Santa Claus comes around just once a year. In the meantime, there are Credit Cards.
  • Different Types of Credit Cards in India

    Credit Cards are small sized plastic cards that can make life very simple. These cards allow you to purchase goods and services on credit, the money for which you can return at the end of every month. You can choose to pay the full amount of credit that you have borrowed from your credit card issuer or a minimum fixed amount every month. In case you pay only the minimum amount, remember that you will be charged an interest on your outstanding balance. There is a credit limit set for you by your card provider.

    We found 3 Different Types of Credit Cards in India
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    There are many banks in India that provide different types of credit cards. The cards are divided based on the rewards and benefits they offer and the income and spend requirements of the applicants. Customers can choose any credit card that helps them avail a lot of benefits and is an ideal match for their requirements. For example – If you travel a lot, then a travel card is best for you as it can help you earn air miles, access airport lounges, etc. In India, credit cards are offered in collaboration with the following payment networks - Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diner’s Club, etc.

    Fuel Credit Cards

    Fuel credit cards offer benefits on every fuel transaction that cardholders make. This card helps customers save on refuelling by providing them with cashback offers and fuel surcharge waivers. Some banks also offer accelerated rewards points on fuel transactions, if they are made at specific petrol pumps across India. The accumulated rewards points can be redeemed for refuelling for a predetermined value. Other additional benefits include activation bonus, entertainment benefits, dining, hotel and wellness offers, etc.

    The annual and joining fees charged on Auto credit cards are very low and daily Metro/train commuters can greatly benefit by availing these cards. These cards double up as a travel card plus a normal credit card which can be used for shopping and other purchases. As a welcome offer, these cards come preloaded with certain amount of cash and they also have auto top-up facility. Customers can earn rewards points on top-ups and other transactions. Some cards also offer annual renewal deals, add-on card facility and surcharge waivers to cardholders.

    Some of the popular auto/fuel credit cards are given as follows:

    • BPCL SBI Credit Card
    • IndianOil Axis Bank Credit Card
    • HDFC Bharat CashBack Credit Card
    • IndianOil HDFC Bank Credit Card
    • ICICI HPCL Super Saver Credit Card
    • HPCL IDFC FIRST Power+ Credit Card
    • BPCL SBI Card Octane

    Contactless Credit Cards

    Contactless credit cards are equipped with a unique payment technology that allow cardholders to make payments by simply tapping their cards at POS terminals. These contactless transactions do not require the customers to enter any PIN number to make purchases and are extremely secure. These cards offer several benefits such as discounts, cash rewards, entertainment benefits, reward points, welcome gift, lounge access, concierge service, insurance policy, etc.

    Some of the popular contactless credit cards are:

    • SBI Signature Contactless Credit Card
    • AU Bank Vetta Credit Card
    • Kotak Royale Signature Credit Card

    Credit cards for Women

    To ensure their female customers get the maximum benefits, some banks have introduced credit cards that are exclusively designed for women. These Women credit cards mainly focus on shopping rewards and cashback offers. Apart from this, cardholders can get bonus reward points, fuel surcharge waiver, insurance, etc. They can also earn reward points when they make purchases using their credit cards. There are few credit cards for women that offer amazing travel benefits.

    Some of the popular credit cards for women are:

    • HDFC Bank Solitaire - Premium Women's Credit Card
    • Kotak Mahindra Bank Silk Inspire Credit Card

    Travel Credit Cards

    Travel credit cards are popular because of the unlimited travel benefits they offer. These cards do not just offer travel benefits in India, but abroad as well. Most banks have tied up with airline companies or travel companies to offer travel credit cards. When customers use this card to make travel transactions, they can earn air miles. Apart from this, some travel cards provide access to airport lounges to the customers. The reward points that customers earn on these cards can be converted to air miles, which can then be used to book flight tickets and upgrade seats. Travel cards also provide hotel and holiday offers, golf offers, dining offers, travel insurance, etc.

