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About Credit Cards

Credit cards are plastic or contactless cards issued by providers that allow you to borrow make purchases on credit. The purchases can be of any type, ranging from making purchases online to financing a round-trip to France. Generally, using a credit card does not incur any type of cost except for the free associated with it or if the outstanding due is not paid within the due date. When you don't repay the amount within the grace period, you will be charged with interest- a percentage of what you owe the provider- on top of what you borrowed.

Features of a Credit Card

Substitute to Cash

Having a credit card can help you in avoiding to carry cash. This can help you with hassle-free purchases and also ensure the safety of your money.

A sense of security

Credit cards give you a sense of security, especially in the case of emergencies. For example, a credit card can come handy during a medical emergency or during some kind of urgent cash requirement.

Convenience

Credit cards are convenient and allow you to purchase within the shortest period of time.

Grace period

A credit card gives you a time period to repay the amount before charging you with interest. This can help in times of cash crunch or immediate cash requirement. The grace period generally ranges between 25-30 days and can be extended up to 45 days in certain cases.

Universal Acceptance

Certain purchases are difficult with debit cards, especially when making foreign transactions. However, acceptability of a credit card is universally wide.

Stepping-stone to credit history

A credit card is the best way for a New-to-credit to build his/her credit history. Moreover, a person with a low credit score can also improve his/her score by simply making the credit card repayments on time.

Expense tracking

Credit cards help you in tracking your expenses. For someone who wishes to budget his expenses, a credit card can be helpful as online statements can act as a backup for receipts which can get lost.

Rewards

The rewards on credit cards are higher when compared to a debit card. In fact, the value point of each reward point is more than a debit card reward point.

Benefits of a Credit Card

The benefits of an online credit card are plenty and countless. Some of them are:

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Spend now, pay later- Credit cards help you to make large purchases and pay it off in smaller amounts over time.

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Helping build credit- With responsible use, you can build your credit history, thus opening a bucket of financial possibilities.

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Convenient and Safe- Credit cards can help you conveniently make purchases by eliminating the need for carrying cash. Moreover, credit cards are widely accepted.

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Earning rewards- Credit cards come with a host of benefits and privileges. From vouchers, complimentary lounge access to earning reward points on every spend, credit cards are a package of benefits. In fact, the reward points earned on a credit card is more valuable when compared to credit cards.

Types of Credit Cards

Credit cards can be differentiated on the basis of the use of that particular card. For instance, a credit card designed for a traveller will be part of travel credit card with travel benefits whereas a credit card that specialises in balance transfer will be part of balance transfer credit cards.

  • Travel Credit Card

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    Credit cards that offer travel benefits such as discounts on hotel bookings, cashbacks on purchasing flight tickets come under travel credit cards. Travel credit cards offer a complete package of benefits to someone who loves to travel.

  • Prime Cards

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    Prime credit cards offer special privileges to user such as golfing or access to international lounge access. These type of cards could be invite-only and could come in different other names such as platinum cards,gold cards and more. The name of the card depends on the issuer; however, the cards would offer privileged benefits.

  • Charge Cards

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    Although not popular in India, a charge card charges no interest on purchases but requires the user to pay his/her balance in full upon receipt of the statement, usually on a monthly basis. Charge cards are not offered by many issuers and are limited in nature.

  • Lifetime free Credit Card

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    Lifetime free credit cards provide benefits without paying any fee, especially annual fee which is also known as no annual free credit cards.

  • Rewards Credit Card

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    Reward credit cards focus on earning rewards specifically. The reward points can then be redeemed for a variety of options such as converting into cash, air miles, hotel bookings and more. Rewards credit card is the most common form of credit cards and is flexible for usage.

  • Dining rewards Credit Card

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    Dining rewards credit card offer rewards on dining. These rewards could be in the form of savings on dining bills or discount at select restaurants. Dining rewards credit card is ideal for individuals who love to dine and want to save money on the same.

