Your Money: Bridging the gap between women and finance

March 5, 2021 3:00 AM

Several banks offer women savings accounts and credit cards tailored to their needs besides better terms on loans

The SBI SimplyCLICK Credit Card costs Rs 499 per year, but offers 10 times the reward points when you spend on a host of e-commerce websites, including Amazon, BookMyShow, Cleartrip, Lenskart, Netmeds and UrbanClap.The SBI SimplyCLICK Credit Card costs Rs 499 per year, but offers 10 times the reward points when you spend on a host of e-commerce websites, including Amazon, BookMyShow, Cleartrip, Lenskart, Netmeds and UrbanClap.

By Preety Pruthi

The modern Indian woman is financially aware and tech savvy. She wants to be an astute investor, a diligent saver and a smart spender. The financial services industry is helping her succeed in these endeavours by customising their products to fulfil her needs. Here are a few products that banks and other financial intermediaries have designed for her.

Credit cards for women
There are hundreds of credit cards on offer, each tailored for customers with specific usage patterns. Choose a card that rewards your spending habits. For instance, women who like to dine out frequently may find the HDFC Solitaire credit card appealing. You get 50% more reward points on dining spends and grocery expenses. There are also vouchers from leading retail outlets, which more than make up for the Rs 999 annual fee.

Saving on fuel is the top priority for most vehicle owners. You can’t bring down the price of petrol, but you can get a fuel surcharge waiver on some credit and debit cards. Co-branded fuel cards such as the Indian Oil Citi Platinum Credit Card and several other cards not only reimburse fuel surcharge, but also offer reward points every time you swipe at a fuel station.

Travel aficionados should go for cards that offer lounge facilities at airports. For instance, the ICICI Coral Credit Card not only gives reward points on all purchases and discounts on movies and restaurants but also offers one complimentary airport lounge visit in India per quarter and one complimentary domestic railway lounge visit per quarter.

The SBI SimplyCLICK Credit Card costs Rs 499 per year, but offers 10 times the reward points when you spend on a host of e-commerce websites, including Amazon, BookMyShow, Cleartrip, Lenskart, Netmeds and UrbanClap.

Savings bank accounts
Banks are also offering savings accounts tailored to the needs of women. Female customers of some banks have to maintain a lower minimum balance in a savings account and get cheaper loans. The Women’s Saving Account from HDFC Bank offers an accidental death cover of Rs 10 lakh, accidental hospitalisation cover of Rs 1 lakh, preferential rate of interest and extended tenure on loans. Customers also get a waiver of first year’s locker rental and the EasyShop Woman’s Advantage Debit Card. The Advantage Woman Savings Account from ICICI Bank offers lower rates for home loans, personal loans and car loans. Kotak Bank’s Silk Women’s Savings Account offers doorstep delivery of cash.

Cheaper loans for women
Many banks charge women customers lower rates of interest as the risk of default is lower. Female borrowers tend to repay their loans on time. Most banks offer a discount of 5-25 bps on the interest rate. Make your wife a co-applicant when buying a house to get the lower interest rate. Besides, the stamp duty charges are lower for women in certain states, including Delhi, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Some lenders also relax the terms and partially waive the processing fee.

The writer is director, MyMoneyMantra.com

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