we do not offer new credit cards to the customers who had availed settlement.

        It is always a matter of disappointment to us when we find ourselves in a position where we are unable to accede to a request from our Card Members.

        We assure you of our best attention at all times.


        Vijayalakshmi R
        Manager Customer Care
        We trust we have addressed your query to your satisfaction. In case you are not satisfied with the resolution provided, please feel free to highlight to the Head of customer care at
        “The information contained in this message is confidential and intended only for the use of the individual or entity identified. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution or copying of the information in this message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message by error, please notify the sender immediately”.
        More over in my last post I forgot to mention, I also had HDFC Bank Savings account, which was linked to my Credit Card, what I found strange from HDFC Bank manager is that I have HDFC Credit Card linked to my Savings bank account first I have to de-associate the Savings account from HDFC Bank credit card then only I can close this account.

        • Hmm.. but still it does not say that they will never give the credit card to someone , if one pays all outstanding amoutn then he does not come into category of “settlement” . ?

          • I paid whatever the amount they asked, and this was in year 2007, and after that I applied in again 2010/2012 July which is rejected with the same reason, so what what do I understand with this?
            I am not saying that the Credit card is not good, otherwise I would not applied again. Its just some of their policies which I am mentioning is strange which is beyond my understanding.
            And I put this topic in this forum just to see if someone too has faced this situation and have some ideas on how to settle this with Citibank.

  41. Very useful survey. Quoted in my article What happens when credit card is swiped?

    The results here agree with RBI report , quoting from my article

    HDFC Bank had 5.6 million credit cards outstanding at the end of 2011-2012, higher than the 5 million at the end of March, 2011. For ICICI Bank, the outstanding number of credit cards stood at 2.8 million at the end of 2011-12, down from 3.3 million at the end of 2010-11.SBI Cards has around 2.2 million outstanding cards.Citibank’s outstanding cards currently stands at 2.2 million

  42. Mohit

    Nice Article. I am using Standard Chartered’s Titanium Super Value Creadit card from last 4 year. It gives 5% instant cash back (not in the form of points) on Fuel ( any Petrol bunk), Telecom bills, Utility bills and 1% cash back (in the form of points) is you use your card for minimum 1000. It is the best card ever.

  43. Paras

    I am using multiple CC. Citi is best in terms of service and fuel purchase, Stanchart is best for 5% cashback (however worst in terms of customer care). Stopped SBI as there were no benefits of using it.

    One of my freind is struggling with ICICI as they have not credited the cheque in his statement and his bank account (same bank) shows cheque cleared to credit card. And there is no body to answer.

  44. Vasanth

    I have been using citi bank IOC credit card for past 1 year. This is the best card . Turbo points accumulated through out the year gave me 1000/- diesel free :-). Unless you dont miss any payments, this is the best card to use.

  45. mayur

    Guys i dont believe this had an stanchart card for around 3years never late on payment not even once. yesterday got a mail that ur card will be closed due to our some internal policy. later i realised that when i got the card i got it for life time free and they want me to shift to some high annual fee card. I really miss my jacc platinum card. now am holding a icici card issued against fd atleast there is a peace of mind and have applied for a hdfc platinum plus card so is this a good option plz comment

  46. Manikandan

    I have used more than 10 different credit cards – among them stanchart Titanium is the best, as they offer cashback for utility bills – They also have manhattan card, u will be eligible to hold only 1 of the card – 1 yr back, amex people offered amex gold gold card, card is excellent – it has features like if u spend 4 X 250 rs transactions, u will get 1000 points (bonus) – but it is not life time free, only 1 yr free – I somehow manged to get my 2nd yr free – not sure about future yrs – Cust service – best among all the cards. As per my observation, cashback cards are the best – u get instant money, for reward points u need to accumulate and also need to pay for shipping charges for redemption of gifts (rs 100+tax).

    Pls somebody suggest best (or available) cashback card with lifetime free charges. As far as I know – We have citi IOC, Stanchart titanium, Manhattan & HDFC Value plus (closed recently – very upset about the closure) – Please suggest, as it will benefit evrybody.

  47. Amit


    I never had any credit card and thinking of getting one. However, I am not sure which one to choose. After going through the article I am convinced with Citibank or HDFC but I am not sure which card I should select.

    My monthly fuel spending is about 3000 and I am thinking of paying all my utility bills (approx. 7000) with the card only and some monthly spending around 5000.

    Another purpose is to pay to some webhosting services outside India and occasionally during my UK visit (once in a year).

    Which one I should choose? City IOC or some premium card?


    • I would suggest you to keep your Petrol Card separate. If you intend to Refuel at a Fixed Bunk and if you are lucky to have an IOC bunk near you. You must go with Citibank Indian Oil Card.

      • Nandan Annadhorai

        U can opt for Citibank Rewards Premium where surcharge is nil on IOC – if swiped on Citibank EDD. you can benefit on dining and free reservations on selected RESTO. Good one to have. SCB gives cash back on utility payments just try to check once.

  48. shiva

    Hi Manish,

    I have planned to buy a credit card. I want to know which card should dont have any yearly charges (like annual, renewal, monthly,etc). I need lifetime free card with good rewards points. Please suggest….

  49. Joffin

    Mr. Manish, its a nice article.Good to go with City CC. But I’m confused to go for Citi’s reward card or cash back card? Pls advise.

  50. Srini

    Hi Team,

    I am doing some transaction from online purchase in form of dollars. Can you please suggest me which bank is charging lesser amount.


  51. sandjaie

    Hi Manish,

    Pls suggest a credit card either HDFC or Citi Bank, i dont own a vehicle and my month expense would be around 2.5k-4k ..
    Thanks in advance.. :-)

  52. Manish,
    Nice writeup.
    I use 3 cards. HDFC, Citibank and SBI.
    I personally liked the Citibank Indian Oil Card it has provided me with great value in terms of points and also allowed me to en-cash them at Petrol Outlets.
    I like HDFC Platinum Credit Card for it is Convenient, Transparent and has a very accessible support. Also I feel the Card is best to use for Online Spends. What I don’t like is that their Reward Points cannot be redeemed as Cash. They must be able to bring in more partners, so that customers can choose items that add value.

    SBI Platinum Card is good as long you spend it for Dining and Super Markets. The billing system is not Transparent with Online Spends and Forex Transactions. Especially they calculate their own Forex Rates and don’t reveal the value of Forex when purchased or Withdrawn. When a Forex Transaction is cancelled or you withdraw money back to your card. You will lose a huge amount. I lost Rs.15000 just as charges to SBI cards for transaction of Rs.2,00,000.
    The advantage of this card is that it allows you to redeem points as CASH. I will be discontinuing this card as I feel I am being cheated with FOREX Transactions.


    hi Manish

    I travel a lot and pay my hotel bills and travel agent bills through credit card
    pls suggest me a card which will ensure maximum reward points

  54. Prince Nahar

    I agree HDFC BANK credit card is good. If u pay on time no issues. Bank is doing business in ethical way when it comes to credit card.

  55. Mandar Sawant

    My name is Mandar. I like to apply for ” standard chartered super value titanium credit card “. But little worries about it. I read review abut it. some of said its good and some of said its bad. so little confuse . And i dont understand what is meaning of 5% cash back? so i request you to guide me. and as well as suggest me which credit card is best for paying bill and shopping in super market?

  56. Vishal

    Hi Manish,

    I currently hold HDFC titanium card with a credit limit of 55k, The company has been asking me to upgrade it to platinum with an increased credit limit of 110,000. I have the following average expenditure of 15k per month:-

    1. Petrol expenditure -5000
    2. Dining- 5000
    3. Mobile bills, utilities etc -2500 pm
    4. Movies -1000 pm

    I wanted your advice on the credit card which will give me maximum savings pm.

  57. Manu

    I had a bad experience with standard chartered, i was using that card since the start of my career, but they levied Rs. 37, the charges were wrong, i spoke to customer care, that i wont pay these charges, she said we know how to take out money from u, she was behaving like goonda, i immediatly paid these 37 rupees to the nearest SC branch in cash and closed the card account. we want to deal with the professional bankers not goondas.

