Visa Credit Card: Meaning, Types, Benefits & Eligibility
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A Visa card is a widely accepted payment card that uses the Visa network to process transactions. This type of card comes in various forms, including credit, debit, prepaid, and gift cards and is typically issued by financial institutions in partnership with Visa. The Visa logo on the card makes it easy to identify.

History of Visa

Visa card history began in 1958 when BankAmericard, a multinational financial services company, was established in Fresno, California. Bank of America initially founded the business to offer its clients a credit card service. The business changed its name to Visa in 1976, and today it is one of the world's most extensive computerized payment networks.

Benefits of Visa Card

Visa cards offer a range of benefits, such as access to a vast network of merchants and businesses across the globe, flexible borrowing limits based on the customer's credit score and financial profile, and a unique 16-digit number and microchip for secure storage of user information.

What is a Credit Card?

A credit card is a convenient way for people to purchase without carrying cash. These cards, typically made of plastic or metal, are issued by banks or financial institutions and allow cardholders to borrow funds to pay for goods and services at merchants that accept credit cards.

Features and types of a credit card

There are many types of Visa cards. Credit cards usually come with a preset borrowing limit based on an individual's credit rating, and they may also offer a separate cash line of credit for cash advances. Interest charges on any unpaid balances charged to the card are typically imposed approximately one month after purchase unless there is a 0% APR introductory offer for an initial period.

Most use of Visa cards, including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express, are issued by banks, credit unions, or other financial institutions. Rewards credit card offers incentives such as airline miles, hotel room rentals, gift certificates, and cash back on purchases to attract customers. Store credit cards, which bear the retailer's name, may be easier to qualify for than major credit cards but can only be used for purchases at the issuing retailer.

Secured and prepaid debit or credit cards are available for people with limited or poor credit histories. Secured credit cards require a security deposit, and prepaid debit cards linked to a bank account with available funds. Unsecured credit cards will not require collateral or security deposits but tend to have higher credit card limits and lower interest rates than secured cards.

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What are Credit Card fees and rates?

Credit cards often come with additional costs, such as annual fees and interest rates. The annual fee is a fee charged by the card issuer for using the credit card, and the amount can vary depending on the card type and benefits offered.

Additionally, interest rates are the cost of borrowing a credit card. These rates vary widely and may depend on factors like the card issuer, credit score, and repayment behaviour.

Visa Credit Card Features and Benefits

As we have understood the visa card meaning, let's understand its features and benefits. Visa credit cards are among the most widely accepted types globally, including in India. Here are some of the Visa credit card benefits and features that come with using a Visa credit card:

Credit limit and spending flexibility

The credit limit on the use of a Visa card depends on the cardholder's creditworthiness. The credit limit establishes the highest quantity that can be charged to the card. Additionally, Visa credit cards provide users with spending flexibility by enabling them to make domestic and foreign online and offline purchases.

Rewards and cashback programs

Users of eligible transactions made with the use of a Visa card can receive points, miles, or cashback through various rewards and cashback programs. These benefits can be exchanged for goods, experiences, statement points, and more. Additionally, some Visa credit cards provide additional rewards in certain areas, such as dining, entertainment, or fuel.

Fraud protection and security measures

Several security elements are available on Visa credit cards to guard against fraud and unauthorised transactions. Among them is chip-enabled technology for increased security, zero-liability protection for unauthorised transactions, and real-time fraud tracking.

Global acceptance and travel benefits

A Visa credit card is an excellent option for people who travel regularly or purchase abroad because they are widely accepted. Additionally, Visa credit cards offer travel perks like concierge services, travel insurance, and exclusive access to airport bars.

There are numerous Visa credit card benefits however it is also important to maintain a healthy relationship with the banks in order to get a good credit score.

Eligibility for Credit Cards in India

What is visa card eligibility? To be eligible for the best credit card in India, you must meet specific criteria, including:

  • Age Criteria: Applicants must be at least 18 years old. Add-on cardholders should also be 18 years or above.
  • Income Criteria: Applicants must have a regular income, which varies depending on the features and specifications of the card. You can also get a credit card against your fixed deposit and minimum income set by the bank.
  • Employment: You can be a salaried employee working in an established company or a self-employed professional managing your business.
  • Nationality: Applicants should be either a resident of India or a Non-Resident Indian.

Documents Required to Apply for a Credit Card

To apply for a credit card in India, you need to submit the following documents:

  • Address proof - Passport/Driving License/Voters ID, etc.
  • Identity proof - Bank Statement/Voter ID/Driving License/Pension Book, etc.
  • Income Proof - Bank Statement/Pay Slip/Income Tax return
  • PAN Card
  • Passport size photo

How to Apply for a Credit Card in India?

Applying for a credit card in India is a straightforward process. Follow these steps to apply for a credit card:

  • Visit the bank's website or visit the nearest branch.
  • Choose the type of credit card that suits your needs.
  • Fill out the application form and provide the necessary documents.
  • Wait for the bank's approval and receive your credit card.

Managing Your Visa Credit Card

Opt for paying off your balance in full monthly to avoid growing balances due to interest. This means paying the entire balance amount, and no interest will be added to your bill. If you cannot pay in full, never skip a payment, even if you can only make the minimum payment required for the month.

Keep your credit utilisation ratio under 30%. This means not using more than 30% of the total credit line available on any credit card you have open. Prioritise your needs over wants when spending on your credit card to ensure you can spend what you can afford to pay back at the end of the month.

Avoid typical credit card fraud schemes by being aware of common scams and how to avoid them. Opening only a few credit cards in your name is also recommended, as it could negatively impact your credit score and make it challenging to keep up with payments.

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A Visa credit card is a widely accepted payment card that allows users to make cashless transactions and offers various benefits such as spending flexibility, rewards, and security features. Credit cards, in general, are a convenient way to make purchases without carrying cash, and they come in different types that cater to individual needs and preferences. Understanding the features, fees, and interest rates associated with a credit card is essential to make informed decisions and managing finances effectively.

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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.