Credit cards are one of the most preferred modes of alternate currency across the world. They offer a host of benefits that can help the cardholder utilize and manage their finances in a much more effective way. There has been a total of approximately 158 million credit card transactions in India in 2019 alone, showing the extent of how people use, and prefer to use it in their daily life.
Cashbacks, reward points, fuel surcharge waiver, loyalty programs, etc. are some of the more common reward programs offered by credit cards. Some of the credit card owners enjoy various other facilities, which can range from saving thousands every year to access to premium airport lounge spaces.
Credit cards – a quick overview
- Approximately Rs. 2,000 Crore was transacted through credit cards in the month of December 2018.
- Approximately Rs. 55,000 Crore is the total sum transacted between a 12 month period (December 2017 and December 2018.)
- 9.13 million Credit cards were added between February 2018 and February 2019.
However, acquiring the best credit card might prove to be an intricate task, especially with the multitude of options available in the current Indian market. Prospective cardholders, especially first time applicants, should be very careful opting for services and benefits they do not really need for.
How to choose the right card?
Selecting the right card starts requires understanding one’s spending patterns and requirements. A feature-rich credit card should complement and reward one’s expenses. It is necessary to select the one that offers maximum benefits and privileges in the category that they spend on.
Additionally, there are several other factors one should remember while they apply for credit card. Here are 6 of the most essential questions one should ask them before becoming a cardholder.
What are the fees and charges?
Credit card companies charge several fees against the services provided. These can range from an annual processing fee to a one-time joining fee levied exclusively when someone applies for a card. It is necessary to select a credit card company that charges only the minimum fees to ensure the overall cost stays low. Cards like Bajaj Finserv RBL Bank Super Card charge only the minimum fees; they also supplement the charged amount with ample sign-up rewards which a customer can redeem for future expenses.
What is the offered credit limit?
The credit limit is the maximum amount a cardholder is allowed to spend from that particular credit account. It is decided by the financial institution while issuing a credit card, based on various parameters like an applicants’ credit history, earning, fixed obligation to income ratio, repayment capability, etc. The best credit card should have a higher credit limit, allowing the cardholder to transact more when needed and get the most out of the credit card.
What are the exclusive services?
Exclusive services refer to offerings not usually related to a credit card, but provided by the card company as an add-on for their customers’ benefits. Several financial institutions pack special features with their credit cards.
Some of the credit cards include features that are usually associated with other types of financial services. For example, Bajaj Finserv RBL Bank Super Card allows cash withdrawals from ATM against a flat processing fee of only 2.5%, without interest for up to 50 days. One can also avail an emergency loan against their available credit limit (for up to 90 days) and repay their expenses in EMIs for easier repayments.
Bajaj Finserv also provides pre-approved offers on such credit cards which simplifies the application process. Such offers are also available on personal loans, business loans, home loans, etc., and on numerous other financial products. You can check your pre-approved offer by sharing only some essential details online.
What are its repayment options?
Credit card companies offer several facilities to aid a customer to repay their dues in time. These can range from a grace period at the beginning of every month to the facility of paying only the minimum amount (and carry the balance to the next month.) It is necessary for an applicant to know about these details when they apply for a credit card.
What are the minimum eligibility criteria?
Credit cards usually adhere to stricter eligibility criteria as these are unsecured credits. Companies look for a good CIBIL score (at least 750 or higher), no history of default, and a habit of timely repayments. Failing to meet these requirements may cause rejection in the credit card application.
Is it secure?
The best credit card should come with security features to protect their customers from any unauthorised transactions as well as other types of credit card frauds. Fraud liability covers and card security allows cardholders to stay protected at all time, one of the key necessities to such financial tools.
Availing the best credit card requires an extensive understanding of one’s needs, and what the market has to offer. The above mentioned 6 questions can prove helpful in selecting the ideal card from the options available in India today. Refer to the most suitable credit card options