(ICICI) Bank “Credit Cards”
(ICICI) offers numerous / various types of “Credit Cards” (master-cards) both (VISA) & (Master-Cards) powered. At present, they do not offer “Credit Cards” (master-cards) based on Salary Slip or Tax returns to their customers. They offer this only in select cities like Bangalore. But luckily, you will be able to get (ICICI) Credit Cards (master-cards) against Fixed Deposit (F.D), which is called Instant Credit Cards. As the name suggests, it is an instant credit card with the name “INSTANT CREDIT CARD” embossed on it. To get it, you need to have an account with (ICICI). Walk into any branch of (ICICI) with at least Rs.20 thousand and open a (F.D) Fixed Deposit. Walk out with your Instant Credit Card. The benefit of this instant credit card is the low interest fee. If I remember correctly, the rate of interest is (2.49%) per month which is quite lower than other credit cards (master-cards) based on Salary Slip or Tax Return which ranges anywhere from (3% to 4%).
Instant card has 3 flavors, Gold Credit Card / Platinum Credit Card / Titanium Credit Card. You will be getting (9.25%) interest for your (F.D) Fixed Deposit. The card comes with (85%) of the (F.D) Fixed Deposit account as credit limit. Moreover, when you spend Rs.100 using this card, you will be getting 3 reward points which can be redeemed at www.payback.in for stuffs like mobile, computer, camera accessories & petrol card (this is my favorite). (ICICI) has tie-up with “Pay-Back”, & “Pay-Back” has tie-up with a lot other shops like Big Bazaar.
So you also will be able to redeem these points at Big Bazaar & get some items free of charge. You can’t cancel the (F.D) Fixed Deposit without cancelling the credit card 1st. For cancelling credit cards, you must clear all the dues in it. That’s the catch in this Credit Card against (F.D) Fixed Deposit System. I must say, bank is quite safe in this case as they don’t have or have minimal risk of re-payment issues from customers. (ICICI) Bank has award winning internet banking facility, using which you will be able to see the transactions on-line & pay the due amount instantly. You can also set auto-debit facility so that your (ICICI) Account will be debited at the end of due date to avoid late payment fees.
(SBI) Bank “Credit Cards”
(SBI) State bank of India offered credit cards (master-card) based on Salary Slip or Income Tax up-to a few yrs. back. But they don’t offer it right now. However, you will be able to get a credit card (master-card) against (F.D) Fixed Deposit of min Rs.20 thousand with (70 or 75%) credit limit. It is (VISA) powered. This card is not an instant card, and will take (7 to 14) days to deliver it. You will see your name printed on it. As a (SBI) Card user for the past 2 yrs, I find it quite expensive to keep as their charges are high. SBI also offers reward points. 1 Point for every Rs.100 spent. This point can be redeemed at www.sbicard.com website. They only have few items on their website for buying with the points. (SBI) has internet banking facility, using which you will be able to see the transactions online and pay the due amount online from any other banks, as they use Bill-Dek gat-way. The re-payment is not instant, & you’ll have to wait (2 to 3) days for the paid amount to get credited in your (master-card) credit card.
Canara Bank “Credit Cards”
Canara bank credit card is mostly a joke. They’ve introduced credit cards just 1 yr. back. Getting a credit card approved is really a tough job. You’ll have to submit Income Tax Return (ITR). They don’t accept Salary certificate for credit card. Only (ITR) is accepted. Once submitted every documents required, it will take at least 2 months to process the cards. Your name will be printed on it. It is (VISA) powered credit card. As they have recently introduced (master-cards) credit cards, they don’t have a web-site where you can see the transactions done using the (master-cards) credit card, which really sucks in my opinion. You also won’t be able to pay on-line from your canara bank account in similar way other banks provide. Another fact is that, you won’t get monthly statement either via Email or by post. You will be in such a dark if you take this card. I’ve received Canara bank card before 4 months. However, I didn’t receive a monthly statement. They often forget to respond to your emails, and I don’t think they are planning to introduce a web-site for viewing transactions on-line in near future.
However, Canara Bank credit card has a couple of feature which other bank credit card lacks. One feature is the zero interest fee for Cash Withdrawals through ATM if paid within the due date. For more information about card features, refer Canara bank website. They also offer reward program, in which you’ll get 1 points for every Rs.100 purchase and every point is equal to Rs.0.50.
I dare to use my Canara bank credit card as there is no website for viewing due amount and make payment, and if I forget to make payment before due date, I may get late payment interest as well.
HDFC Credit Cards:- HDFC is famous for their high fee for banking. The same is with their credit cards as well. Getting a credit card from HDFC is just easy. Open a savings account with HDFC. Keep a quarterly average balance of Rs.20,000. Please don’t mistake that it is the minimum balance, but quarterly average balance(QAB). So, for calculating QAB, your account must be 3 months old. Once you keep QAB above 20k, just goto HDFC Bank and apply for the credit card. You will get the card within 7-14 days. If you have a salary account in HDFC bank, all you’ve to do is to submit the salary certificate to the bank and they’ll provide you credit card. In that case, there is no need to maintain QAB. HDFC bank also has reward program but I don’t have more details about it as it doesn’t seem very popular. I cancelled HDFC Bank Credit Card after two months because of the excessive markup fee they charge for foreign currency transaction. As most of my transactions are in USD, HDFC Bank charges a currency conversion fee which they call as MarkUp fee which is somewhere 3%-5% of the transaction amount. This is in addition to the Currency Conversion Fee charged by VISA Credit card processor. HDFC has internet banking facility, using which you will be able to see the transactions online and pay the due amount online from your HDFC bank account.
So, these are the biggest players in Credit Cards as of now. Have you decided to go with a bank for credit card ? Let me give you some hints
If you have Rs.20k to deposit as Fixed Deposit, go with ICICI Instant Credit Cards. You’ll get 3 reward points for every 100 Rs you spent which can be redeemed to buy Petrol. Another plus point with ICICI Instant Card is that, it is MasterCard powered, not VISA. The advantage is that MasterCard has less or almost no charges for currency conversion, which means, you won’t be charged extra money for foreign currency payments like you get charged for VISA cards. If you do not have money to deposit, go with Canara bank credit card. For this you must have ITR. You must also have some spare time for playing hide and seek game with Canara Bank. If you can show some good transactions and keep Rs.20k QAB for the first 3 months and Rs.10k QAB for the rest, and you do not have many foreign currency transaction, I recommend you to go with HDFC credit cards.
Where else every major bank offer credit cards according to their internal policies and guidelines.