Credit Cards in Sweden-A good starting point for smart cashless payments
Are you thinking of relocating to Sweden? Yes, you are on the right direction towards a very wonderful country. There are plenty of things that Sweden has in store for you. Though there are some naysayers who propagate how difficult it can be for a foreigner to integrate into Swedish society. It remains a fact that English is widely spoken in Sweden and there is no way you feel out of place in the country.
Sweden is Going Cashless in style and credit cards is one way out
One very exciting thing about Sweden is the whole progress in the country’s financial sector which has seen it going cashless. Actually, a lot of news is already out there on how ambitious Sweden has set its progress towards completely getting rid of the need for cash in transactions. Cashless transactions in Sweden, like anywhere else, are lauded for their transparency, security and convenience which are all a plus in the current era where efficiency goes a long way. If at all this can be possible, then Sweden is going to be the very first in the world.
Considerable talks have clouded every sect talking about Sweden going cashless. This has seemingly not quite taken course since a majority of merchants still accept cash. So, if you are the type who operates around with cash, then you have nothing to worry about since you are still all covered at the moment. But all said, anyone who wants to comfortably live in the current and gear up for the likely futures in financial systems, embracing credit cards is a good point to start.
Defining Credit Card in Sweden
First things first, when it comes to using your credit card in Sweden, it is as good as it gets. Both Visa and Mastercard are greatly accepted in Sweden while American Express is still slightly lagging behind. As much as cash still remans, credit cards continue to be more common than cash. The world is going digital and Sweden is not going to remain behind. For Norwegian credit cards you can visit norske-kredittkort.com instead.
Sometimes there are other ways of paying for your purchases or bills other than using cash. For a very long time now cash has remained to be the dominant means of payment accepted by various merchants and traders across the globe. However, the world has experienced a great revolution from analogue to a digital world where almost every operation is done online.
Well, in tune with this drastic shift to modernity, payments, transactions, initiating cash withdrawal, and making purchases occur digitally. Thanks to the introduction of credit cards. We can therefore simply define a credit card as a tangible card that can allow you to perform various tasks that need money. For instance, you can make payments, purchase goods and services, or even withdraw cash from your bank. A credit card is a simpler version of a short-term loan.
Having a credit card account
To have a credit card, you need to have a credit card account with your company. This is only when your credit card company will issue you with a defined credit limit. But what do I mean by a credit limit? Sorry, with credit and money issues comes very complex terms that may be confusing. There is no need to worry as I am going to break it down to you here bit by bit as we move along.
A credit limit is the amount of money that your credit card company gives you a free will to access as you make purchases or pay your bills. The available credit limit reduces as you continue charging things to your credit card. You later are mandated to pay back what you spent from your credit limit to your specific credit company.
One very important aspect to note is that credit cards can either be secured or unsecured. The two options carry with them absolutely some difference. A secured credit card will require that you must deposit some cash into your credit card account for it to be active. Most Swedish people prefer to have a secured credit card since this fetches them a double credit limit.
Accepted and Popular Credit Card Issuers in Sweden
In Sweden, Visa and Mastercard are commonly used. American Express cards are however still not so common in the same way that Discover cards aren’t very popular in Sweden. The Swedish merchants are very likely to accept a Visa Credit card and a Mastercard 100% just like ATM withdrawals will. These two are very popular in Sweden unlike the credit cards from the other issuers.
On the other hand, the American Express card merchant acceptance is at a medium level while ATM acceptance remains high. This is however very different with the Discovery card which has a medium acceptance level from Swedish merchants and a corresponding very low ATM acceptance. So, when coming to Sweden or if you are already here, try as much as possible to obtain either a credit Mastercard or a Visa credit card.
How do Credit Cards Operate in Sweden?
Using a credit card can seem quite challenging especially for a first timer and sometimes adding to the fact that you may be a foreigner. Therefore, there are some very important facts about credit cards that you need to be aware of before embarking on their use. This will make your operation within Sweden very smooth and worth appreciating.
When you use a credit card, it offers you the convenience and the potential to save some money and also build your credit history. How does this really work? With a credit card, you get the ability to build credit through your genuine financial routines as you earn back what you spend in rewards.
