EDITORIAL PICKS - BEST REWARD CREDIT CARDS ICICI Rubyx Credit Card
has a joining fee of ₹3,000 and a renewal fee of ₹2,000 from the second year onwards. The renewal fee is waived off
if you spend more than ₹3,00,000 in the previous year. You get welcome vouchers on shopping and travel worth ₹5,000
within 30 days from the date of payment of joining fees.
Rubyx credit card provides several rewards such as earn up to 6 PAYBACK points on every ₹100 spent, 2 complimentary
movie tickets every month under the “Buy One Get One Free” offer, and 15% savings on dining bills at over 2500+
restaurants. On your card anniversary date if you have reached the spending limit then your renewal fee is waived off
or you get up to 15,000 PAYBACK points.
Rubyx credit card also provides free access to airport lounges and golf course access, you get up to 2 complimentary
rounds every month at the golf course of your choice and 2 complimentary domestic airport lounge access per quarter,
courtesy of Mastercard and American Express.
Axis Bank Privilege Credit Card
has a joining fee of ₹1,500 and comes with a welcome benefit of Yatra voucher worth ₹5,000 and 8 complimentary
lounge access at selected domestic airports at the time of card activation. When you spend more than ₹2.5 Lakh in a
year, the cardholder gets Yatra vouchers worth double the EDGE reward points accumulated.
Axis Bank Privilege offers 10 points for every ₹200 spent and an easy conversion option to EMI. You can convert any
purchase of ₹2,500 or more into easy EMIs. If you commute to work and have good fuel spending, Axis Bank Privilege
also offers 1% fuel surcharge waiver on your monthly fuel expenses. This card also offers a Dining Delights scheme
under which you get up to 20% discount on select restaurants.
While Axis Bank Privilege credit card charges renewal fee and does not offer fee waiver based on your spending but you
get up to 3,000 EDGE reward points when you renew your card for the next year.
American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Card
has a joining fee of ₹5,000 + GST and a renewal fee of ₹10,000 + GST from the second year onwards. Earn 2 membership
reward points for every ₹100 spent on most of your spendings except on fuel, insurance payments, and utility payments.
You get a welcome gift of 11,000 bonus membership reward points and a ₹500 worth voucher from either BookMyShow or
Flipkart when you spend ₹25,000 and more in a calendar month.
If you are a frequent traveler then the American Express Platinum Reserve credit card offers one of the highest
complimentary airport lounge accesses among credit cards with up to 12 complimentary visits in a year
(limited to 3 visits per quarter) to American Express lounges and other domestic airport lounges across India.
You also get Air Accident Insurance of ₹1 Crore.
American Express Gold Credit Card
has a joining fee of ₹1,000 + GST and a renewal fee of ₹4,500 + GST from the second year onwards. You get 2
membership reward points for every ₹100 spent on most of your spendings except on fuel, insurance payments,
and utility payments.
When you apply for the credit card you earn a welcome gift of 4,000 bonus membership rewards points and additional 5,000
membership rewards points upon first-year card renewal. Spend ₹1000 6 times a month to get an additional 1000 bonus
points every month. Enjoy up to 20% off every time you dine at select restaurant partners.
18,000 MR points / 18 Karat Gold Collection (Spend ₹3 Lakhs)
24,000 MR points / 24 Karat Gold Collection (Spend ₹6 Lakhs)
- Taj voucher worth ₹9,000
- American Express Domestic Travel e-voucher worth ₹7,000
- Amazon e-voucher worth ₹7,000
- Statement Credit worth ₹6,000
- Taj voucher worth ₹14,000
- Tanishq voucher worth ₹10,000
- Statement Credit worth ₹9,000
CREDIT CARD BEST PRACTICES
Should I use only one credit card?
Though managing one credit card is easy so that you can keep your spending and payments manageable, using a single
card in most cases does not provide the best overall benefit. It is a choice you make between easy maintenance and
enjoying overwhelming rewards. Because not all cards are made to provide equal benefits, every card is unique and
card issuers partner with service providers to offer specialized offers, so it is advisable to do the math to see
if utilizing more than one credit card offers you an overall best reward.
