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Nigeria hasn’t moved with the times as fast as other African countries, so it’s worth getting clued up on how to get the best out of your plastic.
The two major credit card networks are Visa and Mastercard, but due to widespread financial fraud, cash is still king in Nigeria. The country has only just started to offer American Express after years on the provider’s black list, so you may find it hard to use your Amex.
While many of the big hotels and businesses may accept credit cards, you are more likely to come across vendors that only accept cash payments.
Compare cards for use in Nigeria
Credit cards without foreign transaction fees can save you a fee of up to 3% on every purchase made outside the US.
If you often travel to Nigeria, you could save money with the following cards:
Consider a cobranded Delta credit card, too. Delta offers nonstop flights to Lagos with a shorter flight duration than competitor airlines. However, since this is an American Express card, consider using it only to save money on your flights, as it may not be accepted in Nigeria.
Potential credit card fees in Nigeria
Using a credit card in Nigeria could come with the following fees:
Foreign transaction fees. Depending on your card, you could pay a fee of up to 3% on every purchase made abroad. That’s a $150 fee for every $5,000 spent in Nigeria.
Currency conversion fees. If a vendor offers you the option to pay in US dollars, or if an ATM offers you to withdraw US dollars, you will get a Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC). DCC often comes with a poor conversion rate.
Can I incur both fees?
Yes. Avoid this by paying in local currency and using a credit card without foreign transaction fees.
Which credit card issuers are accepted in Nigeria?
Wherever cards are an accepted payment method in Nigeria, it’s likely it’ll be Visa or Mastercard. American Express cards are accepted only in high-end restaurants and hotels. Discover cards aren’t accepted at all.
Should I use my credit card to get cash in Nigeria?
Credit card purchases in Nigeria are limited to hotels and restaurants at popular tourist destinations. You’ll need cash to make purchases everywhere else.
ATMs can give you a good exchange rate for local currency, but using a credit card will incur a cash advance fee and interest from the moment you make the withdrawal. You can avoid this with a debit card.
Kliment Dukovski is a credit cards writer. He's written over 600 articles to help readers find and compare the best credit cards. Kliment has also written on money transfers, home loans and more. Previously, he ghostwrote guides and articles on foreign exchange, stock market trading and cryptocurrencies.
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