  58. aishwarya

    hi there ,, i actually never used a credit card ,, but i want to get one ,,coz i want to buy a PC game from a website which just takes payment through credit card … so ,how much money should i need to have in a bank account if i want to make a new bank account just for a silly card ?? and also tell what do we need for a bank account and credit card (i thought it will be easy to ask from you as you are expert)..thanks

  59. Ganesh Datt

    hello sir,
    i want to develop a blog like yours but on different subject.
    can u help me and tell me how can i design a blog like yours.

  60. Sundeep

    Yo Manish.. here it flows with an awesome information, personally appreciate it very much. If I apply for a CC’, whats the time period to be in my wallet?

  61. Kshitij

    Dear Manish,

    Thanks for such nice informative article for those are thinking to apply for new CC like me.

    I have salary account with HDFC bank. but while going thorugh your article, thinking to go for CITI IOC instead of HDFC.

    Please suggest me best cashback card as my basic use will be online shopping and dining only.

    • there are so many cards with similar benefits now , that its cant be decided which is the best one . you need to look at their pages and decide yourself . HDFC and CITI both are ranked very high .

  62. aishwarya

    it says my e-mail already used ..LOL
    my name = AISHWARYA ,,age = 18 ,,information about credit card = (totally new )
    1>for how long a card is made ?
    2>can i stop my card after its life or validity is over ?
    3>in \\\\\\\”Best & Worst Credit Card in India as per Survey\\\\\\\” ,what does it means by every team

    a>interst rate b>fees,charges c>reward and benifit and others

    4>what is good thing about these cards ?
    5>what amount should i have in my bank for a credit card ?
    6>what and how much is monthly chagre ?
    7>how easly my card can be hacked
    8>should i give my card number ,to a website that need ,for payment ?
    9>how secure is my card ?

  63. Rajiv R

    I had an HSBC Gold Card which got cancelled due to non usage. I also had a SC card which I myself got cancelled because the bank kept sending the renewal card at my old address for three times. Finally fed up I requested cancellation of the card which anyway I was not using for over 1.5 years.
    I would like to know whether any banks issues CC with very low limit say Rs.5000/- which I would like to use for online purchases.

  64. krishna

    Thanks Alot Manish! Thank you very much for posting very helpful information…it has been always helping like a good friend while making any decision

    • seby

      yes you can use your debit card for shopping, paying bills, for movie tickets anywhere you use credit cards and it is best way to get out from financial traps

    • What is the meaning of that question . You cant use debit card as credit cards . They are different things . But yes, you can use both the cards for online transactions if the website allows it !

  65. Aditya

    I have a citibank rewards credit card with zero annual fees….By purchasing through the cards and paying the bill on time, I can earn reward points which i can use later at some outlets…If i return the bill ontime how is the bank earning from this and is there any info which i am not considering??

  66. Deepak

    I have also same issue as of “Atri on HSBC Credit Cards”. I was using HSBC card from last 5years and paid all statement bills on time without even single delay in last 5year. But I dont know why they cancel my card after 5year stating in their review we have decided to cancel your card. I advice to all user to never ever use or apply for HSBC card and even I am not gonna apply for it in fucture. And The Best Part… I got calls from HSBC bank call centres for card offers to me…I furiously said them you guys already cancelled one of my card without any proper reason and I am not interested in your any card in future!!

  67. Deepak

    Hi Manish,

    I find this article very helpful. Kindly help me…I have 4 questions which will be in below details….

    I was having ICICI & HSBC Gold cards since late 2007. But recently in August 2012, HSBC card first decreased my credit limit & then finally cancelled my card giving some internal review though I have always paid all outstanding bills on time. Moreover HSBC card was given to me as Lifetime Free but they always put Annual fees at each year which upon some fight with them they always reverted.

    And at the same time, few months before when my ICICI card was about to expire, ICICI issues upgraded Platinum card and provided me increase in credit card limit but I chose to remain on on original limit as my monthly expenditure is not that much. Have a question here…
    –>Que1)”Is it good to keep credit limit as per one’s use OR go for whatever Bank provide”

    Anyway when HSBC one gone, so I was looking for some another CC and after reading this article I decided for HDFC and particularly some Platinum & MasterCard Combination..Have another que here
    –>Que2)” If I already have VISA card, is it good to have 2nd card as MASTERCARD+Platinum or just look for best Platinum card with best offers irrespective of VISA, MASTER etc as for my 2nd card”…

    So, when I decided for HDFC after reading this article, I applied to HDFC card and said cannot provide current residential proof as living in a PG but can provide permanent address proof & also office address proof and can give u bonafied letter on office letter head stating my current residential address …and they agreed…some sales representative come to office to collect documents…but he did not let me to fill the documents…he just said to sign in relevant areas and give all the docs…they called me again to provide some more documents like visiting card etc ..Which is collected by same representative in my office next day…after few weeks i got call from HDFC office..They tried to confirmed some wrong residential address..I am not living at this address and I said i didn’t filled the form…it’s you guys who filled this wrong address…he noted it…i got call again from HDFC in next few days…he again tried to verify the same wrong address…i again said the same thing and said had already told to correct in previous call from HDFC office…I also filed a written complaint in HDFC that wrong address has been filled by HDFC staff….Then after few days I got some letter…as Declaration form for my contact details etc and asking all the documents again to be attached with same….I just filled that form giving all details and attached only ..The company letter head written letter of my current address..and written a note on same declaration letter that I had already given all the documents in 2 attempts by you and would not give the same again and collect the same from your inventory and attaching current address company letter head…After few weeks when I tried to get the status…I get to know that my application has been declined and when I asked for reason they are not able to provide the same …Another Question,..
    –>Que3) “What should i do now…leave it and go ahead to apply for some other card or..Ask them reason for decline and drill down them that it was they who made lot of faults and think of consumer court complaints etc…Stuff like that…And would need ur help if have to proceed in this way..???”

    In case, if I would leave it and go ahead …as from ur article and some offers thru in my office…Last Question..
    –>Que4) “I am getting 2 life time free cards….CitiBank Reward Card (VISA Platinum) & TATA Platinum Card [MASTERCARD Powered by SBI] …Pls suggest for which I should go for???”..I work in.

    Thanks in advance!!

    • Deepak

      1. You can decide your own credit limit, but banks already calculate the maximum they can give you and if you have self control, nothing wrong in taking the high credit limit.

      2. Yes , its a good idea .. at times on some portal or some places, they offer one kind of card, so if you have both time it will help

      3. I think you should go with someone else and then try to follow up with the first bank why they declined and whatever you want to do

      4. That can not be suggested like that . But citibank is rated high as per survey ! .

      • Deepak

        Thanks for the reply.

        Actually, I have self-control but afraid of taking higher limit as in case my card got lost & i delayed in reporting the card loss [may be due to i know it late that my card has been lost]…and all money has been used by unkown…i need to pay a big amount….!!

        Also, CitiBank has rated high that’s why i am also thinking of it…but with Tata platinum I am getting MASTERCARD+Platinum combination whereas with CitiBank I am getting VISA+Platinum combo …which I already have from ICICI…so little confused b/w them!!

  68. ajit

    I hv been using icici credit card for last 10 years and happy with its service.
    I had bad experiences with ABN AMro Bank Credit Card (now RBS)….I have paid all dues still it shows unpaid and upload my name to CIBIL. also get call from its collection agency….- ajit

  69. Abhilash

    Manish, I was always wondering which card is best..! I already have the top 3 credit cards listed in your website. HDFC, ICICI and CITI. Though, I had HSBC, Standard Chattered etc., I didn’t use them as they had limited period offers and then surrendered these cards.

    Since lot of people use these cards, these companies typically tend to have tie ups with Merchants providing good offers. It’s good to have these 3 credit cards.

    One thing, I would like to mention to everybody is, VISA signature card is good to buy (Buy 1, Get 1 movie ticket free per month).

    I would also suggest everybody to check how much does your Credit card company charge for Railway tickets. HDFC Visa card charges Rs.30/- plus 2.5% of transaction amount which is really bad. So, I started using HDFC netbanking instead for my IRCTC transactions. Rs.11/- only. :-)

  70. Anil Kumar G

    I work for CitiBank and I have Employee Platinum card which i feel is the best. Customer service, ease of paying bills is the best in CitiBank.

