With so many perks offered by banks on their credit cards, having a single card is just not enough. When you start understanding your spending patterns and recognize the categories across which you would like to get more benefits, you can search for the best credit cards and apply for additional cards. However, it is not a smart move to get a credit card just because you got approved for it; an optimal credit card combination is equally important.
So, let us talk about a few credit cards that work out best together. We have categorized card combinations on the basis of some common benefits that card users seek.
1- For Maximizing Rewards and Cashback
American Express Membership Rewards® Credit Card + Citi Cash Back Credit Card
If you love earning rewards and cashbacks, a combination of these two credit cards can work wonders for you. While the Amex credit card lets you build a little stash of Membership Rewards, the Citi Bank credit card gives you direct cashback. This Amex credit card charges an annual fee of ₹ 4,500 which can be compensated by the low annual fee of ₹ 500 charged by Citi Bank.
|American Express Membership Rewards® Credit Card||Citi Cash Back Credit Card|
|1- Earn 1 membership reward point for every ₹ 50 spent on the card except on fuel, utilities, insurance and cash withdrawal.|
2- Redeem your reward points against exciting gifts and merchandise under the 18 carat and 24 carat gold collection schemes.
3- Earn 1,000 and 5,000 bonus rewards on card activation and card renewal.
|1- Earn 0.5% cashback on all purchases made using your credit card.|
2- Get 5% cashback on movie ticket booking, telephone bill payment and all types of utility bill payments through Citibank Online Bill Pay service.
3- Cashback is automatically credited to your account in multiples of ₹ 500.
How to optimize?
When you have two credit cards, you should use them in a way that they complement each other. As you can see in the table above, the Amex card does not offer rewards on utility bill payments whereas Citi credit card is giving you 5% cashback on the same expenditure. So you should use the Citi Cashback credit card for utility bill payment and movie ticket booking. For bigger expenses like travel and high-ticket shopping, however, it would be better to use the Amex Card as the reward earnings can accumulate to give you great redemption deals later.
2- For Shopping and Travel
SBI SimplyCLICK + Citi Premiere Miles Credit Card
A lot of users say that it would have been better if their credit card offered deals on both shopping and travel. There are cards which offer combined benefits but they may be heavy on the pocket because of high annual fee. You can get a combination of these two cards, instead. The annual fee on Citi Premiere Miles is ₹ 3,000 whereas SBI Card charges only ₹ 500 on its SimplyCLICK credit card. SBI SimplyCLICK offers great deals on online shopping and the Citi Bank credit card lets you earn air miles on every usage.
|SBI SimplyCLICK Credit Card||Citi Premiere Miles Credit Card|
|1- Get ₹ 500 Amazon Gift Voucher as welcome benefit.|
2- Earn 10-times more Reward Points on online spends with exclusive partners such as Amazon, BookMyShow, Foodpanda, UrbanClap and Lenskart. Earn 5X reward points for all other online spends.
3- E-vouchers worth ₹ 2,000 each of reaching annual spends of ₹ 1 Lakh and ₹ 2 Lakh.
|1- Earn 10,000 Miles on card activation and 3,000 Miles on card renewal.|
2- Earn 4 Miles per ₹ 100 on all transactions and 10 Miles on booking any airline ticket. Also, earn 10 Miles per ₹ 100 on booking flights and hotels through PremiereMiles website.
3- Enrich your travel experience with complimentary access to airport lounges.
How to optimize?
Since these two cards offer benefits on two different categories, you should use them accordingly. Also, do not ignore the other features of these cards so that you can optimize them as well. For example, SBI SimplyCLICK offers 1% fuel surcharge waiver on fuel transactions from ₹ 500 to ₹ 3,000 so you should use it for fuel purchases. Rewards earned on Citi PremiereMiles can also be redeemed with select partners like BookMyShow, FabIndia, Shoppers Stop, etc.