For example, if you have 2 credit cards one will give the best value for fuel and another card gives the best
cashback on groceries, departmental store, and payments to utility bills. You can maximize your benefits by using
two best cards from the respective category.
Maintain a credit utilization below 30%
Just because you have a high spending limit doesn't mean you should use all of it, keeping the utilization below 30%
can help you maintain a high credit score. It is not only to maintain a high credit score, but you are also advised
to have lower utilization of your credit, having a buffer on your credit limit can help you out during emergency
situations, though 100% utilization cards affect your credit score.
Redeem your rewards regularly
We all save for the future but rewards have an expiration and in some cases, you won't even remember you have rewards.
So making a habit of redeeming your rewards regularly is as important as choosing the right credit card that offers
you the best rewards. There is no point in finding the right card if you don't utilize the benefits offered. Usually,
most of the credit cards have a reward expiry of 2 years, so better use it to recharge your phone or redeem a gift card
of your favorite store. If you have long term goals like a vacation trip, you can accumulate enough points to pay for
a plane ticket to your vacation trip.
If your reward card has a redeemed option of a statement credit or direct deposit to your bank then redeem it as
soon as you hit the minimum redemption amount.
Pay credit card monthly balance on time
The rule of thumb for maintaining a good credit score is to pay your monthly dues on time. Regularly paying monthly
dues not only helps your credit score but also helps you avoid paying late fees and accumulating interest.
When you should not apply for a credit card?
Credit cards are always rewarding, so why should one not apply for a credit card. There are situations where you need other factors before applying for a credit card. Looking for short term benefits and not considering your long term financial needs such as your plans on availing car or home loans. Because applying for a new credit card will have an impact on your credit score as issuers do a credit inquiry during your application processing. But this impact may not be in a bad way though you will see a drop in your credit score due to inquiry having a credit card increases your credit limit and increases your creditworthiness, so it is always better to plan ahead based on your long term goals and not just short term benefits.
The rule of thumb is to not apply for any new credit cards if you are planning for a car or home loan within the next 6 months.
HOW TO PICK THE BEST REWARD CREDIT CARD
With so many credit cards offering a wide variety of rewards, by picking any card means you are losing a whole lot
of fun. While credit card offers keep changing and your spending habits change it is always better to re-evaluate
your current cards and apply new ones. But choosing the right one is not always easy unless you follow the process.
You have to choose between reward points or miles, signup/welcome bonus, and other perks.
Follow these steps to choose the best rewards credit card
Pick your reward type?
Before choosing the credit card, choose your reward type. Do you want to encash your rewards as cash like a
statement of credit or direct deposit to your bank? Are you a frequent traveler and regularly need lounge accesses
and deals on hotel stayings? Are you a movie buff? Do you dine-in regularly? So the first and foremost important
step is to identify what type of spending habits you have and what is the preferred reward experience you like.
Credit card offers free lounge access, discounts on hotel stays and complimentary breakfast, and other services.
Free flight tickets on signup bonus or milestone spendings.
Determine how you want reward points
If you like shopping choose cards that offer rewards that can be redeemed as gift cards for your favorite stores.
If you are a frequent traveler then choosing these reward points as miles means you can redeem on your future
bookings or upgrades to a higher class. You can also choose a flat reward rate like 3% on every spending or any
bonus categories like shopping online on Amazon or Flipkart that offer high reward rates. Sometimes there are also
promotional offers that offer great deals and are valid only for certain months.
Signup bonus and perks
Most reward credit cards offer some kind of signup bonus to new cardholders and the minimum offer you can get is
equal to the worth of the yearly joining fee. To qualify for the signup bonus either you have to use a minimum
number of transactions or spend a minimum amount using the card within a specified time frame.
Lastly, take a look at the extra features and perks available to cardholders beyond the reward earnings. These
perks include free Airport lounge access, free golf courses, buy one get one movie tickets or shows, trip
cancellation insurance, free checked baggage for your flights, free hotel stay or discount on hotel or resort,
free memberships to your favorite clubs, gyms.
Read the document
Before applying for a credit card pay attention to details on clauses related to billing cycles, interest rates,
late payment fees, foreign transaction fees, an upper limit on reward earnings, and reward expirations.