5 Logical Tips about Credit Cards

POSTED BY manish ON March 11, 2010 COMMENTS (218)

Credit cards are becoming increasingly common in India, and while they come with a lot of convenience, the high interest rates and other charges mean that you have to be careful about how you use them.

In this post, we look at 5 tips on wise credit card usage, and how following them, can save you a whole lot of financial heartache. These 5 tips are pretty logical & self-evident; we have to understand that the free credit we get from a credit card is not really free. It’s actually a business for Credit card companies and hence somewhere in the whole process, they have to have a way to make money .

1. Pay your balance in full: This one is so basic, I was not going to point it out at all, but on second thought – I realized that this should really be the first point. Of all the loans you take, credit cards come with the highest interest rates. If you run a credit card balance every month, then the interest charges add up really quickly. If you have a balance on your credit card, pay it off in full before the next due date. This ensures that you don’t pay interest on your balance, which really is extra money you can keep to invest and build savings for yourself.

Curiously enough, I know of people who don’t pay off their credit card balance in full, but at the same time, put their money in low yield investments. This is really bad math. If you have a credit card balance that is charged at about 30% per annum and an investment that gives you just an 8% return – you are much better off paying the entire credit card balance before you even think of investing your money. The extra interest you pay on your outstanding balance offsets any interest income you receive from your investment. If you run a balance, realize, it normally is a strong indication that you are spending beyond your means.  This is a bad financial habit that you should get rid of as soon as possible.

2. Avoid credit cards with annual fee: Unless you have a specific benefit in mind, from the credit card, don’t get a card that has an annual fee. It is always good, to get a credit card with no annual fee, because then the only expense you have on it, is the interest payment; and if you pay off your balance in full every month – you don’t pay any interest and your credit card will, in effect, be free! Add to that, the fact, that even most free credit cards have some sort of a reward program, you can benefit from. Why pay for something when you can get it free?

The other thing to keep in mind, while evaluating the fee, is how likely you are to benefit on it, based on your usage. I reviewed the HDFC Value Plus Cash Back credit card a few months ago, which had an annual fee of Rs. 700 and up to 5% cash back. At a cursory glance, it seemed to me that Rs.700 may not be very high due to the cash back, but a deeper look at the terms and conditions told me, that the cash back will only be credited to your account if the monthly balance is over Rs.10,000. I realized the card was not meant for people like me, who aren’t likely to run up such a balance on their credit card every month.

Bottom-line: If you are going for a credit card that has an annual fee – make sure you go through the fine print and are certain it will be worth the cost to you.

Credit

3. Get a credit card that is easy to pay off: I used to have an ICICI credit card and a SBI credit card. Both of them had similar features, but the ICICI card was really easy for me to pay off, as I had an existing ICICI Bank account, and the credit card was linked to it online. All I had to do, was go online, and pay off the credit card balance, through my ICICI login. As a result, I ended up using the ICICI credit card a lot more than the SBI one. Ease of payment, means that I can pay off the balance very often, very easily, and rarely run the risk of late fees or interest charges. While thinking of which credit card to apply for – consider just how easy it is, to make a payment on it.

This might sound like a trivial thing now, but you’d kick yourself later, if you had to pay late fees just because you lost your cheque book, or were too busy with your work to go to the bank and deposit the cheque. In fact, I’d go on to suggest that you add payment reminders on your email, phone or even a little post it on your refrigerator. Life gets busy sometimes, and a little help can go a long way in saving you late fee and interest payments.


4. Keep a track of your statement: A few years ago I went through my credit card statement online and saw that there were some charges from an unknown merchant. I was pretty sure, I had not bought anything from them, and I called up customer care to know what the charges were all about. I was put on hold for a long time, and couldn’t get through. However, the next day, I noticed that the merchant had reversed the transaction, and I even had a small credit from them.

While I was lucky in this case, there is no guarantee that credit cards won’t get abused. Always keep track of your monthly statement. If you can go online and check your transactions – that is even better, because you don’t have to wait until the end of the billing period. I go online every week or so and check up on my credit card statement to make sure no unauthorized use is happening.

5. Don’t use your credit card as an ATM: By this, I don’t mean that you shouldn’t use your credit card at the ATM, (although you should really, really avoid it as far as possible). What I mean is, there’s a tendency to withdraw cash from your credit card (since it’s so convenient) and that’s pretty addictive. Treating your credit card as an easy, reliable, access to cash will not help you in the long run. For one, the interest rates on cash withdrawals are generally much higher, and if you get into this habit, – you will run up high outstanding balances pretty quickly.

The cash advance limit, is also generally, a lot less, than the overall credit limit, so it won’t get you very far, anyway. The interest will keep adding up and grow very quickly. Withdrawing cash from your credit card should really be the last option. Usually, cash withdrawals come with some sort of cash advance charges, and more than that if you regularly withdraw cash from your credit card – again, it indicates a tendency to overspend and go beyond your means. This really means, that your personal finances are going down-hill.

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Read a Customer review on Mouthshut

I have saved all my friends by sharing my horrible experiences with ICICI Credit Cards.The customer care people are polite only till the greetings other wise they behave and speak like a criminal and very sarcastically. I have been using it for 2 years. But the customer care behavior problem is consistent. Normally I have been paying them always on time and the bill is normally above RS 5000. But once (3 months back) I had to go outstation suddenly and missed the pay date for first time for a day or two. The amount this time was also very low (maybe 1500 or 1800) as compared to other months bills. I suddenly started getting calls from a HORRIBLY SPEAKING customer care lady. When I mentioned I am travelling and will not be able to pay for another 2 days as my journey is a 3 day journey she started abusing and threatening me. She even mentioned that by tomorrow morning if I will not arrange for the payment she will send some one to my home for payment, when I said this is rubbish and she should not speak like this she started shouting and said “I will send someone and can do anything if not payed by tomorrow and reminded me that if I will not pick this call after seeing her number further she will be worse”. Is this is the way a bank should treat a long time and good customer? I have stopped using the card from that day. [LINK]

Credit Card Mistakes [Video]

Conclusion

The overarching theme of these tips is, “Get the convenience of credit cards for free.” That’s what it really boils down to.

To me, credit cards make shopping convenient and that is a big benefit, but at the same time, they also tempt me to go beyond my means, and then pay extra by way of interest. The key is to get the benefit of convenience but not have to pay anything for it. The above tips will help you do both, or at the very least – strike a balance between the two. What do you think? Have I missed out any obvious tips or is there something you’d like to add, based on your experiences?

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What is your Spouse’s level of Understanding and Interest in Personal Finance ?online surveys

Comments please ? Leave your comment to provide another tip 🙂 and let us know what you think about Credit cards .


This is a guest post written by Manshu from OneMint. If you liked this post, please consider subscribing to his site.

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218 replies on this article “5 Logical Tips about Credit Cards”

  1. Arghya says:

    Haven’t commented here for a long time. But here is what I do. I have a couple of zero annual fee credit cards, which I use to make transactions like 5/- or 10/- just to keep them active. All these cards have ECS setup with my bank account for bill payment so I do not need to worry about these payments. The only card that I use the most frequently is the Citi premiermiles card. i use that extensively, for example, putting all the grocery and bill payments on that card. When I have to travel overseas for work, I do not use my office card, rather use my own card and claim reimbursement. The outcome is, every year, I get almost 10-12K worth of airline miles. Just recently, I purchased flight tickets for my parents from Kolkata to Guwahati, through flyer miles.

    I sometimes put large purchases on my card, but before doing that, I save that amount using RDs and once I have the money required, I create an FD for that amount for 20-25 days and liquidate it just before the bill due date. So, what happens, is: not just I am getting airline miles, I am also earning money on my FD.

    1. Glad to hear how you have setup your credit card expenses!

  2. Bunty says:

    I hold a Citibank credit card. Have an outstanding bill of 1.35 lakhs. Hold this credit card for close to 8 years.These days I pay a minimum balance of 6.8k every month as my other financial burden allows me to pay just about the minimum pay. I am in knee deep shit. I committed all the mistakes above that a stupid guy living in denial would do. Have to get thus burden off my back. Called up the bank for some options.

    EMI – Bank says EMI option happens only on transactions from present day on. Not the outstanding balance or part of it. Not on any major transactions in the past.

    Redeemable rewards – I have 4982 redeemabme points. Thought I could redeem to pay the card bill.Atleast some burden is reduced. every drop counts. Bank people say, I can redeem back to credit card balance only after reaching 5000 points. And 1 point is not 1 rupee, but 30 paise. So even if I redeem 5k points, I will get around 1750/- bucks only. Not an attractive option.

    Billing – My billing date is 18th of every month. bank says due date is not fixed. It’s usually around 17th of next month but +/- 3 days. So clsoe to 30 days only. No grace period. I dont know how grace period comes into picture for me here.

    Personal Loan – I just finished payment of a personal loan of 3 years. Not happy taking another personal loan(if they give me one, that is). I have contacted StanC which is my salary account for a personal loan. They need to get back to me. Hopefully this should turn out in my favour.

    I wish I had some well off friends from whom I could borrow 1.35 lakhs and may be pay him 5k every month for 2 years. It would be have been the best case by far. Anyways.. khayali pulao!!

    So Manish.. any pointers how I can handle this? No grace period, only 30 days payment cycle.. this seems not the norm.

    1. The credit card is exactly for you guys 🙂 . I mean you guys are helping 90% others who enjoy credit card.

      The only solution which I can think for you is to take a personal loan and pay the CC debt. the EMI on personal loan will be much lower.

      Manish

  3. PriyaHudson says:

    Hi,

    Saw the poll on this page regarding ‘spouse’s level of understanding and interest in personal finance’. Just curious.. Is this a page exclusively for men? Or, was it automatically assumed that the spouse with comparatively lesser level of understanding on finance will always be a ‘she’?

    Thanks,
    Priya.

