How to Get Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver in India 2020

I use credit cards for most of my expenses because I receive deals, cashback and reward points on my credit card spend.

I got my first credit card in 2006 when I joined my first job as a fresher. It was a lifetime free ICICI Gold Credit card with a credit limit of 50,000. That was the second-best credit card of that time, followed by ICICI Platinum card.

Due to my regular usage and excellent payment history, ICICI upgraded my card to platinum card within a year.

ICICI offers a Platinum card to anyone who has 3L annual income or keeps a fixed deposit in ICICI bank – The card is still free for a lifetime.

There are very few credit cards left without annual fees. Most of the cashback credit cards have 499 to 999 annual fees and all the premium credit cards have annual fees from 3000 to 5000 per year.

We love credit cards with no annual fees – and banks love customers who spend regularly on credit cards.

In my experience, you can get your annual fees waived off by the bank if you spend around 50,000 per year through credit card (the amount varies with bank to bank)

Some banks mention the amount on the application form that you must spend within a time frame to get a waiver on annual fees.

In this article, I will tell you about how you can get the annual fee waiver on your credit card.

How To Waive Off Credit Card Annual Fee in India

You can get your credit card annual fees waived off if you spend around Rs. 50,000 to 1 lakh per year through credit card. Although the spend amount varies with the credit card and from bank to bank.

There are some banks that mention the spend amount on the application form that will help you to get a waiver on annual fees.

For example, 

  1. SBI Simply Save (& Simply Click) waive off annual fees of Rs. 499 on spending Rs. 1 Lakh amount annually
  1. HDFC Moneyback Card waive off annual fees if you spend 50,000 per year

You can find the waiver criteria of each credit card on their website. However, banks do not disclose any waiver condition for the premium credit cards.

If you do not want to pay annual fees then you can switch to credit cards without annual fees.

You can also downgrade your premium credit card to another card which has less annual fees or free of charge. 

Important Note: Credit card companies spend a lot of money on marketing to acquire new customers. They would never want to lose their customers for little issues like annual fees or joining fees. 

They always make money when we use credit cards for shopping, so they are more willing to keep you as their customer.

Let’s check the top credit card annual fee waiver criteria in India

HDFC Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

#1. HDFC Regalia Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

HDFC Regalia is a premium credit card with an annual membership fee of Rs. 2500. To get a waiver you need to spend Rs. 3 Lakhs and above in the last 12 months. 

When you do that, you become eligible for a renewal fee waiver. 

Annual FeeRs. 2,500
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 3 Lakhs

#2. HDFC Regalia First Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

HDFC Regalia First credit card is best for you if you occasionally visit both domestic and international lounges while you travel. 

HDFC Regalia First credit card comes with an annual membership fee of Rs. 1000, that can be waived off if you spend Rs. 1,00,000 or more in a period of 12 months.

Annual FeeRs. 1,000
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 1 Lakhs

#3. HDFC Diners Club Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

HDFC Diners Club Black is a super premium credit card by HDFC Bank that offers unlimited airport lounge access.

You need to pay a high annual membership fee of Rs. 10,000 to maintain the credit card. In order to get an annual fee waiver, you need to spend Rs. 5 Lakhs or more during the last 12 months of card usage.

Annual FeeRs. 10,000
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 5 Lakhs

#4. HDFC Infinia Credit Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

HDFC Infinia is a super premium lifestyle credit card with a higher credit limit and airport lounge access across the world.

The annual fee for Infinia credit card is Rs. 10,000. For getting a waiver you should have spent at least Rs. 8 Lakhs or more in the last year. 

Annual FeeRs. 10,000
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 8 Lakhs

#5. HDFC Moneyback Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

HDFC Moneyback is an entry-level credit card where you can renew your membership for free by spending Rs. 50,000 in a year’s duration prior to the renewal date.

If your total spend is less than Rs. 50,000 then HDFC changes an annual fee of Rs. 500 on your Moneyback card. 

Annual FeeRs. 500
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 50,000

#6. HDFC Titanium Times Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

HDFC Titanium Times is an entertainment-oriented credit card offering benefits on your entertainment, movies and dining spends.

The annual fee on the HDFC Titanium Times credit card is Rs. 500, which gets waived off by spending Rs. 1,50,000 in the previous year.