    Some of the popular travel credit cards are:

    • JetPrivilege IndusInd Bank Odyssey Credit Card
    • JetPrivilege IndusInd Bank Voyage Amex Credit Card
    • JetPrivilege IndusInd Bank Voyage Visa Credit Card
    • IndusInd Bank WorldMiles Credit Card
    • Axis Bank Miles & More Credit Card
    • HDFC All Miles Credit Card
    • Air India SBI Signature Credit Card
    • Air India SBI Platinum Credit Card
    • Standard Chartered Emirates Platinum Credit Card

    Cashback Credit Cards

    Cashback credit cards offer cashback to customers on their transactions, which varies from 5% to up to 20% depending on the spend category. Cashback can be earned on bill payments, movie ticket bookings, retail purchases, dining bills, grocery purchases, etc. The key features available with every cashback card are fuel surcharge waivers, annual fee reversals, dining and shopping privileges global acceptance, rewards program, balance transfers, etc.

    Co-branded Credit Cards

    Co-branded credit cards are offered by banks in association with a retail brand, travel aggregator or any other financial institution. Privileges from both the parties are integrated into a co-branded credit card, letting customers enjoy double benefits via one card. The most successful co-branded credit cards are the ones issued along with retail merchants as banks can easily expand their customer base through the merchant’s clientele. Depending on the tie-up, co-branded credit cards can have benefits like rebates, discounts and offers from a retail partner brand, sporting benefits from a sports league, ticket booking privileges from airline and railway partners, holiday and hotel accommodation privileges from travel aggregators and premier hotel chains, etc. Though these credit cards carry features from two key entities, there is no restriction on the usage.

    Some of the popular co-branded credit cards are:

    • Yatra SBI Credit Card
    • IRCTC SBI Platinum Credit Card
    • Bank of India TAJ Premium Credit Card

    Rewards Credit Cards

    Rewards credit cards are known for offering multiple rewards on every card transaction. Cardholders can earn rewards points on all their retail, online, etc. card transactions. Apart from this, they can earn reward points as welcome gift, birthday gift, renewal bonus, etc. They can also earn points when they spend a certain amount in a specific period of time. These reward points can be redeemed for products/services mentioned in the rewards catalogue, which includes cashback offers, air miles, travel offers, etc. Some cards allow cardholders to make payments for their purchases in instalments.

    Some of the popular rewards credit cards are:

    • Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Credit Card
    • FinBooster: YES Bank-BankBazaar Co-branded Credit Card

    Business/Corporate Credit Cards

    Business credit cards are offered to business establishments, corporates and other financial institutions where the employer can offer credit cards to their employees and also conveniently manage the finances on the card. These cards cannot be used by the employees for personal transactions and are valid only during their employment period with the company. The privileges offered on corporate cards are hotel accommodation and travel deals, business savings plans, expense management, insurance, fuel surcharge waivers, airport lounge access, rewards programs, cash advance, add-on cards, bill payments and options to convert purchases into monthly installments. Companies also have the option of getting the name of the company embossed on these credit cards.

    Some of the popular business/corporate credit cards are:

    • SBI Platinum Corporate Credit Card
    • SBI Signature Corporate Credit Card
    • SBI Corporate Utility Credit Card
    • Canara Corporate Credit Card
    • BOB Corporate Premium Credit Card
    • HDFC Corporate Platinum Credit Card
    • HDFC Corporate World MasterCard Credit Card
    • HDFC Corporate Visa Signature Credit Card
    • HDFC Business Gold Credit Card
    • HDFC Corporate Credit Card
    • Kotak Corporate Platinum Credit Card
    • Kotak Corporate Wealth Signature Credit Card
    • Kotak Corporate Gold Credit Card
    • Indian Bank VISA Business Credit Card
    • HDFC Business Platinum Credit Card
    • Axis Bank MY Business Credit Card
    • IndusInd Bank Business Gold Credit Card

    Lifestyle Credit Cards

    Lifestyle credit cards are designed keeping in mind the changing lifestyles and income of the applicants. Most lifestyle credit cards carry golfing privileges, shopping privileges, dining, travel and other benefits. These cards generally come with first year annual fee waivers, cashback on tickets, insurance discounts, etc. Customers can earn bonus and accelerated rewards points with lifestyle credit cards on their purchases. Most of these cards are Platinum credit cards and offer superior travel, shopping, dining and luxury lifestyle privileges. For example – Axis Bank Signature Credit card with Lifestyle Benefits.

