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When one starts earning then one wants to have a credit card to enjoy the benefits and conveniences offered by the card.  But banks demand a credit history to offer you a credit card. The first-time borrowers who are new to credit will have NH(No History) in their credit report and hence getting a credit card becomes slightly difficult. So how can those with no credit history get a credit card? It looks at why credit history is essential? What types of cards are available to those with no credit history or first timers. And some popular credit cards for first timers.

Why is credit history essential?

Even if you are good at managing your funds and always pay your bills on time you may have partial or no credit history. That can be unruly, though, because credit card companies and banks want to see a tracked record to determine if or not you will be a good customer and won’t misuse the card. So read on and find out the best credit cards for no credit.

It is a chicken and egg situation where you can’t get a credit card without a credit history and on the other hand, you can’t open your innings on the credit history without getting a credit product.

Credit cards come with credit history which has a great role to play when loans need to be taken but if you have no credit history yet and looking for a credit card, the first primacy will be to find a card that you qualify for and for beginners, a secured card can be taken.

Credit cards with no card history in India

Get A Credit Card On The Basis Of Your Salary Statement

If you are working in a private or public company for more than three months and have a salary of more than 20,000 Rs, you can apply for a credit card with the bank where your salary is credited. You will need to provide a Letter of Employment from your company HR and your salary statement.

You could also apply for a credit card at other banks, however applying for the card at the bank where you hold a salary account will make it easier for the bank to give a credit card.

Get A Credit Card Against Fixed Deposit: Secured card

Most banks offer secured credit cards against fixed deposits. Such cards can be applied by self-employed individuals. ICICI bank offers credit card against fixed deposit if you have a saving account with ICICI bank. You can simply log on to ICICI online banking and apply for the card. SBI Unnati card is issued with a lien on Cardholder’s fixed deposit with State Bank of India of Rs. 25,000 or more

  • The credit limit on your card may be set to a percentage of the fixed deposit held by you. For Ex; If you hold a Fixed Deposit of Rs 50,000, then you might get a credit card with an upper limit of Rs 30,000, which is 60% of your FD amount.
  • However, you may have to maintain a minimum deposit as long as the lender demands you to.
  •  FD will continue to gain interest and you can spend on your credit card. However, make sure to make your pay credit cards payments on time to ensure you build your credit score.
  • Once, you have established a good track record of credit behaviour for a year or so, the bank might waive off or lower the minimum fixed deposit range.

Get a Prepaid Card

Prepaid are like debit cards, when you use them, you’re spending your own money, not the bank’s. But Unlike traditional debit cards, however, you don’t need a bank account to use a prepaid card.

To get a prepaid card, you give a money to the bank, and they issue a card with the limit set to the amount prepaid by you.  You just load money directly onto the card and then use that balance for purchases. When the balance on the card dips too low, many cards allow you to reload more money.

Some of the prepaid cards are: Citibank Rewards Card, HDFC Bank MoneyPlus Card,HDFC Bank MoneyPlus Card, Axis Bank Gift Card. 

Being new to the workforce, spending carefully and prompt repayment is crucial so that you do not get into the spiral of credit card debt.  With a prepaid card, it will be easy to restrict your expenses and may teach you to use a real credit card properly when you are eligible for one. Useful for giving it to adult children in colleges. Site has details about the prepaid cards.

Add on Credit card

An add-on credit card can be availed by the individual if a family member(father, mother) use credit card in the family. A add-on credit card comes with similar benefits and features as the primary credit card which the family member possesses. However, the credit limit that was on the primary credit card is now shared between both the cards, i,e primary and the add-on credit cards. But bill payment responsibility is of the primary cardholder. This does not build credit history!

 Credit Cards with no Credit History: For First timer

We will discuss some of the popular cards for First Timer with no credit history.

Basics of Credit Cards

Credit cards offer rewards and incentives for using their credit card. Rewards come in several different forms: cashback, reward points, and discounts.

  • Fuel Waiver Credit Cards : Some credit cards waive the surcharge on fuel. Such cards are called
  • Lifestyle/Entertainment/Shopping cards: Some cards offer discounts on shopping or restaurants or movie tickets, online shopping.
  • Premium credit cards are cards which charge an annual fee but offer cardholders a range of exclusive benefits in return. Often viewed as a status symbol, premium cards are only offered to high-earning big spenders. They offer a high credit limit and a number of perks that are difficult, or expensive, to find elsewhere.

