Credit Card is popularly known as digital money. It is a payment card issued to the cardholders to enable them to pay a shopkeeper for the purchase of goods and services. It is based on the card holder’s promise to the card issuer to pay for the final transacted amount which includes other charges.
The issuer of credit card – bank, will create a revolving account and will grant a line of credit to the cardholder, from where the cardholder can borrow money for payment to a merchant or as a cash advance.
A credit card allows the user to borrow money from the bank to make purchases.
As long as the borrower pays the money within 25-30 days, they need not have to pay any extra money. Failing to do so will attract a percentage of additional charges along with the actually borrowed money from the bank.
With the introduction of a credit card, an individual need not have to carry cash all the time. A credit card in hand will reduce the need to carry cash as the plastic money acts as a perfect substitute for paper money. Customers can pay for a wide array of products and services across the globe using a credit card.
In today’s world, many banks and financial institutions are offering various varieties of credit cards as per the requirements of the customers. A few among them are – lifestyle credit card, entertainment credit card, travel credit card, co-branded credit card (tie-ups with leading brands) and so on. These cards are usually classified based on the yearly income of the cardholder.
Today, everybody wants a credit card and the reason behind it is feasibility. This small thing fits in your pocket but still gives you the power to buy anything from groceries to furniture. Its actual benefit lies in the fact that you can borrow money and you don’t have to pay the interest if you clear the bill within the billing cycle.
Now, How do you apply for a credit card online?
In this era of digitization, you can easily visit any bank’s website, check out available credit card options, look out for features and apply for the card. Most of the banks even send a representative for collecting your documents right at your doorstep.
A Credit Score is a statistical number which helps to evaluate an individual’s creditworthiness and it is completely based on credit history. Most of the lenders do use the credit score of the consumers to evaluate the probability of how an individual will repay his or her earlier debts.
The credit score range of consumers can vary between 300 – 850 points, the higher the score, the higher will be the financial trustworthiness of a person and vice versa.
The model of Credit Score was created by the Fair Issac Corporation (FICO) and is currently used by most of the financial institutions. Apart from FICO, there are many other credit scoring systems used by lenders to evaluate the creditworthiness of a customer.
Consumers can maintain a long history by paying their bills, dues on credit card on time which helps them to keep the debt amount low and thus possess a high score. The credit score plays an important role for a lender to decide whether to offer credit or not. Having a good credit score also comes in handy if the consumer is looking out to secure a loan from any of the financial institutions in India.
The way to do this is to simply walk into a bank branch and seek the services of the help desk. But before you do that it is a good idea to check eligibility as also why do it this way rather than the more tempting online.
The primary consideration for a credit card is a salaried income and a decent credit score. For those without a salaried income you need a fixed deposit. There is a minimum salary and credit rating criteria which varies from bank to bank. You will also be required to submit address proof, ID proof, Salary details including IT returns and PAN card copy.
The principal benefit of offline credit card is that you have an office to go to when you are in trouble. Credit cards are useful, but also risky. Loss and credit card frauds do happen. Should this happen, dealing with interactive voice response system can be quite intimidating, especially when loss or potential loss of money is imminent. Also, credit card marketing is a favorite amongst online fraudsters and con men.
Getting a credit card offline involves filling out a form, submitting documents and verification, wherein a bank official will visit your residence or office, after which the card is mailed to your correspondence address. Credit cards are better obtained from a bank branch rather than online. Subsequently you may manage it through their portal.
Every credit card comes with some fees and charges. Yes, these charges can be avoided, but, it is important to know what fees and charges a credit card can have. Here’s the list-
Credit cards are a necessity today, and after demonetization, cashless ways of transactions have become more popular. Hence, to analyze the best credit card according to your requirements, you need to evaluate features of the card first.
Here are some top cards and its features:
• 499 INR joining charges
• First ATM withdrawal cashback of 100 INR
• Fuel surcharge waiver of 2.5%
• 4 reward points amount to 1 INR
• Accepted worldwide
• Flexipay EMI options
• 199 INR joining charges
• No annual fees for the first year
• 2.5% cashback on fuel payments
• Up to 15% savings on dining bills
• Discount of 100 INR on 2 movie tickets monthly
• No annual fees
• No joining fees
• Online payments give 3X reward points
• 2 reward points for spending 150 INR
• 100 reward points amount to 40 INR
• 250 INR fuel surcharge waiver in every billing cycle
• 1000 INR joining charges
• 4500 INR annual charges
• 4,000 reward points when the card is used 3 times in first 60 days
• 1,000 reward points when the card is used 6 times in a month for 1,000 INR or above transactions
• MakyMyTrip.com discounts
• No pre-set limit card
• Option to redeem with the gold collection of 18 and 24 carat
• 20% discount on selected dining restaurants
• 1,000 INR BookMyShow vouchers
• 2,999 INR joining charges
• 3,000 INR e-gift voucher
• 5 reward points equal to 1 INR
• 300 golf course access across the world
• EMI balance transfer option
• No joining charges
• No annual fees for the first year
• 5X rewards on utility, fuel, entertainment, and dining bills
• 18,000 INR worth benefits
• 10,000 reward points on the yearly spend of 3.5 lakhs
Credit cards have become an essential part of our life. It is, therefore, useful to understand how they work, especially the numbering system. Payment cards follow global standards of numbering scheme specified in ISO/IEC 7812 standards. Numbering scheme not only provides a common language for the system to communicate but also incorporates security features to ensure certainty in the transaction.