    1. Hi Priya

      Its not like that, thats the reason we mentioned “Spouse” and not “Wife”

  4. Anuj says:

    Hi Manish,

    Last year by mistake I took a credit card with an annual fees of 500. what would happen if i dont pay this fees ? would this mess up by credit score.

    1. Yes, obviously.

      This fees will be added to your dues and with interest, it will keep increase over time

  5. SouvikDatta says:

    I am using ICICI Platinum card since Feb, 2015. Recently, made a transaction on trendkart. Due to inability to provide service, the merchant was forced to reverse the payment to my credit card a/c. But, by that time the bill was already generated and the bank asks me to pay the entire amount, vouching to adjust it in the next billing cycle.
    Although, the reversal was well within the grace period (interest-free) period; still the bank wants me to pay up. Do you think its right on the part of the Bank? Is there a RBI guideline regarding this?

    1. Hi SouvikDatta

      This is very specific query which you should follow up with the concerned authority only. We wont be able to comment on that

      Manish

  6. hi Ravindra kumar says:

    Hi Manish,
    Actually last month my cc bill comes 20k and minimum due was 2,800,.how much need to pay if I paid around 10k than what will happen to next month cc bill. This can use emi it is possible.

    1. If you dont pay 20k , the full amount. you will then be charged interest on full amount

      Manish

  7. Praween says:

    Hi Manish!

    Yesterday I paid the bill of restaurant thro’ my SBI credit card. I also signed the receipt generated.
    Later when I checked my credit statement in the net, I was shocked to find that the money has been deducted twice. My card is Chip type, hence no swiping is necessary instead it is only to be inserted in the machine.
    Please tell me what to do??

    1. Hi Praween

      You need to talk to restaurant on this and also with bank !

  8. vijay says:

    Hi i am withdrawing a salary or Rs 25000 but no deductions it is an package and i am working in HUL but payslip is coming frm KM Divakar (Chartered Accountant) how can i get the Credit Card or Personal loan.

    1. What problem are you facing in getting the loan ?

  9. Amaresh Nabar says:

    Hi Manish, I use cash or salary A/C debit card to make purchases. My buying behavior and travelling habits are limited. Does one really need to have a credit card? also explain me auto debit and ECS?

    1. Credit card is not mandatory , but if you can control yourself, you can still take it and start using to build your credit history !

  10. Swarnab Ghosh says:

    Hi,

    I have 2 credit cards – HDFC Platinum Plus (which was Value Plus earlier and the bank upgraded it, have been using this for 7 years now), and StanChart Titanium card. I use the HDFC one frequently, and have never defaulted even once.

    I would say that credit cards can be a boon if you are not greedy with them. I started with a limit of 10,000 ONLY, and today bank has increased it to 4 lakhs. I bought my TV, some jewellery for my wife, did all my shopping with the card. The EMI option on credit card is very convenient. Recently I opted for the cash-on-call offer on my card to buy a pre-owned car. The loan was much cheaper than any auto loan.

    So my experience has been very pleasant indeed. But I know a lot of people who have gone overboard with their card and lost their financial stability. It all depends upon how responsible you are. It’s great power, and calls for great responsibility!

    1. Thanks for sharing that Swarnab

      I am interested to know what was the interest rate charged by you on cash-on-call loan ?

      1. Swarnab says:

        Hi,

        The interest rate charged was 11.88% reducing rate of interest. The used car loan offered in the market is slightly higher than this. Plus there was no processing fee, documentation, and the loan was processed in the same day I opted for it.

        Hope this helps!

        1. Thanks for sharing that 🙂

  11. Binoy says:

    Thanks for the great post.
    I am not a credit card user. I want a credit card now. I will probabily use the card only for EMI purchases from the shoping sites like e-bay, flipkart, amazon etc.
    My salary account is in HDFC bank. I have a savings account in SBI (which is in Kerala). I have been working in Chennai for 2 years and salary account (HDFC account) is in Chennai. Could you please suggest me a card with no anual fee?

    1. Binoy

      There are lot of cards like ICICI and even HDFC , you should contact them and they will give you info about it on customer care !

  12. Bala says:

    Manish,

    You tips on effective usage of credit card are very useful and easily doable.

    Iam caught in a situation and require your guidence. I reached my credit limit of 90k, 2 yrs ago and continue to pay Rs.5k every month judiciously. I know i can escape this by taking per.loan, but i already have one and manging this.

    I do not have 2 credit cards, when i checked with the bank….if i could do a settlement…they said….you need to be a defaulter to seek settlement…..

    How do i get away from this…..need your expert suggestion..

    Regards,

    Bala

    1. Yes, you cant get away from it like that, if you do , then you will be defaulter and your credit score will be messed up , Why dont you convert your cc debt to EMI atleast, it will be a better situation ?

      1. Bala says:

        Thanks Manish, Is this solution available from HDFC?

        1. Mostly all companies have it .. check with the customer care

  13. Rohit Taneja says:

    Hi i m working in a MNC and i have a HDFC GOLD Credit Card of 30,000 limit and i have also applied for another credit card of ICICI..Can i transfer balance from ICICI credit card to HDFC credit card at 0% interest and is there any annual fee charge for it..??

    1. I dont think its possible like that

  14. Madhu says:

    Hi,
    i have axis credit card, first time user..if we withdraw cash from ATM(10,000) how much amount will be paid after 5 days?even though its not advisable to withdraw..if i was in emergency..

    can you please tell me the how they will calculate????

    cash withdraw fees:2.5% of the cash amount.

    1. I am not sure of the exact number, but apart from the cash withdrawal fees, you will have to pay the interest per day also. Check out the terms and conditions part

  15. Raj says:

    Hi all,
    I am a regular reader of this post and quite frankly appreciate what you guys are doing here.
    I am 24 (work for an MNC) and just got a credit card(HDFC Platinum Plus) which is a life time free card.
    Can you tell me more about the hidden processing fees that the company charges?
    Ex: one of my friend swiped his HDFC card at an AXIS EDC machine(credit card swiping) machines and was charged some processing fees for it.

    can you tell me more about such situations which i need to take care as i am first timer.

    Appreciate your help.

    1. Raj

      Your friend might have paid it because the merchant has asked for it. He was not suppose to pay anything . Its his right . there is no hidden charges in credit cards when you swipe it somewhere. Some good articles you should read on credit cards are these

      https://www.jagoinvestor.com/2013/01/credit-card-myths.html
      https://www.jagoinvestor.com/2012/07/credit-card-tips.html
      https://www.jagoinvestor.com/2012/05/myth-of-minimum-balance-in-credit-cards.html

  16. Piyush Balasaria says:

    I would recommend all using credit cards to get a credit cards which has the most options for repayment. This comes in real handy when you do change your banker due to varied reasons like dissatisfaction, Company salary accs moving to a competition bank etc. Ofcourse nowadays ECS or Auto Debit Options are available with most banks but if you are one of those who like to have the power to pay your credit card bill yourselves at your descretion (Early or Late) this will come in handy.

    The best one available in the lot is SBI Credit Card. It has more than 15 payment options available. Best one is of course whether you hold an sbi account or not you can make payment through their site http://www.sbicard.com using your other net banking account. Even if you are not net savvy just walk into any nearby sbi branch and make payment in cash without a single penny bieng charged. Of -course if you do have an SBI Account you can use their online banking site to make your credit card bill payment or if you aint net savvy just walk into any nearby SBI ATM & make credit card payment using your debit card.

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  18. vinay kukreti says:

    Dear Manish,
    I am planning to take a credit card.My objective is only to use it on emergency condition,rather I am sure chanses of using it 1-2 times in a year only for online bookings.
    Kindly guide me the economical credit card with convenience.
    I have HDFC and SBI saving accounts.

    Regards

    1. You can ask any of your bank for the card , as your usage is limited , just make sure that there are no charges for cc , not at all !

      manish

  19. Jayaprakash Kanreddy says:

    Another Tip: My personal experience though.

    If you are planning to have two cards then keep one card limit very low and another card limit bit high. Use low limit card for bit unsafe transactions such as online payments (if you feel that site may not be safe but you have to make payment), hotel bill payments where your card will be with waiter till payment is done. Use high limit card for safer transactions. I never faced any bad situation such as mentioned above but this is precautionary measure I took.

    I have two cards, one with limit of 25k and another with 100k. 25k card limit bank calls me every month to increase the limit, but I always so no to them.

    1. Thats a good strategy 🙂 . I would take a note of it and use this info on next post . good tip 🙂

      Manish

      1. Nitin Gupta says:

        Actually similar strategy is usefull for atm cards also. I have a good savings(my main acc) account, and a salary account, whenever i get salary i transfer it to my main acc and keep some money in salary acc for monthly exp. i keep atm card of salry acc only in my pocket, so at any time if somebody force me to use atm and give him money, i dont loose much.
        another use of having two accounts is that all the sip, loan etc are associated with my main acc. so whenever i change job and salary acc, i dont need to update acc number in sip and loan.

        1. Nitin

          thats great .. thats called optimization of your bank accounts such that you dont have to worry much 🙂

          Manish

        2. Nitin

          thats great .. thats called optimization of your bank accounts such that you dont have to worry much 🙂

          Manish

        3. JayaprakashReddy says:

          I agree Nitin, I’m following the same with my accounts.

  20. Sunny says:

    Last month my ICICI credit card bill was 17000. I paid Rs 10000 on time and Rs 7000 was outstanding. This month i did some purchase worth Rs 30000. Now when i got my bill i have been charged interest on Rs 30000 (Last month 7000 plus this month 30000). The bank guys told this is the policy. Can you please help me understand this? Is this the rule all banks follow? I find this very ridiculous.

    1. Sunny

      Its not ridiculous by any means , thats the rule of credit cards and thats the simple business logic through which credit cards make money , You are one of those lucky customers your credit card has who will now pay interest to them untill you clear all debt .

