Difference Between Credit Cards and NBFC's EMI Card

Cards have become the norm of doing transactions in today’s age as India is going digital. Cash transactions have reduced considerably since cards allow security and ease of payments. Moreover, credit cards and EMI cards also allow you to shop on credit and later make the payments. Thus, even if you are low on money, you can use these cards and make a transaction. Though Icici credit cards and EMI cards both allow you credit facilities, their similarities end there. Besides allowing credit both these cards are quite different from one another. Let’s understand how –

Difference between credit cards and EMI cards:


Credit cards are usually issued by banks though there are some non-banking financial companies too which issue credit cards. EMI cards, on the other hand, are issued only by non- banking financial companies. Banks do not issue such cards.

Nature of the Card

Credit cards have a credit limit up to which you can do any type of financial transaction. The card provides you with a credit facility based on the principle of ‘buy now, pay later’. EMI cards are like pre-approved loans. They are issued with a certain limit and allow your big purchases to be converted into EMIs.

Control on the Card’s Usage

The issuer of credit cards has no control over the usage of the card. Cardholders can use the card for making any type of transaction anywhere. In case of EMI cards, however, the issuer controls the usage of the card. The issuer can also reject any transaction on the EMI card if required even when the card has a remaining balance. The same cannot be said for credit cards.

Fees and Charges

Credit cards have high interest charges if there is any default in paying off the credit card bill. Moreover, for other services provided by the card too, there are charges and fees involved. Even when you buy a card a joining fee might be payable and an annual renewal fee is payable for using the card every year. In case of EMI cards, however, no interest is usually charged. EMI cards allow zero interest EMI payments. The issuer has an arrangement with the merchant where the card is used. As per this arrangement, the merchant pays a commission to the issuer which takes care of the issuer’s expenses. In some EMI cards, there might be a subscription fee for availing the card but there are no interest charges.

Eligibility requirements

Credit cards have a list of eligibility criterion and individuals fulfilling the prescribed criteria can only apply and avail the cards. These eligibility requirements are strict. EMI cards, on the other hand, have no such eligibility requirements. Even when they do the requirements are very basic and flexible. Therefore, it is easier to avail EMI cards than credit cards.

These are the major differences which credit cards and EMI cards have. Though both allow you credit purchases, they have different natures, aspects and terms and conditions associated with them. So, understand these differences and choose a card which is suitable for your requirements.

Additional Reading:- Top 5 ICICI Banks Credit Card and Uses