Annual FeeRs. 500
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 1,50,000

#7. HDFC Solitaire Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

HDFC Bank offers Solitaire credit cards for women customers only. Solitaire card allows you to redeem rewards points for a statement credit.

Solitaire credit card comes with an annual fee of Rs. Rs. 500. You need to spend Rs. 50,000 and above in a year to get a waiver.

Annual FeeRs. 500
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 50,000

#8. HDFC Snapdeal Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

HDFC Snapdeal is a co-branded credit that offers an instant 5% discount for Snapdeal shoppers.

To use the card you need to pay an annual fee of Rs. 500, that gets waived off if you shop for Rs. 1,50,000 or more in a year’s time period.

Annual FeeRs. 500
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 1,50,000

SBI Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver 

#1. SBI Elite Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

SBI Elite (read SBI Elite card review) is a premium credit card that is suited for lounge access, grocery & online shopping and international spend. 

You need to pay a renewal fee of Rs. 4,999 per annum. For getting an annual fee waiver you should have spent Rs. 10 Lakhs in the previous year.

Annual FeeRs. 4,999
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 10 Lakhs

#2. SBI Simply Save Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

SBI Simply Save credit card is for offline grocery shopping and regular spend. 

SBI charges an annual fee of Rs. 499, that gets reversed if your previous year card usage is for an amount more than or equal to Rs. 1,00,000.

Annual FeeRs. 499
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 1 Lakh

#3. SBI Simply Click Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

SBI Simply Click credit card is designed for online shopping at e-commerce portals. 

You need to pay an annual fee of Rs. 499, that gets reversed if your previous year card usage is for an amount more than or equal to Rs. 1,00,000.

Annual FeeRs. 499
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 1 Lakh

#4. SBI Prime Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

SBI Prime is a multipurpose premium credit card that you can use for lounge access, utility bill payments, online and offline shopping and entertainment spends.

SBI charges a renewal fee of Rs. 2,999 per annum. You need to spend Rs. 3 Lakhs to get an annual fee waiver.

Annual FeeRs. 2,999
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 3 Lakhs

#5. SBI IRCTC Premier Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

SBI IRCTC Premier is specifically designed for booking travel tickets (air, train & bus) through the IRCTC web portal. 

The card comes with an annual fee of Rs. 1499, that gets reversed only when you spend Rs. 2 Lakhs or more in the previous year.

Annual FeeRs. 1,499
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 2 Lakhs

#6. SBI IRCTC Platinum Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

SBI IRCTC Platinum card has a lower limit and is primarily for getting discounts on train ticket bookings on IRCTC.

SBI charges a per annum renewal fee of Rs. 300 on IRCTC platinum credit card and does not disclose any annual fee waiver criteria on its website.

Annual FeeRs. 300
Spend Amount Required For WaiverNot disclosed

ICICI Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

#1. ICICI Coral Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

ICICI Coral credit card comes in three versions

  • ICICI Coral Credit card – for regular spends
  • ICICI Coral American Express – Co-branded credit card for regular use
  • ICICI HPCL Coral Credit Card – Co-branded card for fuel expenses

#1. ICICI Coral Credit Card

Annual FeeRs. 500
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 1,50,000

#2. ICICI Coral American Express Credit Card

Annual FeeRs. 500
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 1,50,000

#3. ICICI HPCL Coral Credit Card

Annual FeeRs. 199
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 50,000

#2. ICICI Bank Sapphiro Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

Sapphiro is a premium ICICI credit card for international spends. The card lets you redeem payback points for the statement credit. 

For ICICI Bank Sapphiro credit card you need to shell out Rs. 3,500 in annual fees. ICICI Bank gives waiver only in case if you have spent greater than Rs. 6,00,000 in the previous year.

Annual FeeRs. 3,500
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 6 Lakhs

#3. ICICI Rubyx Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

ICICI Rubyx is a lifestyle and entertainment-oriented credit card for golfing, travel, dining and movies. 

ICICI Bank charges Rs. 2,000 as annual fees on Rubyx credit cards. The fees get waived off in case you spend greater than Rs. 3,00,000 in the previous year. 

Annual FeeRs. 2,000
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 3 Lakhs

Standard Chartered Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver 

#1. Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Credit card is for regular spending and for paying fuel expenses.

For the second year onwards Standard Chartered charges an annual fee of Rs. 750, that can be reversed on spending Rs. 90,000 in the year.

