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Best Credit Cards for first timers in India

Pranav Pranav Follow Apr 27, 2019 · 6 mins read · 0 Comments
Best Credit Cards for first timers in India

Many a times I have been asked which credit card is best for someone who has just started his/her career? The main problem for beginners is that they lack credit history and hence banks have very strict norms for issuing them credit cards. Hence I have compiled a list of credit cards which are issued very easily and have minimal joining or renewal fees.

Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card

Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card

Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card provides 5% cashback on grocery spends at supermarkets like DMart, Big Bazaar, More etc.

  • Eligibility: Stable monthly income
  • Joining Fee: Rs. 999, get BookMyShow vouchers worth Rs. 2,000 if you do a transaction within 90 days of card setup
  • Renewal Fee: Rs. 999, waived on spending Rs 1,20,000 in a year
  • Reward Rate:
    • 5% cashback on minimum transaction of Rs. 1000 at supermarkets capped to Rs. 150 per transaction & Rs. 500 per month
    • 3x reward points per Rs. 150 spent on other purchases equivalent to ~0.5%, points can be redeemed from online rewards catalogue only
  • Special Offers
  • Apply here

Citi Cashback Credit Card

Citi Cashback Credit Card

If you love cashback then this card is for you. Citi Cashback Credit Card provides cashback for all spends which are automatically credited to your statement.

  • Eligibility: Stable monthly income, salary account with Citibank immensely improves the chance of approval
  • Joining Fee: Rs. 500
  • Renewal Fee: Rs. 500
  • Reward Rate:
    • 5% cashback on movie ticket purchases, telephone bill payments & utility bill payments via Citibank Online Bill Pay
    • 0.5% cashback on other spends
  • Cashback is automatically credited as statement credit in multiples of Rs. 500
  • 20% cashback on BigBasket on minimum purchase of Rs. 2,000, maximum cashback Rs. 500 per month, valid during the first 5 days of the month
  • Apply here

SBI Simply Click Credit Card

SBI Simply Click Credit Card

SBI Simply Click provides 2.5% back on online spends with their exclusive partners and 1.25% on other online spends. This is a very good card if you spend a lot online.

  • Eligibility: Nothing mentioned explicitly on website, however you can get easily if you are salaried
  • Joining Fee: Rs. 499, get equivalent amount of Amazon voucher
  • Renewal Fee: Rs. 499, reversed if annual spends for last year >= Rs. 1,00,000
  • Reward Rate:
    • 2.5% back on online spends with exclusive partners - Amazon, BookMyShow, Cleartrip, Foodpanda, Lenskart, Netmeds, Rentomojo & UrbanClap
    • 1.25% on other online spends
    • 0.25% on offline spends
  • 1% fuel surcharge waiver for each transaction between Rs. 500 & Rs. 3,000
  • Apply here

HSBC Platinum Credit Card

HSBC Platinum Credit Card

HSBC though very strict about issuing credit cards, issues cards life-time free with great introductory benefits. They have partnered with BookMyShow, Bigbasket, Flipkart, Makemytrip etc. for fabulous offers.

  • Eligibility: Salaried only, annual income > Rs. 4,00,000
  • Joining Fee: Nil
  • Renewal Fee: Nil
  • Introductory Offers:
    • Rs. 2,000 Cleartrip voucher on first transaction
    • 10% cashback (up to ₹2,500) for making a minimum of 9 transactions totaling ₹10,000 or more in the first 90 days of card issuance
    • 3X Rewards on all spends in dining, hotels and telecom categories for the first 12 months from the date of card issuance
  • Reward Rate: 2 Reward points for every Rs. 150 spent
    • ~0.25% if redeemed from reward catalogue
    • Option to covert points to Airmiles or Hotels (Taj Inner Circle points)
  • BookMyShow voucher worth Rs. 500 on spending over Rs. 50,000 in a calendar month (maximum Rs. 3,000 per cardholder per year)
  • 15% off dining at over 1,000 restaurants across major cities
  • 1% fuel surcharge waiver at fuel pumps across India for transactions between Rs. 400 and Rs. 4,000 (maximum Rs. 250 per calendar month)
  • Apply here

HDFC MoneyBack Credit Card

HDFC MoneyBack Credit Card

HDFC MoneyBack Credit Card provides 0.26% cash back on online spends and 0.13% on offline. However main attracting of this card is 10X rewards on SmartBuy portal which pushes up the reward rate to 2.6%. If you have a salary account with HDFC, you’ll surely get this card life time free.

  • Eligibility: No salary criteria, age should be between 21 years to 60 years
  • Joining Fee: Rs. 500, you get reward points of equivalent value, generally waived off if you have existing relationship with bank
  • Renewal Fee: Rs. 500, you get reward points of equivalent value, generally waived off
  • Reward Rate:
    • 0.26% cash back on online spends
    • 0.16% cash back on online spends
  • Milestone Benefit: Gift voucher of Rs. 500 every quarter by spending Rs. 50,000
  • 1% fuel surcharge waiver on fuel transactions (minimum transaction of Rs. 400, maximum cashback of Rs. 250 per statement cycle)
  • Apply here

ICICI Platinum Credit Card

ICICI Platinum Credit Card

ICICI Platinum Credit Card, though not very good at rewards, is easiest to get issued. ICICI keeps on running great promotions every month with huge number of online and offline partners. This card can also be your stepping step for getting Amazon Pay ICICI Bank credit card which is invite only as of now.

  • Eligibility: Stable income, issued on basis of Fixed Deposit too
  • Joining Fee: Nil, apply online for life-time free
  • Renewal Fee: Nil
  • Reward Rate: 2 Payback Points on every Rs. 100 equivalent to ~0.5%
  • 1% fuel surcharge waiver on fuel transactions of maximum Rs. 4,000 at HPCL pumps when card is swiped on ICICI Merchant Services swipe machines
  • 15% discount when dining at restaurants participating in Culinary Treats
  • Apply here

Bottomline

For beginners, it’s easiest to get their first credit card from the bank where their salary account is. As they progress in their career, once they build a good credit history, they can pursue other cards with better reward rates and features.

What other credit cards would you suggest for beginners? Let me know in comments.

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Pranav
Written by Pranav Follow
Hi, I am Pranav! I love to acquire, review and earn reward points/cashback from Credit Cards. Guiding people about benefits and optimal utilization of credit cards for years.