5 best credit cards to shop with this Easter

5 best credit cards to shop with this EasterThe choice of credit cards available is huge and each of them comes with unique features, advantages and disadvantages. As a user, it is important that when you are opting for a credit card, you look for one that matches your requirements.

Having said that there are certain basic features that can help a customer in deciding which is good or a bad choice when it comes to getting the right card for you; these features are:

Annual Fees
Finances Charges, late fee charges etc
Ease of application/bill payment
Co-branding in some cases
Customer Service
Reward Points

All the above factors must be given the importance they deserve, you might want to think before you take a card with nil annual fees if its other charges are too high or it does not make a lot of sense to focus only on reward points

So keeping the above in mind we bring you a list of five cards (in no order of preference) which we feel are a great option when you plan your shopping this Easter.

1. Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Card
The card has an entry fee of Rs. 399, no annual fee; from second year onwards there is a renewal fee of Rs. 750 levied. First year onwards a free supplementary card is available; there is multiple card fee of Rs. 750 charged. The joining and annual fee is waived off if the application is made online. The card allows you to earn 5 reward points/Rs 150 spent at fine dining outlets, hotels and spent on fuel; Rs 2/150 is earned on all other categories.

The X Factor: No annual charges if applied online and attractive reward structure.

2. ICICI Instant Platinum Credit Card:
This card can be a great hit for somebody looking to get a card instantly or looking at repairing their credit score. This card is issued by the bank instantly against a fixed deposit with them at over 2000 branches. Free supplementary card is available if so desired by the applicant. No joining and no annual fees for this card which again is big positive. The card holder earns Rs. 3 for each Rs. 100 spent.

The X Factor: Instant availability with no annual or joining fee.

3. Citibank Rewards Card
The annual fee for the card is nil if the card holder spends more than Rs. 30,000 a year and if the spending is below that then the annual fee is Rs. 1000. No fee for an additional card is charged. The card holder can earn 10 points for each Rs. 125 spent in department stores and on apparel, Rs. 1/125 spent on other expenditure. The user also gets Rs. 2500 on card activation.

The X Factor: An attractive reward structure with an option to redeem points at 700 outlets and e-shopping partners.

Comparison Chart of Various Charges
Card Type ATM Withdrawal Late Payment Monthly Interest & APR
Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards 3% of the amount or minimum of Rs. 300, at branch Rs 500 extra Rs 100 to Rs 800. 3.1 % & 37.0%
ICICI Instant Platinum 2.5% on cash advance amount or a minimum Rs. 300. None to Rs. 700. 2.49% & 29.88%
Citibank Rewards 2% of the amount withdrawn, subject to Rs 300 and US $ 7.5 at international ATMs. Rs 300 to Rs. 700. 3.25% & 39%
HSBC Platinum 2.5% of the transaction amount subject to a minimum of Rs. 300. 50% of the MAD, min of 400 & max of 750 3.3% & 39.6%
HDFC Bank Solitaire 2.5% of the amount withdrawn or Rs. 300 whichever is higher Nil to Rs. 600 3.4% & 40.8%

4. HSBC Platinum Card
HSBC Platinum credit cards come with no joining or annual fees. There is special cash back offer running from 1/1/2016 to 30/6/2016 where if the card holder spends Rs. 10000 within first 90 days he will get cash back of Rs. 3000. There must be at least 3 transactions per month. Reward structure includes 2 points earned for every Rs 150 spent and extra points if shopping is done at some special listed partners. 5 times reward points earned if amount spent crosses Rs. 400,000. 3 times reward points are available for expenditure at dining and telecom outlets made within first 12 months.

The X Factor: No joining fee and special ongoing cash back offer.

5. HDFC Bank Solitaire Credit Card
This is a card specially designed for women. The card comes with an annual fee of Rs. 999, which can be waived if Rs. 10000 is spent within first 90 days; add on card is free. For every Rs. 150 spent the customer earns 3 reward points; 50% more reward points are available for dining and grocery. On spending Rs. 75000 within 6 months the card holder gets a voucher of Rs. 1000 from Shoppers Stop; there is cash back option of Rs 4000 available if Rs. 500,000 is spent
The X Factor: The card has zero lost card liability and lots of offers for frequent shoppers.

Irrespective of the card being used, it is important that one uses it responsibly keeping in mind their repayment capacity. Enjoy your Easter shopping but don’t go overboard.

All the information has been collected from the card issuer’s website.

(Rajiv Raj is the Director and Co-Founder of www.creditvidya.com)
Image Courtesy: ThinkStock