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Credit Cards are small sized plastic cards that can make life very simple. These cards allow you to purchase goods and services on credit, the money for which you can return at the end of every month. You can choose to pay the full amount of credit that you have borrowed from your credit card issuer or a minimum fixed amount every month. In case you pay only the minimum amount, remember that you will be charged an interest on your outstanding balance. There is a credit limit set for you by your card provider.
There are many banks in India that provide different types of credit cards. The cards are divided based on the rewards and benefits they offer and the income and spend requirements of the applicants. Customers can choose any credit card that helps them avail a lot of benefits and is an ideal match for their requirements. For example – If you travel a lot, then a travel card is best for you as it can help you earn air miles, access airport lounges, etc. In India, credit cards are offered in collaboration with the following payment networks - Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diner’s Club, etc.
Silver credit cards can be availed by anyone who falls under a nominal salary range and has a work experience of around 4 to 5 years. It is easy for salaried employees to procure this type of credit card, provided they have a good credit history. These cards have a low membership fee and there is no interest charged for the initial 6 to 9 months, on balance transfers.
Individuals with higher income can avail a gold credit card from any bank in India. Applicants for any type of gold credit card should have a good credit score. The common features of a gold credit card are:
Classic credit cards come with features like global acceptance, revolving credit, cash advance, interest free credit period, rewards program, supplementary cards, insurance and a dedicated 24/7 customer care helpdesk for customers. Most classic credit cards do not carry annual fees or joining fees and are offered at low finance charges.
The top Classic credit cards available to customers are:
To ensure their female customers get the maximum benefits, some banks have introduced credit cards that are exclusively designed for women. These cards mainly focus on shopping rewards and cashback offers. Apart from this, cardholders can get bonus reward points, fuel surcharge waiver, insurance, etc. They can also earn reward points when they make purchases using their credit cards. There are few credit cards for women that offer amazing travel benefits.
Some of the popular credit cards for women are:
Titanium credit cards are premium cards that come with a load of privileges and benefits. The key feature of a Titanium credit card is the Titanium Rewards program that is offered to the customers. This rewards program includes accrual of rewards points, redemption for gifts and air miles, cashback offers, etc. Other privileges that come with any Titanium credit card are surcharge waivers, revolving credit, interest free credit period, annual fee reversals, insurance, welcome gifts in the form of vouchers from top retail brands, add-on card facility, wellness and beauty offers, lifestyle and dining benefits, etc.
Some of the popular titanium credit cards are:
Platinum card is one of the most popular credit card and is owned by many people because of the number of benefits and privileges it offers. The benefits include lifestyle, dining, shopping and entertainment offers, etc. The annual, joining and renewal fee of Platinum cards are a little higher compared to other types of credit cards.
Every Platinum credit card comes with an exceptional welcome package, gift vouchers from retail brands, annual spend rewards, accelerated rewards points, cashback offers, Priority Pass membership with access to premium airport lounges, renewal gift vouchers, global lifestyle and golfing privileges, easy cash withdrawals, fuel surcharge waiver, add-on cards for family, emergency card replacement services, etc. Platinum card members generally also get other exclusive privileges, deals and offers with every card availed, depending on the financial institution they are banking with.
Some of the popular Platinum credit cards are:
Rewards credit cards are known for offering multiple rewards on every card transaction. Cardholders can earn rewards points on all their retail, online, etc. card transactions. Apart from this, they can earn reward points as welcome gift, birthday gift, renewal bonus, etc. They can also earn points when they spend a certain amount in a specific period of time. These reward points can be redeemed for products/services mentioned in the rewards catalogue, which includes cashback offers, air miles, travel offers, etc. Some cards allow cardholders to make payments for their purchases in instalments.
Some of the popular rewards credit cards are:
Fuel credit cards offer benefits on every fuel transaction that cardholders make. This card helps customers save on refuelling by providing them with cashback offers and fuel surcharge waivers. Some banks also offer accelerated rewards points on fuel transactions, if they are made at specific petrol pumps across India. The accumulated rewards points can be redeemed for refuelling for a predetermined value. Other additional benefits include activation bonus, entertainment benefits, dining, hotel and wellness offers, etc.
The annual and joining fees charged on Auto credit cards are very low and daily Metro/train commuters can greatly benefit by availing these cards. These cards double up as a travel card plus a normal credit card which can be used for shopping and other purchases. As a welcome offer, these cards come preloaded with certain amount of cash and they also have auto top-up facility. Customers can earn rewards points on top-ups and other transactions. Some cards also offer annual renewal deals, add-on card facility and surcharge waivers to cardholders.
