David Wampamba

3 minutes read

Why get a credit card in Uganda?


Online(internet) wholesale and retail stores are increasing in the this third world country. With the launch of stores like Jumia.com, lamudi.com, ugunlocked.com, pesapal.com and etc… one would miss out on top quality affordable items if you didn’t have a credit card.
Take for example, on black Friday, Jumia featured a huge percentage discount on all their items bought via the online platform. Other days to watch out for are Christmas day, New years day and Easter season. In most cases wholesalers and retainers who sale traditionally have not adopted the discount culture, so many buyers would miss out. This is why I’m writing this article. I will give some reasons why everyone from Uganda needs a credit card and a guide of how to get one.

Access Money anywhere

The beauty about credit/debit cards is the convenience of access to your money anywhere in the world. Yes, everywhere where there is an Automated Teller Machine or Point of Sale. So if you want to withdrawal some cash go an ATM which has the labels of your card such labels can be American Express, Visa, Mastercard etc. If you want to purchase something in a store just swipe the card in the POS machine and you will be good to go. So whether it’s renewing insurance, paying for medicine, renewing utility back at home, you don’t need to travel back and forth. It’s just a card.

Setting up online presence.

Online presence is your address on the internet. Everyone in Uganda is steadily adapting to using a smart device, thanks to Facebook and WhatsApp. Many people being online everyday, means a big chance to put your business out there, it’s a sales opportunity. However to get a website, you must purchase a domain name and web hosting, the most convenient payment method for that is a credit card. Of course a friend who has maybe of help but that might add an extra cost, which you may want to avoid.

Purchase of goods and services

The generation we are now, you can buy a car, land, food and medicine; name it all just at a snap of a finger. Without moving out of your house or office and have your items delivered. Even if you can pay search services with Mobile Money solutions, for the costs of some products, the spending limit on Mobile Money services may hinder. But credit cards have a slightly higher spending limit.

Improve financial management

Most issuers of credit cards have an online portal where you go to check your transaction history which means you can access your banks statements at anytime of convenience. Actually this is very important for reviewing and evaluation of your spending habits. Traditional you would have to spare a couple of minutes, if not hours to line-up in a queue in the banking hall and still pay for the bank statement. The question is do you want to continue losing time or save time while increasing income?


A while ago, it costed much more than $200 to quality for a credit/debit card in Uganda, this made it hard for many to afford. Today it’s as low as UGX 15000/= in addition to no monthly bank charges.
So far I have personally used two banks so the choice between the two is yours because I may not give reasons today why you should choose this or that.

United Bank of Africa

First bank to introduce a fully functional internet enabled prepaid card was United Bank of Africa(UBA). They issue a visa card in Uganda shilling currency in just a couple of minutes. All you have to go with is a passport photo, a valid ID and UGX 20,000/= or UGX 30,000/=. Since the debit card is not attached to a saving/current account the introduction and recommendation letters may not be compulsory but to be on safe side, I encourage you to go with one written and endorsed by  your LC1 chairperson or teacher at school or employer or a person banking with UBA for at least 6 months. To know more click here

Equity bank Uganda

This bank has proven to have a slightly better online exchange rate compared to it’s competitors. Of late they also issue internet enabled visa cards, all you have to do is to apply for a savings account and apply for a visa card ATM. They will also issue it on the same day like UBA. They are need the same fees and documents as UBA to be in the position to give you this online prepaid card.

Other banks you can try.

Just in case you are not a fun of the above mentioned banks, try to Stanbic bank, Standard Chartered bank and Crane bank.
Good luck

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