      Note that once you have any amount outstanding with credit card (in your case 7,000) , you will now be charged on the total credit you have at any point ,that 1 month limit and all is not applicable, Its a well known rule and nothing wrong in it . Pay your debt asap ., I see no point in paying interest at the rate of 50% per annum .

      Manish

    2. Ajay says:

      @Sunny, With the ICICI CC statement you receive you will find “How to read the statement” and how does the bank calculate the penalty and interest. They have even explained with an example. Did you get a chance to go through that ?

  21. mahesh says:

    Hi Manish,

    I am having a ICICI credit card and due to some over shopping i had the debt of over 20000 Rs. and on that time i was not in a position to pay the full money on time so i was making the minimum due payment regularly but whenever i am paying the minimum amt, around that much amount again is add to the my credit card a/c, due to interest charges, and with that my credit card limit crossed and they again charged me over limit charges of Rs 500+ser tax. but i was paying regularly. one day i got a call from icici cust care and they told they are going to convert my o/s in to 6 or 12 or 18 months installment with the interest and then they will disconnect my credit card so i had chosen the 12 months options and already paid the 6 installments but i don’t want to disconnect my card as i want to rebuild my credit history as i am in a good position now to make payment of this credit card i will do my all shopping through the same card and will pay on time so my credit history will be good, pls let me know if i am correct .

    1. Mahesh

      You have already damaged a bit of your credit score and its not a good thing , now you have a history that says “This guy does not make full payment of his credit on time” . Its like a sin is done once , and its takes ages to correct it . Final decision will be on ICICI if they would allow you to use the card after 12 payments, better would be to follow up with them on email / phone and tell them that you want to clear your dues asap . Take a personal loan if required and clear the credit card loan .

      Check your credit score also and ask ICICI to tell CIBIL that you are clearning your credit now and they should mark you cleaner now .

      Manish

  22. Kautilya Singh Parmar says:

    Hi Manish,

    Thanks for the post. I have some queries here. Let’s say my Credit Card “Due Date” is 25th of every month. I make the online payment online going through the Credit Card company website on the same date.

    1. Should I be charged with the late payment fees if the Credit Card company receives the payment after a day or two even though I make the payment on time?

    2. What if I make the payment on 25th at 11:55 PM in the night, will it be still counted in 25th?

    3. Why is that credit card company always receives the payment after substantial time even though the money would have been already transacted or debited from your bank account?

    4. Normally how many days a credit card company takes to receives the payment if it was an online transfer?

    5. What if the due date falls on weekend, will I have to plan my payment in advance?

    The above points might sound silly but I have had some bad experience with Barclay bank credit folks. Per them one should be making the payment in advance I mean before the due date. Is that true?

    For a particular month, I noticed that the credit card company had received the payment after 7 working days, I was charged with hefty late payment fees. After a lots of follow up and arguments they waived off the charges, but can I sue the CC Company for such practices? If yes what can be the maximum compensation what I can ask for? To be honest I don’t want to settle down with a cheap amount. So is that possible in India?

    Looking forward to hear the answers to my queries.

    Thanks!

    1. Kautilya

      1. Yes , due date is the date when they should get the payment , not you making the payment

      2. Yes

      3. Its all process, depends from bank to bank , there are rules on how things should move from one place to another, so it can take some time

      4. No idea , but should be anywhere from 1-4 days

      5. Yes

      Manish

  23. A very good coverage of the main points about credit cards usage by Manshu… Some time back I also wrote an article about the 8 Don’ts when using a Credit Card.

  24. Venkat says:

    Well, I have made all worst mistakes with my credit cards for almost 8 years since i picked up my first one! Have definitely paid up to a lac in this period. All due to lack of knowledge and understanding! But, for the last 2 years i have successfully used their maximum credit facilities thus have paid NO-charges to them! (except their single digit service charges on train ticket books etc ).

    Now, here is what I do these days:
    1) I have linked my Credit and Debit card account. to be able to easily transfer whenever i need to.
    2) Even the Coffee i buy only on Credit cards. Also my wife buys even the fruits and vegetables weekly on her add-on card!
    3) Repayment:
    On the due date I have a standing instruction to the bank to pay-up (JUST -) my minimum balance for the month.

    And just a day before my Billing date, i check the exact outstanding (Minus the refunds that have come-in through the month ). And pay just the balance I need to pay against my last Bill.

    This does the real Trick!!

    Finally, I am even trying now to see if I can make some quick money from the Liquid funds for the 30K+ I re-pay monthly to the card agency. So, as soon as i received my salary.. i transfer almost 25K to a Liquid Fund. Thus earning a few hundreds on it before I withdraw to repay at the end of the month!! 🙂

    Venkat M

    1. Venkat

      Good tips 🙂 .. Nice to hear how you learned from mistakes and finally now using that knowledge to make most of it .. Just make sure that the few hundreds you are trying to make is worth all the hassle 🙂 . I would personally let it go .

      Manish

    2. Bala says:

      Thanks Venkat , let me try this. Hope it will work the way you presented.

  25. E Pradeep says:

    A few points which could be useful:

    1. Most people know by now that Cash Withdrawal using Credit Cards is not advisable. Other than a hefty fee, interest is calculated on a daily basis. But what is less known that in many banks, the interest on the interest charged on the cash balance is also levied on a daily basis. So, if you have been charged Rs 10 interest on your cash transaction, this 10 Rs also accrues daily interest, so getting your interest to zero, after withdrawaing cash can be difficult.

    2. When you do a short payment of your bill, your status chnages from a transactor to a revolver. Once you become a revolver, your credit free period lapses and every transaction you do in the cycle starts attracting interest till you pay off the balance entirely and not just the closing balance of your card. So, never make a Minimum Payment and do a complete payment.

    3. Balance Transfer is a tricky product. While many banks provide a 90 day credit free period on BT, the moment you pay your statement bill less the BT, you can become a revolver-the MITC and Welcome kit should be read carefully to check this.

    4. In case of a transaction erroneously billed to you, call the bank immediately and inform them. As per Visa/MasterCard guidelines, all card disputes raised to the Acquirer bank (the bank that installed the merchant terminal) have specific time periods for resolution. So, if a bank says they need 60 or 90 days to close the dispute, they are not wrong; they are going by the guidelines.

    5. Regarding the linking of cards and bank accounts, it is not necessarily the customer’s choice. Most banks have a CRN which links all credit cards of the cutsomers to his bank accounts. If the money has to be collected, the Collections team would take that money from your account-Salary A/C or not.

  26. prashanth says:

    I have credit cards…around 3 of them….they do get handy many times…especially when u don’t have reserve in your bank account and some one has to be hospitalized.

    I usually buy groceries too with my credit card just after the bill generation date. So as to keep my salary untouched and to be ready for some investment. By the time due date approaches I’ll be having the next month salary credited and i’ll be comfortable to pay back my credit card bill…so this way i get around 45 days to actually spend my salary. But i do remember to pay full every time and never fallen in to that interest stuff. Just plan a bit and can be very comfortable with credit cards. But yes, u need to be using internet to let the bills deposited on time :).

  27. mynamisnotkhan says:

    I have credit and debit cum atm card of HDFC bank..never used credit card..no annual fees for me..i use debit card in restaurants, purchasing clothes etc, to withdraw money from atm. for booking movie, air, train tickets i use net banking

    1. Thats great !!

      Manish

  28. bala says:

    Just a word when linking your credit card with bank a/c’s

    donot link your credit cards with salary a/c even if both card and bank are the same group
    always link with a zero balance a/c and pay from that a/c only
    this will ensure your money is NOT transferred automatically from the salary a/c to pay for credit card charges

    1. Bala

      Hmm ya .. this is good idea , just that there is a bit of hassles 🙂

      Manish

  29. drkhann says:

    Nice article

    1. drkhan

      thanks

      Manish

  30. Arun Rathi says:

    Hi Manish,
    I have some query regarding credit card settlement process.
    I had HSBC credit card, during the current recession phase i was unable to pay my credit card dues and finally i had to go for settling it.
    I had total outstanding around 1.6 lac and got settlement approval in 80k. I have provided the 7 PDCs as mentioned in the settlement latter.
    After 2 installments the collection agency lost my PDCs and was asking for the cash payment. I told them to give me in written that they have lost the cheques but they said they cant give in written. I refused to make the cash payment.
    I keep on receiving the call to make cash payment but i always refused without any official document.
    After a month i realized that my 3rd cheque has not been gone for clearing. The collection guy told me “This is the only proof that we have lost the cheques otherwise it would have gone for clearing. And if you will still not make any payment your settlement will be null and void”.
    I was quite up sad about this. I called up HSBC credit card customer care but they said that my account is witth collection agency, I need to talk to talk to them only.
    Finally after decided to make the payment to the collection person. I have the payment of remaining amount before my due date in several installment (as asked by collection person).
    Last installment was paid by me on 25th-nov-09. At that time the agent said that i will receive zero balance statement after 2 months.
    Last month i called up HSBC and asked the status of my card. They said my card has outstanding of 1.2 lac. I told them that I have settle this card. Then i was informed that my settlement was null and void. I asked the reason for it. They said reason is not mentioned in the system they need to write a mail to head office, it will take a week. After a week i inquired again on HSBC collection center, they said settlement was void because i have not made the payment in equal monthly installments (as it was mentioned in settlement latter). I told that “I have given PDCs for equal monthly installment, first it is your fault that you have missed those cheques and second you were not ready to give me official confirmation that you have missed that cheques. That is the reason for delay in payment and restructure in monthly installment amount. But they refused to hear me and said this is final from bank`s end.
    I called up my agent and shout on him. He said he can put the special request for reversal. For doing so he is asking for around 4000 bribe.
    I am not getting any help from HSBC credit card service center.
    Can you please help me with the place when I can complaint about these guys?

    1. Arun

      Once as you have already followed up with Bank and spent a lot of time , its the time you have to go to Banking Ombudsman .

