What is a Credit Card?
A credit card is a plastic card issued by a bank that allows you to borrow money from the bank so that you can purchase whatever you want. May it be buying a meal from McDonald’s or a flight ticket to Switzerland, you can use your credit for anything that you like. As long as you repay the amount you borrow before the next billing cycle starts, you will not have pay any excess amount. In case you do not pay the entire amount and decide pay in instalments, you will also have to pay the interest associated with it.
How to Apply for Credit Card
With the coming in of the internet, almost everything today has gone digital and so have banks and financial institutions. In case customers wish to apply for a credit card, they can do so online as online credit card application is highly popular and also convenient. In order to do so, customers will have to follow the steps given below –
- Individuals will have to visit the official website of the bank and apply for the credit card of their choice, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.
- Customers can also e-mail the bank if necessary in order to avail a credit card.
Another convenient online credit card application can be made through financial websites such as Loanraahi.com. In order to do so, the following steps will have to be taken –
- All customers will have to do is to visit the Loanraahi website and choose ‘Credit Cards’ which will be on top of the page.
- They will then be taken to another page wherein they will see a list of available credit cards. Customers also have the option to filter the list based on the name of the bank and other criteria.
- They will then have to click on the card that they wish to procure and select the ‘Check Eligibility’ link.
- The provided questions will have to be answered and if the customer meets the required criteria, they click on the ‘Instant Apply’ button, fill up the form and submit it.
Another option that can be availed is applying for a credit card offline. In order to do so, the steps given below will have to be followed –
- This can be done by visiting a branch of the bank that the customer wants to avail a credit card from.
- Applicants will be asked to fill the necessary forms and in case they meet the required eligibility criteria, they will be able to avail the said credit card.
- Additionally, customers can also contact the bank by calling the customer care service which most banks have.
- This service is generally available 24/7 on all days of the week.
Understanding Credit Card Numbers
There are 16 digits on every credit card. The very first digit present on a credit card signifies its system. 3 stands for travel or entertainment car, 4 stands for Visa card, 5 stands for MasterCard and 6 stands for Discover Card.
The card number structure varies by the system. For example a Diners Club card will start with 38, whereas, the American Express cards will start with 37.
American Express – The third and fourth digit specify the type and currency. Starting from the fifth digit till the eleventh digit is the account number. From the twelfth digit till the fourteenth digit is the card number within the account. The fifteenth digit is a check digit.
Visa – From the second digit till the sixth digit is the bank number. From the seventh digit till the twelfth digit or from the seventh digit till the fifteenth digit is the account number. The thirteenth digit or the sixteenth digit is the check digit.
MasterCard – The second and third digit, the second digit up to the fourth digit, the second digit up to the fifth digit or the second digit up to the sixth digit is the bank number. This depends if the second digit is 1,2,3 or anything other than that. The digits after bank number up to the fifteenth digit are the account number. The sixteenth digit is a check digit.
How to use a credit card?
It is very easy to use a credit card. When banks issue a credit card, they create a revolving account for that card. Once the customers receive their credit cards, they can use it to make purchases on credit. This credit is actually the amount that cardholders have borrowed from the card issuer. They have to repay the outstanding amount at the end of every billing cycle. There is a limit on the amount of credit that one can use and cardholders should make sure they don’t exceed this limit.
To make payments using their credit cards, cardholders have to simply get their cards swiped at merchant stores and authenticate the transaction by entering their PIN number. Some credit cards do not require you to enter a PIN number. If you are using your card to make online payment, make sure the website is a secure one. Enter your credit card details on the checkout section and authenticate the payment by entering the PIN or OTP (One Time Password).
Compare Credit Cards from Top Banks in India
|Bank||Interest Rate||Joining Fee|
|Ranges between 37.2% p.a. and 42% p.a.||Some cards have no joining fee. For others, the fee will be communicated at the time of application.|
|3.83% per month (46% p.a.)||Up to Rs.1,00,000 (the fee is different for different cards. Rs.1,00,000 is the joining fee for one card, which does not have an annual fee.)|
|Up to 3.5% per month||Up to Rs.19,999|
|Up to 3.4% per month (Maximum charge in case of default is 3.5% per month)||Up to Rs.10,000(The fee is different for different cards)|
|Up to 3.25% per month||Up to Rs.30,000|
|Up to 3.5% per month (Maximum charge in case of default is 3.99% per month)||N.A.|
|Up to 3.35% per month||–|
Note – The rates/fees and charges may be changed by the banks at any time.