    But my concern is that i will have to return it if i am changing to some other company! :(

      • anand

        Hi Manish, Nice article. I am using hdfc and sc cc, but l aslo aplied for citi cc, but could not go through with their response;unable to…… etc,. i wrote them saying that i am user of above 2 cc’s alrerady and asked for the reason to rejecting. No response so far ( more than 1 month now) – What is your advice on that? Anand

  71. Sharad Ghodke

    Dear Manish, I spend lot on my Air travel. Can you suggest a best card for the same with max. benefits. Friends say Amex, but I would like to have an expert opinion. By the way I already have 2 cards (Citi&SBI). Pl. suggest early.



  72. Priyanka

    Hi Manish,

    Its’ very informative. I am planning to get credit card in HDFC as I have my account in that. The doubt is when I go through the website there are lot of credit cards in HDFC, confused to choose which one is the best. My friends suggested that for women there is some special card. Could you kindly suggest!!

  73. I am using CITI Bank Platinum Card since last 2 years,… and I can strongly say that it is one of the best for a working professional.

    Quick customer service, loads of reminders, user friendly portal and most importantly acceptable in almost all online payments.

    This is one of the rare unbiased article on Credit Card ,,,, Thanks Manish



    I have applied for a Std Charted CC recently in Non 2012.. But they have denied it to me saying that I have a low Score Credit. But I hold another Bank Credit card for past more than 10 years and also a Home loan for the past 2 years from a dfferent bank. The Stc Charted Bank official says me to apply again afte some time. could not understand how they may issue it later?

    Krishnakumar P

  75. Naveed

    I hold around 9 credit cards from 7 different banks. And I would rate the customer service of SBI cards as the worst ever. So, for the people who are trying to apply for a SBI Credit Card please be aware of their pathetic customer service. When you call & talk to them about an issue and the next time you call please dont be surprised if you get to hear that there are no records of any such previous conversations with us from you. This is the only bank I have seen following unfair trade practices.

    You have better banks like ICICI, HDFC, Citi, SCB etc to choose from before thinking about SBI. Please have this only as a last option always!

  76. lalli

    I am s/w engg in a reputed company.I want to apply a credit card as I need to do some international payments like IELTS exam fee etc…I hold an account with ICICI Bank.Can you please suggest which credit card should I apply for apart from international fee payment I would need it for fuel,restaurants etc..please suggest considering all prosn cons like joining fees,rewards,intrest Etc…Also plz suggest me what alldo I need to apply as in any documents…?

  77. Alekh Khanna

    Hey guys,
    I have an HDFC CC, which I got recently and made the first payment (well within the time frame) 3 days back, but it still hasn’t reflected on my card balance. Contacted CC and they told me to wait for a few more days.
    To anyone holding an HDFC CC, how many days does it normally take you for the same i.e. payment for the standing CC bill to get reflected in the card ?

    Thanks ! :)

  78. Tilak

    Banks are forcefully providing credit cards to the customer, even after clearly telling that credit card is not needed. They ask for id & addr proof while opening bank account and then send the credit card along with it.

    I want to return the unused credit card, what is the process to return it with incurring any charges?

    Please advise. Thanks

  79. Srikanth Yadav

    I am a beginner to take CC. executive explained that his bank allows free period of 45days to repay the bill amount without any interest chargable. After 45days period they charge some interest. And requested me to give salary savings account?
    here Q1. which credit card allows us more period to repay bill amount without interest chargable?
    Q2. Are credit card bill can be linked to salary bank accounts only, or any other saving account, to repay the bill amount?
    Q3. Then what the credit card monthly bill means?, while the period varies such as 45days?

    Srikanth Yadav

    • Which credit card he is talking about , can you give name ? Generally its 45 days of grace period, but some credit card can have 50 or more also .. you will have to check that .

      You can pay your credit card bill by other banks also.

  80. Narayana


    its a very good article. One point you missed in savings part is annual fee for the cards. which u have to deduct from the over all savings .

  81. Manoj


    I have my salary account in ICICI. Am planning to go for Credit card and i have to chose between ICICI, CITI or HDFC.
    1.Which one do you prefer is the best option ?
    2.Is it necessary to have savings/any other account in CITI or HDFC to get Credit card for those banks ?
    3.Will it be easy to pay bills if i chose ICICI(not aware of how bill payment usually happens. Hence this question)
    Please reply asap.

    • Manoj

      1. Citibank is rated one of the best, however ICICI and HDFC are also great one !

      2. Mostly yes, because banks like to hand over credit card to them who already have a relationship with them

      3. Yes its very easy. If you have ICICI bank account , then you can see the credit card link on your internet banking portal and can directly pay from your account .

      • Manoj

        I might require this Credit since i might travel outside country(may be US). So which one would be better.
        Thanks for answering my previous questions :)
        But i would like you to consider all the parameters i told and give your final take on which card to buy ? (ICICI/CITI/HDFC)


  82. Jadeja Kuldip

    I have a account in axis bank since last five years now i want get a credit card from it but when i apply online on the bank website the message comes that “Axis Bank does not offer credit cards in your city. We would be delighted to offer you a credit card (against a Fixed Deposit) with a low interest rate of 1.99%. For further details please contact your nearest Axis Bank Branch immediately.” i want to know that it’s true ? currently i live in Junagadh (Gujrat).

  83. kishanu bhattacharya

    Thanks manish. You really gave me a broad idea about the credit cards and other details about it. It really helped me a lot. :)

  84. Rishi Raj Dhawam

    hi Manish,

    Manish ICICI Bank issued me 2 free Credit Cards 4 years back but i did not activate this i mean to say i have never used it. i just wanna know can it will work today?

    Rishi Raj Dhawan

  85. Viswanath

    Nice Artical manish!!!
    I have been using the HDFC and SBI credit cards from past one year onwards.Recently i have recevied the HDFC Credit card statement that annual fee was included.At the time of taking the card they mentioned there is no annual fee but this time there telling that it is not free cards.SBI card is good.I am planning to close the HDFC CC and looking for the best one from CITI/ICICI/STANDERED.Can any one suggest me which card is best one???

  86. amit

    I’ve a salary a/c in citi…my fuel expenses are not more than Rs 2500 a month
    I was looking for a fuel discount credit card(1 st cc)..two of them were my choices:
    1)Citibank titanium indian oil card
    2)standard chartered super value titanium credit card
    but the citi annual fee is waived only if u spend “min rs 30k” in a year or else rs 1000 and benefits 4 turbo pts for rs 150 fuel purchase where 1 pt=1 rupee
    the sc card has an annual fee of rs 750 and 5% cashback (with surcharge)on all fuel anywhere purchase not restricted to ioc
    so both card in terms of benefits are equal in potential specifically fuel benefits
    but citi lags in terms of convenience as it is restricted to only indian oil while std charted give access to all petrol pumps across nation
    which card should I go for?

  87. Narendra

    I am using Citibank Platinum Credit card from the past 5 years and HDFC platinum edge credit card from the past 1 year. Among this CitiBank Credit is the best. Even the reward program of citibank cash back is best i.e 1 point = 1 rupee ( for every 125 you get 1 reward point/ 1 rupee cash back ), Transparent Customer service. where as in HDFC i am using platinum edge there is no cash back , we have to redeem against against gifts which are not worthy enough. There is no annual fee for Citibank where as hdfc has annual fee.
    Railway reservation charges for citi is less when compare to Hdfc. If you cancel the ticket you will get back the service charge in citibank where as in Hdfc you wont.

  88. Santosh

    Hi All,

    I got HDFC TIMESNOW Titanium Card.. There is no Merchant EMI or banker’s side EMI option. I advise please don’t go for it.. THnks

  89. Nirjhar Pal

    I am using Citibank Indian Oil credit card for last 4 years. for each 200 Rs i get 1 point, and each 1 point = 1 Re petrol. so its good for me.

