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What you MUST know about credit cards

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Most of us use credit cards on a daily basis, but many of us fail to use our credit cards effectively.
There are also many things we may not know about credit cards — like whether it is safe to use a credit card online or how to resolve a dispute about wrong or delayed billing.
Get Ahead Money expert Harsh Roongta answered credit card related queries in a chat with Get Ahead readers on January 15.
For those of you who missed the chat, here is the transcript.
Harsh Roongta says, Welcome to this chat. I really enjoy these interactions and I hope you also find it useful. Looking forward to the interaction. Let’s get started.

shiva asked, we are getting some 75000 rs from sbi for credit cards wheather we can take that amount but we want to back within 60days

Harsh Roongta answers, I assume you mean that your cash limit on the card allows you to withdraw this amount. In normal circumstances, it is not advisable to withdraw cash on your credit card as it incurs heavy fees (normally around 2 to 2.5% of the amount withdrawn). Besides, the interest on that amount also starts immediately — no free credit period on cash withdrawals. The interest rates are also quite stiff, around 34% (after including the service tax). So, all in all, use some other means to borrow rather than borrowing on a credit card.

Suraj asked, Is it safe to do online transaction using credit cards in India?

Harsh Roongta answers, This is an often asked questions. You should use the same safeguards online that you will use while using the card in the offline (physical) world. The good rules to follows are:

1) Do not provide your credit card number to an unknown site.

2) Look for the ‘Verified by Verisign’ sign; this indicates the site has safeguards that have been passed by an independent body.

3) In the url where you are giving your card look for the secure https sign — as in https://www… instead of the usual http://www… You should exercise similar caution while using the card in the offline world, like not letting the card out of your sight while it is being swiped, etc.
Atriya asked, I want to have a MasterCard credit card, please suggest which bank is best to get a card from?

Harsh Roongta answers, Almost all leading banks offer a MasterCard branded credit card.
sheikh asked, Is there any problem if we always pay credit card bills in cash no matter wat the amount is ?

Harsh Roongta answers, Most banks do not accept credit card payments in cash. I am sure you are aware that banks are required to share information on credit cards (where the annual spend is more than Rs 2 lakhs) with the IT department. Even if a bank does accept the amount in cash, you will still have a problem with the IT department to whom you will have to explain the source of your payment. All in all, I would not advise you to pay your credit card bills in cash.
hars asked, can we take action against a bank for unsolicited credit cards?

Harsh Roongta answers, Banks are not supposed to send unsolicited credit cards. If you do receive an unsolicited credit card, you should cut it into two pieces and send it back to the bank for cancellation. You can also complain on the bank’s website. If no response is received, you can complain to the banking ombudsman appointed by RBI. The details of how you can contact the banking ombudsman are available on

Ramesh asked, Sir-I want tobuy books from thru my Internationalk credit card.I dont hold a passport.Can i do so ?
Harsh Roongta answers, Of course, you can. You do not need a passport for purchasing anything online.

anjana asked, hi which is the best card these days citibank or any oyhrt thank u

Harsh Roongta answers, Most credit cards have similar features in terms of upfront and recurring fees (normally waived for most consumers nowadays), interest rate for deferred payments, cash advance fee and interest rate, maximum interest free period, etc. The differentiating factors could be the reward point structure and zero or low interest balance/ transfer facilities. You can use the credit card comparing facility on for comparing and applying for various credit cards.

vector asked, hi,the credit card company doen’t send the bill on time and i am being asked to pa more money … is there any authority for whom we can complain against the credit card company

Harsh Roongta answers, First, file an official complaint on the bank’s Website. Then, if no response is received, or no suitable response is received in 15 working days, you can complaint to the banking ombudsman appointed by RBI. The details of how you can contact the ombudsman are available on

M asked, my credit card charged me for a transaction for which i had swiped my card but the transaction had come failed n i paid by another debit card? what should i do??

Harsh Roongta answers, The bank has a set procedure for raising a dispute. Use that process and the amount will be immediately credited back to your account. The bank will then investigate the matter and, if they find merit in what you say, the matter will rest there. Else, the bank may again redebit the amount to your account. Normally, most banks charge a fee for using this dispute resolution facility

tina asked, can please just tell me why banks are not giving credit cards to construction company employees

Harsh Roongta answers, Each bank has its own credit parameters for approving credit card applications. The normal factors that they consider are income, stability in terms of experience and residence, age, qualifications, etc. If a particular bank has declined your application, it could be for a variety of reasons not necessarily because you work for a small construction company. The best bet is to try with a number of banks.


jayesh asked, is it harmful to have around more credit cards

Harsh Roongta answers, You should use your credit card as a payment option and not as a source of financing. In that case, unless you are a heavy spender, more than two cards (one Visa and one Master) are probably superfluous and not really required.

Written by Bhushan Kulkarni

January 25, 2007 at 6:08 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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