When it comes to money matters, women are considered to be wise spenders and more disciplined in paying their dues. They are deemed to be more shopaholic (doesn’t mean they spend carelessly) and adore to get rewarded for their spending. This is the reason that most of the credit card companies in India have started tailoring their cards for women. Since, a woman can be working or a home maker, so the credit card providers offer three different type of cards to women:
- Credit Cards designed for working women (these cards are issued based on the income)
- Add-On Credit Card (wherein the primary card holders are their earning spouse)
- Secured Credit Cards (issued against Fixed Deposit as a security)
While, some of the card provider boasts of empowering women by providing a card tailored as per women’s need. There are few others who do not tag the card to women, but offer several features and benefits that are best matched to womenfolk. I researched a lot of cards available in the market and hand-picked a few that I believe, can work best for us (women).
1. Citibank Rewards Card: When it comes to making the most out of a card, Citibank’s reward card is the best in the league. You get 2500 reward points simply by activating your card. This card gives you an opportunity to earn bonus reward point on every small occasion like when you subscribe to online statements, when you spend a specific amount during the quarter, when you apply for add-on card, on your birthday etc. It provides you 10 rewards for every Rs.125 spent at apparel and department stores and other 100 partners. You can continue earning Reward Points at rate of 1 point for every Rs.125 on all other purchases. The other good thing is that your points never expire and you can redeem these points instantly at over 700 outlets and e-shopping partners for various options like fuel, Air Miles, Cash Back, Online shopping, gift vouchers and Citibank Merchandise.
2. HDFC Premium Women Credit Card- Solitaire: This Credit card from HDFC Bank is exclusively designed for women and it rewards your spending with Shoppers Stop’s gift vouchers. You can earn shopping vouchers from Shoppers Stop worth Rs.1,000 on cumulative spends of Rs.75,000 every 6 months. This is however, limited to 2 vouchers in a year. You can enjoy spending and shopping with your HDFC Bank Solitaire Credit Card with 3 Reward Points for every Rs.150 spent and redeem them against gifts/ vouchers from HDFC Bank’s Rewards Catalog. You also get 50% more Reward Points on dining and grocery spends. To get this card, you have to pay an annual fees of Rs.599 which however, is waived off when you spend Rs.50,000 in a year on your card.
3. ICICI Bank Coral Credit Card against Fixed Deposit: This card is suitable for those who are not earning. By paying a special joining fee of Rs.500, you can earn unlimited cash rewards, get a chance to earn double the rewards on dining, groceries and at supermarkets. Other privileges include minimum 15% savings on dining at over 800 restaurants, buy one get one free movie ticket through the week and complimentary airport lounge access on Visa affiliated lounges. As this card is issued against your Fixed Deposit with ICICI Bank, this means that the Credit Card and your Fixed Deposit will be linked and a lien will be marked on your Fixed Deposit. 85% of the amount of the Fixed Deposit will be issued as credit limit on your ICICI Bank Coral Credit Card. The Fixed Deposit must continue to remain with the bank while your Credit Card is live and will be thus, placed in an auto renewal mode. In the event of non-payment of dues within 60 days of your payment due date, the amount outstanding will be recovered from your Fixed Deposit.
4. Standard Chartered Inner Circle Platinum Credit card: This card is best fit for those who frequently shop at Lifestyle and other inner circle-affiliated stores. You can earn up to 9x (9 times) reward points or up to 6% value back at all Lifestyle and Inner Circle-affiliated stores and 5% Cash back at Auchan Stores. The best thing about this card is that it is free for life and you get 2500 discount vouchers as joining benefit. You get up to 9 Reward points for every 100 spent at Lifestyle & Home Center and 2 Reward points for every Rs.100 on all other spends. These rewards can be redeemed at Lifestyle and other affiliated stores.
5. American Express Payback Credit Card: American Express has tied up with PAYBACK, a loyalty program that allows you earn points for the daily activities you do, like refueling, traveling, shopping, eating out, watching movies, etc. Points earned can be redeemed against rewards from the PAYBACK rewards catalog or at PAYBACK’s various in- store/retail store partners and online partners. After paying a joining fee of Rs.750 plus taxes, you get welcome rewards as 6 additional PAYBACK Points for every Rs.100 spent, once you spend Rs.15,000 within the first 60 days from the date of Card approval. For rest of spends, you can earn 3 PAYBACK Points for every Rs.100 spent. Also, if you spend at listed merchants in their registered categories (for grocery, restaurants, fuel etc.) every month, you get a complimentary movie voucher for two worth Rs.700, every month. American Express provides waiver on annual fee from second year onward if you spend more than Rs.1,50,000 in a year.
Although there are few other cards that are solely designed for women. Like BOB’s exclusive women card. But, I did not like the fact that the maximum credit limit allowed on the card is only Rs.40,000 and the Bank mentions a disclaimer: “The company reserves the rights to issue cards with lower limits”. I do not see any special features and benefits (like shopping, groceries, dining benefits etc.) extended to women through this card.
Disclaimer: The Credit Cards shown above are not ranked in any particular order. The information presented above are author’s personal views. The buyer should use her/ his discretion before buying a credit card.