Applying for credit card is like negotiating for a job. When you want it, you don’t really think about side effects and micro details. All you want is to just get it. It is only after you have a credit card when you know the kind of good and bad services and the hassles related to the credit card company.
Which could be the best Credit Card for you?
Here are the banks which have the highest number of users in India
- HDFC Bank – with 28% of users
- ICICI Bank – with 23% of users
- CitiBank – with 19% of users
- State Bank of India (SBI) – with 11% of users
- Standard Chartered – with 7% of users
- HSBC Bank – with 4% of users
- Others – with remaining 7% of users
From the above list, it is quite evident that HDFC and ICICI alone comprise of more than half of the credit card market share in India.
What to consider before applying for Credit Cards in India?
- The Rate of Interest on Credit Cards
For obvious reasons, the first parameter you should consider while choosing a credit card provider is the rate of interest they would be charging. The interest rate for companies may range from 1.99% to 3.5%, depending on services offered.
While Rate of Interest does not really matter for those who are paying on time, however, you never know when circumstances may hold you back from paying on time and you may end up paying a large sum as interest. So, it is always better to consider this aspect right at the time of choosing and applying for a credit card.
The interest rates are mentioned on a monthly basis and a slight variation of even a per cent may make all the difference.
- Annual Fee and Other Charges
Annual Fee has a lot of variation for different banks. Most of the top credit card providers offer a waive off to either premium customers or during some promotional offers. Look out for cards which have no or least annual fee.
Also, renewal fee is another aspect you should pay attention to and know in advance before getting your credit card. If you are applying for a credit card yourself without any promotional offer, it is most likely that you would be asked to pay annual fee and renewal charges. However, if you can negotiate well or wait for sometime, it may be either waived off or minimized significantly.
There could be some other charges too, along with annual fee, like:
- Charges for paying the credit card bill in cash at bank branches
- For making demand draft from your credit card
- Request for duplicate statement
Look for these hidden charges before zeroing on the credit card and negotiate as per your capability.
- Offers and Rewards on Credit Cards
Credit card should be best used in the form of reward points and benefits. For example, you can use your cards to redeem Payback offers as a part of promotional plans from various companies while you make purchases.
There are a number of more benefits that banks offer while launching a credit card. You may check with the sales executive of the bank about those offers. With these offers, you can compensate for the interest and other charges that you may have to pay on the credit card.
- Transparency and Customer Service
One of the most crucial factors related to credit card usage is the level of transparency and the kind of customer service the bank provides. For example, you can expect PSU banks to be transparent; however the customer services of those banks may not be satisfactory.
On the other hand, you would get excellent customer service with private banks, but you may not be sure of the hidden charges and fee that they may levy on your card, which can later result to a dispute between you and the card provider.
- The convenience of paying bills
After you get a credit card, paying your bills every month would be a regular affair for you. Hence, it is imperative that you check the convenience of paying the bills before you bang on a particular credit card provider. There are still few banks which have complicated and cumbersome payment process and if you get trapped once, it could be an unending process for you.
The best thing today is to go for a credit card which has net banking and online payment process. As a matter of fact, most of the leading private banks are offering online payment option for credit cards.
- The significance of application process
Above all, what matters the most at the time of applying for a credit card is how easy and convenient is getting your credit card. At the same time, you should be vary of the fact that there are banks which offer easiest process for getting a credit card, however, they come with a lot of hidden cost and charges.
You need to think all of it in totality and then only you can go for the best credit card provider for yourself. Keep every aspect in mind and do not hesitate to discuss all the possible technicalities of usage before actually applying for the card.
As a source suggests, the best credit card in India, based on all aspects is undoubtedly Citibank Credit Card, followed by HDFC Bank Credit Card. At the same time, there are a number of other providers like ICICI, which have a strong customer base and have good services.