With an increase in the number of working women, banks have realized that women too require financial products. That’s why they have come up with a line of products catering especially to our needs. But why this gender bias? What’s in it for banks?
Read on to find out whether these products are good enough or not:.
1. Credit Cards and Debit Cards:
Few banks offer special debit and credit cards for women. These come with added benefits ranging from special bill payment services to discount schemes at big retail outlets. Few also have added benefits such as cash back facility, accidental insurance cover, and lower maintenance charges.
Few examples of such cards:
Reward Points for every Rs. 150 spent and 50% more on grocery and dining. But this card comes with an annual fee of Rs. 999 while the regular credit card comes with an annual fee of Rs. 500. So its wise to compare before you buy this one.
This card is not only for women but is women oriented
This card comes practically free due to the annual fee being waived off if
Rs.30,000 is spent in the year. For every Rs. 125 spent earn 10 rewards points
at select stores and 1 reward point otherwise.
This offers 1 CashBack point on every Rs. 200 spent only on PayZapp, SmartBuy, Telecom, Utilities, Groceries & Supermarket, Restaurant & Apparels, Entertainment. No cashback points for all other categories apart from the ones above. The annual fees for this is is Rs. 150 but before buying one you should compare it with other cards as per your requirements.
For women borrowers various lenders offer low interest rate loans for marriage,education or buying a plot. Exclusive gold loan schemes for women are also commonly offered.
Few examples of such loans:
It comes at a concessional interest rate of 9.40% per annum, with repayment flexibility, with minimal documentation requirements, online portal for application management and less processing charges.
It offers soft loans with a repayment period or over ten years. Under this scheme there are different plans for beauty parlors, day care centres, purchase of auto rickshaws, two-wheelers, cars, etc. the maximum amount granted under this scheme is ₹10 lakhs and the interest depends upon the market rates.
These products are designed to cater specifically to ailments and concerns women commonly face such as complications of pregnancy, on-the-spot assistance for lady drivers and critical illness benefit covering and cervical cancer.
Few examples of such insurance schemes:
- LIC’s Jeevan Bharati-1:
Money back policy offering critical illness cover for pregnancy- and women-related diseases and medical cover for child born with congenital problems
- Dena Bank’s Dena Shakti SchemeOffers a 0.25% reduction on the interest rate. This loan is available for entrepreneurs engaged in agriculture, manufacturing, micro-credit, retail stores, or small enterprises.
Various banks offer exclusive savings accounts for women that require a much lower average minimum balance to be maintained. Add-ons such as free personal accident insurance, discount schemes, and free debit cards may also be included as part of the account.
Few examples of such accounts:
Preferential rates on home loans, 50% discount on first year locker rentals, debit card with cashback offers and free unlimited access to all banks’ ATMs are few of its benefits.
Minimum balance of Rs 10,000, zero-balance minor account, and jewelry insurance cover with debit card are few of its benefits.
Always remember: Terms and Conditions Apply
Before you decide to buy these products make sure:
- You compare the special benefits being offered with those of a standard account.
- Freebies that are provided by these products are not always useful; they are just mere additions to attract customers
- One of the most important thing that most people tend to skip due to its prolong length is the terms and conditions which gives us all the essential information required, READ THESE
- In case of credit cards, benefits should not come with pre-conditions which limit its uses. Most of the time credit cards that have added benefits are the ones that have higher annual charges not making a great difference
- Read various reviews before deciding
It is really important to make sure that these benefits are real and tangible and not just marketing strategies created in order to lure customers.
Initially banks had ‘Women Only Banking’ products catering only to women but these products did not do so well because women realized few of them were not so beneficial after all. So now banks have come up with Women Oriented products instead. But before buying these too you must ask yourself whether or not the product actually makes sense to you!