Credit Card: How Does It Work
A Credit Card is basically plastic money that is used as a method for making a payment, thus facilitating your purchases. Credit cards are a very useful payment mechanism as you don’t have to carry around much cash for your purchases. They are especially useful for people who shop or travel frequently. The money spent on your card is payable to the issuer bank at the end of a monthly credit cycle (Most banks provide you a free credit period of around 50 days)
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Benefits of using a Credit Card
1. No Need to carry cash: Carrying a single card in your wallet may be very convenient vs stocking notes. Also, plastic money is much safer to carry around since the same comes with inbuilt insurance.
2. Free Credit Period: Most Card issuers permit a free credit period up to 50 days. This gives the benefit to the card user of enjoying the purchases on free credit during this period.
3. Borrowing Cash: You can also withdraw cash through the ATMs. There is a one-time transaction fee and interest charged per month
4. Enjoy various Discount schemes: a lot of credit cards especially co-branded credit cards offer discounts and special offers to the user for making purchases
5. Online Payment facility: Credit cards are very useful for making purchases on the Internet.
6. Reward Points: As you spend on your card, you accrue reward or loyalty points that can be redeemed for various merchandise.
Factors To Consider before choosing a Credit Card
1. Joining Fee and Annual Fee: Low-end cards are available at zero joining and annual fee whereas the high end premium cards come with one or both as charges for holding the card.
2. Interest Rates: In case you pay you entire outstanding on the due date, you are not charged any interest. However, if you revolve your outstanding balance till your next billing cycle, then you are charged Interest @ approx 3.0% to 3.5% per month on the entire amount. In case you wish to revolve on your credit card, you should go with the issuer bank that charges the least rate of interest.
3. Co-Branded Cards: Issuing Banks tie-up with leading retailers, airlines, hotels etc and provide co-branded cards that offer exclusive privileges to members by offering benefits and discounts. In case your spending pattern is high on a particular brand etc, it may be useful to check and take a co-branded card for the same.
4. Interest Free Period: Also called the grace period, this varies from bank to bank and provides an interest free window to the client on the purchases made. It is wise to go with the bank that offers the longest interest free period.
5. Reward Points: Different issuers offer different reward points per Rupee spent on the card. Frequent users can avail a variety of benefits for making purchases on the card. Check the reward point program before signing up for your next card
Credit Card: Encashing Your Reward Points
Most loyalty programmes work by giving card members ‘reward points’ for spending on their card. In the card industry parlance, this is called ‘Earn’. These earned points can then be redeemed (or ‘burned’ ) for travel, shopping, dining and entertainment.
“Many of us dismiss these programmes as marketing gimmicks, but the fact is that on the whole, these programmes are scientifically-designed frameworks that work for the benefit of credit card members, merchants and card companies. In fact, reward points are becoming the new form of consumer currency and increasingly, savvy customers are swapping them, donating them and redeeming them in a wide variety of ways.
- Completed credit card application form
- Income Documents:
Salaried in MNC – salary slip/ certificate
Salaried in Private Limited Company – Latest copy of Salary Slip + last 3 months bank statements indicating salary credits
Self Employed – Latest personal income tax returns and business card
3. As per the regulatory requirements relevant proof of residence, identity and PAN card/ Form 60 will be required