Santa Claus comes around just once a year. In the meantime, there are Credit Cards.
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    What Is A Secured Credit Card?

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  • Credit Card BYTES FROM OUR KITCHEN

    What Is A Secured Credit Card?

    A secured credit card is one that is availed on the back of a cash deposit. The deposit serves as the credit limit for the cardholders. Secured credit cards are best for those who don’t have a good credit score. Banks and financial institutions offer credit cards to such individuals based on their deposit as it reduces the risk for them. If the cardholder's default on the payments, banks can deduct the amount from the deposit. Secured Credit cards enables individuals to build up their credit score and make them eligible for availing regular credit cards.

    Difference Between Secured Credit Cards And Unsecured Credit Cards

    The main difference between secured cards and unsecured cards is that for availing a secured credit card one needs not have a good credit score while for unsecured cards it is a must have. For unsecured credit cards, an applicant needs not put in a deposit which acts as the credit limit whereas that is prime criteria for availing a secured card. Apart from this, there are other differences as well like in annual fees, interest rates etc.

    How Does Secured Credit Cards Work?

    A secured credit card works just like an unsecured credit card after the initial deposit is being made. The holder of the secured credit card can use it online as well as in places which accepts credit cards. As mentioned earlier, an individual can build up the credit score by using the card responsibly and make himself/herself eligible for unsecured credit cards.

    Applying For A Secured Credit Card

    Secured credit cards are a type of credit cards that allow people with zero credit history or no credit score to get a credit card. However, in order to avail a secured credit card, individuals needs to shell out some amount towards a fixed deposit. The bank will consider the fixed deposit as a security deposit for a credit card and issue the card.

    The credit limit on secured credit cards is typically a percentage of the fixed deposit amount. In case, the credit cardholder defaults the payment, the bank will break the fixed deposit.

    Once the cardholder uses the secured credit card for a specified amount of time, say for instance, one year, the bank may consider releasing the FD. However, during the one year period all the credit card should be active, dues on the cards should be cleared on time, and the spending pattern on the card should also be impressive.

    Availing a secured credit card also allows the individuals with zero credit history to build a credit history. Thus built credit score would further allow them to get access to other kind of loans including personal loan, home loan, auto loan, etc.

    What To Watch For?

    Though Secured credit cards come with no annual fee, the cardholders need to be wary of other kinds of fees that comes with the card. Other fees which takes into account late fees, returned payment fees among others can take a toll on the fees paid to avail the card.

    How To Use The Secured Credit Card?

    When we talk about using the secured credit card, one to avails the card need not utilize the credit amount that he/she is eligible for. By not utilizing the entire credit limit helps them to build up their credit. Apart from that, paying the monthly dues on time also helps in using the card responsibly and in the process build up a good credit score which will enable them in availing unsecured credit cards in the future.

    Features Of Secured Credit Cards

    Secured credit cards come with certain features that an individual needs to be aware of. Some of them are mentioned below:

    • The first feature which makes it a preferred choice is that applicants are not needed to provide additional enquiries of their credit history.
    • The approval process is fast as the banks are already risk free considering that the individuals are offered the cards on the back of a security deposit.
    • Certain banks offer interest on the security deposit. This enables the applicants of secured credit cards to earn interest on their deposit as well as avail the benefits of credit cards.
    • Some secured credit cards come with a grace period. This feature helps individuals to get a few extra days to make their payments, if there is a delay in making the due payments.
    • With banks reporting about secured credit cards to credit bureaus, individuals who manage their cards effectively stand a good chance of availing loans and unsecured credit cards in the future.

    Top Secured Cards Available In The Market

    Secured credit cards are offered by almost all banks and financial institutions, however one should avail one from banks which has a good credit value attached to them. Here, we have mentioned the features and benefits of the most sought after secured cards offered by SBI and ICICI.

    SBI Advantage Plus Card

    This card is one of the most sought after secured credit card. It is because it offers much more benefits than a regular credit card. The card which can be used both nationally and internationally offers credit limit up to 85% of the amount deposited in the FD account.

    Features of SBI Advantage Plus Card

    • Extended credit option which allows the cardholders to pay the minimum amount and carry forward the remaining amount at the low charge of 2.25% per month.
    • Cash withdrawal limit is up to 100% of the credit limit and offers the cardholders flexible payment options.
    • Comes with ‘Easy Money’ facility which enables the cardholders to get a demand draft or cheque delivered to their address provided in the application form.
    • Cardholders can transfer credit from other credit cards at nominal processing fee.
    • Individuals who avail this card become eligible for an Encash facility of either Rs. 25,000 or Rs, 50,000. A Fixed Deposit is opened in their name with they being billed Rs. 2,500 or Rs. 5,000 as EMI for 11 months.

    Benefits of SBI Advantage Plus Card:

    • Can be used at more than 1 million Visa or MasterCard ATMs globally.
    • Transactions can be converted into EMIs using the Flexipay option.
    • Interest is provided on the fixed deposit after 555 days.
    • Can share the benefits of the card with other supplementary cards in the family.

    ICICI Bank Coral Credit Card

    Like the SBI Advantage Plus card, this card offered by ICICI bank offers credit limit up to 85% of the fixed deposit. For an individual to avail the card, one needs to have Rs. 20,000 in his/her fixed deposit account for a period of 180 days.

    Features of ICICI Bank Coral Credit Card:

    • To avail the card, one needs to provide only ID proof.
    • Cardholders receive a welcome benefit worth Rs. 999 from Provogue
    • Reward points can be converted into cash and gift vouchers.
    • Comes with a permanent microchip that ensures secure transactions

    Benefits of ICICI Bank Coral Credit Card

    • Joining fee is very low with only Rs. 500
    • ‘Buy one movie ticket and get one absolutely free’ offer can be availed all through the week.
    • Double reward points can be earned when the card is used at supermarkets and for dining purposes.
    • Free airport lounge access
    • 15% discount on food can be availed at 800 listed restaurants.

    ICICI Bank Instant Platinum Credit Card

    This card is for those who have minimum credit card requirement. The card is offered by ICICI bank to offer the best to their fixed deposit customers. To avail the card, an applicant needs to have a minimum fixed deposit of Rs. 20,000.

    Features of Instant Platinum Credit card:

    • No need to provide additional address, ID or income proof.
    • The interest rate on this card is 2.5% per month.
    • The card comes with 3 built-in microchips to offer highest security.

    Benefits of Instant Platinum Credit card:

    • Cash withdrawal up to 100% of the credit limit.
    • Free credit time period of up to 50 days.
    • Fuel charge waiver of 2.5% on all transactions.
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