Annual FeeRs. 750
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 90,000

#2. Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

Standard Chartered Manhattan credit card is best suited for grocery shopping and regular spends. You need to pay Rs. 999 in annual fees.

For waiver in the renewal fee, you need to spend at least Rs. 1,20,000 in the previous year.

Annual FeeRs. 999
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 1,20,000

#3. Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

SC Platinum Rewards is an entry-level credit card for easy approval for first-time applicants. 

From the second year onwards, Standard Chartered charges an annual fee of Rs. 250. You need to spend Rs. 60,000 or more to get an annual fee waiver.

Annual FeeRs. 250
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 60,000

#4. Standard Chartered Ultimate Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

Standard Chartered Ultimate credit card is a super-premium credit card with higher limits, more savings and lounge access benefits.

You need to pay Rs. 5,000 as an annual fee, but Standard Chartered does not have a waiver clause. Instead, it gives you 5,000 reward points that are worth Rs. 5,000 in the second year when you pay a renewal fee.

Annual FeeRs. 5000
Spend Amount Required For WaiverNone
You get 5000 reward points worth Rs. 5000

American Express Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

#1. Amex Membership Rewards Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

Amex Membership Rewards credit card is best for online spending and adding money to wallets like Freecharge, Amazon Pay and Paytm.

You need to pay an annual membership fee of Rs. 4,500 from the second year onwards.

American express offers a tiered spend clause for getting a 100% or 50% annual fee waiver. The details of which are under.

Annual FeeRs. 4,500
Spend Amount Required For 100% WaiverRs.1,50,000 and above
Spend Amount Required For 50% WaiverRs.90,000 to Rs.1,49,999

#2. Amex Travel Platinum Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

Amex Travel Platinum is one of the best travel credit cards that offer gift cards and lounge access benefits.

You need to pay an annual fee of Rs. 5,000. Currently, Amex does not offer an annual fee waiver on the travel platinum credit card.

Annual FeeRs. 5,000
Spend Amount Required For WaiverNot disclosed

#3. American Express Gold Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver 

Amex Gold credit card offers almost similar benefits like the Amex Membership Rewards credit card. 

You need to pay an annual fee of Rs. 4,500 and American Express does not offer and fee waiver criteria. 

But the good thing is that you get 5,000 rewards points within 90 days of payment of annual membership fee. 

Annual FeeRs. 4,500
Spend Amount Required For WaiverNot disclosed
But you get 5000 rewards points

Citi Bank Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

#1. Citi Cashback Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver 

Citi Cashback credit card is for regular spending with 5% cashback benefits on utility bill payments, dining and movie spends.   

Citi charges and an annual card fee of Rs. 500. There is no information on the website regarding annual fee waiver criteria.

Annual FeeRs. 500
Spend Amount Required For WaiverNot disclosed

#2. Citi IOC Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver 

Citi IOC is a co-branded credit card designed for fuel purchase benefits. You need to pay an annual fee of Rs. 1000 on the credit card.

For an annual fee waiver, you need to spend Rs. 30,000 or more on your credit card.

Annual FeeRs. 1,000
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 30,000

#3. Citi Rewards Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver 

Citi Rewards credit card comes with an annual card fee of Rs. 1000 and is suited for shopping expenses.

You need to do at least Rs. 30,000 of shopping in a year to be eligible for an annual fee waiver.

Annual FeeRs. 1,000
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 30,000

#4. Citi Premier Miles Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver 

Citi Premier miles is a travel credit card with free lounge access benefits. You need to pay an annual fee of Rs. 3,000 to keep your card active.

Citi does not disclose annual fee waiver criteria on its website.

Annual FeeRs. 3,000
Spend Amount Required For WaiverNot disclosed

Axis Bank Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

#1. Axis Bank Neo Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver 

Axis Bank Neo credit card is suited for making regular online utility bill payments, booking bus tickets and shopping. 

You need to pay Rs. 250 in annual fees and Axis Bank does not disclose the waiver spend requirements.

Annual FeeRs. 250
Spend Amount Required For WaiverNot disclosed

#2. Axis My Zone Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver 

Axis My Zone credit card is designed for movie lovers. You need to spend Rs. 500 in annual fees. 

Axis Bank does not disclose the renewal fee waiver criteria on its website.