Credit cards generally have 16 digits embossed in boldface in front of the card. The first six digits identify the originator of the card and are called Issuer Identification Number. The remaining digits less the last digit identifies the client or the user account. The last digit is a checksum, the result of a specific mathematical operation on the other 15 digits, also called Luhn algorithm. For generating the checksum, the digits in odd-numbered positions are multiplied by two. If the result is two digits, the digits are again added till a single digit is reached. The 8 modified digits in odd positions are then added to the 7 existing digits to the even position digit. The checksum is the number required to increase the sum to the nearest ten-digit number, e.g. if the sum is 54, the checksum will be 6.
Other important numbers on the card include the Card Verification value or CVV number, the validity date and the PIN. Understanding how these numbers works can protect you from fraud, especially when someone asks for such numbers.
Credit Cards can be used for a whole variety of purposes. Issued by a credit card provider, credit cards are accepted worldwide in several places within your home country and abroad and hence can be very handy. Although they can be used anywhere, there are charges applicable for their use, so always check your credit card agreement before going ahead.
When your new credit card process is completed you will get a refund on your account that you have to pay back later. The charged amount will be removed from your credit balance but it may show for some days on your credit card statement. That statement is the bill of your credit card which show all your transaction and payment details for the month.
The most common ways of credit card payments:-
1. Signing up for a credit card with some major banks, by itself, comes with a series of perks like sign-up bonuses or reward points, which can be redeemed for purposes like purchase of movie tickets, or for other such entertainment options. But, not all banks provide sign-up perks.
2. There are special cards that offer air miles based on the amount you spend on your card. Similarly, there are fuel cards, using which you can waive the fuel surcharge.
3. Few credit cards when used for shopping or at restaurants offer discounts. Some of the credit cards use cash back rewards when used.
4. Paying with credit card is always a safer option, as it prevents incidents of theft. Carrying huge amount of cash in your purse is always a risk, and even in case of debit cards, if it is used by a third person, you lose money from your account instantly. But, in case of credit cards, even when somebody uses the card fraudulently, you will not lose money from your account. You just have to notify your bank about the wrong transaction made immediately.
A credit card is like a magic box. It provides numerous benefits, and if you use it right, credit cards have a lot to offer. Here are some of the amazing features of a credit card.
1. Cash alternative- A credit card is the best alternative to cash. You don’t actually need to carry cash anywhere, just use your card to pay bills. It is highly feasible to carry one card all around the world rather than hiding cash at various places in your luggage.
2. Good credit limit- Most credit cards are issued with a handsome limit. You may not have a certain amount of money in your account at any point, but you can use your credit card to pay large bills.
3. Allows both foreign and domestic currency payment- Many of us like to shop from foreign websites or when we go out of the country, we need to pay bills. For situations like these, credit card offers payment options in both domestic as well as foreign currency.
4. Records of all transactions at one place- You can find a record of all your transactions at one place very easily.
5. Regular offers and benefits- Most credit cards offer amazing benefits and come up with regular offers for cash back, discounts, and bonus points and hence use wisely.
6. The grace period for paying the debt- Generally, while borrowing credit from a bank or any other financial institution we have to pay interest. However, credit cards offer a grace period to pay back borrowed amount without interest.
7. Cash withdrawal facility available-Iin case of an emergency, you can easily withdraw cash from your credit card, but this will be charged at a higher interest.
8. Service charge included in used amount- All the transactions from a credit card are subjected to a service tax, and many issuers give schemes to reverse this tax.
If you use your credit card intelligently, then you can avail various benefits from it without paying any extra amount. However, if you don’t have control over your spending habits, then you might end up losing a huge amount of money on interests.
Here are some benefits you can reap from your credit card if you use it logically and cleverly.
