How To Get a Credit Card in Kenya

In the modern world, credit cards are an essential tool. However, getting a credit card that is the most suitable for you-not to mention having it approved can be stressful. It’s important to know the kind of credit card to choose, the requirements needed, and how to boost your chances of getting approval.

In this article, we look at how you can get a credit card in Kenya. Whether you are looking for a credit card to pay utilities or settle your hotel accommodation, it will make the process easier. Using a credit card offers you a host of benefits including rewards, insurance, and cashback.

It is therefore important to know how to get the credit card that suits your needs.

Credit card in Kenya

Factors to consider when choosing a credit card

There are many credit cards available on the market. Here is what you should consider to get the best credit card

Annual percentage rate (APR)

The APR is the cost of borrowing if you don’t pay off the amounts owed before the card’s due date. This includes the interest rate plus other fees you will incur. Settle for the card with the lowest APR.

Minimum repayment

This is the amount the bank requires you to pay at the end of every month in case you opt to pay your debt in installments. Most banks require you to pay 3% to 5%. Choose one with manageable repayment in case of a bad month where you are not able to clear the outstanding debt.

Annual fees

Credit card issuers charge an annual fee. In Kenya, the fee ranges from Ksh 3000 to Ksh 12000. Choose the card with the lowest annual fee.

Other charges

Check for other charges the card issuer will levy when you use the card. Check the over the limit fees, foreign transaction fees, late fees, and other charges. You want to settle for a card with the lowest charges.

Rewards and loyalty points

These points will add up, and you can use them to purchase items in your favorite retail shop or petrol station. Look at the reward percentage you are likely to get. Also, check rewards and cashback.

Other terms and conditions

You need to check whether there are other terms for using a credit card. Make sure you read the fine print so that you don’t miss anything.

Qualifications to get a credit card

 The basic requirements to qualify for a credit card are easily achievable. They include:
  • Be at least 18 years old. However, banks like Standard Chartered require one to be at least 21 years old.
  • Have a steady income stream. Whether you own a business or are employed, you must earn at least Ksh15,000 to qualify for a credit card. However, if you want an upgraded credit card, you must meet the specific requirements stated.
  • Have a great credit history. You must not be in debt or listed with any credit bureau to qualify for a credit card.

If you meet all the above qualifications, then this should be easy. They are divided into two, general requirements and specific requirements.

General Requirements

These are requirements that apply to almost every financial institution. You will need them at every bank to get a credit card.

They include:

  • A copy of your identification card or a valid Kenyan passport.
  • Passport-sized photos.
  • Work permit or foreigner ID if one is not a Kenyan citizen.
  • KRA pin certificate.
  • A completed application form.
  • 3 months’ bank statements if you are employed.
  • 6-month bank statement if you are self-employed.
Specific requirements

 Every bank has its requirements. Here are some of the specific requirements you will need to meet to qualify for a credit card.

BANKType of credit cardSpecific requirements
  KCBClassic Visa Card6-month bank statement if self-employed(for an account whose turnover is between KES 20,000 – KES 49,000  
  Gold Visa Card  6-month bank statement if self-employed(for an account whose turnover is between KES 200,000 – KES 299,999) Your latest pay slip with a minimum salary of around KES 200,000 – KES 299,999
  Platinum Visa Card  6-month bank statement if self-employed(for an account whose turnover is KES 300,000 and above) Your latest pay slip with a minimum salary of KES 300,000  
National BankVisa Classic CardLatest pay slip of a minimum of 20,000 minimum turnover of 150,000  for a business.
Visa Gold CardLatest pay slip of a minimum of Kes 134,000 For business, a minimum monthly turnover of Kes 250,000
Visa Platinum CardRecent pay slip of minimum Kes 267,000 Minimum monthly turnover of Kes 250, 000
ABSASignature Credit CardNet salary of  Kes 500,000
Platinum CardNet salary of Kes 200,000
Gold Credit CardNet salary of 50, 000  
 Classic Rewards Credit CardNet salary of 40,000
Standard CharteredVisa Gold card  Minimum age of 21 Minimum monthly income of Kes 50,000
Visa Platinum
Visa Infinite credit card
NCBAVisa Infinite credit cardMinimum net income of Kes 2 million  
platinum credit cardMinimum income of Kes 400, 0000
Classic credit cardMinimum net income of 100, 000
Stanbic Bank Gold credit cardMinimum net income 150,000
Silver credit cardMinimum income of Kes 30,000
Equity BankClassic visa card  Minimum income of 25,000
 American Express green card
I&M BankVisa Classic credit cardMinimum income of Kes 70,000
Visa goldMinimum net income of 80,000
Family bankClassic credit cardMinimum net income of Kes 25,000
 Visa Gold Credit cardMinimum net income of Kes 200,000
Sidian BankClassic Visa cardMinimum income of KES 15,000

How to Get a Credit Card in Kenya

 Generally, the most efficient way to get a credit card is to apply via an institution’s website (usually a bank). Here, you fill in your personal information and download the forms provided, fill them out, and submit them. Attach the required documents.

 Alternatively, you can visit a brick-and-mortar bank and fill out the applications there. Have the documents required with you.

Types of credit cards available in Kenya

 There are a variety of credit cards available in the Kenyan market. They include:

 Business credit cards

The best credit cards provide convenience and rewards for any type of business.

  1. Co-branded credit cards

These are credit cards such as American Express that are offered through institutions like banks. The card issuer partners with retailers, and airlines to offer cashback and rewards. Although you can use the cards for non-store purchases.

How many credit cards should you have?

 Although the number of credit cards one should have isn’t set in stone, experts recommend having an average of three credit cards.

However, credit cards are tempting and may lead you to overspend to meet the minimum required amount. If you are starting and don’t have financial discipline, start with one.

What to do when you don’t qualify for a credit card

Was your application flat-out denied? Not to worry, it happens sometimes. Most of the time, the bank will give reasons as to why they have denied your application. With these reasons, you can re-evaluate your application and try to fix the stated areas.

You can also:

Ask for a reconsideration.

Although the banks are thorough, sometimes you may have missed filling in some information that leads to your application being denied. If you see that, you can ask the bank to reconsider your application.

If you have looked at the reasons why your application was denied and can fix them easily, then you can do so and ask for a reconsideration.

Understand why your application was denied

Look at the reasons the institutions have given. Are they things you can fix? If yes, go ahead and work to eliminate them. For example, you can’t apply for a KCB Platinum Visa card, whose minimum required income is Ksh 30,000, if you’re earning less than that.

Fix these issues and reapply.

List all your sources of income.

One of the reasons you may not qualify for a credit card is that you do not meet the minimum monthly income requirement. If your sources of income meet the threshold or you forgot to add some of your side hustles, make sure you list them and then reapply.

Pay all existing debts.

You wouldn’t trust someone with bad debt with your money, right? The same goes for the financial institutions that issue credit cards. Therefore, ensure that all your debts are cleared before reapplying for a credit card.

Give it time before you apply for another credit card.

You may be eager to start using credit cards and be in a hurry to get one again. There’s no hurry. Take your time, re-evaluate the reasons for your declined credit card application, fix the gaps, and reapply.

Conclusion

There are numerous aspects to keep in mind when dealing with credit cards in Kenya. First, ensure that you compare various credit cards offered by various financial institutions to make sure that you are getting the best deal. Second, ensure that you have met all the requirements needed so as not to get your credit card application denied. Finally, remember to look at your financial capability before applying for a credit card; this will help you make the right choice for you.

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