The biggest reason why most Indians own a debit card and not a credit card lies in the fact that debit cards come complimentarily with one’s bank account. However, in order to own a credit card, you have to apply for one, and also meet certain eligibility criteria. This includes minimum and maximum age, the individual’s minimum credit score, and their ability to repay the amount, which is judged based on their employment status. However, over the past 5 years, we’ve seen Indian consumers opting for credit cards, as they are now privy to certain information that makes owning a credit card a wise decision.
Credit cards today come with a myriad of features and benefits. Banks and financial institutions are tying up with e-commerce platforms, brands, and retail outlets, in order to offer attractive discounts and offers to the cardholders. Individuals also get complimentary access to airport lounges or can accrue frequent flyer miles, which will prove to be extremely beneficial in the long run. Apart from these benefits, cardholders can earn reward points, while certain cards come with a fuel surcharge waiver. The average Indian today is smart, and is aware of these benefits and features, while financial institutions also go to great lengths to promote such benefits.
Applying for a credit card today is easier than ever before. If you’re thinking about owning a credit card, here are three easy steps, which will help you apply for a credit card that is tailored to your needs and requirements.
Get a new credit card by following these three easy steps
Step 1: Identify the card that is ideal for you
There is no dearth of options when it comes to credit cards. After asking yourself the all-important question, which is, “How can I get a credit card?”, you also have to ask yourself what the right card is for you. For instance, what will you use the new credit card for? Will you be using it majorly for online shopping? Or would you want to use a credit card during your frequent travels abroad?
Once you perform this exercise of introspection, you will likely get to the answer. Depending on the ‘why’, you can choose a credit card that suits your specific lifestyle.
Step 2: Start your application process
Once you zero in on the card that gives you additional benefits, all you have to do is apply for the credit card. This usually requires you to either apply online, or apply offline at the nearest bank branch, or the NBFC’s office. Alternatively, you can fill the application form by visiting the financial institution’s website, and see if you are pre-approved for the card.
You will have to furnish your identity, address, and income proofs. The list of documents includes any government-issued document, such as your Aadhaar Card, PAN card, passport, or driver’s license. You also have to keep passport-size photographs with you, and you can submit your salary slips as your proof of income.
Step 3: Activate your new credit card
Once your credit card application is approved, you have to activate your new credit card to enjoy its benefits. The physical card will be dispatched to your registered address, and you will also receive your credit card PIN. Once you have both of them with you, you can visit the nearest bank ATM, and change the PIN.
Once that is done, you can use your credit card. It is important that you read up on the charges associated with credit cards, such as joining and annual fees. It is also quite common for banks to waive off annual fees if you cross a certain limit of spends in a year. You also have to be wary of additional charges like cash advance fees and know how you can maximize the benefits of your new credit card.
Certain credit cards, like the Bajaj Finserv RBL Bank SuperCard, provide you free ATM withdrawals without any charges for up to 50 days. Understanding credit card charges helps you in using your card effectively.