Do co-branded credit cards actually help you save money?

Do co-branded credit cards actually help you save money?
  • Co-branded credit cards are offered by banks in partnership with popular brands that offer unique rewards and benefits tailored to specific interests.
  • Cardholders can enjoy exclusive discounts, promotions, and faster rewards redemption, making these cards more rewarding than standard ones.
  • Evaluate the benefits offered by a co-branded credit card by carefully considering your spending habits, preferences, and the specific rewards and perks provided by the card.
Like many Millennials, Reena Singh wants to pick a credit card but is spoilt for choice as there are several options to choose from. There are travel cards that promise air miles and then there are shopping cards, which can help her save money on shopping. Finally, there are cards that will help her save money every time she eats out and earn loyalty points too. As a consumer, it can be very confusing to choose the right card. From travel enthusiasts to avid shoppers, they cater to diverse lifestyles. But with a plethora of options available, making an informed choice is crucial. Business Insider dived deep into the world of rewards and found some key factors that consumers should consider while choosing a card.

How co-branded credit cards work

Co-branded credit cards offer personalised benefits tailored to lifestyles of users, which include discounts and offers aligned with the partnering brand. They integrate with loyalty programs for faster reward collection. These perks enhance the overall cardholder experience.

Cardholders can enjoy exclusive discounts, promotions, and faster rewards redemption, making these cards more rewarding than standard ones. “Additionally, co-branded cards foster brand loyalty, especially with travel-related perks, everyday expense savings like fuel discounts, and access to exclusive products, all enhancing the overall customer experience,” says Gaurav Chopra, Founder and CEO of IndiaLends, an online marketplace for credit products.

Here, we will look at four popular co-branded credit cards, how they work and whether they make sense for you based on your lifestyle. Evaluating any co-branded credit card on these parameters will help you make an informed decision.


Amazon Pay ICICI Bank credit card

The Amazon Pay ICICI Bank Credit Card offers several advantages for frequent Amazon shoppers. It provides robust cashback rewards on Amazon purchases, offering up to 5% cashback for Prime members and 3% for non-Prime members. Additionally, it offers other benefits like three- months prime membership at no cost and cashback offers on prepaid recharge, postpaid bill payments, electricity bill payment, gas cylinder payment and so on. There are no joining or annual fees.

However, it does have some disadvantages. The cashback is primarily beneficial for Amazon shopping, and the rewards structure may not be as competitive for other spending categories. The card also lacks travel and lifestyle benefits commonly found in premium credit cards.

Whether one should go for it depends on their spending habits. If you're a frequent Amazon shopper and value cashback rewards, it's a good choice. However, if you're looking for a more versatile card with broader benefits, you may want to consider other options.

Swiggy HDFC Bank credit card

The Swiggy HDFC Bank Credit Card is tailored for passionate food enthusiasts, especially those who frequently indulge in food delivery and dining out experiences. Its advantages include enticing rewards on dining expenditures, encompassing both online and offline transactions, with a substantial focus on Swiggy orders.

Cardholders can enjoy 10% cashback on the Swiggy application (food ordering, Instamart, Dineout and Genie) and 5% cashback with certain category merchants, and 1% cash back on other categories, making it an especially appealing choice for foodies. However, it's essential to consider the card's limitations, primarily its narrow utility, as its benefits primarily revolve around food-related expenses.

If you aren't a regular diner or Swiggy user, the card's value proposition may be limited. Therefore, your decision to opt for this card should align with your dining habits and lifestyle to maximise its advantages effectively.

IndianOil Axis Bank credit card

The IndianOil Axis Bank Credit Card is tailored for individuals who frequently use fuel services and desire to maximise their savings at IndianOil outlets. Its advantages are evident, with fuel benefits such as a 4% cashback on fuel expenses at IndianOil pumps, along with a 1% fuel surcharge waiver.

The card also extends its rewards to dining and online shopping, with 15% discount at partner restaurants and 1% value back at online shopping with 5 reward points on every ₹100 spent. Furthermore, you can get 10% off on booking movie tickets with However, this card's utility is primarily focused on fuel-related benefits, potentially limiting its appeal for those who do not own a vehicle or have alternative fuel preferences.

Before acquiring the IndianOil Axis Bank Credit Card, ensure that your fuel expenditures align with the card's rewards structure.

Standard Chartered EaseMyTrip Credit Card

The Standard Chartered EaseMyTrip Credit Card caters to avid travellers, offering numerous advantages. You can get a 20% instant discount on your domestic and international hotel bookings, saving up to ₹5000 and ₹10000, respectively. For your flight reservations, there's a flat 10% discount available, with maximum savings of ₹1000 for domestic flights and ₹5000 for international flights. Additionally, if you're planning a bus trip and your ticket costs over ₹500, you can enjoy a discount of ₹125. You also get to enjoy one domestic lounge access per calendar quarter and two international lounge access per year. The card's reward program allows users to earn 10x rewards on every ₹100 spent at standalone hotel and airline websites/apps/outlets.

Before getting the Standard Chartered EaseMyTrip Credit Card, it's crucial to evaluate your travel habits and determine if the benefits outweigh the annual fee, especially if you're a frequent traveller looking to maximise savings on your journeys.

How to pick a co-branded credit card

Evaluate the benefits offered by a co-branded credit card by carefully considering your spending habits, preferences, and the specific rewards and perks provided by the card. “The value of a co-branded credit card depends on how well the rewards and benefits align with your lifestyle and preferences,” says Adhil Shetty, CEO, BankBazaar, an online financial marketplace. It's important to choose a card that complements your spending habits and offers benefits you'll actually use.

To assess a co-branded credit card, analyse spending in categories like groceries, dining, and travel. Consider rewards, bonuses, and redemption options. Ensure that benefits outweigh the annual fee, maximising value from the card based on your spending habits and needs.