Best No-Annual Fee Credit Cards in India 2019

Although paying an annual fee can be worth it if a credit card provides enough rewards, there are a number of choices out there if you simply don't want to pay one. No-fee cards can still earn solid cashback, travel rewards or provide other great benefits. We've analyzed all the free credit card options out there to present you the best choices based on your preferences.

Best No-Annual Fee Credit Cards
OverallIndusInd Signature0.67% value back, Jet Airways waiver, no annual fee ever
Fee WaiverBOB Financial SelectRs. 250 monthly bonus, 1.25% on online shopping, dining, utilities
SecuredBOB Financial Prime1% value back, Rs. 15,000 minimum deposit
TravelAxis Pride Signature1.6% back on all spend except fuel, lounge access
FuelTata Star Titanium1% back on all retail including fuel, 3% on groceries & shopping
ShoppingCitibank Rewards CardRs. 875 welcome gift, 2.8% on apparel & department stores
DiningVijaya Rupay5% on dining & utilities, Rs. 500 welcome gift, lounge access
GroceriesIndusInd Pioneer Legacy1% on weekday spend, 2% on weekends

Best Overall No-Fee Card: IndusInd Bank Signature Credit Card

Consider this if you don’t want to pay an annual fee under any circumstances

Age Requirement None listed by issuer
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses
  • Welcome gift options: 1) one-way Jet Airways base fare and airline fuel charge waiver, 2) Oberoi Hotels voucher or 3) Genesis Luxury Voucher

The IndusInd Bank Signature Credit Card is the best card in India that charges no annual fee, no matter what. Some cards require clearing a certain spend amount before waiving your fee, but you won't have to worry about that with this card. Of its welcome gift choices, the one-way Jet Airways flight waiver is likely the most useful. This is the credit card's largest source of value, but on day-to-day spend you'll also get good value back of 0.67% on all charges except fuel (1 point per Rs. 150; 1 point = Rs. 1 cash).

Perks include Priority Pass and Travel Plus lounge access (though charges may apply), travel insurance, and golf & movie benefits. In all, the Signature Card will give you good cashback value without the worry of ever being charged an annual fee.

  • Earn Rate: 1 Reward Point per Rs. 150 spent except on Fuel
  • Point Value: 1 Reward Point = Rs. 1 cash
  • Perks: Priority Pass & Travel Plus (charges may apply), travel insurance, golf benefits, movie benefits
  • Earn Rate: 1 Reward Point per Rs. 150 spent except on Fuel
  • Point Value: 1 Reward Point = Rs. 1 cash
  • Perks: Priority Pass & Travel Plus (charges may apply), travel insurance, golf benefits, movie benefits

Best Card with Easy Annual Fee Waiver: BOB Financial Select Credit Card

Consider this if you spend at least Rs. 70,000 on your card annually

Age Requirement None listed by issuer
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses
  • Monthly bonus: 1,000 points (worth Rs. 250) on 5 transactions of Rs. 1,000+ per month

BOB's Financial Select will provide the highest overall return among cards in this group, but it requires Rs. 70,000 of annual spend to be truly no-fee. Also important to note, the card's biggest value source is its monthly bonus worth Rs. 250 (1,000 points) if you charge at least 5 transactions of Rs. 1,000+ within the month. On everyday spend, the card earns good 1.25% rupee value back (5 points per Rs. 100 spent; 4 points = Rs. 1) on online shopping, dining and utility bill transactions. While its 0.25% value back (1 point per Rs. 100) on all other spend is below average, this will be the most profitable no-fee card for you if you can pass the monthly bonus requirement each billing cycle and clear the annual spend requirement.

  • Annual Fee: Rs. 750 (in first year, waived on Rs. 7,500 spend in 60 days; beyond first year, waived on annual spend of Rs. 70,000)
  • Reward Earn Rate: 5 points/Rs. 100 spent on online shopping, dining and utility bills; 1 point/Rs. 100 spent on all other
  • Point Value: 4 points = Rs. 1
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400 – 5,000 (max Rs. waived 250 per cycle)
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 750 (in first year, waived on Rs. 7,500 spend in 60 days; beyond first year, waived on annual spend of Rs. 70,000)
  • Reward Earn Rate: 5 points/Rs. 100 spent on online shopping, dining and utility bills; 1 point/Rs. 100 spent on all other
  • Point Value: 4 points = Rs. 1
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400 – 5,000 (max Rs. waived 250 per cycle)

Best No-Fee Card Against Fixed Deposit: BOB Financial Prime Credit Card

Consider this if you have poor, limited or nonexistent credit history

Age Requirement None listed by issuer
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer

BOB's Prime Card is the best no-fee option if you need a credit card against fixed deposit. Also known as secured credit cards, these are good options to build credit and eventually move on to a more profitable card. The Prime will give you 1% rupee value back (4 points per Rs. 100 spent, 4 points = Rs. 1) on all spend, which is great among secured cards, and it also has the lowest deposit requirement (Rs. 15,000). Apply for this credit card to earn good value on your day-to-day spend while you need a credit card against fixed deposit.