  • Petrol Credit Card

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    Petrol credit card is a form of credit card that offers privileges on fuel. This could be fuel surcharge waivers at select petrol pumps. In fact, certain specialised credit cards for fuel offer free fuel at certain terms and conditions.

  • Movies Credit Card

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    Individuals who love to watch movies are ideal for movies credit card. Kotak credit cards offer a wide range of top credit cards for movie lovers. They are tied-up with PVR for certain credit cards that can help individuals save a lot on movies.

  • Air Miles Credit Card

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    As the name suggests, air miles credit card helps you earn air miles on your spends. This could be redeemed to book flight tickets or for airport lounge accesses.

How to choose the best Credit card for yourself?

When you’re deciding which credit card to choose, it is essential to ask this question: What do I need from the credit card? The answer to this question can help you determine the type of credit card you require. Finding the right and best credit card is part art, part science.

No single credit card is better than all the other credit cards available- or is suitable for all the people. However, if by understanding your needs and asking the right questions, can find the card that best suits your needs.


Here are a few questions you need to ask before choosing the best credit card for yourself:


Question 1: How will I spend my money?

Look for the best credit card that delivers the highest rewards on your spends. For example, if you’re a traveller and spend most on buying flight tickets and booking hotels, consider getting a credit card that gives you travel rewards. Similarly, if you are an online spender, then consider getting a card that gives the highest rewards on online spends. Answering the question can give you an idea on finding the best credit card for yourself.


Question 2: How complicated is that card?

If you don’t want to contend with limited seat availability, spending caps and loyalty tiers, consider getting a card with flat cashback rewards.


How to apply for a credit card? | Step-by-step guide to applying for a credit card Online/Offline

Due to the convenience and safety provided by online credit cards, more and more individuals are applying for credit cards online and offline. There is a multitude of banks and financial institutions that provide credit cards to their customers. In fact, there are enough credit cards in circulation to span the earth over 3.5 times!

Moreover, you can apply for a credit card from other banks or financial institutions even if you don’t have an account there. However, the chances of approval of credit cards from the bank with an account are comparatively higher. Here are the ways to apply for credit cards online and offline:


How to Apply Credit Card Online

With the digitisation of payments taking over the nation, everything has gone digital, even applying for a financial product such as credit cards. The process to apply for credit card online is easy and convenient. All a customer needs to do is fill an application and submit online. This can be done in two ways

Applying for a credit card online from the bank

  • Step 1: Go to the bank you wish to apply for a credit card and apply for a credit card of your choice. However, it is important to check the eligibility criteria before applying to improve your chances of approval.
  • Step 2: You can also revert on the general emails sent by a bank or can initiate a mail asking for the credit card. The respective relationship manager assigned to you will ensure you get proper service.

Applying for a credit card online from IndiaLends

Another easy and simple way is to apply via IndiaLends to receive the right credit card as fast as possible:

  • Step-1: Go to IndiaLends website www.indialends.com and click on “Credit Card”.
  • Step-2: As you click, select the credit provider of your choice. Remember, you can apply for more than one credit card.
  • Step-3: After you select the credit provider, you will be directed to a page that shows all the credit cards provided by the lender. Just next to the options, you can fill out the application.
  • Step 4: Based on the information provided, you will be given a list of credit cards as per your eligibility criteria.

Apply for Credit Card Offline

As everyone has not still become tech-savvy, there is a process to apply for a credit card offline. Here are the steps for the same:

  • Step-1: Visit the bank of your choice and talk to the representative about your interest in applying for a credit card.
  • Step-2: You will be required to fill out the necessary forms and in the case you meet the eligibility criteria, you will be able to avail the said credit card.
  • Step-3: You can also apply via the customer care number which is available 24/7 days a week.

How to use a Credit Card?

Using a credit card is very convenient, easy and simple. A bank or financial institution creates a revolving account for the respective credit card on your name. Once the customers receive the credit card, they can set the PIN of their choice and start using the card to make purchases on credit. “Credit” in here, means the amount borrowed by the account holder from the respective credit card provider. This amount is then repaid at the end of every billing cycle. Please note there is a limit on the amount of credit on each credit card and varies on card-to-card.