  90. sdsd

    Worst Customer Serivce by HDFC BANK,. Their customer service people are helpless. HDFC just apply their policy over customer without any prior notification. they make your credit limit zero without any info. Beware of HDFC CREDIT CARDS

  91. Ramprakash

    Hi Manish

    Is there a difference between blocking a credit card and cancelling a credit card?
    I had blocked my SBI card last month, because during an IVR transaction, the executive had noted all my card details. I blocked the card but did not put a separate request for issue of new card. SBI have not issued me new card, but have blocked my card. This card has an annual fee of 500+taxes if the annual transaction value does not exceed 50000. Could they levy this charge next year?


    • yes, blocking is not same as cancelling , cancelling means total cancellation , no existance of card. But by blocking , you are just making sure there is no transaction for some time . I am not sure if they can levy the charges or not, but better enquire about it and do not keep this open

  92. Hi Manish, I want to buy credit card. which help In Shopping mall,fuel,online shopping and utility bills.
    maximum i prefer online shopping, and utility bills. pls suggest me which is the best..?

  93. Hi Manish, thanku very much for ur information.please can u right some article on sensex market. i mean which brokerage charges is better. where we need to open demat account etc.. if you already wrote this article then pls post link here.. thank you.. just few day before only i came to know about this website really u providing very good information.

      • Arun kumar

        Hi manish. I’ve been using HDFC titanium credit card from last 2.5 years with 1lac credit limit,The annual charge is 299INR .20 days back I applied for SBI gold card for which the annual charges are 499INR. But they’ve given platinum card for which the annual charges are 2999INR.And they included 2999 in the first bill itself.with tax and all its 3350INR. I spoke to customer care also for 3 times. but no use. they simply say, will arrange a call back from concerned department. No call from last 6 days. What do i do? Suggest me.

  94. Raghuram

    I have been using ICICI Platinum HPCL Card, SBI Gold and more, HDFC Titanium, Kotak and now applied for SC Super Value Credit Card.

    Among all the cards that i have used and heard of.. SBI is the best one… Only SBI Offers to adjust points earned against your bill.. 2000 Points = 500 Rs.

    Dont fall in the trap of reward points.. Here is what happens
    1. Shop for some 1000 and you will be earning around 10 to 50 Points (depending on the bank)
    2. While you redeem you wil notice that each reward point is equal to 1/4 Rupee.
    (4 reward points = 1 Rupee) along with that you will be charged around 100 for handling the item.
    3. so all the equates to if you shop for 2,00,000 a year.. you will be getting 2000 points that is equal to 500 Rs ( – 100 shopping and handling charges) you will get 400 Rs effectively.

    so i feel cash back is always better.. for the same case of spending 2,00,000… you will get a cash back of say 2.5% you will get 5000.. :-) so banks ristrict on the amount of cashback(ICICI limits to fuel cash back to 100 per month).

    Be wise while choosing a card… list down your kind of usage and then decide.

  95. gunjan

    Dear Manish, I stay with a remote place(Ramtek near to Nagpur [maharashtra]), i earn a salary of Rs 4.8 L/annum, but still private banks are not helping me to provide credit cards.

  96. Sunil Jain

    I’m using HDFC credit card for more than 10 years without any issue. I make my credit card payment online via HDFC SB account. Since normlly there is a gap of 20 days between statement date and due date, my suggestion is that all the banks should add a ‘Payment Scheduler’ in net banking account. That way you can schedule your payment anytime during those 20 days for the due date and one gets freed from the hassle of remembering due date of credit card payment. SBI net banking has such scheduler and i found it very useful for making utility payments. I put this suggestion through HDFC Bank via helpdesk, but as expected they never acted on it.

  97. Ram

    Hi manish- I have been using HDFC credit card for almost 3 years now. it is a no-hassles card wrt paying bills, customer care etc. But unfortunately, it has very few benefits in terms of parternership with firms like bookmyshow etc. the best i have seen is a 5% discount for Rs 500 max on ebay etc. This anwyays, we can get using coupons from internet.
    My question is – I am looking to apply to CITIBANK card, but since i have read your articles on CIBIL rating going down due to multiple cards- am worried about how to dispose of the HDFC card officially in records. asked the customer care, who told to just write on a plain paper and drop in ATM- the answer looks highly shady to me. Please suggest. Keep up the good work as always.

  98. Amit S

    I am looking for a card that I may use for making payments in AUS dollars. I have Citi Bank card but it they charge me 3.3% over and above their forex rates, which are already higher than RBI. Any suggestions, please?

  99. @Manish
    I need to ask, that can I have and hold 2 credit card of same bank,
    Is there is any such policy of not allowing to have 2 cards from same bank

  100. Gold

    Hi Manish, Thanks for the wonder post on “India’s Credit Card’s review”. In my opinion the serve is bit close to my experience.

    Please kindly let me know about what is the best in my situation.

    I have 4 Credit Cards in hand one yet to come.!

    I’m managing all of then based on my requirements/situation as follows:
    1. HDFC Signature CC – 1 month old earlier Gold CC 1.6 months old. “My salary account, 5% or 1% cash back on utility bills, no annual membership fees, fuel surcharges waiver”
    2. ICICI Coral CC – 5 months old. “Buy one get one-Movie Buff !! and of-course Payback offer points”
    3. CITI BANK Platinum CC- 10 months old. “Free rewards on birthday/Renewal – (1000+600) points *Rs. 0.40/- i.e. worth of Rs 640 for free”
    4. Standard Chartered Manhattan CC – 1 year old. ” my favorite card 5% cash back and 5x rewards ”
    5. SBI Gold and More CC – in progress by next week I will receive. ” unlimited departmental 2.5% cash back, fuel surcharges waiver”
    6. HSBC Gold CC – 1 year old *closed recently. “Joining bonus 5000 rewards -enjoyed the benefit”

    I never checked for my CIBIL score / any another Credit score from any sources.

    Whenever I get a call from any bank CC department they are simply approving it and if I refuse to take, then they are pleasing me with the benefits and annual charge waivers..

    Please advice me ” Is this wise to hold these many card on my name? ”

    Well, I never missed a single payment in Personal Loan or CC bill payments. Kindly let me know if its bad to hold these many credit cards which might impact my credit score going further … !

  101. Drago Suji

    I see that a lot of people prefer Citi Bank. But is it available everywhere. For example, there is no city called Mangalore (State : Karnataka). So if one wants to apply for CitiBank Credit Card how does he go about it ?

  102. Praveen Pandey

    Hi Manish

    I have a cc of HDFC using that from last 2 years and having 1 lac credit limit
    i am a average customer and i have salary account also with hdfc,
    i want to increase my credit limit could you please give me some tips for that.

  103. sam

    Dear Sir/Madam

    This is Sam from Bangalore i would like to inform you about a credit card which i am using form the last four to five years
    Kotak Mahendra Credit Card the bauty of this card is that 1. It is got a customer service toll free number 2. Balance transfer option
    3. Emi options 4. Cash on call offers personal Loan offers I would like to ask you which bank has a toll free number i think none hdfc no
    icici no sbi no seconly which bank is giving balance transfer option now other than sbi and kotak mahendra . And would also like to share with a very
    very bad experience with hdfc i had in this week i am having hdfc card with me from the last four years having taken two cash on cards loans and
    several emi offers next month is my last emi for a loan which i had been taken 2 years back when i called up hdfc bank and asked when offers i do
    have on my card they are telling me no offers sir then what is the use of having a card of a bank when their is no offers provided by the credit card
    customer service is so pethatic that they kept me hold for 12 minutes and disconnected the call i think i would give my first priority to kotak mahendra card
    and second to icici bank credit card both are the best please tell me why do you people hold a credit card in emergencies for luxury or to buy mobiles or tablets on emi
    i think if the bank is giving you good offers like balance transfer or emi on less intrest people would go for that cards a lot if not they will stop using it when asked to hdfc
    bank manager sarvanan what is the use of having a hdfc bank credit card by me the answer was i dont know sir what is the benefits so i ask you people why do you have a credit card please answer me because their is no use of having a credit card without benefits.



    • Sumit

      My Experience with HDFC card is very bad.
      1) They are converting EMI at every time.
      2) They are not reversing my annual and yearly fee even i have spend so much amount which is higher than threshold limit.
      3) Customer care executive are not well educated as per expectation of customer. They are misguiding to refrain from hurdle and delaying the thing.

