Finally, here are the most elite Credit Cards in India.
Updated: Apr 5, 2019
Are you the one who enjoys limited edition things or someone who prefers crème de la crème? If yes, then this blog is for you! I am introducing you to India's most prestigious and most elite credit cards that come with an array of perks & privileges.
I am a woman who loves to bring out the "maru, short for Marwari" in her every now & then. While like every other female, I shop till I drop & I have a huge closet room at my place but it all wouldn't have been possible if I wasn't a discount, loyalty points, cashback or cards freak cum monger! Today I want to share with you a list of 7 most elite credit cards that are available in India. This is for people like me who like to order grocery, book flights/hotels, shop at retail stores, shop online & eat fabulous food at restaurants. Yes, I am talking about the mixed bunch who do not want to switch cards for every purchase. But, if you are someone who's looking for a card for a specific category like travel or shopping or entertainment, then let me know, I will churn out a post for that too.
I know we all love choices & the best part of living in this era is that you have no dearth of it. But in a world filled with choices, I sometimes find a lot of comfort in picking up from just select few. That's generally why I (actually we all) turn to our family & friends who would always suggest fewer options but something that closely correlates with you & your preferences. I intend to be a part of your consideration set at whatever level you feel comfortable with.
Coming back to the list, why 7? First 5 cards are the ones, I have personally used. I have added 2 more cards as they have created a lot of buzz but I have still marked them in a separate section as I haven't personally used them.
Comparison of 7 Elite Credit Cards in India
What's so special in 7 Elite Credit Cards in India?
SBI ELITE CREDIT CARD
This card comes with a subscription cost of Rs. 5000 & it instantly gives you benefits worth Rs. 6000+. Renewal fee gets waived off if you have spend over Rs. 10 lac per year. The card gives you 2 free movie tickets per month & auto subscription to Vistara Silver & Trident Red membership. Click here to know more about SBI Elite Credit Card.
CITI PRESTIGE CREDIT CARD
There is this initial resistance in signing up for this card as it comes with a joining fee of Rs. 20,000 but it gives away points worth Rs. 10000 every year. This is one of the very few cards available in the country that helps you upgrade your membership at Taj & Hilton hotels, British & Etihad airways & it also offers bonus points. So, it is a good card to spend on airfares & hotel bookings. Click here to know more about the Citi Prestige Credit Card.
INDUSIND LEGEND CREDIT CARD
This is for someone who's the first one to adopt new technology, referring to the contactless feature & looks fancy as the card just has your name embossed on it with the bank logo, nothing else. After signing up, I have come to a conclusion that this card is a lifestyle card & offers pretty good sign-up deals (vouchers worth Rs. 50000), free 3 air-tickets, 3 free movie tickets per month & free golf lessons cum games but lacks in rewards system. All of this & 'zilch' renewal fee! Click here to know more about IndusInd Legend Credit Card.
HDFC Infinia Credit Card
Finally coming on to the card that I personally love & still continue to use. This is the most prestigious card from the house of HDFC bank. It comes with a plethora of benefits & it doesn't have any pre-set spending limit on the card, you can define your own limit & they are always happy to increase it. HDFC has one of the best rewards systems & it's super evident as it gives 3.3 rewards on every Rs. 100 spent. What's more - Annual renewal fee is waived off if you spend over an Rs 8,00,000. Click here to know more about the HDFC Infinia Credit Card.
HDFC Diners Club International Black Credit Card
HDFC Diners Club International Black Credit Card is another card from the house of HDFC that comes with good perks. It usually runs 10x reward points program & is one of the best credit cards available in the market whose renewal fee can also be waived off if you spend over Rs, 5,00,000 per year. The only drawback is its acceptability. The diners club card isn't acceptable everywhere & hence you can't rely on this card for every purchase, however, diners club is increasing its footprint & I have seen an uptick in acceptability over recent years. Click here to know more about HDFC Diners Club International Credit Card.
YES FIRST EXCLUSIVE CREDIT CARD
This is the card which tops my wish-list but I can't really lay my hands on it anytime soon as it is a super exclusive card for only those who have a tax return of over Rs. 50 lac per annum or have a net monthly salary of Rs. 4,00,000 per month. It offers a similar card like IndusInd's legend credit card that works on contactless card technology. I am marking this separately as I have never personally used it but I know of someone who uses this as a primary card. This card has a host of benefits rolled into one. For starters, it offers 50,000 reward points for making the first transaction.
AXIS BANK RESERVE CREDIT CARD
I have used HDFC regalia & its offerings looks strikingly similar to what HDFC Regalia used to offer around 3 years ago. This is an invite-only credit card & offers unparalleled benefits but at the same time, it comes with the highest joining fee of Rs. 30,000. This card is quite similar to the HDFC's Regalia card when it was freshly introduced. If you are a someone who frequently flies with Vistara Airlines & stays at Taj hotels, then this is the perfect card for you. It offers a host of benefits like 10kg extra check-in baggage, additional Vistara Club points, discounted buffets at Taj & discounted stay too.
Final thoughts, take an informed decision!
Well, I personally have come a long way on this. From believing that "if it's on credit then you probably don't need it" to every single transaction that I do is through my credit card. In fact, I don't remember the last time I used my debit card for swiping. I just use it to withdraw some cash & that's about it. So you can really take my word when I say that credit cards are super beneficial. Also, there's a huge myth that you need to be a millionaire to be able to get a card that comes with such envious perks. We all can afford a credit card, maybe not all of them but do you really need all of them? Start with the one that closely resonates with your needs. But I would urge you to do a cost-benefit analysis. Please always evaluate whether the perks even make sense with the cost associated (subscription/renewal fee, if any) with them. On the other hand, do a quick analysis of your yearly spends to understand how much these cards can help you save on categories like entertainment, travel, food & shopping so as to come up with a conclusion. The ones I have mentioned here are the best cards that are available in the country & are considered as a high spend high rewards kind of cards. It always entails exclusive benefits like access to golf courses for free & the concierge services. They also come with a higher credit limit so you could literally buy a car with a single swipe of this card. Give any credit card a try & you wouldn't regret it but please be mindful of the spends & pay the bills on time. Those finance charges can be really heavy, if you don't pay up in time.
Edit: ICICI has refreshed their offerings & the new ICICI Sapphiro Credit Card fares well in terms of rewards on domestic travel, shopping & movies. It comes with two variations: ICICI Sapphiro card powered by Visa or MasterCard or American Express & the other variant is an ICICI Jet Airways Sapphiro Credit Card. This is a co-branded card that is powered by Visa or MasterCard or American Express. Click here to know more about ICICI Sapphiro/ Jet Airways Credit Card.
PS: If you need any help, I am just a comment/email away.