1. Flexibility- Credit cards give you the flexibility of paying a large bill all at once. You don’t have to wait to save money. You can simply pay with your credit card and save the money until your next billing cycle.
2. Credit Protection- Most credit card providers offer credit protection of some amount. So, if your transaction goes wrong or any fraudulent activity happens, you won’t lose your money. This is not possible in case of debit cards and cash; your money will be gone for real.
3. Take credit for free- If you pay your credit bills before the end of next billing cycle, you won’t have to pay any interest.
4. Receive extra benefits while spending- Most credit cards give you additional benefits such as cash back, discounts, and loyalty points.
5. Take a loan on your card- Sometimes when you really need the cash or money, you can take a loan on your credit card. The interest will be a bit costly, but this is a great option for withdrawing money instantly.
6. Make EMIs on large credits- If you have a good limit credit card, then you can opt for EMI payment option for a big bill.
A grace period is the time window you get to repay your credit or borrowed money without any interest charges. Here’s how grace period works.
When you use your credit card and borrow some money from it, you can usually pay this amount back without any interest. The time allowed to repay the borrowed money back is called as a grace period. This time is normally 20 to 30 days, but it depends on the credit card issuer.
This grace period is the time frame that starts with the ending of your billing cycle and ends at the due date. If you have ever read your billing message carefully, you would have seen a due date mentioned in it clearly, that is the ending of the grace period. And the day you receive your bill, it means your new credit card cycle has started and so has your grace period.
Let’s consider an example-
• Your billing cycle starts on the 3rd of every month
• Your due date to pay bills without interest is 23rd of every month.
• So, if you purchase something worth Rs. 5000 on 10th of any month, your bill will be generated on the 3rd of the next month
• This bill will amount to Rs. 5000 if you have made only this payment
• You will also be given extra 20 days (i.e. until 23rd of that month) grace period to repay the amount to avoid interest.
• If you fail to pay Rs. 5000 before or on 23rd, then your amount of Rs. 5000 will be subjected to an interest agreed upon beforehand
We all know how a credit card works – you pay for your purchase and this credit is deducted from your total available credit amount. Now, the total credit that you take on this card in a month should be repaid generally in 20 to 45 days’ time (the billing cycle) to avoid paying interest on the borrowed money.
Credit cards are really feasible, and if you use it right, these cards can really help you in case of an emergency and also to build a good credit score.
Other benefits of credit cards include being able to pay online, which is not possible in case of cash, and you can even take a loan on credit cards or use EMI options for repayment of large credits. Most cards offer you amazing benefits including cash-backs, discounts, loyalty points, memberships, petrol discounts, and lounge access. All these things are hard to get with debit cards or cash.
However, to avail all these useful benefits, you have to choose the right card first. Here’s our list of 10 best Indian credit cards. These credit cards are simply worth having as they offer various discounts, lounge access, movie tickets, yearly benefits, cash-backs, petrol cash back, and other rewards.
1. ICICI Bank’s Coral Contactless Card
2. HSBC’s Visa Platinum Card
3. IndusInd Bank’s Platinum Card
4. IndianOil’s Citi Platinum Card
5. SBI’s Platinum Card
6. Jet Airways American Express Platinum Card
7. HDFC Bank’s Diners Club Card
8. Citi Bank’s Cashback Card
9. Kotak PVR Gold Card
10.Axis Bank’s Neo Card
Whether you are an online or offline shopaholic or love to eat at famous food joints or any other purchases or even a bit of showoff, keeping a credit card has its advantages. The disadvantages would depend upon your spending only. So if you are an alert and conscious spender, right now apply for a credit card. Please note the maximum credit card you own from reputed banks, helps in distributing your funds and also eases repayments and purchases.
Whether online or offline, the documents needed remains the same. But for you people who have less time to visit a branch, I make your task simpler. Keep all the documents necessary, and log in to the bank you wish to apply for a credit card and upload your documents and you are done.
If you are the primary cardholder and are somewhere between 18 to 70 years old and have a salary anywhere between 1.5 to 2 lacs p.a, then with the following documents, you are eligible to apply for the credit card.
1. PAN Card copy
2. Income proof, which may include the pay slip or the IT Returns filed
3. Proof of Residence, which can be anyone from the following passport, ration card, electricity bill, telephone bill
4. Identity Proof, anyone from the following Driving license, Passport, Aadhaar or Pan Card
5. Age Proof, anyone from the following, birth certificate, 10th certificate
6. Colored Photographs
Your effort would be to review each and every credit card before applying.
Most banks offer credit cards to anyone above the age of 18 years. However, there are a few banks that have higher credit card age eligibility criteria. For example, banks such as HDFC and the State Bank of India offer credit cards to anyone above the age of 21 years only.