      Try to contact on these numbers : http://www.apnaloan.com/home-loan-india/Banking-ombudsman-area.html

      Also file a complaint at RBI website : http://www.rbi.org.in/Scripts/bankingombudsman.aspx

      Also cc the mail to Bank . Lets see what happens

      Manish

      1. Arun Rathi says:

        Thanks Manish,
        For now I am planning to give bribe to agent (as i dont want to take more chance with my credit rating. I am already getting sms from HSBC saying that my name has been put into defaulter list, since last couple of weeks )
        I know that I am also doing crime by paying bribe but I am not sure how much time it will take to resolve this issue, after I place a complain so dont want to get suffer because of some unexpected delay in whole process.
        My first priority is improve my credit score. Once the agent will settle all the due after that I am planning to file the complaint.
        Let me know if I am doing anything wrong

        Regards
        Arun Rathi

        1. Arun

          ok , looks fine for now .. I am understand the urge to improve the score .. In the meanwhile you yourself order your scorecard from CIBIL so that you can double check . Also , after you are done with your case and once you are satisfied that you are in good shape . Lets create some scene here on jagoinvestor with a post where you explain your story , You also file a complaint letter and lets see if we can take this matter anywhere upto the top ladder 😉

          In the long run our motive here at jagoinvestor is that companies should understand that they should not take customers for granted .

          Manish

          1. Arun Rathi says:

            Manish

            I have filled the CIR form and sent it to CIBIL to get Credit Information Report…. can i get my Credit score also ?

            Arun Rathi

            1. Kartikeya Khanna says:

              You do not get any Credit Score in India as you get it in the US. CIBIL report will simply show the details of –

              a. Your addresses changed with the CC companies or banks
              b. Your CC details so far (open/closed accounts, max payment, etc)
              c. Bank loans
              Assessment of the report is left to the individual.

              You can also see a sample CIBIL report at http://www.cibil.com and order your own report online (though you will have to download the pre-filled form and send the signed copy by post)

              Kartik

        2. Arun

          Here is some information for you .

          ——

          If he has all the communication in writing like the settlement letter etc.. he should complain to the grievance cell of HSBC or follow the procedures in link below.
          http://www.hsbc.co.in/1/2/miscellaneous/grievance-redressal

          once the csae reaches Ombudsman his problem will deinitely be solvd as now adays RBI is very much concerned about customer service

          ——

          Thanks to Manikaran Singal for helping on this .

          Manish

          1. Arun Rathi says:

            Thanks Manish….

    2. Anand says:

      What was the reason to refuse cash payment? You might have cheque numbers given to them.

      You could have cancelled those cheques online or by calling cust care and then given cash to them. After you cancel the cheque, it is just a piece of paper.

      Am I missing something here?

      –Anand

    1. Jitendra

      Good link , the power of compounding works here too .. 🙂

      Manish

  31. S S says:

    Good one, I’ll send the link to few people they need to read it. I know people who virtually save nothing from salary, absolutely nothing and they keep 2-3 credit cards. I wonder how the hell they are ever going to pay back!
    Recently a friend got a call from customer care, fellow has two offers: 50% off on movie tickets (lifetime) or 51 lakhs insurance. She jumped hearing first offer. But it cannot be so, can’t understand the maths but I am sure no one offers anything for free, there must some twist, I am waiting to hear that from her.

    1. Shweta

      The catch is terms and conditions , the card might be a paid one , the interest might be extremely high and many more ..

      Manish

  32. Anu says:

    The part of the world that i live in, North America, I am not only forced to have a credit card but also use it on regular basis, in order to build my so called “credit history”. If not, I will be rejected from many services like home loan, low interest on home loan or car loan etc. I am still bold not to have one bcoz I am very weak in managing them n most often I always have them full before the month…. But am still using my husbands card (cant resist)… When v went looking up for a house the agent told us better your wife should have her credit card at the earliest, so bank will atleast give loan. Its really sad how they suck money out of u.

    1. Anu

      LOL !! Forced to use !! .

      Amrikka is great !! , I know some people who never saw GOLD , just heard it 🙂 . People are judged if they have a credit card or not and are they using it or not .. Strange !!

      Manish

  33. Sathya says:

    I think the best way to handle finances like utility payments is thru internet banking…most of the well known banks like Axis, ICICI and HDFC have connections with most billers….
    Instead of using the credit card for other stuff, we cud use the debit card…in this way we can reduce 2 risks: Interest payments and not going overboard with spending more than one’s means…
    I guess this way we can skip the credit card….

    wat do u guys say?

    1. Manshu says:

      For me personally, internet banking is sometimes too cumbersome. I was recently trying to activate a subscription to a magazine and there were just too many steps to go through when I tried to use internet banking.

      Plus the risks you point out are with the individual – controlling spending and being alert with payments and not with the credit card itself. Folks can have no credit cards, and take out a personal loan and screw their personal finances. It’s all a matter of discipline at the end of the day.

    2. Sathya

      I agree , thats where companies try to find people who are careless and make money from them . its all about probability .

      They sell credit card to 100 people , 95 people pay on time and enjoy the benefit , 5 people defualt and are careless and BANG!! , these 5 people will pay enough interest and charges which will ultimately help company make profits .

      manish

  34. sunny says:

    Credit cards are great if there is no annual fee and you pay in time to get the reward points… 🙂 For me my credit cards are a blessing because when my father had a stroke (hope you all understand the kind of prompt treatment that is required), it is my card that made my life so simple. I paid everything at the Nursing home through card and settled all the amount next month. Earlier when i just joined worklife i was having 4 cards. (all free) Didnt have much awareness. Now i just have 2.

    1. Sunny

      Thats a smart way to use credit cards . You can always use them to get money in emergency 🙂 . good one

      Manish

  35. Wills says:

    I have been using credit cards for the past eight years without any problem both in the UK (initial five years) and in India (later three years) and also in other countries while travelling. I find that both my HSBC UK and HDFC cards have been extremely reliable. I have not defaulted on a single payment as I have always payed the full balance in full (always enable Autopay or Direct Debit facility). I always use credit cards whenever possible – both online and at shops. Maintain credit limits according to your needs
    and usage only – not because the bank offers you a higher credit limit. Never let the credit card out of your sight at shop as the information on your card’s magnetic strip can be stolen by fraudsters. One grievance I have is that the customer’s signature on
    the bill is never compared by the vendor with yours on the credit card – this happens in India only. Never withdraw money from the ATM with your credit card as you are actually taking a loan from the bank. I would advise everyone to use your credit cards
    always whenever possible but to pay off the balance in full every month .

    1. Vimod

      Nice to hear about your great experience on Credit Cards 🙂 usage , I agree with you that If we use credit cards well , its a great tool 🙂 . So the credit cards usage in India is not monitored well , any one can take your credit card and buy some stuff at some shop and no one is going to check it . its bad .

      Manish

  36. Amrut Patil says:

    Manish,

    I know about CIBIL but it is now only for financial institutions.
    As a consumer i dont have access to these reports. Right now CIBIL report is being used only to check if you are not defaulter.
    What i meant above is based on credit scores your interest rate for loan will be decided. thats the future

    1. Rocky says:

      GOOD NEWS for u Amrut.
      U can get your report from CIBIL.
      Here is the link http://www.cibil.com/accesscredit.htm
      I got mine last month.
      -rocky

      1. Jason Braganza says:

        I was just about to go looking for info on this! Thanks a ton Rocky!

        1. Great .. I can see some nice information exchange and team work in knowledge shaing 🙂 here

          Manish

          1. Jayaprakash Kanreddy says:

            I got my CIBIL report few days back. It has information only about my loans and credit cards, not about bank accounts and their history. 🙁

            1. Ohh .. Do we have to apply for that information seperately ? Any idea ?

              I think CIBIL will talk about only your loan related information and history and not everything other than credit !

              Manish

  37. Manish says:

    hi manish,
    just a correction.For cash withdrawals interest charge is not high.its the same. just that there arent any free credit period for withdrawals. Interest is charged from the day you withdraw cash .

    1. Manish

      yes , thats not actually correct for all credit cards , some credit cards have higher interest rates for cash withdraw , but most of them have same . However cash withdraw has its own demerits like

      – Interest charged from the day you withdraw (whereas if you pay for something you get credit free for some days)
      – Transaction charges 🙂

      Manish

  38. Rocky says:

    CASH IS KING
    I do not use any credit card.
    I have a HDFC Gold Debit Card which gives 1% cash back on all POS transactions.
    I keep away from Credit Card like plague. I am happy.
    -Rocky

    1. Rocky

      Good , I was also like you , but then I took a credit card for travel booking and all , but I am also staying away from them as far as I can 😉

      Manish

  39. khalid says:

    Nice post Manish

    I am using SBI credit card for about 10 years and haven’t faced any problem yet, you can say its by luck.

    1. Khalid

      Well , I would say that its not luck , the credit card companies work on the model that they start messing up with you when you fail in making the payment or do something which involves in late payment . If you are always good , then they have nothing to catch you on .

      Manish

  40. Ajay says:

    Manish, As usual a good one.

    #3 is very important coz I had a Stan Chart CC earlier and many times I noticed that they either did not clear the cheque boxes or gave some other reasons for not clearing my cheque on time. Now I have a CC from ICICI and the payments are easy (I know many of you may frown, but then…. hey they have been good to me… at least till now :).

