How to Compare Different Credit Cards before Choosing One?
The millennial generation in India has always been regarded as one of the most aspirational sections of society. Unlike their elders who preach a conservative financial approach, millennials are known for their aggressive go-getter approach. They do not hesitate to avail of available credit facilities to fulfill their life aspirations. As a matter of fact, the millennial generation is one of the fastest-growing Credit Card user segments in India.
To tap into this booming market, different banks and Credit Card companies are regularly launching new types of Credit Cards. With each card claiming to be better than the other, making a choice can be a challenging one.
But when it comes to Credit Cards, there is no scope for making a mistake as otherwise, you might end up in a debt trap. Thus it is essential to choose the best Credit Card for your lifestyle needs.
How to Compare Credit Cards?
Comparing key features of different Credit Cards is the only way through which you can determine the best Credit Card for yourself. Here are some useful tips to help you Compare Credit Cards before taking a final decision:
- Interest-free period: One of the biggest attractions of Credit Cards is the interest-free period available for the customers. Every Credit Card offers an interest-free period of between 20-50 days, depending on the card you are using. This interest-free period helps you to time your heavy-ticket purchases towards the beginning of the billing cycle and thereby gain a considerable period to plan the repayments. But to avail of this facility, you must settle the Credit Card dues in full every month; otherwise, interest charges must be borne. Thus, longer is the interest-free period, better it is for you. So, choose a Credit Card that offers you the longest interest-free period.
- Spending habits: Different Credit Cards offer different benefits. So, you should not use any random Credit Card as you might otherwise lose on various benefits. Banks offer different types of Credit Cards for customers with different spending habits. These cards offer significant discounts, bonuses, cashback, and reward points on particular transactions. All these benefits can reduce the cost of your purchase significantly. So, you must choose a Credit Card that rewards you for the lifestyle you lead. For instance, if you travel frequently to foreign locations, you can opt for a Credit Card with free Airport Lounge access, discounts on tickets, low forex mark-up fees, and similar facilities.
- Available credit limit: Another key factor that you need to compare is the available credit limit against the Credit Cards. Different Credit Card companies offer varying credit limits against their different Credit Cards. Now, here you need to decide the credit limit that you need. Do not go for a higher limit just because it is available. Opt for a card with a credit limit that will serve your requirements but will not push you towards overspending. You need to remember that the interest rates applicable against Credit Card dues are significant and can lead you into a debt trap if not taken care of. Moreover, maxing out your Credit Card will not only reduce your Credit Score but will also make you subject to penalties.
- Retail Finance Charges: This is the interest rate applicable to the Credit Card. This goes without saying that you must opt for a Credit Card that offers the lowest interest rate. Credit Card interest rates can go up to 48% per annum, so choose a card with the lowest interest rate charge. In some cases, banks provide you Credit Cards with lower interest rates under promotional offers. Selecting such Credit Cards can be a wise decision, as if you continue to repay your monthly dues in full, you can continue enjoying that benefit and thus save on your interest cost.
- Reward Points: The Best Credit Cards in India offer excellent reward points programs for the customers. These reward points are offered at the time of joining, on an annual renewal, on specific transactions, on purchase at partner stores, and on various other occasions. These reward points can be redeemed against various items featured in the catalogue of the company. So, choose a Credit Card that offers an Accelerated Rewards Program, thereby allowing you to earn bonus reward points easily. By maximizing the benefits of the rewards program, you can reduce the cost of Credit Card ownership easily.
- Cost of keeping the card: In addition to the interest rate, you also need to compare the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). It will help you accurately calculate the cost of keeping the card and is a better indicator of the affordability of the Credit Card. Other charges that you incur with a Credit Card are Joining Fees, Annual Renewal Fees, Card Safety Program, etc. Opt for a Credit Card with the lowest cost of ownership.
- Customer service: The efficiency of the customer service department is also a crucial factor to consider. Most Credit Card Companies conduct their operations through phone banking and internet banking only, i.e., branch banking facilities available are seriously limited. So, do some research regarding the customer service department of the company and make sure that it is easy to connect with a human operator, and the website should also be easily accessible from your smartphone. You would not like to be waiting for an hour to report the loss of the card or any fraudulent transaction.
- Additional benefits available: You can enjoy a superior user-experience by opting for a Credit Card that offers better benefits. Credit Cards offer various additional benefits like free travel insurance, free life insurance, free Airport Lounge access, concierge service, free movie tickets, etc. So, do compare the benefits available before shortlisting a Credit Card.
With the power of the internet at your fingertips, finding out the necessary information about different Credit Cards is not a tall order. It is worth the effort as the benefits to be gained are quite substantial. The services of the financial services marketplace like MyMoneyMantra come handy in such a situation. They offer free online support to choose and avail of a credit product of your choice.
Also Read: Indian Credit Card Industry: A Sneak Peek
To apply online for Home Loan, Personal Loan, Credit Card, Business Loan & LAP visit www.mymoneymantra.com, the leading online lending marketplace that offers financial products from 100+ Banks and NBFCs. We have served 4 million+ happy customers since 1989.