Best NRI Credit Cards 2023 – Part 1
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Numerous banks in India cater to the financial needs of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) by offering them credit cards.
These NRI Credit Cards are designed to facilitate convenient payments for individuals, whether they are abroad or in India.
They are provided explicitly to Indians who have settled overseas and fall under the status of an NRI.
NRI Credit Cards operate similarly to regular credit cards.
They allow NRIs to make travel bookings, purchases, online payments, and bill settlements.
What sets them apart is the avoidance of currency conversion hassles, as NRIs can make payments in Indian rupees.
Steps for Online NRI Credit Card Application
Visit the website of the desired bank and initiate the credit card application process.
This can be done by providing essential details like your name, email ID, contact number, income, and address.
Expect a call from a bank representative who will guide you through the application procedure.
A representative will visit your location to collect the required documents.
Steps for Offline NRI Credit Card Application
Visit the bank’s nearest branch and inquire about the NRI credit card options available.
The bank representative will assist you in selecting a card that aligns with your requirements.
Fill out the application form and then submit essential documents.
To apply for any NRI credit card, you will need to submit the following documents:
⁃ KYC documents, including PAN, address proof, and ID proof.
⁃ A photograph.
⁃ Salary slip or Form 16.
Additional documents may be necessary depending on the bank’s specific requirements.
Selecting the right credit card as a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) can be overwhelming due to the multitude of options available.
Here are some key considerations to help you make an informed choice:
Benefits and Rewards
Determine if you prefer lifestyle rewards, travel perks, or cashback incentives.
Explore the various benefits and perks that align with your preferences and purchases.
This makes your travel more comfortable or provides savings through local cashback offers.
Pay attention to the interest rate, particularly if you feel that you may have to carry a balance on your card.
Ensure you are comfortable with the interest rate terms, as it can impact your finances significantly.
Know that most NRI credit cards come with annual/joining fees, although these fees are often waived with sufficient spending.
Be aware of additional charges such as processing, ATM withdrawal, and overseas transaction fees.
These fees are typically detailed in the terms and conditions, so review them carefully.
Currency Conversion Markup
Given that international transactions may be a part of your spending as an NRI, assess the impact of currency conversion on your expenses.
Many cards apply a currency conversion markup, which deducts a portion of each transaction converted to your home currency.
Be aware of the costs.
Now, let us take a look at the best credit cards available for NRIs in India.
Kotak NRI Royale Signature Credit Card (Best Pick)
Below are the exclusive features and benefits of the Kotak NRI Royale Signature Credit Card.
Rewards on International Spending
When you use the card for purchases outside India, you earn two reward points for every Rs. 200 spent.
Additionally, you earn one extra reward point for every Rs. 200 spent within India.
Accumulate these reward points, which can be redeemed for various options, including movie tickets, airfare, cash, and more.
Each reward point is equivalent to Rs. 1.
Convenience of INR Transactions
You can avoid the mark-up fee typically charged on credit cards issued outside India when traveling to India.
You can also avoid the inconvenience of currency exchange.
Enjoy the convenience of making payments for your purchases, travel expenses, and dining in Indian Rupees.
Fuel and Railway Surcharge Waivers
The card offers a fuel surcharge waiver on transactions ranging from Rs. 500 to Rs. 3000.
The maximum fuel surcharge waiver is Rs. 3500 per calendar year.
You can benefit from a railway surcharge waiver for transactions on www.irctc.co.in and at Indian Railways Booking Counters.
This comes with a maximum waiver of Rs. 500 per calendar year.
Gift an Add-On Card
Extend the advantages of the NRI Royale Card to your loved ones by gifting them an add-on card.
This card can be issued to your spouse, parents, or children above 18, regardless of location or citizenship status.
A one-time fee of Rs. 599/- applies to each add-on card.
Enjoy the perks of airport lounge access with two complimentary visits every quarter to Dream Folks Lounges within India.
Revel in amenities like gourmet meals, comfortable seating, widescreen TVs, newspapers, magazines, and free Wi-Fi.