    1. Ajay

      Thanks for comment , You should raise the matter when they do not clear cheques on time , as per RBI , that should happen the next day itself (not sure though)

      Manish

  41. Amrut Patil says:

    Hi Manish,

    Its another good post. Usage of credit cards is going to be very important going forward not only to save high interest rates but also considering that we are going to have US like credit reporting agencies which will monitor your credit health monthly. Every non payment partial payment is going to impact your credit report which will bring your credit score down. with lower credit scores means you cannot get loans on lower interest rates. Also not owning credit card is not option as credit report requires you to have credit card to have good credit score 🙂

    1. Amrut

      yes , we already have credit ranking system in india and in coming days it will have a very big role in deciding how can you get loans etc , its already there 🙂

      Manish

      1. parthaiyengar says:

        Hi,

        just to add to Manish’s points and others, apart from getting your cibil report which is available, do you know now even your other utilities bills get tracked and reported to industry associations and in turn to cibil?
        for eg if you don’t pay your mobile bills by moving to other city, you can be easily tracked.. or for that matter if you do not pay electricity bills of reliance, your phone connection would get cut and your rating system would go for a toss..
        its all happening.. that means when you apply for your home loan or car loan or personal loan..you would be disqualified..

        so..every one..please pay check your bills, resolve any payments with the bank or respective firms[file complaints with the ceo- don’t ever talk to call centres..it doesn’t work..] and clear it..
        i am writing this detailed response based on arun rathi’s feedback..its sad..
        the truth is in this country, if you write to the ceo it works ..because no one is accountable or responsible in the companies..
        the ceo has an image to maintain for himself as well as for the company..
        they are usually genuinely customer friendly..they just don’t know the real picture..what customers face with their staff.. so you will get what you want..
        ultimately , you and I don’t want to default right..we are genuine customers but have been wronged..we have to raise our voice to the right person to get it resolved..
        all you need to do is check the website , google, media and linked in to get the ceo’s name, find the email id in the site[ you won’t get the person’s email id, but would get say investor relations person under the annual report or financial statements.. or grievance cell.. use this to start and put a cc to the ceo..all you need to do is try out various combinations of email id to get it..
        for eg. if you have a complaint against dell computers..
        simple write to michael.dell@dell.com, michael@dell.com, michaeldell@dell.com
        and michael_dell@dell.com. One of them will work.. please use cc while addressing to the ceo
        the person you are addressing will get jitters and before he can act, he will get a call from the ceo’s office to sort it out asap..
        It works for me all the time..
        your problems will get resolved in flat one week..

        hope this helps..specifically for rathi..

        cheers
        partha

        1. Arun Rathi says:

          Thanks Partha,

          Actually in case of HSBC, as this is not indian bank…. i did not get the mail ids of senior persons (actually I have also not tried hard for this, I will do it now)
          All I am having is “info@hsbc.co.in” I have posted several mails there but they also unable to solve this issue.
          Can someone please tell me how can I complain about these issues (specially now when the agent is clearly asking for bribe) in consumer court or other appropriate forums…

          Regards
          Arun Rathi

          1. parthaiyengar says:

            Arun,

            remember, most of the organisations across the world would not put out the email ids of their ceos and board of directors..

            but today, with little home work you can get it.,.
            you have google and also read business magazines and track the top management in financial institutions..
            it will come in handy..

            let me help you this time..
            go to careers section..you see email id..
            use that as base to figure out the appropriate combination that should appear before @hsbc.co.in
            for eg. stuart davis is the current c.e.o.
            so..work out the permutation/ combination..
            stuartdavis@hsbc.co.in, stuart@hsbc.co.in, davis@hsbc.co.in, stuart.davis@hsbc.co.in and stuartdavis@hsbc.com
            one of them will work..
            since he was earlier head of australia operations..

            in your specific case, right now you need to address your mail to
            rajnishbahl@hsbc.co.in
            and cc to stuart davis

            this info is available in hsbc site only..see the link below i had sent you..
            Mr. Rajnish Bahl,
            Country Head, Personal Financial Services,
            “Shiv” Building – Plot No. 139-140,
            3rd Floor,
            Sahar Junction Road,
            Western Express Highway,
            Near Garware,
            Vile Parle (E),
            Mumbai – 400 057

            please do send a copy of the mail to ombudsman at RBI as well..
            it works..
            http://www.hsbc.co.in/1/2/miscellaneous/grievance-redressal
            please read the link and you get a link to banking ombudsman..

            all these are available in hsbc site only..

            go ahead..frame the mail properly in logical sequence with dates etc..
            be polite and at the same time convey your disappointment and being upset at the way you have been treated..

            think through and write properly..
            you will get your case resolved..

            please do your homework and when it comes to banks, don’t ever deal with middlemen..that is collection agents..
            there are officers in the banks who would deal with you, if you insist..

            good luck..
            partha

            1. Arun Rathi says:

              Partha

              Thanks a lot, I will forward that mail with scanned copy of documents I have.

              Regards
              Arun Rathi

        2. Partha

          Thanks for the insight , I never knew that even utility bills are getting tracked ? How do you know this ? Insiders 😉 . I bet

          Manish

          1. Arun Rathi says:

            Somewhere I read that utility bills are not getting tracked by CIBIL. It may be tracked by individual company e.g. rel infra can access some details from rel com.
            I heard that utility bills (also other things like delay in your house rent etc.) affects your credit rating in other countries like US but that is still not true for India.
            Partha can you please en light us on this.

            Regards
            Arun Rathi

            1. parthaiyengar says:

              Arun and Manish,

              The way forward is that all service providers would share database of defaulters. Today technology makes it possible..
              Already, there are enabling procedures towards it..

              Like you said, reliance infra in mumbai tracks telecom bills and if you default, your power could get cut..

              Its a question of time it gets implemented..

              because, the simple fact is personal debt to gdp ratio has tripled in 5 years..
              personal debt includes – credit card, personal loan, auto loan, home loan and consumer durable loans..
              to be precise , india’s personal debt to gdp ratio has moved from 5% to 15%..
              and micro finance institutions adding to this kitty in a ferocious pace..

              of course, its nothing compared to america’s 120% !
              but we could get there in the next 10-15 years, if we don’t watch ourselves..
              the onus is on us to be prudent in our spending..
              today, most youngsters swipe the cards through emi schemes to buy consumer durables and electronic goods as if there is no tomorrow..
              our older generation saved first and then bought it..
              today we don’t wait, we want everything now..
              the credit cards is a great tool for instant gratification rather than saving and buying it..
              classic examples are frequent change of cell phone high end models, l e d to plasma tv, home theater audio systems, bigger cars etc..
              the other day i was stunned to see an ad by levi’s offering jeans purchase through emi mode!!
              infact am shocked that people use credit card cash for investments- to buy during ipo on the assumption that they can make a quick buck by exiting during listing and repay it..
              most of the time the listing price of the stock is below the cost price..
              and they end up adding more debt..

              guys, please watch out..use judiciously the credit card..
              because that’s the first bomb that implodes in your personal finances category…

            2. Arun Rathi says:

              Thanks partha…. this information is really helpful

            3. Partha

              “personal debt to gdp ratio” , thats an interesting ratio to understand how critical situation is in country . However I feel a better ratio is “Personal debt to Personal Worth” in a country , because that would give a better idea of how deep people are in debt , No ?

              Am I trying to be too creative here ?

              manish

    2. Manshu says:

      I don’t think there is a centralized agency that generates credit scores, but that is probably where India is headed. Regardless of credit scores and such, people should try and develop good credit habits. As for usage of credit cards, even now it becomes difficult to get by without one.

      1. Manshu

        Its already there , CIBIL maintains that and Banks have started using the scores : http://www.rediff.com/money/2008/dec/29what-everyone-must-know-about-cibil.htm

        Manish

        1. Manshu says:

          Thanks, I wasn’t aware of this. Will have to look up my report now.

  42. Manshu says:

    Manish,

    Just wanted to drop in a comment to thank you for allowing me to guest post here. Thanks!

    1. Manshu

      My pleasure

  43. yogesh says:

    Hi All,

    Good article.As just now I appiled for credit card & planning to start using it.

    Previously I was against the use of credit card but now facing problem due to its absence
    as some site accept payment only through credit card .manish as u said airlines and Purchasing movie ticket are two places where I am feeling its necessity .

    At all other places I will be using debit card only.

    I will only be using credit card if there is no other options of payment.

    Regards
    Yogesh

    1. Manshu says:

      Yeah, that is true, it is difficult to get by without a credit card because that is the only thing you can pay for at some places. I see no problem with that as long as you use it judiciously like some of the commenters have stated above.

      1. Manshu

        Even though there are some places where you can pay through credit card only , I think in future that will change . even web portals are giving options to pay through debit cards and net banking .

        how are things in US ?

        manish

    2. Yogesh

      I agree to that, keeping credit card as last option to pay anywhere makes sense , but if you are disciplined enough , you can use credit card extensively 🙂

      Manish

      1. Srini says:

        In fact, if you are used to the routine of paying credit cards fully before the deadline, it is much better to use credit cards than debit cards all the time.

        (ALL below reasons applicable if you follow above article best practices only though..)

        Reasons –
        1. Your money will not be deducted right away and u get some to pay them off.
        2. You can contest any of the payments if suspicious in case of credit cards.
        3. You get better protection via credit card for fraudulent charges.
        4. You can track your expenses in the credit card statement easily monthly. debit card statement is not easy to track as more entries would be there.
        5. there will always be some cases where only credit cards accepted, primarily to cover unexpected risk from provider perspective.
        6. you get more free goodies (points etc)
        7. you can build good credit history.

        wow.. list is big and could grow further..

        1. Srini

          those are really some good points 🙂 , thanks for contributing

          Manish

        2. Jayaprakash Kanreddy says:

          One more point to add:
          You can have the cash in your bank account for all the purchases you made through credit card, till you pay the bill. that will earn you some interest, even if it is very low, money is money. 🙂

          1. Kartikeya Khanna says:

            That is the precise reason I hold onto the CC payment until the last 4-5 days to the payment due date. So far I have not paid a single paisa in interest (I am using CC for the past 5 years now)

            1. JayaprakashReddy says:

              very true Kartikeya,

              After NEFT transfer facility, I transfer payment to CC only a day before due date, of course I make sure that it is NEFT transfer day as in working day.

