The physical attributes of credit cards are the same globally, conforming to the ISO/IEC 7810’s ID-1 standards. Also, the basic credit card eligibility largely remains the same with financial institutions – customers have to be above the age of 18 and either salaried or self-employed.
The only characteristic that differentiates one card from another is the features. Credit cards provide various features and benefits targeting individuals of all strata. They are not just limited to shopping; some use them for managing their monthly expenditures while others use them to improve their credit score.
Hence, credit cards, as a financial instrument are more viable payment options than debit cards.
Generally speaking, these cards are of two types:
- Secured credit cards
Secured credit cards are provided against collateral, especially a fixed deposit. The credit limit of these cards is either same or lower than the fixed deposit. Secured credit cards provide similar features like unsecured ones.
These are primarily availed by those who have a low credit score or an insufficient credit history. Hence, secured credit cards are superb for improving one’s CIBIL score.
- Unsecured credit cards
Unsecured credit cards are the widely popular cards that don’t require collateral. Some lenders may need customers to hold a CIBIL score of 750 or above as part of their credit card eligibility criteria for applying.
A good example of an unsecured credit card is Bajaj Finserv RBL Bank SuperCard. This credit card combines the features of 4 cards in one and brings several industry-first features. For example, cardholders can get an interest-free emergency loan for a period of up to 90 days. They can also avail interest-free ATM cash withdrawal up to 50 days.
Now, the various types of unsecured credit cards are discussed below:
- Regular credit cards
This credit card does not provide any attractive feature or benefit as such. Some of these cards also don’t have an annual fee for renewing it.
These simply have a grace period within which the cardholder has to clear the debt. Plain vanilla credit cards are good for increasing credit score.
- Shopping credit cards
As the name suggests, these credit cards cater to the shopaholic. These provide high reward points, discounts, or cashback when shopping online or offline compared to others. Cardholders also get higher reward points when shopping for specific products.
- Retail credit cards
Retail credit cards are comparatively similar to the shopping ones. However, they only provide high rewards when used in specific retail stores.
Generally, a financial institution partners with a store for providing the benefits of these cards. Customers may have to fulfil some additional credit card eligibility criteria to apply.
- Airline credit cards
These cards can be provided by an airline company or by a financial institution partnered with an airline company.
Airline credit cards provide rewards when used for purchasing flight tickets. Accumulated reward points can be redeemed to get discounts on future air ticket purchases. Furthermore, these cards also provide free airport lounge access.
The World Plus SuperCard is an RBL credit card that provides up to 8 complimentary airport lounge accesses per year and unlimited paid accesses.
Additionally, financial institutions like Bajaj Finserv bring several pre-approved offers. These offers come with credit cards, business loans, personal loans, home loans, and several other financial products and services.
Individuals only have to provide a few necessary details to check their pre-approved offer.
- Fuel credit cards
Similar to airline credit cards, fuel credit cards are also provided by lending institutions in partnership with a fuel company. These provide high reward points when used for buying fuel. Cardholders can redeem these points to enjoy attractive discounts on fuel purchase. These credit cards also provide fuel surcharge waiver.
- Balance transfer credit cards
Balance transfer credit cards come with 0% rate of interest for a fixed period.
Many times, cardholders may accumulate a high debt on their card and find it harder to repay. Plus, failing to pay the bill within the grace period will attract high interest rates.
Then, they can transfer the debt to a balance transfer credit card and clear it as per convenience. They can avoid coming under burden owing to 0% interest rates.
The credit card eligibility for the ones mentioned above may differ according to financial institutions. Hence, customers need to check the criteria before applying.