Annual FeeRs. 500
Spend Amount Required For WaiverNot disclosed

#3. Axis Buzz Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver 

Axis Buzz is a regular credit card with higher discounts for shopping on Flipkart and other online shopping. 

Axis Bank charges Rs. 750 in annual fees but doesn’t disclose information on the waiver criteria.

Annual FeeRs. 750
Spend Amount Required For WaiverNot disclosed

#4. Axis Bank Privilege Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver 

Axis Bank Privilege credit card carries travel benefits in the form of free lounge access and gift vouchers. 

The annual charges on the Axis Privilege card are Rs. 1500, which can be reversed when you spend Rs. 2.5 Lakhs or more in the previous year.  

Annual FeeRs. 1,500
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 2.5 Lakhs

Kotak Bank Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

#1. Kotak Royale Signature Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

Kotak Royale Signature credit card is designed for travel ticket bookings, hotel reservation and free lounge access.

Kotak Royale Signature card carries an annual fee of Rs. Rs. 999. You can get the credit card annual fees waiver by spending Rs. 1 Lakh or more. 

Annual FeeRs. 999
Spend Amount Required For WaiverRs. 1 Lakh

#2. Kotak PVR Gold Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver

Kotak PVR Gold is a card for movie ticket bookings benefits. The credit card has an annual fee of Rs. 499.

Kotak Bank does not disclose the annual fee waiver criteria on its website. 

Annual FeeRs. 499
Spend Amount Required For WaiverNot disclosed

Extra Tips To Get Annual Fee Waiver

#1. Ask For The Annual Fee Waiver

Banks and credit card companies levy annual charges automatically under their routine procedure. 

If you use your credit card regularly and pay all the dues on time chances are that you will get an annual fee waiver.

Most of the time the customer executive reverses the annual charges on your credit card if you make a request by calling them.

If you do not ask then you might end up paying an annual fee that could have been saved if you would have taken some effort to simply make a call.

#2. Maintain Good Relationship With Bank

If you have other routine financial transactions with the bank with which you have a credit card then maintain a good financial relationship. This includes paying your EMIs on time and maintaining a good credit standing. 

You can always speak of your good banking relationship and request for an annual fee waiver. 

#3. Use Your Credit Card Regularly

Credit card companies and banks earn merchant fees when you shop at retailers and online portals. Your credit card usage brings a small revenue in the form of merchant fees and adds value to the bank. 

Credit card companies and banks do not mind waiving off the annual fees when they see that the card has been used regularly.

#4. Pay Your Dues On Time

You have a better credit score when you pay your credit card dues on time. Credit card companies also see you as a less risky and disciplined customer that it wants to have.

Being disciplined in paying credit card dues is definitely a point when you ask for an annual fee waiver. 

Waiver of Late Payment Fees on Credit Card

I recommend you to always pay your credit card amount before due date. Credit information bureau company CIBIL collects your loan payment information from all banks. Any miss in payment can impact your credit score and spoil your credit history. You will face difficulties in approval of loan in the future.

However, in some rare incidents late payments happen. It could be due to issues with bank when you pay by cheque or you forget the due date.

It happened with me few months back when I scheduled payment through net banking and it got canceled automatically. I came to know about it when I saw late payment changes in my credit card statement.

I immediately called customer care and requested for waiver of late payment charges. I was more concerned about my credit history than late payment charges.

The bank reversed my late payment fees after seeing my excellent payment record of past months.

If you maintain good relationships, the banks will also co-operate with you.

I incurred some interest charges as well because I have not paid my dues on time.

Waiver of Interest Charges on Credit Card

I would not have asked for waiver of interest charges but the amount was pinching me. It was my mistake of not paying on time even when there was issue at my bank’s netbanking.

I asked if my interest charges can be waived off, they denied my request. I thought it’s okay to pay interest charges because bank has already refunded my late payment fees.

But I had to call bank next week to activate international use because I was travelling to Thailand for 2 months. After card activation, I requested again for waiver of interest charges.

The customer care lady was very friendly, this time, she took my waiver request and forwarded to concerned department.

It worked! I got waiver of my interest charges.

Final Words 

The truth is that you can save an extra Rs. 250 to Rs. 5,000 in annual fees every year just by using your credit card regularly (till the waiver criteria are met) and paying on time. 

Maintain a good relationship with bank. Use your credit cards regularly and pay your dues on time.

