Rupeetimes guide to different types of credit cards
By Ankit Sharma
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Convenient, quick, safe and trustworthy- credit cards have become an inevitable part of modern lifestyle. Knowing the type of credit card which suits the profile of the person concerned the best is important before selecting the card of choice. With hoards of credit cards being issued by credit card companies, it becomes necessary for an individual to first know the various kinds of credit cards being offered by banks and financial institutions in India.

Regular Credit Cards

This is the most basic type of credit card. It has a low credit limit and the most basic status among various credit cards. Credit card companies can club various other reward programs like travel rewards, cashback offers etc to enhance its value and appeal to customers.

Silver Credit Cards

Silver credit cards have higher eligibility criteria than regular credit cards. They bring more benefits to the card holder as well as have higher credit limits than regular credit cards. For example the ICICI Bank Sterling Silver credit cards require salaried individuals to have an income of Rs 96000 per annum while self employed people need to have Rs 1,00,000 per annum as income.

Gold Credit Cards

Gold credit cards have a higher status and credit limits over silver credit cards. Thus the eligibility criteria needed for these cards is also higher than other cards. For example ICICI Bank American Express Gold card has income requirement of Rs. 1,20,000/- p.a. for salaried individuals and Rs. 1,00,000/- p.a. for self-employed people.

Platinum or Titanium Credit Cards

These types of credit cards bring more benefits to credit card holders than regular, silver or gold credit cards. These credit cards generally have platinum or titanium hue and are issued to a select class of clients who have excellent financial background and good income levels. Platinum credit cards have personal concierge services, in addition to exclusive platinum benefits.

Signature Credit Cards

A league of its own, The Signature Credit Cards usually have no pre-set spending limits, personal concierge service, signature travel, lounge and membership benefits. Offered to a very elite group these credit cards, requires an excellent financial status. On June 9, 2007 ICICI bank came up with the Visa Signature Card and became the first credit card issuer in India to launch a premium credit card. This credit card has a joining fee of 25000/- and no annual fees.

Credit Cards by Invitation Only

These cards form the most elite form of credit cards and are given to customers only by invitation. This means no one can apply for these credit cards. For example, the American Express Black Credit Card, popularly called the Centurion Card, is issued by invitation to the most exclusive and elite, to those who spend a certain minimum amount (which can run into crores of rupees). These cards have huge annual fees and minimum spending levels. In fact these credit cards are so exclusive, that they have an aura of mystery surrounding them and are considered as status symbols.

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