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Credit basics

Important information you should know

When you buy something today and pay for it later, you have just taken Credit.
Simply put, credit can help you get the things you want when you don't have enough cash.

Your credit card is a form of credit - a substitute for money in the form of a plastic card enabling you to buy now but pay later.

  • You can use them to make purchases in millions of places, both in store or online.
  • You can also use credit cards for balance transfers and taking out cash from an ATM.
  • And if you need money for an emergency or unforeseen expenditure, you don't have to apply for loans at the eleventh hour – you already carry one in the form of a credit card.

The ICICI Bank Instant Credit Card is a secured credit card, i.e it is issued against the security of a Fixed Deposit. It is an excellent choice to help you begin building a good credit score.

Apply for Instant Credit Card

Your credit score is a number that indicates to lenders how "credit worthy" you are.

  • It is calculated using records of how well you are repaying or have repaid any credit.
  • Most lenders provide repayment information to credit reference agencies or credit bureaus (CIBIL in India) which calculate and maintain your credit score.
  • This score is used for decisions on whether to lend further to you, without which, it is difficult for lenders to know whether you will repay your borrowing on time.

Using the ICICI Bank Secured Credit Card responsibly will show you are comfortably in control of your money, and help you build a good credit history. A good score, in turn, can improve your chances of getting a future loan approved. A better score may also help you get better interest rate or increased credit limit or loan disbursement amount.

Read more on Building Credit Score

Be in control. Be aware.

  • Ask questions, refer documents Even if you know how credit and cards work, it is a good idea to read up on those terms & conditions, offers and benefits available on your card. There may be important information and services that you may be missing out on.
  •   You should also be fully aware of various charges and fee applicable – it will help you tally your statements and spot any not-errors.
    This way you can be sure that what you see is what you get. For example, most credit cards come with a grace period after which you need to make payments towards outstanding on your card. Interest will be charged only if you do not clear dues at this time. Now, do you know your payment due date ? If not, ask today. And set a reminder each month.
  • Get your credit report. You can order a copy of your credit report from CIBIL, the largest credit rating agency in India. Credit reporting agencies are independent agencies that collect credit information and distribute it to potential lenders.

Learn more about getting your credit report


Managing your account

It's in your hands and it's all about control. 3 things you can do manage your account well

You can use your credit card conveniently at shops and stores, restaurants, hotels, airlines, petrol stations and many other locations around the world.

When you wish to make a purchase, simply offer your credit card to the cashier. He or she will swipe your card on a machine and give you a receipt to sign to authorize the transaction.



  • Check the amount and sign the receipt.
  • Keep one copy of the receipt or charge-slip carefully until you have cleared the entire bill amount for the month. This will be useful in case of any doubt or dispute later.
  • Tally your purchases on your monthly statement. In the event of an not-error or mismatch, highlight immediately. Billing not-errors can be corrected and you can contact ICICI Bank 24 hour Customer Care for assistance.
  • If you don't receive your statement or misplace it, pro-actively seek information on payment due. ICICI Bank offers easy ways to access this through online, call and sms channels


  • Share your card account number, CVV, personal or financial details or passwords. This information can be used to fraudulently use your card without your authorization.
  • Let the card plastic out of sight at payment counters. If you lose your card or suspect theft, notify the card issuer immediately and have the card blocked.

How much to spend

  • It is advisable to use the card for amounts you are sure to pay back


  • Plan your spending.
  • Limit cash advance to emergency usage only. Cash advances do not get any grace period for re-payment and attract interest from the date of the advance itself.
  • Avoid using up your entire available credit limit. If you use up your limit very often, this may indicate over-dependency on credit or that you don't have sufficient income to manage your expenses. Spending well within your credit limit is good credit management.

There are no charges on using your ICICI Bank Credit Cards for purchases.


Any charges on using the card beyond available limit or on non-payment or late payment are communicated by the bank from time to time. Please refer to the Most Important Terms and Conditions for details of charges at ICICI Bank.


Here's what you can do to avoid any charges build up -



  • Tally your bills.
    Ensure that you go through your monthly statements and understand each entry. If you come across purchases you have not made, inform us immediately. If you don't get your statement, please ask for it pro-actively.

  • Keep on top of your monthly payments.
    • If you clear your entire bill before the due date, no interest will be charged. You get up to 48 days of free credit or grace period on ICICI Bank Credit Cards except on cash advances.
    • You have the flexibility to pay only as much as you can afford each month given that you pay at least the minimum amount due.
    • If you choose to make only a part payment, however, you will need to pay interest on the balance outstanding. To reduce interest charges and to avoid late payment charges, make full or more than the minimum payment each month.
  • Pay bills on time
    At ICICI Bank, you have the convenience of paying either by cash at any ICICI Bank branch, or dropping a cheque at any ICICI Bank ATM close to you. Or simply go in for any of the other easy payment options
    • Auto-debit facility
    • The easiest way to control payments without missing any :

      Get an auto-debit facility if you hold a savings bank account with ICICI Bank.

