Once in Norway, especially on a long term stay, something which will be of great importance is how you manage your finances. While you are free to open a bank account in Norway if you meet the required criteria, a credit card and debit card will help you in effecting payments conveniently. Just like in most countries in Scandinavia, cash transactions are not commonplace in Norway. In fact, with a credit and debit card, you can access services and goods from major establishments, hotels, and restaurants. In addition to supermarkets, gas stations – everywhere!
Norwegian Credit Card
Moving to Norway can be very challenging, especially if you’re not prepared for it. While it’s undoubtedly a great decision, you need to make sure that you consider all the necessary measures. One of the most critical things is how to make important payments conveniently. Moreover, in Norway, cash transactions aren’t commonplace. According to European payment council statistics, Norway has the least cash usage.
If you decide to pay with a credit card make sure you know all the pros and the cons when using this form of payment. By using a credit card, you will not have to pay the fees that are otherwise applicable when exchanging money or paying by travellers’ cheques. However, your bank may charge you commission or bank fees. With the credit cards, you get control over your personal and household finances. However, it is necessary to watch out so that you do not end up accumulating unnecessary debt from the use of credit cards.
Popularity of Credit Card in Norway
If you are a holder of credit card or intend to acquire one during your stay in Norway, then do not worry. Credit cards are so commonly used in Norway and is acceptable across many convenience stores, clubs, and hypermarkets. In fact, the Norwegians are ranked as the leaders in using credit cards globally.
This reality means that you are highly likely to purchase goods or services somewhere in Norway where the credit cards are acceptable as a means of payment. The Norwegian government has introduced various safeguards to make credit cards safe and reliable. Some of the safeguards include introduction of credit bureau and making unsecured consumer loans tighter.
Credit Rating for Credit Card Eligibility in Norway
Being issued with a credit card is almost the same as taking a loan. The credit card issuing financial institutions in Norway therefore preform due diligence before they offer you the credit facility.
The credit cards issued to you by the financial institutions in Norway will typically allow you to borrow funds to use in various transactions. It is your obligation as a credit card holder to ensure that you at all times honour the conditions given at the time of signing up for the card.
In practice, you will be required to pay back the money borrowed, the surcharge when using the card where applicable and any other interests on the amount.
The credit card issuers in Norway will set the limits of your card depending on your credit rating. You can always use the credit card for making purchases or cash withdrawals but it cannot exceeded the pre-set limit.
Therefore, if you intend to get a higher limit, always check your credit rating, and work on improving it before resorting to get a credit card.
Credit rating is a compilation of the data about all your financial conduct for the period of residence in Norway. The longer you have stayed, the more the information captured and availed to your potential credit card before they can decide to accept you as their client.
This strict background check on financial conduct means that you will have to at all times prove credit worthiness for the entire period of stay prior to making the application. It is advisable to avoid all forms of credit default within the minimum one year requirement for one to be eligible for credit card in Norway.
Knowing Your Credit Rating
You do not want to turn up for credit card registration at your preferred card issuer without a prior information about your credit status. Your creditworthiness is the primary determinant of two things.
One, it will determine whether you are worth being a credit facility or not. In this sense, an extremely low credit rating will earn you credit card denial. You can never cheat on your credit reliability since the financial institutions have coordinated way of exchanging your credit performance.
Second, the credit rating will help the credit card issuer to know how much credit limit can be granted to you; the higher the credit rating, the more likely you are to get more credit. Nonetheless, other considerations which are specific to the financial institution too will determine your credit limits.
Sources of Your Credit Report
The credit report shows all the information about your financial performance throughout the time you have transacted in Norway. The credit report will show how much debts can be traced to your name, timeliness in settling bills, your residential details, work and any other relevant information.
Typically the financial companies with which you have transacted in Norway will always keep your credit report updated monthly. Some financial institutions however will alert the credit referencing agencies of how you respond to credit facilities in your name.
Whenever you default to pay your credit or remit payment late, the credit referencing agencies get notified to downgrade your rating. The Norwegian Credit Register is an ideal place where you can always check your credit rating prior to making application for a card.
