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Best Premium Credit Cards in India

Premium credit cards offer the best of the lifestyle privileges and benefits that you can't expect from a regular card. A few high-end facilities offered by such cards are free lounge access to domestic and international airports and an exclusive reward points program.

Also, to redeem the reward points, these cards offer equally exciting redemption options across a diverse range of first-rate products and services. Another attraction of most of these cards is the set of special services by a dedicated concierge.

Top Premium Credit Cards In 2019

Every major credit card issuer has a few premium credit cards that are targeted at individuals who seek luxurious features and services from their cards. Here is a list of a few such finest credit cards along with their related information.

Credit Card Variant Joining Fee Annual Fee Category

SBI Card ELITE

Rs.4,999

Rs.4,999

Lifestyle

Air India SBI Signature Card

Rs.4,999

Rs.4,999

Travel

HDFC Bank Diners Club Black Card

NIL (when applied on bankbazaar.com), otherwise Rs.10,000

Rs.5,000

Lifestyle

JetPrivilege HDFC Bank Diners Club

Rs.10,000

Rs.5,000

Travel

American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card

NIL (when applied on bankbazaar.com), otherwise Rs.1,000.

Rs.4,500

Rewards

(*As BankBazaar is an official partner for offering the cards listed below, it allows you to apply for any of these cards from its website itself).

Features And Benefits Of The Top Premium Credit Cards

SBI Card ELITE

Cards
Key Benefits
Details
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  • 10 points/Rs100 spent on dining, movies, department stores and groceries
  • 2 points/Rs100 on all other retail spends
  • Lowest foreign mark-up of 1.99% on international transactions
  • Gift vouchers worth 5,000 from popular travel, lifestyle and apparel brands
  • 1st Year Fee - Rs4,999

Key Highlights: It's a card for the elite-class and is loaded with premium privileges across multiple lifestyle categories including entertainment, travel, dining, and regular spends. You also enjoy benefits from international brands like Marks & Spencer, Shoppers Stop, etc.

Joining fee: Rs.4,999

Renewal fee: Rs.4,999 (2nd year onwards). Waived off if the total spending in the previous year is at least Rs.10 lakh.

Joining benefit: Gift voucher worth Rs.5,000.

Features and benefits:

  • Accelerated reward points on dining, grocery, and departmental store spends.
  • Free movie tickets worth Rs.6,000 per year and bonus reward points of up to 50,000.
  • 6 free international and 2 free domestic lounge visits every year.
  • Complimentary membership to the Club Vistara and the Trident Privilege Program.
  • Other benefits include low forex mark-up fee and concierge services.

Rewards redemption option:

Reward points can be used to pay the outstanding on your card (4 RP = Re.1).

Air India SBI Signature Card

Cards
Key Benefits
Details
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  • Complimentary Air India Frequent Flyer Programme - Flying Returns membership
  • 30 points/Rs100 spent on Air India tickets
  • 4 points/Rs100 spent on others
  • 20,000 Points, Complimentary Membership to Air India Frequent Flyer Program
  • 1st Year Fee Rs4,999

Key highlights: Air India travellers would enjoy benefits like a complimentary Priority Pass Program membership, reward points on Air India bookings, free access to airport lounges, and other premium facilities while flying.

Joining fee: Rs.4,999

Renewal fee: Rs.4,999 (2nd year onwards).

Joining bonus: 20,000 reward points when the joining fee is paid.

Features and benefits:

  • Up to 30 reward points on every Rs.100 spent for booking Air India tickets.
  • Access to international airport lounges with the complimentary Priority Pass membership.
  • 4 reward points on every Rs.100 spent on regular categories.
  • 8 complimentary access per year to VISA lounges in India.
  • Up to 1,00,000 bonus reward bonus points per year.

Rewards redemption option: Reward points can be converted into Air India miles. The air miles can be used for ticket bookings through the Air India website.

HDFC Bank Diners Club Black Card

Cards
Key Benefits
Details
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  • 20 points/Rs200 spent 
  • 4 points/Rs200 spent 
  • 1st Year Fee Waived off 
  • 5 points/Rs150 spent on retail
  • 10X points/Rs150 spent at select retail partners 

Key Highlights: HDFC Bank offers this card with the coveted Diners Club International. You enjoy top-class facilities like 24/7 concierge services, golf program, airport lounge access and many more.

Joining fee: NIL (For people applying on bankbazaar.com), for other applicants, it's Rs.10,000.

