How to get a credit card in Saudi Arabia?

It is easy to get a credit card in Saudi Arabia from the bank where your salary is transferred by the employer. If you want a credit card without a salary transfer, you need to opt for a secured credit card.

Types of credit cards

There are mainly 3 types of credit cards in Saudi Arabia;

  • Normal Credit Card.
  • Secured Credit Card.
  • Prepaid Credit Card.

If you want to get a credit card in Saudi Arabia without a salary transfer, you can opt for either a secured credit card or a prepaid credit card. We will explain the process to get each of them below.

Types of credit cards in Saudi Arabia

Normal Credit Card

In order to get a credit card in Saudi Arabia with a salary transfer;

  • Research which bank offers the best credit card.
  • Open your bank account with that bank.
  • Wait for 3 salaries to be transferred to the account.
  • Apply for your preferred credit card. 

The bank will most likely approve your request and assign a credit limit.

Secured Credit Card

In order to get a secured credit card in Saudi Arabia without a salary transfer, you need to provide the bank with many requirements such as;

After checking all these requirements and your SIMAH credit report, the bank may approve or reject your credit card application.

Prepaid Credit Card

You can get a prepaid credit card without any additional requirements as it actually works like a debit card. You need to add balance to the card first and use it later. As there is no risk involved on the part of the bank, they issue it very easily. 

The following 6 banks in Saudi Arabia are offering prepaid credit cards to their customers as listed below;

  1. SNB Prepaid Credit Card.
  2. Al Rajhi Prepaid Credit Card.
  3. Riyad Bank Prepaid Credit Card.
  4. Bank Al Bilad Medad Card.
  5. Alinma Charge Card.
  6. Saudi Investment Bank Travel Card.

Prepaid Credit Cards in Saudi Arabia

Benefits of credit cards

If credit cards are properly utilized by people, it has several benefits;

  • Cashback of around 2% of your monthly spending.
  • Full payment protection against theft or misuse.
  • Interest free installments.
  • Having the privilege to spend money without having it in your bank account.

Which is the best credit card?

The best credit card in Saudi Arabia should have the following features;

1- Annual Fee: Always apply for a credit card that has Zero or very minimal annual fees.

2- Reward Points: Every credit card offers reward points on its use. You should take a card that offers the best percentage of reward points. The industry practice in Saudi Arabia is from 1% to 2% cashback points.

3- Cashback v/s Gift Voucher: Check how you can use these reward points. I personally prefer to redeem those points in cashback rather than gift vouchers.

4- Interest Free Installments: Many banks offers its customers to convert their spending into 6 monthly interest free installments. For example, you buy a iPhone using your credit card and pay them back in 6 months. 

5- Interest Rate: While taking the credit card, your primary objective should be paying off the entire due amount before the due date. Therefore, the interest rate of the credit card should not bother you.

Best Credit Card: As per my research, if you are an SNB Wessam customer, SNB World Elite card is the best option.

  • No annual fee for Wessam customers.
  • 1.6% on domestic spending and 2% on international.
  • Cashback option available.
  • Interest free installments available for all spendings.

Full v/s Minimum payment

Many people use credit card as a tool to get credit from the bank which is the most stupid financial mistake. If you need funds, you can always get a personal loan in Saudi Arabia.

Credit cards charge around 28% interest on your credit if you don’t pay the full amount on time. Therefore, you should never think of paying the minimum due amount to credit card. Always pay the full due amount before the due date.

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