5 Transactions You Should Avoid Through Credit Cards in India 2023

Credit cards come with a bunch of benefits that include a welcome gift, reward points, cashback, discounts, and more. Excited ??? You should.

Now, you might be thinking, “from the article title seems it belongs to the opposition party of credit cards but here I talking about benefits”

!!!!! Confusion!!!!!

Let me clear this. This article is not about “why shouldn’t you have a credit card” but this article is about “ where shouldn’t you use a credit card”. There are 5 transactions you make through a credit card, you have to bear the credit card fees despite any benefit.

Let’s have a look at those transactions

#1. Fuel Transaction (Surcharge on credit card)

Fuel Outlet work at a very low-profit margin. Due to the low margin, they cannot bear the transaction charges imposed by the card issuer company (VISA, Maestro) & transfer to the consumer.

The transaction charge on fuel purchase is called a fuel surcharge. Presently, Every time you make a fuel purchase through your card, you have to pay a fuel surcharge @ 1% (before 13 Jan 2017, it was 2.5%) subject to a minimum of INR 10.

You can avoid these additional charges on fuel can be by making cash payments.

How to avoid fuel surcharge on credit card (Exception to the Case)

Fuel credit cards like Standard chartered super value titanium credit card, and Citibank IndianOil platinum card offer cashback up to 5% (including fuel surcharge waiver).

You can get fuel benefits only on these credit cards.

Fuel Surcharge Waiver Credit Cards

Firstly you have to pay the surcharge @1% along with GST @18% on the surcharge amount.

In the case of a fuel surcharge waiver, the only surcharge amount is credited to the credit account. But you still have to bear  0.18% tax.

This is a very small amount, but even this can be saved. because “every penny saved is a penny earned”.

You may also like to readBank of Baroda Eterna credit card review

#2. Foreign Currency Transaction

Every time you make a foreign transaction through your credit card you have to pay a foreign transaction fee to the bank. Banks charged this fee to convert foreign currency transactions into INR.

The majority of credit cards charged foreign transactions @ 3.5% (Huge). But a decent amount can be saved if the money is exchanged through forex exchange.

Look at the exchange charge for US Dollars. The exchange charge is 0.015504 per INR 1 that is 1.55% ( 0.015504*100).


There are some credit cards like Yes Bank Preferred Credit Card (1.75%), HDFC Regalia Credit Card (2.0%) that charged less than 3.5% as a foreign transaction fee.

You can also check the best debit and credit cards that charge a 0% forex fee.

#3. Cash Advance Transaction

Every credit cards provide the facility of Cash advance. Under this service, cardholders are allowed to withdraw cash through an ATM up to a certain limit.

The cash advance limit is fixed by the banks. The limit can be lies between 40% to 80% of your credit card limit (can vary from bank to bank).

Purpose of Cash Advance Facility

A cash advance facility is provided by the banks to meet the urgent cash needs of the cardholder. But cardholder has to bear a heavy fee for fulfilling this purpose.

You may like to readIndiGo HDFC Bank Ka-Ching credit card Review

Why Shouldn’t You Do Cash Advance Transaction (Fees & Charges on Cash Advance)

You will have to bear three types of charges on the cash advance. These are

  • Every Time you withdraw money through ATM you have to pay a transaction fee of 2.5% with a minimum fee of INR 300. This fee is same on all the credit cards of different banks.
  • The charges are not stopped here. Over and above the transaction fee you have to pay a service charge of near about 3.5% (can vary with the banks) per month from the first day of withdrawal till the date of settlement.
  • On the total of the above two charges, you have to pay a GST @ 18%. This is an additional burden on your pocket.

Let’s Do Some Calculations To Clearly Understand The Fact

Suppose you withdraw INR 10,000 from the ATM and settled the bill after one month.

