A total of 36.2 million people held active credit cards in India as of January 2018. Furthermore, a total of 129.8 million transactions were carried out for the 12 months ending January 2018. The ease of access to credit cards has increased over the years, especially post demonetisation.
Quick approval, reward points, airport lounge access and discount on purchases are some of the credit card benefits that have appealed to every consumer in the country. Additionally, there are free credit cards that come with zero joining fees, making them more familiar among customers.
However, first-time credit card applicants should keep the following points in mind before availing one.
1. Have a steady source of income
If you plan to apply for credit card for the first time, make sure you have a regular source of income. Salary slips are proofs that you can repay the credit card bills on time.
You need to apply for a credit card with a joint applicant, in case you are not employed nor have a source of income.
2. Meet the eligibility criteria
An Indian citizen between 25 and 60 is eligible to apply for a credit card. Documents such as Aadhaar Card, Voter ID, and PAN are proofs of your identity and address. Be prepared to submit these to your lender as and when required.
3. Know the different types of credit cards
There are mainly two different types of credit cards – unsecured and secured.
You can avail an unsecured credit card without pledging any collateral. Lenders approve your application based on your income, CIBIL score and other such criteria.
Secured credit cards are specifically for people who have a low CIBIL score. These credit cards are sanctioned against a fixed deposit.
Always try to avail unsecured credit cards as those come with higher limits, attractive offers and benefits compared to the secured ones.
4. Credit card benefits
Reward points on transactions, airport lounge accesses, and discounts on purchases are some of the benefits available with credit cards. These can make your future purchases more affordable. One of the best credit cards, the Bajaj Finserv RBL Bank SuperCard has joining rewards up to 20,000.
You can also avail emergency personal loans against the unused credit limit and meet any sudden financial crisis effortlessly. Check out all such offers and benefits before applying for a credit card.
5. Interest rate
Interest rates on credit cards can be either variable or fixed. Select the type of card with an interest that suits your needs.
6. Credit limit
A credit card comes with a pre-set limit. A user can utilise this limit to make purchases and repay the amount at a later date every month. One cannot use the credit card beyond this pre-set limit.
7. Billing cycle
The time span between two billing dates is known as billing cycle. Generally, a billing cycle repeats itself every 30 days. Consumers need to pay the outstanding amount at the end of every billing cycle, failing which may lead to additional charges and late payment fees.
Pay the bills on time to maintain a high credit score.
8. Credit card security
Most credit cards come with ‘in-hand security’ and ‘zero-fraud liability’ cover that prevent cyber-crime and protect you against fraudulent transactions.
9. Effortless EMI conversion
You can convert your credit card bills into easy EMIs for purchases above Rs. 3,000 and enjoy competitive interest rates on the same. It involves zero documentation and minimal processing fees.
10. Avoid applying for multiple credit cards
Whenever you apply for a credit card, the lending institution conducts a CIBIL check of your financial background. Every CIBIL check has an impact on your CIBIL score. As such, avoid applying for multiple credit cards at the same time in order to avoid chances of rejection.
11. Interest-free cash withdrawal from ATMs
Many credit cards like the Bajaj Finserv RBL Bank SuperCard allow interest-free ATM cash withdrawal for up to 50 days. Only a nominal processing fee is charged against this facility.
Bajaj Finserv also brings pre-approved offers on credit cards, business loans, home loans, personal loans and a host of other financial products. It simplifies the process of availing credit and saves more time. Share a few details online to check your pre-approved offer.
Hence, take advantage of these credit card benefits to address your diverse financial needs. Choose a credit card that offers ease of usage and appropriate repayment options.