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South Africa is a well-developed and modernized country with many exciting shopping centres, resorts and various forms of entertainment to choose from. Holiday makers abroad will enjoy the favorable exchange rate for their currency. One of the safest and most convenient ways to enjoy your shopping and purchases, is by using an accepted credit card in South Africa.

 

Various types of credit cards:

South Africa’s credit cards are not just issued by popular banks such as Standard Bank, Absa, Capitec, First National Bank or Nedbank. Other industries like airlines also offer credit cards through American Express with benefits to their consumers e.g. free insurance and discounts. Customers must compare the interest rates with other credit cards.

visa mastercard credit card travel south africa

Tips to prepare for your travel to South Africa:

  • Carry your Visa or Mastercard for purchases as most stores may not accept American Express credit cards.
  • Inform your bank that you will be using your credit card abroad. Most banks, to reduce fraudulent transactions, may block your card in your overseas transactions, as they may suspect ‘suspicious activity’.
  • Review your credit cards for those which offer additional travel benefits e.g. airline lounge access. Your frequent flyer credit card will help you earn air miles for your trip.
  • When you are in South Africa you can use your credit card for most purchases, however, consider keeping cash on hand for smaller purchases or to tip hotel and restaurant staff.
  • Some taxi services and car hire accept credit cards, but not all do, especially in rural areas. If you want to use your credit card, try using popular apps such as Uber or Taxify and pay through their app.

 

Credit card fees in South Africa

Your credit card transactions may incur foreign transaction fees and currency conversion fees. You are usually charged a percentage on every purchase made and are charged if you paid in your own currency instead of South African Rands (ZAR). You can avoid this by paying in the local currency and by using a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees.

 

Safety tips when using credit cards in South Africa

 

  • Beware of credit card fraud. Keep the emergency number on hand of your bank, so that you can immediately report a lost, damaged or stolen card. Have a backup credit card, in case of any unforeseen incidents.
  • Keep an eye on your credit card and do not let staff walk away with your card during purchases. They should bring the card machine to you and look away whilst you key in your pin number.
  • Whilst using the ATM, be alert of those around you. Never offer assistance or talk to the person beside you, as you will become distracted from your transaction and credit card. Watch out for ‘skimmers’ which are illegally installed in ATMs to steal information from debit and credit cards. If the card slot is not smooth, cancel your transaction and move to a different ATM location.
  • Review your account statement regularly. Dispute any suspicious activity on your statement with your bank.
  • For online purchases, make sure you are using secure websites.

Credit cards accepted in South Africa

Visa and MasterCards are widely accepted in South Africa.

Credit Card Options
Visa credit card Classic credit card

Gold credit card

Platinum credit card

Signature credit card

Infinite credit card

MasterCard credit card Titanium credit card

Platinum credit card

World credit card

World elite credit card

Barclays Visa credit card

Prime visa credit card

RMB Private bank credit card
Bluebean Classic credit card

Silver credit card

Gold credit card

Classic MasterCard electronic

Manchester United Credit card

Absa Student credit card

Gold credit card

Platinum credit card

Private bank credit card

Premium credit card

Absa Affinity Credit

First National Bank (FNB)

 

Gold credit card

Premier credit card

Private Clients credit card

FNB Private Wealth credit card

Nedbank

 

Classic credit card

Gold credit card

Platinum credit card

SAA Voyager Gold Credit (Nedbank)

SAA Voyager Premium Credit (Nedbank)

Standard Bank

 

Titanium credit card

Gold credit card

Platinum credit card

Standard Bank World Citizen credit card

Woolworths Gold credit card

Silver credit card

African Bank Gold credit card

Silver credit card

American Express Gold credit card

Platinum credit card

Hilton Honors credit card

Gold Delta SkyMiles

Capitec GlobalOne credit card
Avios credit card
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Discover credit card
Discovery gold credit card
Diners Club credit card
Marriott Bonvoy Bold credit card
Airline branded credit cards
Kulula credit card
South African Airways credit card
Virgin Money credit card
British Airways credit card

For cash withdrawals, use any of South Africa’s major banks’ ATMs e.g. Nedbank, Standard Bank, Capitec, First National Bank or Absa.

Emergency contact details:

National Consumer Tribunal      

www.thedti.gov.za

012 394 41450

National Credit Regulator       

www.ncr.org.za

011 554 2600

Ombudsman for banks 

011 838 0035

0860 800 900

 

At the time of writing this article, this is the accepted list of credit cards in South Africa. We advise that you double check your preferred credit card with your travel agent when planning your trip to South Africa.