Credit Cards

Credit cards are essential to most people around the world, and many of us cannot imagine life without them. 'Plastic money' provides easier payment whether you are shopping online, overseas or wish to pay for larger goods and services in and around India. There are a great many credit cards on offer and the main issuers in India are MasterCard, American Express (Amex) and Visa. Use the chart below to compare the best offers, extra features which might be beneficial and any other features which might be of interest to you. Before you apply for a credit card please make sure that you read the terms and conditions thoroughly to ensure that you understand your financial obligations. Use the table below to work out which credit card will best suit your circumstances.

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Basic information regarding credit cards

A credit card is a plastic card that you can use to pay for goods or services or to get money from a cash machine. Credit cards are issued by banks, finance companies, and some stores, charities and clubs. You can use the card wherever it is accepted and shops and suppliers usually display a sign telling you which cards they take. You are allowed to spend up to a certain amount on the card, called the credit limit. The amount of your credit limit depends on your circumstances. Each time you make a purchase using your credit card the amount is added to your account. The total amount you owe is called the balance.

You have a set period of time during which no interest is charged, usually between 20 and 55 days. This is called the interest free period. After that, if you do not pay the full balance on time interest may be added to the account. Some cards offer a special deal where you are Borrowing money can also be called credit. Before you borrow money it's important to make sure you get the best deal you can and will be able to keep up the repayments. If you don't keep up the repayments, you could be taken to court and might even lose your home or other valuable possessions.

Credit cards are not available to anyone

If you have a poor credit history, you may have to pay more for your borrowing. Many lenders offer loans or credit cards with a range of interest rates that vary according to your credit history. If you are finding it difficult to get a loan or credit, itís worth checking if you have a credit union in your area.

Once you have chosen the type of borrowing that suits you, you can look around for the best credit deal. To get the best deal available, you need to the lower the APR the better the deal for you, so if you are thinking about borrowing, shop around. Comparing the APR works best if you are comparing similar types of credit over the same repayment period. For example, loans for the same amount to be paid back over the same number of years.

A few things to consider when purchasing a credit card

Always read the small print before signing anything. Most lenders have a legal duty to provide pre-contract information which you can take away with you and study. The information which must be provided includes the amount of credit, the total charge for credit, the rate of interest, repayment details, for example, the number and timing of instalments, statements of consumer protection rights and what you can do if things go wrong. Some lenders will make it a condition that you offer your property, usually your home, as security for the loan. This is called a secured loan. If you donít keep up repayments, the lender can take court action to repossess the property.

Repayment arrangements will vary depending on the type of borrowing. The lender can tell you what options there are for making repayments. Bank loans usually have to be repaid by direct debit directly from a bank account so you need to check you have the right arrangements in place.

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