That’s not all! The credit card age eligibility may differ depending on the type of card you’re looking to apply for. Basic credit cards may allow you to apply for one at 18 years of age. However, for something a little more high-end or premium, you may need to be older than 18 years.
Another thing to note is that you don’t have to be 18 years by the day. As long as your year of birth accounts to 18 years prior to the date, you’re applying for a card, you’re eligible to apply for one.
There is also an upper limit to the credit card age eligibility criteria. While some banks have this as 65 years, others have an upper limit of 70 years. Also, individuals applying for add-on cards should be at least 15 years old.
Apart from your age, there are other eligibility criteria you must meet. These include (but are not restricted to):
- Resident of India
- Salaried or self-employed
- Should have a PAN Card
- Should have a valid ID and address proof
- Should have proof of income (at least 3 months)
Nowadays, credit cards work everywhere from malls to grocery shops and ice-cream parlors. If you have a credit card lying in your bag, you practically don’t have to carry cash for anything. Just take out your card and start grocery shopping, run errands, buy waffles, or go on an impromptu shopping spree.
However, there are some things you need to keep in mind before applying for a credit card.
1. Check your credit score- Generally, a credit score of 700 and above is considered good for applying for a credit card. So, visit any website that offers free credit score calculation, and evaluate your credit score.
2. Quit applying for every card- If you are applying for every possible credit card, it can affect your chances of getting it because many providers will check that you have already applied for so many cards. Stick to two or three cards.
3. Check if you have the documents- Every credit card provider will ask for identity proof, age proof, income proof, and address proof. For NRI customers, there are additional documents required, which you can check beforehand on the provider’s website.
4. Look for other alternatives- Getting your very first credit card is usually hard because there is no credit history, so, banks don’t have any basis for offering credit. Look for other options like getting a card on your salary account, and if you are self-employed, check for cards in which you can give some money as a fixed deposit and take a card on that deposit. This will build your credit score, hence, making it easy to apply for further cards.
If your credit card application is approved, be responsible. Pay your bills on time and don’t mess with your chance of getting better cards in future.
Are you someone who loves to purchase expensive items or antiques etc. But you do not have the net cash, and hence purchase your desire with the help of your credit card instead of asking for loans from banks.
But do you repay the credit taken by the due date or you are a defaulter?
If a defaulter, then here comes an easy way out. Opt for the EMI option.
Confused. Since we have only heard EMI being given for housing loans especially written work from banks. But these days credit cards also have the EMI facility, making purchase simpler and repay much easier.
But the question now that arises is that how is the EMI calculated here.
Simply in layman's terms, the EMI on credit cards is similar to the housing loan EMIs.
It consists of the principal amount and an interest charged upon the principal amount and the duration or tenure. Simple as it sounds, isn't it?
But wait, think again, is it really that simple?
Though with every EMI, you end up paying more amount, nothing different here. The catch here is that with an EMI on the credit card, you end up paying additional as they even calculate the service tax and additional tax and GST in the principal amount. Thus the principal amount is up by 18% to 20%.
Secondly, your credit card score limit reduces and hence you cannot make any heavy purchases unless you have repaid your EMIs.
Hence before you make any purchases with the credit card on EMI basis, check the terms and conditions and if possible negotiate with the authorities before striking a deal.
Below are some important things to consider before converting your credit card bills to EMI or when you opt for a merchant EMI.
Choosing the Right Mandate: Banks generally offer a low-interest rate on long-term EMIs. For example, you could be billed 20% p.a. on the 3-month mandate but 18% p.a. on an annual mandate. If you choose 18% p.a. because it charges a lower interest rate, you will end up paying more. The illustration below will show you how.
Suitable Credit Card:If you have multiple cards, compare the interest rates offered on different cards. Banks take many criteria into account when deciding the interest rate, including loyalty to the bank, income, type of credit card, etc. Sometimes the same bank may charge different fees on different cards.
Reward Points / Discounts: Converting purchases to EMI may result in the loss of Reward Points or other discounts / offers you may otherwise have received. If the deals on offer are large, consider saving money for the purchase instead of converting them to EMI.
Credit Limit Blocked: When using the EMI feature, the purchase amount is frozen related to the credit limit. So your available credit limit is lowered until you pay the EMIs. The credit limit increases after each payment and is equivalent to the amount paid. However, if you make an initial payment for the entire purchase, the total amount of the purchase will be added to your available limit.
Credit Score: We saw above how the EMI conversion blocks the credit limit. Therefore, customers should be aware that this can reduce their credit score. This happens because the credit utilization rate is increasing. The credit usage ratio is the ratio of purchases made to the credit limit on the card. A higher credit utilization ratio could lower the credit rating.
