Top 10 Best Credit Cards in Nepal

Most of the commercial banks in Nepal offer credit cards to their customers. A customer needs to choose the best among available alternatives. We have compiled a list of the top 10 best credit cards in Nepal offered by banks are as follows.

1. Standard Chartered Bank Nepal (SCB):

SCB is a market leader when it comes to issuing credit cards in Nepal. It currently offers Visa Classic, Visa Platinum, and Bhatbhateni co-branded Visa Platinum cards. The joining and annual fee for Visa classic is Rs 750 each however many times one-time charge is free. Similarly Joining annual charge of Visa Platinum is  Rs 1500 (including Bhatbhateni Co-branded card). 

Some unique features of Standard Chartered Bank credit card 

Instabuy:

Any purchases made above Rs 5000 to any vendor can be converted to an Equal monthly installment (EMI) facility. Though other banks also offer the EMI facility pre-approval of credit is necessary that too with already tie-up vendors. However, clients of SCB credit card can convert any purchase above 5000 to EMI facility up to 18 months irrespective of vendor after post-purchase of goods and services which is unique in nature. Further, interest is very competitive i.e 0.833% or 10% per annum lowest in the market.

You can get a 10% discount at Bhatbhateni store on every purchase while buying through a co-branded card of SCB and Bhatbhateni. Though initially it was for 3 month it’s been extended time and again to till date of writing this article.

Flexible payment of 2% to 100%. Lowest among industry. However, it is advised to pay full amount in due day to avoid debt trap.

Reward points on retail purchases i.e. 1 point for every Rs 100 purchase. This 1 point is equivalent to Re 1 which needs to be redeemed every two year. You can get the gift voucher or deducted in annual charges. So, if you buy Rs 75000 of goods and service and choose to redeem for annual charges. Then your annual charge is waived. This feature is also unique in nature.

Interest charges are one of the highest in industry i.e. 30% per annum or 2.5% per month.

Bank does not charge any extra amount while using it for online payment in Nepal and India, which is beneficial if you buy stuff in Amazon.in or any online purchase in India.

2. Nabil Bank Ltd:

Nabil Bank is the second most issuer of credit cards in Nepal. It offers Nabil Smart Visa Domestic and Nabil Smart Master domestic. The Subscription charges for credit cards are Rs 4000 which can be paid yearly till the validity period which is 4 years. So, the cost is Rs 1000 per year.

Nabil bank is the only bank in the industry to offer contactless cards till the writing of this article which is beneficial in a pandemic situation like today. Bank offers a discount on renewal fee as per the usage of cards which has not been offered by many banks.

Credit card customers can buy goods and services on an EMI basis with a wide range of tie-up vendors with banks. However, pre-approval and DO (delivery order) signed by the bank is necessary unlike Insta Buy of SCB where the things can be performed post-buy. 

Bank card is accepted while paying online including in India. However, it charges 0.5% or Rs 50 whichever is higher for online payment in India.

3. Siddhartha Bank:

Siddhartha Bank is the third most issuer of the credit card in Nepal. Currently, the bank offers Siddhartha Visa credit card and Siddhartha UNO credit card. Siddhartha Visa’s credit card is a normal credit card whereas Siddhartha UNO credit card is a co-branded credit card tie-up with the UNO discount card.

UNO card can be used to get a 10% to 40% discount in selected outlets especially if you shop and dine near the durbar marg area you will normally be able to get10 to 15% discount on shopping and dining. So, it is one of the best co-branded cards available in the market which can be used at multiple stores and restaurants. Only a few co-branded credit card is available in the market and Siddhartha UNO card is one of the best.

The joining fee is Rs 750 for both types of card and the annual charge of Siddhartha Visa credit card and Siddhartha UNO credit card is Rs 750 and Rs 1000 respectively. EMI facility is available with selected tie-up vendors for both types of credit cards.

4. Global IME Bank:

Followed by Siddhartha bank, global IME bank ranks 4th in number of credit card issues. Currently it offers Global Classic Domestic credit card and Global Gold Domestic credit card. Except for the looks of cards there is no difference in services. 

