Your First Credit Card: The Key to Unlocking Unlimited Experiences

Credit card; a name that not only invokes excitement but also throws up many questions, especially if a person is applying for his or her first credit card. Today, credit cards have become an essential necessity that not only reaps many benefits, but also strengthens your credit history and credit score, and provides easy disbursement of the loans. Credit cards provide you with financial freedom, which can help you to experience new things life has to offer.

The problem, however, arises while applying for the first credit card. If a person has all the necessary information while applying for the first credit card, then it’s a joyride. But when a person doesn’t have the proper information needed for their application of the first credit card, the process can be daunting and discouraging. Worry not; we are here to guide you through the whole process while providing the important knowledge as you make the decision on your first credit card.

Things to Know Before Applying for Your First Credit Card:

Annual percentage rate: This is the first and foremost point to keep in mind while applying for your first credit card. Credit cards are like microloans, i.e., you spend the money that you do not own, unlike debit cards where you can only spend the money you possess. So, when you repay the borrowed amount, the bank also charges interest on that. This is called the annual percentage rate or APR. This varies not only from bank to bank, but also from package to package within the same bank. So, always keep this vital information in mind while applying for the first credit card.

Here, at Kotak Mahindra Bank, we have tailored a wide range of credit cards to suit your lifestyle. They carry great deals with some very competitive rates.

Minimum repayment: Minimum repayment is a convenience that the bank has created especially for you. It means that you don’t have to pay the entire money at once when your credit card bill arrives. You can pay a minimum amount and then repay the entire amount when you have the money ready. This differs from bank to bank. Some require only a token amount while others ask for a substantial payment. You must, however, keep in mind that interest will be charged on the pending amount nonetheless. Therefore, it’s very important for you to understand what amount is convenient for you to pay after you get your first credit card. Your minimum repayment amount should be lesser than your repayment capacity to avoid paying additional interest on pending amounts.

Annual fee: The third factor to understand before you apply for your first credit card is the annual fee. While some cards offer a free service without any fee, others charge an annual fee when you use credit cards and the bank’s facilities. You have to pay the fee irrespective of the frequency of use. The amount of the fee differs from bank to bank and from card to card. Therefore, it is imperative that before you apply for your first credit card, you must be aware of its annual fee. If a bank is not directly declaring it, then find out about the hidden charges, which are likelier regular charges.

In Kotak Mahindra Bank, we have very straightforward and open annual charges. You can also compare your credit cards so that you can choose the right one as per your need and convenience.

Introductory interest rates: These are the lowest and often best rates that come along with a credit card. They are applicable for a minimum of six months and up to 24 months. They are generally offered to customers with an excellent credit score or to the ones who open specific kinds of accounts with the bank. Their interest rate varies from 0% to 4%. Therefore, keep in mind while applying for a credit card, as it can be very advantageous.

How to Qualify for Your First Credit Card?

A credit card brings a whole new experience to your plate. You not only get the ease of shopping, but you also become financially independent. However, in order to obtain your first credit card, you need to meet some eligibility criteria set by the banks to decide whether you are eligible for their credit card or not. These are:

  • All banks have a minimum and maximum age requirement. Kotak Mahindra Credit Cards can be issued to applicants above 21 years and below 65 years. However, Kotak Mahindra 811 #DreamDifferent Credit Card and NRI Royale Signature Credit Card allow applicants as young as 18 years and as old as 75 years to avail the benefits.
  • Every bank requires a minimum salary and also asks for a salary slip or ITR as proof at the time of application.
  • You must be a resident of India and living at a serviceable location within the country.
  • Having a good credit score is not mandatory, but it helps in the quick approval of the credit card application.

These are some basic eligibility parameters to keep in mind while applying for the first credit card.

How to Use Your First Credit Card?

You have received your first credit card. Congratulations! Now see how to use it in simple steps:

You have to activate your credit card before you can start using it. The bank sends you detailed step-by-step instructions of doing so with the card and/or through email and SMS. By following them, you can easily activate your first credit card.

Once the card is activated, you can now use it for various activities and transactions:

  • You can swipe your credit card at the ATM to get the cash like a debit card.
  • You can also make online purchases with your first credit card. You just have to enter card details. You will then receive an OTP, which you can enter to confirm the payment.
  • The bank nowadays provides you the comfort of turning your purchase into EMIs. For this, you have to visit your credit card account online and have to visit the ‘Convert to EMI’ section.
  • One more thing that you have to keep in mind is the credit card statement. Always be vigilant of your statements. It helps you to keep a track of your expenditure and ensures that you don’t overspend.

While applying for your first credit card remember that it is like an important companion which helps you in times of your financial needs and if you use it wisely, it keeps you free from any financial trouble and constraints.

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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the best first credit card?

There is no certain way to decide what is the best first credit card,

as each customer is unique and special in his/her own way and has different requirements. We, at Kotak Mahindra Bank understand this and therefore present you with a range of credit cards that suit your individual needs. 

What is the coverage scope of CPP membership in India

The coverage under CPP credit card protection membership in India is generally limited to the protection against loss, theft or misuse of the member's credit cards, debit cards, and other cards. CCP credit card protection also protects unauthorized transactions and emergency card replacement services.

Is a Credit card protection plan mandatory?

Protection plans for credit card fraud protection are optional. However, if your cards are ever lost or stolen, this is a great method to feel more secure and at ease. A wide variety of benefits, including monitoring for fraudulent activity, compensation for losses, and new cards in the event of theft, are available through plans of this sort.

What do I need to qualify for my first credit card?

Kotak Mahindra Credit Cards are available for Indian residents from the age of 18 years to 75 years

 and must be living at any serviceable location within the country. Apart from this you need to have a regular minimum income and income proof. These are the most basic credit card eligibility requirements. 

Can I cancel my credit card protection plan?

You must contact the bank's customer service to terminate the credit card fraud protection Plan. You must call from the cell phone number associated with your account. If you don't, your request can get stuck in limbo. This precaution should be taken before making the call.

What to look for in a first credit card?

Before and after receiving your first credit card,

you must critically look for important factors. Do check for interest rate charges and penalties, credit limit and grace period, annual fee, reward points and cashbacks when getting your first credit card. Also check for the minimum repayment amount and annual percentage rate.

Am I ready for my first credit card?

Getting your first credit card is not only exciting, but also a responsibility.

Firstly, check for all the eligibility criteria. If you fit in, then start gathering information on how credit cards function. You should have fair knowledge of crucial factors like the APR, annual fees, credit limit among many others.

How do I get a credit card for the first time?

Applying for your first credit card is a little different than applying for your third or fourth credit card.

In the latter case, you already have a sufficient credit history, which makes it easier for the bank to come to a decision, but when you are applying for your first credit card, you must strictly adhere to the eligibility by that particular card.

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Disclaimer: This Article is for information purposes only. The views expressed in this Article do not necessarily constitute the views of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. (“Bank”) or its employees. The Bank makes no warranty of any kind with respect to the completeness or accuracy of the material and articles contained in this Article. The information contained in this Article is sourced from empaneled external experts for the benefit of the customers and it does not constitute legal advice from the Bank. The Bank, its directors, employees and the contributors shall not be responsible or liable for any damage or loss resulting from or arising due to reliance on or use of any information contained herein. Tax laws are subject to amendment from time to time. The above information is for general understanding and reference. This is not legal advice or tax advice, and users are advised to consult their tax advisors before making any decision or taking any action.