Guide to Credit Cards and Loyalty in India.

In the time of pandemic where access to liquidity is critical, CRED the credit card bill payments platform, has come up with a new credit-line feature for its members called CRED Stash.

There are a few personal loan platforms available in this ecosystem, but I never found any of them attractive enough to try them out. I managed to get hands-on CRED Stash and here's what I think of it.

First Look

CRED Stash offers a hassle-free access to personal credit-line. Their process for approval is seamless as compared to the other players.

The interest rate offered by them is about one-third of a typical premium credit card rate, which is also the deciding factor for most of us. I believe this is possible because CRED is very selective criteria when it comes to whom they onboard (Credit Score of 750 or above), making their member base incredibly trustworthy. However, it's as par with other micro finance services available out there.  

It's practically an instant access credit line available only to the CRED members. There are no subscription or activation charges levied for the always open trade line.

Registration and Approval

Four Coins Rating

As compared to a personal loan which sometimes takes a bunch of paperwork and time to get approval, CRED Stash is an instant credit line service.

On CRED, you can register from a credit-line within seconds, and the money chosen by you is directly transferred into your account. Once approved, there's no need to apply again every time you want to withdraw.

Flexibility

Four Coins Rating

CRED Stash pretty flexible when it comes to withdrawing and payments, here are some of the key features.

Withdrawing:

  • You have the option to withdraw only the amount you require, maximum being your approved credit limit.
  • You may withdraw more, any number of times, till you have reached your pre-approved credit limit. The limit resets when you pay back the money you have withdrawn.

Payments and EMI:

  • You may choose from a set of recommended plans or make one yourself. CRED gives you the flexibility to set your repayment period.
  • You can make payments beforehand and even foreclose the stash withdrawn without any extra charges, this is big for somebody like me who ends up foreclosing the EMIs and Loan Payments most of the times.

CRED Stash transfers the opted amount directly to your bank account giving you the flexibility to use it however you like.

On the other hand, credit card EMIs are available only through select merchants. The "purchase to EMI" option offered by the banks is relatively more expensive and comes with a processing fee, usually around 2.5% of the total amount depending on the bank. Foreclosure fee is applicable on most of these offerings.

Eg. HDFC SmartEMI feature comes with an annual interest rate of 18% and a 3% foreclosure fee. Citi PayLite charges a one-time processing fee of 2.5% of the total value along with monthly interest, and foreclosure fee of 3%.

Transparency

Four Coins Rating

CRED Stash is simple, transparent, and easy to understand. You gets to see the process in its entirety with all charges clearly stated out. The various fees charged by other banks have been eliminated with only an interest being charged on the amount withdrawn.

The interest rate is as par the standard industry rate applicable on personal loans. The unique combination of perks and a beautifully designed app makes it a competitive choice in this space.

Usability and Design

Five Coins Rating

I admire CRED's design team. They made the entire process of applying for a credit line as simple as possible. Everything is easy to understand.

  • You start with selecting the amount of money that you need. This can be any amount up-to the pre-approved limit available to you as a CRED member.
CRED Stash: Select amount from credit line.
CRED Stash: Select amount from credit line.
  • At last you select the bank account into which you want the Stash money to be transferred.
  • Upon selecting the amount, you are asked to pick a repayment schedule from one of the recommended plans, or make an EMI schedule of your own depending on your requirements.
CRED Stash: Select or define repayment period.
CRED Stash: Select or define repayment period.
  • All the details required for the credit-line approval are available at the CKYC registry, which is a centralised repository of KYC records. This eliminates the lengthy registration and approval process.
CRED Stash: Verify your details.
CRED Stash: Verify your details.
  • Once verified, you proceed to set up auto-pay if you haven't already. It's always a good idea to automate your recurring payments as it avoids unwanted charges and saves you from the headache of doing it manually. Timely repayment is critical for Stash, and to safeguard your credit score.
  • CRED shows you the entire calculations based on the tenure you choose, including total interest charged and the repayment amount.
CRED Stash: Authenticate to withdraw from stash.
CRED Stash: Authenticate to withdraw from stash.

Finally, you'll see the signature CRED experience: You get to drag the money prepared for you into your account, which follows a sleek animation recreating the pleasing experience of withdrawing money. I ❤️ how they do this.

Final Words

Four Coins Rating

CRED Stash is available among other perks only to CRED members. CRED functions as a credit card bill payment platform that rewards its members for every card bill paid with rewards from brands and curated experiences handpicked by CRED, I'll do a more detailed review on that later.

You can apply to be a CRED member if you have a credit score of 750 and above to get access to CRED Stash.

CRED has also announced RentPay to enable credit card payments for rent. Read more about it here.
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