Fees and Charges for Top Credit Cards
|Card Name||Joining fee*||Annual fee*(Year 1)|
|Standard Chartered Manhattan Credit Card||Rs.499||Nil|
|SBI Simply Click Credit Card||Nil||Rs.499|
|Standard Chartered Platinum Rewards Credit Card||Nil||Rs.399|
|Citibank Cashback Credit Card||Nil||Rs.500|
|Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Credit Card||Nil||Rs.499|
|Amex Gold Card||Nil||Rs.1,000|
|Yatra SBI Credit Card||Nil||Rs.499|
|Amex Platinum Travel Credit Card||Nil||Rs.3,500|
|SBI Signature Credit Card||Nil||Rs.4,999|
|IndianOil Citi Platinum Credit Card||Nil||If the annual spend is less than Rs.30,000, an annual fee of Rs.1,000 is charged.|
*Taxes will be levied as applicable on these charges. The charges in the table are subject to change based on future revisions implemented by the banks
Features of a Credit Card
Banks offer amazing features on their credit cards. These features vary depending on the card provider and the type of credit card that people purchase. Some of them are as follows:
Accepted Globally – Today, most credit cards that are issued in India are international cards and are accepted by various merchants all over the world.
Balance Transfer – Credit cardholders can transfer the outstanding balance of their existing cards issued by one bank to the credit card account of another bank. Doing so helps them in saving money and repaying the amount at a low rate of interest. Banks offer various balance transfer options to their cardholders, which allows them to repay the amount on a monthly basis within a tenure of their choice.
Instalment Payment Plan – Many banks offer the instalment payment option to their cardholders. This feature allows cardholders to convert their transactions into monthly instalments. Cardholders can choose the tenure for their EMI plan. Generally, these plans have very attractive interest rates. There are some banks that offer 0% instalment payment plans to their customers.
Loans on Credit Cards – Some credit cards offer pre-approved loans to their holders at low interest rates.
Utility Bill Payment – Credit Cards have made it easy and quick for people to pay their utility bills. Using their cards, cardholders can pay all their utility bills online at one go.
Alerts – Credit cardholders receive bill payment reminders via SMS and e-mail from their banks every month, which helps them in not missing out on their monthly payments.
E-statement – Most banks today provide e-statements to their credit cardholders at the end of every billing cycle. Cardholders can access this statement at any time online.
Joining Fees – When customers apply for a credit card, they have to pay a certain amount for enrolment, known as the joining fee. There are certain cards that do not have any joining fee as well.
Annual Fees – Every credit cardholder have to pay a fixed amount to renew their card every year. This amount is called the annual fee or renewal fee. This amount varies depending on the card that a person opts for. Some banks waive this fee for their customers for a period of minimum 1 year as benefit for achieving certain spends milestone.
Lifetime Free Card – There are some banks that offer lifetime fee credit cards, which means cardholders do not have to pay any annual fee for these cards.
Lost Card Liability – Many banks offer lost card liability coverage to their credit cardholders. This feature protects the cardholders from fraudulent transactions that made using their cards after they have reported its loss to their card provider.
Insurance Coverage – Some banks offer insurance protection on certain credit cards they offer. For example – travel insurance, life insurance, etc.
Cash withdrawal facility – Credit cardholders can use their cards to withdraw money from ATMs. Banks charge a small fee for the service and cardholders can instantly avail money in any part of the world.
24×7 Customer Care Service – Banks offer 24×7 customer care service to all their credit card holders. Some banks have a separate helpline number for their cardholders. Cardholders can contact on this number to get any assistance related to their card. For example – They can contact the department to avail concierge services, make card replacement requests, report loss of cards, etc.
Credit Card Bill Payment – Banks allow their credit cardholders to pay their credit card bills online and offline. Cardholders can use NEFT, Internet Banking, Cash, Cheques, etc. facilities to pay their bills.
Benefits of a Credit Card
Welcome Gift – Many banks offer a welcome gift to new credit card applicants once the card is issued to them. This gift can be in the form of bonus points, gift vouchers, discounts, etc. The welcome gift differs depending on the card and the bank.
Rewards Program – All credit cards generally have a reward program, which allows cardholders to earn reward points on every transaction they make using their cards. The amount of points that cardholders can earn per transaction is fixed and differs from card to card. The points that card members collect can be redeemed for various gifts that are listed in the rewards catalogue of the cards. These gifts can be discounts, product, services, cashback offers, etc. Some credit cards allow card members to redeem their points against air miles and cash as well.
