A credit card offers you finance at your fingertips: you can tackle a cash crunch quickly, pay for expenses abroad, redeem reward points on regular spends, and even boost your credit score. While looking for such features is beneficial, you may also take into account the annual maintenance fees. This adds to your cost and eventually reduces the benefits you earn.
  • Therefore, you may consider applying for a credit card with no annual fees. While this is helpful, it is essential that you do not compromise on other features.
  • To ensure that you strike the right balance, follow these 5 tips to choose the best credit card in India.

Check the interest rates and applicable fees

Annual fees are just a part of the credit card costs you incur through the year. So apart from nil annual fees, ensure that other fees are minimal as well. Look for the lowest credit card interest rates as this will be the charge applicable on any outstanding balance. Similarly, look into late payment penalties, ATM cash withdrawal fees and the cost of a balance transfer. In this way, you will know the total cost of owning the credit card.

Opt for the longest grace period

An outstanding amount that is continuously carried forward to the next billing cycle results in a build-up of credit card interest charges. To keep this to a minimum and make payments comfortably, look for a lengthy grace period. This period tells you of how long you have before the amount starts accumulating interest. So, in the event that your billing cycle is set to the 4th of every month and your issuer offers you a 16-day grace period, you will start incurring interest post the 20th of the month, if you don’t pay the bill in full.

Take note of bonuses

Since you will be using this card frequently, review the bonuses for crossing milestones. These may include free airmiles on credit card renewal, a complimentary travel voucher on making purchases up to a certain amount, or reward points accredited to you on spending a certain amount in a year. Also evaluate sign-up bonuses, either in the form of a lower APR or significant reward points.

Look for discounts and cashback on regular spends

To lighten the burden on your wallet even further, apply for a card that makes recurring expenses more affordable. If you dine out regularly, for example, look for discounts at restaurants. Likewise, if you travel via your own vehicle, gaining cashback and fuel surcharge waivers at fuel stations will serve you. Some cards even offer discounts on basic everyday needs such as groceries and allow you to pay utility bills in a more cost-effective manner.

Consider reward point redemption

There are varying reward point schemes as there are different types of credit cards in the market. However, the common factor is that once earned, you can redeem your reward points for items or services listed on your issuer’s catalogue. The key to making the most of your reward points is to look at this catalogue beforehand. For instance, if having the latest gadgets is important to you, look for a rewards programme that allows you use the points to buy electronics. Similarly, if you fly often, opt for a scheme that converts points into airmiles.

Also, remember that sometimes it makes more sense to choose a card with an annual fee, when the benefits outweigh the nominal maintenance costs. Further, cards with zero annual may demand a high income as part of the eligibility criteria, so keep this in mind.

How to apply for a credit card online?

Be it buying groceries, home appliances or personal gadgets, a credit card serves as the perfect solution to fund your lifestyle as it only gives you access to a hefty credit limit but also gives you other benefits and rewards.

But before you apply for credit card you must compare different issuers that offer you the choicest benefits such as reward points on every transaction, zero-fraud liability cover, interest-free cash withdrawal from ATM for up to 50 days, and even an emergency loan of up to 90 days without any interest. Using this card as an example, take a look at all you need to know about how to apply for a credit card.

Credit card eligibility criteria

To apply for a credit card, you first need to conform to the following eligibility criteria.
  • Your minimum credit score should be 750
  • Your age should be between 25 and 65 years
  • Your past payment record must be free of defaults
  • You must be an existing EMI Card holder and a their existing customer
  • You must reside in a location where the SuperCard is live
  • Documents required to apply
You need to submit following documents to apply for credit card to prove your eligibility.
  • Proof of identity such as passport, driving license, PAN card, voter ID and Aadhaar card
  • Proof of address such as voter ID, electricity bill, telephone bill, post-paid mobile bill, Aadhaar card and passport
  • Passport size photograph

Steps to apply for a credit card

  • When you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for a credit card online. For submitting an online application, you have to visit the issuer’s website, enter basic details like your name, email ID, phone number and income.
  • After submitting your credit card application, complete a quick KYC procedure after which your application will be confirmed. 
  • Thereafter, you will also receive the login details for the customer portal through which you can manage your credit card.
  • To apply for the credit card, you can log on to their website.
  • To get an instant approval on your credit card application, you can also check your pre-approved offer online.
Since a credit card affects your credit score, it is best to check the credit card eligibility criteria before you apply.

Author Bio:

Gaurav khanna is an experienced financial advisor, digital marketer and writer who is well known for his ability to predict market trends. You can find Gaurav on Linkedin.