    Entertainment Credit Cards

    Entertainment credit cards are known for their amazing entertainment offers, which includes discounts, cashback or buy 1 get 1 free offers on movie ticket bookings, events, shows, etc. These cards also offer lifestyle, golf, dining, shopping and travel benefits to the cardholders. Apart from this, customers can earn rewards points on these transactions and redeem them for movie tickets, travel bookings or gift cards.

    Some of the popular entertainment credit cards are:

    • Kotak PVR Gold Credit Card
    • Kotak PVR Platinum Credit Card
    • HDFC Titanium Times Credit Card

    Premium/Signature Credit Cards

    Most banks offer a “Premium” or “Signature” credit card that come with the best of lifestyle privileges. Premium credit cards are in a league of their own with exclusive privileges like flexible spending limits, premium airport lounge access, concierge services, complimentary insurance, rewards program, global assistance services, chartered yacht and flight services, surcharge waivers, retail, travel and hotel accommodation vouchers, etc. There are more options for redeeming rewards that are earned using these cards. Some of these cards offer annual fee waiver, provided the cardholders reach a certain spend amount.

    Some of the popular signature credit cards are:

    • SBI Advantage Signature Credit Card
    • IDBI Royale Signature Credit Card
    • BOB Signature Visa Credit Card
    • HDFC Visa Signature Credit Card
    • Kotak Royale Signature Card
    • Kotak Privy League Signature Card
    • Kotak NRI Royale Signature Card
    • IndusInd Bank Signature Credit Card
    • IndusInd Bank Indulge Credit Card
    • IndusInd Bank Pinnacle Credit Card
    • IndusInd Bank Iconia Credit Card
    • Axis Bank Pride Signature Credit Card
    • Axis Bank Signature Credit Card with Lifestyle Benefits

    Prepaid Credit Cards

    Prepaid credit cards allow cardholders to load a certain amount of money in it and use that money to make the purchases. Even though these cards do not offer a line of credit, customers can enjoy most of the privileges that are provided by the other types of credit cards. The outstanding balance is the amount that is left in the prepaid card by the customer after making a certain transaction.

    Some of the Prepaid credit cards that are offered by banks in India are as follows:

    • Axis Bank Prepaid Credit Card

    Gold Credit Cards

    Individuals with higher income can avail a gold credit card from any bank in India. Applicants for any type of gold credit card should have a good credit score. The common features of a gold credit card are:

    • High cash withdrawal limit
    • High credit limit
    • Add-on card facility for family members like spouse, parents or children
    • Travel insurance
    • Cashback offers
    • Rewards program and much more

    Silver Credit Cards

    Silver credit cards can be availed by anyone who falls under a nominal salary range and has a work experience of around 4 to 5 years. It is easy for salaried employees to procure this type of credit card, provided they have a good credit history. These cards have a low membership fee and there is no interest charged for the initial 6 to 9 months, on balance transfers.

    Classic Credit Cards

    Classic credit cards come with features like global acceptance, revolving credit, cash advance, interest free credit period, rewards program, supplementary cards, insurance and a dedicated 24/7 customer care helpdesk for customers. Most classic credit cards do not carry annual fees or joining fees and are offered at low finance charges.

    The top Classic credit cards available to customers are:

    • Union Bank VISA International Classic Credit Card
    • Syndicate Bank Global Classic Credit Card
    • IndusInd Bank Classic Credit Card
    • Indian Bank Global Classic Credit Card
    • IOB Classic Credit Card
    • Canara Bank Classic Visa Credit Card
    • PNB Global Classic Credit Card
    • Vijaya bank Visa Classic Chip Credit Card
    • RBL Bank Classic Shopper Card

    Titanium Credit Cards

    Titanium credit cards are premium cards that come with a load of privileges and benefits. The key feature of a Titanium credit card is the Titanium Rewards program that is offered to the customers. This rewards program includes accrual of rewards points, redemption for gifts and air miles, cashback offers, etc. Other privileges that come with any Titanium credit card are surcharge waivers, revolving credit, interest free credit period, annual fee reversals, insurance, welcome gifts in the form of vouchers from top retail brands, add-on card facility, wellness and beauty offers, lifestyle and dining benefits, etc.