      As per my opinion Citi cards are extremely good for transparency.

  104. Muzaffar

    I am using credit card of Citibank,ICICI bank,HDFC bank,Kotak bank and SBI bank.I think form all this Citibank cash back and Citibank reward card is the best.

  105. Anuj

    Hello Manish , Can you please recommend me some some services from Indian Banks which allow me to Created Limited Cards ( VISA )

    Which can be funded manually and issued under different names or same name?

    I am running Advertising Campaigns for my Client. I would like to manage all expense through Cards ( Different Numbers )

    Is there any existing solution for this?

  106. Anuj

    One more question : Money remitted from USD to INR through Swift Settlements , what exchange RATE is used for this? Is it different for different banks?

    If yes, then which bank provides best RATE. I am specifically looking for SWIFT Remittance.


    I have been using HDFC Bank credit card for more than 10 years; graduated from silver to Titanium plus. I have no issues on interest charge etc. as I have never defaulted on my payments. I have a HDFC Bank savings account and I pay the bill on the net on or before the due date. Never faced any problem.
    Now I want to migrate to some other card as I find that the reward programme of HDFC Card is very poor. What is most irritating is that you are charged upfront INR 75 of your hard earned points every time you want to encash the reward points.
    While surveying alternative cards, I found that Indian Oil Citibank card is best for me. But on eligibility criteria I find that I must have a minimum relationship balance of Rs 2,00,000 with the bank even for a silver card. With other banks, it would not have been an issue as I would have kept a good portion of this value as FD. But in case of Citibank interest rates on FDs are ridiculously low. Any advice?

  108. rajkiran

    Very Very Poor Customer Care service, I have call many time to customer care and also go to axis bank but no response from customer care people, so dont use axis bank credit card. Very bad service. to use this card is totally money vest. you have no any option without phone call but in phone call they not give proper response.

  109. Abhishek

    Thanks Manish for sharing such a useful article .. just have one question. I would like to opt a citi bank card. My expenses are more of online shopping n fuel as well. Can u suggest me which Citi card would be d best..? I mean Titanium Cash back or IOC. Or if i take Cash back of citi. then take titanium of SC which offer same kind of Rewards n benefits on Fuel ..? Plz suggest

  110. DHEERAJ

    This bank is really at its AXIS. I mean, it’s not going to sustain its market share in the future as the investors and financial advisors see it today. I applied for a credit card on 6th Aug 2013 through the bank’s site. The e-application was approved and I received the email that en executive will be coming in next 2 working days and will collect the documents. Today is 10 th and I have contacted the customer care 10 – 15 times in last 2 days and listen this non- sense every time : “ The host computer you are trying to reach is not responding / not reachable “ . I believe the SARKARI banks are far better than this AXIS. I called the nearby bank and they even do not how the e- application works. I was told to come to the branch with the documents. Now I do not know what to do?
    Very disappointed with AXIS bank credit dept. I should go to Standard chartered / Citi bank who keep calling always. My advice: never fill credit card application from the Bank’s site. It’s not worthy to wait for the documents collection for 1 week. Also I am not sure whether the customer care dept. is really taking care of customers at the time of inquiry required by the customers.

    • Naga Kiran

      I am using Axis bank platinum CC and am using it for the benefit of 25% cashback amount of movie tickets.
      Once, have booked the tickets through bookmyshow website but cashback was not credited.
      When called the customer care,they mentioned that cashback is applicable only with merchants who are registered under certain category with Visa card company.
      From then,started booking tickets from ticketnew site and got 25% cashback on movie tickets booked on any day as some cards have offers applicable only duringe weekend/weekdays.

  111. I want to own a credit card with no joining fees and no annual/ renewal charges. Please let me know for which should I go for. Fuel surcharge waiver I want on that. I have seen 2 cards from ICICI – Platinum and Titanium. Are these the right choice and if yes, then which one?
    I appreciate your help. Thanks

  112. Navaneeth Krishna

    Recently i had got a SBI credit card on the account of our organization offer for employees. It is the worst card ever.. EMI offers dont work even from their listed merchants. Customer Care is worst. Its totally useless card like a visiting card with no info on it.

  113. anand kumar

    I am uisng City bank Indian oil credit card from past 3 years there is no annuval charges for this card …
    I am happy with their serive and there reward points offer also simple and good.
    I rate this as the best card.

    I had applied for standard charted card once .. never received the card there customer support also not good …they will ask lot’s of documents…


  114. Simran

    I had recently taken an Insta Platinum Card with ICICI. The manager troubled me a lot for activation. He wasn’t even meticulous to get the form filled. Called me back after 2days to say I need to give copy of my PAN Card. I have the account for last 10 yrs with PAN already listed. They even deduct TDS. But this moron did not ask me details DESPITE GETTING THE FORM FILLED. Such an irresponsible person, doesn’t even pick my calls and they made him a BRANCH MANAGER.

    When I call customer care, they say we will check with branch. When I email them they say please visit the branch we have no records. My FD is already booked now and I am stuck… It looks like ICICI does not want to give credit it only wants to USE YOUR MONEY either for free (without paying interest) or by crook activities.

    I have sent an email to consumer forum also. One thing I realized, ICICI has absolutely no control over the quality of customer care delivered by their staff. Everything is kept under carpet – even the policy disclosure.

    I was asked to sign the Fixed Deposit Reciept BEFORE it was printed. The card was given WITHOUT Activation. No one told me it will take X no. of days. Their website also doesnt say so. The bank is purely into marketing and misleading the customer.

    What hurt me even more, that a FOREX customer was given priority for a $100 transaction and I had to wait at the branch for an hour to book my Fixed Deposit for Credit Card. The bank doesn’t care how old a customer you are, they just want QUICK DOllar Money and They will withdraw funds from ur account and pay no interest saying the Cheque is under clearing. (Even if its same bank)

    • Hi Simran

      If I look at your comments, All I can see is your comments against the RULES. The Forms are to be filled by you always, Its not someone else responsibility. A COPY of PAN Card has to be provided by you for anything new to be done as per RBI itself . If you open a Bank in INDIA, even you will have to do that. Even TDS has to be deducted as per RBI direction .


      • Simran

        U didnt get it.. If a bank deducts TDS, which means THEY HAVE MY PAN CARD ALREADY IN RECORDS.

        And the Manager who is filling the form says “License chalega” Baki sab hai account mei. PAN Number was filled on the form.

        I have no issues with submitting documents, the problem is They tell you NOT REQUIRED or Stay Numb when asked what is needed.. and goof up.
        I think you are ICICI lover.. lol

        I am 11 yrs Account holder.. trust me.. I wouldn’t want to betray them.. but some branches are gone to the dogs. And some is 90% of it.

        • Ok In that case, better check with the ICICI griviance cell and also if you want you can reach to Banking ombudsman for service deficiancy . If your case is strong, you can also get compensation on this .


  115. Simran

    I had recently taken an Insta Platinum Card with ICICI. The manager troubled me a lot for activation. He wasn’t even meticulous to get the form filled. Called me back after 2days to say I need to give copy of my PAN Card. I have the account for last 10 yrs with PAN already listed. They even deduct TDS. But this moron did not ask me details DESPITE GETTING THE FORM FILLED. Such an irresponsible person, doesn’t even pick my calls and they made him a BRANCH MANAGER.

    When I call customer care, they say we will check with branch. When I email them they say please visit the branch we have no records. My FD is already booked now and I am stuck… It looks like ICICI does not want to give credit it only wants to USE YOUR MONEY either for free (without paying interest) or by crook activities.

    I have sent an email to consumer forum also. One thing I realized, ICICI has absolutely no control over the quality of customer care delivered by their staff. Everything is kept under carpet – even the policy disclosure.

    I was asked to sign the Fixed Deposit Reciept BEFORE it was printed. The card was given WITHOUT Activation. No one told me it will take X no. of days. Their website also doesnt say so. The bank is purely into marketing and misleading the customer.

