Sunday 18 November 2012

Guidelines to apply for a NRI Credit Card

Lot of Indian citizens who are residing in foreign countries can now apply for credit cards that are specially designed for Non-resident Indians. NRI banking facilities are proving to be very beneficial for all the non-residents who want to stay connected to their country. Like other schemes for NRIs, the NRI credit card has also been specially designed keeping in minds the requirements and needs of all the non-residents.

Firstly, it is very important to know what a NRI credit card is and how does it function. A NRI credit card the card which allows an Indian to bear all expenses both in India and abroad by making all the payments through the card is what a NRI credit card is all about. NRI credit cards are a benefaction to all the Indians who have settled abroad and want to use the banking facility in both India and abroad.

Features of NRI credit cards:-

1. A NRI credit card enables all the non-residents to Shop, dine, or travel etc while the NRIs are in India, they can now calmly pay for their costs and expenses in Indian rupees just like any other credit card.

2. The payments of all the outstanding bills have to be fabricated through inward remittances of either an NRO, NRE or FCNR account.

3. The use of credit cards on certain type of expenses is strictly prohibited like purchase of lottery tickets, sweepstakes ticket purchase or purchase of any racing tickets etc. The set of rules will vary from one bank to the other bank that provides NRI credit card.

How to apply for a NRI Credit Card

The applicant for the NRI credit card should hold an NRE/NRO account with the bank from which he/she wishes to avail the credit card. Many times, the bank also fixes a minimum amount of money which the applicant needs to have in their account in order to be eligible to posses a credit card.

Fees and charges

There will be set of basic fees and charges applied to the NRI credit card like annual fees, joining fees, membership fees, fee on withdrawal, fee as tax (custom duty), etc. For instance- State Bank of India provide a credit card for NRIs with a joining fees of Rs 1500 which is paid only once at the time of issuing the credit card. SBI charges custom duty of 2.25% of the amount transacted across border and fee on withdrawals in ATMs of 2.5% of the amount withdrawn.

Interest rate

Credit cards are loans offered by banks so the interest rates on these loans are also applicable as per the bank. For instance- Kotak Mahindra bank offers the NRI credit card and charges interest rate of 3.1% per month, however, SBI offers the NRI credit card at interest rate of 1.99% per month. The interest rates that are charged on the credit card are calculated from the date of withdrawal.

Shekhar Gupta
Capt. Shekhar Gupta [ Pilot, DIAM, M.Ae.S.I., MAOPA [USA] ] 
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