No annual fee
From one of the most famous mountainscapes to its rich history, Nepal is at the top of many trekkers’ travel lists for a good reason. Plus, most major shops and restaurants accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express. So, when buying your snacks and souvenirs, have the peace of mind that your UK credit or debit card should work fine.
However, if you’re venturing into the smaller towns, you might find that many vendors request cash-only payments. Just to be safe, it’s always worth carrying some Nepalese Rupees (NPR) as an emergency backup.
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Approval for any credit card depends on your status. The representative APRs shown represent the interest rate offered to most successful applicants. Depending on your personal circumstances, the APR you're offered may be higher, or you may not be offered credit at all. Fees and rates are subject to change without notice. It's always wise to check the terms of any deal before you borrow.
The official currency of Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee. When using your credit card for purchases, transactions are typically conducted in NPR. However, some merchants catering to international visitors may offer the option to pay in US dollars or other major currencies. It’s essential to be aware of the exchange rates and any associated fees charged by your credit card issuer for foreign currency transactions.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 23.9% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £3 per month, your representative rate is 29.8% APR (variable).
Before using your credit card in Nepal, it’s important to understand the fees and charges associated with your card. Credit card fees can leave a noticeable dent in your pocket when you are travelling overseas, so know what you are up against well in advance and choose a card with no or low fees.
British credit card issuers typically charge a fee equivalent to 1% to 3% of your transaction, so carefully review your card’s fine print to avoid statement surprises. Some cards designed for travel come with no foreign transaction fees, so this could be a good time to switch.
If a retailer offers to bill your credit card in sterling, dynamic currency conversion comes into play. While this might sound like a good deal, you’ll actually get a worse exchange rate and might also end up paying currency conversion fees. Whenever you’re presented with an option, choose to pay in the local currency.
Using your credit card to withdraw money from an ATM may not make sense unless it’s a bona fide emergency. Each time you withdraw funds from an ATM, you’re likely to pay a cash advance fee. Your APR for cash advances is typically higher than your purchase APR, and you won’t get any grace period on interest – instead, you start paying interest immediately. Again, some cards designed for overseas spending waive this fee.
The table below serves as an example of how much extra you may pay to use your credit card in Nepal.
A cash advance fee is calculated (and charged) when you withdraw cash from your credit card. It’s usually the greater of a flat fee or a percentage of the transaction. For example, “2.5% of the transaction, minimum £3.00”.
ATMs are widely available in Nepal, with many accepting international Visas and Mastercards. You might find it a little harder to find a local ATM that accepts American Express – however, they are becoming more readily available in recent years. As with any cash machine, you should be wary of theft and fraud. You should also check your card’s T&Cs for any additional charges, such as FX and cash advance fees.
Exercising caution when using your credit card in Nepal will give you a relatively trouble-free experience.
With the widespread acceptance of credit cards in its major cities, Nepal offers convenience and security for both residents and tourists. However, if you’re venturing out of these major cities, it’s good to carry some cash just in case. Remember to plan ahead, check the fees associated with your card, notify your bank and exercise caution to have seamless card transactions in this beautiful Himalayan nation.
Take control of your trip abroad and learn all you need to know about using a credit card in Bali right here.
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