  • Minimum Fixed Deposit: Rs. 15,000
  • Reward Earn Rate: 4 Reward Points per Rs. 100 spent
  • Point Value: 4 Reward Points = Rs. 1
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400 – 5,000; max Rs. 250 waived per month
  • Minimum Fixed Deposit: Rs. 15,000
  • Reward Earn Rate: 4 Rewards Points per Rs. 100 spent
  • Point Value: 4 Reward Points = Rs. 1
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400 – 5,000; max Rs. 250 waived per month

Best No-Fee Travel Credit Card: Axis Bank Pride Signature Credit Card

Consider this if you spend at least Rs. 40,000 annually on your card

Age Requirement 18-70
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses
  • Monthly Bonus: 100 points (Rs. 40 in Yatra vouchers) on spend of Rs. 5,000

Axis Bank's Pride Signature Credit Card is the best no-fee option for travel rewards. To be clear, there is truly no fee in your first year as a cardholder, but technically you would be charged Rs. 500 in subsequent years if you do not clear Rs. 40,000 in annual spend. However, this requirement for annual fee waiver should be easily achievable for many consumers.

The bulk of the credit card's value is earned on spend, with great 1.6% back on all transactions except fuel (8 point per Rs. 200 spent; 1 point = Rs. 0.40 Yatra vouchers). You will also receive 2 airport lounge visits a quarter across 5 major domestic cities, and the card comes with additional dining benefits. If you want a no-fee card for travel, apply for this card as long as you know you'll meet the Rs. 40,000 annual spending threshold.

  • Annual Fee: None 1st year; Rs. 500 beyond 1st year, waived on annual spend of Rs. 40,000
  • Earn Rate: 8 points per Rs. 200 spent except on fuel
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 0.40 Yatra vouchers
  • Perks: Access to 10 lounges across 5 cities in India, 2 visits/quarter; dining benefits
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400 – 4,000. Max Rs. 400 per month
  • Annual Fee: None 1st year; Rs. 500 beyond 1st year, waived on annual spend of Rs. 40,000
  • Earn Rate: 8 points per Rs. 200 spent except on fuel
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 0.40 Yatra vouchers
  • Perks: Access to 10 lounges across 5 cities in India, 2 visits/quarter; dining benefits
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400 – 4,000. Max Rs. 400 per month

Best No-Fee Credit Card for Fuel: Tata Star Titanium

Consider this if you spend at least Rs. 100,000 on your credit card annually

Age Requirement None listed by issuer
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses
  • Welcome Gift: Rs. 1,000 Star e-voucher

The Tata Star Titanium is the best no-fee credit card for rewards on spend at any fuel pump. You do have to clear Rs. 100,000 in annual spend for your fee to be waived, but this is doable for many consumers. You'll earn good 1% rupee value back on retail spend including fuel, (1 point per Rs. 100 spent, redeemable 1 to 1 for Tata vouchers), as well as 3% back on groceries and shopping. Note that the card's rewards are redeemable for Tata vouchers, so make sure you shop enough at Tata outlets annually to make the rewards worth it. Last, you can get up to 5% value back on spend at certain Tata outlets. Get this card for its flexibility on where you fuel, and especially if you would benefit from its additional shopping and groceries rewards.

  • Annual Fee: Rs. 499 (waived on Rs. 100,000 annual spend)
  • Reward Earn Rate: 3 points/Rs. 100 spent on groceries and shopping; 1 point/Rs. 100 on other retail spend; up to 5% value back at select TATA outlets
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 1 TATA vouchers
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 500 – 3,000 (max Rs. 100/month)
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 499 (waived on Rs. 100,000 annual spend)
  • Reward Earn Rate: 3 points/Rs. 100 spent on groceries and shopping; 1 point/Rs. 100 on other retail spend; up to 5% value back at select TATA outlets
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 1 TATA vouchers
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 500 – 3,000 (max Rs. 100/month)

Best No-Fee Credit Card for Shopping: Citibank Rewards Card

Consider this if you charge at least Rs. 30,000 on your card annually

Age Requirement None listed by issuer
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses & Promotions
  • Welcome Gift: 1,500 points (worth Rs. 525) on first transaction within 30 days; 1,000 points (worth Rs. 350) on first transaction of Rs. 1,000 within 60 days
  • Monthly Bonus: 300 points (worth Rs. 105) on spend of Rs. 30,000 or more

The Citibank Rewards Card is the best (effectively) no-fee credit card for shopping rewards. There is technically a Rs. 1,000 annual fee, but it will be waived on Rs. 30,000 of annual spend, achievable for many consumers. The card earns 2.8% value back (10 points per Rs. 125 spent; 1 point = Rs. 0.35 cashback) on apparel & department store spend, which is great compared to most credit cards. The card's next biggest source of monetary value is its welcome gift totalling about Rs. 875. And, if you happen to be a very high spender (Rs. 30,000 in monthly charges), you'll get bonus points worth Rs. 105 each month. Outside of apparel & department stores, the credit card earns only below average value back of 0.28%.

