Best First Credit Cards for Beginners to Build Credit

Setting up a strong credit score from an early age can help reap benefits when you require funds at a later stage in life. These benefits include low interest rates and faster approval chances compared to your peers, which can significantly affect your expenditure on liabilities. For this, we bring you a list of the best first credit cards to get that will help you build your credit score.

A credit instrument or loan is required to build a healthy credit score. Getting an unsecured form of credit is very difficult. Few people prefer to use a secured credit card and initiate their credit score history. We have created a list of the best first credit cards for beginners looking to build credit.

List of 10 Best First Credit Cards to Build Credit For 2022

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1. American Express Membership Rewards Credit Card

Points to Consider
  1. American Express cards are known for their luxury and reward benefits.
  2. Membership Rewards credit card is an entry-level cashback and reward centric features
  3. Low threshold to waive off renewal fees - Rs 1.5 lakhs in a year
Joining fees:Rs 1,000
Annual fees: Rs 4,500 (waived off on spends of Rs 1.5 lakhs and over in a billing year)
Interest rate: 3.5% per month (42% per annum)
  • Earn 1000 reward points for 4 transactions above Rs. 1,500.
  • Milestone based rewards of 1000 points on spending Rs. 20000 in a month.
  • 1 membership reward for every Rs. 50 spent.
  • Zero lost card liability and emergency card replacement.
  • Reward rates of upto 10% with monthly rewards.
  • Airport lounge access is not available.
  • Limited options to carry forward a balance payment.

Why We Picked This Card?

Superbly rewarding credit card in case you make a lot of online payments. Gets you into the exclusive Amex network, too.

2. HDFC Millennia Credit Card

Points to Consider
  1. A premium credit card from HDFC bank, the Millennia offers numerous rewards and cashback across categories.
  2. Comes with features like complimentary domestic airport lounge access and milestone-based rewards.
  3. This is a good entry into the world of HDFC Bank’s super premium, super rewarding credit cards
Joining fees:Rs 1,000
Annual fees: Rs 1,000 (waived off on spends of Rs 1 lakh and over in a billing year)
Interest rate: 3.6% per month (43.2% per annum)
  • 1% fuel surcharge waiver across all fuel stations in India
  • Milestone-based reward system
  • 5% cashback on Amazon, Sony LIV, Swiggy, Tata CLiQ, Uber, BookMyShow,, Flipkart, Myntra, and Zomato
  • 20% instant discount on partner restaurants
  • 1% cashback on all other spends
  • 2 Complimentary domestic airport lounge visits
  • Cashback has an upper limit of Rs. 1000 for the first 6 months, and Rs 750 after that.

Why We Picked This Card?

The Millennia gives you cashback on wallet reloads and offline spends, which other credit cards seldom do.

3. SBI SimplyCLICK Credit Card

Points to Consider
  1. The SBI SimplyCLICK gives you impressive rewards on travel and online shopping. In fact, it is one of the best credit cards in India for online shopping.
  2. You get an Amazon gift card worth Rs 500 when you register this card.
  3. 10X rewards with partner websites and 5X on all other online spends.
Joining fees:Rs 499
Annual fees: Rs 499 (waived off on spends of Rs 1 lakh and over in a billing year)
Interest rate: 3.5% per month (42% per annum)
  • Option of converting transactions (>Rs 2500) into EMI using Flexipay
  • 10X Reward Points on Cleartrip, FoodPanda, Lenskart, Bookmyshow, and more
  • Earn 1 Reward point on every Rs 100 spent
  • 1% Fuel Surcharge waiver on a minimum spend of Rs 500
  • No rewards on entertainment and dining
  • Conversion of rewards is not convenient

Why We Picked This Card?

SBi SimplyCLICK is a great first credit card to have as you build credit while raking in cashback and exclusive rewards.

4. Axis Bank Neo Credit Card

Points to Consider
  1. This is an entry-level shopping and an entertainment-based credit card from Axis Bank
  2. Neo comes with discounts, vouchers, and rewards on Zomato, Grofers, Paytm, Myntra, and BookMyShow.
  3. Gives you Axis eDGE reward points on all transactions except fuel.
Joining fees:Rs 250 + GST
Annual fees: Rs 250 + GST
Interest rate: 3.49% per month (49.36% per annum)
  • 40% off on Swiggy and Zomato
  • 10% off on movies, groceries, and online shopping
  • 5% off on mobile bill payments and utility bills using Paytm
  • 10% off on Grofers, Myntra, and BookMyShow
  • No complimentary airport or railway lounge access on offer

Why We Picked This Card?

