A guide to the best credit cards for the modern Indian woman

Budgeting & Saving


Jun 6, 2020

The financial decisions taken by women today are more independent than ever before. This trend means making decisions that involve credit, whether it is taking a loan or managing your credit card. But when it comes to choosing a credit card that works best for you, here are some options we thought you should check out before getting started on your credit card journey.

I discovered credit cards about five years ago and have been a user ever since. I was instantly attracted to the features it had in-store and the possibility of managing finance better with credit cards.

With the increasing popularity of credit cards amongst women, issuers and financial institutions have introduced versions with more tailored versions of credit cards, some of which even include Lifetime free credit cards. Here are some such credit cards and how they can be helpful depending on your usage.

The Citibank Rewards Credit Card

I have been a Citibank user for quite some time now and what I enjoy is their seamless interaction I have when it comes to finances with the bank. Thus getting a credit card from them seemed to be just the right choice.

Features: You get rewarded every time you swipe. You can get a bonus of 300 reward points upon making a transaction of ₹ 30,000 or more in a month in addition to earning upto 10x reward points on purchasing apparel and groceries across various retailers. I tend to dine out a lot, and this credit card gives you a upto 15 percent off your dining bills from participating restaurants.

Why I love it: The range for reward redemptions is vast. Their selection ranges from discount vouchers on major apparel brands to utility vouchers and recharges for your DTH service or mobile service provider. If you do not find anything interesting, you can also redeem your points for an Amazon voucher (we all know you’ll find something exciting there! :) )

The ICICI Coral Credit Card

I was first an ICICI Platinum credit card user, and while the rewards were not too bad, the offers on the ICICI Coral Credit Card are a world apart. This credit card offers you points on all purchases, that’s not bad. But what’s more, you get discounts on movies, restaurants and almost all purchases through the credit card. If you travel a lot, as I do, you get access to one complimentary domestic railway lounge visit per quarter and access to 1 complimentary airport lounge in India per quarter as well (this comes on a minimum spend of ₹ 5,000 on your card in a financial year.)

Features: The ICICI Culinary Treats Programme entitles you to exciting offers, exclusive invites and discounts every time you dine with a partner restaurant. Ladies, in case your credit score doesn’t match up to 750 and above, don’t worry, this credit card can be issued to you against a fixed deposit as well. Once you open a fixed deposit with the bank, 85 percent of the amount will be issued as your credit card limit. It is a great way to start building or improving your credit score.

Why I love it: The joining fee for this credit card is ₹ 500 (which seems nominal to me, if you use your credit card well) and no income documentation is required for processing this credit card.

The Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card

Do you buy groceries for your family? Then this might be the card you’ll want to check out. It is the only credit card that offers a 5 percent direct cashback on grocery shopping at stores. Why I find this credit card very useful is because I get to shop for essentials and save at the same time.

Features: While this is a direct credit card with not too many frills attached, this card entitles you to a 5% direct cashback on a minimum transaction of ₹ 1,000. What’s more, you also get a ₹ 2,000 gift voucher from BookMyShow within 90 days of signing up.

Why I love it: While a lot of credit cards seem to give me options to spend more versus save more, this credit card gives me rewards for things that I already spend on, such as groceries. It’s simple, and that’s what makes it so likeable.

HDFC Solitaire Credit Card

This is an exclusive credit card for women. What I like about this card is that it is an excellent option whether you are a 21-year-old, starting her financial journey, or 60 years old, getting a credit card as an extra credit option. The offers are also planned in such a way that they are appealing to women who are salaried as well as self-employed. While there is an interest of 3.49 per cent charged on any overdue amount unpaid from the previous month’s bill, what stands out is the support feature for the card being available for women and the rewards that come with it.

Features: For all you wanderlust women out there, this credit card gives you offers on travel, dining, shopping and groceries. The rewards are in the forms of cashback, reward points and vouchers. I found that the selection of rewards redeemable is also quite decent. Other offers that standout include vouchers up to ₹ 1,000 on every ₹ 75,000 spent and a cashback of ₹ 20 on redeeming 100 points.

Why I love it: This credit card is a zero liability card (upon card loss), provided you report the loss immediately. As someone who tends to misplace things, I find it comforting to know that my card cannot be misused.

The Standard Chartered Inner Circle Platinum Credit Card

I know that I make most of my purchases on credit cards and while I do that, I also like getting rewarded. This card is another of my favourites. While it gives me 9x reward points with a 6 per cent cashback on transactions at all inner circle affiliated lifestyle stores, what I really like is how simple the rewards structure is. The benefits include a unique loyalty program that entitles you to no annual fees for life, extra cashbacks and loyalty points, additional sale discounts and much more!

Features: Designed to help you shop better, this credit card also comes with gift vouchers for ₹ 2,500 when you sign up. The rewards and cashbacks are hassle free and with a standard rewards system, they are pretty simple, and easy to keep track of.

Why I love it: This card is a lifetime free credit card. So I don’t have to look out for annual fees and renewal fees ever. What’s more is that I also no longer have to look at my credit card statement through a magnifying glass, to check any of these hidden charges, which to me, is quite the relief.

Bottom Line

If you are planning to start your journey into the world of credit cards, I hope these tips were useful. I would recommend that you go through the specific bank websites as the schemes and offers keep changing from time to time and keep in touch with the latest financial trends. As always remember to not overspend on your credit card, pay off your dues within the date (credit card loans are really expensive if you’re not paying them off on time!) and make sure that you are conscious of the fact that you are borrowing money every time you swipe that card! If you would like some more information about credit cards, and their best practices, here’s a blog article that will surely help you!

Footnote: Basis aims at providing information that is useful to our readers and does not necessarily mean that the credit cards mentioned are better than any others available in the market. We encourage our readers to do independent research and make informed decisions accordingly.

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