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Learn More About Credit Cards

Credit Card Overview

A credit card is a handy way to meet immediate expenses when you are low on cash flow. A credit card gives you access to funds for any purchase or expenses based on your limit. Following this, you get a month to make repayments towards the used up limit. 

Credit cards are also convenient for both online and offline transactions. You do not have to worry about carrying cash with you anymore. Not just that, you can enjoy several perks and benefits with every spend. 

Types of Credit Cards Available in India

  • Rewards Credit Cards: With these credit cards, the cardholder earns rewards points for every purchase or transaction.
  • Corporate Credit Cards: Business or corporate credit cards are designed for companies, businesses, limited companies, banks, and partnerships that need an account to keep a track of its expenses.
  • Cashback Credit Cards: This type of credit card offers cashbacks on purchases made using the card.
  • Entertainment Credit Cards: These cards offer discounts and rewards on purchase of entertainment products.
  • Lifestyle Credit Cards: These are mostly premium credit cards that offer benefits in the lifestyle segment, such as access to golf clubs, exclusive dining privileges in partner restaurants, discounts on travel, etc.
  • Prepaid Credit Cards: These credit cards are similar to debit cards having the benefits of a credit card. You can deposit a certain amount in an account which becomes your credit limit against which you can swipe the card. These Credit cards are ideal for individuals with low credit score.
  • Travel Credit Cards: These cards are usually offered by banks or other financial institutions in association with travel websites and airline companies. Thes cards offer special discounts and privileges for bookings on these airlines and portals, such as air miles, access to airport lounges, rewards points, travel insurance, extra luggage, etc.
  • Secured Credit Cards: As the name suggests, these cards are issued against a security amount deposited by a cardholder. Customers having a poor credit score can open a fixed deposit in favour of the bank to get these credit cards.
  • Student Credit Cards: These cards are issued to college students aged 18 years or above. They are valid for 5 years and have very low credit card interest rates and low credit limits. Many banks offer these cards as add-on cards to their parents' credit cards.

Features & Benefits of a Credit Card

  • Credit Cards are the perfect alternative to cash. There is no need for carrying large amounts of money when you have a Credit Card.
  • You get an interest-free window depending on the date of billing and the due date. The maximum interest-free period is between 45 and 55 days.
  • Credit cardholders can avail cash advance facility on an urgent basis. Every Credit Card comes with a cash advance limit (not an interest-free advance). You have to pay interest on the cash advance portion from day 1.
  • You can own a Credit Card and enjoy various benefits that come with it such as bonus points, gift vouchers, rewards programs, cashback benefits, and multiple other benefits.
  • Banks allow credit cardholders to apply for add-on cards for their family members. They can use these cards on an individual basis.
  • Banks issue unique Credit Cards that allow the cardholders to avail travel benefits like air miles, airport lounge access, airline offers, hotel offers, and travel insurance. These cards are also known as Co-branded Credit Cards.
  • Some Credit Cards come with lifestyle benefits like dining, shopping, entertainment, and wellness and so forth.
  • Many banks offer fuel surcharge waivers to their credit cardholders.
  • Proper usage of the Credit Card can improve your credit history.
  • Today, you have international Credit Cards that allow you to make payments in foreign currency. You can also withdraw cash in foreign currency when you travel abroad.
  • There are Credit Cards that come with general insurance coverage. Some cards come with lost card liability or insurance to protect the cardholders from missing cards and forged transactions.
  • Various banks offer credit cards balance transfer options to transfer the outstanding balance on existing credit cards at low interest rate.

How to Apply for a Credit Card

To apply for the best credit card, all you have to do is follow a few simple steps: 

  • Compare all the credit card offers available by clicking on the ‘Compare and Apply Button’
  • Fill up your personal details on the credit card document form that opens.
  • Submit the form to get a list of available offers.
  • Choose the one that suits you best and click on ‘Apply’
  • Submit the online application form and you will hear from our representatives if you are eligible.
  • Alternatively, you can also connect with the credit card customer care of the provider to take things forward.
  • Also check cibil score for credit card before applying.

Credit Card Eligibility

  • Minimum age of the applicant: 21 years (18 years in some cases)
  • Maximum age of the applicant: 65 years
  • Monthly income: Minimum 20,000 per month
  • Credit score: 750 or above (You can check cibil score by pan card)
  • Nationality: Indian resident or Non-resident Indian (NRI)

Documents Required to Apply for a Credit Card

Identity Proof - Any one
  • PAN Card
  • Aadhar Card
  • Passport
  • Driving Licence
  • Voter ID Card
Address Proof - Any one
  • Registered Rent Agreement or Lease Agreement
  • Aadhar card
  • Passport
  • Ration Card
  • Telephone, Gas, or Electricity bill
Proof of Income - Salaried
  • Salary Certificate
  • Recent salary slip
  • Employment letter
  • Form 16 / IT Returns
Proof of Income - Self-employed
  • Financial documents like Audited Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss Statement
  • ITR for the preceding year
  • Proof of continuity of business
Other credit card documents
  • Photocopy of PAN Card or Form 60
  • Colour photograph

How to use a Credit Card Effectively

While a credit card is a great financial aid, it can lead to serious debts. You may have the Best Credit Card in India, but if you do not use it wisely, you can land in trouble. Here are some tips on using your credit card effectively: 

  • Avoid using credit cards when any additional tax is applicable.
  • Use credit cards only when you need to.
  • Avoid using the full limit each month as it affects your credit score.
  • Make sure you pay the full amount pending on or before the due date.
  • Avoid paying minimum balance as it causes your outstanding amount to pile up, leading to debts.

Additional Reading: How to increase cibil score immediately?

Best Credit Cards in India

Here is the list of best credit cards available in India basis on their categories, annual fees, and renewal fees. You can compare them and choose what suits you the best, depending on your need and budget.