If you wish to make a purchase using a credit card, you can simply swipe the credit card at merchant stores and authenticate the transaction by entering the PIN number. When making a transaction via online banking, you need to fill in all the details including the name, the credit card number, the validity date, and the CVV code. After this, generally, you need to fill in the OTP(One-Time-Password) to complete the transaction.

Things to keep in mind when using a credit card:

  • A credit card is free to use except the joining fee and annual fee. However, this is applicable only if the amount borrowed is repaid within the time period.
  • If the amount is not paid within the time period, the credit card providers charge interest- a certain percentage of the amount- over the due amount.
  • Non-payment also affects your credit score and can drop your score adversely.
  • When making a transaction online using a credit card, make sure the website is secure.
  • Even though a credit card interest rate is annual, the charges are calculated on a daily basis. For example, if a credit card charges 32% interest rate annually, the daily interest rate would be 32%/365 which are 0.087% a day. This is why it is advisable to repay the amount on time.

Add-on Credit Cards

Add-on card, as the name suggests, is a credit card privilege offered to the spouse, parents, or children of the primary credit card holder. The fee for an add-on credit card is different from the annual fee of the primary credit card and generally varies between ₹125 to ₹1000. This also depends on the type of add-on credit card(s). Please note that all expenses incurred on an add-on credit card are billed to the primary credit card holder. It is also known as supplementary credit cards in certain cases.

You can give an Add-On Credit Card to your:

1. Spouse
2. Parents
3. Siblings
4. Son and Daughter (over 18 years)

The benefits offered on an add-on credit card nearly are similar to a credit card which includes:

→ Usage
→ ATM facilities
→ Reward points
→ Monitor usage
→ Independence
→ Easy Tracking

In certain cases, the benefits and features offered on add-on credit cards are fewer, but this is at the discretion of the bank. Therefore, it is important to read the terms and conditions before getting a credit your add-on credit card.


Credit Card Balance Transfer

Credit card balance transfer is a way to transfer your credit card debts to either a low-interest credit card or to a personal loan. However, this process is only beneficial if you are transferring balance to for a lucrative offer. Please note that credit card balance transfer can be done with a new credit card which is within its limit.

The following information is required to provide for a credit card balance transfer:

  • Credit Limit
  • Expiry date of the credit card
  • Outstanding credit amount
  • Credit card number

Why Compare and Analyse Different Types of Credit Cards At IndiaLends?

With such a wide range of best credit cards being available, it becomes difficult to choose one that best fits your needs. At IndiaLends, you can find the daunting process of finding the right credit card easy and convenient. Moreover, you can compare the different credit card options available in the market to choose the one that best matches your requirements.

Here are some of the reasons to compare and apply for top credit cards at IndiaLends:

Compare and Analyse: Choosing the first credit card you see could turn out to be a fatal mistake in your financial life. Before making the decision, it is important to do a thorough research and compare different credit card options available. And what better way to compare these options at a single platform? IndiaLends provides you the platform to compare the total savings that you can make on each card, annual fees you need to pay, reward points, general and luxury benefits, insurance, etc. to help you find the right credit card for you.

Simple and Easy Application Process: You can now get a credit card by filling out a simple application. By a few clicks and meeting the eligibility criteria, you can get the credit card you wish in a few days. Moreover, you no longer have to visit different banks to apply for top credit cards when the same can be done at the convenience of your home. Compare and analyse the different options and then apply via our simple application process.

24* 7 Customer Service Support: IndiaLends support staff gives you real-time updates on your credit card application status via call/SMS or you can use IndiaLends mobile app to do the real time tracking of your application. Moreover, they are always willing to listen to your grievances and resolve any queries as soon as possible.

Tracking Facility Available: Not only can you track your application status, you can see when your credit card has been dispatched and the date when it will be delivered. IndiaLends promises to keep a transparent process by providing all the information related to the application status.