  44. Vishnu says:

    nice article,

    Even i want to add one more point. Dont swipe the amount more than the credit limit. The charges are more. For example SBI silver card, the limit is 25000 per month and swiping more than that will cost you more.

    -Vishnu

    1. Vishnu

      Thanks for the tip !!. how ever I didnt understand what do you mean by swipe ? Does it mean swiping the card when we buy something , are we allowed to swipe for more than the limit assigned to us ?

      Manish

      1. Vishnu says:

        Hi Manish,

        I mean “allowed to swipe for more than the limit assigned to us”. Over a period of 1 month if your limit is 25,000 and if you swipe more than the limit, they will charge you more on the amount above 25,000.

        -Vishnu

        1. Got it 🙂

          Thanks

  45. let me add my Credit card experience as a Reader for the first time on the blog and not as reply to some comment 🙂 . I hope someone will reply to my comment this time 🙂

    So , I use ICICI credit card from last 1.5 yrs and experience till now is great !! . I have never defaulted on my credit card payments except one time when it just slipped out of my mind . Other wise everything is well . I use my credit card for just 1 purpose , ie. To pay for Airline tickets and any other payment which cant be done through Debit card or net banking , other wise I use credit card . I dont carry my credit card with me , instead I carry Debit card .

    I have not enabled “auto-debit” for my credit card , rather I pay it every month online through net banking . I know its not the best way to use a credit card , but I am confortable with this current setup and I know it wont kill me someday 🙂 .

    Manish

    1. Manshu says:

      I use credit cards pretty much everywhere. They are generally a bit safer than debit cards, but the key – as many have pointed above is that you have to be careful and judicous about their use.

    2. dr. kishan says:

      the method u sue is just fine as asaid above the auto debit facility may lead to inadvertant loss if u miss to see the statement. in my experience of seven years with credit cars this is the best system. only it requires that the payment due should be kept in mind which now is easy as u can subscribe for email and mobile alerts which remind u if the due date is nearing
      dr kishan

    3. Jayaprakash Kanreddy says:

      I’ve also much better experience with credit card. I use it for all the purchases I can do it through a credit card. I do this because I’ll come to know how much I’m spending in a particular period and where my money is going. This doesn’t mean that I tend to do purchases which is not required for me. I’ve that control on me. By doing this I got reward points and converted it to cash and that paid one month electricity bill.

      It all depends on your monitoring capacity and timing. That’s it. Then everything works for you.

  46. partha iyengar says:

    nice article..very well written..

    would like to add a suggestion..
    every investor who is serious about savings, wealth creation and financial planning should opt for intuit’s software that has just been introduced in India..
    It costs just Rs.365 per year, where in it helps tracks all your finances, budgets and savings, alerts etc. They offer a 90 day trial period, before you decide to purchase. check it out..
    http://www.moneycontrol.com/portfolio_plus/sso/signup_imm.php
    this is a fabulous tool to track one’s expenses on a monthly basis and a first step towards financial planning..
    of course, the software is evolving , so whatever cash transactions you do, have to be fed in by you. If I remember..you could even do it through mobile, the moment you complete your purchase..This way you would not forget to track the cash expenses..
    Apart from this, you could also track your investment portfolios..

    The whole idea of using this software is to make it easier for investors to set goals to save, invest and manage your cash flows better.

    This is not a tool that could replace a financial planner. It just helps to provide inputs to financial planner faster and better, so that turn around time for the financial plans by the planner reduces considerably. Many a times financial planners are struck for weeks or months to complete the plan, thanks to the incomplete data provided by the investors.

    Also, the author whose website which carries the logo and name of his firm/blog has close resemblance to the software co [mint] I just talked about..
    Yes, Intuit bought Mint a personal finance software firm for individuals some time ago..
    You can check http://www.mint.com.
    You could face copyright issues in the future..just thought would point it to you..

    Just wanted you all to know that am not any way connected to mint remotely or otherwise..

    1. Partha

      Nice tool .. I knew about it . will review it sometime on this blog may be .

      My comments is , what market do you see for this kind of expenses tracking tool ? I think its great for a disciplined investors but for general investors , it would be a pain ful thing , no one in general is going to put all the expenses each time they incur it . I am sure these are big expenses and not a “Rs 15 spent on Juice” type of expenses . but still over a long time , people will not do it with discipline and will be lost somewhere 🙂 . What do you think ?

      Manish

      1. parthaiyengar says:

        Manish,

        ‘Little drops of water add to an ocean’ would be an apt one while tracking expenses.
        The idea of budgeting is, over a period of 3-6months, one gets a grip on what is necessary and what is discretionary..
        At the end of the day, every one wants to reach their goals as early as possible..right..
        Therefore, the investor would themselves take a call on what to spend on
        for eg-you had mentioned Juice. Lets say we create a sub head in the Foods column and add up over a period of 6 months..
        You will get the big picture.. Rs.15 may not be big..but Rs.100 in a cafe coffee day might be thought about next time, while they are reviewing it..
        Don’t you agree?

        the whole idea is to pen down each and every penny spent..
        agreed we all are lazy, thats why we need to use these automated software and mobile technology to track our expenses and draw our budgets..

        imagine reviewing your expenses after every quarter and see how this would impact..
        for eg..when people are going through severe cash crunch or need emergency money, you know where one could save or saved..

        all this calls for extreme discipline but at the same it doesn’t mean that you need to tighten your belt…
        research says that if one start following a pattern for 90 days, it becomes a habit..
        get the picture..

        the debate on this will continue..

        finally..i can share my experience with my clients.. whenever we have sat with 40+ couples and wrote down the necessary expenses and discretionary expenses, you will be amazed to see their reactions against each one’s expenses..
        its fun and yet insightful for couples..
        or for that matter singles..

        hope this was helpful..

        1. Partha

          I agree to all the points from you . I understand that each and every penny spend matters and one should track it for better understanding on how things are moving . The only point I was putting is that a large percentage of people are not so disciplined enough to do this task , what do we do for them ? what is the other way out ?

          manish

          1. parthaiyengar says:

            Manish

            Hard work never killed any body and there is no short cut to success..
            Rest my case:-)

            of course, there is a way out..
            the probability that we might face pretty soon a greater global financial crisis than 2007..
            That could set the trigger for people to get more disciplined..
            Because, we all are wired to react to a crisis more than being pro-active..

            1. Partha

              I actually wish that happens , one big kick and things happen the way that should happen 🙂 .

              I wish that big companies which have created big financial products mess in India fall like their global counterparts and we learn from that .

              manish

            2. Srinivas says:

              Yes. Initially one may feel bored and quit the habit of tracking.
              but over a time if it becomes habit, it can work out better.
              I am tracking my expense daily every rupee.

            3. parthaiyengar says:

              Srinivas..

              congrats..way to go..

            4. Kartikeya Khanna says:

              Arthamoney is also offering Money Manager tool for free for the past more than 1 year. This one is not from Intuit, but offers more choices than Intuit’s. Means, the former has more credit card companies, banks, etc configured than the latter. Unfortunately, Arthamoney’s server is down for some time now due to upgradation activities. Not sure they bring on a paid service later. But for sure – I was mesmrized with the way it brought up the data in a structured format from each of my bank acounts (FD, RD, SB, etc), CCs, Reward Points, loans, etc.

            5. Thats great to know 🙂 .. thanks for update

        2. bala says:

          in case opening up a computer and entering takes some effort, mobile phones offer an easier alternative
          I use moneymanager(www.getjar.com/mobile/944/moneymanager/)
          to track expenses
          it has categories of expenses (food, travel etc) and mode of spending (card, cash, loan etc)
          it also has a nice summary feature available
          it is free to use but the export feature comes after you donate to the coder.

      2. Nitin says:

        Manish,

        I am using Mint.com from past 1 year and managing my expences . I am putting each and every expeces which i a doing..

        I have added all my back accounts as well as (One) credit card and all my investment account. Now any purchase i do with my cards will automatically comes in to Mint.com because they are directly connecting to financial institution site.

        If i am using cash to purchase anything i make sure that i put down those expences on mint.com at end of every week so that i can track where i spent my cash. Because like 10-15 rupee we do not think a big amount and we think that there is no need to track but if we do this each day end of time it will turn to big amount…

        Also i can set my budget for each and every category and if i exceed budget it will show as alert.

        It also show my networth because it is having all my details… and every debt (Loan , crest Card Due) thing it shows in dark RED color which does not look good and i always pay off to see my networth Green and zero Debt.

        I used to manage everting in excel previous to this… and used to put all details there… but this site has provided me a automated way to handle everything… and the best part is IT is FREE here…(US)

        1. Nitin

          great .. I use yodlee.com for this and havent heard of mint.com till now .. will check that out 🙂 . Thanks for your comment .

          Manish

          1. Nitin says:

            Can we add indian accounts in yodlee.com

            1. Nitin

              Yes we can 🙂 , you can also link your phone account (mine is vodaphone) , credit card , bank , demat account (icici all) , not sure of other banks , but it will be there i am sure 🙂

              What about Mint ?

              Manish

            2. Nitin says:

              Nope :(..
              Only US financial Institution we can add in Mint.

            3. hehe … Try Yodlee , its the standard I guess 😉

              Manish

            4. Praveen says:

              I am just exploring yodlee. But is it save to give our internet banking passwords to these sites????

            5. Nitin Gupta says:

              i am a bit defensive and dont want to put my passwords here and there. my understanding is that these sites will need the passwords, so not using them..
              any other thought….

      3. Jayaprakash Kanreddy says:

        Manish,

        I use Microsoft Money. Even though it is not designed for India, I use it quite well. It allows me to track all my cash in/out flow. Most used feature in this software by me is Cashflow forecast. With this I can replan my small or big spending looking at the cash available in coming months/weeks.