3- For Dining and Entertainment
HDFC Regalia Credit Card + HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card
Dining and entertainment benefits would definitely go well together. If you frequently go out for movies and dine out, you should get a combination of cards that offer great deals in these segments. HDFC Regalia is a great card for dining out as it offers exclusive privileges at select premium restaurants whereas HSBC Visa Platinum offers free movie tickets throughout the month.
|HDFC Regalia Credit Card||HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card|
|1- Under HDFC Bank’s exclusive dining privileges, get up to 15% discount on dining at select premium restaurants across India.|
2- Earn 4 Reward Points on every ₹ 150 spent and redeem them against an exclusive range of lifestyle options.
3- Enjoy complimentary airport lounge access through Priority Pass Membership.
|1- Enjoy ‘Buy One Get One’ offer when booking movie tickets on BookMyShow, but only for Saturday shows.|
2- Earn 3-times more reward points on Dining, Hotels and Telecom bill payment for the first 12 months.
3- Spend ₹ 2,000 or more in a calendar month and get ₹ 500 voucher from BookMyShow.
How to optimize?
In order to make the best use of HDFC Regalia credit card’s dining benefit, you must know about the partner restaurants of the bank. If the restaurant you are dining in is not a partner, you should pay using your HSBC credit card so that you can at least get benefits of 3X rewards. Make sure that you select the right day for watching movies to make the most of HSBC movies offer as it is only eligible for Saturday shows. Apart from its dining benefits, HDFC Regalia is also a great travel card so you can make best use of complimentary Priority Pass Membership and travel concierge services as well.
4- For capitalizing on low annual fee
HDFC MoneyBack Credit Card + Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Card
Not all low-fee credit cards come with benefits as good as these two cards. HDFC MoneyBack credit card is among the most popular cards and it charges an annual fee of ₹ 500 only. The Platinum Rewards Card by Standard Chartered costs ₹ 250 a year and offers amazing rewards.
|HDFC MoneyBack Credit Card||Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Card|
|1- Enjoy 1% fuel surcharge waiver on minimum transaction of ₹ 400.|
2- Earn 2 Reward Points on every ₹ 150 spent and redeem them against an exciting range of gift vouchers and merchandise.
3- Enjoy 100% more reward points on online spends.
|1- Under the Standard Chartered Good Life Programme, enjoy a host of discounts and offers across dining, shopping and travel.|
2- Earn 1 reward point for every ₹ 150 spent across all categories.
3- Accelerate your rewards by 5-times when you use the card for dining, fuel and hotel spends.
How to optimize?
Both of these are basic credit cards with standard benefits across different categories. All you can do is remember which card offers extra benefit on which category and use it accordingly. For example, SCB Platinum Rewards Card gives you more benefit on dining as compared to HDFC MoneyBack. On the other hand, when it is about refuelling your vehicle, the HDFC credit card would be better.
5- For Fuel
IndianOil Citi® Platinum Credit Card + Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Card
In these times of rising petrol prices, any type of fuel benefit would be good for a user. It may not be a smart choice to get a credit card solely for fuel offers so we have listed these two cards by Citi Bank and SCB. IndianOil Citi® Platinum Credit Card and Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Card not only offer fuel benefits but are also loaded with several other features.
|IndianOil Citi® Platinum Credit Card||Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Card|
|1- Earn 1 Turbo Point for every ₹ 100 spent across all categories. 1 Turbo point = ₹ 1 of fuel.|
2- Earn 2X rewards on grocery and supermarket spends and 4X rewards on fuel purchases at authorized IndianOil Retail Outlets.
3- Enjoy up to 15% savings across participating restaurants in India
|1- Earn 5% cashback on fuel spends across all fuel stations for minimum transaction of ₹ 750.|
2- Also enjoy 5% cashback on utility and telephone bill payment.
3- Enjoy a host of discounts and offers across dining, shopping, travel and more.
How to optimize?
If you are refuelling at Indian Oil petrol pump, it is beneficial to use your Citi Bank credit card whereas for refuelling at other fuel stations, SCB credit card would be more suitable. With both the cards, you need not worry about point expiration dates as Citi Turbo Points never expire and SCB offers direct cashback.