Best Student Credit Cards in India 2019

Without a steady income, it is difficult for students to get approved for many of the credit card offerings in the market. If you want your own card, a great option is to apply for a credit card against fixed deposit (also known as a secured credit card). We've researched the best options in India to help you build your credit and progress toward a more valuable card in due time.

Best Student Credit Cards
CashbackBOB Financial Prime1% cashback all spend, Rs. 15,000 minimum fixed deposit
TravelAxis Bank Insta Easy1.2% domestic, 2.4% international, Rs. 20,000 fixed deposit
High SpendersKotak Silk Inspire5% apparel (min Rs. 7,500 monthly spend), Rs. 50,000 deposit
NRIsKotak NRI Royale0.45% outside India, 0.23% in India, Rs. 100,000 deposit
Rail TicketsKotak Aqua GoldRs. 750 annual bonus on Rs. 150,000 spend, Rs. 25,000 deposit

Best Student Credit Card for Cashback: BOB Financial Prime Credit Card

Consider this if you prefer cashback as your reward

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

The BOB Financial Prime is the best student credit card option to earn cashback. You'll get 1% rupee value back (4 points per Rs. 100 spent, 4 points = Rs. 1), which is great among the various credit cards against fixed deposit. It also has the lowest deposit amount required (Rs. 15,000), and the card has no annual fees. Simply put, apply for this credit card to earn solid cashback on your everyday spend as a student.

  • Minimum Fixed Deposit: Rs. 15,000
  • No Fees
  • 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
  • No Fees
  • 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 Student Credit Card for Travel Rewards: Axis Bank Insta Easy Credit Card

Consider this if you want travel vouchers as your reward

Age Requirement None listed by issuer
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses
  • Welcome Gift: 100 points (Rs. 40 in Yatra vouchers) on first online transaction

The Axis Bank Insta Easy Credit Card has the highest rupee value back of all student cards. Specifically, you'll earn 1.2% value on domestic spend (6 points per Rs. 200 spent; 1 point = Rs. 0.40 Yatra vouchers) and 2.4% on international spend (12 points per Rs. 200). Additional benefits include the 100 point welcome gift as well as 15% dining discounts at select restaurants. If you travel enough each year to put the Yatra voucher rewards to full use, get the Insta Easy for the best value.

  • Minimum Fixed Deposit: Rs. 20,000
  • Reward Earn Rate: 6 points per Rs. 200 spent on domestic transactions (except fuel); 12 points per Rs. 200 spent on international transactions
  • Point Value: 1 Axis eDGE Reward Point = Rs. 0.40 Yatra Travel Vouchers
  • Perks: Axis Bank’s Dining Delights program
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400 – 4,000; max Rs. 400 waived per month
  • Minimum Fixed Deposit: Rs. 20,000
  • Reward Earn Rate: 6 points per Rs. 200 spent on domestic transactions (except fuel); 12 points per Rs. 200 spent on international transactions
  • Point Value: 1 Axis eDGE Reward Point = Rs. 0.40 Yatra Travel Vouchers
  • Perks: Axis Bank’s Dining Delights program
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 400 – 4,000; max Rs. 400 waived per month

Best Student Credit Card for High Spenders: Kotak Silk Inspire Credit Card

Consider this if you spend at least Rs. 250,000 per year

Age Requirement 18-75
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses
  • Anniversary Bonus: Spend Rs. 125,000 every 6 months and get 1,000 reward points (worth ~Rs. 450) or 4 free PVR tickets

Kotak Mahindra's Silk Inspire Card is great for students who like to shop for apparel, giving an excellent 5% back on such purchases if you clear Rs. 7,500 retail spend each month (max Rs. 500 back per cycle). The bulk of the card's value comes from its 1,000 point bonus every 6 months (redeemable for 1,000 JPMiles = ~Rs. 450), obtained on minimum spend of Rs. 125,000 each half-year. On spend outside apparel, you'll only get below average 0.22% back (1 point per Rs. 200 spent; 1 point = 1 JPMile = Rs 0.45). Additionally, the card has a fairly high minimum fixed deposit (Rs. 50,000), a Rs. 599 joining fee and a Rs. 599 annual fee (waived on Rs. 125,000 spend per year). Last, you can only apply for this card if you live in an eligible city. If you do meet all the requirements, we recommend the Silk Inspire if you're a high-spending student, particularly on apparel.