    What hurt me even more, that a FOREX customer was given priority for a $100 transaction and I had to wait at the branch for an hour to book my Fixed Deposit for Credit Card. The bank doesn’t care how old a customer you are, they just want QUICK DOllar Money and They will withdraw funds from ur account and pay no interest saying the Cheque is under clearing. (Even if its same bank)

    So for hte benefit of others, I am expressing my voice on this site.
    BEFORE you take an ICICI Instant Card:
    1. Cross check website terms, FD Interest Rates, Turn Around time and reviews
    2. NEVER sign anything before you write all points and clarify doubts.
    3. DO NOT give your F.D. receipt to Branch, till you get the Card in your HAND.
    4. DO NOT give cheque until you get the Card in your HAND.
    5. Fill the Form YOURSELF even if the branch manager says “Madam, koi baat nahi, iske zarrorat nahi, aap itne purane customer ho.” OR “Madam, hum fill kar denge, aap sirf sign kardo”. – This is really DANGEROUS.
    6. Before you leave, ask a copy of the Form you have filled from Manager saying you want it for records.
    7. Always have NOMINEE listed on your F.D. (Becoz in the print out it says NONE – even if your account level nominee is registered)
    9. NEVER allow branch manager to remove the card from the sticker tape on that letter – HE MIGHT REMEMBER THE LAST 3 DIGITS of the CVV Code. (Note – they already know ur card number, expiry, ur DOB, etc. from the computer)

    Please be very careful while dealing with these guys. If its a person OUT OF UR STATE working with bank, then he might run away after doing a Fraud. That is why NEVER let them see the CVV Code of ur card. The moment u get the card, learn the code digits and put a market on it. If they ask “madam ek minute card dena, system mei dalna hai” then its RISKY to show them CVV.

    NO bank in India does Criminal Background Checking.. this thing is only in EU, US and UK etc. And the terms of the bank clearly state they are not responsible for misleading actions of the staff representing the bank.


  116. Naveen

    Hai,,, am planning to apply for ICICI platinum credit card .. can any 1 plz suggest me whether its good or not..?

  117. Ruchita

    Hello Manish,

    A fine article on the info on credit cards….went through all the comments and lil confused with Citibank and HDFC.. I have a salary account with HDFC and applied for their credit card few days before, they disapproved and the reason is unknown 😛 … I ll find it out though.. per your comments seems Citibank is best.. wondering if I can link it with my HDFC salary account so that I can pay the charges from there? or do I have to follow some other process….

    Thanks in advance…

  118. Swagata Guha

    Hello Manish,
    Love to read your post on regular basis.I am very new in handling credit cards. So some things I dont understand. I have two credit cards one is from HDFC and another one is from Standard Chartered. There is one basic difference between the two. In HDFC credit card, if I purchase a thing of say Rs 10000 then I have to pay more on or before due date as it includes Service Tax and education cess . But in the Standard Chatered bank credit card a 1000 rs thing will cost to me of 1000 rs as in the bill no service tax gets added on my transactions. So the card from the Stan Chartd costs much lesser than the HDFC card to me. Can you say why is it so? My standard chatered card was given to me as Life time free card. May this be only the reason??

  119. shailendra

    Hi manish,

    I have been using cards for last 10 yrs now. My rating:

    HSBC- worst – drag me to settlement- absolute pathetic customer service- no tele redressal system- do not use ( not using now)

    ICICI- false promises- u have to fight- then they wud settle- do not use ( not using now)

    HDFC- everything ok except EMI option for online buying or shops- double check- ( using infinite sig)

    STANC- good- platinum rewards- good but if opting for super value fuel saver – trade carefully ( they have changing t&C frequently)

    AMEX- gold charge- no issues/hassles- v good customer service , but at a cost.

  120. Ramesh Sabbani

    Hi All,

    I actually came to this post whether to go for HDFC credit card or not. Finally this post helped me a lot to take my decisions. The decision is , I am not going to take any HDFC credit card.

    I already have three credit cards. The oldest one is from ICICI and more than 5 years old. The other two are from CITI Bank. One is CITI rewards and another one is CITI IOCL Card.

    My Review goes like this :

    1. ICICI Titanium Credit Card: As this is my first credit card, I still maintain it to have good credit track record(CIBIL score). Moreover I do not have any complaints with ICICI credit card and for that matter with bank too. They have very nice customer service. They will reverse the charges if anything is wrong from their end or from our end too. No charges at all on this card. They have asked me to upgrade to other cards many times, but i rejected politely . You will find the reason for that below. ICICI will not mention credit limit in CIBIL report(FYI).

    2. CITI Rewards Credit Card: I was so deliberate to get my first CITI credit card. But the online application form did not allow 25 years old that time. So I waited and applied when I was 25. Welcome benefits were so great and so are the regular benefits. You will keep getting reward points regularly. Customer service is awesome. I do not have any complaints with them. Perhaps I sent many appreciations to them. Redemption of rewards is very easy and you can use it at few online shopping sites and other shops. Overall I prefer this card in my Wallet for lifetime. One final thing you can swap your rewards card to IOCL card. Then your reward points will be transferred to IOCL with ration of 2:1. This is great deal. Normally you can get maximum 40 paisa for 1 reward point. But this way you can get 50 paisa. I swapped my first rewards credit card to IOCL card when I got my second rewards credit card with my new employer’s salary account. The credit limit is so high too(This is very important for credit history)

    3. CITI IOCL Credit Card: This is my favorite. I got this card by swapping my first rewards card. That time itself all my reward points converted into Turbo points. That’s really great. One turbo point equal to one rupee petrol at IOCL petrol pumps with CITI swipe machines. You can accumulate turbo points by using the card for petrol , groceries and others. As the turbo points are directly being used for my necessity, I feel great about this card.

    You may wonder after having the above three great credit cards, why I checked about HDFC card. Because, HDFC will waive off Fuel surcharge at all petrol pumps. Where as CITI has association with only IOCL and ICICI has association with only HP. To get waive off fuel surcharge at all petrol pumps, I though of going for fourth credit card.

    But now I decided that it is of no use when I have CITI with lot rewards. Moreover my credit history(CIBIL score) may get impacted if I take my fourth credit card.

    I hope this is useful for few new aspirants who want to take CITI and ICICI.

    P.S : I have referred CITI and ICICI to few of my friends. They are happy buddies now.

  121. I am using Indian bank credit card for last 1 year , i have no problem with them and customer care is good though not excellent. I pay my dues in time no extra charge till date i have paid. They send e-bill and mobile alert for bills and every transaction mobile alert and website use with OTP. For used in US doller you have to email or call them . One can activate and deactivate this service any number of times by just mailing or calling credit card numbers.

  122. a ghose

    NEVER USE Standard chartered ever. They are one of the most dishonest banks who will never try to solve your problems and have extremely poor service. I have suffered multiple times wrong billing and had to pay it too. I have given the card back and have taken NOC from them so that that cant bother anymore.
    Hope this info helps anyone in future.

  123. Sam

    I tried applying for an HDFC Bank credit card a couple of years back – to my surprise it was rejected. I had good balances with them, many FD’s as well as had an securities and MF account with them. Still I was not given any particular reason for refusal. I moved on and after few months applied for credit cards with Axis and Indus Ind. Surprisingly they both got rejected. Now I have never defaulted on a single payment ever so this was a shock. I checked my CIBIL and found that Citibank had converted my 8 year old savings account into an OD account without my knowledge and they accumulated charges on them. I was furious – went through their barrages of call centers and visited their branches and had them close the OD account with ‘No Pending Dues’ status and had them update my CIBIL records simultaneously.

    Still – I was now reluctant to apply for credit cards as they would just build inquiries on my CIBIL report. I opted for an Axis Bank Secure Credit Card against my FD which was promptly issued – have been using it without any issues. Then I was issued a Union Bank Platinum Visa with 2 L limit as I have my salary account with them. I suppose this improved my CIBIL scores as I use this cards frequently – my average monthly usage on cards is 30-40K and I always make my payments in full. Finally I applied and was approved for AMEX Gold Card – I need this as I travel abroad frequently and use my cards to buy tickets and book hotels and this card helps significantly there. Though AMEX card is relatively new – I will post my reviews and experiences with it later.

    I am surprised with Axis Bank really as they recently approved my 1 Crore housing Loan jointly with my wife in less then a week. Then they asked her to apply for a credit card which they declined. So was stunned. My wife really did not need a credit card as she has ICICI Platinum since last 5 years with which she is happy.