Credit Card TypeCategoryAnnual FeeRenewal Fee
SBI SimplyCLICK Credit CardShopping499499 
SBI Elite Credit CardLifestyle4,999 + Taxes4,999 + Taxes 
IRCTC SBI Platinum Credit CardTravel500 + Taxes 300
SBI Prime Credit CardRewards2,999 + Taxes2,999 + Taxes 
SimplySAVE SBI Credit CardShopping499499 
Axis Bank Flipkart Credit CardLifestyle500 + GST 500 + GST
IndianOil Axis Bank Credit CardRewards & Shopping500 500 

How to Make Card Bill Payment via Net Banking & Mobile Banking?

How to pay credit card bill through net banking?

  • Register for a Net Banking facility with the bank where you have savings or current bank account.
  • You can also link your bank credit cards to Net Banking account (using your ATM pin) after logging into your Net Banking account.
  • You can then access or view your credit card limit, statements, billed/unbilled transactions, due dates, reward points earned and other information via the net banking facility for up to 6 months.
  • Log in to the net banking facility on the bank's website to pay your credit card dues. Go into the credit card tab and choose the "Credit Card Payment" option.
  • Pay your bills using your bank savings account.

How to pay credit card bill through mobile banking?

  • You can also use your bank's mobile banking application for making outstanding bill payments.
  • Download and install the app on your mobile.
  • Use your customer ID to log into the app.
  • You can view all credit card information like a net banking portal.
  • Go into the credit card tab and select the "Credit Card Payment" option to pay the credit card dues.
  • You can pay or transact for anything from anywhere by accessing your savings account using the mobile app.

What is the minimum income required to get a credit card?

Minimum income required to apply for a credit card is Rs. 20,000 per month. However, it may vary from lender to lender.

What is a credit card limit?

Every Credit Card has a revolving credit limit beyond which you cannot make any transaction. Banks approve these limits based on your eligibility. You cannot use the card for amounts exceeding your limit. The banks review the limits at the time of renewal. Based on the usage and repayment history, banks can enhance or reduce the limit.

What is an Add on Credit Card?

The Add-On Credit Card is an additional credit card issued to the immediate family members of the principal applicant. The Add-On cards do not have any separate limits. Family members can use this card independently but within the limits of the primary Credit Card.

What is the credit card interest rate?

Every card has an interest-free period depending on the billing cycle and the due date for repayment. Usually, it is around 20 days to a maximum of 52 or 55 days. If you make the full payment on or before the due date, there is no interest. However, if you make a part-payment, the balance amount will attract interest. These credit card interest rates vary from bank to bank. Usually, it is in the range of 3% to 3.5% per month.

What is the minimum credit score for a credit card?

You need a credit score of 750 or above to be eligible for most credit cards.

Can I get a credit card with a bad credit score?

When you have a low credit score, usually, you don't get approval for a regular credit card. However, there are some ways to still obtain a credit card, such as applying for a secured credit card or add-on credit card.

What does 'minimum due' mean on a credit card statement?

It is an essential concept. Credit Cards allow you an interest-free period ranging from 20 days to around 52 to 55 days depending on the billing cycle. Every month the bank sends the bill for the credit card. You should pay the entire balance to take advantage of the interest-free period in the subsequent billing cycle. However, you can opt to make a part-payment of the bill. Every bill has a minimum credit card payment due (usually 5% of the outstanding amount) amount. You can pay an amount equal to or more than the minimum payment due to enjoy the Credit Card limits. The difference between the bill amount and the payment you make is subject to interest in the range of 3% to 3.5% per month.

What is the difference between a debit card and credit card?

Debit cards enable spending money by drawing on funds you have deposited at the bank whereas credit cards allow you to borrow money from the card issuer up to a specific limit to purchase items or withdraw cash. Money is instantly deducted from your savings account if you transact with a debit card whereas in case of a credit card, you transact now and pay later on or before the due date.

What are the common types of credit cards?

Some common types of credit cards are:

  • Secured credit card
  • Prepaid credit card
  • Add-on credit card
  • Entertainment credit card
  • Lifestyle credit card
  • Rewards credit card
  • Corporate credit card
  • Cashback credit card
  • Travel credit card
  • Student credit card
  • Lifetime free credit card

Can I increase my credit limit on my credit card?

The banks review the limits at the time of renewal. Based on the usage and repayment history, banks can enhance or reduce the limit.

Can I use my credit card in foreign countries?

Yes. Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted worldwide. However, it is better to ask your credit card provider about global acceptance of the card and bring a widely accepted credit card.

What is the CVV number on a credit card?

Every card has a CVV (Card Verification Value) number written on the reverse side of the card. It is usually a 3-digit number. American Express cards have a 4-digit CVV number embossed on the face of the card. The CVV number is an anti-fraud security feature.

How can I redeem my reward points?

Every transaction on your Credit Card can earn reward points that can be redeemed for fuel, shopping, air tickets, and so on, depending on the credit card features. Reward points can be redeemed through your net banking account, during payment option on various partner online shopping portals, while making credit card payment at the partner merchant's store, mobile app or website of the card issuer, or by calling the customer care number of the card issuer. Every credit card provider has their own redemption options. Look for the redemption terms of the card on the issuer's website or your credit card documents.   

What are the charges for withdrawing cash using my credit card?

Almost all Credit Cards have a cash withdrawal limit. You can withdraw instant cash up to the limit from any ATM. Banks charge a cash withdrawal fee on every withdrawal, which can range anywhere between 2.5% to 3.5% of the amount withdrawn. This cash advance facility attracts interest from day 1.

What is the value of reward points?

The value of 1 reward point can be 10 paise to Re 1, depending on the terms of the credit card issuer.