        As you said, people will not enter small spendings in such software, but I do enter every penny I spend either through cash or netbanking or card. even irctc charges in credit card such as Rs. 5. I’m doing this since last 4 years. I know couple of my friends who use this software do that as well. And I do this daily, so that I wont forget any transaction.

        1. Jayaprakash

          Thats great . It adds a lot of value to your financial life if you have that insight about your financial life 🙂 . I hope others do that as well . What do you think is the single most factor which stops common man to not take this part very seriously !

          Manish

          1. Jayaprakash Kanreddy says:

            I’m not sure about others, but this way of thinking came to me because I understood the value of money and respect it.

            1. Yea .. Its more about attitude than knowledge 🙂

              Manish

    2. Investor says:

      Main issue with Intuit is that it is web based.. Internet penetration is still low in India. Even if you have a dial up connection, speed is pathetic.. And ofcourse in many offices “moneycontrol” is blocked .. Thanks for being a fantastic site for stock market information 🙁

      I think we really need a desktop version of personal finance software. But it is really hard to find one which is specific for indian market ( I mean one which calculate Tax liabilities, bank conenctions etc with respect to Indian scenario)
      I do found few software which can be customised to INR and can be used to track your expenditure. Something like GnuCash, Money dance, Quicken etc . While GnuCash is free , you have to pay 39$ ( one time) for moneydance. You can download a trial version to see how it works. ( even pirated copies of full version is available on net . Eventhough I wont support using pirated version). I used Gnu Cash for sometime but left it now due to
      a) bad GUI
      b) Report and expenses are not colourful as it is with web applciation
      c) Difficulty to use it

      I am currrently using moneydance for past one month . Still thinking whether it is suits my requirment

      If anyone knows any desktop software which can be used in Indian scenario( tax liability, Bank interface,probably stock portfolio tracking etc) , please let me know

      Note: None of the above have interface to Indian Banks 🙁

    3. Investor says:

      Main issue with Intuit is that it is web based.. Internet penetration is still low in India. Even if you have a dial up connection, speed is pathetic.. And ofcourse in many offices “moneycontrol” is blocked .. Thanks for being a fantastic site for stock market information 🙁

      I think we really need a desktop version of personal finance software. But it is really hard to find one which is specific for indian market ( I mean one which calculate Tax liabilities, bank conenctions etc with respect to Indian scenario)
      I do found few software which can be customised to INR and can be used to track your expenditure. Something like GnuCash, Money dance, Quicken etc . While GnuCash is free , you have to pay 39$ ( one time) for moneydance. You can download a trial version to see how it works. ( even pirated copies of full version is available on net . Eventhough I wont support using pirated version). I used Gnu Cash for sometime but left it now due to
      a) bad GUI
      b) Report and expenses are not colourful as it is with web applciation
      c) Difficulty to use it

      I am currrently using moneydance for past one month . Still thinking whether it is suits my requirment

      If anyone knows any desktop software which can be used in Indian scenario( tax liability, Bank interface,probably stock portfolio tracking etc) , please let me know

      1. Investor

        I dont think desktop based softwares would work . and truly speaking I have no strong reasoning for it , I just feel that .

        manish

        1. Investor says:

          Manish
          Thanks for your comment. But I didnt truly understand what you meant. Did u say that desktop basd software cannot be use or did u mean that Indian customers are yet ready to use those software?

          how ever , I am paranoid about saving my details( read bank account, password etc) on a third party web server.. Eventhough they may use 128 bit encrytion and all.. still not have enough gutts.. I will better save it in mine personal PC than saving it on web which might attracttion from those so called hackers.. After all, a chain is as strong as its weakest link .. who know what goes wrong and when

          I think it will be good if u can do a post on various application whic can be used for tracing expenses. ( it i sthe first step for a financial plan

          1. Investor

            Hmm.. actually I am not very much interested and optimistic about these softwares wheather desktop based or online , those will work for a small section of people who are really interested , they will anyways be doing the tracking part with or without softwares . All I feel is that these tracking softwares are not for the bigger section ,

            Manish

  47. Jagbir says:

    I’ve been using credit cards from ICICI and HDFC since 3 years and didnt faced any trouble yet. of course, rule of thumb is to think twice before swiping and paying in full. In both banks, my saving account is attached with credit cards and I’ve enabled “AutoDebit” facility by which full credit card amount get deducted automatically on last day of payment requirement. I just need to take care of maintaining sufficient balance in my saving a/cs. While bad use of credit card can make you bankrupt.. an intelligent use make it one of most valuable thing in financial world.


    Jagbir Singh

    1. Manshu says:

      Jagbir, that is quite awesome! Your wise use of auto debit facility is quite commendable and that is something for all to learn.

    2. jagbir

      I like ECS facility , but its another thing which can be messy when times are bad , read : http://www.subramoney.com/2009/11/use-ecs-for-payment-should-you/

      Manish

      1. Jagbir says:

        Manish,

        I thought about ECS also, but I dont think I can enable/disable it with a single mouse click as in “AutoDebit”. In AutoDebit, you can also switch it to “Pay minimum amount” easily if in case you are not able to pay full amount sometime and after deduction just switch back to “full amount”. The sheer flexibility and ease is what “AutoDebit” make obvious choice here, afaik.


        Jagbir Singh

        1. Jagbir

          I am afraid , but looks like I dont know the difference between ECS and AutoDebit , please tell me

          Manish

          1. Srinivas says:

            ECS is a facility to credit/debit funds between banks using clearing house but auto debit is the facility within bank.
            I mean in jagbir case, he has savings account and credit card from same bank so he enable auto debit and authorize the bank to auto debit.

            As I know, incase of ECS you cannot stop the ECS service online.

            1. thanks for clearing my doubt Srinivas

              manish

      2. Somnath Mukherjee says:

        A nerve-wracking incident happened recently, which on hindsight was a comedy of errors, early this month. I received a phone call at office on a Friday afternoon that the electricity supply line at my in-laws place was disconnected even though they had paid their bill in time and I being employed in a different utility company was supposed to solve it. I rushed to my in laws place and reached their place at around 5.00 pm and found the supply restored, much to my relief. The story as it unfolded was that the utility personnel came to disconnect the line of a neighbour for non payment of dues. The gate keeper to the complex by ignorance opened a different meter box and the difference of the meter number of the meter to be disconnected and my in-laws meter, was of one digit, which the utility personnel either ignored or missed while diconnecting the supply. As the invertor in the house took over and my mother in law was quite ignorant of the fact till the battery ran out. The part time electrician of the complex came on duty in the evening and informed the utility people that the wrong meter was disconnected and they immediately reconnected the meter with due apology.
        The neighbour was quite affluent and decent to skip payment of their electricity bills which in turn reveals the connection of this lengthy narration to this post.
        It happened that their bills were paid via ECS and the account number at their bank had undergone a routine change, which occurs frequently in India, and the bills of the utility company was not honoured as they carried their previous account number.

        1. Thats an amusing incident 🙂 . If you are comfortable with credit card then its great 🙂

          Manish

    3. Asif says:

      Jagbir

      just to put ‘auto debit” might turn out to be negative in some cases. where there is any wrong / fraud charge and you end up paying that as well as its auto debit, if you forget to match all transactions one by one.
      its always good to cross check your transaction and pay when everything seems to be OK otherwise you might have to follow up unnecessarily to get ur hard earned money back!

      1. Asif

        I agree , checking things everytime and taking that small pain is like paying a small premium on Insurance so that you are “secured” when things go wrong 🙂 Nice analogy , pat me 😉

        Manish

      2. Jagbir says:

        agree but to avoid such payments, I’ve enabled mobile sms alerts for all transactions happens through my card. Whenever any transaction happens, I get sms with details. If you think that transaction is suspicious, immediately call customer care with details and turn off “AutoDebit”.


        Jagbir Singh

  48. NKanani says:

    Great post. To share my experiences, I am using three CCs – SBI, ICICI and Manhattan.

    SBI has annual fee which they charged last month. I called up customer care mentioning i want to cancel the card, since i have two other cards which do not charge any annual fee. They said they will reverse the charge (and they have done that yesterday).

    ICICI – i sometimes pay one or two days late – but haven’t seen late payment fees charged to me as yet.

    Manhattan – i once paid late by a day or two and they charged Rs. 350/- as late payment fees – i called the customer care and mentioned that i m not interested in the card and cancel it – i am not willing to pay late payment fees. They reversed the late payment fees.

    All in all, if you remain completely alert, you can sometimes get lucky. I do think that not everyone (and every time) can get lucky. But, i always feel i must cancel all of my cards (will do that some day!).

    1. Mukul says:

      NKanani
      its is commendable that you do such a keen and regular followup. the tragedy however is that many people are lazy and have laid back attitude abt such charges. they are not as alert as you are.
      great habit you got.!!!

    2. Manshu says:

      That makes a lot of sense, if you are using something which has late fee and other penalties, then it pays to be alert.

    3. NKanani

      Why do you have 3 cards ? Do you really require it ? I mean 2 is max one should have and there is no need of third one .. how did you end up with 3 cards ?

      anyways .. its great that you track all of them well ..

      manish

      1. Nkanani says:

        Hi Manish,

        All the three cards were “sold” to me by sales guys at different times, though in just one year period: Manhattan got me via phone call (and i was tempted with their high limit offered), ICICI at BigBaazar and SBI yet another phone call 🙂 Initially I used them only for online air ticket purchase, whereas, i do not fly any more – so use them for other stuffs!

        1. Nkanani

          No wonder things are “sold” rather than “Bought” . These companies are making people targets at Malls and other public place , I see people from HDFC ULIP’s selling thing in Malls 🙂 . One of my cousin did that herself 🙂

          Manish

  49. Mukul says:

    Excellent post Manish.
    I dont have a credit card. I seriously dont. and have no intention to get one. Have warded off all agents promoting use of credit card (including a some very close people)!!!
    belong to old school of thought; spend what money you can see.!!!
    Mukul

    1. Brij Mohan says:

      Mukul, Its not old thought, its the right thought in fact. We get tempted with the offers and bonus points, but in the long run ideally we can’t keep ourself stain free.
      Due to unforeseen circumstances there are chances that you might miss your monthly payment and from there the real story begins.

