Credit card is one of the most popular forms of payment globally. But what is a credit card? Let’s address this question first.
How Do Credit Cards Work?
Suppose you have money in your bank. You use your ATM card to withdraw money and make payments. In other words, you are using money that you own. What if you do not have any money? This is where credit cards come into play. They are usually issued by banks, although other financial institutions can issue them too.
The card allows the cardholder to withdraw money and make payments using money provided by the issuer. In simpler terms, the issuer is providing you with the money. The cardholder must repay the amount at the end of each month. If the amount is paid in full, no interest is charged. However, short or late payments lead to interest payments.
Benefits of Credit Card?
1. Make Valuable Purchases
Suppose you wish to buy a smartphone which is a necessity nowadays. Even budget entry smartphones now start from PKR 30,000. Considering Pakistan’s economy, even this amount is quite significant for much of the population. A credit card allows people to make valuable and necessary purchases without offsetting their budget.
They can buy the smartphone in interest-free installments. They can pay 30,000 over three, six, nine, and twelve months. Of course, you can make other purchases such as kitchen necessities and more. We highly recommend people with budget constraints to use credit cards for high-value purchases.
Another benefit is that credit cards offer numerous rewards such as discounts and cashbacks. Besides the two, issuers offer other rewards such as access to premium airport lounges and redeemable points. Leading banks also offer accidental coverage and travel insurance.
3. Improves Your Credit Score
Although it is not a factor in Pakistan, western society takes the credit score seriously. If you apply for a loan, the banks will make the decision based on the individual’s credit score. By making timely payments, a user can significantly improve their credit score. It allows them to avail loans at lower interest rates.
A credit card is safe since most banks offer purchase protection. The bank will reimburse the money for fraudulent transactions or defective goods.
5. Interest-Free Cash Withdrawals
Of course, not all shops accept debit/credit cards. This is especially the case in Pakistan as shops avoid these payment methods to avoid tax. If you don’t have money in your bank account, don’t worry as most banks offer interest-free cash withdrawals using the credit card.
Is Credit Card Halal?
Most Muslims have various misconceptions regarding credit cards, including that it is ‘un-Islamic’. This article will address this question before undertaking a detailed comparison of the best credit cards in Pakistan. Leading scholars are unanimous in their belief that credit cards are not haram.
However, there is one exception. It is that the credit cards must not involve any form of riba (interest). As soon as the element of interest becomes involved, the credit card becomes haram or impermissible. By its very nature, credit cards are not haram. As long as a user makes the full payment, no interest is charged.
Hence, it is up to the user how they use the credit card. If they lack robust financial management, they will start incurring interest. It must be avoided at all costs as the debt trap can be quite difficult to get out of. Remember, there is consensus among all Islamic schools of thought that riba is haram.
Refer to the State Bank of Pakistan guidelines on using a credit card for further information.
How to Apply for a Credit Card in Pakistan?
Applying for a credit card in Pakistan is now quite hassle-free. There are three options:
Option 1: Visit the nearest branch of any bank to apply for the card. They will ask for relevant information, including a bank statement, proof of income, and other documents that help them determine your eligibility.
Option 2: Call your bank’s helpline and apply for a credit card. As they already have your information, they can instantly decide whether to issue a card or not.
Option 3: Most banks now offer customers to apply for credit cards using the mobile banking app. This option is only available to selected customers.
Credit Card Eligibility in Pakistan
Every bank has a separate eligibility criterion. Usually, they have set a minimal salary requirement in the case of salaried individuals. For self-employed people, a minimal account balance is a requirement. You will need to visit the branch or call your bank’s helpline to get detailed information about the eligibility criteria.
Pakistan’s Best Credit Cards
The below table provides a detailed comparison of the best credit cards in Pakistan.
|HBL Platinum Credit Card
|1 reward point for every PKR 24 spent
|Lounge Access at Airports; Discounts at Restaurants
|HBL Fuel Saver Gold Credit Card
|Up to 5% Cashback on Fuel Purchases
|SCB Saadiq Mastercard Platinum Credit Card
|Standard Chartered Bank
|5% Cashback on Dining, Grocery and E-CommerceUnlimited Airport Lounge Access in 25+ DestinationsUp to 50% discount on Udemy
|UBL Platinum Credit Card
|United Bank Limited
|3 Reward Points for Every PKR 100 Foreign Spent1 Reward Point for Every PKR 1 Spend Domestically
|Worldwide Discounts by Visa Merchants
|24% – 40%
|MCB Platinum Credit Card
|1 Reward Point for Every PKR 200 Spent
|Access to CIP Lounges in PakistanAccidental Death Coverage
|36% – 41%
|Bank Alfalah Visa Platinum
|0.25 Orbits Local,0.5 Orbits International on PKR 50
|Airport Lounge Access and Jetsetter Travel Program
|Bank Alfalah Ultra Cashback Card
|7% Cashback (Up to 1,500 Per Month)
|Bank Alfalah Mastercard OptimusCredit Card
|50% Cashback on Netflix Subscription (Platinum Card Holders Only)0% Balance Transfer Facility (BTF)
|Allied Visa Gold Credit Card
|Free CIP Lounge Access2 Supplementary Cards for Family
|Askari World Mastercard Credit Card
|2 Reward Points for Every PKR 50
|10% Cash Back on Booking.comTravel Inconvenience InsuranceAccess to the Majestic Lounge at Karachi Airport
This concludes our article on the best credit cards in Pakistan. Remember, if you exercise prudent financial management, credit cards can be quite beneficial. If you lack control when it comes to money, we recommend that you avoid credit cards altogether.