16 Credit Cards for Low Income (Rs.5000-15000) Earners

Credit card for low income earners, is it really possible?

This is a very common question amongst individuals earning low salary/income and wanting to have credit card. After all everyone needs a card to avail benefits which are not possible in case of other modes of payment in India (e.g. cash).

But when someone with low salary (or high salary) applies for a card, his/her annual income is the most important eligibility criteria considered by the card issuing bank. And based on that

For e.g. a person with a monthly salary of Rs. 75,000 has higher chance of getting credit card approved compared to a person with an income of Rs. 25,000 per month. There are many other eligibility factors such as type of employment (full-time or part-time, place of living and others), credit history and loan you have taken but your income plays the most significant role.

And income (in case of self employed) and salary (in case of working professional) is the best evaluation method of judging anyone’s repayment capacity. After Basically it is assumed that – higher the salary, higher is your capability to pay dues every month and lower the income, lower would be the repayment capacity.

Can a poor income earner get a credit card in India. How, and what is the minimum salary required?

The answer is YES. There are many credit cards for low income earners in India.

The next obvious question is – how can a person with low income in India get a credit card and which lenders provide card to such individuals?

Below is the list of 16 banks offering credit card to low income earners (Rs. 5,000 minimum per month) along with the MINIMUM ANNUAL salary requirement.

  1. Vijaya Bank (Visa Classic/Mastercard Global): Requires lowest annual income amongst all which is Rs. 60,000 (Rs. 5,000 per month for salaried individuals) and Rs. 50,000 (Rs. 4,166 monthly for self employed person). For Mastercard Global credit card, annual income required is Rs. 1,20,000 for salaried working professional (Rs. 10,000 per month) and Rs. 1,00,000 for salaried working professional (Rs. 8,333 per month). However another eligibility criteria to get this card is that the applicant should be the account holder of the bank. Once you get this card, after proper usage, you can also opt for add-on card for your family members (mother, father, brother or sister). The credit limit is Rs. 2,00,000 per month. You can also get this card against term deposit of Rs. 50,000 and above. Cards against fixed deposit is one of the easiest way to get a card when earning is poor. This is because, income is not the eligibility criteria for cards against FD. Instead issuing bank requires fixed deposit account with minimum deposit. Check out 17 credit cards against fixed deposit offered by various banks in India.
  2. Bharat card by Indian Bank: Rs. 72,000 per year i.e. monthly income of Rs. 6,000.
  3. India Card by Bank of India: To be eligible to get this card, gross annual income of the applicant should be Rs. 0.75 lacs & above. This comes out to be less than Rs. 7,000 per month which is lowest.
  4. Empowerment (for salaried) by Jammu and Kashmir Bank: Rs. 80,000 per annum. i.e. Rs. 6,666 per month.
  5. Canara Bank (Visa Classic/Mastercard Standard Card): Minimum annual salary is Rs. 1,00,000 p.a. That is nearly Rs. 8,000 per month.
  6. Corporation Bank (Gold for Senior Citizen): Rs. 1,20,000 per annum. i.e. Rs. 10,000 every month.
  7. Visa Gold & Visa Gold International by Bank of India: Annual income of Rs. 1,50,000 (self-employed or salaried) i.e. monthly income of Rs. 12,500.
  8. RuPay Platinum by Andhra Bank: Yearly income required is Rs. 1,80,000 (self-employed or salaried). That is, Rs. 15,000/month.
  9. Axis Bank Gold Card: 1,80,000 per annum (self-employed or salaried) i.e. Rs. 15,000 per month.
  10. Empowerment (for self employed) by Jammu and Kashmir Bank: Rs. 1,50,000 per annum. i.e. Rs. 12,500 per month.
  11. ICICI Bank (HPCL Credit Card): Annual income required is Rs. 1,44,000 (Salaried and self-employed) i.e. monthly salary of Rs. 12,000.
  12. HDFC (Gold and Silver): For salaried Rs. 2 Lacs and self-employed Rs. 1.5 Lacs per annum. i.e. monthly income between Rs. 15,000 – Rs. 16,000 for salaried person and Rs. 12,000 for self employed.
  13. Andhra Bank (Visa Classic/Mastercard): Gross annual income required is Rs. 1,80,000; i.e. Rs. 15,000 per month.
  14. Andhra Bank (Visa Gold Card): Gross annual income required is Rs. 2,40,000; i.e. Rs. 20,000 per month.
  15. Bank of Baroda (Visa Gold Card): Annual income required is Rs. 1,50,000 i.e. Rs. 12,500 monthly.
  16. Corporation Bank (Classic & Gold Card): In order to be eligible to get classic card annual income required is just Rs. 1,20,000. Whereas for gold card, Rs. 2,00,000 is the annual income required.

Income proof required by the banks

Card issuer will ask for following documents related to your income:

  1. Salary slips/certificate for last 3 months for working professional
  2. Income tax return document for self employed
  3. Latest bank statement indicating salary credited for minimum 3 months for working professional

Note: Please check with each of the above mentioned banks on other requirements and documents for getting a card other than annual income. Every bank has a different set of requirements.

Cards against Fixed Deposit – Another solution for Poor Income Earners

Other way for a low income earner to get credit card is against FD. Basically applicant needs to put fixed amount of money as a security with the bank and get card against this security. The credit limit offered is 80%-85% of the FD amount. The table below shows list of banks offering cards against FD:

Sr. NoCredit Card NameMinimum Fixed Deposit Amount RequiredCard Issuer
1SignatureRs. 10,000Andhra Bank
2PaylessRs. 15,000Development Credit Bank
3AspireRs. 16,000Central Bank
4CoralRs. 20,000ICICI Bank
5Instant PlatinumRs. 20,000ICICI Bank
6Insta EasyRs. 20,000Axis Bank
7AssureRs. 25,000Bank of Baroda
8UsecureRs. 25,000Union Bank of India
9UnnatiRs. 25,000State Bank of India
10SolarisRs. 25,000Kotak Mahindra Bank
11Aqua GoldRs. 25,000Kotak Mahindra Bank
12Advantage PlusRs. 25,000State Bank of India
13GalaxiaRs. 1,00,000Kotak Mahindra Bank

In fact, this is the most easy option for poor income earners to get a credit card due to the following benefits:

  1. No credit history check
  2. Low interest rate
  3. Very few documents required as the bank already has documents when FD was opened.
  4. No income limit. So no need to provide income related documents such as salary slip, IT returns, etc.

Cons of Low Income Credit Cards

But credit limit is low for individuals earning less and more over individual’s spending is restricted to less than 3 times of the monthly income.

Also if employed in a reputable company (preferably listed company) then it’s a plus point for the applicant. But for a beginner these banks offer a great opportunity to start building a credit history.

How low income earners should save money?

Low annual income earners can save good amount of money by selecting credit cards with zero annual and joining fee. Another money saving tip is to buy card with low interest rate.

Once you get your first credit card, maintain long relationship with the financial institution by making all the monthly repayment before the due date fully, not spending beyond the credit limit, avoiding paying minimum balance, etc.

This will increase your chances of getting a credit card or loan (personal, car, two-wheeler and others) from some other lender in the future or existing card issuer will increase the credit limit and offer low interest rate. This is because nowadays companies also check your repayment history along with other factors such as credit score, age, profession, and others.

Also read, how low income professionals can earn extra money in India in a authentic way.

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