Santa Claus comes around just once a year. In the meantime, there are Credit Cards.
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    NRI Credit Cards

    Keeping the needs of financial of NRI customers in mind, banks have been offering special NRI Credit Cards to enable NRIs handle their payments with ease, while in India or abroad. While mostly similar to a regular credit cards, there are certain aspects of an NRI credit card which are different from usual. NRIs can use this credit card to make purchases, for travel bookings, to pay at restaurants, etc. the biggest advantage these cards offer is that they allow the cardholder to pay in rupees and eliminate the hassle of currency conversion.

    Benefits of NRI Credit Cards

    NRI Credit Cards afford many benefits to the card holder, which are listed as follows:

    • Reward Points - Cardholders can make purchases in India or abroad and earn reward points for the same.
    • Surcharge Waiver- Cardholders get a waiver on fuel surcharge when they use the card to purchase petrol at fuelling stations and on train bookings done in India.
    • Cash Back – When the card is swiped at any partner hotels, for international purchases, etc., cardholders can get some cash back.
    • No Currency Conversion Required – The most important benefit provided by an NRI credit card issued from a local bank is that they eliminate the hassle of currency conversion or the need to use a card of another country as transactions are carried out in Indian currency.
    • Revolving Credit Facility – With the revolving credit facility, cardholders can benefit from interest-free periods and also have the option to carry their balance forward (interest ill be charged on balance).
    • Interest – Interest charged on NRI credit cards may differ from one bank to he other. While the interest ill be more than what is charged on a regular credit card, various banks do offer low interest on these cards. Do find out the interest chargeable on the card before applying.
    • ATM Access - NRI credit cards will provide the cardholder access to cash at hundreds of VISA or MasterCard ATMs not inly in India but also overseas.
    • Easy Payment Options – One can make easy payments for an NRI credit card through their NRO, NRE or FCNR account. After making an inward remittances to any of the aforementioned accounts, NRIs can then make their credit card payments.
    • Add-on Cards – NRI credit cards also provide the facility of add-on or supplementary cards which can be used by your family members who can also benefit from the usage of the card.

    Eligibility for NRI Credit Cards

    For an NRI to apply for an NRI credit card, banks have an eligibility criteria laid down. Some of the commonly requested requirements include the NRI to hold an NRE (Non-Resident External Rupee) or NRO (Non-Resident Ordinary) account with the bank. This is one of the most important criteria followed by every bank that issued NRI credit cards. The type of account in this case can be a Current, Savings, Term Deposit or a Fixed Deposit Account. The credit limit permitted on the credit card will be decided based on the amount parked in the account, which is only a measure to determine the repayment ability of the account holder. Certain banks may also require the account holder to maintain a minimum balance in such accounts in order to be eligible for accredit card.

    Documents Required For Application

    In order to apply for an NRI credit card, the applicant will require to provide the bank with the following documents. For specific documents required to obtain a credit card, please contact your bank.

    • Photocopy of the applicant’s passport / visa / work permit / address proof for their overseas and/or India / an official document with proof of signature.
    • Passport sized photographs.
    • A self-cheque drawn by the NRI applicant on their bank account held abroad.

    Things To Remember About NRI Credit Cards

    When it comes to NRI credit cards, here are some things one must keep in mind before choosing a card.

    • Fees – credit cards will carry an annual fees, joining Fees and processing fees.
    • Interest rate – Check the rate of interest that’s charged by the bank. Compare between different banks before choosing a card.
    • International Acceptance – Find out in what countries will your card be accepted and where it wont.
    • ATM Usage – Find out the charges for cash withdrawal when you use your card at the same bank or a different bank’s ATM.
    • Card Protection – Find out if your bank provides services such as Lost Card Protection, Fraud protection cover if the card is stolen or lost.
    • Custom Duty – Will there be any Custom Duty charged if you use your card in another country?
    • Charges – What are the charges applicable on late payments or for cancellation of the card.
    • Monthly Payments – How convenient is it to make monthly payments of your credit card from another bank account? What options do you have to make payments such as in cash, by cheque, NEFT, IMPS, etc.

    Banks Offering NRI Credit Cards

    There are various banks in India such as HDFC, SBI, Kotak Mahindra, ICICI, Axis Bank, Citibank and others who offer NRI credit cards. Some of these are as follows:

    • State Bank of India - State Bank of India has introduced the NRI Platinum which offers multiple benefits such as payment of purchases and transactions in Indian rupees, 2% cash back on purchases abroad, travel insurance against a number of risks, low interest on unpaid balance, add-on cards, FlexiPay option and many more.
    • Kotak Mahindra Bank – The NRI Royale Signature is a special NRI credit card offered by the bank which comes with several premium benefits such as 2x rewards on international spends, facility to purchase and pay in INR, waiver on fuel and railway surcharge, option for an Add-on Card, sophisticated protection against fraudulent card usage or theft and many more such benefits.
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