This card has no joining fees, but the annual fee is Rs. 1,000.
Interest rate: 37.2% p.a.
You should note that the fees and interest rates are subject to change as per the terms and conditions of Kotak Mahindra Bank.
You should follow up with the bank to get accurate details regarding the fees associated with this card.
HDFC Bank Regalia
Given below are some of the exclusive offers provided with the HDFC Regalia Card
When you apply for the HDFC Regalia Credit Card, you can enjoy various joining benefits.
Notably, you receive 2,500 reward points upon paying the joining fee.
This card offers 4 points for every 150 rupees spent using the card, which can be redeemed at a rate of 0.5 rupees per 1 point.
Complimentary Zomato Gold Membership
If you spend ₹75,000 within the first three months of receiving your card, you’ll receive a free Zomato Gold membership.
This gives you exclusive dining privileges when using Zomato for your dining expenses in India.
Lifetime Free Card
You can obtain a lifetime free card by completing four transactions of ₹500 or more monthly for the first three consecutive months.
International and Domestic Lounge Access
Cardholders benefit from 6 international lounge visits per year through Priority Pass membership.
They also get 12 domestic lounge accesses via the Regalia Visa/Mastercard Lounge program.
Rewards on Anal Spends
For annual spending exceeding ₹8 lakhs, you can earn 15,000 reward points every year.
Enjoy a fuel-surcharge waiver, ensuring savings every time you refuel your vehicle.
Discounts at Restaurants
Avail of up to 15% discounts at over 3,000 restaurants, which makes dining out more enjoyable and cost-effective.
Travel Concierge Services
Access personalized travel concierge assistance to enhance your travel experiences.
Cardholders are eligible for several insurance benefits, including:
⁃ Air accident death cover
⁃ Emergency overseas hospitalization cover
⁃ Credit liability cover
Anniversary Year Rewards
Spend ₹5 lakhs or more in an anniversary year, and adding to that, you can earn an additional 10,000 reward points.
The fee structure for the HDFC Bank Regalia Credit Card is as follows:
1st Year: ₹2,500
2nd year Onwards: ₹2,500
Lifetime Free Card: Achievable by completing four transactions of ₹500 or more monthly for the first three consecutive months.
The renewal fee can be avoided if you spent over ₹3 lakhs during the previous year.
HDFC Bank Times Titanium
Below are the offers and primary features of the HDFC Bank Times Titanium credit card.
Enjoy fantastic discounts and exclusive offers on movies and dining at select outlets throughout the year.
GPS-Based Offers: Access real-time GPS location-based offers online or offline using the Times Card app.
Pay an annual fee of INR 500 for the first year and subsequent years.
However, this fee is waived if your annual spending exceeds INR 1.5 lakhs.
One of the top entertainment credit cards with year-long discounts on movie and dining expenses.
The renewal fee can be avoided by spending INR 1.5 lakh or more annually.
Accelerated rewards are made available on dining expenses during weekdays.
Enjoy discounts on movie tickets when booking through select websites or theaters.
You have the possibility of earning two reward points for every INR 150 spent on retail purchases.
On weekdays (Monday to Friday), enjoy a higher rate of 5 points for every Rs. 150 spent on dining.
These points are valid for two years from the date of accumulation.
If your card is lost or stolen, report it within 24 hours to benefit from zero liability on fraudulent transactions.
Joining Fee: Rs. 500
Annual Fee: Rs. 500 (waived if annual spending exceeds Rs. 1.5 lakhs)
Interest Rate (APR): 40.8% per annum
Interest-Free Period: Up to 50 days
Please note that these fees are subject to change and may vary depending on the terms and conditions set by HDFC Bank.
Checking the latest fee schedule before applying for the card or making transactions is advisable.
HDFC Bank Times Platinum
Below are the exclusive features and fees of the HDFC Bank Times Platinum credit card.
Welcome Gift Vouchers:
Enjoy a generous 25% discount on movie ticket bookings.
Delight in a 20% discount on dining at over 1,000 partner restaurants.