Renewal Fee: Rs.5,000 (From 2nd year). Waived off if the total spending in the previous year is at least Rs.5 lakh.

Joining Bonus: After paying the joining fee, you get 10,000 reward points.

Features and benefits:

  • 5 reward points on retail spends.
  • Unlimited access to over 700 domestic and international lounges.
  • Avail the services of a concierge to take care of all your booking needs.
  • 6 complimentary golf games every quarter in domestic and international golf courses.
  • Air accident coverage of Rs.2 crore and emergency medical expenses coverage of up to Rs.50 lakhs.

Rewards redemption options: You can redeem reward points for hotel bookings, air tickets, Air Miles, KrisFlyer Miles, Avios, JP Miles, and for products on the exclusive rewards catalogue. For air tickets and hotel bookings, the redemption rate is 1RP = Re.1.

Eligibility to apply for the HDFC Bank Diners Club Black Card

Employment status Salaried or Self Employed

Age

21 years to 60 years (for salaried applicants)

21 years to 65 years (for self-employed applicants)

Income (for salaried applicants)

Rs.1.75 lakh per month

Income (for self-employed applicants)

Minimum Income Tax Returns of Rs.21 lakh

JetPrivilege HDFC Bank Diners Club

Cards
Key Benefits
Details
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  • 8 JPMiles/Rs150 spent on retail 
  • 3X JPMiles/Rs150 for all travel bookings on Jet Airways website
  • Up to 30,000 Bonus JPMiles 
  • 1st Year Fee -Rs10000
  • 15 JP Tier Points 
  • Complimentary domestic Jet Airways ticket 

Key Highlights: It's a co-sponsored credit card which gives you the best benefits when you book Jet Airways tickets. The privileges include premiere check-in and extra baggage allowance in domestic airports, extra discounts on revenue tickets, etc.

Joining fee: Rs.10,000

Renewal fee: Rs.5,000 (2nd year onwards). By spending Rs.8 lakh, you enjoy a waiver of the renewal fee of the next year.

Joining bonus: Bonus JPMiles of up to 30,000 and 15 Jet Privilege Tier Points during the first 90 days of the card issuance.

Features and benefits:

  • 8 JPMiles on every retail spend and 24 JPMiles on Jet Airways ticket bookings.
  • Unlimited complimentary golf games at domestic and international golf courses.
  • Base fare discount of 5% for revenue ticket bookings.
  • A discount of 15% along with other special benefits at partner restaurants
  • 1 JP Tier Point for every 1.5 lakh spent on the card.

Rewards redemption option: You can exchange the reward points for JPMiles and then redeem the JPMiles for booking Jet Airways tickets.

Eligibility to apply for the JetPrivilege HDFC Bank Diners Club

Employment status

Salaried or Self Employed

Age

21 years to 60 years (for salaried applicants)

21 years to 65 years (for self-employed applicants)

American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card

Cards
Key Benefits
Details
Know More
  • 1 MR point /Rs50 spent 
  • 1,000 MR bonus points for every 4 transactions of Rs1,000 or more 
  • Great benefits on travel bookings on the MakeMyTrip website
  • 2,000 points on spends ofRs25,000 within 90 days
  • No 1st Year Fee

Key Highlights: The Membership Rewards Card enables you to earn as many as 1000 bonus rewards and 5000 membership reward points that can be redeemed for 18 and 24 karat gold collection. Other privileges include 2 free supplementary cards, 24/7 card assistance, etc.

Joining Fee: NIL (When applied through BankBazaar). For others, it's Rs.1,000.

Renewal Fee: Rs.4,500 (from the 2nd year onwards)

Joining Bonus: Spend Rs.2,000 in the first 60 days of the card issuance and get 4,000 bonus membership reward points.

Features and benefits:

  • Every Rs.50 spent on retail purchases gives you 1 membership reward point.
  • 4 transactions of Rs.1,000 in a month gives you 1,000 bonus membership reward points.
  • Get special deals on ticket bookings on MakeMyTrip.com.
  • The first renewal of the card gives you 5,000 membership rewards points.
  • Enjoy fuel convenience fee waiver, zero lost card liability, and 24-hours card related assistance.

Rewards redemption options: The RP that you accumulate can be redeemed for 24 and 18 karat gold collection.