An all-rounder credit card, the Neo is great for your regular transactions on Swiggy, Zomato, Ola, and other frequented apps.

5. Axis Bank ACE Credit Card

Points to Consider
  1. Axis Bank ACE credit card is a solid cashback-oriented credit card.
  2. You can get up to 5% cashback on utility payments in association with Google Pay (on Android).
  3. You can pay across merchants and contacts using Google Pay without additional transactional charges
  4. Additional cashback on most frequented apps like Swiggy, Zomato, Ola
Joining fees:Rs 499
Annual fees: Rs 499
Interest rate: 3.6% per month (52.86% per annum)
  • 20% off on all partner restaurants using the Dining Delights Program
  • 1% fuel surcharge waiver across all fuel stations in India
  • 5% cashback on Google Pay on recharges and bill payments
  • 2-4% on all other spends across various categories
  • 4 Complimentary domestic airport lounge access
  • Absence of welcome benefits
  • Extremely high interest charges

Why We Picked This Card?

For all your utility payments across mobile recharge, electricity, and water, use the Axis Bank ACE to get a flat cashback like none other.

6. Amazon Pay ICICI Bank Credit Card

Points to Consider
  1. One of the most popular credit cards in the Indian market.
  2. It offers 5% cashback on all online purchases done on (for Prime users).
  3. It has a low income requirement and has superb rewards as per its category
Joining fees:0
Annual fees: 0
Interest rate: 3.5% to 3.8% per month (42% to 45.6% per annum)
  • 15% discount on partner restaurants
  • 1% fuel surcharge waiver
  • 5% Cashback on all Prime purchases done on Amazon (3% for non-prime numbers)
  • 1% Cashback on all other spends
  • If you wish to enjoy the full benefits, you need to pay for an Amazon Prime membership.
  • No premium benefits, although that might not be that bad given it’s a lifetime free credit card

Why We Picked This Card?

This lifetime free credit card is a no-brainer for all your Amazon Prime purchases. Given it's lifetime free, it could also be a great option for student credit card offers.

7. HSBC Cashback Credit Card

Points to Consider
  1. A cashback-oriented premium credit card, the HSBC Cashback credit card offers rewards on dining, travel, and online shopping.
  2. The best thing about this card is the absence of any upper limits on the cashback and reward points earned.
  3. It also offers instant discounts on Swiggy and Amazon.
Joining fees:0
Annual fees: Rs 750 (waived off on annual spends of over Rs 1 lakh)
Interest rate: 3.3% per month
  • Welcome benefits worth Rs. 5750 in the form of Amazon, Big Basket, Myntra, and Ajio vouchers
  • Zero lost card liability
  • 3 Complimentary Airport lounge access and meal vouchers
  • Unlimited cashback on all your transactions
  • Get 1.5% cashback on all online spends (excluding wallet reloads) and 1% on all other spends.
  • No standout premium features on offer

Why We Picked This Card?

If you have a high spending threshold, the HSBC Cashback credit card has an unlimited cashback feature on all your online and offline transactions.

8. Citibank Cashback Credit Card

Points to Consider
  1. Citibank Cashback Credit Card rewards you with 5% cashback every time you pay your utility bills.
  2. Cashback is auto-credited to the statements in multiples of Rs 500, thus giving instant credit.
  3. A great entry into the superb customer service that Citi is known for.
Joining fees:Communicated at time of approval
Annual fees: Rs 499 + GST
Interest rate: 3.75% per month (45% per annum)
  • 5% Cashback on movie spends and utility bill payments through Citi BillPay (Max Rs 100)
  • 0.5% cashback on all other spends.
  • Earned cashback never expires
  • Cashback is auto settled in the statement in multiples of 500
  • 20% instant discount on partner restaurants
  • Lounge access is not available
  • Approval might be biased towards Citi account holders

Why We Picked This Card?

The cashback can be credited back to your credit card statement which makes making bill payments lighter on your wallet.

