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How to find the right credit card that fits your lifestyle?

Priyadarshini Maji
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Do you travel a lot, both for your business and pleasure? Do you always get discounts, rewards, and cash back on your bookings? And do you also get exempted from the dreaded ‘cancellation’ fees on your bookings, if you had to cancel your tickets last minute? You would have got all these benefits along with various others if you had owned a credit card that is designed for travelers. Along with discounts, rewards, and cash back on your bookings, you will also get free tickets on spending the annual quota on the card, while free cancellation and access to airport lounges all over India are additional perks.

Most of us end up spending lakhs of rupees annually in cash or cheque, but we seldom get any value back. On the other hand, paying through credit card pays off, be it in the form of cash back, vouchers or reward points. Most banks offer co-branded credit cards – these banks tie up with a select network of brands to offer substantial discounts. Experts say choosing a credit card based on your specific needs and spends is better than getting a generic card. This will give you rewards and value for your actual spends.

Lifestyle-based cards are generally classified into various sections such as dining, entertainment, travel, fuel, and shopping. Credit cards offer numerous discounts on dining and entertainment arenas. In the dining section credit card customers can avail significant discounts on their bill, a complimentary drink or appetizers depending on the type of card. In the entertainment section, one can get discounts on movie tickets or even free movie tickets at regular intervals. There are also cards that offer gift vouchers, privilege membership to premium or luxury retail outlets. These credit card companies also partner with game arenas, amusement parks, and other entertainment outlets to offer deals. The one common feature among travel, dining and entertainment cards – they offer cardholders complimentary access to domestic and international airport lounges. For those who spend significant amounts on fuel can get much higher benefits by paying through specialized fuel cards.

Find out what you are missing out and what you can get with these credit cards:

ICICI Coral Credit Card: Along with joining gift, you get 4 payback points on dining and grocery shopping and 2 points on other transactions. You also get the option of two complimentary movie tickets and access to airport lounge once per quarter. 15 per cent savings on dining at select restaurants are also offered. The joining fee charged is Rs 1,000 for the first year and Rs 500 annually thereafter.

American Express Membership Reward card: You get one reward point for every Rs 50 spent on fuel, insurance, utilities, and cash transactions. You also get 20 per cent off on dining at select restaurants. The fuel surcharge is also waived off at HP stations across the country. From second year onwards Rs 4,500 per annum is charged annually. The interest rate charged is 23.88 per cent per annum.

SBI Fbb Styleup Contactless credit card: You get a voucher from apparel store fbb, worth Rs 500, as a welcome gift. You also get 10 per cent discount on apparels and accessories at fbb and Big Bazaar, 10 reward points for every Rs 100 spent at Big Bazaar, fbb and Food Bazaar outlets, and on all dining expenditures. The card charges Rs 499 as the annual fee and the interest rate charged on this card is 40.2 per cent per annum.

Axis Bank Buzz card: Specially designed for online shopping from Flipkart. Users a Flipkart voucher worth Rs 1,000 on making three purchases within the first 45 days. It provides 5 per cent off on Flipkart and a minimum of 15 per cent off at select restaurants. 6 Axis reward points get credited, for every Rs 200 spent online. For annual spends of Rs 2 lakh, Flipkart vouchers worth Rs 2,000 are gifted to the customer. From second year onwards annual fee of Rs 750 is charged.

Standard Chartered Manhattan Platinum credit card: On spend of Rs. 1,000 per transaction you get 5 per cent cashback on spends at retail outlets such as More, Reliance Fresh, Big Bazaar and Food Bazaar. Further, you get 3x reward points on hotels, restaurants, flight tickets, and fuel. Annual fee charged for the first year is Rs 499, and Rs 999 from second year onwards is charged. The interest rate charged on this card is 41.88 per cent per annum.

SBI Platinum Air India credit card: This co-branded card Air India provides 5,000 reward points as a welcome gift, along with complimentary membership to the Air India Frequent Flyer programme. Along with access to Visa airport lounges at domestic airports, you also get 2 reward points for every Rs 100 spent; where one reward point is equal to one Air India air mile. The annual charge for this card is Rs 1,499, and the interest charged is 40.2 per cent per annum.

Axis Vistara Signature credit card: This co-branded travel card with Vistara, offers a premium economy ticket as a welcome gift. You also get priority check-in option and additional baggage allowance. Customers get 4 club Vistara points on every Rs 200 spent. You are also eligible for 3 premium economy tickets on an annual spend of up to Rs 4.5 lakh. The annual fee charged is Rs 3,000, and the interest rate charged is 41.75 per cent per annum.

Standard Chartered Yatra Platinum: This co-branded card with Yatra.com and offers 4x rewards and 10 per cent cashback on all travel bookings with the portal. The cancellation fees for flights booked on the site are also waived off. You also get 2 reward points for every Rs 100 spent, and 2.5 per cent surcharge is waived off on fuel. From second year onwards Rs 999 per annum is charged annually.

HDFC Bank Jet Privilege Platinum: This co-branded card with Jet Airways gives up to 4,000 bonus JP Miles as a welcome gift and the base fare of a one-way ticket is also waived off. 5 JP Miles is awarded for every Rs 150 spent and 15 JP Miles on every flight booked on jetairways.com. Along with lounge access to select domestic airports, you also get an additional 5 per cent discount on the base fare of Jet Airways tickets. The annual charges are Rs 1,000 per annum.