(Last Updated: August 23, 2019)
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Which is the best credit card in India with no annual fee or no joining fee?

  • I am a beginner looking for my first credit card. I have a decent salary and want to try a free credit card or a no annual fee credit card initially. So, can anyone suggest a credit card without any annual fee or joining fee and some good rewards and benefits as well. I searched but got confused as which one is the best? I have also heard that having too many credit cards can hamper our credit score. So, I wish to get a good credit card in the first try only.

  • Hi, I think ICICI Platinum Chip credit card can be a good choice. This is a no annual fee card with some good benefits like shopping discounts, payback points and fuel surcharge waiver etc. Overall this is a decent card to start with as a beginner. But, it has basic and limited benefits only. So, if you wish to enjoy some additional privileges you can checkout Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards card. This was free till recent but now I think they charge a nominal fee of Rs.250 only. You should select a credit card as per your own requirements.
    You are right, having too many credit cards can impact your credit score. As far as you remain regular in paying bills then it shall positively affect your credit score.

  • Hi, You can try Citibank Rewards card. There is an annual fee waiver option if your expenses exceed Rs.30k in a year. So, you can turn this to your advantage. You also earn good reward points, some shopping offers and restaurant discounts are also available on this card. Rest, its my personal view, this suited my needs.

  • Yes, having too many credit cards and not paying credit card bills on time can hamper your credit score. It's better to stick to 1-2 cards based on your primary usage. I too started with a free credit card. Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards was my first choice. When I applied, they did not charge me any fee. I am not sure if they charge anything to new card applicants.

  • Hi Manav, Why don't you try HSBC Visa Platinum Credit card? It has zero joining and annual fees. You also get cashback upto 10% and some discounts also. There are 3x rewards on dining, hotels and telecom. I have been using this card. This seems to be a decent choice.

  • I too use Citibank rewards card. I got this card in previous year. This is a good card as per my personal experience. I get quite good discounts from time to time on this. My annual expenses exceeds 30k so can benefit from fee waiver as well.

  • For me Standard Chartered rewards card proved good. This suited my personal needs. I didn't get too high credit limit. But, I am not a frequent credit card user. So, that doesn't matter much. Got good feedback from my friends on this card. That's the main reason I opted this one.

  • HSBC visa platinum card seems to be good. I like its benefits and after all it's free. Good customer support to handle different queries.

  • @Arribe Have you ever been to India by any chance ? No bank in India every levies any charges in bank account.

    @ftForumMod, this account @Arribe is possibly a spammer, please have a look

  • Do checkout Standard Chartered credit cards. StanC Platinum Rewards was free when I applied. There is Super Value Titanium credit card also that has decent features. They are good for beginners and you can get one easily.

  • Hey Manav,

    As you are going to choose the credit card first time then for you:

    1. Canara gold credit card
    2. HDFC Visa signature credit card

    These are two good options where you do not need to pay any annual fee or joining fee.
    In these credit cards you get to earn 2 Reward Points on every ₹100 spent in Canara and 2 Reward Points for each ₹150 spent on every retail purchase in HDFC Credit Card respectively.

    Other than that there is Zero Lost Card liability post reporting of the loss of card. Also, if you go for Canara Bank Credit Card than you have Zero Lost card liability cover from the time of authentic information of loss of card to the bank customer care. You also have savings on fuel and airport Lounges.

  • @aggarwalshipra Hi, I think Canara Gold card has a joining fee of Rs.250. It does not have an annual fee. You are saying it doesn't have a joining fee. Are you sure about it? Please clarify.

  • said in Which is the best credit card in India with no annual fee or no joining fee?:

    @aggarwalshipra Hi, I think Canara Gold card has a joining fee of Rs.250. It does not have an annual fee. You are saying it doesn't have a joining fee. Are you sure about it? Please clarify.

    Hi, Canara Gold card is not having any joining and annual fee.There is no such amount which you need to pay here.

  • @aggarwalshipra Thanks for clarifying 🙂 I read somewhere that a one-time fee of Rs.250 i.e.some issuance charge needs to paid. Is it different from joining fee? What it is exactly? Is Canara Global Gold Card really a good option for a beginner? I don't wish to keep too many credit cards since that affects our credit score. I want to have only one credit card that too a decent one, free with good discounts and rewards.

  • @aggarwalshipra Yes, HDFC Visa Signature card is a good choice. It offers 1% fuel surcharge waiver also. If you spend Rs.15k within 90 days then the first year fee gets waived off and if you spend Rs.75k p.a. then you get renewal fee reversed. Right.

  • Hi Manav,
    To sum up, as per views from different users here. We got a useful list of best credit cards in India with no annual fee or no joining fee:

    • ICICI Platinum Chip credit card

    • Standard Chartered Platinum credit card

    • HSBC Visa Platinum credit card

    • Citibank Rewards credit card

    • Canara Gold credit card

    • HDFC Visa Signature credit card

    Hey, I just compiled what others have pointed out in this discussion on free credit cards. Before applying for any of them just check whether they are actually free. Know the benefits before you shortlist a good credit card for yourself.

  • Hi, Standard Chartered cards are good enough. See if you can get a free offer there.

  • Credit cards by SBI Bank are very good, check out the SBI Freedom credit card. These credit cards have plenty of unique features & come with a host of benefits like cashback and discounts.

  • @stephbaker Hi, can you tell more about SBI cards? I am a salaried person. I am planning to apply for one of the SBI card. My preference is a free credit card only. This is my first credit card so don't want to bear additional burden of monthly card fee or other charges. Thanks in advance!

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