Credit Card also termed as plastic money allows the cardholders to pay later for the purchases made now. In short it offers interest free credit facility to the cardholders for a pre-defined period of time. Credit cards have been quite popular simply because of their convenience, as one need not carry cash while traveling or for shopping as it is cumbersome and risky also.
A credit card can be a very useful instrument if used wisely or else it can make cardholders life miserable.
It is very essential to understand the terms and conditions about the usage of credit card before one starts using it. There is no harm in asking questions to the credit card issuing company if the cardholder has any doubts related to it. Apart from free credit facility, credit cards offer various facilities like revolving credit i.e. pay minimum balance every month, cash withdrawal from ATM, converting purchase into EMI, balance transfer from another credit card at minimal or zero cost, etc. Though these facilities offered with credit cards are useful, it can be a long-term debt trap too. Hence, one has to be aware about the implications of availing services offered with credit cards while managing the debt at manageable level.
In addition to above benefits attached with credit cards, the credit card issuing companies offer other benefits linked with your spends on the credit card. There are benefits attached to credit card like reward points which can be redeemed against renewal fees or gift coupons, waiver of surcharges on railway bookings or on fuel,
frequent flyers miles - redeemable points for regular flyers, discounts / cash back on specific purchases, etc.
Depending on the facilities and additional benefits provided on the credit cards, they are generally categorized as Classic Credit Card, Gold Credit Card, Titanium Credit Card, Platinum Credit Card and Privilege Credit Cards and mostly affiliated to international payment gateways like American Express, MasterCard or Visa.
It is always advisable to pay your credit card dues on time so as to have a good credit history and maintaining good credit score in CIBIL. The lenders access this history, whenever the cardholder applies for any credit card or loans in future. A bad history or credit score can be a cause for rejection of credit card or any loan.
If getting a credit card is difficult when you apply for it due to poor credit history or employment in negative listing or any other reasons, one can apply for a secured credit card. These credit cards are 100% guaranteed and are issued against their term deposit in the bank. This credit card offers credit limit up to 80% of the value of term deposit earmarked against it. Few of such credit cards issued by the banks are ICICI Bank Instant Gold Credit Card, Kotak Aqua Gold Card, Axis Bank Easy Credit Card, SBI Advantage Gold Card, etc.
Before you apply for a credit card, please be aware that. Nothing comes for free. hence it is advisable to know all the hidden charges (if any) before you start swiping your credit card.
Credit Card: Eligibility Criteria