Fuel Surcharge Waiver – Many banks offer fuel surcharge waiver to credit cardholders when they spend specific amount of money on fuel every month. This offer is available on fuel transactions made at all Indian petrol bunks.
Cashback Benefits – There are certain credit cards that offer cashback benefits to the customers. The amount of cashback that will be offered depends on the provider.
Lifestyle Benefits – Cardholders can enjoy various lifestyle benefits on their credit cards. Lifestyle benefits include dining, shopping, golf, wellness, entertainment, etc. privileges.
Travel Benefits – This is one of the major reasons for credit cards being so popular among people. There are some credit cards that offer amazing travel benefits to the customers. Travel benefits include air miles, airport lounge access, travel insurance, airline offers, hotel offers, etc.
Airport Lounge Access – Some credit cards offer complimentary airport lounge access to the cardholders. The offer varies from one bank to another. Some banks put a limit on the number of visits, while some others allow access only to Indian airport lounges.
Exclusive Privileges from Visa/American Express/MasterCard – Visa, MasterCard and American Express are three popular and recognized credit card variants. Depending on the variant of your card, you can enjoy exclusive lifestyle, travel, etc. offers from MasterCard/Visa/American Express.
Add-on Cards – Many banks allow their credit cardholders to apply for add-on cards for their immediate family members. Most card issuers offer add-on cards for free, but some of them limit the amount of add-on cards that one can apply for. Cardholders can enjoy all the privileges of their primary cards on their add-on cards.
Air Miles – Certain credit cards such as travel or Airline cards offer Air Miles to their customers. These miles can be JPMiles, Air India Air Miles, etc. Cardholders can collect these miles and redeem them to avail flight tickets and other travel benefits.
Credit Card Grace Period
Most credit cards provide a grace period to the cardholders. Grace period is the time given to credit cardholders to pay off their credit card bills without incurring any interest on the outstanding amount. Grace period is also known as interest free credit period. The time period varies depending on the banks and the type of card. Generally, banks provide a minimum grace period of 20 days to their cardholders, starting from the day they receive their credit card bills. In India, most banks offer a maximum grace period of 50 days.
Top Credit Cards In India
|Bank||Rewards||Annual Fee (varies depending on the card)|
|Citibank||Travel Rewards – Up to 10 miles per transaction. Up to 10,000 bonus miles a year.
Reward Points – Up to 10 points per transaction.
First Citizen Points – Up to 7 points per transaction.
Turbo Points – Up to 4 points per transaction
Cashback – Up to 5% cashback on transactions.
|Up to Rs.20,000|
|IndusInd Bank||Reward Points – Up to 4 points per transaction.
SpendMiles and PartnerMiles – Up to 3 per transaction.
JP Miles – Up to 75,000 Miles a year.
FlightMiles – Given based on the percentage of the ticket price.
Savings Point – Up to 4 points per transaction.
|Up to Rs.4,000|
|Kotak Mahindra Bank||Reward Points – Up to 10 points per transaction.
Saving Points – Up to 10 points per transaction.
Dining Points – Up to 10 points per transaction.
|Up to Rs.5,000|
|HDFC Bank||Reward Points – Up to 8 points per transaction. More than 2,880 bonus points a year.
JPMiles – Up to 30,000 Bonus Miles. Up to 18 miles per transaction.
JP Tier Point – 1 point on reaching certain milestone.
Amazing Cashback and Discount offers on certain cards.
|Up to Rs.10,000|
|Axis Bank||Reward points – Up to 20 points on spends.
eDGE Reward Points – Up to 20 points on spends.
CV Points – Up to 6 points on spends.
Award Miles – Up to 6 miles on spends.
|Up to Rs.30,000|
|American Express||Membership Points – 1 points for transactions. Up to 11,000 bonus points on joining.
PAYBACK Points – Up to 5 points on transactions.
JP Miles – Up to 16 miles on transactions.
|Up to Rs.50,000|
|State Bank of India||Reward Points – Up to 20 points on transactions. Up to 1,00,000 bonus points a year.
Empower Points – Up to 500 points on achieving milestone.
|Up to Rs.4,999|
Note – The above mentioned fees can be changed at any time by the banks. With regards to the rewards section, only the top rewards have been mentioned in the table. The banks offer other rewards besides these on their cards such as discount offers, cashback offers, etc.