Earn accelerated reward points for dining during weekdays.
The renewal fee is waived if your annual expenditure exceeds Rs. 2,50,000.
Enjoy a 1.5% fuel surcharge waiver on fuel transactions with a maximum waiver per statement cycle of Rs. 250.
Conduct at least four monthly transactions to avail of free Accidental Death insurance worth Rs. 50 lakhs.
Receive complimentary Fire and Burglary protection for goods exceeding Rs. 5,000 for six months.
In case of card loss, report it to HDFC credit card customer care to enjoy zero liability on fraudulent transactions.
Earn three reward points for every Rs. 150 spent and an impressive ten reward points for every Rs. 150 spent on dining during weekdays.
Accumulated reward points remain valid for two years from the date of purchase.
Online redemption involves selecting items from the rewards catalog and completing the process on the website.
Annual Fee: Rs. 1,000
Cash Advance Limit: 40%
Minimum Repayment Amount is 5% or a minimum of Rs. 200
Interest-Free Period: Up to 50 days
Charges on Revolving Credit: 3.49% per month.
Note that these fees are subject to change and may differ depending on the terms and conditions set by HDFC Bank.
Checking the latest fee schedule before applying for the card or making transactions is advisable.
HDFC Bank Diners ClubMiles Card
Below are the features and fees related to the HDFC Bank Diners ClubMiles card.
Lifetime Free Access
Experience lifetime free access by conducting just four monthly transactions for the first three consecutive months. The minimum transaction value is Rs. 500.
Rewarding Points System
Earn four reward points for every Rs. 150 spent on your card.
Airport Lounge Access
Enjoy the luxury of up to 6 complimentary lounge visits at over 700 lounges across India and abroad.
Best-in-class Miles Exchange Program
Exchange 1 reward point for one airmile with leading airlines and hotels.
Redeem your reward points for miles, making your travel experiences even more rewarding.
A first-year fee of Rs. 1,000 is waived on conducting two monthly transactions for the first three consecutive months.
It can also be waived off by spending Rs. 30,000 within 90 days.
Second year onwards, the fee is Rs. 1,000 and can be waived on spending Rs. 1 lakh within 12 months.
You can receive 1,000 reward points as a welcome gift, credited once the joining fee is paid.
Also, earn 1,000 reward points as a renewal bonus for every card renewal.
Redeem reward points for air miles with partner airlines and hotels, including:
⁃ British Airways
⁃ Jet Airways
⁃ Singapore Airlines
⁃ Trident Hotels
⁃ Club Vistara
One reward point equals one air mile.
Points can also be converted at the HDFC Bank Diners Club website, with one reward point equal to Re. 0.50.
Enjoy a 15% discount and other benefits at some of the finest restaurants in your city.
You can also access a 24/7 concierge service for all your travel needs.
Joining Fee: Rs. 1,000
Annual Fee: Rs. 1,000
Interest Rate: 3.49% per month
The fees and interest rates are subject to change, so it is wise to contact the bank regarding those details.
The Axis Bank Neo Credit Card offers a plethora of benefits and privileges, making it a valuable addition to your wallet.
Some of its notable features include:
Cardholders can enjoy welcome offers from Amazon, cashback offers, gift vouchers, and entertainment deals upon card activation.
Lost Card Liability Insurance
Axis Bank offers lost card liability insurance.
This ensures cardholders are protected against unauthorized transactions if the card is lost or stolen.
The Neo Credit Card extends lifestyle benefits across various categories, including dining, movies, and shopping.
Cardholders can enjoy appealing dining benefits at partner restaurants in India as part of the Axis Bank Dining Delights program.
The card entitles users to various shopping discounts and cashback offers.
This includes discounts on Myntra.com and BigBasket purchases.
Cashback on mobile recharge transactions is also made via the Freecharge app or website.
Neo Credit Cardholders receive movie vouchers to enhance their entertainment experiences.
Under the eDGE Loyalty Program, cardholders earn two reward points for every Rs.200 spent using the Axis Bank Neo credit card.