One unique selling point of Global IME credit card is it offers an EMI facility with a large number of vendors however, pre-approval and DO(delivery order) are necessary to obtain the product. Buy now and pay later is popular among Global IME credit cardholders.

The joining fee and yearly fee for Global Classic Domestic credit card and Global Gold Domestic credit card are Rs 600 and 1000 respectively. Bank card is accepted while paying online including in India however, it charges Rs 200 for each transaction made online in India. 

5. NIC Asia Bank Limited:

Though very aggressive in the market NIC Asia has issued fewer credit cards as compared to the account holders it has maintained. It offers Visa Credit cards. Nic Asia is recently offering many discount schemes to its cardholder while using it at selected vendors. The joining and annual fee is Rs 1000 each.  

6. Himalayan Bank:

Despite being the first bank to offer credit cards in Nepal, the current bank is behind its peer bank when it is issuing credit cards to the customer. Banks offer Mastercard/ Visa classic and Master card/ Visa Gold credit card. The joining and annual fee for classic and Gold cards is Rs 750 and 1000 respectively.

Himalayan is among few banks which offer MasterCard and probably the only bank to offers an American Express card in Nepal. It offers Amex Blue/Green Domestic and Amex Gold Domestic. The joining and annual fee is Rs 750 and Rs 1500 respectively.

7. Nepal Investment Bank:

NIBL offers Visa classic and Gold Credit cards. The joining and annual fee of the card is Rs 750 and 1000 respectively. It is one bank that is very conservative in assigning credit limits to the clients. Bank offers a discount on card payment during its anniversary. 

8. Machhapuchhre Bank:

Machchapuchhre is a new entrant to offer a credit card facility. It offers an MBL Visa credit card. The joining fee for the card is 750 for corporate clients and Rs 750 for other customers.

The annual charges are the same i.e. Rs 750 for each client type. One of the unique products in credit cards, banks offer credit cards to students named Student card whose joining fee is mere Rs 150 and the annual charge is Rs 250. The charge is similar to many bank charges for their debit card.

So, a good choice for students is to have a student credit card, however, the limit for such cards is low compared to other cards. Further, Bank offers Insta Buy with a selected outlet and offers to buy two times the credit card limit i.e. a person having a credit card limit of 1 lakh can purchase goods and service upto 2 lakh.   

9. Laxmi Bank:

Laxmi Bank offers Visa credit cards. The joining and annual charges are Rs 1000 each. The writer has been using the said card for the last four years however, the bank has neither offered any discount while using any vendor in due time nor has any facility of discount in the annual fee. Bank card is accepted while paying online including in India however; it charges 0.5% or Rs 50 whichever is higher for online payment.

10. Prabhu Bank:

Prabhu bank offers credit cards in association with Visa international. The joining and annual fee of the card is Rs 1000 and Rs 500 respectively. Bank has promoted the Buy Now and Pay later scheme with selected vendors.

The above list comprises of top 10 best credit cards in Nepal. However, we have compiled a list below with credit cards from other banks as well.

11. Everest Bank:

Everest Bank has offered credit cards only recently. It is one of the most aggressively priced products offered currently in the market. Banks offer Visa Domestic Credit cards whose joining fee is only Rs 300 and the annual fee is Rs 500 one of the lowest in the industry.

12. Sanima Bank:

Sanima Bank is one of the conservative banks in the credit card limit. Only banks that make you sign loan deeds (Karza Tamsuk) in Nepali Paper for the limit of the credit card which feels more of taking a loan from the bank than any auxiliary service offered by the bank. It offers Visa Domestic credit cards. The joining fee and an annual fee for the card is Rs 750 each. On Top of that, the bank also charges a card issuance fee of Rs 750 extra.

13. NMB Bank:

Bank offers NMB Bank Platinum and NMB Bank credit cards. NMB Bank Platinum credit card is offered through invitation only. One of the unique selling points of platinum cards is the excess of 1300 airport lounges throughout the world. Normally it is beneficial for the people who have to travel throughout the world. 

A cardholder can have access to the airport lounge for a specific time period during their transit period 3 times a year free which typically is charged $50. The same type of lounge card is offered by Sanima bank to its premium customers availing dollar cards.