Documents Required to Apply for a Credit Card Online
Proof of Identity/ID proof –Applicants can submit one of the following documents as ID proof:
- PAN Card
- Ration Card
- Aadhaar Card
- Voter’s ID Card
- Driving License
Proof of Address – Applicants can submit one of the following documents as address proof:
- Telephone Bill
- Electricity Bill
- Ration Card
- Rent Agreement
- Aadhaar Card
Proof of Income – All the applicants have to submit their income proof when they apply for a credit card. Salaried individuals have to submit the following documents as proof :
- Salary Certificate
- Recent Salary slip
- Employment Letter
- Self-Employed Individuals have to submit the following documents as proof
- Certified Financials
- Recent ITR (Income Tax Returns) Statement
- Audited Profit and Loss Statement or Balance Sheet
- Proof of business continuity
Apart from the above mentioned documents, banks can ask the applicants to submit other documents, if required.
Credit Card Eligibility
The eligibility criteria for credit cards differs depending on the card you are applying for and the bank providing it. Most banks require the applicants to be at least 18 years old and earn a certain amount of income annually to apply for a card.
Why to Apply for a Credit Card Online through Loanraahi?
Loanraahi has made the process of comparing and applying for personal financial products very easy. The website has a user-friendly interface that allows people to navigate easily without getting confused at all. There are many reasons for applying for a credit card through Loanraahi. Some of them are as follows:
Simplifies the application process – Loanraahi has simplified the credit card application process for Indians. Now, you do not have to visit the bank’s outlet or every bank’s website to compare cards and then apply for them. You just have to make a few clicks and you can get the same done online on Loanraahi website in no time.
Compare – Before buying any personal finance products, it is advisable that you compare them. The process of comparing these products can be tedious and a lot of people tend to avoid it, which leads to them buying products that do not benefit them. To solve this problem, Loanraahi introduced a platform where people can compare credit cards offered by different banks online at one place. This not only helps them in making an informed decision, but also in getting the best credit card available in India.
Apply – After comparing the credit cards, you can easily apply for the card you like on Loanraahi website itself. You can find the cards you are eligible for easily and then click on the ‘Instant Apply’ button that is present next to the card of your choice. You can then fill up the application form and submit it online and within 30 minutes you will get a response.
Information – On the website of Loanraahi, you can find every single detail about credit cards. Besides this, the site also provides you with the latest credit card news and keeps you updated about the happenings in the Indian financial market.
24×7 Support – Apart from the above, Loanraahi provides 24×7 support to all its customers throughout the year.
Credit Card Application Checklist (Varies with different banks)
- Credit Card Application Form
- Identity Proof
- Residence Proof
- Income Proof
- Passport Sized Photographs
- Bank Account Statement
- Information about Existing Liabilities and Debts
How to calculate EMI for Credit Cards?
Credit Cardholders can choose to convert certain transactions of theirs into monthly instalments. Card providers allow customers to choose the repayment period for their EMI (Equated Monthly Instalment) plans. Some banks nowadays offer 0% interest instalment payment plans to their credit cardholders. According to this plan, no interest is charged on the monthly instalments, which means cardholders have to pay the principal amount in parts within the tenure they have chosen.
Some banks charge a low interest rate on the EMI plans of credit cards. In this case, the EMI amount comprises of the principal amount and the interest rate. So, every month cardholders are supposed to repay this amount, until they clear off their debt. They can calculate their instalment amount per month before applying for the plan by using an EMI Calculator online. This calculator will help them in figuring out how much they will be paying every month if they opted for a certain EMI plan. To use the EMI calculator, they have to simply enter details like the interest rate, principal amount and the tenure in it.
Do’s and Don’ts While Taking a Business Loan
|Check your credit History||Don’t spend too much of your available balance|
|Use the right card at the right place and time||Don’t miss your Payments|
|Pick your credit card due dates||Don’t carry any balance|
|Take advantage of balance transfers if you are in debt||Don’t just pick any random card.|
FREQUEntly Asked Questions
Get answers to all your questions
Do add-on or supplementary cards carry the same features as their primary credit cards? Add-on cards can be taken for family members of the primary card holder with extra charges anywhere between Rs 125 to Rs 1000. The credit limit of the primary card gets carried over to the new card with similar features. Also customers can get a comprehensive bill with details of both the cards.
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