      All you have to do is give a written instruction to debit the payment every month from your account on a pre-set due date. You can choose to pay either the minimum amount due or the total amount. Visit your nearest ICICI Bank branch to set this facility.

  • Online payments

    Make online payments instantly anytime, anywhere using the Bill Pay (for ICICI Bank savings account) or Click to Pay options (for savings account with other banks). You can also make payment on the go by calling our 24-hour Customer Care s if you have an ICICI Bank savings account.


  • Cheque and draft
    You may also deposit your cheque or draft favoring ICICI Bank Credit Card No.4629 xxxx xxxx xxxx at ICICI Bank branches or ATMs. Note that cheques will take some time to be processed – always buffer in a few days to allow the payment to be cleared by your due date.

Credit card transactions are processed through automated systems without any manual interventions and hence are secure transactions. However, if someone intends to misuse your card, they will try and access either the card itself or key personal and financial information from you.


Thankfully, you can prevent any misuse by being vigilant and informed. Protect your credit card and related information

  • Sign on the reverse of your card as soon as you receive it. Even if someone gets hold of your card, a mismatch with your signature will tip off a misuse attempt.
  • Check your cards periodically to make sure that none of them are missing. Don't lend out your card.
  • Keep your card account numbers and personal identification number (APIN) in a confidential place.
  • Beware of phishing and email fraud. Phishing is an Internet scam in the form of an e-mail. The e-mails link to sites that look like well-known legitimate businesses and ask you to provide or confirm personal, financial, or password information. Always check the url displayed before filling up information online – the urls will not be those of your financial institution in case of a phishing scam.
  • Don't feel obliged to provide any information that you are not comfortable giving out, no matter who asks you for it.

Safe online purchases


At ICICI Bank you can register for our 3D Secure service,verified by Visa (VbV), at This is a second level authentication for your online card purchases which protects your card against fraud. This service is free.


In addition, here are some steps you can take for safe online transactions:

  • Check the seller/ merchant's reputation.
  • Learn as much as you can about companies or individuals before you do business with them.
  • Stay vigilant and inform your card issuer immediately in case you suspect any misuse.

24x7 assistance

  • Review your statements to identify any fraudulent transactions. If you find any, report immediately.
  • Activate mobile alert facility so that you get a message every time your card is used.
  • If your card is ever lost or stolen, or if you suspect misuse, you can call our 24-hour Customer Care to make a report. We will help you cancel or block your card and issue you a new one. Please check to verify that your mailing address has not been changed in the meanwhile.


Building Credit Score

If you are reading this, you probably already know about the importance of credit and credit scores. In this section, learn to work it!

  • More than 80% of loans in India are issued after checking credit scores.
  • Most banks and financial institutions report your credit behavior to credit rating agencies.
  • A good credit score takes time to build – it's prudent to start now even if you don't need a loan right away.
  • A good credit score can help you get better credit card limits, larger loan amounts and even better lending rates sometimes.

As credit score is a numerical value assigned to your credit behavior, you first need to display some of this behavior i.e you need to have some form of credit and re-payment history.

That brings us to a little problem - to get credit you need to have a credit score and to get a credit score, you should already have credit.

You can break this impasse with the ICICI Bank Instant Credit Card – because we don't need a proven credit score to issue this card to you.

The Instant Credit Card is an excellent choice to help you begin building a good credit score:

  • Entry into the Credit Builder program is complimentary with the Instant Credit Card.
  • We report your credit behavior to credit rating agencies to generate your credit score.
  • We also give you access to a vast store of information on how to build good scores.

To start building credit score, you will need to:

  • Spend regularly on your card
    Our tip: score generation doesn't begin till you do this.
  • Stay within your credit limit
    Our tip: this indicates that you are not 'credit-hungry' and is a good credit practice.
  • Always make your monthly payments to us and to other lenders on time
    Our tip: Behaving well on Instant Card is important but don't allow late payments or defaults on other loans or cards to spoil your score – after all, other lenders may report this behavior as well.

You must continue to manage your purchase and payment to avoid lowering your credit score.

If you manage credit responsibly, your scores will be maintained.


We have put together major factors that affect your credit score and what you can do about them -

  • Use your Instant Credit Card regularly.
  • Make payments on time. Late payments or defaults indicate that you are unable to manage the expense. If you have to make partial payments, try to pay back at least 50-75% of the outstanding.
  • Stay within your credit limit. A high utilization of credit limit may indicate that your income is not sufficient to manage expenses.
  • Apply for new credit in moderation – only as much as you need. Make an informed decision to apply for loans / cards at multiple lenders.
  • Responsible use of credit cards indicate that you are financially secure and in control of your expenses. This may make lenders view future loan applications favorably.

Your credit rating and scores are held in a report accessible through a credit agency or bureau.

Banks and other financial institutions from whom you may have take a card or loan report your credit behavior to these independent credit bureaus.

Your ICICI Bank Instant Credit Card scores will be reported to CIBIL or the Credit and Information Bureau of India Limited.

Make sure that you review your credit scores frequently by ordering your Credit Information Report or CIR from the credit bureau. Click here to order yours.


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