Money withdraw – INR 10,000

Transaction Charges- INR 300 (minimum INR 300)

Finance Charges – INR 350 (3.5%*10000)

Total Charges – INR 650

GST – INR 117 (18% of 650)

Total cost – INR 767 (7.67%)

#4. Railway Ticket Booking

Like the fuel merchants, government departments also transfer the transaction charges on the user. Railways is one of these departments.

Every Time you purchase a railway ticket through credit card payment, you have to pay transaction charges.

If you pay through a credit card you have to pay 1.8% transaction charges plus taxes.

The solution to get zero transaction fees on railway tickets

SBI IRCTC credit card is the only railway credit card in India. The credit card allows you to get a railway transaction fee waiver along with multiple reward points on ticket booking on irctc.co.in.

Only in this case, you can get any benefit on railway booking through a credit card. Otherwise, you can use a debit card for payment which attracts fewer transaction charges. One better option is to use Wallets/UPI like Paytm, and Mobikwik because e-Wallets/UPI attracts zero transaction charges and gives cashback as well.

If you are looking for a super premium credit card I would suggest you check the Axis Reserve credit card review and ICICI Emeralde credit card review. Both the cards are the top level credit cards from the respective bank.

#5. Bill Payments

For the last 3 years, I pay our electricity bills and telephone bills online but I did never pay those bills through a credit card or debit card. The reason behind this is the charges.

As PSPCL is a government department, the transactional charges have to bear by the users.

They charge 0.82% charges on credit card payments and 0.69% on debit card transactions. On the other side payment through net banking & Paytm is free.

Like PSPCL, many other government departments charge transaction fees for making through credit cards or debit cards. So, it is not beneficial to pay the bills through a credit card where you have to pay any charges.

An exception to the Case

There are two exceptions to this. The first one is the private service-providing companies that don’t charge for bill payments through credit cards.

If you use services like electricity, telephone, and water from these private companies, you would not to pay any transactional charges. You can pay through credit cards.

The second option is wallets like Paytm, GPay, and Amazon through which payment is allowed without any transactional charges.

You can use Axis Ace credit card to pay your utility bills on Gpay to earn 5% cashback with no limit.


People often make these transactions without considering the transaction cost. These costs dilute the benefits of credit cards. Even sometimes, these transaction costs you more than the all-over benefits that you would get from the credit card.

Did you learn anything from this article? Let me know in the comments.

About Shilpa Gupta

I have done MBA in finance and love to talk about saving through credit cards. I share my personal experience and money-saving hacks on SimpleInterest.

25 thoughts on “5 Transactions You Should Avoid Through Credit Cards in India 2023”

  1. Thank you Sir for imparting valuable information on credit cards otherwise I was too impatient for having a credit card without income proof like Paytm HDFC credit card . And I actually don’t have any need for 💳 . If I have applied I would have to pay. A heavy price or have to pay INR 49+18% GST for not spending INR 5000 per month .

  2. Quite useful! I wish I would have read this article before. I used my SBI credit card (Visa) for adding fuel (CNG gas) to my car. Unfortunately on every transaction, a minimum of Rs. 10 was added as the fuel surcharge. I got to know this today when I saw my credit card statement. I have done 9 transactions for this purpose in the last month, a loss of approx. Rs. 100 straightaway 🙁

  3. One another transaction is fastag recharging.. We have to pay service charges +GST for Recharging SBI fastag using either credit or debit cards or Internet banking. We can avoid the fee by using UPI.

  4. Very important information shared.
    Small Steps make big difference in finical transaction daily habits at end of month.and quarterly.

  5. Very valuable information. I will stop my credit card use on these five types of transactions with immediate effect. For these, I will move over to Paytm. In the process, I will save on Transaction charges and fuel surcharges and the tax on them. That is a lot of savings.

    Thanks a lot.

  6. Really good, informative.
    We don’t realise these additional extra charges for transaction while using these cards.
    Thanks for imparting the knowledge.

  7. You have not factored the saving on interest when credit card company gives credit as per the billing cycle. This is a great plus as compared to net banking.


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