    One thing I do now is check my credit scores atleast twice in a year. This helps me keep away from unpleasant surprises.

  124. Satish Kumar

    I have been using Citibank Indian Oil Platinum Card and very happy with it. It has 2-3 features – like no fuel surcharge at Indian Oil petrol pumps (using Citibank machine), extra rewards points on certain categories, easy point redemption (you can simply go to a petrol pump and redeem points, 1 point equals 1 rupee), and spend based annual fee waiver (if you spend over 30k in a year, annual fee is not levied).

    I was using ICICI card also but that has no other features except annual fee waiver. Redeeming the reward points is cumbersome and costly process. Customer Service is very poor (takes min 30 minutes before someone answers the call).

    I wanted to get an HDFC Platinum Card as many of my friends have very good opinion. However, these guys are very particular about not calling any customers who are registered for DND service. So much so that they don’t entertain you even when you call their customer service number!!!!!

  125. Rohit


    I have been using HDFC Titanum Mastero CreditCard since last two year and I am totally satisfied. Initially the Credit limit was 20k but based on my usage they incresded it to 35k. I am totally satified so far with my overall exprience with HDFC.

    Recently I applied for SBI Gold and More Platinum Visa Credit Card. Based on my credit score they gave me a huge limit of 1.25L and cash limit of 37.5K. I am confused whether I should keep the SBI card of get it cancled as there will be an yearly charge of 500. There are no anual charges on HDFC.

    I need some expert advice on whether I should keep this SBI card or get it cancelled.

  126. Mandakini

    I never had a credit card nor had I ever taken a loan in my life. Anyway at the age of 31 I decided to go in for a credit card as I do spend quite a lot of money on international transactions, online shopping and hence decided to go in for my own credit card instead of using my colleagues card and letting him bear the fruits of my chunky reward points. I had no idea how to go about the whole credit card process and hence sought the services of various agents. I heard the Citibank card was good and hence I applied for a Citibank credit card only to be rejected stating that my CIBIL score doesn’t meet the criteria. I was worried and wondered why I even have a CIBIL score considering I never used any card / took a loan throughout my existence. Anyway I paid to receive my CIBIL score which came out to be -1. I wondered what that even meant in the first place.

    Through another set of agents I applied to HDFC for a card which finally came through. I have their Platinum card with a limit of around 100k a month (my usage is about 10 -30k / month on an average). A few days later i got a call from Stan Chart who offered me their Inner Circle card (also with a 100k limit)…for which i feel the rewards are very limited and I made that clear to customer care too but the good thing about Stan Chart is that they don’t charge a fee for international transactions.
    I want to know which card would be good for shopping online / reap rewards for petrol spends. I am not too clear of what rewards I will get on my HDFC Platinum card and my Stan Chart Inner Circle cards so can anyone fill me in on the same as Customer care executives are rarely clear in what they state to you over the phone. Also I am told these cards are free so does that have some hidden meaning too!Does free mean free for life / free for a year / free if you do a certain amount of spending? Also if i am spending 30 – 40 k on an average should my I request the banks to decrease my credit limit?

    Look forward to your thoughts.


    • Aakshey

      It is ideal to spend 20-40% of your credit limit. If you spend 30k per month then a 1L limit is ideal for you.

      As you develop a history with HDFC they may upgrade your card.

  127. ankur

    i have been using canara bank’s credit card… limit of 1lac…..never had to pay interest…..customer support excellent ….though bill payment is bit cumbersome but they dont have cash deposit charges if you visit any branch and pay cash. Very transparent and customer friendly !!

  128. shiras

    Hi manish,
    OUTSTANDING article,congrats for taking effort to make this article.
    Since last 7 year’s i have been using HDFC credit card ,its super and no bad experience for me.ONLY thinks is that offer less compared to other’s.

    I have question related to take a new free credit card offer received from CITI bank.
    Firstly what are the basics thinks i need to check before accepting their offer?
    Is it possible to transfer MY HDFC outstanding balance to CITI bank?
    which card is best in CITI bank?
    Looking forward your positive reply..:)

    • There is no provision of transfer of cards between banks :)

      There is nothing specific to check as such . Just that you should be 100% clear about their fees (its fine if they charge per year, because you get some benefits from it) and other rules, interest rates etc

      Citibank is ranked as one of the best credit cards as per our review longback so go for it :)

  129. Mandakini

    Yes HDFC seems good but the surcharge on international transactions (in India) is a little irritating. That way StanChart Inner Circle doesn’t have a surcharge on International transactions but it terms of rewards it is truly bad…and HDFC is rather confused on what rewards a Platinum Plus card has to offer…Would you be aware as to why Citibank rejected my application? I was just wondering….thanks

  130. satish

    Hi manish

    I like to apply a credit card either in CITI bank or HDFC bank(Not having any credit card earlier) .so i like to open a salary account in any one of that. And in future i might require a Housing loan. Im Already having a account SBI but they not give a nice offers on credit cards.So having those to points in mind, Can u kindly suggest me in which bank i can open my salary a/c??

      • Aakshey

        That isn’t true at all. AMEX takes into consideration your ITR (min 2L/yr), up to 6 lacs per year bonus income points for locality, 20% of car insurance value and you need to make a total of 6L with that to get a Plat Reserve. Gold card 7L.

        And you can do a secured FD as well with other banks.

  131. Govind

    Hi Manish,

    I am a marine engineer working on contractual basis in a foreign based company, i have seen some banks ask for monthly salary, so how can i get a credit card. My annual income comes around 28L.
    How is Manhattan credit card?

    Looking forward for ur suggestions…


      • Aakshey

        You can get a secured FD for as little as 25000 that gives 20000 credit.

        With a 28L income I recommend you go for a HDFC Infinia with a Platinum Reserve AMEX. You could get a AMEX Plat Charge but will cost nearly 60k/yr.

        You are likely to get a limit of 3-5+ CL with a 28L ITR and if you have huge spending it could increase further.

        Don’t go for anything else except HDFC Regalia/Infinia or AMEX Plat Reserve.

  132. Tennyson

    Nothing can beat ICICI credit cards, they are the worse and are pathetic when it comes to service and the hidden charges

  133. Kumar pragati

    Interesting article .
    my experience with icici was worst, they charged me for 16881 rs for an unsuccessful transaction wherin chargeslip was not generated and signed. Even after writing to chargeback department and customer service many times they didn’t reverse it and asked me to settle the amout instead of reversing it.
    made me a defaulter finally.
    And now I am with hdfc signature card.
    awesome experience, top class customer service.
    Think hdfc is best, no issue since 8years.

  134. krishna


    I am planning to take a credit card, and I have started earning since July 13.
    Some of my close persons have advised me not to use any credit card now. So is it good if I go ahead with my debit card.
    And can you rate Axis Bank signature card.
    (I am skeptical to go for Axis Bank after reading the above review)

  135. Nanjund


    I have 5 cards they are of great use, i would like to know having 5 cards means not good cibil score? i haven’t checked it though coz pay on-time and if require do BT.
    wt would you suggest!

  136. Aakshey


    The best card in India is AMEX Plat Reserve/Platinum Charge based on your situation/ability to pay.

    You can get a Plat Reserve with an ITR of only 2L plus per annum and show income points by staying in a regular, premium, super premium locality or having a decent car. Otherwise you need 6L per annum.

    And the service is unmatched. It is truly a lifestyle luxury product.

    The only other decent card is HDFC Regalia but that is a bit more difficult to get. But with good spending HDFC does give it to customers.

    And both HDFC and Amex are very reasonable about decent limits, like 2-3x plus your gross monthly income.

  137. Akshay


    I have my accounts in SBI, ICICI & HDFC and I want to get a credit card.
    But I won’t be using it for shopping/fuel/bills instead I only need it for international online transaction that can be done only by credit card and my yearly transaction would be within Rs. 20,000.

    I am looking for a card that has No annual fees lifetime some cards do say that but in the second year they will charge annual fee and I don’t want that. I am ready to pay joining fee if needed but don’t want to pay any Annual fee.

    Please can anyone suggest a credit card that has no annual fee for lifetime.


