Introduction

Premium credit cards come with the best lifestyle privileges and benefits that are not provided by regular credit cards. Some of the high-end facilities that come with premium cards are: complimentary lounge access at domestic and international airports, an exclusive reward points program, etc.

Premium credit cards also offer exciting redemption options across a range of premium products and services. Card users also get attracted to these cards because of the special services provided by a dedicated concierge.

Top Premium Credit Cards in 2021

Most major credit card issuers in India offer premium credit cards that are specially meant for individuals who are seeking luxurious features and services from their credit cards. 

Listed here are some of the finest premium credit cards along with their key features/offerings:

  1. American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card 

  • Users can avail of free travel vouchers worth Rs. 7,700 (or more) by spending Rs. 1.90 lakhs per year 
  • 4 complimentary lounge visits can be availed per year for domestic airports 
  • 1 membership reward point can be earned for every Rs. 50 of spending
  • E-Gift worth Rs. 10,000 can be availed from Taj Hotels Palaces 
  • The card also offers free travel vouchers worth Rs. 11,800 upon spending Rs. 4 lakhs per year.
  1. HDFC Regalia Credit Card
  • The card comes with complimentary lounge access across 1000 airports 
  • The card offers a 24x7 travel assistance service 
  • Users can receive 4 reward points for spending of every Rs. 150
  1. SBI Card Elite

  • The card provides a welcome e-Gift voucher worth Rs. 5,000 
  • Free movie tickets to be availed worth Rs. 6,000 per year 
  • Users can earn 50,000 bonus reward points worth Rs. 12,500 annually
  • Complimentary membership for Club Vistara and Trident Privilege program is available with this card
  1. Kotak Privy League Signature Card

  • Users can earn 5x reward points for every Rs. 100 worth of expenses
  • The card offers access to airport lounges via a Priority Pass membership card 
  • Users can avail 4 complimentary movie tickets from PVR once every quarter
  • The card provides a fuel surcharge waiver of 1% at all the fuel stations across India
  1. Citi PremierMiles Card

  • 10,000 miles can be earned upon spending Rs. 1,000 or more for the first time within 60 days of card issuance
  • 3000 miles bonus can be earned on card renewal 
  • 10 miles for every Rs 100 worth of expenses on airline transactions 
  • 100 miles point to be availed on spending every Rs. 45
  1. Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card

  • Users can earn 5 reward points upon spending every Rs. 150
  • Card users can avail of free access to more than 1000 airport lounges at domestic and international terminals
  • Maximum 25% discount to be availed at more than 250 restaurants in India Golf tickets and tutorials annually

How to Apply for a Premium Credit Card? 

Here are the ways in which credit card applicants can avail of premium credit cards:

  1. Online 

Applying for a premium credit card can be done online by following the steps mentioned below:

  1. Visit the required credit card company’s official website 
  2. Select the type of credit card needed
  3. Click on the ‘Apply Online’ option 
  4. Once an OTP (One time password) is sent to the registered number, enter the same to proceed 
  5. Enter your personal details 
  6. Click on Apply and complete the application process.

       2. Offline 

After selecting the credit card required, you can apply for the same by visiting the nearest bank branch. The bank representative will help in completing the application and selecting the appropriate card. The bank checks your eligibility based on certain parameters like- credit score, monthly income, credit history, etc. After all criteria and application formalities are met, you may be issued a credit card.

Documents Required for Premium Credit Cards 

Following documents are required for premium credit card applications:

  • An identity proof issued by the Government of India including voter ID, driving license, Aadhaar card, passport, ration card, etc. 
  • Proof of income 
  • Address proof 
  • PAN card 
  • Passport size photograph

Differences Between Premium and Non-premium (Regular) Credit Cards

Premium credit cards offer certain types of features and benefits that regular credit cards cannot offer. The premium benefits in these cards also mean higher fees on these cards as compared to regular cards.

The following points highlight the key differences between premium and non-premium credit cards:

  1. Fees:

The fees of premium cards are generally higher as compared to regular cards. Some of the expenses are joining fee, renewal (annual) fee, etc.

  1. Eligibility criteria:

Premium credit card eligibility requires a relatively high annual income of approximately over Rs.50,000. On the other hand, some regular cards have an income criterion of as low as Rs.12,000 per month.

  1. Joining bonus:

Most premium cards come with an attractive joining bonus like reward points, complimentary air tickets, air miles, etc. Regular credit cards often don't offer any joining bonus and some may offer joining bonus that is often not rewarding.

  1. Reward points:

Premium cards are highly beneficial for the reward points program. Users can earn points by using the card for lifestyle and other expenditures. The accelerated reward points program allows users to earn RP in bulk and these can be redeemed for purchasing premium products and services.

While the regular cards also offer regular reward points, these are not comparable to the ones offered by the premium cards. In this case, the reward points are often low and the redemption options are limited.

  1. Concierge services:

Most premium cards come with a dedicated concierge service that can help in travel bookings, hotel reservations, entertainment arrangements, etc. These services are often not available on regular credit cards.

  1. Lounge access:

Premium cards offer complimentary and paid access to international and domestic airport/railway lounges. These are part of international programs like the Priority Pass membership.

Lounge accesses offered by regular cards are not very useful since the access is limited to fewer visits. These are mostly for domestic lounges and not international ones.

  1. Golf programs:

Users can enjoy free golf sessions at domestic and international golf courses through premium credit cards. This facility is not offered by regular credit cards.

  1. Milestone bonus:

If the annual spend on premium cards crosses a certain amount, one can get a large number of reward points as a bonus, depending on the terms and conditions of issuers. Regular cards too have a milestone bonus concept but the quantity of reward points is not comparable to premium cards.

Conclusion 

To avail of some of the best premium cards in India, you need to have a certain level of annual income and other criteria like a good credit score

FAQs

  1. Which is the best premium credit card in India?

Some of the best premium credit cards in India are:

  1. American Express Platinum Travel Credit Card 
  2. HDFC Regalia Credit Card
  3. SBI Card Elite
  4. Kotak Privy League Signature Card
  5. Are premium credit cards worth the high annual fee?

Premium credit cards offer many advantages and benefits including reward points, access to international airport lounges, etc that are often not available in regular credit cards.

  1. Who should get a premium credit card?

People with an income of over Rs. 50,000 per month can opt for a premium credit card since it has income eligibility criteria and would also involve higher fees.

  1. Do premium credit cards come with a high credit limit?

Yes, most premium credit cards come with a high credit limit and various other benefits upon spending as per thresholds.

  1. What should be kept in mind before getting a premium credit card?

Premium credit cards come with additional fees towards initial joining and also renewal. Customers must be aware of all the charges involved before getting a premium credit card.