These reward points can be redeemed from an exclusive catalog on the Axis Bank website.
Cardholders can convert high-value purchases into equated monthly installments (EMIs).
The EMIs can be set with flexible tenure options ranging from 6 to 24 months.
Any purchase exceeding Rs.2,500 can be converted into monthly installments.
Joining Fees: Rs.250 (waived off if Rs.2,500 is spent within 45 days)
Annual Fees: Rs.250
The fees and interest rates are subject to change per the terms and conditions of Axis Bank.
Following up with the bank is suggested to get accurate details regarding the fees involved.
ICICI Bank NRI Coral Credit Card
The ICICI Bank NRI Coral Credit Card offers benefits designed to enhance the cardholder’s experience:
The card has a Chip-and-PIN security system to protect against fraud and card duplication.
Complimentary Lounge Visits
Cardholders can enjoy two complimentary lounge visits each quarter, adding a touch of luxury to their travel experiences.
Cardholders receive three complimentary UBER vouchers valued at Rs.100 for convenient and cost-effective transportation.
Cardholders can get one free ticket under the buy-one-get-one plan when booking through BookMyShow.
Cardholders can also get up to 2 complimentary movie tickets per month, with each ticket priced at up to Rs.250.
Enjoy a 15% or higher discount at more than 2,500 restaurants across 12 major cities in India.
This is availed through the Culinary Treats Program by ICICI Bank.
Cardholders can take advantage of the MasterCard Moments program.
This provides access to a range of enriching experiences and exclusive offers.
Fuel Surcharge Waiver
Cardholders receive a 1% waiver on fuel surcharge every time they purchase petrol or diesel.
This is valid on a maximum transaction of Rs.4,000 at all HPCL petrol pumps.
Joining Fee: Rs.1,000 plus GST
Annual Fee: Rs.500 plus GST (waived off from the second year if annual spending exceeds Rs.1,50,000 per year)
Please note that charges may be subject to change per the bank’s terms and conditions.
Verifying the current fee structure with ICICI Bank for the most up-to-date information is advisable.
ICICI Bank NRI Sapphiro Credit Card
Listed below are the exclusive benefits and offers provided by the ICICI Bank NRI Sapphiro Credit Card
Benefits of Reward Points
Earn two PAYBACK Points for every Rs.100 spent on domestic purchases.
Receive 1 PAYBACK point for every Rs.100 spent on utilities and insurance payments.
Enjoy up to Rs.500 off on your second movie ticket when you purchase one (twice a month for tickets booked through www.bookmyshow.com).
Avail up to 4 complimentary rounds of golf every month at your chosen golf course.
Enjoy a minimum savings of 15% on dining expenses through the ICICI Bank Culinary Treats Programme.
Airport and Lounge Benefits
Receive four free domestic airport lounge visits every quarter, courtesy of Mastercard.
Enjoy two free domestic airport spa visits annually through the Dreamfolks Membership Programme.
How to Redeem PAYBACK Points
You can redeem your PAYBACK Points as cash, with each PAYBACK Point equivalent to Rs.0.25.
To redeem, call 080-4014644, and then the equivalent cash gets credited to your account within seven working days.
If you prefer redeeming points for gifts, you can contact PAYBACK at 1860-258-5000 or make an online request through www.payback.in.
Additional Card Usage
The ICICI Bank NRI Sapphiro Credit Card is valid for domestic transactions.
Credit card bill payments should be set up for automatic debit from the NRE/NRO Account.
Value of PAYBACK Points
Each PAYBACK Point holds a value of Rs.0.25.
This card offers a minimum discount of 15% on dining bills through the ICICI Bank Culinary Treats Programme.
Joining Fee: Rs.6,500
Annual Fee: Rs.3,500
I’ve covered some of the best NRI credit cards in this article and intend to cover some more in another article.
You should note that the article is strictly provided for informational purposes and should be treated that way.
I am not affiliated with any of these credit cards, and neither do I endorse them.
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That being said, I strongly hope the information provided in this article was helpful.
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