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Types of Credit Cards in India

Updated on :  

08 min read.

Credit cards’ growing popularity has led to disrupting the space of lending and credits. Many new cards enter the market frequently with a whole new range of features and benefits.
These features and benefits go a long way in categorising the cards into different types. Individuals choose a card based on these categories. There are basic cards that a beginner prefer and there are air miles cards that can get you free flights. Here is a list of types of credit cards based on various criteria:

  • Basic Credit Cards: This credit card will be the preferred choice for those who wish to try out using a credit card. You will be given a small credit limit based on your income and you can make purchases with the given limit. There are no additional benefits given on transacting with the card.
  • Secured Credit Cards: Individuals who have a poor credit history can get hold of a secured credit card by making a deposit equal to the credit limit of the card. This deposit acts as a security to issue the credit card for banks. If you make payments on time consecutively for a few months, the bank may return the security deposit.
  • No Annual Fee Credit Cards: A no annual fee credit card is the one that does not levy an annual fee for the usage of the credit card. It can be considered as a basic credit or slightly above that level that provides very few benefits. Individuals at the entry-level of credit card usage or those who make limited use of the card would prefer a no annual fee credit card.
  • Low-Interest Credit Cards: Credit cards that offer a lower interest rate as compared to the other cards from a similar category is known as a low-interest credit card. However, this category is different from the balance transfer cards as the interest rate will not be as low as 0% and the rates are not valid for a specified time as in the latter case.
  • Balance Transfer Credit Cards: Though most credit cards offer the facility to transfer balance, a balance transfer credit card comes with a low-interest rate for a specified period of time. If your current card has a high-interest rate, you may transfer the outstanding balance on your current card to a balance transfer card with a low rate. Some cards offer an opening rate as low as 0%.
  • Rewards Credit Cards: A rewards credit card is the one that offers some kind of rewards for every rupee you spend with the card. Every bank defines the number of reward points you get for a specified type of transaction, such as grocery shopping and online bill payment, you make with each rewards card it offers.
  • Cashback Credit Cards: Cashback credit cards offer a certain percentage of the purchase amount as cashback whenever you make a transaction with the card. The bank may also mention criteria such as cashback is applicable only for petrol transactions.
  • Travel Credit Cards: Frequent travellers benefit from a travel credit card as the card offers benefits such as travel insurance, global acceptance, favourable currency conversion rates, and more.
  • Shopping Credit Cards: Credit cards that come with deals and offers when the card is used to pay for shopping expenses. Online and offline shopping can get you additional rewards for every purchase.
  • Entertainment Credit Cards: Credit cards that provide discounts and offers on entertainment-related spends are known as entertainment credit cards. Such spends include movie ticket purchase, concert ticket purchase, amusement park ticket purchase, and other events.
  • Airmiles Credit Cards: Every rupee you spend with an air miles card will offer air mile points to your card account. Upon accumulating the air mile points, you can redeem them for free flight tickets or other goodies available on the redemption catalogue.
  • Lifestyle Credit Cards: This type of credit card gives benefits when the card is swiped for lifestyle expenses such as premiere screenings, nightlife, fashion shows, and more.
  • Premium Credit Cards: Premium credit cards are dedicated for selected few. It provides free access to golf clubs, airport lounges, concierge service, and insurance. It may also come with complimentary travel and hotel accommodation coupons. Some cards also offer a personal relationship manager to handle the assets of the cardholder. Not everyone can get approval to own this card.
  • Co-Branded Credit Cards: Banks tie-up with brands to bring out co-branded cards that provide special discounts and deals when you make a transaction associated with the brand. Though you can make other transactions, they wouldn’t be very profitable. This strategy is, generally, used to increase the customer base for the brand.
  • Student Credit Cards: The primary users of this category of cards are college students. The card considers the fact that students do not, often, have a credit history. The approval for a student credit card has fewer criteria to be satisfied as compared to the other full-fledged cards. It also comes with a lower interest rate.
  • Business Credit Cards: These cards are designed specifically for business use. This is to make sure that business and personal expenditure are maintained separately. However, even a business credit card requires you to have a good credit history to be eligible. This is because the card issuer considers the applicant to be accountable for bill repayment.
  • Prepaid Cards: Prepaid cards require you to load money before they can be used. Every transaction you make with the card, funds are fetched from the card balance. There is no finance charge or minimum payment criterion applicable to this card.

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