Versatile use of Credit cards in Sweden
Credit cards will help you make online purchases, in store purchases, and also pay your bills in Sweden. When you present your credit card for either one of the above purposes, your details automatically go to your merchant’s bank. From here, the bank gets an authorization from your credit card network to proceed with the transaction. Your credit card company will later provide a verification of your information where it can either approve or decline this transaction.
An approved transaction on a credit card means that payment has been transferred to the merchant. So, your credit card’s available limit will decline. It is the transaction amount that reduces your credit limit by the amount spent as well as the transaction fee. When your billing is concluded, your credit card company will share with you a statement of all your transactions for the month.
With the statement also comes your new and previous credit balance as well as the minimum payment due and the due date. Talking about a due date, it simply means the date your card issuer requires you to pay your bill in full. Usually, the duration between any purchase on your credit card and the date of payment, is called the grace period. During the grace period, if you pay your bill in full by the expected date, there will be no accrued interest charges.
Types of Credit Cards available in Sweden
When you move to Sweden, one of the very first things you will need is a credit card since using a credit card is very popular. While there are several types of credit cards globally, Sweden can offer you with only two types of credit cards. This can either be a basic credit card or a prepaid credit card.
A Basic Credit Card Sweden
A basic credit card is simply basic without any special attachments, benefits or features to it and it doesn’t even attract an annual fee. Nonetheless, the characteristics of a basic credit card are simply the same among different issuer banks in Sweden. The credit limit of a basic credit card holder in Sweden, will mainly depend on your credit worthiness as the card holder.
In Sweden, the Financial Regulation Authority requires the banks offering a basic credit card to make the details very simple and easily understandable. The customers should be availed with terms and conditions which are exceedingly transparent. Basic credit cards in Sweden don’t offer any special privileges or come with the minimum spend criteria like the other advanced credit cards do.
For older Swedes who cannot understand complex printed details or tend to mess with the reward schemes, basic credit cards are the best. This is also very true in the case of a credit card holder who spends less to warrant substantial rewards. Moreover, there are some Swedish who are allergic to complicated details so would in most cases just prefer to hold a basic credit card.
What you Need to Know about a Swedish Basic Credit Card
It is true that basic credit cards are commonly consistent across Swede issuers. However, this does not mean that they possess similar terms and conditions to offer to their customers. Just like the credit limit depends on the credit worthiness of a basic credit card holder, so is the interest rate attached to the card. Also, like other credit cards, there is no interest charged if you pay your card bill before or by the due date every month.
What happens with basic credit cards in Sweden is that the credit card company offers you something called a line of credit (LOC). This is what will allow you to borrow money in the form of a credit advance. Here the borrowing limit is set on the basis of your credit score as the card holder.
What most credit card companies in Sweden would do, is to allow you as a credit card holder to only make purchases using your credit card. This however remains to be the most common method of payment for buying consumer goods and services in Sweden. If you are an individual with a poor credit background then you would opt for a secured credit card. But you must make some cash deposits to access a proportionate credit line.
Prepaid Credit Cards in Sweden
As you already know that Sweden is a card haven, though there are a few places which are cashless. A prepaid credit card in Sweden will allow you to use it anywhere and there is no need for a credit check or even a bank account. In Sweden, a prepaid credit card got you all covered without any worry of credit limit which may limit your spending.
The benefits of having a credit card and not having to worry about credit checks, overdraft fees, and expiring funds is really soothing. You stay focussed and very relaxed as you travel and do your shopping wherever you go. It is commonly referred to as an all-purpose prepaid credit card.
This type of a credit card can be used either online or in-person to pay your bills, make purchases, and for cash withdrawals. Unlike a basic credit card that only allows you to make purchases, a prepaid credit card will give you an all-purpose satisfaction. The only thing required of you is to choose a prepaid credit card that matches your needs.
Your Perfect Choice for a Credit Card in Sweden
Before you come to a conclusion on a particular credit company, you need to understand your needs. You basically need to relate your choice to the reasons why you are going to take a credit card. While a basic credit card in Sweden involves a prolonged paperwork procedure, a prepaid credit card is always very easy to get.