Credit Card Eligibility

The eligibility of a credit card depends on the type of credit card and the credit card provider. Most of the banks require the applicants to be a resident of India and over 18 years of age to be eligible for a credit card in India. However, other factors are equally important for credit card approval.

Basic criteria for a credit card

  • Age- The age of an applicant must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Income- Whether salaried or self-employed, the applicant must have a regular source of income.
  • Credit history- The applicant must have a good credit history. in the case of New-to-credit(NTC), the applicant must have a good source of income. Please note that all banks do not cater the requirements of an NTC.

Documents required to apply for a credit card

The documents required for a credit card could depend from issuer to issuer. However, some of the key documents needed are:

Address proof- Ration card, Voter ID card, Passport, Driving License, Rent Agreement, telephone/ electricity/ water/ credit card bill or Property tax.

Identity and signature proof- Driving License, PAN card, Voter ID card, Passport, Aadhaar card, employee identity card in the case of government employees.

Age proof- Secondary School Certificate (class 10), Passport, birth certificate, Voter ID card, Aadhaar Card, pension payment order or receipt of LIC policy.

Income proof- This could depend if the applicant is salaried or self-employed.

  • In the case of salaried- Last 3 months’ salary slips or the bank statement for the last six months.
  • In the case of self-employed- ITRs of last 3 years with the computation of income and the documents that prove the continuity of business.

Credit Card Rewards points

Credit cards are popularly known for the rewards earned in the form of gifts, vouchers, discounts, cashbacks and reward points. These rewards encourage customers to make purchases with a credit card and make payments on bills, shopping and more. For this, the customers can collect the points and redeem them for a variety of perks and gifts. Even though the value of each reward point might look to be really low, you can redeem the same for air miles, merchandise, gift vouchers or even cash!

The types of reward schemes offered by different banks are:

  • Welcome rewards- points earned as a welcome gift for the customer
  • Regular rewards- points earned for regular use of a credit card
  • Accelerated rewards- points earned when you spend on special categories or with select partners
  • High-value purchases-points that are earned on high-value purchases such as buying jewellery, travel bookings
  • Bonus rewards- reward points when you spend a certain amount on your card.
  • Loyalty rewards- reward points on the renewal of the credit card
  • Supplementary rewards- points earned on the add-on credit cards are added to the primary credit card

Things to consider before redemption of reward points

  • Minimum points required- Some credit cards have a minimum number of points to be eligible for redemption.
  • Expiration Date- ALl reward points have an expiration date. This is generally 2 to 3 years from when they were earned.
  • Redemption Fee-There is a fee associated with redemption which is around ₹100 for handling and processing the rewards.
  • Blackout dates- There are certain times of the year when the rewards cannot be redeemed. For example, air miles cannot be redeemed major holidays or periods of heavy travel.

EMI For Credit Card- How to calculate EMI for a Credit Card?

Credit card holders can convert their purchases into easy equally monthly instalments(EMIs) to ease the repayment. However, this attracts interest charges on the remaining amount that is due. Although, nowadays, there are banks that offer 0% interest instalment in which the customer is not required to pay any interest as a charge. This means the credit card holder needs to only pay the principal amount in parts within the time period they have chosen.

The EMI of a credit card repayment can be calculated manually or with the help of Excel sheet to see if the charges calculated by the bank is right or not. In order to calculate the EMI, the following three information are required: .

P= principal

R= rate of interest(monthly and not APR)

T= tenure

The formula to calculate EMI manually is

EMI= [P x R x (1+R)^N]/[(1+R)^N-1]

If you wish to calculate the EMI in an Excel sheet, you need to use the following formula:

PMT(rate,nper,pv)

If the result comes in negative or red highlight, it indicates cash outflow.


Credit Card FAQs

1. What is a credit card?

A credit card is a form of plastic money that allows making purchases on borrowed credit. Every credit card is designed to cater to the needs of a particular need.

