Avoid using Credit Cards in Uganda, and it will save you money
Reasons why a visitor or tourist might want to avoid using Credit Cards in Uganda
Avoid using Credit Cards in Uganda: You are probably asking why not? |Here are some common sense and logical reasons why not to use your credit card in Uganda
Credit Cards in Uganda mean added fees. Add to that the Potential Theft of credit card information. There is also a potential credit card freeze by your Bank. You are using the card in an unknown location and have not notified the Bank of using your card in Uganda or Rwanda.
Westerners make most purchases via their debit or credit cards, from restaurants to grocery stores. Welcome to Uganda, where we are a Cash-Based Society for the most part and where people prefer making payments with mobile money instead of a credit card.
The majority of Ugandans do not use banking services of any kind. Mobile Money has risen dramatically in popularity in recent years. To the chagrin of banks, it has become a convenient form of banking without what Ugandans think are the hassles.
Visitors, tourists, and safari-goers do not like the convenience of using their debit and credit cards, but in Uganda, it means added cost for doing so. When using a credit card, you most often pay an out-of-country banking fee with your Bank in your country. Add the prices for your purchases by the merchant, such as a hotel surcharge of five or more percent. Why avoid using credit cards in Uganda? We just gave you one reason. Let us show you a few more below.
Reasons Why you should Avoid using Credit Cards in Uganda
- Added Fees: In the West, you use your credit card to purchase items or services. At the end of the month, it shows on your Statement. There are no fees above the price of items bought. Use your credit card to pay for your safari in Uganda-Rwanda. You pay a minimum of 3.5 to 5% more in service charges. Some tour operators charge you 10% above the price. Hotels, Restaurants, and Shops that take credit cards will all add a processing fee charge of at least 5%. We found one person on Frommer’s Forum that charged 17%. Merchant Banking services are handled in many cases, not inside Uganda but in Kenya. That is the case with Barclay Bank, all adding more fees. Don’t use your card and save at least 5%. We have a cash price on safaris and a credit card price, Our Credit Card fee is 3.5%, and we use reliable PesaPal as our Merchant Services provider.
- Potential Theft: That smiling person behind the counter makes a 100 USD dollar a month – they have many needs in their life, and add to that the greed factor. Lack and greed combined lead to theft. You are a Westerner to most Ugandans, and you have unlimited resources, and a little something extra removed would not hurt you (in their mind). At the end of the month, you look at your Statement, surprise, surprise. Credit Card fraud and thefts have been rising in Uganda and Rwanda. Sophisticated credit card fraud or theft has even been reported in major International Hotels.
- Card Freeze by your Bank: Many Visitors to Uganda – Rwanda have wanted to pay with their credit card or even withdraw money from an ATM Machine only to find that their card will not work. It would be best to let your Bank know that you will be using your credit or debit card in East Africa, and PayPal does not operate in Sub-Sahara Africa. The preferred choice of Credit Card in Uganda – Rwanda is Visa, which includes ATMs’ where you can rarely use MasterCard.
- Inconvenience: Most establishments that allow credit cards rarely use the system, and confusion can occur. International hotels will most often have a swipe card system. Others will not, depending on which Bank’s merchant services they use. It can take a lot of time, frustration, and potential. (With Luxury Hotels, that is not the case)
- Safari Payments: Yes, often, our clients pay with a credit card, which they prefer. Our Credit Card Merchant Services provider Is PesaPal. PayPal does not offer such services in East Africa, and Award-winning PesaPal is our Merchant Services provider. The service fee our clients have to pay to use a credit card is 3.5%. We have researched other providers of such services and concluded that it was best for us to use PesaPal, which we have done for over a decade since they first came to Uganda.
Best Advice For Credit Card Use in Uganda – Bring Cash – Use ATMs
- What about Traveller’s Cheques? You cannot get them cashed in many places, and you also have to show that you paid for them with a receipt, and you will receive a substantially reduced rate over cash. You can use Travellers Cheques at most major banks, and some lodging facilities do accept them for payment but at a more significant loss to you.
- What about ATMs? In most towns, there are bank branches such as ABSA, Standard Chartered, etc. Use a Visa ATM card for success. Maximum withdrawal for the day varies with your Bank’s limit. Suppose the machine eats your card. Here you can get it back the next business day. It is, however, a troublesome and time-consuming process.
- Dollars are the Best Currency to Bring to Uganda: Most things are priced in USD. Many European Lodging operators price out their lodgings in Euros, but they will not refuse your US Dollars. When bringing US Dollars – they need to be 2008 or newer – be clean – not heavily used or have tears on them. Just clean and crisp US Dollars – also stick to 50 and 100 US Dollar Bills – anything less will get you less in an exchange rate.
Why Avoid Using Credit Cards in Uganda? – hopefully, you have seen why and will use alternate ways to pay for things in Uganda or Rwanda. Cards can be a hassle in East Africa when convenient in your home country.
Avoid using your Credit Cards in Uganda – Rwanda – If you have any questions, please ask and try to answer your credit card questions since it is one of the most critical for Uganda or Rwanda.