Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card: Best Cashback Card in India?

Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card: Best Cashback Card in India?

Top Overall Cashback Card with Highest Rates and Travel Perks

Good for

  • Consumers interested in cashback from all spending categories
  • Frequent overseas spenders
  • Families

Bad for

  • Consumers looking for a low-fee credit card
  • Students
  • Unemployed Individuals

Editor's Rating

4.5/5.0

If you are interested in acquiring a great cashback card that can be used on all spending categories, the Standard Chartered Ultimate Card may be the right fit for you. The card earns an excellent 3.33% cashback rate (5 points per Rs. 150 spent; 1 point = Rs. 1 cashback) on all spending categories, the highest rate offered in India. On top of this, the SC Ultimate card offers a great sign-up bonus. The Ultimate Card also provides good travel perks, such as one free Priority Pass visit per month, 5% off on duty-free purchases, and a 2% foreign transaction fee—one of the lowest in India. Due to these factors, the Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card is the best overall cashback option in India.

ProsCons
  • 3.33% cashback on all spending categories
  • 5% cashback on duty-free spends
  • High annual fee of Rs. 5,000
  • No fee waiver
  • No category-specific elevated rates (e.g. Higher cashback rate for grocery spending)
Promotions:
  • Sign-Up Bonus: Up to ₹ 10,000 cashback on MakeMyTrip if booked within 90 days of card issuance
  • Renewal benefit: 5,000 points
Card Overview
Pros:
  • 3.33% cashback on all spending categories
  • 5% cashback on duty-free spends
  • Promotions:
  • Renewal benefit: 5,000 points
Cons:
  • High annual fee of Rs. 5,000
  • No fee waiver
  • No category-specific elevated rates (e.g. Higher cashback rate for grocery spending)

What Makes Standard Chartered Ultimate Card Stand Out

The Standard Chartered Ultimate Card is the most competitive cashback card in India. The card offers the highest cashback rate, at 3.33% (5 points per Rs. 150 spent; 1 point = Rs. 1 cashback). Additionally the card includes a competitive travel sign-up bonus and perks that can outweigh the fee. Furthermore, the card comes with great perks that helps enhance the overall travel experience with 1 Priority Pass per month. The Priority Pass programme allows members to visit lounges across the globe with a general cost of $27 per visit. SC Ultimate Card waives this fee once per month if you have spent just Rs. 20,000 in the previous month. This comfortable travel perk is also offered to supplementary card holders, which is a relatively rare feature for credit cards in India.

International travellers will also benefit from a 5% discount on duty-free purchases and a very low 2% foreign transaction fee (one of the lowest rates found in India), resulting in a better shopping experience. In terms of dining, the card provides a discount of up to 25% on over 250 select restaurants in Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai. Further, the card comes with access to golf courses worldwide and domestic courses across cities in India.

Name of the CourseCity/ District
Bombay Presidency Golf ClubMumbai
Boulder Hills Golf ClubHyderabad
ZION Hills ChampionBangalore
Clover GreensBangalore
Prestige GolfshireBangalore
Golden Greens Golf ResortGurgaon
ITC Classic Golf ResortGurgaon
Jaypee GreensNoida
Jaypee WishtownNoida
Karma LakelandGurgaon
Kalhaar Blues & Greens Golf ClubAhmedabad
Kensville Golf ClubAhmedabad
Kharghar Golf ClubMumbai
Madras Gymkhana ClubChennai
Oxford Golf & Country ClubPune
Panchkula Golf ClubChandigarh
Royal Jaipur Golf ClubJaipur
Poona Golf ClubPune
Glade OneAhmedabad

The Standard Chartered Ultimate allows for the primary cardholder to pass on supplementary cards to family members for free so the benefits can be enjoyed by everyone. Moreover, the card also allows for contactless payments which adds to the cards ease of use as you just have to tap to spend. One downside of the Standard Chartered Ultimate card is that it charges an annual fee of Rs. 5,000, which is slightly more than the fees of most other cards. Still, due to it's great cashback rate and various perks and promotions, it is the best choice for those seeking a versatile cashback card.

How Does the Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card Rewards Programme Work?

The Standard Chartered Ultimate rewards programme allows cardholders to receive cashback as a statement credit as well as earn points on spending. Cardholders earn 5 reward points on every Rs. 150 spent and has a redemption rate of 1 point = Rs.1. The 360º Rewards system used at Standard Chartered allows cardholders can redeem points. The accumulated points expire after 3 years of receiving them and the maximum reward points that can be accumulated per month is capped at 4,000 points.

  • Cardholder earns 5 reward points on every Rs. 150 spent
  • Points redemption rate: 1 point = Rs. 1
  • Maximum 360º rewards points of 4,000 points per month
  • Cashback goes directly to statement
  • Accumulated points expire after 3 years

Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card's Features and Benefits:

Card Overview
  • Annual Fee: Rs. 5,000
  • Income Requirement: None listed by issuer
  • Age Requirement: 21-65
Rewards Rate Details
  • 5 points per Rs. 150 spent on all transactions
  • 5% cashback on duty-free spend
Benefits & Perks
  • Priority Pass membership (USD 27/visit, waived once monthly if last month's spend > Rs. 20,000); Visa Lounge access (4 free visits/quarter, major airports in India)
  • 2 free domestic golf games/month (1 free guest game/month), 1 free golf coaching session/month
  • Air accident cover of Rs. 1 crore, emergency medical, bag delay, loss of bags/personal documents, hijacking and flight delay coverage
Promotions:
  • Sign-Up Bonus: Up to ₹ 10,000 cashback on MakeMyTrip if booked within 90 days of card issuance
  • Renewal benefit: 5,000 points

Standard Chartered Ultimate Card's Rewards Exclusions

The following credit card expenditures are ineligible for rewards:

Cash Advances or cash withdrawals at ATMsAnnual fees charged for the cards
Interest or finance charges levied on card outstandingLate payment and collection charges
Fees and charges levied and reversed from card accountsCharges incurred but not yet submitted by the merchant or posted to your credit card account
Amounts which have been rolled over from preceding month's outstandingTax refunds from overseas purchases
Pay portion for a Points Plus Pay Rewards Points redemption (where you use Rewards Points along with paying a specific amount to redeem the reward)Balance transfer to your Card Account, purchase or top up of prepaid cards.