27 thoughts on “How to Get Credit Card Annual Fee Waiver in India 2020”

  1. I Have SBI Simply Save Card.
    My Annual Spending is Around 1.2-.1.3 lacs.
    They Are Upgrading my card to SBI Prime.
    should I Do It?
    Can They Revers Annual Charges of SBI Prime Card?

    Reply
      • Hai i need a small information, my anual fee date is march and i blocked my card in February to escape anual fee, is there any chance

        Reply
    • SBI Prime is very expensive (Rs 3000 + 18% GST = 3600) and whatever addons they give do not cover your annual charges.

      As you mentioned your spending is up to 1.3 lac, the maximum points will equivalent to 1200 to 1500 rupees max. So you have to pay more from your pocket.

      Reply
  2. Hi,
    I have got Annual Fees Statement with SBI Credit Card Simply Save, I have reported Customer Care regarding lost of Card. and not reissued again, the Statement came with including of annual charges can we waived off this Annual Charges any way,,,
    please help

    Reply
  3. Hi Pradeep
    Very good idea shared. I wanted to know if this works for making your card lifetime free or only for that particular year’s fee? Actually I have Citibank Rewards card and that is on spending basis annual fee, if to the customer care, I say that I want to close my card, will they waive my cards fee for lifetime?

    Reply
  4. Hi Pradeep,

    I have a Simply Save SBI Credit card which I haven’t used for nearly 2 years. Just few minutes ago, I logged online and saw an outstanding balance of 5k plus which only had annual fees and late payment fee and other financial charges associated with the annual fees only. The last time I used this card was 2 years ago, Oct 2016 to be specific, and then paid the outstanding in full with .19 rs charge left which they reversed and did not consider. However, in June 2017, they charged the annual fee and as I had no clue about it, it kept on accumulating to this date. Is there a way I can get the late charges reversed and just pay the annual fees of two years to them? How to go about it? Also, they have obviously blocked my card. I intend to pay but this is just absurd that they charge so much of late payment fees. I used to be a regular payee, paying well in advance before the due date when I was actively using the card. Do I have a chance for any reversal of charges? Thanks and regards.

    Reply
  5. Hi Pardeep, can they waive off the 2nd year card fees once the charge is shown in the new statement? Also If I submit a closure request for the card now, will they refund the charged amount?

    Reply
  6. I want to know, which are the mobile wallets in India which allows me to fund the wallet by credit card for free of charge and then which are the mobile wallets that allows to transfer money from wallet to bank account free of charge ?

    Reply
  7. Hello Pardeep Sir,

    Very Informative Post. I have used the technique mentioned in your article. My Axis Bank Credit Card Annual Charges Reversed.

    Thank You Very Much.

    Reply
  8. Pradeep, A great initiative from your side. I am hooke up to your blogs…

    I have a query. I have heard of Credit Card limit to be used only till 30% for a good CIBIL score. If I have to use a higher limit, then will it work, if I prepay the amount before billing cycle. So that the statement generated at end of billing cycle is less then 30% of card limit?

    Reply
  9. Dear Pardeep,

    Is it possible to have waiver for annual fees and Debit interest waived at one request? Have you come across any such experience?

    Reply
  10. Hi,
    Great article. I also want to get a credit card but cibil score scares me. This is because I have heard that non payment in credit cards due to any reason also lowers down your cibil score. Is that true?

    Reply
    • You should own credit card for improving your credit score.

      Non-payments hurt your credit history and score.. you must pay in time. If you fail to pay for genuine reason, then ask to waive off charges and your score will not be impacted. Banks report to CIBIL authorities every month.

      Your score will improve if you use your card regularly and pay-in-full before due date.

      Reply
  11. Hi pradeep,
    I used the same technique with SBI card and it worked. You are right when we learn to use the cc in a smart way it can really benefits you.thanks for sharing the excellent tips.

    Reply
  12. Spending few hundred thousand rupees just to get a waiver of 499 or 5oo rupees…!!#

    Its a given that ic one has excellent payment record ny CC company will waive off a one off late payment or ibteredt fees…

    Reply
    • We are not spending thousands of rupees to get waiver of just 500 rupees. We are trying to optimize the card where we get most benefit by spending money.

      Anyways, we have to spend money on shopping. Why not to spend in a smart way by using the best credit card.

      Reply

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