    • Hi Akshay

      If a company themselves offer you the card, it might be without the charge, otherwise its a bit tough . Also why dont you use debit card itself for international transactions .. it works !

  138. Pinank

    On completion of my 1st year HDFC gave me 3 months payment holiday! So I was not supposed to pay any amount for 3 consecutive months and payment had to be made in the 4th month’s bill. It was a really gooood offer from HDFC. Every month I kept aside the bill amount in liquid fund and made the most out of the offer. Before that I was thinking of cancelling my HDFC credit card as rewards were not that good as Citibank cards. Now I am planning to keep HDFC and will apply for Citi card as well. 😀

  139. d.anil kumar

    I held a SBI CC operated by GE few years back. They stopped sending me the statement which resulted in erratic payments by me. Threatening calls followed. Filed an FIR against the SBI. Two years bills at my doorstep. Ultimately settled after an apology from the SBI. But in the process lost my so called ratings.

  140. Prashant Kumar

    Hi Manish
    I fresher to apply for CC so i am very confused which credit card is useful to me i m confused between HDCF and ICICI.My salary account in HDFC bank so can u give me some tips how can i select which card is good for me and also what is the benefit i get in hdfc or icici like some rebate in online ticket booking,fuel, movies etc.So please help me.


    • Balu


      Both HDFC and ICICI are not good in terms of rewards. Go for citi bank cards.

      Currently I hold hdfc visa signature card and citi cashback card. Been using the hdfc for more than 3 years and still the points haven’t even reached 10k. Just 3 months ago I have got citi cash back card which comes with 500INR annual fee + service tax, and I have already accumulated 600INR cashback as my utility bills are very high.

      Go to the webpage and compare that suits your needs. if your utility bills are high go for citicashback card else go for citi rewards card.

  141. Deepak


    I am looking at credit cards with fuel surcharge waiver and decent reward point system.
    Can someone suggest one?


  142. Rajesh

    I have been using HDFC bank credit card for a while now. And to be frank, I am not happy with it now, and thinking of moving to Citi Bank.
    Main issues is, the offers available. When many of my colleagues are getting many features (their card is new, and with much less credit limit and very less expediture than me) such as cash on call and all. But, I never gets them. Also, I checked tried to purchase products using the points I had earned. When I needed 8000 points( just example) for one products, same product my friend is able to get for 6000 points.
    I am really surprised to see these things, and not at all sure why this is happening.
    Hence I called up their customer care yesterday, and they informed that we don’t know how background operations are working and we can’t provide any more info on the same!!!!
    I am thinking of closing my HDFC bank credit card and moving to Citi Bank. Is there any latest review on Citi Bank credit card or ICICI any one can share? Any inputs?


  143. Sarang

    I am Looking For CC. My salary A/C with ICICI bank & saving A/C with HDFC bank. Pls suggest me CC for Regular use & also bill cycle details

  144. Ganesh

    I wanted purchase gold for my daughter’s wedding. To avoid cash transaction at jewelery shops for buying gold worth more than eight laks which CC gives maximum limit? I don’t want to take cash during travel. I have an account with HDFC and also in ICICI Bank.

  145. Arnov Sarkar

    I now have 6 Credit Cards:
    1. HDFC Titanium Times Card – For offers coming through various ecommerce sites, plays discounts at NCPA, Canvas Laugh Factory etc.
    2. Citibank Cashback Card- To take care of all my Utility Bills, get around 1500 cash back a year.
    3. SBI IRCTC Card – To take care of all my railway bookings, I at-least go 4 times a year to my home, my parents also come over here. All there are from ecommerce sites.
    4. Axis Bank My Choice – Have taken option of Supermarkets and Fuel, get a cash back on both of these.
    5. ICICI HPCL Coral Credit Card – Takes care of my fuel bill, get surcharge wavier and 2.5 % Cash back. Also get 100 Rs. on 2 movie tickets.
    6. Stan C Lifestyle Credit Card – Since its a lifestyle credit card so just wait for there offers.
    Other than that I have debit cards for which I get offers.
    1. HDFC Platinum Cashback Card – 1% cash back on any spending. Use it for dining and other spendings.
    2. ICICI Coral Debit Card – 2 movie tickets free per month.

    Now maintaing 6 Credit Cards and 2 Debit Card with Annual Rents is not an easy task, however i do maintain an Excel Sheet and I enter against each Credit Card whenever I do a transaction. I do make sure I do not cross 25k of spending a month. Also color the outstanding with Green the moment I clear the bill. I am using a Windows Smartphone so now thinking of putting reminder in outlook for Bill Payment, however never I have defaulted and paid the money same day the day bill is generated. Its good to have these cards provided we spend with discipline and clear outstanding on time.

  146. gulshan chauhan

    hello sir,
    i just want to know about the hdfc credit card on fixed deposit. 1) at what minimum amount of FD, i avail a shopping credit card of credit limit around rs 15,000 ? 2) can i convert my any shopping in easy EMI? 3) can it work like a debit card (means can i use it for atm transaction )? 4)what is difference between monthly interest rate and annual interest rate (as we seen while purchasing online ex:-flipkart,they write annual interest rate by bank 12% ) plz clear it…and finally can you help me in finding a credit card on FD or SAving account , which have at least INR 15000 credit limit…..

  147. Vikas

    Good Morning. I have never used credit card in my life and managing with debit card .I wan to know whether i should go for it in view of its usability during international travels.Pls advise me whether i should go for it and if yes which is the best company as far as rewards, points ,service etc. I am always reluctant as i heard that they charges very high penalty even in case of their fault and they always try to trap customer in that loop. Pls advise.

  148. Pradeep

    Hi All,
    Manish – good article for freshers like me. But really confused with the mixed feedbacks on all CCs.
    I am planning to go for a CC which has zero/minimum anual balance and which gives decent reward points. Could you please suggest me some CCs to compare.
    Thanks in anticipation.

  149. Vicky

    Hello ,

    I am thinking to buy an Apple Macbook Air , worth 70k. So planning to have a CC, but confused between HDFC and CITI. Which one should i prefer ,plz help.

  150. Ashish Chaubey

    Hi Manish,

    I’m planning to go for ICICI credit card can you just help me with all hidden cons of it.(Pls be specific and clear)


  151. sandeep

    Hi manish
    Nice article,
    I never used cc before now i m planning one… Mainly i have petrol expenses about 5k a month… I had a look into icici coral petro card, can u review on this.
    Wat r the criteria to get this card… Is it necessary to create fd n sb account, n whom to approach? I meant Apply through online or approach bank directly which one is better. I dont have icici account. N is this facility available in all icici branch?
    Thank in adavance

  152. j.srinivas

    HI all
    interesting feed back from all

    I use American express charge type credit card which is the best..but only thing is that in each payment cycle you need to clear entire out standign and you cannot keep any amount as pending for next month..
    But rewards are amazing within almost 10 months i am going to get 10k cash card as reward.. ofcourse there are some dos and don’t tobe eligible for this andto earn points..

    apart from amex i have standard chartered.. standard chartered was one of the worst customer care earlier but now surprisingly they have improved alot compared to earlier times so try out their titanium card has amazing cash back offers on fuel,power bill and mobile bill.. they waive annual and joining fees once you achieve their spend targets

    Hi manish, these discussion are too good

  153. manish dedhia

    i just had bad experience with hdfc credit card. I had called phone banking to resolve some problem at end of call phone banker solicited me into getting a cash on call loan promising an interest rate of 5.6% annum. After the call i got a message that my loan was processed at .89% pm.after my calls to credit card department repeated complain to cancel the loan , my loan was preclosed and preclosing charges were leived.where do i complain now please guide me

  154. Hi Manish Chauhan,
    Nice article and Thanks for the survey and reviews on credit cards. I am also using HDFC credit card from past 3 years and not faced any extra charges or interest at all.

  155. I like CiTi Bank credit card a lot. In fact personally using one with which I can buy movie ticket, discount on restaurant and in many game parlors as well. Their online account interface is really cool and one can redeem points very easily.

  156. Yusuf

    I have planned to get Indian oil citibank platinum card. Any more suggestion for me. i will use more petrol/diesel a month and little of shopping.

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