How to and where to get credit cards in Norway
After living in Norway for at least one year as an expat, you can apply for a credit card. As a prerequisite, you must have a Norwegian bank account to which you regularly receive your income. This means that you need to first meet the conditions for having a local bank account in Norway before accessing credit cards.
Again, you must first meet other minimum criteria set by the credit card issuer. To be issued with a credit card, you must have a proof of full time employment and credit worthiness. Again, you must have been able to pay all your bills including utility in good time.
As a common practice and requirement, the Norwegian credit card issuers will expect you to provide or to access at least one full year’s tax return. In practice, it might be up to two years before you get accepted to a credit card use.
If you’re over the age of 18 and in full-time employment, you can apply for a credit card. However, you need to pay close attention to the specific requirements put forth by credit card issuing companies since a contravention of such terms may result in them deciding to stop you from using this service.
There are various institutions that issue credit cards in Norway. In Norway, up to eleven card-issuing banks issue credit and debit cards. The cards are issued under fifteen different Issuer Identification Numbers, or IINs (also called bank identification numbers, or BINs).
Banks in Norway issue VISA, MasterCard and Amex branded credit and debit cards. The cards have a default currency of Norwegian Krone (NOK).
Conditions and Competitiveness of the Norwegian Credit Cards
Each credit card issuer has a set maximum allowable limit. However, this allowance does not apply in the same way for all clients since in practice, your own credit limit will be based on your income. It is commonplace across the credit card issuers that the credit limit is set around 10-15% of your annual salary.
This means that if you earn 600,000kr you can expect to be offered a credit limit of 60,000kr or possibly slightly higher. The market for Norway’s credit cards market is competitive. The issuers include traditional banks, consumer finance specialists and online banks..
Foreign Credit Cards that Work in Norway
With a credit card issued by a foreign financial institution, you should be good to get goods and services. However, there may be some stores that may not accept foreign credit cards.
The operators in such facilities will be good enough to alert you beforehand so that the situation does not turn out distressing. In order to avoid running into troubles especially when buying or getting any form of services where you are not sure that the credit card will be accepted, please ask first.
Largely, your foreign credit card should work for you in Norway as long as it provided by the major networks including Mastercard and Visa. If you intend to withdraw cash money using your credit card from a nearby ATM in Norway, you can locate them easily.
Using your Credit Card in Norway
Having a valid credit card in Norway makes you only one step away from getting the specific goods or services of choice. You need to be sure how the card will work for you.
Typically, you must remember at the top of your mind the PIN code for the specific card. If you do not trust your memory, there is no harm writing the pin down somewhere.
But there is a disclaimer to writing your pin code on a piece of paper; make sure you do not keep the card and the written PIN code at the same place. Keeping the card and the written PIN ensures the safety of the credit card. The idea is that this precaution keeps you safe from financial loss in case you lose purse or wallet, someone who picks it may end up using it.
The Norwegian technological advancements are also making the use of cards easier. Contactless payments are becoming increasingly possible. This contactless payment means that you easily make payments. However, it poses another risk. What if you misplace your credit card and someone ends up swiping to make payments? This calls for extra vigilance.
What To Do In Case You Misplace or Lose Your Credit Card
Whenever you decide to register for and get a credit card, it gives you a lot of control over your finances. However, it is not as easy as may seem. A credit card, just like any other payment card increases your vulnerability to financial loss in case someone accesses the physical card or access code. With the contactless payments where people just swipe the card and deductions are made on your card, it is very important to ensure safety of your card and its details.
The first thing to do is to contact the credit card issuer immediately you realize it is lost. Each credit card issuer has emergency contacts. Whenever you contact the credit card issuer, they will not only secure the lost card immediately but also process for you a replacement as you may wish.
Ensure that you reach out to the issuer immediately and have all the necessary information that they mar require to prove that you are the actual owner of the lost card. Having such information ready will prevent unnecessary delays in securing your card. Once you alert the issuer, you safe since they will block any form of transactions from being completed using the lost card.