What is the general eligibility for a Credit Card?

August 28, 2020


With increasing ease of access and higher disposable income, consumption patterns have undergone a drastic change. Today, you can either make a purchase through cash or you can use short-term credit mediums like Credit Cards. The usage of Credit Cards also makes shopping safer and provides a range of incentives to customers. India is primarily a Debit Card market, but the use of Credit Cards is rising rapidly.

In 2019, Indians spent Rs 6 lakh crore using Credit Cards, a 30% jump from Rs 4.6 lakh crore in the previous year. The total number of Credit Cards in circulation touched 49 million in May 2019, from 38.6 million a year earlier. Banks have strict Credit Card eligibility and conduct a thorough background check before issuing one. There are some general Credit Card eligibility conditions like age, salary and nationality and a few additional factors that determine issuance, such as credit score and debt. While the specific eligibility criteria may differ, most banks have similar conditions:

  • Age: To apply for a Credit Card, one needs to be at least 18 years old. However, since a large majority doesn’t start earning by 18, most banks issue a Credit Card only after the applicant has attained an age of 21. Just like the minimum age, the maximum age differs for every bank, with most banks issuing Credit Cards till the age of 60.
  • Annual salary: Credit Cards offer credit for a short period of time. One has to pay his/her pending dues at the end of every month. Banks take into account the servicing ability of the applicant before issuing a card. The annual salary of the applicant is one of the most important factors in the issuance of a Credit Card. Typically, banks demand a net annual income of Rs 2.5 lakh for Credit Cards. However, some banks have stricter eligibility criteria.
  • Nationality: A wide variety of banks cater to the Indian market that includes domestic as well as foreign banks. Citizens, residents and non-residents can apply for a Credit Card, but some banks issue Credit Cards only to Indian nationals. It is imperative to check the exact Credit Card eligibility with the specific banks before applying for a card.

These are the basic conditions to apply for a Credit Card. However, there are certain factors that have an impact on the issuance of Credit Cards:

  • Credit score: With the emergence of digital payments and tools, it has become easier to track spending patterns of customers. Specialised credit agencies ascertain the level of financial discipline through the spending pattern and servicing of dues. These agencies give a credit score to every customer depending on his/her past financial behaviour. Banks use the credit score to determine whether a Credit Card should be issued or not. A high credit score makes getting a Credit Card easier and vice versa. Banks consider a score between 750 and 900 to be adequate for a Credit Card.
  • Existing debt: When you use a Credit Card, you essentially take on debt. If you already have a lot of debt, it doesn’t make sense for the bank to provide you with a tool for additional debt. Having existing debt more than the permissible limit can affect your chances of getting a Credit Card.
  • Employment: No bank would like to trust an applicant who doesn’t have a stable source of income. The employment status of an applicant has a significant impact on his/her chances of getting a Credit Card. Being in a job for over a year increases the chances substantially as it signals that you have a stable job and will be able to service Credit Card dues on time.
  • Residence: While you can apply for a Credit Card online, certain banks take the place of residence into consideration. Some Credit Cards are only available to people residing in a particular city or region.

While Credit Cards enhance the shopping experience for the cardholder, it should be used carefully. One should opt for a Credit Card only if he/she is confident of servicing the card dues without delay. ICICI Bank Credit Cards offer a range of lifestyle and travel benefits, along with other prizes and rewards. ICICI Bank Credit Cards are available for people with different net annual incomes and can be customised as per the applicant’s needs.




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