Timely Payments: If you have opted for EMI conversion, you should make sure to pay the amount owed is paid promptly (including EMI) on the due date. Missed payments will result in late fees and finance charges which, in turn, could create a debt spiral.
Billing cycles are crucial for credit card functionality of credit cards. That's why it is important to understand the billing cycles for financial planning. You must know about several terms and conditions associated with credit cards. You can use your card to avail great benefits once you are aware of your credit card billing process. The billing cycle relates to your credit card bill period. The statement about the billing cycle will cover all the transactions that take place during the billing cycle.
Billing cycle appears uniquely to your credit card, you probably always meet the experience as they are relatively prevalent for utility and subscription services including loans and mortgages and much more. A billing cycle is a period for which the persistent service fee has been charged. Account fees are represented in the billing statement that will be forward to you after the end of your billing cycle. In case of credit cards, a billing statement shows you the prior balance, payments made during the billing cycle, outstanding balance interest, minimum fees and due date and new balance for the statement period. But you will receive a monthly statement for any remaining balance until your account is fully paid off even if you close your account. Some billing cycles may begin and end on the account opening date.
However, sometimes billing cycle of a credit card may be shorter or longer than a typical period. The duration of a credit card billing cycle is not limited although it has a period about 27 to 30 days in some cases, you may have more days than a frequent month in your billing cycle. Normally a new credit card account begins with a zero balance on the first day of the first billing cycle. You don't have to wait for your printed copy of billing statements to make payments one can view it online by just log-in to your account and view your balance, last payment amount, credit availability and much more. Duly check your online account and keep yourself up-to-date for the available credit balance which also enables you to access any unauthorized charges. At the time of the next billing cycle, the balance will begin at the end of the preceding billing cycle and includes only those transactions which are made into your account during your next billing statement.
Your statement date is usually at least 21 days before your payment date or the date you are required to pay your bill. Any new charges will be reflected in your next statement after your statement date unless they have been paid before the due date. You do not have to pay the whole balance but least you have to pay a minimum credit card charges as per the requirements. You will be charged a late fee and your APR(Annual Percentage Rate) could be affected if you miss paying your bills regularly. The balance transfer will also be included if you transfer your balance into a new credit card. If an amount such as fuel surcharge waiver or reversal is paid back to your credit card, it is removed from the bill and the ultimate bill will be created.
You have to deposit a minimum amount on your credit on or before your credit card payment due date to keep your card active. You can also prevent late payments penalties on your credit card up to Rs 1000 by making the minimum payment. The bank will continue to charge interest on the remaining sum once the minimum payment is done.
Payment Due Dates
The minimum payment due date is 21-25 days from the last billing cycle date. This implies that you do not make any payment for purchases until your next billing cycle date. There is a period between the end date of your billing cycle and the grace period or bill due date. Usually, before the end of the grace period, you can pay your balance to avoid interest in your balance. If you do not pay your entire balance after your previous billing cycle or if you have transferred balance then you may not receive a grace period.
Grace Periods and APRS
Many issuers of the credit card give initial prices which last rather than months in certain payment cycles.
For instance, an initial rate of 12 billing cycles would effectively be around 10 months assuming a billing period of 25 days. An initial rate for the 18 billing cycles will be around 15 months. Any balance paid before the end of the grace period is effectively free of interest so the interest will not be applied until the date of the payment. In some cases, the interest is applied to the new balance if the balance is carried over into the next billing cycle. Your credit card application should include the specifics of the grace period of your card.
Your credit card report contains a summary of your portfolio and also your management information including your transaction history, monthly billing information and credit limit. At the end of the billing cycle, your issuer of the credit card will check your credit report which is also the closing date for your account statement. However, your card will be disclosed to the credit bureau on the last day of your billing cycle. If you need the credit card statement to display the zero balance on the card, you must have to pay the cash in advance of the last day of your bill.
Creditors report at distinct times to credit bureaus- Some creditors submit to the credit bureaus at or around the closure of your statement. This can be helpful if you apply for a loan or simply try to enhance your credit because payments will reduce the credit ratio. All payment choices should be done first and foremost about your investments, but this can be a great chance to think smartly according to your financial condition.
There might be errors in your billing statement- Due to identity theft and easy counting errors it is a fact that you may have errors in your billing statements. You must check your statement quickly and ensure that you have all the information regarding the charges. If you find any errors you must correct them within 60 days by sending in a written letter. You can also contact your credit card issuer and obey the measures mentioned in the manual when your account has been robbed or used fraudulently.