A story of my experiments with Credit Cards

Declaration: I am not an expert on the subject, just learning on the go.

I hold a few credit cards and people ask me why I hold more than one. True reason is for the various offers, and the curiosity of trying a new card. Personally I advise that everyone should have a credit card, even if you are not using it actively. There are multiple reasons.

  • Emergency fund - Imagine being admitted to a hospital
  • Your debit card is not working - Assuming that you put all your money in one SB account and banks usually issue only 1 debit card (You can actually get more than one debit card per SB account). If the card fails in an emergency, you will be in a very difficult situation. Keeping a backup debit card may not be practical, but you can have a CC
  • Improve your credit score
  • Security - Imagine your bank account being hacked. It is going to be a very difficult task to secure it again or get your money back or maybe to close the account and get a new one. This is one of the key reasons you need a credit card. You can use this for all online purchases, without exposing your bank details. If the card is compromised for some reason, cancel it and get a new card. Your bank will do it easily.
  • Discounts / Offers
  • EMI purchases - Many cards give you interest free EMIs
  • For college going students - Parents can get a credit card with a low monthly limit for college Students. Banks issue add on cards for use by Children/Spouse/parents and single bill is raised for all cards together. You can track where the money is spent.

You can always get a Credit card and not use it till you absolutely need it. Just remember to pick a card with a low or no annual fee. There are so many free cards out there

Here is the list of cards I use:

HDFC Diners Black

Diners Black

HDFC Bank page Diners website

Diners Black is a super premium credit card issued by HDFC bank. This is my primay card and I have been using various cards of HDFC for more than 10 years. Annual charge for this card is 10,000 which will be waived off if you spend 5 lakh in a year. This is not a card usually issued to first time users and by the time you upgrade to this card, bank would have given you a life time free offer. My card is life time free. There are attractive benefits like Amazom prime membership, Zomato pro membership, unlimited lounge access at airport etc. If your monthly billing is >80K, you get vouchers from bookmyshow, tatacliq etc. I got upgraded to Diners recently, and so far, I have seen 4 movies almost for free!

Airport lounge access is unlimited inside and outside (through Priority pass) India. This has saved me a lot of time and money on various ocassions. I was a little late into using this feature, but its worth it.

Diners Black wows me every time. One of the cool feature than I absolutely love is a direct phone number to talk to a person without pressing a series of buttons. I would recommend HDFC to anyone who is getting their first card.

Rewards points - 5RP / Rs 150. You get 10X RP on purchases made though SmartBuy as well a partner brands, 2X on weekend dining etc

Conversion rate - 1 RP = Rs 1 when you purchase airtickets / hotel booking

There is an issue with this card anyway. Being a Diners / Discover network card, this card is not accepted at certain terminals. Diners recently tied up with Rupay network to expand coverage which has improved the acceptance. I recently went to a hospital where the card worked on a machine issued by HDFC bank, but not on a machine issued by Yes Bank. It is safe to have a backup card. Practical advise - If the shop has multiple POS machaines, ask them to used the HDFC machine which will always work for Diners cards.

I am looking forward to HDFC upgrading me to Infinia soon.

American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card


Amex Webiste

The card has a first year fee of Rs 1000, and Rs 4500 from second year onwards. First year fee is waived off in most cases and if you are paying it, you get 4000 reward points which is equal to Rs 1000. Subsequent year’s fee is waived off if you spend 1.5 lakh during the previous year.

The interesting part of this card is if you spend Rs 1500+ 4 times in a month (used to be Rs 1000), you get 1000 rewards points in addition to the regular 1 point / Rs 50. Also there is a 1000RP on spending more than 20K in a month. I get cash back (upto 20%) on my favourite restaurants as well as a 4000 cash back when I purchased a Oneplus phone. I recently encashed 24000 reward points for Rs 9000. Add on cards (up to 3 nos) are free

Reward points - 1 RP/ Rs 50

Conversion rate 1 RP = Rs .25

Conversion at milestones such as 18000 RP or 24000 RP give better rates. 24000RP = Rs 9000

Qualifying requirement for an Amex card is slightly srtingent than other bank cards. This is probably because Amex is not a bank, but a credit card company

Yes First Exclusive


Yes Bank website

Yes first exclusive is the Super Premium card offered by Yes Bank. One of the most interesting offer on this card is unlimited lounge access to airports inside and outside (Priority Pass) India. Airports like Delhi Terminal 2, COK, CCJ etc which are usually not covered under other card offers are covered by Yes bank. The offer is valid for primary as well as add on cards. The card has one of the lowest foreign convesion markup fee (1.99% - same as HDFC Diners Black / Infinia / Regalia) when you are making payments in foreign currency online - Eg Netflix / Spotify / BoardgamesArena.

The annual fee for this card is Rs 10000, but Yes Bank has been offering the card as life time free for a while. Those who do not plan to use the card much could try this option for a limited time. Add on cards are free.

Citi Rewards

Citi Rewards

Citi Website

There isnt anything much attractive about this card other than the looks. The card is issued free for first year and the fee for subsequent year will be Rs 1000, which will be waived off if you spend Rs 30,000 in the previous year. With Citi winding up its retail business in India, it would be interesting to hold on to this card for a while to see who would buy this

SBI Simply Click

SBI Simply Click

SBI Simply Click webiste

This is the newest addition to my card list. This is a basic card for someone who wants to get a new card, mostly for online purchases. Annual fee is Rs 499 which will be waived on if you spend 1 lakh in the previous year. For the first year fee, you get an Amazon voucher worth Rs500. There are some good offers on SBI cards these days including 5% cash back on Amazon via Yono. Add on cards are free You also get Cleartrip vouchers wortk Rs 2000 for every Rs1,00,000 spent in a year.

Rewards - 1 RP / Rs 100 spend

10X rewards on Amazon / BookMyShow / Cleartrip / Lenskart / Netmeds

5X rewards on all other online spends


One card


This card is made of metal and it looks cool! There is no joining fee or annual fee. The card is issued by a company called FPL technologies along with IDFC bank. I occasionally see discounts for IDFC cards on Swiggy and Zomato. I didnot expect any great offers here, but while writing this blog, i digged a little deeper. The card lists their offers on their mobile app and some offers like myntra, easemytrip, practo, ajio etc are useful

OneCard has the easiest application process. There is no paperwork and the card application is through a mobile app. Approval process is instant and the card will be delivered to you in a few days.

Update - It is impossible to get this card without a credt score. You can read about it here Update 2 - Onecard is offering 30% discount, limited to ₹150 on Swiggy purchases. So Get one if you buy frequently from Swiggy


  • Diners Black and First Exclusive are the super premium cards offered by the respective banks
  • Amex MRC, Citi rewards and SBI Simply click are regular products
  • Few cards with No annual fee are ICICI Amazon pay, OneCard, Yes bank cards for a limited time, ICICI occasionally, . There are lot of other options
  • Every card has certain offers that the banks do not explicitly mention, which is given by the card company VISA / Mastercard. For example, even debit cards - Visa Platinum / Mastercard give you free lounge access at certain airports
  • Certain banks offer credit card against FDs. You need not opt for this as there are lot of banks out there without this demand.