Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Use Credit Cards to make your online shopping experience better

Using credit cards makes your shopping experience more convenient and helps you save money

Published: Nov 2, 2020 01:36:47 PM IST
Updated: Nov 3, 2020 10:25:34 PM IST

Use Credit Cards to make your online shopping experience better
The COVID-19 Pandemic has triggered changes in the way India shops online and has accelerated our shift towards a more digital world. Online shopping is no longer a choice but a fundamental consumer need. Those who stayed away from online purchases have also been made to switch to online modes by the pandemic. From food to apparel to medicine to grocery, most businesses are moving online and during this period, making purchases through credit cards can prove to be extremely beneficial due to facilities like EMI conversion, offers and discounts.

However, these facilities are common on most cards; what the pandemic has done is it has made card users more aware of the unique benefits of their credit cards. For instance, a travel card may not be as useful for you today because of reduced travel needs, but the same card can help you save more on other categories in the form of cashback or rewards.

If you are new to online shopping with credit cards or just getting more used to it, you must understand which credit card works the best for what kind of online expenditure.

Get Value Back with Rewards and Cashback Credit Cards

Online grocery portals like Grofers, Bigbasket and Amazon Pantry were already there but the pandemic introduced many more users to these platforms. Those who never turned to the internet for groceries are now getting more comfortable with it. At the same time, people who did not want to experiment in the kitchen have turned to food ordering platforms like Zomato and Swiggy. While food-related expenses were among the highest, other important purchases like medicines, home furnishings, clothes, at-home services and other essential expenses have also moved online.

Using credit cards for such expenses not only makes it more convenient but also helps you save money. Cards with good online rewards program or a flat cashback rate will be the best.

Some of the best credit cards for such expenses are shown below. You may apply for any of these cards through

Credit Card

Why use it for essentials?

Standard Chartered Digismart Credit Card

10% off at Grofers with no minimum spend

SBI SimplyCLICK Credit Card

5X rewards on all online spends and 10X rewards on Amazon, Urban Company, Netmeds, etc.

HDFC Moneyback Credit Card

2X rewards on all online purchases

HDFC Millennia Credit Card

Flat 2.5% cashback on online transactions above Rs. 2,000

HSBC Cashback Credit Card

1.5% cashback on all online spends (excluding transfer to online wallets)

You may get card-specific offers for different platforms but they may be erratic and can end at any point of time. So, you should not look for cards that offer specific benefits on the website you plan on using; instead, understand how you can make the most of the available benefits on your card. If you are looking for a new credit card, get one that provides all-round benefits, which you can use for your varied online expenses.

Unlock Bigger Savings with Co-branded Credit Cards

While it makes sense to have a card with comprehensive features, getting a co-branded credit card with a popular shopping website will help you earn back a sizable portion of your expenditure.

Amazon Pay ICICI Credit Card is a good option if you are looking for a co-branded card with multiple benefits. This is because the card not only gives 5% cashback to Amazon Prime users for purchases on Amazon (3% for non-prime users) but also offers 1% flat cashback on all other expenses. Moreover, Amazon Pay balance can be used for mobile recharge, DTH recharge, utility bill payment, flight ticket booking, insurance payment and a lot more. It is also a widely accepted mode of payment at several stores. All this ensures full usage of the cashback that you earn.

Other popular co-branded credit cards launched in association with e-commerce platforms are Flipkart Axis Bank Credit Card, Citi Paytm First Credit Card and HDFC Snapdeal Credit Card.

Though the concept of co-branded cards started with airlines and travel websites, other companies are increasingly entering into co-branded card agreement with banks. This is a move towards retaining their loyal customers and expanding their reach. Some newly launched co-branded credit cards include RBL Edition Credit Card (Zomato), RBL Practo Plus Credit Card and Lifestyle Home Center SBI Credit Cards.

Make Optimum Use of Your Travel & Fuel Credit Cards

If you have a travel credit card, especially one that charges a moderately high annual fee, you may not be very happy with it right now. However, you can still make good use of your credit card by focusing on its other benefits. For example, if you took SBI Card ELITE for its travel and movie privileges and do not have any such plans for the next few months, you can use it for grocery spends and get 5-times more rewards. If you keep putting some expenses on the card, chances of reaching the annual spending milestone is higher, which also comes with several advantages. Similarly, you must keep making optimum use of you fuel credit cards. Moreover, you should use credit cards for your occasional cab rides to work if extra benefits are offered on such expenses.

EMIs, Discounts and Limited Period Deals

In addition to the unique features of your credit card, common benefits like EMI conversion, bank-specific offers and discounts also help you get substantial savings on online shopping, especially when you make big-ticket purchases. No-cost EMI can also be availed on credit cards from select banks under which you get to pay for your big expense in EMIs without having to pay interest.

Leading e-commerce portals, grocery websites, cab services, food ordering websites, etc. keep launching limited period offers on credit cards. You must stay updated with these offers and use the right credit card.

Year 2020 so far was full of many uncertainties, personal finance issues being the most common. In such a scenario, credit cards came to the rescue for many. Offering discounts, EMIs and several unique features, credit cards should be your preferred option for online payments. Making good use of your credit card and paying bills on time will also help you build your credit score, which will play a critical role in your future credit needs.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.

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