When you start researching on the credit card you need to consider the Annual Fees, the credit card charges on not paying in full or APR,  and your major spending patterns.

First credit card should be a credit card which has zero annual fee, allows you to do shopping, paying utility bills, use at restaurants, pay for fuel, making payments, etc.

Get your first credit card, use it, understand what you want and apply for your second credit card after 6 months.

Two golden rules of using credit cards

  • Do not buy things that you cannot afford, even though you have easy access to credit.
  • Always pay your credit card bills in full and on time.  Paying Minimum due is the shortest way to huge debt. It is easy to get into credit card debt and difficult to come out. Secondly, it affects your Credit score. Every single late, missed or incomplete payment is reported by your credit card provider to the credit bureaus.

Paying interest on a credit card is the worst kind of debt because it can easily snowball into a much larger number, and is generally spent on stuff that you can easily avoid

Our article  Credit Card and Debt  explains Credit card debt in detail

Standard Chartered Platinum Credit Card

if you are applying for the first time and looking for a No Annual Fees credit card for life. Approval rate is high if you have a salary of Rs. 25,000 per month from Private or Government job

Based on your salary & credit card usage,  You can then build your Credit/CIBIL score, understand your own requirements – what kind of benefit you like. You can then request for an upgrade to Standard Chartered Manhattan card whenever you need in the future


  • Easy approval for salaried people
  • Get an additional 1000 rewards points if you transact within 60 days
  • Bonus 500 points for registering for online banking
  • Annual fees or joining fees
    • Rs 250 joining fees but waived off with the first transaction within 90 days
    • Next year fees waived off when you spend Rs. 30,000 in the first year
  • 20% cashback on Uber rides
  • 5 points on spending 150 rupees on dining
  • 5 points on spending 150 on fuel
  • 1 reward points on spending 150 on any other category
  • Additional discounts & offers from Ola, Uber, Grofers, Yatra, that keep on changing with time

ICICI Instant Platinum Card

ICICI credit card is a good option for Students, Housewives and Non-Salary people if they want to apply for credit card against a Fixed Deposit. You will earn regular interest on your fixed deposit. The bank just wants to secure itself against the risk of fraud by the first-time credit card user.

ICICI bank will offer you a credit limit based on the amount you keep in the fixed deposit.

  • Annual fee: 199 rupees (waiver on spending Rs. 2000 within 60 days of approval)
  • 2 payback points for every Rs. 100 spent
  • 1 payback point for every 100 rupees on insurance & utilities
  • Get ₹ 100 off on movie tickets twice a month.
  • 1% fuel surcharge waiver can be availed on fuel transaction of maximum ₹ 4,000 at HPCL pumps.

SBI Unnati Credit Card

The SBI Unnati credit card is available to all customers who open a fixed deposit of atleast Rs 25,000 with the SBI. You will get 80% credit limit of your FD amount.

The annual fee of this credit card is Rs. 499, but it is waived off for the first four years.

  • The annual fee of SBI Unnati credit card is waived off for first 4 years. After 4 year the annual fee is Rs 499
  • Get 1 reward point per Rs 100 spent
  • 500 cashback on spends of Rs 50,000 in a year.
  • 1% fuel surcharge waiver for each transaction between Rs 500 & Rs 3000 maximum upto Rs 100.

HDFC Moneyback Credit Card

It’s the basic credit card that you can apply as a first-time applicant. You can get the card approved against the Fixed deposit or if you have a salary more than 25,000 per month. It has a good approval rate. The benefits are:

  • 4 reward points per Rs 150 for online shopping
  • 2 reward points per Rs 150 for elsewhere
  • 1% fuel surcharge waived off (above 400 rupees transaction)

Related Articles:

Choosing the best credit card: Annual Fee, Reward points,Cashback, APR

If you are first time applicant and looking for lifetime free card, then apply for Standard Chartered Platinum Credit Card. Get one credit card and then understand how to use it and look out for a good credit card. After 6 months of good credit history apply for your chosen cards.


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