  • Minimum Fixed Deposit: Rs. 50,000
  • Eligible Locations: Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi (incl. Gurgaon & Noida), Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai & Pune
  • Join Fee: Rs. 599
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 599 (waived on annual retail spend of Rs. 125,000)
  • Reward Earn Rate: 5% back on apparel (Rs. 7,500 minimum retail spend/billing cycle; max Rs. 500 back/cycle); 1 point/Rs. 200 all other
  • Estimated Point Value: 1 point = 1 JPMile = Rs. 0.45
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 500 – 3,000; max waived Rs. 3,500/year
  • Minimum Fixed Deposit: Rs. 50,000
  • Eligible Locations: Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi (incl. Gurgaon & Noida), Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai & Pune
  • Join Fee: Rs. 599
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 599 (waived on annual retail spend of Rs. 125,000)
  • Reward Earn Rate: 5% back on apparel (Rs. 7,500 minimum retail spend/billing cycle; max Rs. 500 back/cycle); 1 point/Rs. 200 all other
  • Estimated Point Value: 1 point = 1 JPMile = Rs. 0.45
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 500 – 3,000; max waived Rs. 3,500/year

Best Student Credit Card for Non-Resident Indians: Kotak NRI Royale Signature Credit Card

Consider this if you're a high spender

Age Requirement 18-75
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer

Kotak Mahindra's NRI Royale Signature is a secured credit card available to Non-Resident Indians, including students. It comes with a relatively high Rs. 100,000 fixed deposit and has annual fee of Rs. 1,000. On spend outside of India, students will earn 0.45% value back (2 points per Rs. 200; 1 point = 1 JPMile = Rs. 0.25), and half that in India (1 point per Rs. 200). You'll also get two complimentary airport lounge visits each quarter, valid across 20 cities in India (valid till March 31, 2019). Only high spenders will charge enough on the card to make the annual fees worth it, so we only recommend the NRI Royale Signature to students who charge enough each year.

  • Minimum Fixed Deposit: Rs. 100,000
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 1,000
  • Reward Earn Rate: 2 points/Rs. 200 spent outside India; 1 point/Rs. 200 spent in India; no points on fuel or rail if surcharge waived
  • Estimated Point Value: 1 point = 1 JPMile = Rs. 0.45
  • Perks: Visa Lounge access (2 free visits/quarter; 29 lounges across 20 cities in India) – valid through March 31, 2019
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 500 – 3,000 (max Rs. 3,500 waived per year)
  • Rail Surcharge Waiver: Max Rs. 500 waived per year
  • Minimum Fixed Deposit: Rs. 100,000
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 1,000
  • Reward Earn Rate: 2 points/Rs. 200 spent outside India; 1 point/Rs. 200 spent in India; no points on fuel or rail if surcharge waived
  • Estimated Point Value: 1 point = 1 JPMile = Rs. 0.45
  • Perks: Visa Lounge access (2 free visits/quarter; 29 lounges across 20 cities in India) – valid through March 31, 2019
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 500 – 3,000 (max Rs. 3,500 waived per year)
  • Rail Surcharge Waiver: Max Rs. 500 waived per year

Best Student Credit Card for Rail Tickets: Kotak Aqua Gold Credit Card

Consider this if you don't want to pay railway booking surcharges

Age Requirement 18-75
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer
Bonuses
  • Anniversary Bonus: Spend Rs. 150,000 in a year and get cashback of Rs. 750 or 4 free PVR tickets

Kotak's Aqua Gold is the only credit card against fixed deposit in the market that offers a waiver on railway ticket surcharges (max Rs. 500 waived each year). The bulk of the card's monetary value comes from its anniversary bonus of Rs. 750 (or 4 free PVR tickets), but students would have to spend Rs. 150,000 each year to earn the bonus and make card ownership profitable. So, we only recommend this credit card to students if you spend enough on rail tickets and value the 1.8–2.5% surcharge waiver.

  • Minimum Fixed Deposit: Rs. 25,000
  • No rewards earned on everyday purchases
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 500 – 3,000 (max Rs. 3,500 waived per year)
  • Rail Surcharge Waiver: Max Rs. 500 waived per year
  • Minimum Fixed Deposit: Rs. 25,000
  • No rewards earned on everyday purchases
  • Fuel Surcharge Waiver: Transactions Rs. 500 – 3,000 (max Rs. 3,500 waived per year)
  • Rail Surcharge Waiver: Max Rs. 500 waived per year
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.