Banks Offering Credit Cards in Nigeria

The debate surrounding the prevalence and usage of credit cards in Nigeria has been a longstanding one. When viewed on the global scale, it’s evident that the adoption of credit cards by individuals and businesses in the country is relatively low. In this post, we will delve into the essence of credit cards, shedding light on what they are and providing insights into the leading companies in Nigeria where you can obtain them.

Understanding Credit Cards

A credit card is essentially a plastic card that grants you access to a predetermined credit limit set by your card issuer. This credit limit serves as a loan, but instead of receiving cash, the bank authorizes you to utilize a specified amount of credit over a defined period. This credit can be reused multiple times, with the obligation to repay it at a later date.

How Credit Cards Operate in Nigeria

During a credit card transaction, several processes come into play. When you swipe your credit card to make a purchase, the merchant’s card terminal communicates with your credit card issuer to verify the card’s validity and confirm if you have sufficient available credit.

The card issuer then responds with an approval or rejection notification. In the event of approval, you can proceed to acquire the goods or services. Every transaction results in a corresponding decrease in your available credit. For instance, if you have a ₦100 credit limit and make a ₦25 purchase, your available credit would be ₦75, and you would owe the bank ₦25.

If you then borrow an additional ₦50 before repaying the initial ₦25, your total owed to the bank would be ₦75, with ₦25 remaining in available credit. Unlike a conventional loan, your credit limit is reinstated once the balance on the card is settled. In this scenario, paying back the ₦75 would restore your available credit to ₦100.

Credit Card Companies in Nigeria

  1. First Bank Nigeria

    First Bank offers a range of credit cards catering to various needs:

    • Visa Infinite: This premium card is designed for the top 1% to 5% of the bank’s clientele, providing guaranteed transaction success rates and acceptance across all channels.
    • Naira Credit Card: An internationally accepted card for payments at over 29 million locations and cash withdrawals at over 1.8 million ATMs.
    • Visa Gold: A USD-denominated card issued in partnership with Visa International.
  2. UBA Nigeria

    The UBA Naira credit card is available to customers with a minimum of 3 months’ usage of a UBA salary account. It can be used both locally and internationally at ATMs or POS outlets, with a flexible repayment option of 10%.

  3. Standard Chartered Nigeria

    Standard Chartered offers two types of credit cards:

    • Visa Gold Credit Card: Accessible to corporate organization employees with a minimum salary of ₦75,000, and ₦50,000 for government employees.
    • Visa Platinum Credit Card: Requires a salary account with Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, along with a favorable credit bureau history.
  4. Zenith Bank

    Zenith Bank provides a range of Classic, Gold, and Platinum credit cards that facilitate regular purchases on POS, web, and ATMs.

  5. GTBank

    The GTBank Visa credit card is a globally recognized payment card denominated in US Dollars, valid for a period of 3 years.

  6. Stanbic IBTC Bank

    The Stanbic IBTC credit card is designed to offer you cash when you need it most, with up to 55 days of interest-free purchases and cash withdrawals from any ATM worldwide.


While the debate on the prominence of credit cards in Nigeria continues, these reputable institutions provide a variety of options to suit diverse financial needs. Understanding how credit cards operate and exploring the offerings from these top providers can be a crucial step in navigating the world of credit in Nigeria.

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