Some of the popular auto/fuel credit cards are given as follows -
Banks offer balance transfer facility on most credit cards. This facility allows cardholders to transfer the outstanding balance from one card to another new credit card availed with another bank. Repayments using the new card can be done in particular tenures at low interest rates. Banks do charge a nominal processing fees for balance transfers. Most balance transfer plans do not charge any interest for the first three months of repayment and after that they charge a reasonable interest on the outstanding balance.
Business and Corporate credit cards are offered to business establishments, corporates and other financial institutions where the employer can offer credit cards to their employees and also conveniently manage the finances on the card. These cards cannot be used by the employees for personal transactions and are valid only during their employment period with the company. The privileges offered on corporate cards are hotel accommodation and travel deals, business savings plans, expense management, insurance, fuel surcharge waivers, airport lounge access, rewards programs, cash advance, add-on cards, bill payments and options to convert purchases into monthly installments. Companies also have the option of getting the name of the company embossed on these credit cards.
Some of the popular business/corporate credit cards are:
Cashback credit cards offer cashback to customers on their transactions, which varies from 5% to up to 20% depending on the spend category. Cashback can be earned on bill payments, movie ticket bookings, retail purchases, dining bills, grocery purchases, etc. The key features available with every cashback card are fuel surcharge waivers, annual fee reversals, dining and shopping privileges global acceptance, rewards program, balance transfers, etc.
Co-branded credit cards are offered by banks in association with a retail brand, travel aggregator or any other financial institution. Privileges from both the parties are integrated into a co-branded credit card, letting customers enjoy double benefits via one card. The most successful co-branded credit cards are the ones issued along with retail merchants as banks can easily expand their customer base through the merchant’s clientele. Depending on the tie-up, co-branded credit cards can have benefits like rebates, discounts and offers from a retail partner brand, sporting benefits from a sports league, ticket booking privileges from airline and railway partners, holiday and hotel accommodation privileges from travel aggregators and premier hotel chains, etc. Though these credit cards carry features from two key entities, there is no restriction on the usage.
Some of the popular co-branded credit cards are:
Contactless credit cards are equipped with a unique payment technology that allow cardholders to make payments by simply tapping their cards at POS terminals. These contactless transactions do not require the customers to enter any PIN number to make purchases and are extremely secure. These cards offer several benefits such as discounts, cash rewards, entertainment benefits, reward points, welcome gift, lounge access, concierge service, insurance policy, etc.
Some of the popular contactless credit cards are:
Entertainment credit cards are known for their amazing entertainment offers, which includes discounts, cashback or buy 1 get 1 free offers on movie ticket bookings, events, shows, etc. These cards also offer lifestyle, golf, dining, shopping and travel benefits to the cardholders. Apart from this, customers can earn rewards points on these transactions and redeem them for movie tickets, travel bookings or gift cards.
Some of the popular entertainment credit cards are:
Lifestyle credit cards are designed keeping in mind the changing lifestyles and income of the applicants. Most lifestyle credit cards carry golfing privileges, shopping privileges, dining, travel and other benefits. These cards generally come with first year annual fee waivers, cashback on tickets, insurance discounts, etc. Customers can earn bonus and accelerated rewards points with lifestyle credit cards on their purchases. Most of these cards are Platinum credit cards and offer superior travel, shopping, dining and luxury lifestyle privileges. For example – Axis Bank Signature Credit card with Lifestyle Benefits.
Most banks offer a “Premium” or “Signature” credit card that come with the best of lifestyle privileges. Signature credit cards are in a league of their own with exclusive privileges like flexible spending limits, premium airport lounge access, concierge services, complimentary insurance, rewards program, global assistance services, chartered yacht and flight services, surcharge waivers, retail, travel and hotel accommodation vouchers, etc. There are more options for redeeming rewards that are earned using these cards. Some of these cards offer annual fee waiver, provided the cardholders reach a certain spend amount.
Some of the popular signature credit cards are:
Prepaid credit cards allow cardholders to load a certain amount of money in it and use that money to make the purchases. Even though these cards do not offer a line of credit, customers can enjoy most of the privileges that are provided by the other types of credit cards. The outstanding balance is the amount that is left in the prepaid card by the customer after making a certain transaction.
Some of the Prepaid credit cards that are offered by banks in India are as follows:
Travel credit cards are popular because of the unlimited travel benefits they offer. These cards do not just offer travel benefits in India, but abroad as well. Most banks have tied up with airline companies or travel companies to offer travel credit cards. When customers use this card to make travel transactions, they can earn air miles. Apart from this, some travel cards provide access to airport lounges to the customers. The reward points that customers earn on these cards can be converted to air miles, which can then be used to book flight tickets and upgrade seats. Travel cards also provide hotel and holiday offers, golf offers, dining offers, travel insurance, etc.
Some of the popular travel credit cards are: