The term ‘plastic money’ probably sounds quite crude but it has been one of the greatest inventions of this century. It has transformed the way the world transacts to an extent where it has become quite unimaginable to have to revert to the old ways of making payments. Rewinding back to the older days, most of us have endured the struggle of either having to carry enormous amount of cash for unavoidable reasons or falling short of cash, at the most inopportune moments. It is keeping such situations in mind that credit and debit cards have come into existence. And they surely have simplified a major aspect of our life, which is money.
For a generation which values instant gratification, credit cards have been a blessing. Given the long list of benefits which they provide, credit cards continue to be the rage in today’s times. Unlike debit cards which access pre-available funds, a credit card basically allows the cardholder to borrow funds on credit from the bank in order to make purchases. This borrowed credit must be paid back to the bank within the given period of time (grace period). If the cardholder fails to do so, the borrowed amount will begin to attract interest which then must be paid along with the borrowed amount.
If you are thinking of applying for credit card, one of the most important things to consider is the fee attached to the credit card. Most credit cards carry a list of fees like annual membership fee, late payment fee, etc. in addition to the interest which is chargeable on the outstanding bill amount. The easiest way to avoid paying higher interest on your outstanding bill amount or a late payment fee is to pay your bills on time. Also, you must remember, your credit card payment is closely linked to your credit score. Hence timely bill payments can improve your credit score while pending payments will only give you a tarnished credit score.
Types of Credit Cards
There is a large number of banks and financial institutions, each of which provides a range of well-appointed credit cards to cater to the differing needs of customers. In India, credit cards are distinguished on the level of services which they provide or the specific purpose which they’re designed to fulfill. The most common variants in credit cards include Platinum, Gold, Silver, Titanium, Classic, Premium and Business, to begin with.
Co-branded credit cards
A co-branded card essentially means a card that is sponsored jointly by the bank and a retailer. These cards usually carry a variety of retailer specific incentives like discounts, rebates etc., but can also be used with other merchants. For example, HSBC offers co-branded cards with Westside, Spencers, MakeMyTrip, etc.
Auto & Fuel credit cards
These cards are designed to provide cash back or discounts at refueling stations, but can also be used elsewhere. For example, IndianOil Citibank Platinum Credit Card.
Travel credit cards
Travel cards are usually introduced in association with a travel partner or an airline where customers can avail special discounts on flight tickets or bookings via a travel booking site. For example, Citibank PremierMiles Card, Air India SBI Signature Card.
Entertainment credit cards
These cards are designed to complement users who have an active lifestyle and provide exclusive rewards on bookings for movies, shows, concerts, music, video games, sporting events and much more. For example, ICICI Bank Rubyx Credit Cards & HDFC Platinum Times Card.
Cash back / Rewards credit cards
Reward points on credit cards is one of the original benefits of a credit card where the card holder earns a certain number of points for every spending. Cash back credit cards have been introduced only recently where the user gets a pre-determined amount of cash back after every spending. For example, Citibank Cashback Credit Card & Standard Chartered Super Value Titanium Credit Card.
Credit cards for Women
Various banks have introduced credit cards tailored especially for women, who may be working professionals or home makers. These cards provide a range of benefits like reward points, cashback, discounts and more on shopping, groceries at supermarkets, beauty chains, apparel stores, e-shopping partners and more.
Lifestyle credit cards
Lifestyle credit cards are designed to complement your passion. Widely accepted nationally and internationally, these cards are introduced in joint association with a particular merchant and offer exclusive discounts, cash back and rebates on dining, travel, shopping and a host of other leisure activities. Enjoy privilege access to VIP lounges at airports, and enjoy a string of other complimentary benefits. The American Express Platinum Reserve Credit Card and ICICI Bank Rubyx American Express/MasterCard Credit Card are two of the most popular lifestyle cards available.
Credit cards have eliminated the need for carrying cash in your pocket. Extremely convenient and safe to use, credit cards carry a string of advantages, some of which include the following.
