Credit Cards vs. Debit Cards

A credit card is similar to a debit card in that both allow users to access money without having to carry around cash or chequebooks. However, there is a major difference between both card types: a debit card is linked directly to the user's bank account (and money is withdrawn from the account), while a credit card provides a line of credit (a limited amount of borrowed money to be paid back later). So, when you spend with a debit card, you are taking the money directly from your own account. But when you spend with a credit card, you are dipping your hands in the money borrowed from the card issuer.

Do Nigerian Banks issue Credit Cards?

Most bank-issued ATM cards in Nigeria are debit cards, but most Nigerians banks (e.g. First Bank or Diamonds Bank) issue credit cards to interested individuals who meet the specified financial and legal requirements. Bank customers usually have to apply for a credit card after having opened a bank account and comes with a yearly fee.

How to get a Credit Card in Nigeria?

Getting a credit card in Nigeria is simple. Just walk into any branch of a bank that issues credit cards. Then approach the customer support staff and tell them your intent. They will tell you more about the bank's credit cards and the requirements you must meet before you can be issued one. If you meet the requirements, you will be given an application form to fill and submit.

Once your application is accepted, your new credit card will be issued within 5 working days from the date of approval. Upon the approval of your application, your credit limit (that is, the maximum amount you can spend monthly with your credit card) will be determined based on your income and your capacity to repay your debts on time.

Some banks now offer an online credit card application process online, which saves you the walk in to the branch.

Requirements for getting a Card

The requirements for getting a credit card differ from bank to bank, but usually include:

  • Being at least 18 years of age
  • Filled out application form
  • Having a salary account with the issuing bank. Click here to learn how to open a bank account in Nigeria.
  • Proof of identification (international passport or national identity card work best, but sometimes drivers license is enough)

Types of issued Cards

Prepaid Credit Cards You transfer a certain amount of cash to the account of the card and then you can use the card until the money has been used up. Recharging can often been done online.

Post Paid Credit Cards The debit amount of the card is usually deducted from your bank account at the end of the month. In other words, a post paid credit card is a one month loan without interest. But keep in mind that high interests are charged by the issuing banks in case you have insufficient funds on your bank account.

Credit Cards at TopCheck

Comparing credit cards will soon be available on TopCheck! We do the work for you and collect all the data from Nigeria prime banks! Stay tuned, getting a credit card will be more convenient soon!