9. HDFC Bank Moneyback Credit Card

Points to Consider
  1. MoneyBack card provides decent rewards across all categories, including utility bill payments, shopping, and fuel.
  2. Offers 4 reward points on every Rs 100 spent on online spends and 2 reward points on offline spends, excluding some.
  3. It also offers a generous 50-day interest-free credit period.
Joining fees:Rs 500 + GST
Annual fees: Rs 500 + GST
Interest rate: 3.6% per month (43.2% per annum)
  • Earned reward points can be exchanged for cash/ credit
  • Milestone based rewards mechanisms are applicable
  • 5% cashback on hotels, dining, cab services, utility bill payments like electricity, mobile bills, and more.
  • Complimentary accident insurance and purchase protection shield
  • No complimentary domestic or international airport lounge access
  • Earned reward points are only valid for two years from time of issuance.

Why We Picked This Card?

Much like the Millennia, the MoneyBack is a good way to get into HDFC Bank’s suite of credit cards. Rewarding premium credit cards can be accessed in the long term.

10. ICICI Bank Coral Credit Card

Points to Consider
  1. ICICI Bank Coral is an all-rounder secured credit card that caters to all the aspects of a premium lifestyle.
  2. Offers features like complimentary airport and railway lounge access and an instant discount on partner restaurants.
  3. It also has a reward system powered by PAYBACK.
Joining fees:Rs 500 + GST
Annual fees: 0
Interest rate: Up to 3.25% per month
  • Upto 90% of the fixed deposit amount can be availed as credit limit.
  • 1% fuel surcharge waiver across all HPCL fuel stations in India.
  • 15% discount on fine dining using the ICICI Culinary Treats Programme.
  • Complimentary domestic airport and railway lounge access
  • 2 PAYBACK reward points are earned for every Rs.100 spent on all categories except fuel.
  • Absence of premium or luxury features of any sort

Why We Picked This Card?

If you are an ICICI Bank customer, the Coral can be easily approved with a decent account balance. Get this if you want one to build your credit.

Compare Best First Credit Cards to Build Credit

Credit Cards Joining Fees Interest rates (per month)
American Express Membership RewardsRs 1,5003.5%
HDFC Bank MillenniaRs 1,0003.6%
SBI SimplyCLICKRs 4993.5%
Axis Bank NeoRs 2503.49%
Axis Bank ACERs 4993.6%
Amazon Pay ICICI0 3.5-3.8%
HSBC Cashback03.3%
Citibank CashbackRs 4993.75%
HDFC Bank MoneyBackRs 5003.6%
ICICI Bank CoralRs 5003.25%

What to look for in a good first credit card?

Interest rates

The lower the interest rates, the better the card for you. Especially if you have a tendency to default. But make sure you avoid defaulting as much as possible given the long term effect on your credit score and loan procuring capabilities.


There are majorly two kinds of fees that are associated with a credit card which will affect everyone - joining fee and annual fee. Try to go for a card with the lowest joining fee and a renewal/ annual fee that has some sort of usage threshold that you can use to waive off every year.

Rewards/ benefits

And, obviously, all credit cards these days offer great rewards and cashback that you can redeem across platforms. Online shopping credit card offers are a must these days so make sure you ensure they are part of the package. Make sure you check what you want and what the card you are applying for offers in terms of these benefits.


Responsible use of credit cards is essential to sail through your entire financial journey. Frequently, beginners get caught in debt traps that may damage their pocket and credit score for the long term. This ultimately leads to the negative sentiment among lenders and greatly impacts your credit requirements. Thus. it is vital to take responsibility for using such instruments. These best first credit cards should act as a stepping stone to help build your credit and help you achieve greater heights in your financial journey.


Which is the best credit card for beginners?

Any entry-level card from major banks in India is a great credit card for beginners. The SBI SimplyCLICK, HDFC Bank MoneyBack, Axis Bank Neo are good options if you are looking to get your first credit card to build credit.

Which card is best: Visa or MasterCard?

Both Visa and MasterCard are equally well accepted across online and offline merchants in India. Apart from these, RuPay, Diners Club, and American Express are also accepted although in a limited capacity.

Which bank gives credit cards easily?

While there is no hard and fast rule over which bank issues credit cards easily, your chances of approval are high in case you have a good relationship with the issuing bank including HDFC Bank, IDFC First Bank, SBI Bank, and more.