Credit Card Mustread

The origin of the Credit card industry can be traced back to as far as 1914. The Credit cards have definitely come a long way since.
For many the Credit card has become a necessity - Be it paying for your lunch in a restaurant or buying clothes at a designer outlet or getting your hands on the latest gadgets, nothing compares to credit card when it comes to convenience.

A Credit card today provides you with not only shopping convenience and safety, but also offers you privileges like discount coupons, invitations to events, bonus points, cash-back and even a free insurance.

If you have one, great- find the next one that can address your needs better and if you haven't then what are you waiting for!

But how do you select the right credit card With so many variants available and numerous offers and promotions, choosing a card can be very difficult.
But mostly, it comes down to how you plan to use your Credit card.

For those who are new to the world of Credit card, let's find out some basics of a Credit card.
  • When deciding on a card, always remember to get something that suits you best and fits well into your needs. The innovations are fast and coming and are never-ending.
  • Do not rush. Look around and compare aspects like credit limit, grace period, renewal/annual fees, initial membership fee and other such services.
  • Asking your friends about the cards they use might help too.

When you apply Credit card, the application you submit is carefully analyzed and the documents you provide are verified. Then a credit limit for your card is set for you, based on your net income, your credit history and other such factors.

Credit limit is the total amount that you may spend with your card while paying for services. Consider the lowest limit that would fit your needs, and not your lifestyle.

Most Credit cards offer a grace period of 15- 25 days before the interest is charged on the purchase. But some may not. So find one with the longest grace period. The longer, the better.
Most banks charge annual fee, renewal fee, membership fee etc. You should always ask for these to be waived off of. Also do read the terms and conditions carefully.

Do figure out the interest rate (APR) that you would be charged and try to get the card with the lowest possible rates. Most companies charge about 2% - 3% per month, which per year comes to around 35% - 45%.

You can either pay your bills by clearing all your dues as soon as you get your monthly billing statement or you could pay in monthly installments.Make sure you settle your bills on time and do not leave any outstanding balance (i.e. do not revolve on your card). You do not want to end up paying interest on your outstanding balance. Non-payment or default in repayment could also adversely affect your credit history.

If your credit history is good, you could request for an increment on your credit limits.
If there are cards you may not be using anymore, you might want to cancel them. If you have multiple cards from the same issuing bank, you could also ask for the credit limit to be consolidated into just one card.

Eventually, the decision to choose a Credit card is yours to make. Avail a card that fits your needs. And don't forget the interest rates, the grace period, the free offers, the discounts and the likes.

Here are few features that you should not miss.
Add-on Card
Add-on card is more of an additional Credit cards that you apply in the name of your family members (father, mother, sister, brother, spouse, children), within the overall credit limit. Family members applying for Add-on cards have to be 18 years and above. All the payments for the services made from Add-on card(s) is done by you. Most banks allows for at least two Add-on cards.

Global Card
Global cards are accepted in over 200 countries. You can also use it as an ATM card.
It also gives you the flexibility of using your card instead of using cash or traveler's checks.
If you are a frequent traveler, abroad, then it is best to make your Credit card, Global.

Photo Card
If your card comes with your imprinted photo, then it is a Photo card. This type of card is considered safer as it is easier to identify the Credit card user. It also serves as your identity card.

Some safety measures to be taken
  • Sign your card as soon as you receive it.
  • You will also receive the PIN number after a few days. Keep your PIN/account number safe.
  • Every time you use your card, be aware when your card is being swiped by the cashier so as to ensure no misuse of your card takes place.
  • When making payment with your card, make sure you check if it is your credit card that the cashier has returned.
    Do not forget to verify your purchases with your billing statements.
  • After using your card at an ATM, do not throw your receipt behind.
  • Also do not discard your Credit card statementsor receipt that has your PIN or account number. Shredding or burning them would be wise. Here are few features that you should not miss.
  • Never give your Credit card information over the phone, unless you are really sure you can trust them. Same in the case while purchasing online.
  • Save receipts of payments made through Credit card and check monthly statements and check for billing errors, if any.
  • If your Credit card is damaged, destroy it and request for a duplicate card.
  • Incase you lose your card, inform your Credit card company as soon as possible. Also make a police complaint.
Credit cards are for your convenience, so it is very wise to use them within your limits.

Credit cards can temp one into overspending, but if you manage it properly, it could turn out to be your best money lender.