Best Credit Cards for NRIs in India: A Comprehensive Guide


Credit cards have become an integral part of the financial landscape, offering convenience and flexibility in managing expenses. For Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) residing in India or having financial ties to the country, selecting the right credit card is crucial. In this guide, we will delve into the basics of credit cards in India and explore the best options available for NRIs from Kotak NRI Royale Signature Credit Card and more.

Understanding Credit Cards in India:

In India, credit cards are financial instruments that allow users to make purchases on credit, with the obligation to repay the borrowed amount within a stipulated time frame. They offer various benefits, such as reward points, cashback, and discounts on transactions. NRIs, too, can enjoy these perks, but it’s essential to choose a credit card that aligns with their unique needs.

Types of Credit Cards for NRIs

Now that you have decided to buy a credit card as an NRI, it is your responsibility to choose the right one. Because there won’t be any fun if the cards aren’t providing you with the desired benefits. Here we have listed some common types of credit cards available for NRIs in India. Take a look at:

Cashback Cards:

  • Ideal for those who want to earn cash rewards on their everyday purchases.
  • Offers a percentage of the transaction amount as cashback, providing savings on regular expenses.

Travel Cards:

  • Tailored for NRIs who frequently travel to and from India.
  • Benefits may include travel insurance, airport lounge access, and rewards on international spending.

Premium Cards:

  • Designed for individuals with a higher income bracket and specific lifestyle requirements.
  • Offers premium benefits such as concierge services, exclusive discounts, and luxury travel perks.

Eligibility Criteria and Documentation

To apply for a credit card as an NRI, applicants typically need to provide proof of identity, address, and income. Common documents include a valid passport, overseas employment details, and a local address proof in India. The income threshold varies based on the type of card.

Do know that the criteria vary from issuer to issuer, so choose the credit card company where you meet the criteria and they have the card that meets your requirements. This way it is a win-win situation.

To narrow down your search for a credit card issuer, we have some top players for you in the game:

  • ICICI Bank: The issuer has a wide range of credit cards, and as you must be traveling a lot, they’ve frequent flyer benefits for you. Air miles, rewards, cashback, and more.
  • HDFC Bank: Another major player in the Indian credit card market, HDFC Bank offers a diverse portfolio of credit cards catering to various needs. For NRIs who are frequent flyers, HDFC’s premium travel cards provide exclusive benefits such as airport lounge access, travel insurance, and accelerated reward points on international spending.
  • Axis Bank: Known for its innovative credit card offerings, Axis Bank provides a range of options for NRIs. Their cards often come with features like cashback on dining, entertainment, and travel, making them suitable for those who enjoy exploring various lifestyle perks.
  • State Bank of India (SBI): As one of the largest and oldest banks in India, SBI extends its credit card services to NRIs as well. With a variety of credit cards in their arsenal, SBI caters to different needs, including travel, shopping, and fuel expenses.
  • CitiBank: Citibank is renowned for its global presence, and NRIs can benefit from its international credit card offerings. CitiBank’s cards often feature global acceptance, attractive rewards programs, and exclusive privileges on luxury brands.
  • Standard Chartered: For NRIs seeking premium credit card options, Standard Chartered is a noteworthy choice. Their premium cards often provide access to airport lounges, concierge services, and unique lifestyle privileges.


Selecting the best credit card for NRIs in India involves considering individual preferences, spending habits, and financial goals. Whether it’s maximizing cashback on daily expenses, enjoying travel perks, or indulging in premium benefits, there’s a credit card tailored for every need. Evaluate your requirements, meet the eligibility criteria, and choose a card that complements your financial lifestyle. Remember, responsible credit card usage is key to building a positive credit history and reaping long-term benefits.

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