How Does Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card Compare Against Other Cards?

Read our comparisons of the Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card:

Standard Chartered Ultimate Card vs. Indusind Bank Iconia American Express Card

Consider this if you are looking for a good cashback card with a lower fee

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

The Standard Chartered Ultimate Card and Indusind Iconia Amex Card are both market leading cashback cards. For consumers that are looking for a card with a slightly lower fee without sacrificing a great cashback rate, the Indusind Iconia Amex is a great option. It has a fairly high joining fee of Rs. 3,500 but incurs no fees afterwards. Still there are some clear advantages to the SC Ultimate Card. For example, the Ultimate card offers a higher cashback (3.33%) than the elevated weekend rate (2%) and regular weekday rate (1.5%) offered by the Iconia Amex Card.

In terms of perks, the Indusind Iconia Amex card is fairly generous with cardholders. For example, the card offers 2 quarterly visits to American Express airport lounges in India. Although the SC Ultimate offers lounge access through a Priority Pass Membership and charges a low fee of $27/ entrance at more lounges, this is clearly attractive for those who are frequent travellers as it adds comfort to your trip. Notably, the usefulness of these perks completely depends on how frequently you travel. Both Amex Lounge Access and Priority Pass are great lounge passes however it would be better to have the Amex Lounge Access if you fly less frequently due to flexibility and the Priority Pass if you fly every month. If you fly every month the Priority Pass would give you one extra quarterly visit.

While on your trip, you will be given travel insurance and will be offered 20% off Lemon Tree hotel properties. The card also includes a free movie ticket offer at BookMyShow and Sathyam Cinemas making at a versatile entertainment option as well, a perk category that SC Ultimate does not deliver on. Further, the card includes free golf benefits. For those looking for the better cashback card and can afford to take on the hefty fee, the Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card would still be the better choice.

The Standard Chartered Ultimate Card vs. HDFC Bank Diners Black Card

Consider this if you are looking for a high earning card with points that can be redeemed in miles

Age Requirement 21-60 (65 if self-employed)
Annual Income Requirement Rs. 2,100,000

The HDFC Bank Diners Black Card is another great card that benefits high spenders more than most. Similar to the Ultimate Card, the Bank Diners Black Card offers cardholders the market leading highest points rewards rate of 3.33% (5 points per Rs. 150 spent; 1 point = Rs. 1 cashback). Additionally, both cards require a joining fee of Rs. 5,000 but the HDFC Black Card has a higher annual fee of Rs. 10,000. However, the HDFC Bank Diners Black Card allows a waiver after the first year with annual spends of Rs. 500,000.

A significant difference between these cards is that the Bank Diners Black Card’s points can also be redeemed as AirMiles making it a great option for consumers who frequently travel. Additionally, the HDFC Bank Diners Black Card offers a great set of annual membership benefits that the Standard Chartered Bank does not through their credit cards, these include—Club Marriott, Forbes Digital subscription, Zomato Gold, Amazon Prime, MakeMyTrip Double Black and Times Prime—after annual spends of Rs. 800,000. For travellers, MakeMyTrip Double Black is another form of insurance where the cardholder is allowed to cancel flights and hotels without a penalty.

Furthermore, the Bank Diners Black Card also offers cardholders unlimited lounge access to over 800 airport lounges both in India and worldwide. In all, both cards are great options but for different consumers. For frequent travellers and mile card enthusiasts the HDFC Bank Diners Black Credit Card may be a better fit but those looking for a great cashback card and good cash promotions would be better suited with the Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card.

The Standard Chartered Ultimate Card vs. The Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card

Consider this if you are looking for a no-fee card with travel perks

Age Requirement 21-65
Annual Income Requirement None listed by issuer

The Standard Chartered Visa Infinite Card is a solid no-fee option with decent travel perks. This card is fairly different from the Ultimate Card, a premium option. Being a no-fee card it is understandable that the Visa Infinite offers cardholders a lower rewards rate of 0.48% (2 points per Rs. 100, 1 point = 0.53 JPMiles) across all categories than the Standard Chartered Ultimate Card at 3.33%. Fortunately, the card has elevated rewards for retail and overseas spending at 1.19% (5 points per Rs. 100), which is great news for both shoppers and frequent travellers who spend abroad.

Additionally, the Visa Infinite also offers cardholders 4 free domestic lounge visits per quarter and access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide at a small charge through Priority Pass. In terms of perks and rewards the SC Ultimate offers much more; however, if avoiding annual fees is a priority and the consumer tends to travel frequently, this may be a great option.

Sahmi Chowdhury

Sahmi is a Junior Research Analyst specialising in credit cards and insurance in India. He previously worked in the financial services sector at Brown Brothers Harriman and True Capital Management.