2. What is the use of a credit card?

Credit cards are issued by banks or financial institutions with an aim to pay for things in credit. With a best credit card, you can even credit card balance transfer or withdraw cash from an ATM.

3. Can a credit card be procured by any individual in India?

Any Indian resident with a good credit score and a regular source of income can apply for a credit card. Most of the banks also mandate the applicant to be of a minimum age limit.

4. How is redemption done on a cashback credit card?

The cashback earned by the customer is/can be automatically transferred as statement credit from the bank.

5. What are the key benefits of the balance transfer option on a credit card?

Balance transfer option on a credit card helps you to consolidate all the credit card balances onto a single card with flexible loan tenure at low-interest rates.

6. Is a credit card a form of money?

A credit card is not a form of money but can be considered as a substitute for money. A credit card provides a limit or overdraft specified by the issuer, upto which you can spend or take a loan.

7. What is a credit card account?

A bank or financial institution creates a revolving account for the respective credit card on your name. The account created shows all the details regarding your credit card. Please note it is not necessary that the individual needs to have a bank account in order to get a credit card from the same bank.

8. How does a credit card work?

A credit card works on the simple formula of “purchase and earn”. The purchases are made on a line of credit and once it is repaid, you earn rewards for the same. If the payment is not made on time, interest is charged on the dues and your credit score is affected.

9. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a credit card?

The major advantages of a credit card are convenience, safety and universal acceptance. It also helps you to build a credit history and helps in expense tracking. The disadvantage of a credit card is the high interest rates associated with it. Moreover, if not used properly, it could lead you into a debt trap.

10. Do credit cards cost money to use?

A credit card mainly has two types of fee- joining fee and annual fee. The joining fee is the charge of getting the card which in certain cases are zero. However, the annual fee is charged on the renewal of the card. Apart from them, credit cards cost money only if you don’t make the payments on time.

11. How does the minimum payment on a credit card work?

The minimum payment is a way to avoid the late penalty fee on your credit card payments. Even though this helps to avoid the penalty, interest is calculated on the remaining amount of the due.

12. Do you use your credit card for everything?

Using your credit card for everything can help you earn reward points easily. In fact, the reward points then can be redeemed for different purchases. However, this is ideal only if you don’t spend more than you earn and have a control on your spends.

13. How much of your credit card should you use?

As per the rule of thumb for personal finance, the credit card should be utilised keeping in mind of the credit utilisation ratio. An ideal credit utilisation ratio says you should use below 30% of your total debt.

14. Is it better to keep a balance on your credit card?

It is never a good idea to keep a balance on your credit card. In order to build a strong credit history, you can make small purchases and pay the balance in full. However, keeping a balance will not only lead to interest cost but can eventually lead to a debt trap.

15. How do you avoid paying interest on a credit card?

The best way to avoid paying interest on a credit card is by paying the balance in full each billing cycle.

16. What are the five C's of credit?

The five C’s of credit are character, capacity, capital, collateral, and conditions. It is a system to assess the creditworthiness of a borrower.

17. Is it better to pay off a credit card in full?

It is always advisable to pay off a credit card in full to avoid interest charges and late penalty fee. Moreover, this helps to improve your credit score.

18. What are the different online and offline modes available to customers for making credit card bill payments?

Customers can make a credit card payment via online and offline methods. The online methods are Net Banking, NEFT / RTGS Transfers, Debit Cards, Mobile Applications, Standing Instructions, Visa Money Transfer, Bill Desk, etc. whereas the offline methods include cheques, demand drafts, cash, etc.

19. How does the cash advance facility help an Indian credit card holder?

Customers can use their credit cards as an ATM card to withdraw money during emergencies or during an urgent cash requirement. Although it gives easy access to instant cash, banks generally charge very high interest rates for using this facility.

20. Is there a minimum salary criterion required to be met while applying for top credit cards in India?

Yes, income plays an important role in meeting the credit card eligibility criteria. An individual earning at least ₹1.5 lakhs can apply for a credit card. However, this depends on the relationship with your bank.

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