Eligibility to apply for the American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card

Employment status Salaried or Self Employed

Minimum annual income

Rs. 6 Lakh

Available for

Residents of Pune, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Jaipur, Indore, Surat, Vadodara, Coimbatore, Bangalore, and Chennai

Others

An Indian resident

Check Eligibility For The Premium Credit Cards Online

The BankBazaar website offers you the facility of checking your eligibility for the premium credit cards mentioned here. It can be done through the following simple steps:

  • Just bankbazaar premium cards and click on 'Check Eligibility' next to your desired card.
  • Answer the questions that appear next to check your eligibility

Necessary Documents To Apply For The Premium Credit Cards

The necessary documents vary from card to card and also from issuer to issuer. However, some documents are common to the entire set of cards. These are mentioned in the following table.

In addition to these, the bank may also ask for additional documents when you apply for the card.

Proof of Identity

Any one of the following

  • Driving license
  • Voter's ID card
  • Aadhaar card
  • Ration Card
  • Passport
  • PAN Card

Address proof

  • Rental agreement
  • Ration card
  • Aadhaar card
  • Electricity bill
  • Electricity bill
  • Passport

Income proof (for salaried individuals)

  • Recent salary slips
  • Employment letter
  • Your salary certificate

Income proof (for self-employed individuals)

  • Certified financials
  • Your balance sheet or profit and loss statement
  • Recent Income Tax Returns documents

Others

  • PAN card copy or Form 60
  • Photograph

How to apply For The Premium Credit Cards?

You can apply for any of the credit cards listed here on the BankBazaar website. Not only this, you can even upload the necessary documents on the website and thus enjoy faster processing of your credit card application.

Other advantages of applying for credit cards on the BankBazaar website are the free chance that you get to check your credit score, the free chance that you get to check your eligibility for your desired cards, free gifts, etc.

Apply for the card on BankBazaar through the following steps:

  • Click on 'Check Eligibility' placed next to your desired card.
  • Verify your eligibility for that credit card by answering the questions asked.
  • Now you would be redirected to the particular bank's credit card application page where you would have to provide answers to the questions asked.
  • Click 'Submit' and then you would be prompted to upload your documents.
  • Upload them and click on 'Submit'.

On submitting the application and the documents, an Application ID would be shared with you. This ID should be used when you want to know your application's status. Just visit 'Track Application' and enter your ID.

Differences Between Premium And Non-premium (Regular) Credit Cards

Premium credit cards are loaded with certain types of features and benefits which separate them from the regular credit cards. The premium benefits in these cards also mean that the fees and charges for some of them might be higher than those of the regular cards.

If you are wondering about how to distinguish a premium card from a non-premium one, the following section would help you in your attempt.

Fees and charges:

The associated fees and charges are generally higher for the premium cards as compared to those of the regular ones. These include the joining fee, the renewal (annual) fee, etc.

Eligibility criteria:

  • In addition to the other criteria, to be eligible for the premium credit cards, you need to have a relatively high annual income which is above Rs.50,000 for most such cards.
  • On the other hand, there are regular cards which have an income criterion of as low as Rs.12,000 per month.

Joining bonus:

  • Most premium cards offer attractive joining bonus offers like reward points in bulk, complimentary air tickets, air miles, etc.
  • The regular credit cards either don't offer any joining bonus and even if some of them do, it's not very rewarding.

Reward points:

  • One primary advantage of premium cards is the privilege of a highly beneficial reward points program. You can earn points by using the card on multiple lifestyle and other categories.

Also, the accelerated reward points program in these cards allow you to earn RP in bulk which can be redeemed for premium products and services.

  • Although the regular cards also offer regular reward points and (a few of them even have accelerated programs), these are not as attractive as the ones offered by the premium cards.

Here, the reward points earned are low and the redemption options are also moderate.

Concierge services:

  • Most premium cards offer the special services of a dedicated concierge who would take care of all your travel bookings, hotel reservations, entertainment booking arrangement, and other such handy services.
  • But you are unlikely to enjoy these services in a regular credit card.

Lounge access:

  • With premium cards, you get complimentary and paid access to international and domestic airport/railway lounges through international programs like the Priority Pass membership.
  • For the regular cards, even if they offer lounge access, the number of visits would be fewer than the ones offered by the primary cards. Also, it would only be for domestic lounges and not the international ones.

Golf programs:

  • If you want to enjoy free golf sessions and lessons at domestic and international golf courses, you need to opt for premium credit cards.
  • This facility is hardly offered by any of the regular credit cards.

Milestone bonus:

  • For premium cards, if the annual spends on the card cross a certain amount as specified by the issuer, you get a certain large number of reward points as a bonus.
  • Although the milestone bonus exists in regular cards too, the quantity of reward points is not that high.
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