    2. Mukul

      thats great , but then how do you take care of any online transaction that required CC for sure , or you are not involved in online transactions till now ?

      Manish

      1. Mukul says:

        Manish,
        not faced problems so far. some time though, I will, I know it.

        Jason,
        I will have to use CC @ some point in time. Not for points or anything, but that will give me access to liquid cash for investment till the due date approaches.

      2. Vinny Swamy says:

        Well, who says one needs a CC for online transactions?? I have never used a credit card in my life and I never will. I work for a credit card company though, hence I know what a pile of dirt a CC can be, anyways as I was saying, for online transactions you can use a debit card any day! Just create a verified by visa(VBV) portal on your banks website (HDFC and ICICI has it) and whenever you want to buy something online just put in the amount you want on VBV and it will generate a virtual one time use CC on your screen with the CC number, expiration date, CVV code etc.

        1. Vinny

          Thats a great tip , however most of the people do not know this simple tips 🙁 . Thanks

          Manish

        2. Somnath Mukherjee says:

          Virtual cards are very good for online purchases. Only problem that I have faced with the virtual card set up, is for online purchase of air tickets. The airline insist that you carry the card with you for verification during check-in(and it is a good thing too- and my only grouse is that sometimes they forget to verify;). In case you have purchased tickets for someone else and you are not traveling, the passengers should be able to produce the photostat of the card ( both sides with the CVV code darkened) signed by you.

          1. Somnath

            Yes , for air travel , they still need credit cards , but for other things, now everyone accepts debit card , net banking etc

            Manish

    3. Jason Braganza says:

      Mukul…

      As Manish points out, online transactions are mostly served by credit cards! Also, in my opinion, using a debit card online isn’t quite safe…

      And there’s the convenience factor, as the post points out! Moving your utility payments to a card is actually a boon & a HUGE timesaver!

      -Jason

      1. Jason

        thanks , why dont you think Debit cards are not safe online ?

        manish

        1. Jason Braganza says:

          if perchance, some one snoops out your debit card details though a faulty browser session, or if you use your debit card on a site that isn’t adequately secure, there’s a pretty good chance your account’d get cleaned out!

          On a credit, you at least have a chance of disputing those purchases & getting the money back, our crazy cutomer support notwithstanding. (correct me if i’m wrong here…)

          also… I’m just paranoid 🙂

          1. Manshu says:

            I don’t think you are paranoid, this is quite possible and has happened to a lot of people around the globe.

          2. Jason

            Ok , so it makes sense to always give credit cards first preference while doing online transactions and make sure we pay the bills in full on time 🙂

            Good to be paranoid , hope it happens in Insurance and Investments 🙂

            Manish

            1. dr. kishan says:

              i fully agree with jason in the issue that the debit card usage online is not safe. with all the cyber frauds going on now a days any one can access ur bank account. i wud also suggest to use credit cards for online purchase rather than debit cards since debit cards like that of SBI dont have level 2 security (Verified by Visa/ Mastercard secure code ) system which is there in the credit cards. this secures the transaction quite a bit. secondly u can contest the charges put and any time cancel the credit card but once money is deducted from the account by a debit card fraud u wont get the money back. the debit cards transactions (online) ask for the PIN which is the ATM pin and thus if any body can clone ur debit card and knows the PIN he can directly withdraw money from ATM insantly. debit cards transactions at the shops also require to punch in ATM pin in the swipe machine which is again revealed if one has a eye on what u r punching. this all points make debit card transactions dangerous. if u really have to use debit cards online then use virtual key pads whenever available. dont use them on public computers. and if possible generate virtual cards first with only the amount required for the transaction to be done. after the transaction the card expires and any data which is fraudulently acquired by hackers will be of no use since the card has already expired or empty.
              i myself hve been using creditcards for the last 7 years now and have by god’s grace not been at loss. cards are a great ease but should be used with good amount of caution.
              nice post manish. i personally have been practising the all the above points u suggested in the post myself and have till now been successful till now.
              being informed is the best we can do and internet is the best tool for it. ignorance leading to our loss is our fault.

              dr kishan

            2. Dr Kishan

              “debit cards transactions at the shops also require to punch in ATM pin ”

              Where does this happen ? I never punch any ATM pin while using the debit card !

              Manish

            3. Srinivas says:

              Long back, debit cards used to ask PIN. Now from few years looks like banks removed this option.
              May be some banks still have it.

              Even my card don’t ask for PIN card which was the case 4 years before.

            4. Anand says:

              Citibank debit card users are required to punch the 4 digit PIN, while making purchase.

            5. Srini says:

              These days debit card usage may not need pins at most point of sale machines. Reason goes back to the way visa/master card handles the commission charges with merchant. If you use pin, your merchant pays low commission to visa vis-a-vis if you do not use pin. There was some court case in US regarding it.

              Anyways. Just use pin with debit card if you have option to.

            6. Srini

              Ahh .. that was some thing totally new 🙂 . Any links on this ?

              Manish

            7. Flubber says:

              I have seen such practice in europe of punching debit card during purchase

      2. Somnath Mukherjee says:

        Moreover, in a debit card, if a wrong transaction is entered by the shopkeeper the money is debited from your account, even if the shopkeeper cancels the transaction immediately. It takes more than twenty one days to get your money back. It happened to me once and I use the debit card only as an ATM card.
        Further sometimes it happens that the approval at the shopping establishment does not come through at one go. The shopkeeper enters the transaction repeatedly. When you check your account you find that the same amount is debited from your account twice or more times. This regularly happens to a colleague of mine who is dead set against credit card. He has to ring up the shopping establishment and collect documents from them showing all card transactions of the establishment for the day, submit the same to the bank and wait for a couple of months to get his money back.
        I have never faced this problem with credit cards which I have been using since 1994.

  50. Brij Mohan says:

    My Experience with HDFC CC is very terrible, I paid all my dues before I left for UK, and this was a free CC, after one year when my CC expired, they sent me a new CC and made some charges of around 300-400 rs (approx). Since I was not in India so I was not able to receive the Credit Card, I sent them a mail first few mails I did not get proper reply as I was referring to my old credit card number. I also tried to call on ISD rates to HDFC call center they said we cant help you as you do not have valid Credit Card. When after around 2 years I returned I found my bill is blown up to 6000. I tried to convince them, at last they told that they have their office in bangalore too you can go and settle there, as they have added my name in defaulters database also. I went there and litrelly they were blackmailing that if you dont pay all the amount they will not remove my name from the defaulters database, and finally I paid whatever the amount they said. I thought its all over. Finally last year when I tried to apply for car loan, it was rejected by ICICI Bank and few other bank, fortunately it was approved by Axis bank. But still just to check I applied for ICICI Bank CC, and CitiBank credit card they rejected my application without mentioning any reason. I am feeling like I am a terrorist or they have banned me in this country for my life time, even though I paid off all the dues(which was all illegal). Just last week only i came to know about CBIL properly, so I have sent a snail mail to them for my credit record. Just to check my credit record. but still I dont know what will be the Next surprise. I will only tell if you are using CC use it very carefully and never take anything lightly, even if it is a single paisa, just clarify this and clear it off and make sure it is really done. In short I feel using a Credit Card is like walking on the Sword or Fire. Its very dangerous thing.

    1. Brij Mohan

      I think you should have questioned them in the start only when they sent you the second Credit card , why did they send a new one without asking you when it expired ?

      You should have filed a consumer complaint in one of the court , this will give them enough worry for considering charging you . what do you feel ?

      manish

  51. allthecrap says:

    as long as you pay on time there shdn’t be any problem. I have been using SC card and its pretty decent. but ye , do pay full amount including those paises 🙂

    Nice post manish.

    1. Allthecrap

      Agreed 🙂 . Just like every other financial products , as far as you are able to handle it well and are confident of what you are doing , its great 🙂

      Did you face any issue because you missed out on some Paisas ? If My bill is 2342.46 , I pay 2343 just to make sure credit card company does not create a scene

      manish

      1. @ Manish

        I pay 2400 🙂 & sometimes even pay 2500 🙁

        1. hmm 🙂 But Why to pay that much more ? I know it will not matter much , but is there any advantage in that ?

          Manish

      2. Vishnu says:

        I remember reading about a recent rule by RBI that no penalty should be charged if the balance due is less than Rs.100.

        And, my HSBC card had a due of Rs. 60 for around an year and I was never charged any penalty.

        1. Vishnu

          I dont think thats is true ? Where did you read it , i tried searching on net , but in vain

          Manish

          1. Arghya says:

            I think it varies from bank to bank. I have an HDFC card, where bills are not generated if it is less than 200/-. I carried about 142/- for 3 months, after, which with additional purchases, that amount was added up. This is not the same with Citi bank, which sent a bill of 42/- to me once. 🙂

      3. Ajay says:

        I pay online… so I pay exact to the paisa. Why pay them more, when thy generate such bills ? 🙂

      4. Jayaprakash Kanreddy says:

        I always pay exact number in this case – 2342.46 😉

          1. Kartikeya Khanna says:

            Me too. Not a penny more.

          2. Nitin Gupta says:

            As per my understanding if u pay more, it will get adjusted in later bills.
            so why we are giving impression here that if we pay more, we are loosing money.

            1. Nitin

              yes , if you pay extra 5-10 Rs then its fine , But if you are paying a big amount like thousands , then even if it will get adjusted later , you are giving bank some free money for a month .

              Manish

            2. Nitin Gupta says:

              manish,
              we were here talking abt paise level money only not thousands, so if we pay more and it gets adjusted later, i donet see anty issue.

            3. Nitin

              I agree with you on those cases .

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