Do you dine out regularly? Using a dining credit card can be a good option for you if you spend frequently at restaurants. These cards offer bonus points on your dining spends that can be redeemed for a range of goodies later. You can also enjoy special discounts at participating restaurants when you use your dining card.
Perks Of Being A Dining Credit Card User
If your spending pattern proves that a good chunk of your money goes towards footing restaurant bills, you should consider going for a dining credit card to boost your savings. These cards come with a range of benefits and privileges, including:
Special discounts: Depending on your card variant, you may get to avail special discounts at a range of restaurants whenever you dine at them.
Cashback: A few cards offer cashback on eligible dining spends as well. This means when you swipe to pay your dining bill, a part of it will be credited back into your account.
Accelerated Reward Points: There are several credit cards out there that earn 10x to 20x reward points on dining spends, while they fetch only 2x to 5x points on other card spends. Using such a card on dining expenses will ensure you accumulate a big pool of reward points quickly, which you can redeem for catalogue merchandise and shopping vouchers among other freebies.
Other Perks: A number of dining credit cards offer complimentary appetizers or beverages when you use them at partnering restaurants.
What To Consider Before Choosing A Dining Credit Card
To begin with, pick a dining credit card if only you feel that you dine out at restaurants frequently. Understanding your spending habits before choosing a card lies at the heart of maximizing credit card benefits. Once you are sure that a dining card is what you need, look at your options. Carefully study the features and benefits of the best cards in the market and compare them.
Let’s talk about a few things that you must consider before you pick a dining card:
- Partnering restaurants: Take a good look at all the partnering restaurants while choosing a card. Understand if you frequently visit these places. If you have a dining credit card, but don’t dine enough at the partner restaurants, you will not be able to unleash the card to its true potential.
- Minimum spending requirements: Some cards come with a minimum spend criterion for redeeming the points you earn. For example, you might have to spend a total of Rs.50,000 in a year using your dining card to enjoy all the reward points. Keep in mind that you mustn’t breach your budget to avail maximum benefits.
- Value of reward points: Credit card companies know that we are attracted to rewards. However, you must realise the value of these points that you earn. What can you redeem the points for? How much can you redeem at one go? Do these points expire? Do you need to pay an additional redemption fee? All of these are valid questions to which you must seek answers before you make your card choice.
- Cap on cashback: Cashback is offered on some of the dining credit cards in the market today. Check if there is any cap on the cashback. For example, an offer might state that you can enjoy a cashback of 20%. However, it might be capped to Rs.500 per month. Even if your bill amount is higher and you could get more as cashback, you will not due to the cap placed on it. If cashback is an important feature for you, you might want to compare cashback credit cards and choose one that offers the best rate or maximum savings.
- Interest rate and annual fee: A dining card might come with tons of attractive offers, but if the interest rate charged is high, the grace period offered is short, and the card charges an exorbitant annual fee for which it offers nothing extra in return, the perks could be cancelled out by the cost of using the card. Best is to do a cost-benefit analysis of the card variant before taking the plunge.
There are so many credit cards in the market, each of them tailored to the spending habits of different individuals. Even when you consider a specific category like dining, there are too many options to pick from. Spend a good amount of time on research before you pick a card than spending money unnecessarily on a product that is not of good use to you. Most importantly, make a budget for your total card spends based on your spending capacity and never miss a single payment deadline to avoid debt accumulation and an impacted credit score. Because a credit card should ideally help you save more, not spend more.
Bankbazaar.com is India’s leading online marketplace for loans, credit cards, and more.