There are several factors to consider, such as card features, worldwide acceptance, annual fees and more.
These charges will determine the costs you pay on your card over time. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR — a measure defined in law) is the yearly percentage rate that you pay on an outstanding balance in the form of interest and charges. Interest is charged as a percentage of your outstanding balance (purchases and charges on your card reduced by payments or credits made) on a monthly basis.
Rewards programs can enhance the value of credit cards. A rewards program is typically based on accumulating points based on the purchases or transactions you make on your card. These points can be redeemed for incentives, including various products and services, airline travel, holidays and more.
Some card issuers charge an annual fee, which can help offset costs that issuers incur in maintaining accounts. These amounts vary, so please check the specific requirements with your card issuer.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A CARD
MasterCard International does not issue cards directly, but through financial institutions. Please refer to our Find a Card section for more details. Every financial institution has different policies and processes but, to apply for a credit card, you will need to be at least 18 years of age and earning an income* You may not need to have an account with the financial institution to apply for a card with them.
When processing your application, the financial institution may ask for your:
- banking details
- employment details
- Copy of driver's license and/or PAN Card
- details of other cards you may hold
- whether you're buying or renting your home
*Credit card eligibility requirements are all subject to the terms and conditions of the participating financial institutions. Please check the specific requirements with your card issuer.
Your Credit Report
Your credit report contains detailed information on your credit history, including identifying information, credit accounts and loans, bankruptcies and late payments, and recent inquiries.
Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited is among the first credit bureaus to have set shop in India. Aimed at fulfilling the need of credit granting institutions for comprehensive credit information by collecting, collating and disseminating credit information pertaining to both commercial and consumer borrowers, to a closed user group of Members. Banks, Financial Institutions, Non Banking Financial Companies, Housing Finance Companies and Credit Card Companies use CIBIL's services. Data sharing is based on the Principle of Reciprocity, which means that only Members who have submitted all their credit data, may access Credit Information Reports from CIBIL. The relationship between CIBIL and its Members is that of close interdependence.
Data relating to your loan payment performance is collated on your credit file and may be used by Banks and Finance companies as part of the assessment process for any new loans you may apply for, or for a review of your existing loans.
Your CIBIL file is an indication of your financial health. This is very important to the lenders as they assess the risk involved in granting credit.
You should therefore know what's on your credit file and periodically check to see what new data has been uploaded.
Why your credit report is important
When you ask for a loan or credit, lenders check your credit rating. This is typically a numeric ranking that indicates how creditworthy previous lenders think you are.
Your credit history, summarized by a credit rating, is essentially your financial reputation. It allows banks, employers, and others with whom you are making financial agreements, to review how you've dealt with your financial obligations in the past. The rating is held in a report accessible through a credit bureau, and updated every 30 days by banks, credit card companies, and others with whom you have lending agreements.
You achieve good credit when you prove you can responsibly manage the debt you incur. This means paying your bills on time and staying within your credit limit. Your credit report is the official document that contains this information.