The joining fee NMB Bank Platinum credit card is free for the card and annual charges are Rs 3500 per year or 14000 (one time) for five years. Bank also offers  NMB Bank credit card with joining fees of 700 and an annual fee of Rs 700 or Rs 3500 one time for 5 years.

14. Nepal Bangladesh Bank:

Bank offers a Visa credit card. The joining fee and annual fee of the card are 600 each one of the lowest in the industry. The limit of such cards can be up to 5 lakh and the validity period is only 3 years.

15. Bank of Kathmandu:

Bank of Kathmandu offers a Visa credit card. The card issuance, joining fee, and the annual fee is 750 each. 

16. Citizen International Bank Limited:

Bank offers Visa credit cards to its customers. The joining and annual fee is Rs 750 each.

17. Prime Commercial Bank:

Bank offers Visa classic and Gold credit card up to a limit of 15 lakh. Joining and an annual fee for Prime Gold credit card is Rs 1000 each. Further, joining and an annual fee for Prime classic credit card is Rs 700 each.

18. Century Commercial Bank:

Bank offers Visa classic and Gold credit card up to a limit of 15 lakh. The joining and an annual fee for Century Gold credit card are Rs 1000 each. Further, Joining and an annual fee for Century classic credit card is Rs 750 each.

19. Mega Bank:

Mega Bank offers Visa credit cards. The joining and an annual fee for a credit card are Rs 750 each. Bank has also tied up with different vendors through a mega lifestyle which offers discounts to its customers. Insta Buy with selected vendors is also available.

20. Sunrise Bank:

Bank offers a Visa credit card. The joining fee and annual fee is Rs 500 and 700 respectively. Sunrise has a tie-up with a significant number of vendors and hospitals that offer good discounts to sunrise bank customers. The bank offers free online banking facilities through cards in Nepal and India. 

21. Kumari Bank:

Bank offers a Visa credit card. The joining and annual fee for the credit card is Rs 1000 each. Unlike Siddhartha Bank, Kumari bank offers UNO cards to its customers who can avail of the discount at different outlets. Especially if you shop and dine around Durbar Marg it will add a lot of benefits to the customer.

Banks with no Credit Card

Rastriya Banijya Bank, Nepal Bank Limited, Agriculture Development Bank, NCC Bank, Nepal SBI Bank, and Civil Bank are yet to introduce Credit card products.

Eligibility for a Credit Card:

An income proof letter from an employer for an employed person and tax clearance certificate for a self-employed person is necessary while obtaining a credit card. Bank also provides the credit card facility to existing clients of home and auto loan and salary account holders through cross-selling. Normally banks provide credit card limits of 1-2 times of monthly income depending upon its policy.

The interest rate on Credit Card in Nepal

Interest charges are one of the highest in credit cards as compared to other products. The bank charges 2 to 2.5 % per month i.e 24% to 30 % per annum for a due amount not paid in time. So, to avoid the highest interest charge it is advised to pay the full due amount on the due date unless it is unable to manage.

Cash Advance on Credit Card in Nepal

The cash advance facility is withdrawing cash through a credit card. Normally credit cards are used for payment of goods and services to vendors. However, it can also be used to withdraw cash. As per the rule of Nepal Rastra Bank, A person can withdraw up to 10% of the credit card limit in cash e.g. If the credit card limit is Rs 100,000 then the person can withdraw up to Rs 10,000 in a month through ATMs.

However, charges are very high and normally bank charges Rs 100+ 2% of the cash withdrawal amount. So, unless it is way necessary and emergency it is not advised to withdraw cash from credit cards.

Payment Period for Credit Card in Nepal

In Nepal, all banks offer the same payment cycle i.e. 15 to 45 days. This works the same as postpaid mobile service which accumulated the bill in the month as per usage. It bills you at the end of the month and gives you some time to pay after which it charges a penalty. Similarly, credit cards are billed after use for 30 days, if the billing cycle is as per English month.

A person gets a bill on the 30th of the month for all the expenses s/he made though the 1st -30th of the month. After getting the bill it provides a 15 days grace period to pay .i.e. 15th of next month. If a person pays the full amount within the 15th of next month then no interest charges are levied whereas if s/he fails to do so interest as per bank is applied on the outstanding amount. 

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