In this digital age, getting your first credit card is almost like a rite of passage; something as indispensable as finishing college and getting a job! Your first credit card will induct you into the world of credit and finance, and enable you to utilise its many benefits.

However, it’s not always obvious what to look for in your first credit card. So here are some things to keep in mind when making that decision.

1. Annual percentage rate: Credit cards work by letting you spend money you don’t (technically) possess, like real microloans. So, when you pay back the amount you have spent, you are charged interest on it. This is called the annual percentage rate (APR), and it varies from bank to bank as well as from package to package. Kotak Mahindra Bank offers a wide range of credit cards to suit your lifestyle and has some great deals accompanied by some very competitive rates. Consider the APR as a vital criterion while applying for your credit card online.

2. Minimum repayment: Another essential factor to consider is the minimum amount you must pay on your credit card. The advantage of credit cards is that you can spend money you haven’t earned yet. Even when the credit card bill comes, you can defer the full payment till you have the money ready (you will be charged interest on the pending amount nonetheless). So it is very important to understand how much is the minimum amount you would need to pay. Some banks require only a token payment while others may demand quite a substantial one.

3. Annual fee: This is an amount you are charged annually for the privilege of being able to use the credit card and avail of the bank’s credit facilities. This fee must be paid irrespective of frequency of use. Kotak Mahindra Bank has a very straightforward and open annual fee requirement. It also lets you compare your credit cards so that you can choose the right one as per your requirement.

Before applying for a credit card online, it is imperative that you are aware of the annual fee. In case your chosen bank is not directly declaring it, find out what the ‘hidden’ charges are. These are likely to be nothing but regular charges with fancier names and descriptions.

4. Introductory interest rates: These are the lowest (and often best) rates that are offered along with a credit card. They are applicable for a minimum of six months and can last up to 24 months. The rates tend to be between  0% and 4% and are generally offered to customers who have an excellent credit  rating or who open specific kinds of accounts with the bank. This can be very advantageous if some forethought is put into it.

If you have certain purchases coming up in a year or so, try finding a  credit card that offers these introductory rates. A credit card from Kotak Mahindra Bank can be a good bet as you embark on a lifetime of financial independence!

Terms & Conditions apply. Issuance of credit cards is at the sole discretion of Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited. All features and benefits are subject to Credit Card Terms and Conditions. Please read the Credit Card terms and conditions carefully provided on the bank website www.kotak.com.

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