The paperwork of a prepaid credit card does not take longer. However, you’ll pay higher fees when obtaining a prepaid credit card in Sweden. Having a bank account in Sweden, is one step that gives you a higher chance of obtaining a credit card and using it in Sweden. So, all you need to make your perfect choice of a credit card in Sweden is to prioritise your needs.
The Pros of Using a Credit Card in Sweden
First, using a credit card in Sweden is likely to raise your UC credit score. The more you use your credit cards and pay your billings before or by your due date, the more your UC credit score increases. If you are new to Sweden, use this trick as one of the quickest ways to improve your UC score. Your credit score will definitely increase by using your credit card.
By using a credit card in Sweden, you have a chance to make use of technology. Globally, Sweden ranks as number one as one of the most cashless societies. Most people in Sweden have stopped using hard cash to pay for their purchases and bills. The wind of change is blowing towards the direction of a cashless economy where individuals prefer using credit or debit cards. Yes, the Swedes are making a great use of the available technology by opening a credit card account to get a credit card for most of their transactions.
When using your credit card, you get numerous rewards and cashbacks. The more you use your credit card, the more you become eligible for very exciting offers on various festivals and sales on online shopping websites. It’s quite normal that most credit card users in Sweden are entitled to exciting cashback on their purchases. In addition, the above, you will get numerous coupon codes if you are a credit card user in Sweden.
The Best Free Credit Cards in Sweden
Norwegian Bank Visa
This Visa credit card has the advantage of universal acceptance and comes with great rewards for almost everything. Using this credit card gives you up to 55 days of an interest free credit on each and every purchase you make using your credit card. When a friend of a family member reaches out to you on the best credit card they should have. Invite them and recommend a Norwegian Bank Visa to them and earn yourself a 200 SEK/NOK in free travel.
Did you know that you will also be able to get dental protection with this card? Yes. It is possible though optional. However, this credit card unfortunately gives rewards usable only for hotels or free flights. I still find this an advantage rather than a disadvantage because in one way or another, the reward still covers your own expenses for free. Besides, you need to be at least 23 years old to be able to apply and have one.
Komplett Bank Mastercard
Being a new player in the block, Komplett Bank has in recent years pushed up its sleeves by introducing new products. Komplett has come up with some of the coolest products and offerings on the credit card front. However, if you are the type who loves to use credit cards for travelling costs, then Komplett Bank Mastercard is definitely not for you.
For your day-to-day card purchases it is the best option for you in Sweden with a straight forward bonus system operation. With at least 500 points, you get an entitlement to a 500 SEK off your bill. When you are in Sweden try a Komplett Mastercard and get to experience most of its goodies in real life because it is 100% free of charge.
You get to enjoy a 50 days interest free credit on every purchase made using your credit card. It is possible that with a Komplett Mastercard you can defer payments and pay in either three, six, or even 9 months. To have access to one you need to have attained 20 years and not 23 years old like the Bank Norwegian credit card. Unfortunately, it offers no referral programs for family and friends.
There are other credit cards which you may check on while in Sweden like the;
- Marginalen Bank Traveller
- American Express AMEX Green or SAS Classic
Credit Card Fees in Sweden
The credit card fees in Sweden will greatly depend on the credit card that you are using. Different credit card companies offer different credit card fees especially when you use your credit card outside your country of residence. But the common credit card fees in Sweden are the Foreign Transaction Fees and the Currency Conversion Fees. Most of the credit cards will come with a foreign transaction fee of between 2% and 3% for every transaction made outside Sweden.
Credit Cards Becoming More Common than Cash in Sweden
Sweden prides itself as being largely a cashless economy. If you are living or coming to Sweden you must consider having a credit card as a top necessity in your to do list. Most people here have taken advantage of advancement in the technology sector and prioritise making their purchases and paying bills using credit cards.
In fact, most of the credit companies are in a position to provide legit credit cards even to newcomers. Sweden is a country that has nearly all its transactions done online. Believe you me, a decision to get a credit card before going to or while already living in Sweden can never be a waste.
Your choice of the perfect credit card for you is only easier if you have access to the right information made available. Make sure to analyse and evaluate all the available options on your table then make the right choice based on your needs and requirements. With the correct choice of credit cards, you are pretty much sure to enjoy your stay in Sweden as you make your financial transactions in a cashless society.