    Some of the popular titanium credit cards are:

    • Tata Titanium Card
    • Tata Croma Titanium Card
    • BOB Titanium Master Credit Card
    • Central Bank of India Titanium Credit Card
    • LIC Titanium Credit Card
    • Axis Bank Titanium Smart Traveler Credit Card
    • Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Credit Card
    • RBL Titanium Delight Card
    • HDFC Titanium Times Credit Card
    • HDFC Titanium Edge Credit Card

    Platinum Credit Cards

    Platinum card is one of the most popular credit card and is owned by many people because of the number of benefits and privileges it offers. The benefits include lifestyle, dining, shopping and entertainment offers, etc. The annual, joining and renewal fee of Platinum cards are a little higher compared to other types of credit cards.

    Every Platinum credit card comes with an exceptional welcome package, gift vouchers from retail brands, annual spend rewards, accelerated rewards points, cashback offers, Priority Pass membership with access to premium airport lounges, renewal gift vouchers, global lifestyle and golfing privileges, easy cash withdrawals, fuel surcharge waiver, add-on cards for family, emergency card replacement services, etc. Platinum card members generally also get other exclusive privileges, deals and offers with every card availed, depending on the financial institution they are banking with.

    Some of the popular Platinum credit cards are:

    • IndusInd Bank Platinum Select Credit Card
    • IndusInd Bank Platinum Aura Credit Card
    • SBI Advantage Platinum Credit Card
    • SBI BMB Platinum Credit Card
    • Bank of Maharashtra SBI Platinum Credit Card
    • Tata Platinum Card
    • Tata Croma Platinum Card
    • Oriental Bank of Commerce SBI Platinum Credit Card
    • Karur Vysya Bank SBI Platinum Credit Card
    • Federal Bank SBI Platinum Credit Card
    • Standard Chartered Platinum Elite Credit Card
    • HSBC Bank Platinum credit card
    • IDBI Aspire Platinum Credit Card
    • IDBI Imperium Platinum Credit Card
    • BOB Platinum Visa Credit Card
    • BOB Platinum Master Credit Card
    • BOB Platinum Assure Credit Card
    • Axis Bank Platinum Credit Card
    • Axis Bank Pride Platinum Credit Card
    • SBI Platinum Card
    • IndusInd Bank Platinum Credit Card
    • Standard Chartered Landmark Rewards Platinum Credit Card
    • Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Credit Card
    • Standard Chartered Manhattan Platinum Credit Card
    • RBL Platinum Maxima Card
    • RBL Platinum Delight Card
    • HDFC Platinum Times Credit Card
    • HDFC Teacher's Platinum Credit Card
    • HDFC Platinum Edge Credit Card
    • HDFC Platinum Plus Credit Card
    • Kotak Essentia Platinum Credit Card
    • Kotak Delight Platinum Card
    • Kotak League Platinum Card
    • Kotak Corporate Platinum Card

    FAQs on Different Types of Credit Cards in India

    1. What is the meaning of a ‘secured’ credit card?

      A secured credit card is a card which is issued against an asset in your name (example: Fixed Deposit). This could actually be a good start if you are not eligible to avail an unsecured credit card. A lot of the top banks in India offer secured cards against your fixed deposits.

    2. Can I withdraw cash from an ATM using a credit card?

      Yes, you can and the process of withdrawing cash from an ATM using your credit card is known as ‘cash advance’. You can only withdraw a part of your credit limit. However, these kinds of withdrawals will come with additional charges and will also have a higher interest rate as compared to the withdrawal of money from an ATM using your debit card.

    3. How can I earn and use reward points on my credit card?

      Every time you swipe your credit card, you will earn reward points. Your accumulated reward points can always be redeemed for merchandise, direct statement credit or gift vouchers. A few credit cards will offer extra rewards on your grocery expenses while other credit cards would offer more rewards when you book your flight ticket or book a room at a hotel.

    4. Do all credit cards come with a joining fee and annual fee?

      No, all credit cards do not come with an annual fee or/and a joining fee. A few basic credit cards do not have any annual fee or joining fee. All credit cards that come with an annual fee offer more benefits than a credit card that comes with no annual fee or joining fee.

    5. Will my credit card issuer charge interest for the non-payment of the bill?

      Yes, the interest rate will be on the balance that you owe. Most interest rates on credit cards start at 18% and could do up to 45% annually.

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