Banks’ Credit Cards

Consumer Voice - - Contents -

C for con­ve­nience and C for charges

Credit cards have be­come a part and par­cel of bank­ing credit and come to stay within the fi­nan­cial sys­tem of India. From buy­ing things on credit to get­ting them on in­stal­ments or mak­ing on­line trans­ac­tions, or sim­ply pay­ing for your im­pulse buy, cards are handy, con­ve­nient and even em­pow­er­ing. It's not for noth­ing that credit cards have come to be seen as ‘af­ford­ing clean credit at a price'. In the re­port that fol­lows, we re­visit some good old tips on be­ing credit cards­mart and along­side com­pare eight lead­ing banks' credit cards on ser­vice charge pa­ram­e­ters, which have a di­rect bear­ing on their mar­ket share and pop­u­lar­ity.

– Subas Ti­wari & Gopal Ravi Ku­mar

The main fea­tures of a credit card can be sum­marised as fol­lows: • It is an al­ter­na­tive to cash. • Credit limit is fixed but is en­hanced de­pend­ing on card us­age. It aids pay­ment in do­mes­tic cur­rency of all ser­vicere­lated bills. • There is record keep­ing of all trans­ac­tions. • Reg­u­lar charges are in­volved. • • There is a grace pe­riod or free pe­riod (free credit). • There is ser­vice fee on cash with­drawals. • Ad­di­tional charges are levied for de­lay in pay­ment. The fol­low­ing is a check­list of fac­tors to look at when you choose a credit card: • An­nual per­cent­age rate (APR). This is the cost of bor­row­ing on the card, if you don’t pay the whole bal­ance off each month

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