November 1, 2023 Rohit D'Souza

Banks chomp down on free fodder

Being a connoisseur of the suite life and making max mileage of all features of my credit card, this new set of restrictions have sent me in a frenzy too.

However at the same time offering a modicum of respite for the busy airport lounges and the premium card holders. We’ve seen an uptick in the footfall at a lot of the domestic airport terminal lounges since most banks have lured the frequent travellers with the carrot of lounge accesses. With no stipulations and applicability on the entry level credit cards like ICICI bank coral or be it HDFC regalia the lounges are always packed to capacity and you’ll notice long lines to enter.

Here’s the dope on the HDFC regalia new rules.

A complete analysis is here.

For the noobs – credit cards offer a range of benefits to their users. Here are some of the most common ones:

  1. Convenience: Credit cards are a convenient way to pay for goods and services. You don’t have to carry cash around, and you can use them to make purchases online or over the phone.
  2. Rewards: Many credit cards offer rewards programs that allow you to earn points or cash back on your purchases. These rewards can be redeemed for a variety of things, such as travel, merchandise, or statement credits.
  3. Interest-free credit: Credit cards come with a grace period between purchase and payment during which the bank does not charge any interest. This is a perfect example of buy now and pay later.
  4. Expense tracker: Credit card statements are a great way to track your expenses every month since it provides you with an itemised account of your expenditure.
  5. Safer than cash: Credit cards are safer than carrying large amounts of cash around. If your card is lost or stolen, you can report it to the bank and have it cancelled. You won’t be liable for any fraudulent charges made on your card.
  6. Build credit: Using a credit card responsibly can help you build your credit score. A good credit score is important if you want to take out a loan or get a mortgage in the future.
  7. Fraud protection: Credit cards come with fraud protection that helps protect you against unauthorised transactions.
  8. Price protection: Some credit cards offer price protection, which means that if you buy something and then find it cheaper elsewhere, you can get a refund for the difference.
  9. Travel benefits: Many credit cards offer travel benefits such as travel insurance, airport lounge access, and free checked bags.
  10. Cashback and discounts: Credit cards offer cashback and discounts on a variety of purchases, such as fuel surcharge waivers, online shopping deals, and dining out.

These are just a few of the many benefits of using a credit card. However, it’s important to use your credit card responsibly and pay your bills on time to avoid high interest rates and fees.


There are many credit cards available in the market, each with its own set of benefits and rewards. The best credit card for you depends on your spending habits, credit score, and other factors. Here are some of the best credit cards in India for 2023 based on various user segments.

  1. American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card (MRCC): Best for Gold Collection & Points Transfers. Annual fee is waived off for the first year. You can earn up to 5% reward rate on your spends.
  2. SBI Cashback Card: Best for up to 5% cashback on online spends. Annual fee is waived off for the first year.
  3. IDFC First Wealth Card: Best for high reward rates on dining and entertainment spends. Lifetime free card.
  4. Amex Gold Charge: Best for high reward rates on travel and dining spends. Annual fee of INR 1,000.
  5. Amex Platinum Travel: Best for travel benefits such as airport lounge access, travel insurance, and hotel vouchers. Annual fee is waived off for the first year.
  6. Axis Atlas: Best for high reward rates on online shopping and dining spends. Annual fee of INR 5,000.
  7. Axis Vistara Infinite: Best for frequent flyers with Vistara airlines. Annual fee of INR 10,000.
  8. HDFC Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card: Best for hotel stays and dining spends. Annual fee of INR 3,000.
  9. SBI Air India Signature: Best for frequent flyers with Air India airlines. Annual fee of INR 5,000.
  10. Axis Magnus: Best for high reward rates on luxury spends. Annual fee of INR 10,000.

Please note that the above list is not exhaustive, and there may be other credit cards that suit your needs better. It’s important to read the terms and conditions of each card carefully before applying for one.

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