Points are redeemable for any of cashback, Air India/Jet Airways miles or IndianOil fuel vouchers. Although cashback is the most valuable (and versatile) option, be mindful that it requires a minimum 5,000 points to redeem. On the whole, the Citi Rewards Card will give you good flexibility on point redemption, so get this as your no-fee shopping card if you can clear the annual spend minimum.

  • Annual Fee: Rs. 1,000 (waived on spend of Rs. 30,000 in a year)
  • Reward Earn Rate: 10 points/Rs. 125 spent at apparel & department stores; 1 point/Rs. 125 spent on all other purchases
  • Cashback Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 0.35 (5,000 minimum point redemption)
  • Air Mile Value: 1 point = 0.75 Air India/Jet Airways miles = ~Rs. 0.34 (100 minimum point redemption)
  • Fuel Value: 1 point = Rs. 0.25 at IndianOil (250 minimum point redemption)
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: IOC outlets for transactions on Citi EDCs
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 1,000 (waived on spend of Rs. 30,000 in a year)
  • Reward Earn Rate: 10 points/Rs. 125 spent at apparel & department stores; 1 point/Rs. 125 spent on all other purchases
  • Cashback Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 0.35 (5,000 minimum point redemption)
  • Air Mile Value: 1 point = 0.75 Air India/Jet Airways miles = ~Rs. 0.34 (100 minimum point redemption)
  • Fuel Value: 1 point = Rs. 0.25 (250 minimum point redemption)
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: IOC outlets for transactions on Citi EDCs

Best No-Fee Credit Card for Dining: Vijaya Rupay (Platinum or Select) Credit Card

Consider this if you're a relatively low spender

Age Requirement None listed by issuer
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses
  • Welcome Gifts: Rs. 500 Tata Croma voucher; discount up to 15% at Apollo Pharmacy

The Vijaya Rupay Credit Card is the best no-fee dining card if you don't charge very much each month, but want a high return on your dining (and utilities) spend. The card earns an excellent 5% cashback on those two categories (best-in-market rate for utilities), with a cap of Rs. 50 cashback monthly for each. The card also comes with a nice Rs. 500 Tata Croma welcome voucher. Finally, the card provides great airport lounge access, with 8 free visits to domestic lounges (and four internationally) per year. So, if you don't charge too much on your card each month, apply for the Vijaya Rupay to earn a great return on your dining spend.

  • Reward Earn Rate: 5% cashback on dining and utilities (max Rs. 50 cashback/month for each category)
  • Perks: 8 free visits/year across 30+ domestic lounges in 11 cities; 4 free/visits year across 500+ international lounges in 300 cities; loss of life and permanent disability insurance
  • Reward Earn Rate: 5% cashback on utilities and dining (max Rs. 50 cashback/month for each category)
  • Perks: 8 free visits/year across 30+ domestic lounges in 11 cities; 4 free/visits year across 500+ international lounges in 300 cities; loss of life and permanent disability insurance

Best No-Fee Credit Card for Grocery Shopping: IndusInd Bank Pioneer Legacy Credit Card

Consider this if you want the flexibility of cashback rewards

Age Requirement None listed by issuer
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses
  • Welcome Gift: Oberi Hotel or Genesis Luxury vouchers
  • Anniversary Bonus: 6,000 points on Rs. 600,000+ spend within one year from card issuance

The IndusInd Bank Pioneer Legacy Card is the best no-annual fee credit card in India for grocery spend that earns cashback. You'll net a great 1% rupee value back on all your weekday expenditures (1 point per Rs. 100 spent), including groceries, and 2% on the weekend. Plain and simple, if you want a no-fee card for grocery spend that earns cashback, get the IndusInd Pioneer Legacy.

  • Reward Earn Rate: 1 point/Rs. 100 spent on weekdays, 2 points/Rs. 100 spent on weekends (max 20,000 points/month)
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 1 cashback
  • Perks: Complimentary international & domestic lounge access via Priority Pass; Rs. 100,000 lost bag insurance, delayed bag, loss of passport, lost ticket, missed connection coverages
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400 – 4000
  • Reward Earn Rate: 1 point/Rs. 100 spent on weekdays, 2 points/Rs. 100 spent on weekends (max 20,000 points/month)
  • Point Value: 1 point = Rs. 1 cashback
  • Perks: Complimentary international & domestic lounge access via Priority Pass; Rs. 100,000 lost bag insurance, delayed bag, loss of passport, lost ticket, missed connection coverages
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400 – 4000
Dan Grossman

Dan is a Senior Research Analyst at ValueChampion India, focusing on credit cards. He holds a B.S. in Mathematics & Economics from the University of Michigan, and previously worked in the financial services industry at Capital One and Moelis & Company.