All benefits are not available on all cards, every credit card is unique and provides one or more of following benefits. You should read all the points before choosing the best credit card in India.
1. Life Insurance
Credit cards provide you free life insurance while you travel by air and book the tickets from your card. Some cards have special insurance against hijacking.
That’s just an additional benefit of credit card in case of an unfortunate event while you are traveling by air. It does not mean that you should not have your primary life insurance.
2. Protection against fraud
Online frauds are one of the biggest concerns that prevents most Indians from using credit cards.. The good news is that credit card companies provide you protection against online frauds.
All cards have different policies to safeguard your online transactions. All you have to do is carefully check their terms & conditions.
Some cards protect you from any fraud transaction even before you report loss or misuse of card, but almost all companies protect you against fraudulent transactions happened after you call them and report the loss or misuse of card.
3. Low foreign transaction charges
I experimented with different ways of getting cheap forex at my recent travel to Thailand where we spent almost two months.
Credit cards offer best forex rate if you can get a card with low foreign transaction charges. The starting level credit cards charge 3.5% transaction charges while some premier credit cards charge only 2% on foreign transactions.
I also use my premier credit cards when buying software tools from foreign websites to save money.
4. Free lounge access at airports
Do you know that airports have lounges where you can relax while waiting for the connecting flight? But access to airport lounges is not free. You have to pay around $20 for every visit.
Priority pass is a program that gives you free access to lounges but it comes at an annual cost of $100.
You can get free priority pass with premier credit cards like visa signature. Enjoy your free time at some of best lounges at domestic airports.
5. Lost Baggage Claim
Airlines take responsibility of refunding you a certain amount if your baggage is lost. It happens with people who have connecting flights and had an unlucky day.
If you have booked your flight with a credit card offering lost baggage protection then you can claim the amount as per their policy.
6. Loan on Credit Card
Banks approve loans against credit cards. They know your credit worthiness based on your credit limit and your card usage.
If you maintain a credit card with excellent payment history, banks can approve your loans very easily.
However, I don’t recommend applying for loans unless absolutely required.
7. Build credit history
Credit score and credit history are new terms for Indian consumers but these are widely used in developed countries (US, UK, Australia) to evaluate a consumer’s credit worthiness. Banks check your credit history from CIBIL before approving your loan.
Indian consumers should note that credit cards are the easiest way of building credit history.
If you have just got your first job and planning to buy a car in two years and house in five years, you must have excellent credit history before applying for loan. It’s the best time to get your first credit card and build relationship with banks & CIBIL.
8. Complimentary membership to clubs
Different credit cards provide different type of luxurious memberships like Golf clubs, Taj Epicure and Vistara Club.
You may get great discounts at hotel chains like Taj, Marriot, Hyatt, Oberoi and Hilton. Many airlines get partnerships with credit cards to offer good deals on travel packages, hotels and air tickets.
Credit cards can support or destroy your financial life, depending upon how you use them. That is applicable with every powerful thing in our life, from electric appliance to nuclear power. You should understand the benefit of your credit card, utilize maximum benefits, and pay your dues on time to avail maximum benefit.
(Main Image: Flickr)
(About the Author: This article has been contributed by Pardeep. Pardeep is an entrepreneur, storyteller & content marketing expert. He writes about Entrepreneurship, PR & Growth Hacking on StartupKarma . His travel and money hacks are popular on his personal finance startup CashOverflow. You can write to him on firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with him on Twitter.)