Credit cards can be very convenient when you don’t have enough cash. Today, credit cards also provide the EMI option for big purchases. You can even get cashback, reward points and discount coupons on using your credit card. However, most of the credit cards come with an annual fee that can be anywhere between Rs 499 and Rs 50,000. Only if you can get back your annual fee as rewards or discounts, the fee might be worth it.
If you don’t use your credit card much, paying an annual fee might be waste of money. In that case, you can choose a credit card that comes with zero annual fees. While some cards come with zero annual fees for the first year, some other cards charge no fees as long as you use the card. Here are the top credit cards that don’t require you to pay an annual fee.
HSBC Visa Platinum Card
This card is very popular because it comes with no annual fees or joining fees. You get a gift voucher of Rs 250 when you apply for the card. When you make the first transaction with the card, you get Rs 2,000 Cleartrip voucher. During the first 90 days of using the card, you get a 10% cashback on all spends. In the first year, you get 3x rewards on dining, hotel and telecom spends.
Under the card’s reward program, you get 2 points for every Rs 150 spent. Reward points can be redeemed for gifts and vouchers. When you spend more than Rs 50,000 using your credit card during a month, you get movie tickets worth Rs 500. When you fill fuel using the credit card for Rs 400 to Rs 4,000, you get fuel surcharge waiver. EMIs for purchases above Rs 2,000. HSBC provides zero lost credit card liability after reporting and registering the loss of the card to HSBC. The cardholder is also covered for misuse of his/her card upto 24 hours before reporting and registering, for upto Rs 300,000.
- Annual Fee – Lifetime free
- Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – 39.6% per year
- Cashback – 10% cashback on all spends during the first 90 days
- Rewards – 3X rewards on dining, hotels and telecom spends
- Fuel surcharge waiver – maximum of Rs 250 per month
- EMI – purchases of over Rs. 2,000
Kotak Royal Signature Credit Card
This credit card will have no annual fee for the first year, and from the second year the fee will be Rs 999. However, this fee will waived if the cardholder spends more than Rs 1 lakh in the previous year. With this card, you can get 4x reward points on spend of Rs 150 on dining and travel. For all other spends, cardholders get 2x reward points on spending Rs 150. You can redeem reward points for air tickets, mobile recharges and merchandise.
Unlike other zero annual fee credit cards, this card provides complimentary access to domestic airport lounges. These come with facilities such as free wi-fi, gourmet meal and spa services. You can get fuel surcharge waiver of up to Rs 3,500 during a year if you spend Rs 500 to Rs 3000 a month. This card also provides railway ticket booking surcharge waiver when you book tickets on the IRCTC website.
- Annual Fee: 1st year – 0, 2nd year onwards – Rs. 999 (waived off on yearly spend of Rs 1 lakh)
- APR – 37.2% per year
- Rewards – 4X rewards on travel and dining spends, 2x rewards on other spends
- Bonus: 10,000 points on spends of Rs 4 lakh, 30,000 points on spends of Rs 8 lakh
- Fuel surcharge waiver – maximum of Rs 3500 per year
- Additional features – free airport lounge access
Jet Airways IndusInd Bank Voyage Visa Card
This card gives complimentary membership to Jet Privilege Frequent Flier program. This will help the cardholder get base fare waived air tickets. Cardholders can also get bonus JPMiles. The card gives 5% discount on base fare for domestic and international tickets booked on jetairways.com or jetkonnect.com. You get 8 JPMiles for very Rs 100 spent on jetairways.com and 4 JPMiles for other spends. You also get free movie tickets when you book tickets on bookmyshow or at Sathyam cinemas.
The annual fee will be nil for the first year and the cardholder has to pay Rs. 2,000 from the second year. Similar to luxury credit cards, this card gives complimentary golf lessons at leading gold clubs and concierge services. The card also gives 1% fuel surcharge waiver of up to Rs 960 per year. In case you lose your card, Indusind will provide an insurance cover for unauthorised transactions for 48 hours prior to you reporting it to the bank.
- Annual Fee: 1st year – 0, 2nd year onwards – Rs. 2000
- APR – 46% per year
- Rewards – 8 JPMiles for spends on jetairways.com, 4 JPMiles on other spends
- Movie Tickets: Buy 1, get 1 on bookmyshow.com, Sathyam cinemas
- Fuel surcharge waiver – maximum of Rs. 960 per year
- Additional features – complimentary golf lessons, concierge services
Most banks waive the annual fee when you spend a certain amount using the credit card during the year. If you have a credit card with an annual fee, check with your bank if it can be waived off. Using your credit card in the right way will help improve your credit score. Read this post for more information. It is important that you pay off your credit card bills in full, on time.