- Safe Alternative to Cash
- Chance to Improve Credit History
- Emergency Help
- Widely Accepted
Credit cards have successfully replaced paper money all over the world as they are easier and safer not only to carry but also store.
Your credit card history is closely linked to your credit score. Hence, using your card responsibly can help improve your credit score which in turn will help you while applying for a loan in the future.
A credit card is indispensable when it comes to bearing emergency or unpredictable expenses.
Credit cards offer a host of exciting perks and benefits to the holder like Cashback, Reward points, Signup Bonuses, AirMiles, discounts, rebates and more.
Credit cards have been a widely accepted and recognized means of payment not only nationally but also internationally.
A debit card is basically a banking instrument which gives the holder electronic access to their current or savings bank account. Card holders may use the card to withdraw money via an ATM or to get the cost of online/offline purchases charged to their account through their debit cards.
Types of Debit Cards
In India, debit cards are primarily used for ATM transactions. While most banks issue VISA or MasterCard debit cards, banks like SBI and Citibank also issue Maestro debit cards to customers. However, in India, debit card transactions are routed through Visa or MasterCard networks within the country and overseas and not directly via the issuing bank.
In 2012, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) launched RuPay, an Indian domestic card scheme to facilitate electronic payments at all Indian banks and financial institutions. Introduced in direct competition with the international MasterCard and Visa, RuPay cards are widely accepted through India at approximately 145,270 ATMs, 875,000 point-of-sale (PoS) terminals and at over 10,000 e-commerce websites. Following the global safety standard for monetary transactions, the RuPay card employs the EMV (Europay, MasterCard & Visa) chip technology. The card is embedded with a microprocessor circuit which contains the card holder’s information and transactions are made with the help of the PIN number. Currently, over 240 banks, including some major public sector banks, and about 200 cooperative / rural banks issue RuPay cards to customers in India.
A debit cards is a very handy tool for making quick and hassle free purchases. Widely accepted all over the world, debit cards have successfully replaced paper money as they continue to make transacting simpler. Given that, debit cards carry multiple advantages, some of which are discussed below.
- Convenient Alternative For Cash
- Nominal Fee
- Quicker Transacting
- Keep You Within Budget
- Instant Access to Cash
- Easier to Procure Than a Credit Card
A debit card is a very convenient alternative for carrying wads of cash around. Also, transacting with a card is simpler and quicker.
Debit cards usually carry no fee or a very nominal fee, unlike credit cards which often have a yearly membership fee, joining fee, etc.
Debit card transactions happen instantly. The entire process of swiping the card to the funds being transferred takes less than a minute.
Since a debit card accesses pre-available funds, it is easier to keep an eye on your expenses. A mini account statement can be procured from your respective bank’s ATM which will give you a list of recently made transactions.
Being a pre-loaded card which takes money from an existing account, a debit card gives you instant access to cash.
Unlike credit cards which require you to furnish a flurry of documents just in order to apply, a debit card is relatively much easier to procure.
How Does a Debit Card differ from a Credit Card?
A debit card differs from a credit card in a variety of ways.
|Criteria||Credit Card||Debit Card|
|1. Connected To||Need not be connected to any account.||Requires to be connected to a checking / savings account|
|2. Monthly bill||Yes||No|
|3. Spending Limit||Credit limit is fixed for each card but varies from card to card.||No credit limit. You can only spend as much is there in the linked bank account|
|4. Interest Charged||Yes, if bill unpaid beyond due date.||No interest charged as no money is borrowed.|
|5. Credit Score||Responsible use can help improve credit score and vice versa||No effect on credit score.|
Why Apply for Cards on BankBazaar?
Be it a credit card or a debit card, you will be thrilled at how easy it to apply for one, with BankBazaar. This helpful aggregating portal will guide you through the entire process of applying for your new or next card, step by step. With comprehensive literature on different kinds of credit and debit cards, you can choose and compare between different credit cards based on your preferences and apply for your chosen card. Also, the 24x7, 365 days a year customer support team is there to answer all and any of your queries.
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