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Credit Cards

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.

Credit Card by Category ( Choose your favorite credit card by your needs )

Credit Card = Plastic Money

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.

How to Apply For a Credit Card Online? 

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.

 Here’s How You Can Apply for a Credit Card Online

  1. Check different card options, benefits, schemes, and reward programs on a bank’s website. For instance, if you want to apply for an SBI credit card, then visit SBI’s website and check various card options.
  2. The portal will ask for a few details from you such as name, residence, employment status, DOB, permanent address, email id, phone number, gender, pin code, and father’s/spouse’s name. Fill in the details and move ahead.
  3. Now, provide your employer details and your yearly/monthly income as asked by the bank’s credit card portal.
  4. There are other options such as ‘if you already have a credit card’ and ‘if you have a bank account’ in the particular bank you are applying credit card for. Select the correct answer and move forward.
  5. After this stage, you’ll be able to see credit card options you can apply for based on your credit score and yearly income.
  6. Carefully check all the benefits, schemes, and reward programs again, and also read the terms and conditions. Then select the card and proceed.
  7. Some bank websites also ask for OTP verification and scanned copy of documents, so, make sure you enter the correct mobile number and have scanned copy of documents ready with you.
  8. The bank representative will call you and tell you the further process.

How to apply for a Credit Card through Offline?

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.

Eligibility Criteria for Credit Cards

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.

Hazards of online credit cards

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.

Fees and Charges levied on Credit Card

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-

  1. Annual fee - Every credit card has an annual maintenance fee applicable for one year, and cards that are offered for free, usually rebate first year’s maintenance fees.
  2. Interests - If you fail to pay the credit or borrowed amount in the grace period, your credited amount is subjected to interest decided upon earlier.
  3. Cost of overseas transactions - Every overseas transaction made by you is charged with certain fees, which is generally 3.5 % of the transaction amount.
  4. Cash withdrawal interest - If you ever withdraw cash from your credit card, this amount is charged with an interest, which is higher than the normal interest rate.
  5. Fees for overusing card limit - If you cross the limit of credit and still use your card, the bank charges you some fees for crossing the card limit even by Re 1.
  6. Fees for late payment - When you pay the bill within grace period there is no interest, and after that, you have to pay interest. However, if you don’t pay the credit amount for more than 90 days, you are charged late payment fee.
  7. Fees for card replacement - When you replace your card due to any underlying reasons, you have to pay fees for card replacement.
  8. Surcharges - If you have ever noticed, then every petrol bill transaction comes with an additional surcharge, which is either 2.5 % of the total credited amount or a flat rate of Rs 10 – Rs 25.
  9. Service tax - Every single transaction from your card carries a service tax.

Analyzing Leading Banks’ Credit Cards in India

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:

 1. SBI Simply Save

• 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

2. ICICI Coral Card

• 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

3. HDFC Moneyback Card

• 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

4. American Express Gold Card

• 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

5. SBI Platinum Card

• 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

6. RBL Platinum Maxima Card

• 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 

How Many Numbers does a Credit Card Have?

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.

Uses of Credit Card

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.

 Here are Some of the Major Uses of a Credit Card:

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.

Credit Card – Features

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.

Benefits of Credit Card

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.

Grace Period of a Credit Card

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.

 What is a grace period?

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

 Primary Credit Cards in India

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

Important Documents essential for applying Credit 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.

 Documents Needed Are:

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.

Credit Card Age Eligibility

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.

Other Credit Card Eligibility Criteria

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)

Checklist for applying Credit Card

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.

How are EMIs calculated for Credit Cards?

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.

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