Year Rewind: The Most Coveted Credit Cards of 2023

The year 2023 was a substantial year for the credit card market, with changes ranging from RBI’s guidelines for enhanced customer experience and security around cards to the linking of credit cards with UPI. Besides these, what came as an ongoing and frequent activity was the launch of several new credit cards and the devaluation of the existing ones. Issuers brought forth features revolving around co-branded associations with popular brands in offering partnered cards, multiple brand benefits, revision in terms and conditions – all that could largely impact savings and benefits one derives out of a credit card.


In this article, we have mentioned the 5 most popular credit cards in 2023 that were not only a key highlight in the credit card market, but could also offer customers substantial value in major spending categories.


  1. Axis Bank Magnus Credit Card

Axis Magnus Credit Card was popular and often in news, first due to its travel features that allowed users to save a substantial amount and secondly after a major feature devaluation a few months later. However, what brings limelight to this card is that it is a worthy competitor to other popular premium credit cards like HDFC Infinia and SBI Aurum. Axis Magnus has a slight edge over these cards as, unlike these, Magnus is not an ‘invite-only’ card and can be availed by anyone meeting the minimum annual income requirement of Rs. 18 Lakh per annum. Magnus can be counted as one of the best premium credit cards in India for offering benefits around rewards, travel and other lifestyle categories like dining and movies. Some key features of this card are:

  • Luxe gift card/ The Postcard Hotels/ Yatra voucher worth Rs. 12,500 as welcome benefit
  • Up to 35 EDGE reward points per Rs. 200 spent on retail spends
  • Up to 60 EDGE reward points per Rs. 200 spent on Travel Edge portal
  • 1 reward point = Rs. 0.20 for product catalog, or 5:2 for redemption against partnered airlines
  • Unlimited complimentary international lounge visits via Priority Pass with 8 additional guest visits per year
  • Unlimited visits to select domestic airport lounges for both primary and add-on cardholders
  • 8 complimentary end-to-end airport concierge services
  • Buy one movie/event ticket on BookMyShow and get up to Rs. 500 off on the second ticket (maximum of 5 tickets per month)
  • Up to 40% discount at 4,000+ partner restaurants in India under the Dining Delights Program

  1. Cashback SBI Credit Card


When launched, Cashback SBI Card grabbed huge attention for offering the highest cashback on online transactions with no merchant restrictions, unlike most cashback credit cards in the market. However, after a few months, the card was again in news for a major feature devaluation around cashback capping, lounge access and exempted categories. But, surprisingly, it still is a great option for those who frequently spend a lot online for everyday expenses without any merchant preferences. Thus, it can still be counted as one of the best cashback credit cards in the market, due to the following features:

  • 5% cashback on online spends
  • 1% cashback only on offline transactions
  • Cashback capped at Rs. 5,000 per month
  • Annual fee reversal on spending Rs. 2 Lakh in a year
  • 1% fuel surcharge waiver across all petrol pumps in India
  1. Federal Bank Scapia Credit Card


Federal Bank Scapia Credit Card is the latest buzz in the travel credit card segment. Unlike most travel credit cards that belong to the premium cards category with high annual fee, this card stands out as the only zero annual fee travel credit card, with benefits like zero forex markup fee and unlimited lounge access. Besides, instead of co-branded benefits on selected partners, you get benefits on the Scapia app to booking flight tickets, hotels, resorts and homestays across the world- all at a single platform. Thus, it is a suitable option for those looking for a lifetime free credit card with substantial travel benefits. Some top features of this card are as follows:

    • 10% Scapia coins on all online as well as offline transactions, except rent, cash withdrawals, money transfer, EMI transactions, digital wallet loading and top-up transactions
    • 20% Scapia Coins on all travel bookings, including flights and hotels, made on the Scapia app
    • Value of 5 Scapia coins = Rs. 1
      The earned Scapia Coins do not expire and have a lifetime validity
    • Zero Forex Mark-up on international payments
  • Unlimited domestic airport lounge access subject to spending at least Rs. 5,000 per month


  1. Marriott Bonvoy Credit Card


A lot of travel centric credit cards are co-branded with airlines. However, Marriott Bonvoy HDFC Bank Credit Card is India’s first co-branded hotel credit card in India. The card is offered in collaboration with Marriott Bonvoy- Marriott International’s travel loyalty program and is ideal for Marriott loyalists who frequently travel and prefer staying at popular associated properties like St. Regis, JW Marriott, Le Méridien, Sheraton, Westin etc. Some top features of this card are as follows:

  • 1 Free Night Award (up to a value of 15,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points)
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite Status for free, (otherwise offered on completing 10 nights a year at Marriott hotels)
  • 10 Elite Night Credits (that can be used for room and membership upgrade) under the Marriott Bonvoy Program for primary cardholder
  • 1 Free Night Award each on spending 6 lakh, 9 lakh and 15 lakh in an anniversary year
  • 8 Marriott Bonvoy Points per Rs. 150 spent at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy
  • 4 Marriott Bonvoy Points per Rs. 150 spent on travel, dining & entertainment
  • 2 Marriott Bonvoy Points per Rs. 150 spent on all other applicable purchases
  • 12 complimentary lounge access every year outside India
  • 12 complimentary lounge access every year, within India at both domestic and international terminals every year
  1. Reliance SBI Credit Card Prime


Reliance Group also stepped into the credit card markets this year, with the launch of co-branded credit cards with SBI Card – Reliance SBI Card and Reliance SBI Card PRIME. After SBI’s association with Landmark group through Spar, Max and Homecenter, this partnership will again benefit customers who majorly shop for everyday spends using their credit cards. The cards offer extensive benefits as per wide segment coverage by Reliance around clothing, footwear, furniture, with top brands like AJIO (online shopping), Reliance Trends (lifestyle spends), Jio Mart (groceries), Reliance Jewels (jewelry) and Netmeds (online pharmacy), among  other lifestyle brands. Some top features of this card are:

  • Reliance Retail voucher worth Rs. 3,000 redeemable across top brands like Reliance Digital, Reliance Jewels, Trends, Smart Bazaar etc.
  • Rs. 1,500 worth Reliance Retail Voucher on annual spends of Rs. 75,000 at participating Reliance Retail Stores
  • Rs. 2,250 worth Reliance Retail Voucher on Annual Spends of Rs. 1.5 Lakh at participating Reliance Retail Stores
  • Rs. 5,000 worth Reliance Retail Voucher on Annual Spends of Rs. 3 Lakh at participating Reliance Retail Stores
  • 10 reward points per Rs. 100 spent on the participating Reliance Retail Stores
  • 5 reward points per Rs. 100 spent on Dining, Movies & Entertainment, Domestic Airlines and International Spends
  • 2 reward points per Rs. 100 spent on other retail purchases (except fuel, property rental, wallet upload)
  • 1 movie ticket a month worth Rs. 250
  • 8 complimentary domestic airport lounges and 4 international lounge visits per calendar year

Though strategic marketing and rising popularity may make some cards seem enticing, you should ensure choosing a card as per your needs. The best credit card for you is not one that offers the highest value-back as per your spending preferences, savings potential and repayment capability

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